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Stripped front axle vent plug, help!

4444 Views 39 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  Deere Ol Man
Doing 600 hr service on my 2013 1025r. The vent plug on front axle is stripped. First by a 4mm allen key, then by a Grabit stripped bolt remover bit--which was so hard it basically just shaved away any part of the screw that I could've tried to grab onto lol.

(talking about part no. 20 in this diagram, https://partscatalog.deere.com/jdrc/sidebyside/equipment/61723/referrer/navigation/pgId/141081528)

I do have replacement vent plugs already, assuming I can get this out without affecting the threads in the housing, I'm good...

Any ideas for getting this thing out? The other side came out fine once I cleaned it...
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Air hammer was my first thought until I saw how small it was so manual punch and hammer and patience will be safer.


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Weld some junk to it like an old t-handle wrench or something and use that to turn it out.
I would try to notch it with a dremmel as previously mentioned, Then hit it with a straight tip bit in a 1/4” impact.

if you have a welder, tack a washer to it in the middle and then weld a nut to the washer.
Hope the OP, Jon Snodgrass, reports back on what he used and his results.
is it out yet??
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Hi All
I had the same problem I found a TORX driver bit a bit bigger than the hole and tapped it in the fitting, it came out relatively easily, with no damage to the thread.
Regards John.
Pounding a square peg, hex, octagon or even a Torx Bit into a round hole. As long as it can securely grab the inside edges of the vent plug, its going to break it loose.

These are handy because they are long enough you can see the vent easily when on the tool. If you have either a battery powered or pneumatic impact, I would use it. Using the impact is handy to break things loose, verses by hand, because the "shock" of the impact usually will snap the item loose. Just double check the impact is backing the bit, not tightening it......





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You could drill it out with a left hand bit so the shell won’t spin in and might even spin out with the counterclockwise drilling. Use a size that won’t hit the threads and get your ez outs and dental tools to remove whats left. If you hit the threads, simply drill it larger to a tap size and tap it to fit a slightly larger size vent plug Allen screw.
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Had the same thing happen to me, one side stripped the other was fine. I cut a slot in mine with a Dremel and used a screwdriver to remove. I actually reused the "slot cut" plug it worked so well.
Doing 600 hr service on my 2013 1025r. The vent plug on front axle is stripped. First by a 4mm allen key, then by a Grabit stripped bolt remover bit--which was so hard it basically just shaved away any part of the screw that I could've tried to grab onto lol.

(talking about part no. 20 in this diagram, https://partscatalog.deere.com/jdrc/sidebyside/equipment/61723/referrer/navigation/pgId/141081528)

I do have replacement vent plugs already, assuming I can get this out without affecting the threads in the housing, I'm good...

Any ideas for getting this thing out? The other side came out fine once I cleaned it...
Thanks everyone for your help and input. Wanted to update you all with my solution and leave it here for future owners who encounter the issue.

I tried to drill it out with a Grabit bit. I wasn't having success, probably just my technique. I was using a drill and the bit just kept removing material from the stripped screw/bolt without actually biting in and moving the bolt at all.

I went to the dealer and talked to the service head about my issue. He said when they do front axle changes on these machines (2013 1025r), they don't bother with the vent plugs because they frequently strip and cause the time-consuming problem I'm experiencing. He said just remove all drain plugs, the fill port, and let it sit for 2 hours. It all comes out eventually.

Removing this bolt seemed unnecessary to complete the fluid swap and had high potential to cost lots of time, tractor downtime, and potentially money. I made the decision to do as the dealer does and leave the plugs in, especially because this fluid swap is only performed every 600 hours. With the plugs left in, the fluid drains and fills more slowly, but the job can still be done. It's only in the last quart or so of filling that you start to have overflow issues related to lack of venting. Perhaps you could insert a flexible hose, small diameter, into the fill port as a vent, and fill faster. I used a kitchen fluid measurement cup, 16 oz, to pour extremely slowly compared to using the 1 gal jug the fluid comes in.

My tractor will just live out its days with a vent plug that looks like this on one side, and I'm okay with that:
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Rim Gas Automotive wheel system
If you lifted the front axel off the ground with the loader and tipped it back and forth, would the fluid move to the ends faster?
Glad you got it done and didn’t escalate the issue.


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Jon... Thanks for getting back to us with your solution.
Just remeber to check the level again after some use, you will probably find it is down a bit.;)
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Probably not but it's really easy to have shavings drop down into the gears. Those can eat a seal in a hurry. It may be necessary to drill- sometimes you don't have a choice but I'd try the punch route first.
Jon, you're over thinking the situation.

Don't fret the little thing.

A drill bit will not injure the internals.
It looks to me like they paint right over those stupid little allen plugs when they build the axle, which tells me they don't even use them for the factory oil fill. I'd do like the dealer said and never touch em.
Also, I would not drill that plug out unless I had the spindle apart so that I could clean out any shavings. With some (edit) of these front axles the inner axles ride directly on large needle bearings. So if you introduced some metal shavings, you're not just risking damaging a bearing or seal, you could potentially chew up an inner axle. Then you're taking out a 2nd mortgage for John Deere parts which are forged in the fires of Mordor and flown to your dealer by wizards on giant eagles. Hence the prices.
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Apply a generous amount of grease to a drill bit.
Probably not but it's really easy to have shavings drop down into the gears. Those can eat a seal in a hurry.
That is why I mentioned to apply grease to the drill bit. It's something we mechanics have done many time without fail.
;)
Pound in any tool thats close to fitting and this dealiO would be done.

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You know the answer when the dealer service tech says "What front axle vent plugs?".....................

Thanks for the follow up Jon, it is nice to have threads concluded.
@SulleyBear

Who said this thread is concluded. Just think of the possibilities. First is the Red Key fixes. Put the key in and turn on the tractor. That little plug would pop out in fear.
From there we could discuss the type of sandwich that should be consumed during the work.

This thread could be endless.

Steve
it is nice to have threads concluded.
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