See Figure 1
The rear axle should be serviced with API GL-5, MIL-L-2105 B or C or equivalent, with a viscosity rating of SAE 90. When temperatures are below 15°F (-10°C), use SAE 80.
Use oils with the proper additives for vehicles equipped with a limited slip differential.
See Figure 2
The fluid level should be checked at 10,000 mile (16,000 km) intervals.
- Raise and support the vehicle safely.
- Remove the rear axle level plug.
- Check that the oil level is up to the level plug hole. Top up, if necessary.
- Reinstall the rear axle level plug.
- Lower the vehicle.
DRAIN & REFILL
Drain and refill the rear axle housing every 100,000 miles (161,000 km) or any time the vehicle is driven in high water (up to the axle). Although some fluid can be removed using a suction gun, the best method is to remove the rear cover to ensure that all of any present contaminants are removed. As with any fluid change, the oil should be at normal operating temperature to ensure the best flow/removal of fluid and contaminants.
- Drive the vehicle until the lubricant reaches normal operating temperature.
- If necessary for access, raise and support the vehicle safely using jackstands, but be sure that the vehicle is level so you can properly refill the axle when you are finished.
- Use a wire brush to clean the area around the differential. This will help prevent dirt from contaminating the differential housing while the cover is removed.
- Position a drain pan under the rear axle.
- Loosen and remove all but one or two of the rear cover upper or side retaining bolts. The remaining bolt(s) should then be loosened to within a few turns of complete removal. Use a small prytool to carefully break the gasket seal at the base of the cover and allow the lubricant to drain. Be VERY careful not to force or damage the cover and gasket mating surface.
- Once most of the fluid has drained, remove the final retaining bolt(s) and separate the cover from the housing.
- Carefully clean the gasket mating surfaces of the cover and axle housing of any remaining gasket or sealer. A putty knife is a good tool to use for this. You may want to cover the differential gears using a rag or piece of plastic to prevent contaminating them with dirt or pieces of the old gasket.
- Install the rear cover using a new gasket and sealant. Tighten the retaining bolts using a crisscross pattern.
Make sure the vehicle is level before attempting to add fluid to the rear axle, otherwise an incorrect fluid level will result.
- Refill the rear axle housing using the proper grade and quantity of lubricant, then install the filler plug.
- Lower the vehicle, if applicable, then operate the vehicle and check for any leaks.