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How To: Differentials and Transfer Case Fluid Service

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by wnelax04sr5, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. Feb 13, 2016 at 11:36 AM
    #1
    wnelax04sr5

    wnelax04sr5 [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    This is a step by step guide for how to change the fluids in your front and rear differentials as well as your transfer case. If youre comfortable changing your own oil, this is something you can tackle without any specialty tools.

    Note: All oil quantities are found in the owners manual.
    Front Differential-approx. 1.5 quarts
    Transfer Case-approx. 1.5 quarts
    Rear Differential-approx. 3.2 quarts

    Tools:
    24mm Socket-drain/fill plugs on rear differential and transfer case
    12mm Socket-Front skid plates
    10mm Hex-drain/fill plugs on front differential
    Oil Drain Pan
    Quart pump and hose
    IMG_20160213_105416802.jpg


    Parts:
    Transfer Case Fill Gasket 90430-18008
    Transfer Case Drain Gasket 90430-18008
    Front Differential Fill Gasket 12157-10010
    Front Differential Drain Gasket 90430-24003
    Rear Differential Fill Gasket 12157-10010
    Rear Differential Drain Gasket 12157-10010

    Oil:
    7 Quarts* of 75w-90 gear lubricant is what I used. ranges in price from $5-$15 a quart.
    IMG_20160213_105420263.jpg

    *this will give you extra, I finished with 1.5 quarts leftover

    Rear Differential
    1.Locate the drain and fill plugs on the rear bell
    IMG_20160213_105746015.jpg IMG_20160213_105759502.jpg
    2.Break the FILL PLUG loose FIRST. if you break the drain plug loose first, drain everything out and find out you can't get the fill off, you're in big trouble.
    3.Take out the fill plug, then break loose and remove the drain plug, mine looked like this;
    IMG_20160213_110405240.jpg
    4. Let the oil drain out, 10-15 minutes for everything, mine still had a drip at this point but it was empty enough.
    5. Put on the correct new washers before reinstalling, note that the one with the magnet is the drain plug
    IMG_20160213_110621869.jpg
    6. Attach the pump to the first quart
    IMG_20160213_110940044.jpg
    7. Start pumping! the manual states that both differentials and the transfer case are full when oil drips from the fill hole.
    IMG_20160213_114606535.jpg
    8. Once full, reinstalling and tighten the drain plugs. these don't need to be absurdly tight, hand tight will do, just make sure the washers compress, thats how they work.

    Transfer Case
    1. This process is largely the same as the rear differential, start by breaking loose the fill plug, its to the right of the drain plug, followed by the drain.
    IMG_20160213_112603894.jpg
    2. Let all the oil drain out, replace the washer and reinstall and tighten the drain plug.
    3. Fill the transfer case the same way as the rear differential, until the oil drips from the fill hole.
    4. Replace the washer on the fill plug, reinstall and tighten it.

    Front Differential
    1. The front differential is different only in the washer for the drain plug and the tools needed.
    2. Remove the front skid plate and transmission skid plate. 12mm socket needed for this step
    IMG_20160213_112715090.jpg IMG_20160213_112719537.jpg
    3. The front differential takes a 10mm hex key, be careful to not round off the plugs. A ratchet and hex key works much better than a conventional allen wrench
    IMG_20160213_112549947.jpg
    4. The drain and fill plugs are on the drivers side, drain is to the front of the vehicle, fill is towards the rear. (excuse the crappy pictures, its dark down there)
    IMG_20160213_112631680.jpg IMG_20160213_112644994.jpg
    5. You guessed it, drain the oil out and replace the washer with the new copper one on the drain plug, reinstall and tighten.
    6. Refill oil till it drips from the fill plug, then reinstall and tighten.
    7. Reattach your skid plates, clean up, and go for a test drive!

    Note: This is a good time to cycle through four wheel drive high and low, exercise the transfer case and front differential a little bit to cycle the oil and put some load on the parts.
     
    scottalot, likescars and Bob like this.
  2. Feb 13, 2016 at 11:37 AM
    #2
    wnelax04sr5

    wnelax04sr5 [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    @Bob i got a new one for you!
     
    scottalot likes this.
  3. Feb 14, 2016 at 2:54 PM
    #3
    joeyz

    joeyz New Member

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    Good Info! I will be doing this in the Spring. Got 170K V6 SR5 Auto 4WD...good maintenance practice and easy!
     
  4. Feb 14, 2016 at 4:23 PM
    #4
    wnelax04sr5

    wnelax04sr5 [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    thanks! i don't know why i didnt do it earlier, so easy. probably the smell lol
     
  5. Oct 23, 2017 at 9:28 PM
    #5
    Racenuke

    Racenuke New Member

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    No running boards
    captsolo likes this.
  6. Oct 24, 2017 at 1:40 PM
    #6
    Batmango66

    Batmango66 New Member

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    '06 Limited V8 Shadow Mica | USB Charger | OCD Console Organizer| Int. LEDs | Always on Fogs Mod | added LED strip light foot well | Smokers kit | Always on 115v | Always on 12v Cig. Lighter Mod | By-passed TPS | Wind Deflectors | 3/2 Corn Fed | 18" Moto Metal MO962 0 offset with General Grabber AT2 275/65's | Bilstein 5100's | 15% tint min. | 22" LED Light Bar Behind lower Grill | TINMANS Awesome Front Cup Holder. Yeah, I know it's mostly convenience and looks...
    [​IMG]https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Genuin...d=182327326200&_trksid=p2385738.c100677.m4598

    https://parts.lakelandtoyota.com/p/...-CASE-LIMITED-PACKAGE/4169540/9034114012.html

    Might be worth a call to the dealer just to double check though...
     
    Racenuke likes this.
  7. Jan 31, 2018 at 10:16 AM
    #7
    RingSteel

    RingSteel Smooth trigger finger and she'll not let you down

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    Two points of interest since I am presently draining rear diff. Sheesh sure was nasty at 37k!..lol
    1- Soaked both plugs with Kroil for 10 minutes. Plugs just popped very easily.
    Love this stuff, caution do not breath the vapor whew-70's flash backs but bad for lungs lol

    2- good time to use black farm implement paint for the front skid plate! So she looks purty..!

    Nice job thanks for being so OCD and building this thread.....so glad I'm not alone.......did this for my Kioti tractor built OEM style spread sheet...
    anyways sorry bout ramble thank you very much......
     
    scottalot likes this.
  8. Mar 29, 2019 at 4:00 PM
    #8
    scottalot

    scottalot Stockalot

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    To be determined
    Another tip: have an oem replacement plug or two ready for the front diff. Had the same setup on my 2015 Tacoma and they were WAY over tightened from the factory. Had to go buy a large breaker bar to bust loose and almost stripped one.
     
  9. Jul 29, 2019 at 3:42 AM
    #9
    captsolo

    captsolo New Member

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    Take it to a shop with a lift if you stripped the plug, then change to 24mm lexus plug, and don't over tighten.

    The OP here looks like he has a rust issue creeping in. Time for maintenance?

    Did my RD in driveway. Took 20 minutes. Two bolts. Simple. Three quarts of Valvoline W80 90.
    I expect the FD fluid will be cleaner after 150,000 miles. Rear looked ok after 150,000 miles. Will remember to change RD again at 225,000 miles.

    Why do posters panic over this unneeded maintenance - with no Toyota schedule. Overkill, like everything else?

    No one needs to buy expensive synthetic for differentials. Dino is perfect for normal driving - especially if you are ever going to change it again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019

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