Chrysler Full-Size Trucks 1997-2000 Repair Guide

Drive Axle (Rear and/or Front)



The axle and differential fluid must be changed whenever the axle has been submerged in water. Immediately replace fluid to avoid axle and differential damage.

Multipurpose hypoid gear lubricant meeting API GL-5 requirements and having a viscosity rating of 80W-90 can be used in conventional differential axles. Trak-Lok® and Power-Lok® limited slip units must use a friction modifier. A Mopar® friction modifier additive is available to cure chatter and noise in these units. For more information on rear axle identification, please refer to the serial number identification information earlier in this section.

Friction modifiers need to be added whenever the differentials are serviced. Add the friction modifiers first, and then continue to fill the differential to the proper level with multipurpose hypoid gear lubricant


The skid plate on some vehicles must be removed to service the front differential.

To check the axle lubricant level, remove the axle filler plug with the truck parked on a level surface. This may be a rubber plug or threaded plug depending on model.

The fill plug on some axles may be the rubber plug type. Be careful not to damage the plug when removing or installing it-9 1 / 4 inch rear

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Fig. Check the front differential also whenever the rear differential is being serviced. The skid plate on some vehicles must be removed

You can use a finger for a dipstick, being careful of sharp threads. If necessary, add lubricant. Gear oil can be purchased in plastic quart bottles with a handy spout. Just squeeze to add the lubricant. The lubricant level should be just below the bottom of the filler plug hole.

Lubricant level should be just below the bottom of the filler plug hole


Axles on vehicles covered by this guide are not equipped with drain plugs. Remove the differential housing cover to drain the old lubricant (although a suction device can be used effectively). Use a bead of RTV silicone sealant as a gasket when replacing the cover.

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Fig. Removing the differential cover bolts

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Fig. Use a pry bar to break the cover loose

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Fig. Apply sealant as shown when replacing the axle cover

Sealant should be applied as follows:

  1. Scrape away any remains of the paper gasket or old traces of sealant, as applicable.
  3. Clean the cover surface with mineral spirits. Any axle lubricant on the cover or axle housing will prevent the sealant from taking.
  5. Apply a 1 / 16 - 3 / 32 in. (1.6-2.4mm) bead of sealant to the clean and dry cover flange. Apply the bead continuously along the bolt circle of the cover, looping inside the bolt holes as shown.
  7. Allow the sealant to air dry.
  9. Clean the carrier gasket flange (if solvent is used, allow it to air dry). Install the cover. If, for any reason, the cover is not installed within 20 minutes of applying the sealant, remove the sealant and start over.