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cjohnson2209 08-25-2013 12:25 PM

Fluid Levels
I bought a 1980 CJ7 and have been slowly going through it and fixing/replacing just about everything it seems. This is the first jeep I have owned and I am not what I would consider even close to a mechanic. I am doing some of the stuff on my own but having someone else do what is over my head. He is not 4x4/jeep guy but typically works on big rigs or local mechanic shops.

We dropped the transmission and put in a new clutch assembly (along with some other work) and are not remounting everything.... trans, t-case, 4wd unit. He is not 100% sure of the positioning of the mounting plate now that most of the dirt/mud has been cleaned off in order to put everything back together.

My question is: After extensive searching I am more confused now than I was before about which type fluid to use and hoe much fluid I need to replace. I have seen very different answers as to how much fluid goes in the trans, t-case and 4wd unit.

I guess I can consider this a lesson learned.

jp360cj 08-25-2013 12:38 PM

Just fill trans & tcase until oil runs out of fill hole.

Not sure what you are calling the "4wd unit" so can't answer that.

cjohnson2209 08-25-2013 01:24 PM

After some clarification he used 4wd unit and t-case interchangeably and I didn't realize it. See, told ya I am far from a mechanic. I've got a long way to go.

LumpyGrits 08-25-2013 02:27 PM

You need to buy a copy of the REAL Factory Service Manual(FSM), NOT Haynes or the like.
What 4 speed do you have?
Conform this is NOT a "Q" trac drive line.
Can you post pictures for us to guide you??

cjohnson2209 08-25-2013 03:17 PM

I will take/post pics when I can, The jeep is at his house along with the Haynes manual I got from the auto parts store. It in the in-line 6 engine and I believe it is a t4 transmission. Don't know what a Q trac is. Does that have to do with being the wide or narrow base? If so, this is the wider axel. Best suggestion for finding the factory manual? Found some postings that say to call the factory but then the factory gives you the run around, etc.
Just for my own understanding and because in the future I'd like to not be as ignorant/uneducated as I am now: What are the identifiable and mechanical differences in the t4 and t5 other than being either 4 or 5 speed?

jp360cj 08-25-2013 03:33 PM

Q-trac is referring to a Quadratrac transfer case. Its a full time case used behind automatics mid to late 70s.

The difference between a T4 & T5 is the T4 is a 4 speed & T5 is a 5 speed. Neither of which were offered in 1980. But that doesn't mean you don't have one; after all, the wide track axles you say you have weren't available until 82.

wkp 08-25-2013 05:11 PM

If your reverse is "left and up" the the transmission is an SR4. If reverse is "right and down", then its probably a T176. Both were transmissions used in 1980. As stated above, 1980's came with "Narrow Track" axles. Again, I'm assuming everything is stock but previous owners could easily replaced transmission/axles and who knows what in your CJ.

LumpyGrits 08-25-2013 07:19 PM

T4 tranny then use 75W-90 syn!

cjohnson2209 08-25-2013 08:09 PM

Thanks for the info! I know the axles aren't original. I'm fairly certain I have a t4 b/c it is a 4-speed and reverse is right and down and the shift lever is curved. We also had to replace the back-up lamp switch which is the one that fits the t4, t5 and sr4. I think by process of elimination I've backed my way into figuring out its a t4.
When I got this jeep it was about 2 months away from the junk yard and I've been fumbling my way through it but the more I do the more I want to do and the more I want to know.

BagusJeep 08-25-2013 08:27 PM

You can find the Factory Service Manual for the 1984 to 1986 CJs on line, which will cover what you need for a 1980. Many respects to Chet for having posted it up. The last time I looked the first part was at

It is about 85% there and has all sorts of info.

You can also find the 1981-1986 CJ7 Parts Manual somewhere on line. Great diagram in there of the different gearboxes.

Do not pay for either, enthusiasts make them available to other enthusiasts because they want to help. This is in huge contrast to the Jeep dealers!!!

If it is the T4 it is vital you research the differences between fluids. The T4 is prone to failure with the wrong fluid and much has been written about different fluids to use, do not just stick in the first bottle of gear oil you find.

jp360cj 08-25-2013 08:46 PM

Always glad to hear when a Jeep is rescued. Good luck with the project!

cjohnson2209 08-25-2013 09:11 PM

As far as the fluid goes: I have read everything from 80-90w to gear oil to ATF to Penzoil or Royal Purple Synchromesh. Also read 75w-90 helps with older trans and helps them shift smoother. I'm almost at the point where I'm afraid to put anything in it lol. Can someone clarify which fluids were once recommended but then recalled, etc? I might have done TOO much reading and just confused myself even more.

cardiffclimber 08-25-2013 09:31 PM

If it is a T4, you want to use ATF.

BagusJeep 08-25-2013 09:40 PM

There was a special AMC lubricant introduced in the early 80s for the T4/T5 because of warranty claims, stank like dead fish so not ATF. No longer available.

The T4/T5 were fitted to a lot of vehicles in the period so there is a lot of discussion out there. Most important that the bronze bits do not disintegrate from the fluid.

I have heard some owners use ATF but there are others.......

cjohnson2209 08-25-2013 09:46 PM

Alright, so which fluids will be ok for the internal bronze parts? And what is going to help smooth out the shifting? I don't understand all the different possibilities and each of their pros and cons.

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