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Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby Hammerballs » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:47 pm

I have 9k on my 2016 Laramie PW that I purchased new in December. I have read that it would be good to do an initial fluid change in the diffs now that they have had some time to wear in. I also have some FilterMags to install to hopefully prevent any locker issues. So far I haven't had any issues locking them up.

So I was going to go with AMSOIL since that seems to be the gold standard. Their site says 4.6 pints front and 8.5 pints rear. Figured I'd buy 7 quarts (14 pints). Is that correct for those who have changed theirs? Next, spec is 75W-90. I live in southern AZ and it is between 100*F-115*F here these days. Rarely gets down to freezing in winter. I read some guys run the 75W-110 or even 75W-140 if they are really working the truck hard towing. The most I might tow is the occasional 2500lb camping trailer but wondered if the 75W-110/140 would be of any benefit considering my hot ambient operating temps? Is there a rear diff cover that would be worth changing to keeping in mind I want to eventually switch to the Thuren rear track bar?

Finally, the gaskets on both front and rear are reusable correct?

This is just a rookie question. How do I check that I have filled the diff to the correct level? I know I check via the fill hole. Do you just use your finger to somehow determine you are 1/4in below the fill hole?

Thanks for the help guys.

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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby Colibri » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:14 pm

In Texas here I run the amsoil severe gear 110 up front and 140 back, it works well for our climate. Also run filtermags f+r and yes the gaskets are reuseable. I just fill to the bottom of the plug hole and call it good. Never had trouble.
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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby flattire » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:25 pm

This would be a good time to clean the locker magnets.

I'm not sure if they still have the lube "fitting" for the double cardon joint. If it is still used find it....mark it....and lube it.
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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby Hammerballs » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:56 pm

Front axle fitting was lubed at 8k with the second oil change and tire rotation. How often should it be lubed?

Locker magnets will definitely be cleaned while I am in there. I will also be throwing on the Carli front diff guard while I have the bolts out.

If I'm not towing much or often would the 75W-110 be worth it just because of our heat? The 75W-140 might just be overkill for me.

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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby RustyPW » Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:35 pm

I grease my front driveshaft at every oil change. The 75w-110 would be good for you since you're not towing heavy and often.
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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby DamageWagon » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:21 pm

Amsoil has an article on gear oil weights and the issues with heavy gear oils versus the perceived benefits. Might be worth a read if you can find it. I run 75W-90 amsoil severe gear and FilterMags but I'm not in a hot climate.
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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby MikeKey » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:38 am

DamageWagon wrote:Amsoil has an article on gear oil weights and the issues with heavy gear oils versus the perceived benefits. Might be worth a read if you can find it. I run 75W-90 amsoil severe gear and FilterMags but I'm not in a hot climate.


Yeah, there is no need to run those heavy weights up front or out back if you aren't towing hard regularly. I run the standard up front and only 110 out back. Becuase I tow.
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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby Rodeoflyer » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:42 am

When I initially changed mine, I filled it up to the fill hole. Both rear axle seals and the front pinion seal started to 'weep' within a few days. Once I drained it to about 1/2'' below the fill hole they dried up. I'd be careful about overfilling the diffs.
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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby dogcar3 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:30 am

To get the diffs correctly filled I use an allen wrench. Just stick the short end in and down in the fill hole. Once you start to see fluid on the end you are good (assuming the correct size wrench, usually want to fill to about a half inch of the fill hole).
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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby Colibri » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:10 am

Something to remember, the rear wheel hubs use the same fluid as the differential. To do a thorough job you'll need to jack up one side of the axle to let the hub drain and then do the same to the other side. Then when you're refilling, fill then jack up one side to fill the hub, let it down and check the level, add if needed then do the other side and give a final check/fill once it's back down. Oil bath bearings can last a very long time if you include them in your maintenance routine.

And yes, the 90 or 110 ought to do you just fine if you're not towing heavy. I'm only using the 140 out back because my 5.13's are hard on lower viscosity fluids when towing.
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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby DamageWagon » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:23 am

I don't know if the new trucks have the same issue, but I've heard of the front axle pinion bearings frying due to lack of lube because of the caster angle. The pinion bearings sit higher in the axle and can sit above the oil level, so will only get splash oiling, which isn't the best since Briggs & Stratton didn't design it. I point my truck slightly uphill on the driveway to get just a little extra fluid in each diff. One of my front axle seals started leaking recently but I believe there from nicking the deal during a ball joint install. Just noticed it about 3 months after that install.
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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby Hammerballs » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:34 pm

I found the AMSOIL paper. I'll give it a read. This is going to be more work than I anticipated. I have to work out on my street because my driveway is pretty steep and I can't get the truck in the garage.

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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby DamageWagon » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:51 pm

Just wrap yourself in paper towels and kitty litter. Gear oil is polar, and you are its magnet.
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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby nts007 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:54 pm

I run amsoil 75-140 in all the trucks. Rarely have metal filings on magnets. If anything it's a thin film of metal. I'll swear by it. And these trucks have done -50 to +100°
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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby Hammerballs » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:08 am

Overall it seems like the regular 100*+ temps here in AZ is not enough reason to run the 75W-110 it sounds like. For the foreseeable future the heaviest load I think I will tow is about 3,000lbs. In that case I will be towing in the mountains though so lower temps but steeper grades. After reading the study I found from AMSOIL I will be using their Severe Gear oil. Not sure if the paper I found was the one DamageWagon was referring to.

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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby Hammerballs » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:32 pm

I went for it. Have AMSOIL 75W-90 for the front and 75W-110 coming for the rear. After some reading and learning that basically the spec was split to a narrower window for 75W-90 when 75W-110 became a thing. Basically 75W-110 is just the upper half of what was 75W-90 previously. I just decided that with our temps here in AZ, that I may be towing a little more often even though a pretty light load, and my mountain biking and dirt biking taking me up mountains frequently, the slightly heavier weight wouldn't be horrible.

I also have a Carli front diff guard and Purple Cranium rear diff guard coming while I have the bolts out.

Anymore tips for a rookie to make the fluid swap go as smoothly as possible? What are the torque specs on the cover bolts and fill plug?

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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby JD 500 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:31 pm

Funny, I asked the all the same questions and installed all the same parts.
Here was my post --> http://forum.powerwagonregistry.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4614

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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby Hammerballs » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:26 pm

First mod in the books. Only got the front done because I'm still waiting for my Purple Cranium rear guard and it started raining anyway.

Biggest issue: I thought I might make things easier on myself and sprung for the gear oil pump from AMSOIL to just pump the new oil in out of the bottles. Was working great....until the hose blew off the pump mid pump and I squirted myself in the face with half a pump of gear oil! Lol! WTF! :-P Then I realized I didn't even need the hose. The fill hole was a perfect height just to stick the nozzle end of the pump in the hole and start pumping. No hose necessary. Should have considering my options before I started.

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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby Rodeoflyer » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:04 pm

Yeah its never fun. Just get an extension cheap from AutoZone. The pumps are more trouble than they are worth. As long as you can get the container above the hole use gravity and squeeze.

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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby Hammerballs » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:21 pm

Took a look at the rear. I see a bracket in the upper left that looks like possibly two studs instead of bolts? Also another wire harness holder on the upper right with a retainer washer clip thing. Do I just try to carefully work that off so I can reuse it?

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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby Rodeoflyer » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:39 pm

Yes, bracket and diff wiring.

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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby jlilnc14 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:14 pm

Hammerballs wrote:First mod in the books. Only got the front done because I'm still waiting for my Purple Cranium rear guard and it started raining anyway.

Biggest issue: I thought I might make things easier on myself and sprung for the gear oil pump from AMSOIL to just pump the new oil in out of the bottles. Was working great....until the hose blew off the pump mid pump and I squirted myself in the face with half a pump of gear oil! Lol! WTF! :-P Then I realized I didn't even need the hose. The fill hole was a perfect height just to stick the nozzle end of the pump in the hole and start pumping. No hose necessary. Should have considering my options before I started.

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It says on Carli's website that "Power Wagons may require modification to the Diff Guard or Lower Diff Housing" Was modification required for you?
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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby Hammerballs » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:29 pm

jlilnc14 wrote:
Hammerballs wrote:First mod in the books. Only got the front done because I'm still waiting for my Purple Cranium rear guard and it started raining anyway.

Biggest issue: I thought I might make things easier on myself and sprung for the gear oil pump from AMSOIL to just pump the new oil in out of the bottles. Was working great....until the hose blew off the pump mid pump and I squirted myself in the face with half a pump of gear oil! Lol! WTF! :-P Then I realized I didn't even need the hose. The fill hole was a perfect height just to stick the nozzle end of the pump in the hole and start pumping. No hose necessary. Should have considering my options before I started.

Image


It says on Carli's website that "Power Wagons may require modification to the Diff Guard or Lower Diff Housing" Was modification required for you?
I see no need for modifications. Everything fits very cleanly. Not sure what they could be referring to.

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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby Hammerballs » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:30 pm

I don't see any cause for modifications. It fit very cleanly. Appears to have plenty of clearance as far as I can tell.

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Re: Diff fluid change? Rookie help.

Postby jlilnc14 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:02 am

Hammerballs wrote:I don't see any cause for modifications. It fit very cleanly. Appears to have plenty of clearance as far as I can tell.

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Awesome, thanks.
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