Chrysler Full-Size Vans 1967-1988 Repair Guide

Drive Axle



See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Common drive axle filler plugs

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the pressed-in rubber plug to check the drive axle fluid level by prying it out ...

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: ... and pulling it free of the drive axle cover

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Insert your finger into the filler hole and confirm that the fluid is 1/2 in. below the filler hole

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: If the level is more than 1/2 in. below the filler hole, add gear oil to correct the level

To check the axle lubricant level, remove the axle filler plug with the van level.

1976-80 93/4" and 101/2" axles (300 series) have a pressed in rubber filler plug instead of the usual screw in plug.

You can use a finger for a dipstick, being careful of sharp threads, and add lubricant with a suction gun. The lubricant level should be 1 / 2 " below the filler plug hole on 8 1 / 4 ", 8 3 / 8 ", 8 3 / 4 " axles, and at the bottom of the filler plug hole on all the rest. Multipurpose gear lubricant meeting API GL-5 requirements or MOPAR hypoid lubricant can be used in conventional differential axles. Limited slip units, except in the 9 3 / 4 " and 10 1 / 2 " axles, must use MOPAR hypoid lubricant. A MOPAR friction modifier additive is available to cure chatter and noise in these units.

9 3 / 4 " and 10 1 / 2 " limited slip units must use MOPAR Sure-Grip lubricant. Gear lubricant viscosity depends on the anticipated temperatures: SAE 140 for above 90°F, SAE 90 for normal conditions (-10°F to 90°F), and SAE 80 for below -10°F. The factory fill is normally SAE 90. Multiviscosity lubricants may be used. Refer to the Rear Axle Identification Chart to find out which axle you have.


Axles on Dodge and Plymouth vans are not equipped with drain plugs. The old lubricant must be drained by removing the differential housing cover.

Most 1972 and later models no longer use a paper gasket under the rear axle cover. Instead of the paper gasket, a bead of RTV silicone sealant is now used in production. The sealant is available for service. The sealer should be applied as follows:

  1. Scrape away any remains of the paper gasket.
  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 " bead of sealant to the clean, dry cover flange. Apply the bead in a continuous bead 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 and 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.