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Reebs

Honda Rancher- Rear Differential "Check Bolt" Issue

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I could use some advice!  I made a rookie mistake that should have been so simple and never been an issue to begin with and hopefully I have not screwed myself!  I have a 2014 Honda Rancher- 2x4.  I was changing the oil in the rear differential two Saturday's ago.  All was going fine until the very end when I was replacing the check bolt after adding new oil and closing everything back up to finish.  Normally I just tighten the check bolt down to what feels right but this time I decided to use my torque wrench as the manual suggests (old school style torque wrench I believe called a "beam style").  I hand tightened the bolt 90% of the way.  The ft pounds required were so low at 9lbs and I just kept turning the torque wrench thinking it wasn't registering on the scale because I hadn't tightened it down enough.  I was surprised that it was taking so many 1/2 turns, but I didn't realize the bolt was already as tight as it was going to get and the torque wrench was never going to register because it was such low torque at 9lbs the wrench scale wasn't picking it up and before I knew I torqued the 8mm head right off the check bolt!   So I just created a much bigger problem when I should have been done with the job.  I am probably the first to ever do this with a check bolt!

 

So, yesterday I went to make the repair and proceeded to take the tire off and try and drill out the bolt.  Next mistake I made was not trying a left handed drill bit first- huge mistake because it probably would have worked.  My plan was to just drill it out clockwise about 1/3 of the way into the sheared bolt- stick an extractor in and back it out.  Instead, when I started drilling, I thought I was drilling it successfully because my drill bit was going in...what was really happening was I was just turning the sheared bolt further toward the center of the rear differential (so the stud was not in there very tight at all since the head broke).  Now that sheared bolt is so far in, I can't get it- you can't even see it without a flashlight (in fact I am shocked I didn't push it all the way out).  Any suggestions on what I should do?  The good news is I changed the oil, the level is right because oil flowed through the check bolt hole before the mistake so I know I am good for 2 years.  The problem is, do you think that bolt will work itself into the rear differential?  If it does, how serious would that be?  I could just leave it in there (I did have a back-up check bolt and I put that in and it threaded in fine (and I went out and bought a new "click type" torque wrench and if I had that the first time I'd have no issues at all!).  I can still do future rear diff oil changes I suppose, just won't be able to see the oil flow through the check bolt hole if that stud stays in there forever.  Do I try and take apart the rear differential to get this out or just leave it be and move on with life?  I am just afraid of what damage will occur if it "falls" in and also afraid of doing way more work than necessary if I try and get the stud out by taking it apart.  Advice for me?  Thanks!

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Have you tried using a pick or small magnet to turn the bolt out? You might get lucky and that will be all it takes.

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Reebs , that is a messed up situation -----  What  I get out of it , that the piece of bolt is still in the threads ?? If it is still in there and got tight , then I would think it hit the back of the ring gear and that is why it never fell into the housing ---- 

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Thanks for the replies!

 

Toodeep: I am not sure the pick (unless I am not understanding what that tool is) would be able to get it because I can reach it with the 1/8 extractor and have no luck).  Would a pick be any different?  Again, I have pushed this broken bolt stud so far down the thread, I can't even see it without a flashlight so I don't even know whats happening at the contact point). That magnet idea is a great idea- wish I had posted before I tried to drill it out- that might have worked!  Don't think I can get a magnet to it now?!  By the way, I couldn't help but notice your screen name is very appropriate for my situation!

 

Fishfiles: yes- the broken stud is still in the threads pretty far toward the differential.  Although between the check bolt shaft and the left wall of the differential that's pretty thick, but its hard to know how far in it is.  I don't have enough experience to know what is inside the differential, but I never thought of that...I suppose it is possible the broken shaft hit the "other side" before it can fall through??  Regardless, what my best plan here?  Leave well enough alone, or continue to try and get this out?  The downside to leaving it there is the oil check level will never function properly, but if that's the worst that can happen am I better off leaving this be vs taken things apart from here (unless you still think I can back this thing out somehow?

 

I am including a few photos showing my situation.  These photos are taken after I broke the head off the bolt but before I tried to drill it out.  The stud is way far down the shaft now from what these photos show.  So much so, that I can completely screw in another "new" 8mm check bolt.

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IMG_1251.jpg

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image.pngimage.png

Looks like #22 the plug/bolt is about 1/2 inch length of threads , #14 is the ring gear and it rides close to the cover that #22 goes into , I would think it would go all the way thru without hitting the gear , I think I would try and drill a small hole into the broke bolt with a left hand drill bit and it might walk it out , if it didn't walk it out I would then use a use a ez-out to try and turn it out, seems the threads are in good condition , if it did already hit the ring gear then the bolt will be solid to drrill , if it goes thru and falls into the housing , then take it apart and get it out 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Try using a vary sharp center punch at the red dot -- then with the center punch try working it to the left (CCW)

IMG_1251.thumb.jpg.0c4cb6e71b9a1e5c2bd4faec5dedf5a5.jpg

Edited by Melatv

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If it was me, I would try a left-hand drill bit now, since its not frozen/rusted etc.. its probably just turned in until it hit the back of the ring gear

I think it will back right out as easy as it went in. Just be careful to not hit the threads since  it in there a little deeper now

I think youll be good

Let us know how it goes

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Throw away that torque wrench you got . 

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I third the left handed drill bit idea.  If you can get it to catch it will spin it out.  If you can't, I'd pull the rear diff, take it apart, and get it out of there.  You don't want to risk it falling into the diff and eating your ring gear.

 

It's just unbolting stuff and rebolting it together.  No gear setting up or anything like that.  Just take it apart, get the bit out, and put it back together the same way.

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i second the motion of getting it out, if it falls down into the gear oil, more than likely it will get drawn up, stick in the ring gear teeth, and it wont end very well !!!..lol.

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Really appreciate all the responses you guys have given me.  Great resource for people like me who step into a bees nest.  Seems like several think I can still back this thing out so I guess that is my next best step.  My biggest fear is I need a steady hand to keep that drill bit centered because I don't want to hit the threads and since I can't see the end point of what I am drilling I may not know where I am (if that makes any sense).  The way I see it, I will need to apply a fair amount of forward force even with the left handed bit to bite but at some point I will need to start pulling back to see if it will back out.  Again, not being able to see it makes this challenging (for me).

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I wouldnt be so worried, you spun it in with a right handed bit and didnt damage anything, I am sure it will back out fine with the LH bit

One you get a good bite, it will back out itself, just keep fair pressure on it

If you are worried about the threads hitting edge of the drill bit,you can put a wrap of tape (masking, electrical , duct etc..) around the bit, except for the tip that you need to bite 

LH bits are only a couple bucks at most hardware stores

Good luck and keep us posted

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Get a center punch and punch the end of the bolt.  Then a small left handed bit should bite in the indent.  These bolts are soft, so should be easy to get a small left handed bit started, and with those clean threads it'll spin right out.

 

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By the way, they have a small inexpensive set of left handed bits at harbor freight in a little blue metal box.

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Thanks- good point that a right handed bit drove it in, so maybe I'll have the same luck with a left hand bit .  The left hand bit will go into the same hole I created already so nothing to really center punch.  I'll keep you posted no matter what for the end result (or my next set of problems:).  Probably won't be able to get to it for a few days, but I want to get this right so I can sleep better!  Also, good tip on wrapping the drill bit with tape except for the end.  Thanks again.

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Went out and got my left hand drill bits, but after over an hour of trying, no luck backing our the broken stud.  I know I was drilling because there were plenty of metal shavings, but it wouldn't back out.  I started with smaller bits to give myself a few cracks at it and ultimately spent the most time with a 1/8 bit (8mm bolt shaft).  Then I would alternate with my extractors (1/8 and one a little bigger too 3/16).  Sometimes, I would think they would bite, but only to slip and not budge it.  Really hard not being able to see anything.  The only thing I can think of is I have not drilled the hole deep enough, but I am afraid I will drill through the bolt entirely and hit the "ring gear" if it is right against it.  Not sure where this leaves me.  Either I leave it be entirely, or I pull the whole rear end apart, but I think that could potentially be above my skill set?  I called a local dealer and they want $150 for pickup/delivery (I have no truck or trailer) and they think the job could be a 5 hour job at $120 an hour.  Seems crazy to think a "pro" would need 5 hours for that work.  So...there are my options.  Pretty crappy situation because I over torqued a 10mm head of a bolt at the very end of an oil change!  Regardless, thanks for all the help.

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can you get us some better pics of where your at now ?? my thinking is it should back right out ... IF, you've drilled straight in.?. and if anything don't move / role  the bike !! IF, you have the idea the bolt is against the ring gear. 

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Only thing I can think of is maybe the bolt went all the way in, wasn't able to drop down in the case because of the ring gear, but went just far enough to get out of the threads on the inner side of the backing plate.

 

@reebs, this is 100% something you can do.  Do you have an impact or a 30mm socket?  The ONLY thing this will involve is a little time.  It all unbolts, comes apart, and bolts back together again.  We can walk you through it.  The only part that might be a challenge is getting the axle nuts off.  You'll need a 30mm socket and either an impact or a breaker bar (might need a cheater/ pipe over the end to extend the handle/get more leverage).

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4 minutes ago, jeepwm69 said:

Only thing I can think of is maybe the bolt went all the way in, wasn't able to drop down in the case because of the ring gear, but went just far enough to get out of the threads on the inner side of the backing plate.

 

just what i was thinking ^^^ 

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I would suggest since you have drilled a bit of a hole already and and worst case you will be pulling rear differential anyways

to maybe drill a 1/4 inch deep hole in the bolt with the 1/8 bit and spend another couple bucks(or borrow) a bolt extractor or easy-out

they just tap it into the hole and twist the bolt out that way

I think the broken bolt is just tight enough for the drill bit to not spin it out, but loose enough still for an extractor to back it out quite easily

I think its a good last try before you remove and open the differential

Good luck and let us know

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Are you running the drill in reverse?

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Cant tell you how impressed I am with peoples willingness to help- thank you!  Here is a photo as best as I can get it.  Should give you a feel for where I am.  I am mostly confident the shavings you see are from the bolt and I have not hit the threads.  I also think I am straight, but not certain. I say that because the shaft I am looking down is pretty narrow to know so its really hard to see the end point clearly, but when I look at my drill when I am drilling, it looks pretty centered where I am positioning the drill.  The extractors I bought are of quality.  Got them from Napa Auto and the guy told me its what his mechanics use.  They are longer square shafted extractors (not those short "easy outs"- which wouldn't fit anyway).  They are the square style ones with more of a pyramid tip (not the crayon tipped ones with ridges-  guy said it was personal preference and he suggested the more "squared off ones".  Maybe I just haven't drilled deep enough for the extractor to bite, but again, hard to know depth.  The drill bit shavings seem damp with oil so I feel like oil is seeping which would make you think the bolt isn't extremely tight.  I have the broken head and a replacement bolt to compare to so based on that I would say about 3/8 inch of bolt is inside.  My guess is I have drilled less than half of it out (maybe 1/8" or so??).  Yes- I am 100% sure I am in reverse on the drill:).  Lastly, to respond to one other point made, I did drive the quad around my yard last night to test the operation (obviously before I got the post this AM) and the quad rides flawlessly- you would never know there was an issue.  

 

As for tools I have on hand- its the basics.  Craftsman Socket set is 75 pieces with 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2" drives.  Largest sockets are 1" and 19mm.  I have your other basic tools on hand, but no 30mm or impact.  I do have a large pipe I could put over my 1/2" drive, but seems I would need some additional sockets if I take this on.

IMG_1262.jpg

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Hmmmmm.  Did you get the impression that's it turned at all to the left?  Wondering if shavings might have gotten in the threads and gummed up the works.

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I would say no...I don't believe it has turned at all so I don't think shavings are a problem...yet anyway.

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Posted (edited)

I'd go along with what jeep said ... but looks to me like your drilling is off center (tad bit)  .. but now that still doesn't mean .... anything .. do this, take a magnet .. and see how many filings are drawn out ... 

Edited by _Wilson_™

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