DIY: Differential Fluid Change

Discussion in '3rd Gen DIY' started by OlDirtyJohn, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. OlDirtyJohn

    OlDirtyJohn Senior Member

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    Heres a quick tut for changing out your differential fluid. Its not hard at all. So now you dont have an excuse to not do this at the recommended intervals.

    Step #1 Gather proper tools and equipment.

    You will need a 3/8" drive socket set, enough diff fluid of the proper weight, an oil pan, bucket, or something to catch the old fluid in, and some sort of heavy duty cleaner or degreaser (i used brake parts cleaner)

    you might also need some RTV if you dont have a gasket on your cover.

    [imgl]http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c114/OlDirtyJohn/DSC_0015.jpg[/img]

    Step # 2 Place drip pan under Diff, and start removing Bolts

    You need to remove the bolts starting from the bottom and work your way up. This will allow the fluid to start draining without making a huge mess.

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    Step #3 Allow fluid to drain and remove cover

    Wait a few minutes with only the top two bolts loosely in place for the rest of the fluid to drain out. Next remove your cover.

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    Step #4 Clean out pumpkin/cover and inspect Gears and Gasket

    Using a clean rag wipe out all the excess fluid from the bottom of the differential. Use this time to inspect your gears for any abnormal wear or chips, or anything out of the ordinary. DONT USE CLEANER INSIDE THE DIFF!! you most likely wont be able to get it all out, and it could prematurely break down the viscosity of your new fluid. Next, inspect your cover gasket if equipped, and clean out the inside of the cover using the cleaner of your choice.

    [​IMG]

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    Step #5 Optional Step

    If you have been wanting to get a new diff cover, but dont want to spend the money, you can paint the cover with a can of high temp paint and replace the bolts (I used grade 8 bolts, got them from NAPA), the results will surprise you! And it only takes a few minutes.

    Step #6 Replace diff cover

    Line up your gasket, or apply RTV gasket maker according to the directions on the package, and put your diff cover back on. torque down bolts according to specs. (in my case it was 30 ft/lbs) I also torqued bolts down in a criss cross pattern to avoid warping the cover.

    Step #7 Fill Diff with Correct amount of fluid

    To take out the fill plug simply use a 3/8" drive socket wrench. Next fill with diff fluid. (my 10.5" rear took 3 quarts) fill until fluid is just below the fill hole. Next replace fill plug, and torque to specs (24 ft/lbs)

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    Step #8 Stand back, and enjoy the fruits of your labor

    Also, check for leaks. Those are bad.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010
    Burla and usaf2006 like this.
  2. korby05

    korby05 Senior Member

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    What are the size of the bolts by chance? Is there any difference between the 1500 and the 2500 bolts other than how many you need
     
  3. Trupiano

    Trupiano Registered User

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    Great job John! Nice write-up!
     
  4. OlDirtyJohn

    OlDirtyJohn Senior Member

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    are you talking about the head size? or the thread size? i dont recall off hand. all i did was drive to NAPA, take one out, take it in with me, and find a match.
     
  5. korby05

    korby05 Senior Member

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    makes sense.. that's what I would have done anyways.. thanks again
     
  6. PJF0455

    PJF0455 Junior Member

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    I know this is an old post but I just changed my rear diff. fluid and the plug on the diff. cover is basically a rubber stopper. It fits pretty snug. Is this normal?

    I have an 03 Ram slt 4x4 with the Hemi

    Thanks

    PJ

    p.s.
    Still getting around to updating profile.
     
  7. PJF0455

    PJF0455 Junior Member

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    I know this is an old post but I just changed my rear diff. fluid and the plug on the diff. cover is basically a rubber stopper. It fits pretty snug. Is this normal?

    I have an 03 Ram slt 4x4 with the Hemi

    Thanks

    PJ

    p.s.
    Still getting around to updating profile.
     
  8. BlackedOutHemi

    BlackedOutHemi Senior Member

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    Yes. It needs to be to keep the oil from splashing out or pouring out.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. PJF0455

    PJF0455 Junior Member

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    Thanks

    So the one in the Pic up top is rubber also?? Cause mine dosn't have the place for the wrench. I just pryed it out with a flat screwdriver. Was under the impression it was a bolt or sorts.

    Thanks
    PJ
     
  10. BlackedOutHemi

    BlackedOutHemi Senior Member

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    His doesn't seem to be, may be an aftermarket cover. But mine is.
     

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