Dana 30 Fill Level - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-11-2020, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
SHeadrick
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Dana 30 Fill Level

I replaced the axle seals due to leakage and when reassembling I had a weird thought. I have a Solid front diff cover and the fill plug looks to be very high
When I would fill the diff, the oil level would be almost to the top of the axle tubes. Since I don't have the old cover, could you guys help me with what the proper oil level should be. I just wonder if my oil leak was due to over fill.

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post #2 of 15 Old 05-12-2020, 04:30 AM
Zilliver
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Put in 1.3 Quarts and you are good.

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post #3 of 15 Old 05-12-2020, 04:41 AM
Ralph77
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What I want to know is how do you check the level when doing an oil change?
With the D30 and 8.25 on my XJ with the factory covers I just make sure some dribbles out.
How do you that when the fill hole is higher?
From another thread on this forum concerning a Solid cover.

https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/h...-cover-701013/

From Solid:

If it is going on a stock assembly, which it sounds like it is, just go by the manufacturers specifications. The higher fill plug on our covers allow for an added ease of filling, not for more oil. If you put too much in, you’ll start spitting oil out of the tubes.

I read where some guy made a makeshift dipstick to check. LOL.
And would drain plug be to much to ask? MLOL.
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-12-2020, 04:42 AM
Tarneg
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general rule from old school is 1/4 inch or so deep in the axletube which should be just under the axle seal and cover the bottom of the bearing in oil. another old school rule is 1/4 inch from the bottom of the tube housing. so pick you flavor and have at her, im not sure about Solid but if it increases the capacity the stock fill amount wont be enough


- added - ya a dip stick from some coat hanger or such would work i made one for my ac pump when i turned its orientation

Last edited by Tarneg; 05-12-2020 at 04:43 AM. Reason: added stuff
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-12-2020, 06:18 AM
Timo_90xj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph77 View Post
What I want to know is how do you check the level when doing an oil change?

Zilliver just answered you above: fill in ~1.3 quarts like the owner's manual/ FSM states. Slight overfill is not an issue, but having way too much diff fluid will cause foaming and oil seeping through axle seals.

Like you mentioned, with stock diff covers you fill to the bottom of fill hole.

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post #6 of 15 Old 05-12-2020, 06:26 AM
Ralph77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
Zilliver just answered you above: fill in ~1.3 quarts like the owner's manual/ FSM states. Slight overfill is not an issue, but having way too much diff fluid will cause foaming and oil seeping through axle seals.

Like you mentioned, with stock diff covers you fill to the bottom of fill hole.

I get that part. Your swapping the covers, clean it all out nice nice, put the new one on, and add 1.3 quarts.
Did the same thing with the stock cover when I swapped my diffs to synthetic.
But what about checking the level when doing an oil change after that?
The fill hole does look higher. So 1.3 quarts won't be to the bottom of the whole on the Solid cover.
Unless it does not stick out so far in front as a stock cover.
Which means the level would be closer to the fill hole.
And it is not just the Solid ones that looks like the hole is higher.
Most of the ones I look at the fill does look higher.
So.....
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-12-2020, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
SHeadrick
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Now this is all making sense. It was overfilled. If you wanted to know, with a solid cover you can fit about 2.5 quarts before it comes out the fill hole. Thanks everyone.
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-12-2020, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHeadrick View Post
Now this is all making sense. It was overfilled. If you wanted to know, with a solid cover you can fit about 2.5 quarts before it comes out the fill hole. Thanks everyone.
Thank you for confirming what I already though.
If I were you I would get a piece of a metal coat hanger.
Bend it 90 or 180 degrees. Stick one end in there. See where the level ends up on it.
Keep cutting it until you get to a length that just barely shows gear oil on it.
High quality diff gear oil measuring device. LOL.
Just remember which end goes in the diff and which end does not. MLOL.
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-13-2020, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph77 View Post
I get that part. Your swapping the covers, clean it all out nice nice, put the new one on, and add 1.3 quarts.
Did the same thing with the stock cover when I swapped my diffs to synthetic.
But what about checking the level when doing an oil change after that?
The fill hole does look higher. So 1.3 quarts won't be to the bottom of the whole on the Solid cover.
You get that you fill in 1.3 quarts, so what exactly there is to check if you have filled in the specified amount? Most canisters have markings on the side so you know how much you've filled, no need to check from the diff.
If the cover has a bit more "bulge" in it and fill hole sits higher than OEM, add a bit more fluid than specified - it doesn't really matter if you fill 1.3 quarts or 1.5 quarts. If the diff cover comes with a certain spec. for fluid amount, use that amount. As long as you don't fill 2-2.5 quarts or 1 quart where it needs 1.3-1.5 quarts there is no issue.

I built my own diff cover for the HP D30 with the fill hole about 3/8" higher than OEM, I haven't had any fluid leak issues.


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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-13-2020, 01:41 AM
Ralph77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
You get that you fill in 1.3 quarts, so what exactly there is to check if you have filled in the specified amount? Most canisters have markings on the side so you know how much you've filled, no need to check from the diff.
If the cover has a bit more "bulge" in it and fill hole sits higher than OEM, add a bit more fluid than specified - it doesn't really matter if you fill 1.3 quarts or 1.5 quarts. If the diff cover comes with a certain spec. for fluid amount, use that amount. As long as you don't fill 2-2.5 quarts or 1 quart where it needs 1.3-1.5 quarts there is no issue. I built my own diff cover for the HP D30 with the fill hole about 3/8" higher than OEM, I haven't had any fluid leak issues.
Do you check your diffs when you do an oil change?
I do.
Even if I see no signs of leaking I want to confirm that the level is correct.
Every time I open the fill hole some dribbles out.
So there has never been a need to add gear oil but......
So if the fill hole is higher you can't really know for sure the level is where you want it to be.
So you take it on faith that everything is good?
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-13-2020, 02:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph77 View Post
Do you check your diffs when you do an oil change?
I do.
Even if I see no signs of leaking I want to confirm that the level is correct.
Every time I open the fill hole some dribbles out.
So there has never been a need to add gear oil but......
So if the fill hole is higher you can't really know for sure the level is where you want it to be.
So you take it on faith that everything is good?
I pull the diff cover, inspect gears, re-install diff cover with the Lubelocker gasket, fill up and drive.
Knowing Dana/ Spicer has been designing and manufacturing differentials, transfer cases and other driveline components since 1908, I certainly have 100% faith in that their engineers and designers have figured it out by now what the correct amount of fluid required is.

For the umpteenth time, with the stock diff cover you fill up to the bottom of fill hole.
With aftermarket diff cover you fill up the amount the manufacturer specified, be it Dana/ Spicer, Jeep, or the diff cover manufacturer.
If aftermarket diff cover manufacturer didn't specify the amount, cover has more bulge and fill hole is higher than stock, fill up something like 1.5 quarts and you're certainly good to go.

I honestly cannot understand why you are making it so damn hard for such a simple task of filling up a differential
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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #12 of 15 Old 05-13-2020, 08:51 AM
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I understand what they are saying. If you ever had a slow weep or seep from the differential be it the pinion seal, diff cover, or tube seals, you get it the habit of checking the level in the diffs and topping up. On my first ZJ I would check and top off every time I changed the engine oil. Current ZJ has fully rebuilt axles w/ lube lockers and they don’t leak / weep a drop.

I have heard of people using a zip tie or Allen key to dip in the fill hole to check level with an aftermarket cover.

On the rear 8.8 there isn’t even a fill hole on the riddler cast steel cover I have. The fill hole is on the front side of the housing on top near the pinion. I actually had it too full for about a year and when I finally changed from Lucas full synthetic to the correct amount of AMSOIL severe gear gas mileage went up and it seemed to coast / accelerate easier.
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post #13 of 15 Old 05-13-2020, 12:12 PM
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This is a pretty good demonstrative and discussion on differential oil fill level.

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-Tim
(2) '96 4.0s
#1-'10-'18
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post #14 of 15 Old 05-13-2020, 02:52 PM
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Like I mentioned earlier, slight overfill isn't an issue, but severe overfill does cause foaming. Too low diff fluid level especially in a high pinion housing can and does cause outer pinion bearing fluid starvation.

As for loosing diff fluid, there needs to be a noticable drip from pinion seal or diff cover, or fluid oozing out of the axle tube(s) for a leak to be large enough to cause fluid level to drop fairly quickly.
At that point it certainly is worth checking fluid level, but the preferred method would be to fix the leak
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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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post #15 of 15 Old 05-13-2020, 02:54 PM
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Gotta fab a 1/2" thick clear polycarbonate diff cover
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1990 XJ Limited (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, ***rolled and totalled @ 165k miles***

***Under construction***
1990 XJ (4-door), 4.0 I6, AW4, NP242, PBR 42" tires, Unimog 404 portal axles, 110" WB, full cage + uniframe completely rebuilt, front 3-link + panhard / double triangulated 4-link rear,... ***SOLD***
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