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Quick question I'm trying to change the rear differential in my 2000 TRD tundra 4X4 but both the fill and drain plugs seem to be pretty rusted in place. I've been spraying both bolts with penetrating oil hoping that will loosen the rust. My question is it better to use a socket with breaker bar or an impact wrench on low setting? I accidently broke a caliper bolt a few months ago and ended up costing about 120 bucks to replace, so I'm, trying to avoid breaking anything that has to do with the differential.
 

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I had the same problem when I got back from Iraq, my sister had used my truck and left it parked in a snowbank for a while, when I got back the plugs were rusted. I did what you did put some penetrating oil ( can't remember which kind ) and let it soak for a day or 2, then went out there and I didn't need a breaker bar or impact wrench just a socket, just gently tapped firmly but not hard and after a few taps the plugs came right out.
 

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Clean away any rust you can with a wire brush. Then hose it down with PB Blaster and let it sit for a while ("a while" being directly proportional to the degree of rust). Repeat applications of PB Blaster and tap on the bolt between applications to encourage the oil to work its way down the threads. It's fine to use a bigger wrench to gain more leverage but try not to use a long breaker bar as you're likely to shear the bolt off.... don't ask how I know :eek: Patience (through repeated applications of blaster) is your friend here and a virtue I'm still working to acquire - the cost of breaking bolts is the penalty for failing to learn this lesson.
 

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Also note, use a 6 point socket and not a 12 point. If that thing is on there like it is, a 12 point socket will round off the head of the plugs. In the past, along with the other suggestions, I've used a 1/2" socket/wrench, and tapped the end of the rachet with a hammer. Started with the fill plug first then drain plug. This has worked for me for those stubborn plugs
 

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Pretty much a combination of what everyone said: spray with PB Blaster and let sit, use a six point socket (21mm I believe) with 1/2" ratchet. If it still doesn't come off switch to the breaker bar and tap it with a hammer/mallet.

Most importantly, make sure you get the fill plug out first before moving on to the drain plug. Good luck.

John
 

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Also note, use a 6 point socket and not a 12 point. If that thing is on there like it is, a 12 point socket will round off the head of the plugs. In the past, along with the other suggestions, I've used a 1/2" socket/wrench, and tapped the end of the rachet with a hammer. Started with the fill plug first then drain plug. This has worked for me for those stubborn plugs
Pretty much a combination of what everyone said: spray with PB Blaster and let sit, use a six point socket (21mm I believe) with 1/2" ratchet. If it still doesn't come off switch to the breaker bar and tap it with a hammer/mallet.

Most importantly, make sure you get the fill plug out first before moving on to the drain plug. Good luck.

John
Absolutely remove the fill plug first. Liberal applications of PB Blaster, and use a six point socket. As a last resort you might try heating the differential only around the plug with a torch but be mindful of your surroundings.
 

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Thanks guys for all the help. I leave and update once I get the stubborn thing out ( will def start with the fill plug)
 

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Pretty much a combination of what everyone said: spray with PB Blaster and let sit, use a six point socket (21mm I believe) with 1/2" ratchet. If it still doesn't come off switch to the breaker bar and tap it with a hammer/mallet.

Most importantly, make sure you get the fill plug out first before moving on to the drain plug. Good luck.

John
Fairly certain they're 24mm hex-head bolts...
 

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Fairly certain they're 24mm hex-head bolts...
i think they might even be 26mm, i can surely check the socket i have when i get home as its the only one i have that big and the only thing i ever used it for was to change the diff oil
 

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front diff uses 10mm HEX on both drain and fill. rear and t-case uses 24mm socket. use 6 point unless you have some high dollar snap on wrenches, then 12 point should be ok.
 

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Thanks guys for all the help. I leave and update once I get the stubborn thing out ( will def start with the fill plug)
If you're as much of a procrastinator as I am, you may well not have gotten to it... but if you did, mind reporting back if it worked without shearing it off?
 
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