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How to Change Rear Differential Fluid

Changing diff lube yourself is easy
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Re: How to Change Rear Differential Fluid

Postby guitargain » Oct 17 2019, 2:08am

esox07 wrote:Yah, really nothing "mechanical" about doing a rear diff fluid change. The dealer or a shop would probably charge you $100 plus for the service and they won't take near as good of care as you will. And who knows what kind of junk they would put in there.

Exactly. Most of what I have learned to do with my Chevrolet trucks have been learned here, I don't post a lot but I read quite a lot and appreciate all the help and knowledge one can gain by being a member here.
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Re: How to Change Rear Differential Fluid

Postby guitargain » Oct 17 2019, 10:26pm

I changed the rear differential gear oil today, along with the front diff and the transfer case. There was a good amount of shavings on the magnets. My truck has 46,000 miles. I changed the motor oil last week, so now I have AMSOIL in the motor, front and rear differentials, and the transfer case. Gonna get the transmission done sometime soon.

It took me several hours to do it all. The front and the transfer case wasn't hard, the rear a little more so. I did torque the bolts on the cover to 30 ft. lbs because I didn't trust myself to be able to "feel" it. Drove it 25 miles and checked and there's no leaks so far. reused the gasket.
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Re: How to Change Rear Differential Fluid

Postby esox07 » Oct 18 2019, 12:34am

Yep, I already did the big 4 fluid services once at about40K. I just got the transmission done again at about 110K and plan to do the diffs and Xfer case this weekend at 111K for the second time. Can someone tell me what the torque specs are on the NNBS rear end?
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Re: How to Change Rear Differential Fluid

Postby esox07 » Oct 19 2019, 3:46pm

Well, I got the rear diff done yesterday. It went well and I replaced the gasket as it would have been the second time I re-used the original one. I am glad I had one on hand too because the old one was looking kind of nasty. With all the rust up here, I was shocked to see all the rust around the outside edge of the cover and diff, right up to the gasket and it looked like even encroaching on the gasketed area. I cleaned it up with some sand paper as best I could and got the new gasket in and the cover back on torqued to the recommended 30 ft lbs. After, I drove about 8 miles round trip to town to get some gas for the mower and parked it over night with some clean cardboard under the diff. No oil spots this morning so all seems good. Now I just have to get to the front diff and transfer case...probably tomorrow as it is cool and going to rain here in a couple hours today. Oh, and I used Amsoil Severe gear this time. I am hoping to extend this out a bit further for the next change.
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Re: How to Change Rear Differential Fluid

Postby Copperhead » Oct 19 2019, 4:34pm

one advantage of the 2500... fill and drain plugs on the rear diff making things much easier. Still boggles the mind why the 1500 diff is not set up the same way.
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Re: How to Change Rear Differential Fluid

Postby esox07 » Oct 19 2019, 6:20pm

Yah, it would make it a lot easier. But still nice to get the cap off and wipe thing out. There is a magnet on the cover that has a good amount of the silver goop on it when you first pull it off. Nice to get a look and see how things look with the gears as well. But, if I had a drain plug, I would probably just do more often changes.
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Re: How to Change Rear Differential Fluid

Postby EKinMN [OP] » Nov 02 2019, 12:25pm

Holy Cow! Just realized it's been 8.5 years since I wrote this Hot To. Got 115k on this truck now, so I need to get this done again! :-)
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Re: How to Change Rear Differential Fluid

Postby esox07 » Nov 02 2019, 3:49pm

I did mine last weekend and I had 113K on mine. I last did it at 40K. Thanks for the How TO.
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Re: How to Change Rear Differential Fluid

Postby donkeyfarmer » Nov 03 2019, 12:21am

I just spent parts of today ready ALL 24 pages of this how-to thread!

I just got a 2006 Silverado 1500 LS 4dr-Extended Cab w/short bed & the 4.8L motor, about two weeks ago. The truck seems to be working pretty well for its over 264,000 miles, but since the only recent maintenance it's had that I know about was an oil and filter change a few months before I bought it, I'm going to gradually take care of other maintenance that should have been done, but might have been missed.

Step one was replacing the spark plugs and plug wires. Step two will be replacing the other lubricants, other than the engine oil recently done.

According to the user manual, non-HD 1500s of 2006 need different fluids for the front and the rear differentials--the Front getting SAE 80W90 Axle lube and the Rear getting SAE 75W90. As has been mentioned in earlier posts 80W90 is mainly available as conventional lube, but the 75W90 has full-synthetic and synthetic blend alternatives. The user manual mainly addresses topping off these fluids and says nothing about capacities for these differentials. It was good to read earlier here that the rear might take about 2 1/2 quarts and the front 2, though I'm not sure that estimate is accurate for my model.

And while the manual agrees with some posters here that my transfer case and my transmission both use ATF/automatic tranny fluid, it says my manual transfer case should get DEXRON-III with an "H" specification (or equivalent), and my automatic transmission should get DEXRON-VI (or equivalent).

So while some Silverado 4x4 owners might get by with the same fluid in both differentials and one more fluid in the tranny and the transfer case, meaning a total of 2 kinds of fluid, I have to pick out and buy 4 different kinds. Not a big problem though.

Next I'm going to look for those elusive drain plugs on the differentials and the transfer case. Wherever I find them will be the next steps in this phase of maintenance.

Much thanks to the original poster and to all those who have shared other info from their experience and knowledge!
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Re: How to Change Rear Differential Fluid

Postby esox07 » Nov 03 2019, 12:48am

Dex VI should be backward compatible with all the other Dexron ATF's. I used 75W90 in both front and rear diffs on my truck. 113K and I just did my second change and all is good.

You should be able to use just the 75W90 and the Dex VI for everything. Don't forget the engine coolant too.
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