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Old 06-03-2012, 09:06 PM   #1
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Transfer Case Fluid Change

I'v heard of Jeep owners putting 300k +miles on their 4.0 straight 6 cylinder engines and never changing the NP231 transfer case fluid. I know jeeps are built tough, but is that practical? I personally have 152k miles on my 99 wrangler and have never changed the transfer case fluid. I'd like to know your thoughts and personal experiences on the subject.

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Old 06-03-2012, 09:27 PM   #2
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I tend to check mine during every other oil changes since I'm under there. Checking the color and level. I also check it after wheeling if I go through deep stuff. That is a long time to go with out a change. I would defiantly change it.

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Old 06-03-2012, 09:32 PM   #3
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Np231

To be honest, i'm scared to work on it. The factory fluid has been sealed up in their for 13 years, could be like opening pandora's box.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:40 PM   #4
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You could just leave it and hope for the best. OR pull the plug and just change the fluid. Worst cause the fluid is pink and has metal shavings. The best thing the fluid is just a little dirty and okay.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:55 PM   #5
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It will not be a problem. Drain it and refill it. It can't hurt anything more than it already has hurt.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:01 AM   #6
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Like they already said, it can't hurt to change it. If you do decide to change it, just make sure you remove the fill plug first. If it's never been changed at all, you don't want to drain all the fluid just to discover you can't remove the fill plug.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew86fl View Post
I'v heard of Jeep owners putting 300k +miles on their 4.0 straight 6 cylinder engines and never changing the NP231 transfer case fluid.
Yeah, they are called morons
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:27 AM   #8
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It takes less time to change it than it does to ask and talk about it. Drain and refill it with any good brand of ATF, it's not fussy about the exact type of ATF it runs on like the automatic transmission is. If you want a specific ATF recommendation, go for ATF+4. And at your mileage, I'd change it.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:11 AM   #9
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The ATF+4 in mine was brown at 30,000 miles. If I remember correctly, the plugs take a 3/8" hex drive. Make sure you have the proper tools.
Good time to change the oil in your differentials too.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:21 AM   #10
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IMO the most difficult part of this oil exchange process is being able to pour in the fluid upon refilling, and even that isn't difficult.

Many use a hand pump to refill but I find this to be an easier alternative:
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolbreeze
The ATF+4 in mine was brown at 30,000 miles. If I remember correctly, the plugs take a 3/8" hex drive. Make sure you have the proper tools.
Good time to change the oil in your differentials too.
I think you are confusing it with the differential plugs. The transfer case uses a 10 capscrew if I recall correctly.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:20 PM   #12
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I think you are confusing it with the differential plugs. The transfer case uses a 10 capscrew if I recall correctly.
It's either a 10mm allen or 30mm socket...
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:42 PM   #13
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My TC takes a 10mm hex or Allen, like so........
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by coolbreeze View Post
My TC takes a 3/8" hex or Allen, like so........
While you have your socket set out take note that 3/8" and 10mm are very close.

I believe the plug is actually 10mm, but 3/8" is close enough that it works.
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Old 06-04-2012, 12:59 PM   #15
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While you have your socket set out take note that 3/8" and 10mm are very close.

I believe the plug is actually 10mm, but 3/8" is close enough that it works.
I stand corrected.........10mm it is. Thank you
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:18 PM   #16
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Does anyone remove their factory skid plate to change the transfer case & tranny fluid? I changed mine Saturday without removing it, and what a mess. Was wondering how hard it was to get on and off? Looks like six bolts, and a few screws; however given the mass of that thing, looks like two-person job to get it on and off.
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:23 PM   #17
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Brought the jeep in for new clutch kit and resurface the fly wheel today. Quoted $640 for all repairs, sounds like a fair price would you agree? Mechanic came highly recommended from a few friends. I'll tackle the fluid change on transfer case soon as I get it back.
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:27 PM   #18
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If you google something like 90,000 mile service, the dealerships that advertise packages online recommend the major big bucks tune up (all fluids, plugs,etc) every 30k miles. I asked my local dealer about tcase fluids. They told me they check the appearance of the fluid at the 30k mile intervals and recommend changing out every 60k miles. Dealer costs for tcase fluids ar emore than an oil change but less than auto trans or even just one diff. I figure if they are going to pull the plugs to check condition of the fluid they might as well change it out.
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:52 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by AZ Greeen Jeep View Post
Does anyone remove their factory skid plate to change the transfer case & tranny fluid? I changed mine Saturday without removing it, and what a mess. Was wondering how hard it was to get on and off? Looks like six bolts, and a few screws; however given the mass of that thing, looks like two-person job to get it on and off.
See Jeep NV3550 Transmission & NP231 Transfer Case Service
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Greeen Jeep
Does anyone remove their factory skid plate to change the transfer case & tranny fluid? I changed mine Saturday without removing it, and what a mess. Was wondering how hard it was to get on and off? Looks like six bolts, and a few screws; however given the mass of that thing, looks like two-person job to get it on and off.
I took mine off to change my exahust and im only 16 and 145 lbs. I used 2 jacks and a stand to help me. Its 6 bolts holding the plate to the frame, then another 4 in the center to allow the skid plate to come off the transmission. One jack stand on where bell housing meets transmission, one jack under transfer case (no purpose other than make me feel safer) then one jack helped me lower and pull out skid plate. Its like 90-100 lbs I would say... Pretty easy job overall and probably saves a big mess!
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Greeen Jeep
Does anyone remove their factory skid plate to change the transfer case & tranny fluid? I changed mine Saturday without removing it, and what a mess. Was wondering how hard it was to get on and off? Looks like six bolts, and a few screws; however given the mass of that thing, looks like two-person job to get it on and off.
It's super light man. Weighs a max of 20lbs
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:58 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by jeepwayoflife

I took mine off to change my exahust and im only 16 and 145 lbs. I used 2 jacks and a stand to help me. Its 6 bolts holding the plate to the frame, then another 4 in the center to allow the skid plate to come off the transmission. One jack stand on where bell housing meets transmission, one jack under transfer case (no purpose other than make me feel safer) then one jack helped me lower and pull out skid plate. Its like 90-100 lbs I would say... Pretty easy job overall and probably saves a big mess!
90-100lbs? I can haul that thing around in my arms all day.
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:58 PM   #23
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My 1/4" steel UCF transfer case skid weights 77lbs, so I think the stock skid is roughly 35-40lbs...

And yes, I do remove my skid to exchange the tcase fluid.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:19 PM   #24
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I really wanted to find a way to do it some what cleanly with out taking down the skid every time. Just because it would be so fast with out and I like to do all my fluids at once and have it down to a science. I just dont see it happening tho.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:26 PM   #25
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Brought the jeep in for new clutch kit and resurface the fly wheel today. Quoted $640 for all repairs, sounds like a fair price would you agree?
$640 for everything sounds fair. However... while resurfacing a flywheel is a normal part of most clutch jobs, you should not resurface the specially contoured surface of your TJ's flywheel. The official Jeep Factory Service Manual states that at the most, its surface should be lightly sanded with emory cloth or sand paper if there is any glazing present. But resurfacing/machining its surface would remove the contour which could make clutch engagement/disengagement more abrupt.

I don't care if the mechanic insists. The TJ's flywheel should not be resurfaced. Really. If its surface is damaged, replace it. If its surface is glazed, sand the glazing off.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:41 PM   #26
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no need at all to remove the skid, just get a good funnel up there with a larger hose at the end so it doesn't come out of the xfer case faster than it can flow through, save yourself 15 minutes and more pain easily.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:38 AM   #27
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I dropped the skid when it was stock; it takes me less than 4 or 5 minutes to drop it. I guess if you don't have air tools it might be more work. Now that I have the UA from Savvy it's a bit more work so I'll probably work something else out.

Here is a nice mod if you're interested:

Motor oil for Transfer case fluid????? - JeepForum.com

And the procedure on how to do it a few posts down:

Motor oil for Transfer case fluid????? - JeepForum.com

Makes it easy to see the level/color of the fluid and when it comes time to drain you can use the hose to direct the flow.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:11 AM   #28
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Quote:
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I dropped the skid when it was stock; it takes me less than 4 or 5 minutes to drop it. I guess if you don't have air tools it might be more work. Now that I have the UA from Savvy it's a bit more work so I'll probably work something else out.

Here is a nice mod if you're interested:

Motor oil for Transfer case fluid????? - JeepForum.com

And the procedure on how to do it a few posts down:

Motor oil for Transfer case fluid????? - JeepForum.com

Makes it easy to see the level/color of the fluid and when it comes time to drain you can use the hose to direct the flow.
How protected is the hose by the skid plate? I would feel a little better about doing a mod like that if the drain plug was equipped with a valve (part of a mod) to keep the fluid from draining out at the most inconvenient time.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:17 AM   #29
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How protected is the hose by the skid plate? I would feel a little better about doing a mod like that if the drain plug was equipped with a valve (part of a mod) to keep the fluid from draining out at the most inconvenient time.
Crawl under your Jeep and look at where the fill/drain plugs are on the TC. There is pretty much no way for a rock or other obstacle to tear that hose off; if you can manage to hit that area with a rock, you've got bigger problems.

The only thing that I can see grabbing it is possibly a branch (and that's an extremely small possibility in my opinion), but I can't imagine how you would have to back over something in order to get it to rip that hose off. The Savvy UA has a rear brace that actually blocks that area completely, so it would be a non-issue in that case. But even so, the creator of that little mod wheels pretty hard (from what I've seen) and if it's been a non-issue for him I would guess it would be a non-issue for most.

Plus putting a valve in would completely defeat the real purpose of adding the clear hose.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:14 PM   #30
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Yeah, tbe problem with the valve occured to me about 30 seconds after i posted.

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