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This will be our 3rd winter with our 47" snowblower. When we bought it 2 years ago, it was in great shape and only 1 year old but neither the original owner nor myself has checked the oil level in the gearcase. Whereas I understand it doesn't burn through oil like an engine, it has bothered me that I have not been able to check the oil level. This is due to the fact I stripped out the 8mm plug last year. That bugger was in there so tight and I was hoping a ratchet would break it loose but as I mentioned, I ended up wrecking the plug instead. I had previously thought about trying to weld onto the plug and attempt to remove it that way but there really isnt much to weld onto.

Anyway tonight, I decided to take apart the gearcase and remove the side plate in the hope maybe I could get at the back end of the pipe plug. As you can see from the pictures, it is flush on the backside. I post this thread in the hope someone else has experienced something similar with their snowblower and might provide some insight.

Thank you in advance for your responses.


Doug
 

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Another trick to removing those damaged hex plugs is to drive the next size up Torx socket into them. That will usually bite well enough to get it out, and the plug has to be replaced anyway so driving a bit into it won't hurt.

The more severe options include drilling the plug out. I would do that from the back side in your case, as the right hand twist of the drill bit might bite well enough to make the plug unscrew. It's unlikely, but it's worth drilling from that side just in case you get lucky. What is the plug made of? A lot of those are brass, but if it's steel you could weld a nut to the outside of the plug, where it stripped on you. Hold the nut on top of the plug, and weld the inside of the nut. Then try a wrench on the nut to unscrew it. Those threads are tapered ever so slightly, so once you get it to start turning it should go pretty easily.
 

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I will 2nd the Torx bit idea, but also heat the plug with a small propane torch to loosen the sealant that is likely causing you grief. Welding a nut is great, but that can be tricky unless you can get the plate off to a better place to work on it.
 

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I will 2nd the Torx bit idea, but also heat the plug with a small propane torch to loosen the sealant that is likely causing you grief. Welding a nut is great, but that can be tricky unless you can get the plate off to a better place to work on it.
I'm a big fan of welding a nut on there. I can't even count how times that technique has helped me. I like to use a stick welder with a 6013 rod. The 6013 strikes easy and will keep an arc going by just pressing down in the "hole" in the middle of the nut. There are special electrodes made specifically for this purpose. I don't remember what they are though. I like to try to remove the offender right after the metal loses it's red color. Then heat will help you out immensely. It looks to me like you have plenty of room to work with the plate in place. You could shorten the welding electrode to make it a little handier.
 

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An Update...

Thank you gentlemen for the suggestion for using a Torx bit and heating the sealant. I tried twice driving a T-45 into the stripped hole of the plug but ended breaking two bits(made in Taiwan and China). I then decided to drill a hole through the plug. I drilled a hole large enough to hammer a T-50 but deep inside the drilled hole, put my Dewalt 20v impact wrench and then used my largest ratchet and was finally able to break it loose. Replaced it with a 3/8" plug with an external head.

Thank you again,
Doug
 

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so, were you low in gearcase oil? i have to look at mine when i ge back to the place - didn't know about the oil there and need to review the manual, i guess. thanks!
 

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Holy crap that was tight! Good to see that you were triumphant Doug.:good2: Persistence pays off huh?
 

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so, were you low in gearcase oil?
Its hard to say if I was "low" since it all ran out into the bucket when I removed the plate from the gear case. When I inspected the inside of the gear case/bearings, it did appear well lubed. I would suspect there was about a pint of fluid in the bucket after it all drained out.
 

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