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Transfer case and rear differential


Havin' Fun

Question

I have a 97 F-150 and was told that I could easily change both of the fluids in these. I have not found it so easy. Could someone let me know what I need to do on the 97 F 150 to change these ?

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Hammer,

FOr the rear diff., you'll most likely have to remove all of the bolts around the circumferance of the rear cover, let all the oil drain out making sure you use a rag to drag out any material that may be laying on the bottom of the diff., clean the mating surface with a razor blade to get all the old gasket material off, install a new gasket with some RTV, and re-install the cover making sure you DON'T over-tighten the bolts. YOu may have to get torque specs from a dealership. Then just remove the fill plug and pump in new rear axle grease ( type and weight also obtained from a dealer) until it dribbles out of the fill hole. Take for a short test drive and re-check the level to ensure that it remains full. When full, the level should be right at the bottom of the fill plug hole, unless the dealer specifies otherwise.

The T-case. My guess is that there is 2 plugs on it, most likely on the back side. The one on top is the fill plug. The one on the bottom is the drain plug. Remove both plugs and let all of the fluid drain out. Re-install the lower plug. Most of the newer vehicles have ATF (automatic trans. fluid) as t-case lube. Verify this with ford dealer. If so, purchase what you need and re-fill until it dribbles out the upper plug hole and re-install the fill plug.

This vehicle is newer than anything I have but the processes should be similar.

Good luck!

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The rear differential is not easy, unless you have a lift like all the mechanics have.

The Transfer case is fairly simple. Rodbuilder summed it up quite well.

I have '97 F-150 too and those items are on my maintanance list. But, for some reason I thought a dealer told me the rear differential is lifetime, no maintanance required unless it leaks and/or needs repair???

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Differentials can be a messy job, for sure. I prefer to have a garage do it. Like Chuck said, the job is much easier on a lift.

I have a Dodge 2001 Ram, and it is supposed to have the lifetime fluid in the front and rear diffs. I noticed that after 100 miles or so, the rear diff was VERY hot to the touch. I had the fluid changed out to a Amsoil synthetic fluid, and they run much cooler now. The old fluid was probably ok, but I like the peace of mind of some fresh stuff in the pumpkins.

Another word on the rear diffs. Limited slip units usually will need some type of friction modifier in the lube to allow for proper operation.

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