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Hi!
I went to the dealer and they told me my differential and transfer case fluid needs to be changed. I guess they took samples and put it on a chart to compare them to see the difference. They were black... like burnt. I am at 28k and have not done any service on diff and transfer case. Just a daily driver... strictly highway. Only times I do 4WD is when roads are ice, or we get a lot of snow, which is less the 4 months. I do not understand why the front diff will be burnt as well.
Anyway... I want to do this job myself because they are charging me about 500$ for this job. I was reading previous posts and people use 80w-90 for both front and rear. What brand should I get? Would Synthetic be better than conventional? How many quarts or gallons should I get? What tools are needed for this job? Just a 3/8 ratchet and extension to reach the fill plug?
Now transfer case. What kind of fluid can I use for this? User Manual says to use ATF 4 i think? How many quarts, gallons? What kind of tool do I need for this?
Sorry for all the questions. Noob here, never done any kind of auto work. I feel pumped though to get hands dirty and this be my first job.
Thank You!
 

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Hi!
I went to the dealer and they told me my differential and transfer case fluid needs to be changed. I guess they took samples and put it on a chart to compare them to see the difference. They were black... like burnt. I am at 28k and have not done any service on diff and transfer case. Just a daily driver... strictly highway. Only times I do 4WD is when roads are ice, or we get a lot of snow, which is less the 4 months. I do not understand why the front diff will be burnt as well.
Anyway... I want to do this job myself because they are charging me about 500$ for this job. I was reading previous posts and people use 80w-90 for both front and rear. What brand should I get? Would Synthetic be better than conventional? How many quarts or gallons should I get? What tools are needed for this job? Just a 3/8 ratchet and extension to reach the fill plug?
Now transfer case. What kind of fluid can I use for this? User Manual says to use ATF 4 i think? How many quarts, gallons? What kind of tool do I need for this?
Sorry for all the questions. Noob here, never done any kind of auto work. I feel pumped though to get hands dirty and this be my first job.
Thank You!

Hey don't ever be sorry. The only sorry would have been If you had said to the dealer, "Yeah sure do it".
You are about to:
- Have some fun
- Get to know your Jeep better
- Be really happy with yourself and the savings of about $450 is secondary to why you will be happy.

Simple tools. I am a believer in synthetics (that would have ^^raised the price significantly over the price they quoted you - So you are winning even bigger.
Get a decent drain pan. Get your fluids at Walmart. I used Mobil1 synthetics and just followed the manual on amounts (I apologize, don't have the manual in front of me but the how much part is easy. especially with the Diffs - when it runs out of the hole. Ummm they're FULL :) Back takes more than the front and the hose attachment makes life easier too, it screws on the bottles. Available where the fluids are sold.
Transfer case is easy as well.

The Only fluid I have not done myself is AT. That I may shop around. Not in the mood presently.

Good stuff!
 

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Trust me they didn't take a sample, odds are they didn't even look at the fluid. $500 is a major rip off! What year Jeep do you have? A JK takes about a quart in the front differential, and about 2 quarts in the rear. 80W90 is what the book says. If you tow or run it hard you can go "thicker" in the rear. The transfer case holds a little over 2 quarts. I recently did all of my fluids, including the automatic transmission fluid. It was actually easier than reading up on it lead me to believe.

https://www.extremeterrain.com/jeep-wrangler-fluid-capacities.html

I use Castrol ATF+4 in my transfer case, transmission, and power steering. Mobil 1 75W90 in the front differential and 75W140 in the rear. HTH
 

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I just changed my differential covers, I went with Valvoline. Any name brand will be great.

You need 1.3qts in the front, and 2.6qts in the rear. I thought about getting a single gallon jug, but I'm glad I didn't. The quart sized bottles are perfect for filling. So, get four quarts.

Also, I'm new to this too. I had some experienced guidance, but I did most of it myself. It's very easy once you get a look at what you're doing. Use a 1/4 socket extension (no socket) for the drain plug. Let it drain completely, put the plug back and use the same socket extention for the fill plug and start filling! When you start seeing the fill hole weep, stop! Let it settle, and close it up.

Good luck!
 

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way a life has a detailed step by step guide for both of these I think.



Unless your Jeep has been used an abused, it probably doesn't need either at 28K. The Manual Transmission needs to be changed at 30K, but the diffs are 40K and the transfer case is 60K.


Yes, do both yourself - They are both easy jobs and you can do them in your garage in less time than you would wait at the dealership lobby and for 10% of the cost.
 

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OPEN THE FILL PLUG FIRST! (just so you are sure you can open it before draining).



I did this too for the first time (the diffs, not the T-case yet). My WalMart didn't have a good selection but all the auto parts stores had a good coupon and a good selection, in the end I used Valvoline Synthetics. 75W90 and 75W140 (rear).



You don't need to take the covers off, just the fill and drain plugs. A large sheet of cardboard or a blanket for when some spills is handy and a pan that holds a couple of gallons. Jeep can remain on the ground if it's level. Took me about an hour for both ends which included figuring things out.



Yes the hose to fill would be handy, it's hard to angle the bottle correctly in the front otherwise. I happened to have a long hollow rod from a lighting project in the garage that worked perfectly but a narrow hose/tube would have been better.



My dealership did the same "burnt" thing and wanted $300 for both diffs. My total cost was under $50 and it took less time at home that it would have in their crappy waiting room.



You'll find that the rear oil does look dark but the front will probably look like new. Mine did and my mileage and use pattern is about the same as yours.


80W90 is for conventional, this switches to 75W90 when synthetic. Most (but not all) Synthetics have a friction modifier already built in if your Jeep has the TrakLok rear diff. Otherwise you need an additive (but only if you have that diff).



Either way, this is not a hard job at all and way more satisfying than writing that check to the dealer. Just be sure to open the fill plug first...
 

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I would consider having Blackstone Labs do an analysis for $28. I would be surprised if your diff oil needs changing at 28K unless you have done deep water crossings that contaminated them.

Your dealer may be seriously incompetent, or worse.
 

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my jeep had about 2000km on it. i went wheeling and scratched it up a bit but only mud was on the dirty gravel roads. the sway bar disconnect failed and stuck open. when I took it in for warranty i got a call saying "looks dirty like you were in water. we recommend an oil change in the front dif, it's $250." I won't go to that dealer any more lol.
 

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I was talking to a friend of mine that works in the service department at one of our local dealerships. He said that they remove the covers for fluid changes and then spray them with brake cleaner, put the covers back on with permatex and fill them from the top. He told me it's easier than taking a chance on stripping out the drain plug. I've never done it this way. I have always pulled the plug, drained them and then refilled. Have any of you every done it this way?
 

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I was talking to a friend of mine that works in the service department at one of our local dealerships. He said that they remove the covers for fluid changes and then spray them with brake cleaner, put the covers back on with permatex and fill them from the top. He told me it's easier than taking a chance on stripping out the drain plug. I've never done it this way. I have always pulled the plug, drained them and then refilled. Have any of you every done it this way?
Remove the entire cover(s) to avoid (possibly) stripping the drain plug(s)?

No. I would not suggest that. I wouldn't even be able to keep a straight face if he had said that to me.
 

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I was talking to a friend of mine that works in the service department at one of our local dealerships. He said that they remove the covers for fluid changes and then spray them with brake cleaner, put the covers back on with permatex and fill them from the top. He told me it's easier than taking a chance on stripping out the drain plug. I've never done it this way. I have always pulled the plug, drained them and then refilled. Have any of you every done it this way?

That is not easier, but if you DO take off the cover throw a lube locker on it, screw permatex. A lube locker will make it super simple if you end up having to get in the diff while on the trail.
 

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I don't get people who worry about changing lubrication too early, especially if you're doing it yourself and you're only spending the cost of the fluids and your time.

If you needed a blood transfusion would you tell the doc, "Nah, I'll come back later... I can probably keep walking another 3k miles before it's reeeeally necessary."

The diff fluid in your rear diff is necessarily going to burn at a faster rate than the fluid in your front diff just because most of the time that's the axle that's doing 99% of moving your Jeep. Besides your driving style... it's life is also affected by how much weight you've added to your Jeep in lifts, wheels, tires, bumpers, winches, armor, etc...

Bottom line... If they said it was black, replace it. Don't worry if you've reached the manual's general limit for how long it's "supposed" to last.

.
 

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Diff fluid is really easy to change, I got some Castrol 80w-90 for both diffs and took that opportunity to upgrade my covers to some Poison Spyder Bombshell ones (which paid off while playing in the rocks a few weeks ago-definitely saved my butt). I also took the opportunity to throw on some lubelockers. Overall I spent about an hour per housing, and that was removing the old cover, cleaning, installing and refilling. I haven't done the T-case yet, that's like a once a year schedule for me, so I'm looking at a December time frame for that.

If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a message.
 

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For the rear diff it's so simple to change and for $25-30 total a no brainer to me. Change it every year or if you did some deep water crossings.
 

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$500?! Jesus dude. You can do it in minutes. VERY easy fluid change. I use the Autozone hand pumps with good success. I recommend Amsoil brand oil as well.

Have fun!
 

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I did mine this past weekend, simple... lift your axles with Jacks to get the required amount in there as the fillhole is at an angle when the jeep is on the ground.

I use non synthetic lucas 85/140. I have an LSD so it requires no synthetics in my case.
 

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NV241 Transfer Case: 2.2 Quart capacity. ATF+4. I used the Mopar OEM fluid, cheap enough on Amazon or Walmart.com.

Differentials: depends on the axles --> check your manual! But 80W-90, any reputable brand, no need to use synthetic IMO. Except 75W-140 synthetic in the rear if you do regular summer towing. Friction modifier if an axle has a limited slip diff; again check your manual.

I say follow the recommended interval in the owner's manual unless you offroad and get in water regularly (which is why I change my diff fluid at the end of the summer, every year)
 
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