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Old 06-19-2012, 02:07 PM   #1
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Pumping out front diff / drain plug stuck

First post here...been reading a ton this week and catching up on a bunch of deferred maintenance. Getting ready to move cross country from San Diego to Tampa Bay with mazda 626 in tow (towing for first time)

Anyway, my front diff drain plug is F'd, its somewhat stripped and I can't remove it. Get back to that in a sec. But has anybody ever pumped out the front diff with a small hand pump? That way I can avoid taking it in to a shop and getting the diff plug removed for now.

Also: What is the exact size for this drainplug? I did a search that revealed its a 12mm Hex...went to sears, bought one only to come home and find it doesn't fit...too big.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:11 PM   #2
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I'm not sure you could get much out due to the gears being really close to the housing. Just flip the truck upside down.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper02 View Post
I'm not sure you could get much out due to the gears being really close to the housing. Just flip the truck upside down.
Yeah, thought about that. I'll go take a look again and see what diameter hose I can fit if any.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
Also: What is the exact size for this drainplug? I did a search that revealed its a 12mm Hex...went to sears, bought one only to come home and find it doesn't fit...too big.
Mine is a 10mm hex. Its tucked away pretty good, hard to believe that yours got messed up.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tan4x4 View Post
Mine is a 10mm hex. Its tucked away pretty good, hard to believe that yours got messed up.
10mm hex, k I'll try that thanks!

Stripped as in probably the last time I tried changing the fluid a few years ago, I ran in to a similar problem and stripped it then.

edit: Tried a 10mm hex, its stripped, no use. I'm gonna have to get somebody to weld a nut onto it and remove it. Pisses me off, bad design. The tranny, rear diff and tcase fill AND drain plugs are all the same size then they decide to make the front diff plugs internal hex??? Makes no sense.

Anybody come up with a replacement for these plugs so I don't have to go through this again?

PS: I fit the narrow tube that comes with a hand pump I bought and it gets in there pretty far...gonna try and pump the fluid out to change it. Will post results and pump/hose i used if successful.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:41 PM   #6
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get the largest one and a hose to fit it.

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Old 06-19-2012, 05:59 PM   #7
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^^^^ thats worth a try but the fluid is heavy, if the 10mm hex doesn't work and its already Fucked up I would try a chisel on the edges of the plug.

If you are able to suck it out measure what comes out so you don't over fill it .

There is another way to get that plug loose, I can't remember from mine how much room there is where the plug is located, but a good welder could take a nut the diameter of the plug and weld the center of the nut full to the differential plug.

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Old 06-19-2012, 06:34 PM   #8
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hand pumping that thick gear oil is going to be a bitch. If you know someone with a mityvac fluid extractor run off a compressor it will make it a lot easier.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:30 PM   #9
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So I ended up using this penzoil pump...



Basically it sucked. Both literally and figuratively. But i got it to work. I used the "airline" hose that came with it as it was skinny enough to fit deep into the diff. After 20 minutes of pumping, I'm pretty sure I got all of the old diff fluid out. The pump was hardly efficient (air leaks), the syringes would've worked better for sure.

It wouldv'e been nearly impossible to measure how much I got out, but I was able to pump in around 1.4 qts more or less.

Saved me the hassle of other more involved options. Thanks all for the suggestions! Forum is awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hossmaster View Post
get the largest one and a hose to fit it.
Syringes are not a bad idea...eliminates the air sucking of cheap auto parts store pumps. If/When I do this again, I'll go this route.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twfsa View Post
^^^^ thats worth a try but the fluid is heavy, if the 10mm hex doesn't work and its already Fucked up I would try a chisel on the edges of the plug.

If you are able to suck it out measure what comes out so you don't over fill it .

There is another way to get that plug loose, I can't remember from mine how much room there is where the plug is located, but a good welder could take a nut the diameter of the plug and weld the center of the nut full to the differential plug.
I'm hesitant to bang on it, last thing I want is to F up the diff threads. Welding a nut onto it is a great idea. When the time comes to really remove the current plug, I'm going to do this then REDO it with a new plug/nut. That way I dont have to worry about stripping in the future.

Also, I was under the impression that fill plugs are strategically placed on their respective parts to prevent overfilling. IE; you know when your at capacity when fluid comes out of the fill plug. Could be wrong about this though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2004tacoprerunner View Post
hand pumping that thick gear oil is going to be a bitch. If you know someone with a mityvac fluid extractor run off a compressor it will make it a lot easier.
Total bitch. My friends aren't as mechanically inclined...doubt they can change their oil themselves.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:48 PM   #10
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I used the mityvac hand powered unit many moons ago on my dodge dart sport . Yeah it was no fun at all.
The diff housing had no drain plug. I had no choice then.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2004tacoprerunner View Post
I used the mityvac hand powered unit many moons ago on my dodge dart sport . Yeah it was no fun at all.
The diff housing had no drain plug. I had no choice then.
A few years ago, I set up a syphon on a Honda Civic tranny, whose drain plug was stuck. Used aquarium tubing that I was able to snake down thru the gears, via the fill hole, to the bottom. Took several hours for it all to syphon out.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:58 PM   #12
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Vice grips and a torch.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:20 PM   #13
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Hope you get enough gear oil back into the differential, overfull and seals leak.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steves104x4 View Post
Vice grips and a torch.
It is set pretty flush. You won't get vise grips on it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
10mm hex, k I'll try that thanks!

Stripped as in probably the last time I tried changing the fluid a few years ago, I ran in to a similar problem and stripped it then.

edit: Tried a 10mm hex, its stripped, no use. I'm gonna have to get somebody to weld a nut onto it and remove it. Pisses me off, bad design. The tranny, rear diff and tcase fill AND drain plugs are all the same size then they decide to make the front diff plugs internal hex??? Makes no sense.

Anybody come up with a replacement for these plugs so I don't have to go through this again?

PS: I fit the narrow tube that comes with a hand pump I bought and it gets in there pretty far...gonna try and pump the fluid out to change it. Will post results and pump/hose i used if successful.
It's not a bad design as long as you have the EXACTLY right sized tool. I had the same issue with mine. Fortunately, I have a welder and welded a cheap 10mm allen head socket to it for extraction. I got a new drain plug from Toyota and a really good tool to remove it now.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:27 PM   #15
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Nothing wrong with the chisel method, or with welding a bolt to it. Whichever works, just get a new one before hand, probably easiest to get a part number and order online or from your local dealer.

Fill level with the bottom of the fill hole, correct.
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