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Well I have not posted before but I log in an read the threads. I have learned alot from this forum. I need some suggestions on how to fix my screwup. I changed the oil today on my LT and everything went great. I decided to change the rear drive. SOooooo... I drained the rear drive and went to unscrew the filler cap and the hex drive striped the filler plug. I had my 12000 mile service done and the mechanic must have used his leg and foot to tighten it. Has this happened to anyone? I don't want to mess the rear drive up. I think I"ll have to get the local BMW dealer to come and pick it up.. This is going to cost me.... any suggestions...
 

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dcravens said:
Well I have not posted before but I log in an read the threads. I have learned alot from this forum. I need some suggestions on how to fix my screwup. I changed the oil today on my LT and everything went great. I decided to change the rear drive. SOooooo... I drained the rear drive and went to unscrew the filler cap and the hex drive striped the filler plug. I had my 12000 mile service done and the mechanic must have used his leg and foot to tighten it. Has this happened to anyone? I don't want to mess the rear drive up. I think I"ll have to get the local BMW dealer to come and pick it up.. This is going to cost me.... any suggestions...
You could use a small body grinder and carefully grind the head off down to the crush washer, then the center should screw out easily. Also, with a Dremel tool you may be able to grind two flats on the sides so a wrench could be used to break it loose.

You may even be able to use an EZ-Out if you find one that fits the wrench opening tightly.

Are you sure you were turning it the right way? I have seen MANY people turn screws the wrong way, sometimes even experienced people get confused if the angle of the screw is unusual.

A hammer and chisel can sometimes be used to turn stuck bolts, but I would NOT recommend that here, the aluminum housing would be too easy to crack.
 

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I wonder if it would be possible to glue a bolt head onto the plug. Something like JB Weld?
Bob
 

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suggestions

Do I understand correctly the internal hex of the filler plug is stripped and the hex wrench won't bite?

Put a penetrating oil liberally around the plug, repeat this a couple times and wait over night.
Go to an autoparts store and get a little tube of valve lapping compound.
Heat the final drive casing with a heat gun in the vicinity of the filler plug.
Put valve lapping compound into the internal hex of the filler plug, then insert the hex driver. Tap it in to be sure it is fully seated. The valve lapping compound may give enough "bite" to allow you to turn the plug. An impact driver may give better results than a hand wrench.
If this doesn't work, get a dremel tool with a cutting disk and cut a slot in the head of the plug. What you are making is a slot in the plug that will make the head of the plug like a big slotted screw. If you find a suitable flat, thin metal bar to use as a lever, cut the groove in the plug to receive the bar.
I would not cut off the head of the plug, that is likely to make matters worse.
You could drill a hole in the plug and use an "easy out" but I would make this a last resort. You will get metal shavings into the final drive and will want to flush them out. Good luck.
 

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Vice Grip pliers.
 

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CharlieVT said:
Do I understand correctly the internal hex of the filler plug is stripped and the hex wrench won't bite?

Put a penetrating oil liberally around the plug, repeat this a couple times and wait over night.
That will have little to no hope of working. The crush washer is actually a seal, and nothing will penetrate to the threads.
Go to an autoparts store and get a little tube of valve lapping compound.
Heat the final drive casing with a heat gun in the vicinity of the filler plug.
Put valve lapping compound into the internal hex of the filler plug, then insert the hex driver. Tap it in to be sure it is fully seated. The valve lapping compound may give enough "bite" to allow you to turn the plug. An impact driver may give better results than a hand wrench.
That is a good thing to try. It works quite well on stripped Phillips head screws
If this doesn't work, get a dremel tool with a cutting disk and cut a slot in the head of the plug. What you are making is a slot in the plug that will make the head of the plug like a big slotted screw. If you find a suitable flat, thin metal bar to use as a lever, cut the groove in the plug to receive the bar.
May work, but if the hex wrench stripped out, it is pretty unlikely that a screwdriver slow will work, unless it is wide enough to accept a pretty strong heat treated bar.
I would not cut off the head of the plug, that is likely to make matters worse.
That would be true if it were a corroded or galled bolt, but it is actually a really good way to remove things like this fill plug that are too tight, but not corroded or galled, which the fill plug is almost guaranteed not to be. It is a plated steel plug, in aluminum, and oil coated. Once the head is ground off, the plug will screw out easily. It might not have to be ground entirely off, just down far enough to get the clamping force of the head to the housing releived.
You could drill a hole in the plug and use an "easy out" but I would make this a last resort. You will get metal shavings into the final drive and will want to flush them out. Good luck.
I meant to use an EZ out in the stripped hex socket, if one can be driven into it tightly. I certainly did not mean to drill through the plug!
 

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More thoughts

David is probably right about the penetrating fluid not making to the threads; he's a very knowledgeable guy and I value and respect his opinions; but then, hey it can't hurt and when I run into this kind of problem I try to apply a combination of several things: lubrication, heat, and effectively applied force.
I spend most of my wrenching time on 1970s bikes and there is no end to the interesting things that have I have run into rebuilding old bikes.
I like the Vice Grip suggestion, if you can get to the plug with a good pair of vice grips it might work. Nothing like Vice Grips. And heat. A manual impact driver or an air driven impact wrench also seems to be more effective at loosening things than plain old "Armstrong" power applied to a wrench.
David's idea about cutting the head down to relieve tension might work, but not if the threads are seized due to cross threading or binding. If the plug was really over tightened, the metal of the housing can be stripped into the threads of the plug and this can really bind up the fastener. In such a case removal of the head of the fastener really could be a step in the wrong direction; the source of the bind is in the threads and you just lost your purchase point.
I have un-stuck many stripped fasteners by cutting a slot in the head of the fastener with a cutting disk. Obviously the leverage of a plain old screwdriver isn't going to do the job if a hex wrench stripped out. But a custom "driver" out of harden steel with a good fit in a slot and used as a lever can deliver much more torque than the Allen type hex driver. In such cases I often find the lever first and cut the slot in the fastener to fit the tool.

The idea of squaring off the plug with a cutting disk to fit a wrench is also a really good idea. Create some flats on the plug and grab it with a ViceGrip. Heat the housing and then whack the ViceGrip with a BFH. That's a good low tech approach that just might work.

I honestly just didn't visualize driving an easy-out into the existing internal hex. The internal hex is pretty shallow and I have a hard time imagining getting better purchase this way than was achieved with the hex wrench in the first place. It might work if you find just the right size easy-out and drive in securely in. If it comes to the point where you just can't grip the head of the plug in anyway, then drilling a hole in the plug for an easy-out would be a potentially give a good purchase but I'd go with trying to get a grip on the head of the plug first.
All just ideas, hoping you get it out with the least amount of fuss and bother.
Let us know how you do.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Solved the Problem

I want to thank everyone who responded with suggestions. I solved the problem and got it loose. You may want to reference this if anyone else has the same problem. I went to Home Depot and bought a Black & Decker Screw EXtractor Set. They have a reverse thread. I selected the one with the best fit and tapped it in the hex hole with a hammer. Got my biggest cresent wrench and screwed it in until it stopped then really leaned on it. It broke loose. It cost me $9.00. Thanks again for your input.
 

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That's great news. This is the second time in three months I've heard of someone having this problem. Glad you were able to solve yours so easy.
I think I'm going to make a real mental note to be extra careful next time I tighten or loosen this plug, as this seems to be a problem if not done correctly.
 

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Glad to hear you were able to undo the plug without major grief. If the oil filler plug was over tightened by your dealer service guy that's inexcusable. Maybe worth doing the next change yourself (23Nm IIRC). Trust no damage was done to the threads in the housing.
 

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Another lesson here is to loosen the fill cap first. If you get the fill off and the drain cap is stuck you're not SOL. Applies to the tranny and engine too.
 

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Very good point.. I will never / ever drain the rear drive again without getting the filler cap loose first. I will be visiting BMW tomorrow to get another filler cap plug. Planning on letting them know what happened.. Thanks for your comments..
 

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If you follow the torque spec for those plugs you'll never have a problem. One reason I do my own service is that I know it's been done right.
 

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jkersh1 said:
Another lesson here is to loosen the fill cap first. If you get the fill off and the drain cap is stuck you're not SOL. Applies to the tranny and engine too.
+1 Always!
 
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