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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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Dropped plastic tube into Front Diff. filler hole.


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20 replies to this topic

#1 jontyuk

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:46 PM

Can't believe what I have just done. Drained the front differential on my 1997 2.5 Legacy auto and while refilling, a 4" length of soft tubing I had attached to the funnel to extend it, fell down the filler tube. No sign of it down filler hole, using a mirror, nor via the drain plug hole.

My initial thought is to refill front diff. using the old oil then drive it arround for a while then redrain and hope the tubing gets "mashed" and is removed with the oil.

Any thoughts?

#2 cal_look_zero

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 04:04 PM

Posted Image

I would try this guy first (they're not really bent like that, it's flexible). Drop it down the filler and see if it ends up where the tubing did. Get a good one at sears or something, I had a snapon one that would draw blood it had such a good grip.

I'd strongly advise against driving around in hopes it will mash up. That's just asking for trouble.

#3 jontyuk

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 02:37 AM

Good idea. If I had one of these when I did it I could have probably retrieved it. However on attempting to remove it with a bent sharpened wire it slipped off and disappeared into the bowels of the diff.

I aggree the mashing method is a worry but looking on the bright side I can't see what damage could be done as it's soft plastic versus hardened metal. The alternative is a lengthy stripdown. Anybody have suggesions on the best method for this?

Thanks.

#4 WoodsWagon

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 02:43 AM

I've used ziplock bags to hold gear oil on trucks with seized diff fill plugs. You pack the bags full of oil around the diff carrier and then bolt the cover on. When I've gone into those diffs later, there was no trace of the plastic bags left.

My only worry would be the speedometer drive gear. I think it's in with the front diff on the autos. That gear may not be strong enough to "process" the rubber hose if it happens to get caught in it. The ring and pinion will be fine.

#5 CNY_Dave

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 07:59 AM

2 ways this could go wrong-

1) Tube gets sucked into the gear teeth and is pulled in rapidly enough or is tough enough the force is sufficient to damage a bearing or crack a housing or bearing boss

2) Ground up bits of plastic plug a passage starving a bearing or gear

Most splash-only systems do have some passages where oil flows to vital bits after the oil has been flung to upper parts of the gearbox. Don't know if the front diff has any.

If you can find a pic of a diff opened up you might be able to see if there's really any chance of the tube getting sucked into the gears.

#6 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:15 AM

if there is any chance part of the 4" is still in the fill tube - maybe rig an air hose to the drain hole and try to blow the tube up/out?

Or drain the fluid and use air in the fill tube/ drain hole (back and forth w'ever) to try an flip-flop the tube around inside there and hope some part of it winds up near enough to the drain hole to grab it.

heck, even flushing water trhu the fill might push the hose out or near the drain hole. Dunno how you get the inside dry again, but even if you did another drain/fill after a coupla days, it might be worth a little moisture in there. probably dry itself out getting warm in normal operation anyway. Also, dunno how much water or air pressure the seals can handle.

tough deal right there.

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan, 13 March 2012 - 08:22 AM.


#7 jontyuk

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:50 PM

Removed the large black air chamber so I can look directly down the filler tube when it gets dark using a powerful light. I did establish that the tube material sinks in the diff. fluid so unless it's wedged some ware it should be on the bottom.

Some good ideas have been posted and thank you for those. I liked the compressed air blow method which made me think that I could adapt my shop vacuum using a smaller diameter flexible nozzle, in an attempt to grab it.

The suggestion that the speed sensor is situated in the diff. is worrying and I believe correct as there is a an electric connector to a tapped in component on top of the diff. perilously close to the filler hole.

It has to come out! Let you know how I get on tonight.

#8 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 02:48 PM

would it help to pull the axle stubs out?

I know, huge amount of work - but......

#9 987687

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 04:11 PM

Axle stubs on an auto should just pop out.

#10 the_bard

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:51 PM

I dropped the oil cap for my wife's '07 Tribeca the other day. Spent twenty minutes using the end of a window squeegee knocking it around the front of the engine, down to the plastic guard covering the bottom of the engine, then around until I could finally snake my arm up from the underside and grab the cap.

Somehow I don't feel so bad now... :-\. Thank you for that.

#11 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:59 PM

As a teen, my dad once had me change the oil in his truck. I was pouring in the second quart of new oil when I noticed something moving out of the corner of my eye.

It was the contents of the first quart making it's way toward the the street.


I jumped under the truck and scrambled around to put the drain plug in.


Then I had to go tell my dad we were gonna need more oil.


And give my oil soaked shirt to my Mom to see if she could clean it!

#12 ShawnW

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:08 AM

Bore Scope would be the easiest way to "see" it. Then the grabber tool to find it. I bet draining the oil into a container will make it easier to see and grab.

Do not drive the car until you have fished it out.

#13 grossgary

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 06:30 AM

Do not drive the car until you have fished it out.

agreed.

i would drain the oil and see if you can fish it out through the drain plug hole - see it with a light/etc.

if you can borrow/find/rent a borescope that would be sweet.

last resort if it's an auto you can pull the axle stubs out and have a peak. more work but

#14 johnceggleston

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 07:02 AM

i agree that the best thing to do is not drive the car until removed, but....

does the tube float, if no, then it is PROBABLY on the bottom. and probably not a threat, but i don't know. if it is on the bottom you may be able to fish it out. i would try this.

but if it does not float i wouldn't worry about it too much. the c-clips that hold the axle stubs into the diff sometimes drop off and fall to the bottom, or so i hear, and most folks don't labor over that.

depending on how far the fill tube extends into the diff, the lost plastic tube may not have enough room to turn out of it. it may be standing in the fill tube.

i guess it just depends on the tube and it's make up.

another and rather drastic idea would be to drain the gear oil and fill with a little less, maybe half as much, acetone. this will ''melt'' most plastics. let is sit, don't rotate anything, and then drain, rinse and re-fill with gear oil. of course the risk here is the acetone ''melting'' the gasket material as well. :eek:

#15 jontyuk

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:01 AM

Eureka! The suckers out :banana:


When it was dark I shone the torch down the filler hole, no sign of it. Redrained the old oil which I replaced and shone the torch up through the drain plug. There it was about 4" up directly below the filler hole side and wedged between the large differential gear and the diff. casing. This is where that grabber tool would have been ideal, anyway I bent a hook on a piece of wire and dragged the sucker out. Was I relieved!!

I now have a Legacy with fresh engine oil, autotransmission oil and front and rear oil, without the worry that something is going to break at anytime and does it run sweet? you bet.

Thanks to all who responded, much appreciated.

Regards, Jontyuk

#16 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:05 AM

Eureka! The suckers out :banana:


When it was dark I shone the torch down the filler hole, no sign of it. Redrained the old oil which I replaced and shone the torch up through the drain plug. There it was about 4" up directly below the filler hole side and wedged between the large differential gear and the diff. casing. This is where that grabber tool would have been ideal, anyway I bent a hook on a piece of wire and dragged the sucker out. Was I relieved!!

I now have a Legacy with fresh engine oil, autotransmission oil and front and rear oil, without the worry that something is going to break at anytime and does it run sweet? you bet.

Thanks to all who responded, much appreciated.

Regards, Jontyuk


cool!

I would never have been that lucky!

#17 bheinen74

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:25 AM

Good you got it, otherwise I was about to suggest you call Rick Moranis....



















To shrink the kids..

#18 jontyuk

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 03:31 PM

Here's the offending item! (Better out than in)
Posted Image

#19 Fairtax4me

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:35 PM

Now throw it away so it doesn't do it again. :-p I just use one of those black transmission funnels on both of mine. Neither of my cars has the black box on the throttle body though.

#20 johnceggleston

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 06:23 PM

$2.49 at autozone.

http://contentinfo.a.../06064/image/2/


http://www.autozone....ier=557785_0_0_

#21 987687

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:05 PM

I have the dumb black box. So I have the tube style. But my tube is long enough it can't fall all the way in.

edit... I just read what I wrote... I'm too tired to change it, but it came out sounding really bad.




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