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Hi guys,
I posted this to Ih8mud and thought I should put it here also. At 6000 miles I decided to check my diff. fluid while installing the e-locker cover. I have a 2007 TRD. The fluid was black and had signs of metal in the oil. I replaced it with Valvoline 75-140 synthetic and hope it will help with any premature failure. I recommend ya'll do the same, as you know our diffs. are vulnerable already. Good luck...
 

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Did you change it yourself or have the dealer do it? Was it easy if you did it?
 

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Just had my rear diff and transfer case changed. The guy could not get to my front for some reason or the other. Said something about needing a certain tool. I dont know what he is talking about so i will try to do it myself this weekend. Transfer case oil looked good but the rear was pretty dirty. I have 20,000 miles.
 

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seems like you must have been doing a lot of offroading, to this point, that your diff was so dirty? or ,,fill me in. guess i need to read the owner manual see what it says to change it at.
 

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If you do any off-roading in mud or water especially if your FJ doesn't have the rear diff vent mod, you should change your diff fluid right away. The first time I changed mine the fluid was like chocolate milk. I changed it out and then did it again 3k miles later just to make sure all the dirt got out. The tranny(6MT) and transfer case was very clean and so was the front diff. As many rear diffs that are breaking on this forum I would do the first change at 5 or 6k even if you don't go off road.
 

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seems like you must have been doing a lot of offroading, to this point, that your diff was so dirty? or ,,fill me in. guess i need to read the owner manual see what it says to change it at.
I was thinking along the same lines. Sounds like the rear diff. has problems but changing the oil definitely should buy it some time. Now you got me paranoid because mine is an early production number and I've read here that the ring and pinion weren't harden as later models are. The Royal Purple gear lube is doing me no good still sitting on the shelf. :bananahump-slvrathl
 

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so this royal purple is good stuff? how much does the dif take? talked me into it. looks like it has a drain so this would be an easy change to do..
 

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owners manual does say every 15 thousand miles so it is time for me. just curious how hard to change front diff fluid myself.rear looks easy enough..surely there is a pdf on how to change front diff fluid..
 

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I changed the diff and transfer case fluids at 3000 miles. The front diff and transfer case oil looked good but the rear diff oil was already dark black with lots of small shavings and some pretty big chunks of swarf (those bits of metal you get when you drill holes).

I have a later model FJ. I'd recommend changing the rear diff oil (at least) almost immediately to flush out the junk that a lot of people seem to find in there.

I refilled with Redline... there are a lot of "how to" threads and info on oils if you do a search.
 

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is there a drain plug for the front diff to drain it and how hard is it to refill it, the rear looks easy enough.. I am planning either to take it in let them do it, but i would like to do this and save a little on it..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm glad to see such an active bunch of guys. I changed mine myself as it is very easy. A 15/16 wrench or socket is all you need. Drain and fill to the level of the check bolt. I should have clarified that the problem lies in the rear diff. only. My front diff. and transfer case look like new still. The only hard part is squirting the oil into the hole. Some oils come with a pump dispenser, most come with a lid that has a tapered tip. Just turn it sideways and squeeze. Take what is left and put in the next bottle. In the end there will be some left over, but oh well...
As far as checking the front diff. goes, it should be the same as the rear. You have to remove the skid plate though.
 

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is there a drain plug for the front diff to drain it and how hard is it to refill it, the rear looks easy enough.. I am planning either to take it in let them do it, but i would like to do this and save a little on it..
I changed mine at 1,600 km or 1,000 mi. Like others have commented, my rear axle fluid was jet black already. The drain plug magnet already had heavy fuzz buildup, no actual gear pieces though

The rear axle and transfer case are very easy. If you buy quart/litre bottles of gear oil, they already have a nipple you cut off and just refill. The front axle is a different matter

From the driver side, if you shine a flashlight at the front axle you can see the recessed hex head drain and fill plugs. It's easier if you take the rearmost factory skid plate off. If you have the Toyota aluminum optional front skidplate, you will need to remove that first, then the rear skidplate

I had one hell of a time getting my recessed hex head fill plug off. There really isn't a lot of room to work in so I managed to scrape my knuckles and ape arms a few times

I use Mobil Delvac Synthetic Gear Oil 75W-90, which is a heavy duty gear oil intended for severe operating conditions in road transport, logging, and mining operations. Got a 20 litre pail, on a per litre basis worked out to $6.50

Mobil Delvac Synthetic Gear Oil 75W-90, 80W-140

I have a pail pump, so refilling the axles is very easy for me. I can do the front axle, transfer case, and rear axle in 25 minutes

NOTE: when you do decide to change your gear oil, ALWAYS take the fill plug off first! If for any reason the fill plug is cross threaded or otherwise fubar'd, you sure don't want to find out after you've taken the drain plug out
 

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My rear Diff. took 3.3 Qts. (Manual says 3.1)
Anybody have the same experience?
I'm Curious because of the attention that seems to be given to the exact fill amount in the manual and elsewhere.
 

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I would think that if you filled it through the drain hole or at least left the drain plug out while you filled it through the fill hole, on a level surface, you'd not have to worry about overfilling. The full level should be at the bottom lip of the drain hole, so while filling once it starts to come out the drain hole, stop filling and plug everything up.

But yes, the overfilling is a consideration depending upon when you put the two plugs back in.

As stated previously, the sequence should be:

1. Top (fill) plug out-check threads and see if goes back in easily
2. Drain plug open-with container beneath.
3. With drain plug still out, fill case by fill hole or drain hole until fluid starts coming out of drain (level surface).
4. Both plugs back in and tight.

Comments on alternative methods certainly welcome.
 
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