Geared hub drain plug removal advice

nairb

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So this morning I planned on draining my geared hubs and inspecting the locking spindle nuts. Got to the first one and the plug was already a little rounded off inside so I knew I was in for a good time. I got the torch out and heated up the plug, gave it a few taps with the hammer then tried removing it. I quickly finished rounding out the plug with little force, the metal seems very soft.

Next I got the extractor set out, drilled the plug, let it drain, tapped the extractor in, heated things up again then gave it twist. Still wasn't budging. Against my better judgement I gave it more force and the extractor snapped off inside the plug. There was a small piece of the extractor sticking out the bottom of the plug, so after about 20 minutes of tapping with a punch and hammer I was able to extract the broken extractor. I think maybe I didn't have the extractor in far enough? Either way it seems pretty weak and broke with little force.

What is my next step here? I feel like I got lucky getting the extractor out once, I'm very hesitant to try using an extractor again and it getting stuck for real this time.

Here are some pics of the fun.

Broken extractor:
Screenshot 2022-11-26 at 4.47.23 PM.png

Screenshot 2022-11-26 at 4.48.04 PM.png

and my current status:

Screenshot 2022-11-26 at 4.48.35 PM.png
 

Hummer Guy

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So this morning I planned on draining my geared hubs and inspecting the locking spindle nuts. Got to the first one and the plug was already a little rounded off inside so I knew I was in for a good time. I got the torch out and heated up the plug, gave it a few taps with the hammer then tried removing it. I quickly finished rounding out the plug with little force, the metal seems very soft.

Next I got the extractor set out, drilled the plug, let it drain, tapped the extractor in, heated things up again then gave it twist. Still wasn't budging. Against my better judgement I gave it more force and the extractor snapped off inside the plug. There was a small piece of the extractor sticking out the bottom of the plug, so after about 20 minutes of tapping with a punch and hammer I was able to extract the broken extractor. I think maybe I didn't have the extractor in far enough? Either way it seems pretty weak and broke with little force.

What is my next step here? I feel like I got lucky getting the extractor out once, I'm very hesitant to try using an extractor again and it getting stuck for real this time.

Here are some pics of the fun.

Broken extractor:
View attachment 885060

View attachment 885061

and my current status:

View attachment 885062
I've heard of people welding a star or hex socket in it and then removing it, seems like the best way if you got a welder
 

papakb

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If you have at least 1/8" of the drain plug showing take a hacksaw blade and carefully hand cut a screwdriver slot into it and then work it out. Either that or use a pair of new vise grips with sharp edges and grab the head that way.
 

TOBASH

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RetiredWarHorses deals with this regularly IIRC. Ask what he does.

Also, soak with penetrating oil
 

Coug

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First things first, if you haven't done so make sure the fill plug comes out. It REALLY sucks to manage to get a drain plug out, only to find the fill plug is stuck and you're dead in the water until you fix that.


You've already done heat, so at this point about all you can do is order replacement plugs (if you haven't already) and weld either a nut onto it or an allen wrench in it or something similar.
 

TOBASH

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Don’t just try to remove. Use a manual wrench and loosen/tighten/loosen/tighten to break up the rust and crap. It is not as straightforward and twisting the thing out in one shot.
 

Thumper580

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I just did this recently.... Two came out easy and two rounded out... I wasn't going to try an easy out because it would have screwed up. I had a vacuum pump and sucked out the fluid and put in fresh. Whoever touched them last must have used a 500lb. air gun and red locktite :mad:
 

Hummer Guy

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springer1981

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I don’t have a welder so I ordered a better extractor set that was recommended in an older thread: https://www.amazon.com/RIDGID-35585-Extractor-4-inch-2-inch/dp/B000WQYJIG/

If that doesnt work I’ll get someone to weld a nut on there for me.

Thanks everyone.
This is the answer. I was going to link exactly the same tool. You have to use it right. Drill to the correct size. Then tap the extractor in with a brass hammer. Then slide the hex tool on the extractor. MAKE SURE IT IS SLID ON ALL THE WAY TO THE STUCK DRAIN PLUG. It is extremely important to have it slid all the way on or you could twist extractor and break it off. The last step is to use a boxed end wrench to unscrew the stuck plug.

This extractor set works miracles in my opinion and is the only set I use. I use them to remove broken glow plugs in a Duramax engine instead of the expensive specialty tool. I have removed many broken exhaust studs with them. They have pretty much replaced welding nuts on in almost every circumstance.
 

Retiredwarhorses

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RetiredWarHorses deals with this regularly IIRC. Ask what he does.

Also, soak with penetrating oil
propane torch and an easy out….probably do 1 or 2 a week, entire process is 5mins from start to finish, the plugs are soft material, looking at the pic, you didn’t drill the hole large enough, get it in there deeper, you have plenty of room, hammer the EZ out into the hole to get a good bite.
 

Mogman

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One problem with a regular easy out is it might be possible to drive it deep enough to damage a gear, those multi-spline extractors do not have that problem and they grip better than a regular easy out.
They have a larger head to twist and they do not have the high angular thrust which is what likely broke the OPs easy out.
A regular easy out is designed to be turned by a T handle like a tap (why they have a square head) where there would be much less angular pressure.
 

Retiredwarhorses

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One problem with a regular easy out is it might be possible to drive it deep enough to damage a gear, those multi-spline extractors do not have that problem and they grip better than a regular easy out.
They have a larger head to twist and they do not have the high angular thrust which is what likely broke the OPs easy out.
A regular easy out is designed to be turned by a T handle like a tap (why they have a square head) where there would be much less angular pressure.
I doubt anyone is going to drive the EZ out in 2in, the plug is in the sump of the hub, but if that’s the case perhaps they should take it to a qualified shop.
 

Vapor Trail

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Heat makes the item heated expand so I've had better luck heating the housing so the bolt/plug gets more loose than heating the bolt and making it larger and tighter. I've never done a geared hub though, I'm talking about other similar items.
 

Retiredwarhorses

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Heat makes the item heated expand so I've had better luck heating the housing so the bolt/plug gets more loose than heating the bolt and making it larger and tighter. I've never done a geared hub though, I'm talking about other similar items.
the heat melts the sealant that was applied, it’s also about impossible to heat just the case and not the plug, using an EX out is a last resort, most times heat and vice grips, EZ out only if there is not enough exposed threads to grab.
 
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