Front and rear differential fluid change.

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Thread: Front and rear differential fluid change.

  1. #1
    Junior Member Chris1976's Avatar
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    Default Front and rear differential fluid change.

    Hit 5K miles on my 09 Tundra this week so I decided to change the diff fluids. VERY glad I did. SOmething I never did on my 07 Tundra.

    Front diff was a real PAIN!!!!!! It takes a 10mm allen key to remove plugs. The fluid was black and the smell was something I have never smelled before. Enough to make you gag. Anyone know why that is? Changed it to Royal Purple 75w-90. Hardest part is getting new fluid in. You will definitely need a flexible hose to get it done and PATIENCE. I had at least half a quart in my hair by the time it was done.

    Rear diff was MUCH easier. Only prob I had was lack of proper socket. I borrowed neighbors 15/16". Strange to me cuz everything else is metric. I think a 24mm may have been better but thats what I had and it worked. When i pulled fill plug there was the "sucking" sound that I had read about in the DIY post. Is this an issue?????? Used the Royal Purple 75w-90 there as well. The fluid in the rear did not smell nearly as bad as the front.

    Anyway, just my observations. Definitely recommend changing out the fluid early for break in purposes based on what I saw. The Royal Purple was deffinitely not cheap. Im sure Mobile 1 and other products would have been just as good and a little cheaper. I just wanted to try something new.


    Thanks,
    Chris

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    Hall of Fame Member Mr. Creosote's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front and rear differential fluid change.

    Yeep, I did both a few months ago. The amount of blackness in the fluids is alarming....just the break-in particles I suppose. The transfer case was not nearly as dirty. Had I known this beforehand I would not have changed it (transfer case oil) this early.

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    Junior Member sknaus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front and rear differential fluid change.

    Same here, did everything at 15k and the front diff was the worst. The Transfer case was best and the rear diff was in the middle. Switched everything to 75W-90 Severe Gear from Amsoil and use the nice bottle pump they have. Wasn't too hard to do.

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    Just Call Me Hank Tankerhank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front and rear differential fluid change.

    I run the Mobil 1 synthetic 75-90 in the differential.


    Hank



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    Veteran Member FiveOh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front and rear differential fluid change.

    Def a good idea. My original rear diff started to come apart (spider gears walking on their shaft) and the whole unit was replaced under warrantee. They flushed out the whole housing with a ton of brake clean before installing the new one. I gave it a few hundred miles and went to put in Amsoil severe gear, but stopped. The first bit of fluid that came out had a ton of metal in it. I made the dealer drain and refil with their cheap fluid (for free). Then gave it a few hundred more before putting the Amsoil in...
    Last edited by FiveOh; 06-29-2009 at 07:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Front and rear differential fluid change.

    Mmm love the smell of diff fluid.
    Gonna have to open up the pumpkin and take a look for myslef. On the rams with lsd you were supposed to change out the dif fluid every 15k because of the clutch pack clips breaking, not due to metal chips or breakdown.
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    Default Re: Front and rear differential fluid change.

    I would like to change front diff. How do you guys do it? How much fluid? Any Pictures?

    Any help appreciated.

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    Default Re: Front and rear differential fluid change.

    I'd like to know how it is done too. DIY please

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    Junior Member Chris1976's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front and rear differential fluid change.

    Ill give you the steps I used, sorry for no pics but right arm is in cast right now. Thats actually why I changed when I did. Wanted it done before I was out of commish for 8 weeks.

    Lifting the truck on ramps was VERY helpful. I prefer ramps to jack stands for the front. The ramps i used are about 6-8 inches tall. More than enough. A side note to this is that having the front driver-side tire off may have made filling the diff easier. But then I wouldnt have been able to use the ramps.

    Slide under the truck from the drivers side with your head towards the front. The drain plug and fill plug are on the drivers side of the front diff. Unlike the rear the drain plug is more on the side than the bottom. And also unlike the rear, it takes an allen driver to remove versus a socket. I had a 10mm allen driver that fits into a ratchet driver.

    Remove the fill plug first which is the upper plug (also used 10mm driver). Use caution because there is a washer on the plug. Mine stayed stuck to the diff. I retrieved it and placed it with the pug in a safe place.

    Now you can place a container to catch the front diff fluid. I used a standard oil pan. Again when you pull the plug make sure you account for the washer and place in a safe place. Let fluid drain. I was shocked how bad the fluid stunk. It was a very metallic/chemical smell. That and I had only used 4 wheel drive a few times yet the fluid was filthy. The front diff holds 2.2 qts per the spec sheet. I cleaned the drain plug at this point because it had a very gelatin like collection on it. ***Its a good idea to have some cardboard on the floor during draining and filling and also some old shope towels. have them in reach cuz it sucks to need one and have to slide out to get one.

    So far this is the easy stuff. At this point I replaced the cleaned drain plug making sure the washer was there. I then got out from under the truck. Disposed of old fluid and prepared the new gear oil bottles. I know this sounds stupid, but once you get under there and start filling you want everything ready and within easy reach. I used a flexible clear tube with a fitting on the end that I will include a picture of to fill. It is impossible to fill using just the tip of the gear oil bottle. So I had my tube, opened and prepared bottles and plenty of rags ready and under the truck. It takes 2.2 qts to fill the diff. I used Royal Purple 75w-90 which is GL-4 and GL-5. Plenty of other oils will work. I have never used Royal Purple before so I cant say much about it. It was highly recommended by friend. Was pricey. I think 14$ a bottle.

    I put the black fitting end of the tube in the fill hole and ran the tube as vertically as possible into the wheel well. Here is where having the tire off may have been helpfull. It also would have been good to have a second set of hands to have one hold the tube in the fill hole and other set of hands to do the filling. I did it all by myself. So its possible. I used one hand to steady the tube in the fill hole and the other to squeeze the 2.2 qts of oil into the diff. Squeeze slowly to prevent having any squirt out of the tube. I would estimate it took me 15 minutes to get all 2.2 qts in. I didnt measure exactly 2.2 qts. Instead I checked fill hole regularly to see where the fluid was. I ended up over-filling slightly. I let the over amount drain untill it stopped. Cleaned any oil and then installed fill plug with washer and cleaned again.

    At this point I drove the truck in 4WD around the block making turns in both directions. Pulled back on the ramps and checked the fill level one more time to make sure. It was all good to go.

    The biggest pain is the filling. having second set of hands and everything within reach is key.

    Hope this helps. PM me if you have any questions. And again, sorry for no pics except tool i used to fill.

    Chris
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    Jedi Ninja in Training mxsjw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front and rear differential fluid change.

    Check these threads for pictures and information on how to change out all three (front, rear, and transfer case).

    Rear Diff Oil Question

    DIY: Change the Rear Differential Fluid in 07 Tundra w/pics
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    Junior Member Chris1976's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front and rear differential fluid change.

    Added a few more pics. Did my best with one arm. Hope this helps.
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    Junior Member Chris1976's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front and rear differential fluid change.

    Crawling under my truck with a cast on, a few days after surgery to post some pics for my fellow brothers and no rep points. Whats a brother to do around here?????

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    Hall of Fame Member Mr. Creosote's Avatar
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    Default Re: Front and rear differential fluid change.

    Done and given

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    Default Re: Front and rear differential fluid change.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris1976 View Post
    Crawling under my truck with a cast on, a few days after surgery to post some pics for my fellow brothers and no rep points. Whats a brother to do around here?????
    I will give you rep points when my 24 hours will expire (I guess I gave way too many last night)
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    Default Re: Front and rear differential fluid change.

    Does anyone know the torque specs for the fill and drain plugs? I like to use the exact torque value called for, especially with aluminum components.

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