Help with Tub drain

We have a standard type of tub about 30 years old with (had) a lever at one end that raised or lowered the drain. The tub stop draining. I remember years ago my dad would remove the screws on the cover plate (for the lever) and pull it up and out which was always covered with hair/gunk. When I tried to remove the screws the heads came right off leaving the rusted body of the screws intact :(
So I guess I have to replace the drain portion. I'm pretty handy but have never done this before. Do I need to access this from he floor below, the wall behind or both? As luck would have it we just papered the wall behind 6 months ago and painted the ceiling below last year. Oh Well. Any pointers or tips.
Thanks
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HereWeGoYetAgain wrote:

Best to access from the wall behind. Go to HD and buy an access panel you can install after you chop the hole.
Whilst there, look at the tub waste and overflow assemblies so you have an idea how it goes together. There is a slip nut at the lower end of the overflow tube. Loosen that and you can pull the tube with backplate out. There is a gasket between backplate and tub.
You may have to buy the whole waste/o'flow assy to get what you want. Or a good hdwr or plumbing store may have the separate parts. There were differences in the angle of the backplate; that's important to get it to seal properly. You could be better off drilling out the old screws once you get the tube to the workbench.
Don't even think about replacing the entire waste/o'flow assy. Be gentle loosening things so they don't leak later...
Jim
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Yeah that was my plan and then I'll cover the whole shebang with a new full length mirror, don't have enough wallpaper left.

Hadn't thought about that one, thanks

Is it feasible to try and drill it right there in place or am I just dreaming of an easier way out? If I could secure the overflow tube against the tub with a c clamp maybe I could drill it rite there?
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HereWeGoYetAgain wrote:

I thought of that. I'm fearful that something will get damaged or someone hurt... Jim
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Try www.tubgirl.com

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Tame, I get shit-faced all the time.
Are you related to Old Arty Boy? Sure seem like the same genes.
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