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Differential cover removal

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by Countachqv, Dec 11, 2021.

  1. I went to drain the differential oil for winter to find out post draining that the refill plug is frozen in place. No rust but it needs lots of torque to remove. My 14mm socket stripped it and I tried 3 different bolt exxtractors to no success. Even the rocket socket extractor stripped it more after bitting into it. I guess the head of the refill plug is too soft.

    I am in a bit of a bind now. Can't run the car with no diff oil and I need to fix this. Not much access either.
    So I am thinking of removing the whole cover plate to work on the darn refill plug.



    What should I expect? Is there enough space to remove the plate without taking down anything else but the black aluminium cover in front of it? Anything hidding behind the plate that could fall other than a bit of oil? And where can I get the gasket and a decent plug that is not made out of gummy bears?

    Note that I almost ended up with the same issue with the transmission oil plug but the extractor socket worked there.
     

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  3. As an alternative to removing the cover, it is possible to pump the oil into the differential through the oil drain. You need a sufficiently powerful electric pump and a fitting with a hose connection for the oil pump which is screwed into the oil drain.
    You must then prepare the exact amount of oil in a suitable container and pump it from there into the differential.
    The only problem is to remove the fitting with the hose without too much fresh oil leaking out again while the fitting is removed and the drain plug is put back in.
    I would add about 0.2 qt more oil and put a clean oil pan under the drain plug and then check how much oil has flowed out. if too little has flowed out then just drain a little more.

    It is very important to fill the correct oil with LS additive.
     
  4. #3 DaniT, Dec 12, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2021
    I found a picture from my workshop.

    Now I'm not sure if the differential housing has a breather. If the differential does not have a vent, it is more problematic to fill the oil through the outlet hole because the air cannot escape.
    In this case it can still work, if instead of the electric pump a longer hose (maximum diameter) with a funnel is used. Just hold the funnel higher than the differential.

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  5. Maybe try a little longer on the bolt first? I would soak the bolt with PB blaster (WD40 will not do the trick) , spraying it for several days maybe a week. Then get a propane torch and heat the bolt up, being careful of course with a fire extinguisher or garden hose close. The bolt will come off then. The heat part is an old plumber trick, which alone will do it. Combining both is what I do in these situations.

    https://www.amazon.com/Blaster-PB-PENETRATING-Lubricant-OZ/dp/B00XOSYNM6/ref=asc_df_B00XOSYNM6?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=80745440604906&hvnetw=o&hvqmt=e&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4584345016878584&psc=1
     
  6. Plenty of videos showing how to use a torch. Go to around 10:45 on this one. You do not have to get the bolt cherry red btw, just very hot.

     
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  8. I would be very careful about using a torch.
    The stainless steel pipe right next to the filling hole is the tank connection pipe. In your photo just to the right of the arrow you can see this pipe. if this pipe gets too hot then the gasoline in the pipe could...
     
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  9. That is not an exhaust pipe?
     
  10. I've done all of the above to various cars.
    We've pumped various fluids back up through the drain holes just to get the car moving again. That's no big deal, easy to do. Don't worry too much about the amount you get in there. Just important to get whatever you can up there. Once you get that fill plug out, you'll be checking it to see if you'll have to drain a little or add a little.

    Torch is what will work. Don't worry too much, you're only heating up a specific area and it will probably not take much heat to break loose. Just keep the torch circling the plug itself

    My concern is if you rounded out the bolt enough where you can not get a bite of it with tool..........which leads to......worst case, may have to weld a piece of metal to the plug.

    Rule #1 when changing any fluids....crack the fill first
     
  11. #9 Peter K., Dec 12, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2021
    This. Try tapping or banging on the plug with a hammer. Not whacking. Also, try tightening it slightly. Then loosen and tighten again.
     
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  13. #10 Peter K., Dec 12, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2021
    You CAN drive the car........just not very far. Just to move it. Not on the road. If you had to bring down the driveway to a flatbed or if it had to be moved in a parking lot or car park.

    For those who might not know, it is not like an engine or an automatic transmission where there will be fast spinning parts at idle. The diff only moves if you are rolling. So, whether someone pushes it or it is pushed by the motor....it's the same thing. Just don't create heat!
     
  14. Thanks for all the answers. It is interesting no one jumps at the plate removal idea. it looks like a straight solution but may be there is something I shuld know doing before this?

    While I can't do the welding, because I am not used to welding or have those tools, which I agree is it is the 'pro" solution, I will try the heat. The fuel pipe is indeed a worry but I'll wrap it with wet cloths and a plywood piece. I guess a propane torch would be enough?

    I appreciate the refill from the drain plug idea but I want to fix the issue. I would not be at peace leaving a chewed plug on the car, to me it would be walking with a stone in my shoe :)
     
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  16. [QUOTE="Chadbourn Bolles, post: 146422502, member

    Another thing I might add. DO NOT tighten the cover at first,,, wait several hours, then tighten it down. Waiting several hours gives the silicone time to really firm up and when you tighten everything you will not have silicone seeping out everywhere.
     
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  17. If you do remove the cover, and still find the bolt stuck, take it to a place that does anodising.

    When they put it in the bath the steel bolt will be erroded out by the current.
     
  18. Since the weather allows more comfortable work in the garage, I have resumed that differential cover repair. I am posting a few picts below for anyone ending in the same situation.
    The stuck refill plug would not budge at all. Even on the bench with heat the plug head was shredding. It was almost soldered in place. Anyway job is done and I am amazed how much oil fits in that differential.

    To resume, the issue was that I had the choice of applying heat in place or removing the cover to work on the bench.
    Not being a seasoned blow torch handler near a gasoline pipe, there was no way I would apply heat there. Not a consideration for anyone IMO.

    Then, I quickly realize that removing the cover was not an easy feat on the QV. Both my sport exhaust and the gas stainless steel pipe were in the way of removing it and the cover nuts and bolts were barely accessible.

    Remove the gas pipe was my 2nd to last choice for obvious reasons and both tanks were full.

    The only choice left was removing the exhaust. It seemed it would allow me to lift the plate up and out. I was worry about breaking the rusty bolts though.
    Removing these bolts needed much patience and some are very hard to reach. Fortunately whoever installed the exhaust last did the job right by not overtightening them and none broke. Last worker there used good hardware and PBBlaster soaking was enough to take them out.

    Once the exhaust was out, access to the plate became a pleasure. I think actually this is the way to do this job. See the pictures.

    Since the plate was fully accessible, I used Permatex black to make sure it is fully sealed putting it back. It was alsways a bit wet before. Will let it set until tomorrow to make sure no oil leaks show up around bolts or plate seams. Only the bolts had some sealant when I removed the cover. The cover plate itself had no sealant.

    I am thinking may be to make the ANSA look good again by putting some back paint as original before putting it back on..






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