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Old 02-13-2020, 01:04 AM
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Question Did I put the wrong fluid in my transfer case!?

Ok so long story short about a year ago i installed a new slip yoke eliminator and then idk who told me to do this but i put some like 80w-90 in it or something (at the time i was clueless and trusted the oriely guy. I just got an xj im working on until my yj ix fixed and im doing regular maintenance and i read that the transfer case uses atf-4 ... so i look it up for the yj and everyone say atf4............. do I need to flush this thing? and if so how?

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Old 02-13-2020, 01:08 AM   #2
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Yep drain it.. fill w atf... drive a couple miles and repeat.
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:11 AM   #3
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It takes ATF i hope you didn't drive much with 80w90 in it
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Old 02-13-2020, 06:36 AM   #4
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I would drain it, soon. As mentioned already drain and fill with ATF+4, drive it a little and repeat. If it were mine I'd drain it at least three times. Not really necessary, but you can briefly engage 4H on a straight path, drive 50 yards or so and shift back to 2H.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:57 AM
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It takes ATF i hope you didn't drive much with 80w90 in it
i daylead it for a year and drove clear across texas and from Longview tx to Oklahoma and back ...
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:19 AM   #6
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It's not a catastrophe. The gears had better, stouter contact lube with the gear oil. It's long been a technique of old timers to quiet down a noisy TC. Motor oil is usable as well. 80w-90 gear approximates 20w-50 motor, and ATF+4 approximates 0w-30. A TC is the simplest of cases for lube: no combustion or combustion byproducts, just gear lubing.

That said, drain out and refill with ATF+4. The pump and screen will do better in distributing lube with the lighter ATF. And that is the primary reason you wouldn't want to run heavier than spec lube, just to be safe.
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Old 02-13-2020, 03:49 PM   #7
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ATF+4 or Dexron III equivalent is okay. ATF+4 has a lot of detergents so older transfer cases with old seals sometimes leak after the ATF+4 goes in.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:12 PM   #8
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ATF+4 or Dexron III equivalent is okay. ATF+4 has a lot of detergents so older transfer cases with old seals sometimes leak after the ATF+4 goes in.
Don't know much about YJ xfer case, but aren't those two fluids quite different? I have not heard of using Dexron in a Jeep, only heard not to use it, so no real background just curious as to this response.

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Old 02-13-2020, 09:23 PM   #9
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Don't know much about YJ xfer case, but aren't those two fluids quite different? I have not heard of using Dexron in a Jeep, only heard not to use it, so no real background just curious as to this response.

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The original service manuals called for Dexron II until the 2001 model year when ATF+4 started being called for only for dodge/jeep. Dexron III and atf+4 didn't even come out for full implementation until 1999 which is well before your YJ so why would you need atf+4 specifically? Many jeeps/dodges and chevy's share the same transfer cases so both fluids work like dexron III or ATF+4 since chevy filled with dexron and jeep filled with atf+4. Special atf mixes are mostly for brand specific clutch material requirements that limit slip or bite depending how rough the clutches are which the np231 doesn't have...

I have been putting standard old dexmerc in np231 and 241 transfer cases for years with no problems. All wheel drive transfer cases are another story as they have auto trak fluid or other specific requirements do to the clutch packs. Most modern ATFs have a lot more detergents so they will leak through old worn out heat hardened seals.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:40 PM   #10
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They are not different enough that it will hurt a transfer case unlike putting dexron/mercon in a Chrysler transmission. The last vehicle that took Dexron/Mercon was the XJ with the AW4. So they just simplified things and switched to ATF+4 since additive packages and the friction modification dont matter in a transfer case. I run Dexron/Mercon in mine because it's cheaper and easier to find. And all of my Toyotas use it in the transmission and the power steering.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:50 AM   #11
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I wouldn't worry about the past. I'd simply drain out all the old gear lube and fill it with whatever ATF is on sale with a slight preference to Dexron II if you can find it, or the Mercon if that's available.
Gottagofast suggests driving it for a couple miles and repeating the drain and fill. I think that's a good idea.
demarpaint suggests additional drain & fills plus driving the Jeep in a straight line for a bit to slosh the ATF around and get all the old gear lube washed out. If you're a detail oriented person you might add that to your list. I hadn't thought of doing that, but now that dermapaint mentions it, I'd probably go ahead and do it.

You state you're working on a XJ until your YJ is fixed. If the YJ runs, instead of driving the Jeep for a couple miles, you can support it on 4 jackstands and run it in gear with the TC in 4X for a while after each fluid change.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:44 PM   #12
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I delayed it for a year and drove clear across Texas and from Longview TX to Oklahoma and back ...
LoL Longview to OKC is less than 350 miles one way... No where near the 880 miles across I-10 or the 826 miles using I-20/I-10 or even the 740 miles from Texhoma to Laredo.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:35 PM   #13
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A lot of old timers swear by gear oil in the transfer case so you should be fine. As stated just drain and fill a couple of times and forget it.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:15 PM   #14
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A lot of old timers swear by gear oil in the transfer case so you should be fine. As stated just drain and fill a couple of times and forget it.

I have never heard of anyone running gear oil in a NP231 i dont even see how the oil pump could pump it. I have heard of people using 5w30 motor oil but it is not common. It's a bad idea to run oil that thick in a transfer case that was designed to be oiled with a pump. You can just look at the fill plug and then think about where the bearings are located in the transfer case and realize that it's not a good idea.
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Old Yesterday, 06:26 PM   #15
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From Novacks site on the D300

When filling your 300 with gear oil, we recommend that you select a conventional mineral oil or a para-synthetic in lieu of a full synthetic oil. Properly assembled manual gearboxes do not have the thermal strains seen by combustion engines or hypoid gears. Synthetic fluid in these gearboxes, while not harmful, is probably an economic waste.

Hypoid gear oil is sulphurized higher than transmission oil and can be mildly corrosive to the non-ferrous alloys used for thrust washers in these transmissions.

An 80W-90, API-GL5 or MT-1 rated fluid is very good
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Old Yesterday, 07:37 PM   #16
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From Novacks site on the D300

When filling your 300 with gear oil, we recommend that you select a conventional mineral oil or a para-synthetic in lieu of a full synthetic oil. Properly assembled manual gearboxes do not have the thermal strains seen by combustion engines or hypoid gears. Synthetic fluid in these gearboxes, while not harmful, is probably an economic waste.

Hypoid gear oil is sulphurized higher than transmission oil and can be mildly corrosive to the non-ferrous alloys used for thrust washers in these transmissions.

An 80W-90, API-GL5 or MT-1 rated fluid is very good
The Dana 300 (Jeep CJ Transfer case or scout or bronco) is a gear driven transfer case that needs gear oil. The transfer case in this thread is discussing the Jeep YJ NP231 which is a chain driven transfer case with an oil pump that needs ATF.
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Old Yesterday, 09:39 PM   #17
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Yep d300 has nothing to do w this discussion

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