Most manufacturers make special tools to remove the various parts of the valve. I strongly recommend that you use the correct tool. I have most of the special tools and have cracked or stripped the nylon parts on occasion. Make sure that the part you are removing needs to be removed. Try tightening then uncsrewing the extention. As far as lubricants make sure that you use something that is NOT petroleum based. If you have the model number I may be able to give you more assistance.