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Old 09-23-2021, 02:14 PM #1
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differentials oil change question

Hi, question about front and rear differentials oil changes. My truck is 3.5 years old with only 25k miles on it. Minimum off roading and a few water crossings. Is it time to change?
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Old 09-23-2021, 02:41 PM #2
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Well, I like to get the factory fill out after a couple thousand miles, after the ring and pinion have been run in.

I would certainly check the diffs, and T-case for the presence of water, after any water crossing which was deep enough to have those components under water. If running through deep water is frequent, I would extend the diff, and T-case vents.

That said, lots of vehicles go to the scrap yard with the factory-fill still in the diffs, etc.
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Old 09-23-2021, 02:45 PM #3
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How do I check them for water presence?
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Old 09-23-2021, 02:50 PM #4
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Quote:
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How do I check them for water presence?
Pull the fill plug and check to see if the fluid is milky. Generally I change my gear and transfer case oil at 30K. However I may just wait until 50K and do it at the same time as the transmission fluid.
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Old 09-23-2021, 02:59 PM #5
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Old 09-23-2021, 05:59 PM #6
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Well, I like to get the factory fill out after a couple thousand miles, after the ring and pinion have been run in.

I would certainly check the diffs, and T-case for the presence of water, after any water crossing which was deep enough to have those components under water. If running through deep water is frequent, I would extend the diff, and T-case vents.

That said, lots of vehicles go to the scrap yard with the factory-fill still in the diffs, etc.
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Old 09-23-2021, 06:20 PM #7
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If you are thinking about it then it might be good to change it. I drove in a rain storm in Michigan from Detroit to Dearborn on m39 through some really deep stuff under the over passes where the road dips down to accommodate the streets above and it bugged me until I drained and filled the front, rear and transfer case. The old fluid was fine but now I can sleep better.
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Old 09-23-2021, 06:24 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02SE View Post
Well, I like to get the factory fill out after a couple thousand miles, after the ring and pinion have been run in.

I would certainly check the diffs, and T-case for the presence of water, after any water crossing which was deep enough to have those components under water. If running through deep water is frequent, I would extend the diff, and T-case vents.

That said, lots of vehicles go to the scrap yard with the factory-fill still in the diffs, etc.
I do the same thing. Get a few thousand miles on a new vehicle then change the front, rear diffs and transfer case fluid. I am always a bit amazed by what's on the magnets after only a few thousand miles. Plus these are easy fluid changes on our 4Runners - cheap insurance.
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Old 09-23-2021, 08:11 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonniem View Post
Hi, question about front and rear differentials oil changes. My truck is 3.5 years old with only 25k miles on it. Minimum off roading and a few water crossings. Is it time to change?
Thanks
I have changed front/rear axle, transfer case and transmission fluids all at 15k miles and this is my what I saw and recommend.
- Rear axle oil needed to be changed
- Front axle oil was like new
- Transfer case oil was like new
- Transmission oil was light brown

So with all that I would only do the rear axle and transmission pan drain/fill at every 25k mile and the front axle and transfer case at every 50k miles.

Only my 2 cents.
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Old 09-23-2021, 08:20 PM #10
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Thanks. This is very useful and much appreciated.
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Old 09-23-2021, 08:33 PM #11
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Quote:
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How do I check them for water presence?


I am sorry but that line "How do I check them for water presence?" beside your profile picture was really funny......

good luck
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:46 PM #12
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Smile

I knew someone would mention that:thum
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Old 09-23-2021, 09:47 PM #13
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I knew someone would mention that
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Old 09-23-2021, 10:40 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 71gs3504sp View Post
I have changed front/rear axle, transfer case and transmission fluids all at 15k miles and this is my what I saw and recommend.
- Rear axle oil needed to be changed
- Front axle oil was like new
- Transfer case oil was like new
- Transmission oil was light brown

So with all that I would only do the rear axle and transmission pan drain/fill at every 25k mile and the front axle and transfer case at every 50k miles.

Only my 2 cents.
Totally agree with this. Your rear diff will be very dirty and needs to be changed.
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Old 09-24-2021, 03:44 PM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 71gs3504sp View Post
I have changed front/rear axle, transfer case and transmission fluids all at 15k miles and this is my what I saw and recommend.
- Rear axle oil needed to be changed
- Front axle oil was like new
- Transfer case oil was like new
- Transmission oil was light brown

So with all that I would only do the rear axle and transmission pan drain/fill at every 25k mile and the front axle and transfer case at every 50k miles.

Only my 2 cents.
This is spot on info and exactly what I experienced. I did my rear diff at 2966 miles and I was shocked at how the fluid looked and the amount of metal shavings on the magnet. One thing I would add is swapping the transfer case fluid from factory fluid to a 75-90 weigh gear oil smooth out the overall function of the transfer case.
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