I was trying to remove the differential fill plug in my wife's '97 Expedition today, & I wound up rounding off the inside of the screw. Basically, you're supposed to use a 3/8" square drive to remove the plug. I used a 3/8" ratchet extension, & a breaker bar for leverage. I thought I was loosening the plug, but I just rounded off the inside of the recessed square portion of the plug.
There is a Havoline Xpress Lube down the street; do you guys think they would have a tool to remove a rounded out fill plug? If not, what is my best option to get the plug out?
I see what occurred, and it does not surprise me. The 3/8" ratchet extension works for loosening a lawnmower drain plug, but with this type of extension, you are not getting a full "bite" on the fill plug. Don't feel bad, I've done the same thing years ago. The thing I learned from my Dad is, if you need to use a breaker bar or similar tool, then you must use the correct square drive. If you could have gotten the fill plug off, then coated the threads with anti-seize lubricant, you could have removed it several times over with just a regular ratchet extension.
I am sure there must be a tap or similar tool, to remove this fill plug when it's rounded out, as what happened to you. Beleive me, you are not the first (or last) person that has done this. I'd rather a fill plug, then snapping off an exhaust manifold bolt! Good luck, and if I find out anything, I will post this information.
PS I would call and ask the Havoline X-Press Lube. If they know their stuff, they should be able to direct you to a reputable shop, if they don't do this type of work themselves...
Wayne, yes I realized the threads were not stripped. My point being, with the anti-seize on the threads, then it does not take too much ft. pounds of torque to remove the fill plug, even with the wrong ratchet square. But as they say... "that was then, this is now!" LOL Keep us posted on your stud FoMoCo SUV! Ed
you could always break out the propane torch and heat it... should come out easily after being heated and cooled quick- throw a cup of water on it when it gets really warm
Or better yet, heat it with a propane torch as Darrin suggested. Then quickly, hold up a 5X7 photo of Martha Stewart in a bikini. It will immediately become loose and easy to remove. The 5X7,in theory, being a much "colder"
item, than Darrin's suggestion of throwing a cup of water on it! Hot=propane torch + ice cold (M. Stewart bikini photo) = shattering / loosening of part!!
This is all a bit of a shock to me. I've been using my 3/8" extensions to remove that plug for some time now (bit of an oil leak requires a refill every now and then). I've had no problems at all, but still, I'll break out the anti-seize the next time that plug is out.
I had a similar problem once.I ground down a 1/2" extension just a bit oversized of the plug.I then hammered it into the plug,used a 1/2" ratchet,and VOLIA,out came the plug.Next plug you should put in is a square head,that way you can use a wrench to get it out.Thats what I have installed in mine.
an easy out will get them out if they are rounded off you just have to have one big enough to bite in the first part of the easyout. I have several in my tap and die sets and have used them for just that purpose. I have also welded a nut onto the plug and used a wrench to get it out, this serves too purposes first gives you something to get a hold of second it applies heat. (weld through the center of the nut not the outside of it.)