GM Cutlass RWD 1970-1987 Repair Guide

Drive Axle

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



Most gear oils come in a plastic squeeze bottle with a nozzle end, which makes adding lubricant simple. You can also use a common turkey baster for this job. Use only standard GL-5 hypoid-type gear oil - SAE 80W or SAE 80W/90.

On all models equipped with a posi-traction/limited slip differential, GM recommends that you use only special GM lubricant available at your local , Oldsmobile parts department. Also, the standard GL-5 fluid with a limited slip additive can be used.

LEVEL CHECK

See Figures 1 and 2

The oil in the differential should be checked at least every 7500 miles (12,067.5 km).

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface and remove the filler plug from the front side of the differential.
  2.  
  3. If the oil begins to trickle out of the hole when the plug is removed, the differential is full. If no lubricant trickles out, carefully insert your finger (watch out for sharp threads) into the hole and check that the oil is up to the bottom edge of the filler hole.
  4.  
  5. If not, add oil through the hole until the level is at the edge of the hole. Torque the fill plug to 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm).
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the filler plug from the front side of the differential



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Fig. Fig. 2: Add oil through the hole until the level is at the edge of the hole

DRAIN & REFILL



See Figures 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

There is no recommended change interval for the rear axle lubricant, but it is always a good idea to change the lube if you have purchased the vehicle used or if it has been driven in water high enough to reach the axle.

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface and set the parking brake.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear axle filler plug on the front side of the differential housing.
  4.  
  5. Place a large drain pan underneath the rear axle.
  6.  
  7. Unscrew the retaining bolts and remove the rear axle cover. The axle lubricant will now be able to drain into the container.
  8.  
  9. Clean all gasket mating surfaces. Using a new cover gasket and sealant, install the axle cover. Tighten the retaining bolts in a crisscross pattern to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Refill the axle with the proper quantity of SAE 80W, SAE 80W-90 GL-5 or limited slip gear lubricant. Replace the filler plug and tighten 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm). Take the vehicle for a short ride and check for any leaks around the plug or rear cover.
  12.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Use a wire brush to remove any loose dirt



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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the retaining bolts from the cover



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Fig. Fig. 5: Gently pry the cover open and allow the fluid to drain into a pan



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Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the cover



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Fig. Fig. 7: Clean the gasket surfaces before installing the new gasket and the cover

 
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