How often to change transfer case/diffs - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
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99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 02-21-2011, 10:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question How often to change transfer case/diffs

How often should I change the transfer case fluid in my truck? I don't drive it a whole lot, and rarely in 4wd. How often for the front and rear differentials? I hear 15,000 on the diffs with 75-140 gear oil, but don't know what kind. How about the transfer case?
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ford says you never have to change the rear differential fluid, but I don't feel comfortable with that. Every 15K would probably be too soon. My opinion is that you should change it anytime water infiltration is a possibility (4 wheeling through streams, floods) and probably every 100K. I think it would be wise to check it every 15K and keep it topped off, but I would never change mine that often.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i know the front is something like 90 weight. ive never changed it cuz its hardly used. i think the rear is something like every 50,000 or so. ford says its lifetime unless you get water into the rear diff. i changed mine for piece of mind. the correct oil it 75-140 synthetic. make sure you add a bottle of additive if the oil doesnt already have it. i think the mobile one already has it. transfer case just used the same ATF fluid you use its real easy to do.
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38R with Turbo Master
238/80% hybrids
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5.5 inch lift with blocks and shackle drops
DIESELSITE HEAVYDUTY BOOTS ALL AROUND.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't use my 4wd much either. I change the fluid when I change my trans fluid, which is about every 30,000 miles. The fluid in the transfer case is always uglier than the transmission fluid.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:44 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Front axle
Motorcraft SAE
75W-90
Premium 4x4
Front Axle
Lubricant
F-250/350
(Dana 50 axle)
1.8L (3.8 pints)
F-350/450/550
(Dana 60 axle)
2.7L (5.8 pints)


Rear axle
Motorcraft SAE
75W-140
Synthetic Rear
Axle Lubricant
F-250 /350
(10.50 inch
axle)
3.3L (6.9 pints)
F-350 DRW
(DANA 80)
4.0L (8.5 pints)


Transfer case
fluid
Motorcraft
MERCON ATF
4x4 vehicles 1.9L (2.0
quarts)

Here are your fluid specifications for front axle, rear axle, and transfer case. Ford says to change them whenever they are submerged. If you want to change them more often than that, then it's up to you how often to change.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This one of those "got ya" things from Ford. Their manual, at least for my 02, states that it is not necessary to even check the rear differential lube. Somewhere else I remember that they recommend changing it seems like every 75 or 100K. Here is the got ya. Ring and pinion manufactures, the same ones that supply parts for the 10.5 Sterling on my truck recommend changing the lube after a rebuild with new ring and pinion after 500 miles, yet Ford in its wisdom recommends that you don't even check it from brand new to 75K. Could it be that almost any gear box will last the 3/36 warranty period and they don't want you to even see that there are break in bits in there or even worse, well it could be a warranty management strategy. The rear differential in my 02 went bad at 66K. I had to go out of the country for awhile so I let the dealership rebuild it, that lasted 12K, just out of their warranty on time. When I opened it up it was a mess, the dealership had beat the Assembly with a hammer from the marks, broken the carrier bearing shims and didn't change all the parts they charged me for a year ago. So, I rebuilt it myself at 88K and 100K miles later, still going good with no shavings in the lube last time I serviced it.

Through this learning process I have come to a couple of conclusions, Ford dealerships cant'/don't rebuild differentials to well, they just want to slap them together to get the units out of the shop fast. They don't seem to be willing not make the 1-3 time assemblies of the unit to get the ring and pinion lash and engagement adjusted and carrier bearing shims right then either use a case spreader and get the bearing preload to tight or beat the assembly in and trash it.

This rebuild is one that most people can do if they have the tools, nothing irrevocable, if you mess it up just start over. It is a patience project. It is not like busting a rod or piston with hydrolock while attempting a simple injector change.

I will from now on on any new vehicle I buy change the initial rear end lube at 2500 miles to get the break in bits out, even if it uses the expensive synthetic lube. Thereafter I will change the lube every 25K.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I do my T-case once a year. Which is over kill. But it piece of mind. The front and rear get service every 50K. Fords say other. I say service it to make it last longer.
The front could probably go 100K before service. The front is always very clean when changed. The rear is always nice a dark. Which is expected considering it carries the most load. And Tcase fluid is the same as what in the tranny.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for the feedback! I have 25k on my rear diff and transfer case after change, and 8k on the front. Probably change the rear diff within the next 4 or 5k. How about the transmission fluid. Should I be concerned with break-in. I have about 5k on a rebuild.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I would think that you would be OK on the fluid in your rebuilt transmission. Automatic correct? If so it has a media filter where the differentials discussed do not. However, if you wanted to you could sample the ATF fluid at some point and use that as a guide. I use a synthetic fluid that is pretty expensive to change out. I wouldn't want to do that unnecessarily but for regular ATF I wouldn't hesitate to flush, change the filter element and refill because it is comparitvly cheap. Also easy to do. 106
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