Differential fluid change - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
mkalcevic
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Differential fluid change

I was just at the dealer getting my oil changed (I would have DIY, but it was free) and they said the diff. fluid was dirty and needed changing and wanted money that I didn't feel I had to give them. I trust them in saying it was dirty even though I only have 15k on it (stock '05 6cyl) since I'll check it out for myself before paying anything as I have done before there. I have a basic comprehension of how changing it is done, but a couple minor details I need polished over. First, what brand/weight and how much should I get? Synthetic or "natural"? Second, what brand of RTV? Third, is there any kind of spray and/or trick to cleaning out the old crap? Forth, when they say to fill it up until it comes out of the hole, are they talking about the drain hole? And, last, what is the torque for the cover bolts?

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post #2 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 12:29 PM
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you shouldn't really need to use anything to get the old stuff out, just take the diff cover off and let it run into a catch pan. after all the bolts are removed, if the cover doesn't come off, just push a flat head screwdrive between the cover and the diff and pry b/c you may need to break the seal of the old RTV. use the same screwdriver to scrape all the old RTV off, then put down a new bead of RTV (i use permatex, but the brand doesn't really matter). put the cover back on and torque the bolts to 30 ft/lb (i'm pretty sure) and remove the drain plug. go ahead and buy two things of 80W90 gear oil (synthetic vs. non-synthetic is all about preference, as is brand), because one is usually just short of being enough. fill the diff via the drain plug until the oil is right underneath the hole. put the drain plug back in and be on your way.

hope that helps

Last edited by sctigerjeep; 05-03-2006 at 01:58 PM.
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post #3 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 01:00 PM
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You can use brake cleaner to help you get the old "dirty" oil out. At 15k it wouldn't hurt to swap out the oil anyway, but I'm a little curious how they determined it was dirty, esp. if they were only doing an oil change.

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post #4 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSW
You can use brake cleaner to help you get the old "dirty" oil out. At 15k it wouldn't hurt to swap out the oil anyway, but I'm a little curious how they determined it was dirty, esp. if they were only doing an oil change.
most oil places check your diff oil and tranny fluid every time you go in for an oil change b/c they wanna get you to pay $80 for a $10 job. valvoline told my sister she needed to get hers changed in her TJ and it would be $100 for both axles... i told her to bring it to me and i'd do it for $50, haha.
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post #5 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 01:27 PM
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checkout www.4x4xplor.com for a detailed writeup on changing your diff fluid. I myself use brake cleaner to clean the inside of the diff out once the fluid is drained, it also helps to just run it around the block before you do the drain to warm not get it scolding hot, the gear oil...drains faster....
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post #6 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 01:42 PM
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Maybe Rubicon D44's have drain holes, but the other differentials don't.. just a fill hole. It's 30ft-lbs for the cover bolts on every diff and 25 for the fill plug on a D30.

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post #7 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03jeeper78
Maybe Rubicon D44's have drain holes, but the other differentials don't.. just a fill hole. It's 30ft-lbs for the cover bolts on every diff and 25 for the fill plug on a D30.
any fill hole is a drain hole if you have a pump. sheesh, lets be a little more technical here.
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post #8 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sctigerjeep
you shouldn't really need to use anything to get the old stuff out, just take the diff cover off and let it run into a catch pan. after all the bolts are removed, if the cover doesn't come off, just push a flat head screwdrive between the cover and the diff and pry b/c you may need to break the seal of the old RTV. use the same screwdriver to scrape all the old RTV off, then put down a new bead of RTV (i use permatex, but the brand doesn't really matter). put the cover back on and torque the bolts to 35 ft/lb (i'm pretty sure) and remove the drain plug. go ahead and buy two things of 80W90 gear oil (synthetic vs. non-synthetic is all about preference, as is brand), because one is usually just short of being enough. fill the diff via the drain plug until the oil is right underneath the hole. put the drain plug back in and be on your way.

hope that helps
You're doing a few things backwards.

I would take out the fill plug first before removing the cover to drain your fluid. I would not use a screw driver to scrape the old RTV off. Use a gasket scraper..you don't want gouges in your cover where it meets up with the differential housing.


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post #9 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 02:01 PM
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Look close at your diff. There will be a metal band between two of the bolts. That tag tells you the exact weight and amount of gear oil.
Very handy.
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post #10 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky529
You're doing a few things backwards.

I would take out the fill plug first before removing the cover to drain your fluid. I would not use a screw driver to scrape the old RTV off. Use a gasket scraper..you don't want gouges in your cover where it meets up with the differential housing.
does it really matter when you take the fill plug out? i really don't think so. all of the fluid is gonna come out when you take the cover off anyway. as for the screwdriver... well i don't have a gasket scraper, and as long as you're not putting alot of muscle into it, you're not gonna gouge it. but yes, either way works.

potatoes, potatoes.

p.s. the potatotes thing doesn't work in writing.
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post #11 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sctigerjeep
does it really matter when you take the fill plug out? i really don't think so. all of the fluid is gonna come out when you take the cover off anyway. as for the screwdriver... well i don't have a gasket scraper, and as long as you're not putting alot of muscle into it, you're not gonna gouge it. but yes, either way works.

potatoes, potatoes.

p.s. the potatotes thing doesn't work in writing.
That's kinda what I was thinking. Maybe he's confusing the fill plug with a drain plug... which my TJ does NOT have.

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post #12 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 02:09 PM
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The best way to get the old gasket off is to use a torch or a plasma cutter and shave away a small amount of metal from the cover and the housing to ensure a good clean seal afterwards or else air will get into your differentail and cause a bubble in between the gears which over time will stress them unevenly causing a massive failure

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post #13 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bchamberlin
That's kinda what I was thinking. Maybe he's confusing the fill plug with a drain plug... which my TJ does NOT have.
i was using the term fill plug interchangeably with the term drain plug since there IS only 1 plug and it can be used for both draining and filling if you have a pump.
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post #14 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 02:10 PM
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You take the fill plug out first so you know that you won't have any trouble putting fluid back into your diff. That wouldn't be a very pleasant surprise if you drained all of your fluid, RTV'd, and put the cover back on to find out that for some reason you couldn't get the fill plug out!
Quote:
Originally Posted by sctigerjeep
any fill hole is a drain hole if you have a pump. sheesh, lets be a little more technical here.
For some people, sucking the fluid out of the fill plug with a pump might be good enough, but definitely not for me, and it's certainly not the recommended approach.

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post #15 of 22 Old 05-03-2006, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sctigerjeep
i was using the term fill plug interchangeably with the term drain plug since there IS only 1 plug and it can be used for both draining and filling if you have a pump.
Some differentials have both a fill and a drain plug.

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Stock: 4.0L I6:5-speed:3.07 gears:D35 with Trac-Loc:15x7 Ecco wheels:Dual Top Group
Mods: 30x9.5 BFG A-T T/A KO's:JKS Quicker disconnects:Rock-It Man rocker guards:Jeep Medic oil pan/tranny skid:Kilby steering skid:Warn D30 diff guard:C4x4 D35 diff guard:Rusty's radiator guard:Skid Row LCA skids:SilverStar headlights and fogs:Hidden Hitch class III receiver:Old Realistic 40ch CB:2' Firestik II:Arizona Rocky Road tailgate antenna mount
Next : Jeeperman rear bumper

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