Front Diff and Transfer Case Oil Change Howto by jspadaro

By diyauto
( 1 )

Front Diff and Transfer Case Oil Change Howto

Compliments of jspadaro @


There is an excellent rear diff howto at

I also put this tutorial on my how-to site.

Unfortunately, it didn't describe the front or transfer case, and I'm assuming I'm not the only one who is slow enough to need some pointers.

You need:

24mm socket (transfer case)

10mm hex socket (front diff)

3 quarts 75W-90 (1.6 front, 1.1 transfer case)

Oil Bucket / Coffee Can / Whatever

Hand Pump to pump the oil

PB Blaster is good for all the stuck bolts on this truck, too. Keeps you from stripping plugs. I put some PB Blaster on every plug I was removing beforehand.


So here's a shot of the oil I got:

And here's the pump. The threaded end goes in the oil bottle and screws down, the other tube sticks into the hole in your fill plug.

You need to remove your skid plate to get to the front diff. For perspective, here's where it is relative to other parts of the truck:

Here's a shot of the drain and fill plugs on the front diff. These take 10mm Hex / Allen keys. I found it best to get a 10mm hex socket from autozonesears, wherever, so I could use a breaker bar + pb blaster to crack them loose the first time. That way I can also use a torque wrench to torque them correctly.

Front diff gets 1.6 quarts. The fill plug torques to 29lb-ft and the drain torques to 48 lb-ft. The magnet on the drain plug should be cleaned just like the rear diff.

The transfer case uses a 24mm socket like the rear diff. It is easier to get to, almost directly underneath the middle of the truck. Here's a perspective shot of what you're looking for:

The transfer case gets 1.1 quarts. The fill and drain plugs both torque to 27lb-ft. I also noticed that the transfer case's drain plug doesn't seem to have a magnet on it like the front diff.

Here's a closer shot on where the plugs are:

The procedure for both is identical to the rear. Take off the fill plug first, to make sure you can get it off while you still have oil. Then, put a pan under the drain plug, and crack it open. Let the oil drain. Clean both plugs. For the front diff, make sure to get any metal shavings off of the magnet. Reinstall the drain plug and torque it down. Fill the diff using the pump until it starts coming out. Reinstall the fill plug and torque it down. Done!