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So, I recently purchased a 2009 Ranger 700 and was inspecting the fluidswhich were in really bad shape. I decide fed to change all fluids and did not have much of a problem until I got to front diff. The fill plug is completely stripped out. My guess is the person that changed it last used a wrench with way too much torque and stripped it out also leaving behind a plug that has proven to be damn near impossible to get off.
Here is what I've done so far:
Spoke with dealer and auto parts stores to get some ideas.
Decide I can't use an easy out because I don't want any metal shavings in gear casing.
Tried a punch to "shock" the threads and loosen it up...didn't work.
Used a chisel to try and create some teeth to loosen plug, I only need a gnats hair for crying out loud...didn't work.
Was able to get a vise grip on it but it's on too tight, thought this was my best chance...no luck
I've spent 3 days on this %*><%<~ thing and can't get it to budge.
Any help or suggestions to get this off as I am at my wits end.
Side note- that's the worse damn place to put a fill plug, what were they thinking???
 

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I'm a little confused, are the threads stripped or is the hex key hole stripped so you get no grip on the plug?

If it's just too tight and you can't get a grip maybe you can cut a screwdriver slot in the head with a hacksaw blade or cutoff tool. Apply heat to the casing near the plug and try to loosen. The case is aluminum, the plug steel and the aluminum case will expand faster than the steel plug, possibly loosening the threads. Replace the plug with a new one when finished.

Another option, if available, weld a nut to the plug and use a wrench. The heat from welding may help considerably.

Drilling may end up being your only option. Since the plug is steel a strong magnet can be used to keep chips in the immediate area of the plug while drilling and fishing out chips after drilling through. Careful drilling and chip clearing before breaking through and gentle breakthrough will go a long way toward preventing entry of chips. When you drill through the fluid in the case will help flush out the chips as it runs out. Q Tips can be used to swab the area after drilling, chips easily get entangled in the cotton fibers and are removed with the Q Tip.

IF it's that tight an EZ out may not work. If you decide to try the EZ out method don't use the spiral fluted cone shaped type. They try to expand the plug as they enter deeper causing the plug to be ever tighter. The straight fluted type that cut their way as they are driven in are superior. Like a tap they are hardened and will snap if too much pressure is applied causing an even bigger problem for drilling them out. Use the largest size you can find that fits the plug. This accomplishes two things, first the large size has greater strength and twist off resistance, second, the larger the hole drilled the more the pressure on the side of the plug is relieved.

Another option: Drill a hole as large as possible without getting into the aluminum case leaving only a thin shell of the original plug. You may be able to peel the remainder out with a pair of needle nose pliers and a small diamond point chisel, or it may just unscrew easily since the pressure has been relieved. Worst case scenario would be to totally drill out the plug and threads and replace the threads with a Helicoil. Aluminum chips can be either flushed out with oil or vacuumed out. In any case aluminum is much softer than the bearings gears of shafts and although no chips would be the best scenario an errant aluminum chip probably won't do much harm before being ground to aluminum particles. Changing fluid after a ride should get rid of those aluminum particles.
 

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The welder works EVERY time.

There's not been many that haven't broke loose with a good wack from a hammer and brass punch, but at the point you're at now, I'd get big nut with the hole almost as big as the head of the plug, weld the head of the plug to the inside of the nut. The combined heat of welding along with your new way to get a socket on it will make it come out no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's the hex key hole that's stripped. I'm on my iPhone and can't figure out how to post a pic. Will try and post one in a few
 

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I'm guessing its corroded in and seized up more than being over torqued, the whole galvanic dissimilar metal thing between a steel plug and the aluminum casing. Somebody used a torx as opposed to a hex bit. Previous owner maybe, it might never have been out !!

Did you try gently tapping with a hammer emphasis on the 'gently' maybe try some good penetrating oil and some heat cycles, not a torch yet but just a high powered hair dryer to crack the corrosive crust and let the oil soak in. I've had some luck cutting slots on stripped head with a dremmal and then using a big flat screw driver. Never had to do it on a diff plug. Be careful if you try this as you obviously don't want to touch the case. -- reo
 

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Center punch and hammer, I would have it out in 5 minutes or less.
heheh we all got our tricks my plan B would to heat it up with a benzomatic then the cold rag treatment then penatrating oil, some light tapping to break that corrosion up. Good luck. -- reo
 

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Yep weld a nut right on top of that plug, she will spin right out.
 

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Greg, you're such a negative Nancy-

LOL, Just kidding ;)

It's a good idea to unplug the ECM and Batt Cables before welding on a machine.

Guess I can't say I have ever done that, and have not had any issues, yet I know it's wise and prudent advice

One Thing I'd like to add to it is, if you do weld it, be sure you ground your negative lead on the case you're welding on, preferably as close as you can possibly get to it. Even putting the negative lead on the other side of the case can/will cause the electricity to flow through the entire case, which can destroy bearings and moving parts by leaving some very small pitting where electricity arcs across parts, which in time will/ can lead to a bearing failure This is the same kind of thing that fries ecms/ecus because of improper grounding-

Just be thinking about how electricity will flow when you weld on your machine. The less things it has to travel through to get there, the better off you will be.
 

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Not being as "lucky" as Adam............I always unplug the ECM before welding and mine has that side cargo box in the way and it is a PITA to get it unplugged and back in..
 

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Greg, you're such a negative Nancy-

LOL, Just kidding ;)

It's a good idea to unplug the ECM and Batt Cables before welding on a machine.

Guess I can't say I have ever done that, and have not had any issues, yet I know it's wise and prudent advice

One Thing I'd like to add to it is, if you do weld it, be sure you ground your negative lead on the case you're welding on, preferably as close as you can possibly get to it. Even putting the negative lead on the other side of the case can/will cause the electricity to flow through the entire case, which can destroy bearings and moving parts by leaving some very small pitting where electricity arcs across parts, which in time will/ can lead to a bearing failure This is the same kind of thing that fries ecms/ecus because of improper grounding-

Just be thinking about how electricity will flow when you weld on your machine. The less things it has to travel through to get there, the better off you will be.
Adam, very good information!
And I will try to reduce my negative comments. Lol.
 

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I have never used these and I am not sure if it would work or not due to space contraints as well as the limited surface this would have to grab....but, it may be worth a shot. I measured my rear diff plug at around 22mm outside diameter (I assume the front diff is similar in size). They do appear to offer this tool for 22mm. It may be worth a look as an option at least. Figured it cant hurt to throw another option in the hat...

Bolt Extractors - Tools - IRWIN TOOLS

Edit: I looked closer at your picture and I think the casing may prevent the use of a tool like this. I dont think there would be enough room for this tool to get over the plug.

PS Have you taken your front bumper off for better access? Im not sure on your specific machine, but I get a good bit more access with my front bumper off.
 
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