Toyota Camry 1983-1996 Repair Guide

Transfer Case

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FLUID RECOMMENDATIONS



All models use multipurpose gear oil API GL-5; SAE 75W-90 or 80W-90.

LEVEL CHECK



The oil in the transfer case should be checked at least every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) and replaced every 25,000-30,000 miles (40,000-48,000 km), even more frequently if driven in deep water or mud.

Manual Transaxle

See Figures 1 and 2

  1. With the car parked on a level surface, remove the filler plug from the front of the transaxle housing. The plug should use a 24mm hex head wrench.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Place your finger inside the fill hole to inspect the level of the fluid in the transfer case

  1. If the lubricant begins to trickle out of the hole, there is enough. Otherwise, carefully insert your finger (watch out for sharp threads!) and check to see if the oil is up to the edge of the hole.
  2.  
  3. If not, add oil through the hole until the level is at the edge of the hole. Most gear lubricants come in a plastic squeeze bottle with a nozzle; making additions simple. You can also use a common everyday kitchen baster.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Add fluid through the filler hole of the manual transaxle transfer case

  1. Replace the filler plug and tighten it to 36 ft. lbs. (49 Nm). Run the engine and check for leaks.
  2.  

Automatic Transaxle

See Figure 3

  1. Park the car on a level surface with the engine idling. Shift the transmission into P and set the parking brake.
  2.  
  3. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean and reinsert if firmly. Be sure that it has been pushed all the way in. Remove the dipstick and check the fluid level while holding it horizontally. All models have a LOW and a HIGH notch on the dipstick.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: On automatic transfer cases, inspect the level of the fluid on the dipstick

  1. If the fluid level is not within the proper area on either side of the dipstick, pour the proper lubricant into the dipstick tube. This is easily done with the aid of a funnel. Check the level often as you are filling the transfer case. Be extremely careful not to overfill it.
  2.  

DRAIN & REFILL



See Figures 4 and 5

Once every 30,000 miles (48,000 km), the oil in the transfer case should be changed.

  1. The transfer case oil should be hot before it is drained. If the engine is at normal operating temperature, the oil should be hot enough.
  2.  
  3. Raise the car and support it properly on jackstands so that you can safely work underneath. You will probably not have enough room to work if the car is not raised.
  4.  
  5. The drain plug is located on the bottom of the transfer case. It should require a hex head wrench (24mm on models with MT and 10mm on those with AT). Place a pan under the drain plug and remove it. Keep a slight inward pressure on the plug while unscrewing it, this will keep the oil from pouring out until the plug is removed.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Automatic transaxle transfer case drain plug location


CAUTION
The oil will be HOT. Be careful when you remove the plug so that you don't take a bath in hot gear oil.

  1. Allow the oil to drain completely. Clean off the plug and replace it, tightening it until it is just snug 36 ft. lbs. (49 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Remove the filler plug from the side of the case on models with MT. There will be a gasket underneath this plug. Replace it if damaged.
  4.  
  5. Fill the transfer case with gear oil through the filler plug hole as detailed previously (remember, on models with AT, simply use the dipstick tube!). Refer to the Capacities Chart for the amount of oil needed to refill your transfer case.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Fill the transfer case through the dipstick tube on automatic models

  1. The oil level should come right up to the edge of the hole. You can stick your finger in to verify this. Watch out for sharp threads. On models with AT, use the dipstick as detailed previously.
  2.  
  3. Replace the filler plug and gasket, lower the car, and check for leaks. Dispose of the old oil in the proper manner.
  4.  

 
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