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1st Gen Dakota '96 & Older Dakota's

Rear Differential Oil Change

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Old 09-22-2009, 06:17 PM
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Default Rear Differential Oil Change

Hey, I own a 1993 Dodge Dakota 4x4 auto trans and a V6 engine with about 172,000 miles on it. Tomorrow I'm going to be doing my first differential oil change and I need to know some do's and don'ts. I read my repair manual and watched some mechanic videos so I'm ready to do the job.

list of questions>>>

1. What kind of differential oil is recommend to refill my rear axle and how much oil should I put in the axle differential?

2. I would like to clean the rust off the rear axle and then paint it black for protection against the elements and looks. What kind of paint should I use and rust remover?

3. If you look at the photo below you can see that the oil is leaking from the black rubber plug in the center and I would like to know why it's leaking from that rubber plug?

anybody know?? Thankyou

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Old 09-22-2009, 07:00 PM
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1. I use 75w90 Mobil Synthetic in mine

2. Hit it with a wire brush in a drill and coat it with a good brand rust preventive paint, Krylon or Rusoleum.

3. I've never seen a plug that didn't seep a little, if you think it's excessive buy a new plug. Just keep in mind the new one will probably leave a trail also.
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by festerw View Post
1. I use 75w90 Mobil Synthetic in mine

2. Hit it with a wire brush in a drill and coat it with a good brand rust preventive paint, Krylon or Rusoleum.

3. I've never seen a plug that didn't seep a little, if you think it's excessive buy a new plug. Just keep in mind the new one will probably leave a trail also.
Yeah, what he said with one little addition. When you pull the cover off make sure you're careful when you pull the filler plug off, you will probably be able to reuse it. Make sure it's not dry rotted and clean it well before you put it back in. If yoou really wanna get freaky with the cover, you can get it sand blasted, then prime it and shoot it with a good quality paint. Don't forget the form-a-gasket on the flange when you put the cover back on...hehe
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:08 PM
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1) The 1995 FSM recommends using 80W-90 gear oil. I assume there is no difference for '93. When I filled my differentials, I actually used Lucas Oil Stabilizer. It said on the bottle you can use 100% capacity in differentials, and it has worked out great for me. Also, if you have a limited slip differential, be sure to add 4 ounces of friction additive. As for capacity, its 2.1L, but instead of worrying about measuring it out, just fill it up to the bottom of the fill hole as long as you're on flat ground.

2) I would start by scrubbing it down with car wash soap and a green scotchbrite pad. This will get the oil and dirt off of it as well as start scuffing it up. Then, use 220-320 grit sandpaper, or if you have air or power tools, use a roloc fiber disc. I would recommend just spraying it with black rustoleum spray can paint.

3) That rubber plug is probably dry rotted. Replace it when you get the oil and while you're prepping it for paint, be sure to clean up the hole.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:57 PM
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Great post. I've also been meaning to do my first diff oil change as well. Since we have 4x4's, is the oil change process the same for the front as it is for the rear?
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:44 PM
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Yes it is the same. Most have magnets. Don't forget to take a look and clean those up.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:11 PM
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this probably is a huge laughing matter to you guys. but how exactly do you change the fluids, i should probably look into this as well. i have a 1996 V6 2wd
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:23 PM
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this probably is a huge laughing matter to you guys. but how exactly do you change the fluids, i should probably look into this as well. i have a 1996 V6 2wd
Naw, I'd never laugh at you to you're face.....

All kidding aside, There may be a proper way to do it, then there's the way you choose to do it. I usually pop the drain plug off first just to get that little bit off the top. Then I start unbolting the cover from the bottom up. Once the bottom bolts are completely out and the others are progressively looser as you go towards the top, I use my gasket scraper to loosen the cover from the bottom and let the remaining fluid drain into my pan. Once the cover is completely removed I usually check for wear and metal shavings. If all is good, I remove the rest of the fluid with a turkey baster and make sure everything inside is good to go. I clean off the cover real well with some solvent, goop on the form-a-gasket and tighten it up to specs. replace the fluid with 90w gear oil to prescribed height and pop the cleaned or new drain plug back in. See that wasn't so hard....right?
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:27 PM
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hahahah not at all, kinda confused in the whole concept but like everything else i do, i learn real fast as soon as i acutally do it

one thing i wont try is rebuilding my trans though, gotta wait till i get another mooola
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:53 PM
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Well, I did the oil change today and it was successful and very easy. I only have one tip and that is really really clean your axle cover for the new RTV sealant.


My differential looked great and I didn't see any signs of chipping or metal shavings.

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1993, 2001, 2007, 3500, changing, dakota, diff, differential, dodge, fluid, kind, oil, rear, replace, viper

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