See Figure 1
Only 4-wheel drive models are equipped with transfer cases.
The manufacturer recommends that transfer cases 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 transfer case damage.
See Figures 2 and 3
The fluid level should be checked every 7.5 months or 7500 miles (12,000 km), and replaced every 22.5 months or 22,500 miles (36,000 km), whichever comes first.
- Park the vehicle on a level surface, turn the engine OFF , FIRMLY apply the parking brake and block the drive wheels.
Ground clearance may make access to the transfer case filler plug impossible without raising and supporting the vehicle, BUT, if this is done, the vehicle 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.
- Remove the level/filler plug from the side of the transfer case.
- When the level/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, which should be even with the bottom of the hole.
- If additional fluid is necessary, add it through the level/filler hole using a siphon pump or squeeze bottle.
- When you are finished, carefully install and tighten the plug to 27-39 ft. lbs. (37-53 Nm) for Samurai models, or to 162-241 inch lbs. (18-27 Nm) for Sidekick, Tracker, Sidekick Sport and X-90 models. DO NOT overtighten the plug and damage the housing.
DRAIN & REFILL
See Figures 5 through 8
Under normal conditions, the manufacturer indicates that the transfer case fluid should be changed at the 7,500 mile (12,000 km) or 7 1 / 2 month mark, and every 22,500 miles (36,000 km) or 22 1 / 2 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 7,500 miles (12,000 km) or 7 1 / 2 months. 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.
- Drive the vehicle to assure the fluid is at normal operating temperature.
- 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.
The Sidekick, Sidekick Sport, Tracker and X-90 transfer case plugs are usually square receiver (pipe) plugs, which are designed to accept a3/8in. driver such as a ratchet or extension.
- Crawl under the vehicle with a large drain pan, containers of new hypoid gear oil, some clean shop rags and the applicable tools (the Sidekick, Sidekick Sport, Tracker and X-90 transfer cases use 3 / 8 in. female pipe plugs, and the Samurai transfer case uses large hex-head plugs).
- Position the drain pan under the transfer case housing, below the drain plug. Remember that with drain plugs which are mounted on the side of the transfer case, the fluid will likely flow with some force at first (arcing outward from the transfer case), and will not just drip straight downward into the pan. If the transfer case 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.
To ensure 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 gear oil and then realize that the fill plug is stripped or frozen in place.
- Remove the fill plug, then the drain plug and allow the gear oil to drain out.
- Once the fluid stops draining from the case, install and tighten the drain plug to 27-39 ft. lbs. (37-53 Nm) for Samurai models, or to 162-241 inch lbs. (18-27 Nm) for Sidekick, Tracker, Sidekick Sport and X-90 models.
- Fill the transmission until the fluid level is at the bottom edge of the level/filler hole with the appropriate hypoid gear oil.
- Reinstall the level/filler plug once you are finished. Tighten the filler plug to 27-39 ft. lbs. (37-53 Nm) for Samurai models, or to 162-241 inch lbs. (18-27 Nm) for Sidekick, Tracker, Sidekick Sport and X-90 models. DO NOT overtighten the plug(s) and damage the housing.
- If necessary, remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.