Suzuki Samurai/Sidekick/Tracker 1986-1998 Repair Guide

Manual Transmission

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



See Figure 1

The manufacturer recommends that manual transmissions covered by this guide may use SAE 75W-85, 75W-90 or 80W-90 hypoid gear (depending on the temperature range until the next oil change) oil meeting or exceeding API grade GL-4 for lubrication. DO NOT use any other fluids for lubrication. Use of improper fluids could lead to leaks or transmission damage.



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Fig. Fig. 1: When adding hypoid gear oil to your manual transmission, choose the viscosity based upon the temperature range expected until the next oil change

LEVEL CHECK



The fluid level should be checked every 7 1 / 2 months or 7500 miles (12,000 km), and replaced every 22 1 / 2 months or 22,500 miles (36,000 km), whichever comes first.

Samurai Models

See Figure 2

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface, turn the engine OFF , FIRMLY apply the parking brake and block the drive wheels.
  2.  

Ground clearance may make access to the transmission filler plug impossible without raising and supporting the vehicle, BUT, if this is done, the car MUST be supported at four corners and level. If only the front or rear is supported, an improper fluid level will be indicated. If you are going to place the vehicle on four jackstands, this might be the perfect opportunity to rotate the tires as well.

  1. Remove the oil level plug from the side of the transmission case.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Filler, level and drain plug locations on the manual transmission used on Samurai models

  1. When the level plug is removed a slight amount of fluid should dribble out of the hole. If no fluid dribbles out of the hole, insert your finger in the level hole and feel for the fluid level; the fluid level should be even with the bottom of the hole.
  2.  
  3. If additional fluid is necessary, remove the filler hole and add new, clean hypoid gear oil through the filler hole using a siphon pump or squeeze bottle until the fluid level is even with the bottom of the level hole.
  4.  
  5. When you are finished, carefully install the filler and level plugs. Tighten the filler plug to 177-265 inch lbs. (20-30 Nm), and tighten the level plug to 88-142 inch lbs. (10-16 Nm). DO NOT overtighten the plug(s) and damage the housing.
  6.  

Except Samurai Models

See Figures 3 and 4

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface, turn the engine OFF , FIRMLY apply the parking brake and block the drive wheels.
  2.  

Ground clearance may make access to the transmission filler plug impossible without raising and supporting the vehicle, BUT, if this is done, the car MUST be supported at four corners and level. If only the front or rear is supported, an improper fluid level will be indicated. If you are going to place the vehicle on four jackstands, this might be the perfect opportunity to rotate the tires as well.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: To inspect transmission fluid level, remove the fill plug with a 3/8 in. drive extension

  1. Remove the oil filler plug from the side of the transmission case.
  2.  
  3. When the filler plug is removed a slight amount of fluid should dribble out of the hole. If no fluid dribbles out of the hole, insert your finger in the hole and feel for the fluid level; the fluid level should be even with the bottom of the hole.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: Filler/level and drain plug locations on Sidekick, Tracker, Sport and X-90 manual transmissions

  1. If additional fluid is necessary, add it through the filler hole using a siphon pump or squeeze bottle.
  2.  
  3. When you are finished, carefully install and tighten the plug to 11-241 inch lbs. (18-27 Nm). DO NOT overtighten the plug and damage the housing.
  4.  

DRAIN & REFILL



See Figures 5 through 9

Under normal conditions, the manufacturer indicates that the manual transmission fluid should be changed at the 7,500 mile (12,000 km) or 7.5 month mark, and every 22,500 miles (36,000 km) or 22.5 months after the initial fluid change. However, if the vehicle is driven under severe conditions (such as towing a trailer; repeated short trips; driving on rough, dusty, salted and/or muddy roads; or driving in extremely cold weather), it is recommended to replace the fluid every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) or 15 months after the initial fluid change at the 7,500 mile (12,000 km) or 7.5 month mark. Little harm can come from a fluid change when you have just purchased a used vehicle, especially since the condition of the transmission 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.
  2.  
  3. If additional under-vehicle clearance is needed, raise and support the vehicle securely on jackstands. Remember that the vehicle must be supported level (at four points) so the proper amount of fluid can be added.
  4.  
  5. Crawl under the vehicle with a large drain pan, containers of new hypoid gear oil, and some clean shop rags.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: To drain the manual transmission, first remove the fill plug (to ensure that it is not frozen in place) ...



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Fig. Fig. 6: ... then loosen the drain plug with a breaker bar-unthread the plug by hand ...



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Fig. Fig. 7: ... and withdraw the plug and your hand quickly to avoid the hot transmission oil

  1. Situate the drain pan under the transmission housing, below the drain plug. Remember that with drain plugs which are mounted on the side of the transmission case, 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. If the transmission in your vehicle is equipped with a side-mounted drain plug, position the drain pan accordingly and move it more directly beneath the drain plug as the flow slows to a trickle.
  2.  

To ensure that the fill plug is not frozen or rusted in place, remove it from the transmission BEFORE removing the drain plug. It would be unfortunate to drain all of your transmission 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 transmission fluid to drain out.
  2.  

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

  1. Once the transmission fluids stops draining from the case, clean the drain hole and drain plug of all dirt and debris. Install and tighten the drain plug to 200 inch lbs. (23 Nm).
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Prior to reinstalling the drain plug, be sure to clean the plug and drain hole of all dirt and debris (arrow)



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Fig. Fig. 9: After installing the drain plug, use a pump to fill the transmission with the proper lubricant

  1. On Samurai models, remove the small level plug.
  2.  
  3. Fill the transmission until the fluid level is at the bottom edge of the filler hole (Sidekick, Tracker, X-90 and Sidekick Sport models) or level hole (Samurai models) with SAE 75W-90 hypoid gear oil.
  4.  
  5. Reinstall the filler and level (if equipped) plug once you are finished. Tighten the filler plug to 11-241 inch lbs. (18-27 Nm) on Sidekick, Tracker, X-90 and Sidekick Sport models, or to 177-265 inch lbs. (20-30 Nm) for Samurai models. On Samurai models, tighten the level plug to 88-142 inch lbs. (10-16 Nm). DO NOT overtighten the plug(s) and damage the housing.
  6.  
  7. If necessary, remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
  8.  

 
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