Ford Ranger/Bronco II 1983-1990 Repair Guide

Transfer Case



Use Dexron®II automatic transmission fluid when refilling or adding fluid to all transfer cases except the Borg-Warner model 13-59, which is a run-dry unit and contains no fluid.


Position the vehicle on level ground. Remove the transfer case fill plug (the upper plug) located on the rear of the transfer case. The fluid level should be up to the fill hole. If lubricant doesn't run out when the plug is removed, add lubricant until it does run out and then replace the fill plug.


The manufacturer recommends that the transfer case fluid should be changed every 60,000 miles (96,000km). However, if the truck is driven in deep water (as high as the transfer case housing) it is a good idea to replace the fluid. Little harm can come from a fluid change when you have just purchased a used vehicle, especially since the condition of the transfer case fluid is usually not known.

If the fluid is to be drained, it is a good idea to warm the fluid first so it will flow better. This can be accomplished by 15-20 miles of highway driving. Fluid which is warmed to normal operating temperature will flow faster, drain more completely and remove more contaminants from the housing.

  1. Drive the vehicle to assure the fluid is at normal operating temperature.
  3. Raise and support the vehicle securely on jackstands. Remember that the vehicle must be supported level (usually at four points) so the proper amount of fluid can be added.
  5. Place a drain pan under the transfer case housing, below the drain plug. Remember that the fluid will likely flow with some force at first (arcing outward from the transmission), and will not just drip straight downward into the pan. Position the drain pan accordingly and move it more directly beneath the drain plug as the flow slows to a trickle.

To insure that the fill plug is not frozen or rusted in place, remove it from the transfer case BEFORE removing the drain plug. It would be unfortunate to drain all of your transfer case fluid and then realize that the fill plug is stripped or frozen in place.

  1. Remove the fill plug, then the drain plug and allow the transfer case fluid to drain out.

The transfer case drain plug is usually a square receiver which is designed to accept a3/8in. driver such as a ratchet or extension.

  1. Once the transfer case has drained sufficiently, install the drain plug until secure.
  3. Fill the transfer case to the proper level with the required fluid.
  5. Reinstall the filler plug once you are finished.
  7. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.