I used PB blaster and a pick tool to scrape this star hole out. As you can see below, the T60 wrench still barely goes into the hole. Can you see the faint depth marks? It only goes in like 1/8" of an inch. I feel there is no chance in hell I can put ANY turning force on this wrench without it immediately stripping whatever it's barely grabbing. Or just falling out. Ideally, it needs to be hammered into the hole to stay, but there is clearly no room for a hammer in here. If you need enough force to potentially break an L-wrench, there is no way this thing can ever work. It will fall or slip out long before even 1% of that amount of force/torque can possibly be applied.
I do agree think the L-wrench is too bulky to use. It just gets in it's own way and has very little clearance to twist into the star hole. I think I could get a short little T60 socket seated better b/c I can twist it in my fingers.
Is anyone willing to lend/mail me their hand-welded T60 tool so I can try the socket/wrench/weld approach?
If so, PM me. I will reimburse shipping, and have it mailed back within a week.
I have to say, not being able to even BEGIN some of these write-ups is a serious wake-up call. Having to fab/grind/weld your own tools is the other. In general, I am starting to realize that working on Jeeps is not really for beginner hobbyists without live mentorship or advanced garage setups (welders, bench vice, lifts, air hammers, etc). Someone like me who mainly turn bolts with a basic $1000 worth of hand tools might be better off with a cleaner RAV4 or X3 for winter commuting and basic DIY. Maybe buying a good running 125k XJ, but was barely been maintained beyond $5 fluids was a mistake. I don't want to invest $7000 into "refreshing" an XJ that has a permanent oil leak. And other things that can't be fixed. Maybe the smarter move might be to stop investing in this XJ, and just drive this thing into the ground or just sell it after the winter is over. Dropping $750 on rotors, exhaust, hubs, and u-joints as my first mechanic repair was folly. That's long term stuff, and I am slowing shifting my lens to that of temporary ownership that can be limited to a $1700 mistake, if I cut my losses right now. ($2200 for the 1998 XJ w/ 125k, already invested $2000 in 1 month, but can sell as is for $2500 I think) Ignoring this option may be foolish, unfortunately, as this XJ project might get a whole lot worse before it gets better.
Of course, the other option is to just say "F/ck it" with regards to the OFA, and other minor details, and just let it leak (always check the oil) and enjoy the XJ for what it is. A beater spare car that should be ok in the snow, but will always has small issues. Maybe trying to make it "refreshed/renewed" (like you'd do with an older BMW) is barking up the wrong tree. If I just drive it, invest nothing beyond bare minimum repairs, I could be ok with that. After all, the XJ runs great, and it's only an oil leak, and I'm only into it for $4000 once I get tires. Then, I just fix stuff as it comes instead of treating it like a $7000 hobby.