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Old 01-31-2011, 06:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Rear Differential Drain & Fill Plugs

So this past weekend I decided to replace the oil in my front differential, transfer case, and rear differential. On Saturday I sprayed down all the nuts/bolts with PB Blaster and let them soak overnight. I started with the front differential, no problem. Then I moved to the transfer case, again, no probelm. Then I got to the rear differential, and nothing. The drain and fill plugs will not budge! I even had a neighbor help me and the two of us still couldn't get either of them to move . After about an hour of wrestling with the bolts , I gave up and just spraying it with more PB Blaster and I figured I would try it again sometime this week because I was worried that I was going to strip the bolt and make the problem even worse. So, does anyone have any tips/tricks that I can use to get the darn bolts off?
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Always remove the "fill" plug first.
Big impact. Zip. Off.
Get new plugs.
Tighten with ratchet snug.

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Old 01-31-2011, 07:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I just did this over the weekend and mine were pretty frozen on there too. I just hit it with PB blaster and broke out my 24 inch breaker bar. Had to put quite a bit of force on it but it went...so did my knuckle into the leaf spring.

Man I hate the smell of gear oil. It almost makes me sick.

My breather was also rusted shut, so I ordered two new ones from the dealer. Don't forget about those.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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6pt socket and nothing else, 1/2" breaker bar and an impact socket is best. 3/4" if you must. Impact gun is also possible if you have one. Before using impact gun, I suggest you find yourself a new plug first.

Mine was hell to pop as well. I don't think the PO ever checked it.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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6pt socket and nothing else, 1/2" breaker bar and an impact socket is best. 3/4" if you must. Impact gun is also possible if you have one. Before using impact gun, I suggest you find yourself a new plug first.

Mine was hell to pop as well. I don't think the PO ever checked it.
Yeah I have been using a 6pt socket the whole time because I know the bolt is soft and has a tendency to strip if you use a 12pt. I have been using a 3/4" breaker bar with a 1/2" adapter. After work, I think I am going to pick up a 1/2" breaker bar and a steel pipe to use as an extension and see if that works. Unfortunately, I don't have access to an impact gun but I think that is going to be my last resort
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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also try tapping on the bolt head as well with a hammer. Not smashing it just some light taps.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you strip it, use a hammer and a cold chisel to work it loose.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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still can't get my rear diff on the 4runner loose. I've PB blasted it, torqued on it with cheater pipe (6pt socket as well, 1/2" drive), torched it, hit it with a hammer.... it almost looks like it's part of the diff itself, won't budge even with a little chisel action. I'm tempted to get a BFDrillbit out and solve this the power tool way... need to rebuild/regear soon anyway...

better luck to you!
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i'd give it a couple more days soaking in PB blaster and then try a long cheater bar for leverage. might not be a bad time to install some low-profile magnetic drain plugs before you fill it back up.
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Red face

If you need heat a propane torch is not going to do the job.

You need a fuel gas / oxygen of your favorite.
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My rear diff drain plug was kind of rounded when I bought and it is defiantly rounded now. Anyways, I ended up sucking all of the gear oil out with a syringe. Maybe in the Spring when I don't need 4x4 I will take time to remove and replace it. I am thinking a blue flame wrench and an extractor. Some must take the quality of a Toyota pickup so much for granted that they didn't bother to perform routine maintenance or so it seems.
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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still can't get my rear diff on the 4runner loose. I've PB blasted it, torqued on it with cheater pipe (6pt socket as well, 1/2" drive), torched it, hit it with a hammer.... it almost looks like it's part of the diff itself, won't budge even with a little chisel action. I'm tempted to get a BFDrillbit out and solve this the power tool way... need to rebuild/regear soon anyway...

better luck to you!
Yea either do your drill bit idea or weld a new bolt on there and go at it with a 1/2 in impact.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxxtreme22r View Post
also try tapping on the bolt head as well with a hammer. Not smashing it just some light taps.
I will be sure to try that. Thanks!

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If you strip it, use a hammer and a cold chisel to work it loose.
Hopefully I can get it off without stripping it, but it was pretty unwilling to move so I will have to see what happens this weekend...

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i'd give it a couple more days soaking in PB blaster and then try a long cheater bar for leverage. might not be a bad time to install some low-profile magnetic drain plugs before you fill it back up.
That is exactly what I have been diong. I have been coating the bolts in PB blaster every day for this past week. Hopefully that is enough time for it to work its magic. Where can I get the low profile drain plugs?

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still can't get my rear diff on the 4runner loose. I've PB blasted it, torqued on it with cheater pipe (6pt socket as well, 1/2" drive), torched it, hit it with a hammer.... it almost looks like it's part of the diff itself, won't budge even with a little chisel action. I'm tempted to get a BFDrillbit out and solve this the power tool way... need to rebuild/regear soon anyway...

better luck to you!
Man I hope I don't have to resort to that to get them off. Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:50 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Where can I get the low profile drain plugs?
I got mine from Inchworm, but you can get them from pretty much any vendor who sells transmission, transfercase or differential parts: Marlin, Inchworm Gear, etc. They're only a couple bucks each and don't protrude from the diff like the standard hex bolts do, but instead have a lower-profile head and use an allen socket for r/r. This way you can still get it out after you've beat it up real good on some rocks.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:54 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I got mine from Inchworm, but you can get them from pretty much any vendor who sells transmission, transfercase or differential parts: Marlin, Inchworm Gear, etc. They're only a couple bucks each and don't protrude from the diff like the standard hex bolts do, but instead have a lower-profile head and use an allen socket for r/r. This way you can still get it out after you've beat it up real good on some rocks.

Hmmm that seems like a pretty good idea. Do you know of any disadvantages of going with a low-profile plug like that?
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:54 AM
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