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2nd Gen Ram Tech1994-2001 Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 1994 through 2001 Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.
I want to change both my axle (differential, whatever you call them) fluids. Whats the best way to do this? should I switch to synthetic or just use the regualr fluid? also do they need a gasket or just some sealant? thanks
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Synthetic is recommended due to longer life and slightly better gas mileage.
Check your owner's manual for the amount of fluid it takes. Do it in the grass rather than on your nice clean garage floor, or keep the doors closed so the wind doesn't blow the remaining drips of fluid around.Run the front of thetruck up on car ramps or park on a hill soyou can get the fluid to drain out of the diff. Take out the bolts, use a chisel (screwdriver) or other pry tool to carefully pop the cover off without bending it, then remember that you don't have the catch pan under the differential and scramble for that while the fluid starts dripping on the garage floor (did I mention doing this in the grass?). Use a rag to wip out the remaining fluid. Clean the differentialhousing and the cover with a rag to remove any remaining oil.Wipe you hands off and drive your wife's car to the auto parts store to get the sealant. Use the Copper, high-temperature, RTV sealant. Apply the sealant, going around the bolt holes, to the cover. Do not use too much sealant! Read the directions, I think you have to let it set up for a period of time. Install the cover and torque the bolts to the proper specs. Add fluid after the sealant has cured. Sort of wipe your hands off and drive your wife's car to get more fluid because you are 0.3 qt. short.
Raise the other end of the vehicle and repeat the process. Don't even bother wipingyour hands off and drive yourwife's car to the auto parts store to get more fluid becauseyou only got enough for one differential. Finish filling the differntial, go into the house, shower and change (you don't want to get the inside of the truck dirty). Take it for a spin and let it set for a few minutes. Pull the plug out and stick your finger in the hole. The fluid should be about 1/2" below the fill hole. Top off as necessary and you're ready to go.
99 Ram 1500 SLT, 4X4, Quad, Long Bed, 5.9L, 3.5 Rears, 46RE w/Shift Kit, Self-ported TB, 180 T-stat, Hypertech PPIII, 14" x 3" round air cleaner, modded TPS-CKP sensors, 100K Mi
2005 Grand Caravan Special Edition, 45K Mi.
1991 Dodge Spirit, 2.5L 190K
the old differential fluid does stink, but i did mine in the garage anyway (where its level) and just drained fluid into a pan.
i did both front and rear at the same time. jacked up both ends and set on jack stands so i could rotate wheels and inspect everything.
i just used regular fluid, 75w90 or 80w90. its cheaper than synthetic.
i think it took about 1 - 1 1/2 qt per axle, can't remember exactly.
loosen the front drain plug while the cover is still attached, just in case its super tight.
when prying the covers off, do NOT bend them or scar them.
scrape out any sludge in the bottom of the case with your finger, then spray out the case with brake cleaner.
wipe out excess and let it evaporate. DONT lose the magnet in the bottom, its supposed to be there.
clean cover and case, a scotch bright pad works good to get off old rtv or gasket sealer.
i used the black rtv so it wouldn't be red or blue and look silly. not sure if black is hi temp or not but doesn't need to be.
if you have a limited slip differential you will need the special oil additive. look on rear axle driver side for label,
open vs locked (limited slip).
try not to get it on your clothes, it really stinks, did i mention that.
do NOT drive wifes car with any oil on your clothes, skin, hair, or nice oily rag. you'll never hear the end of it.
if you see any milky white stuff, its water.
not sure why, but after changing mine, one front side leaked a tiny little bit for a couple of weeks, then quit. might have been a tad over full.
01 1500 Reg Cab 4wd 5.2 auto 3.55 285/75/16 steps tow hooks sc3815 180 3923 trans cooler filter posilok powertrax (removed) timbren britebox pioneer head rockford amp speaker cobra cb firestick hughes plenum water pump timing chain oil pump rear main hub bearings brakes shocks cracked dash cad bushings seals ujoints trackbar tcase Robert Griffin Trans