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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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changing diff lube

Hey guys, how much of a PITA is it to change out the differential lube? It's getting very close to 100K miles and I want to do it. What is involved in this job?

Michael M. ASE P2 Automobile Parts Specialist.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 09:05 PM
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You need to take the cover off, or suck the fluid out. The latter being easier, but then you can't see what it looks like inside nor get it near as clean.
Taking the cover off can be a pain if the bolts holding the rear mount to the subframe or cover don't want to move. You can either undo the two attaching the hanger to the cover, or the two attaching the hanger to the subframe. The first is the easier way, but it will a bit harder to get the cover off then.
Wipe out the insides once the cover is off with lint free rags, and clean the mating surface and cover well.
Put a bead of sealant on the cover continuously around the inside of the bolt holes (theres a groove there to follow,) and reattach the cover (20-27 lb-ft).
Reattach the hanger bolts (either way above-~90 lb-ft)
Let sealant dry a bit and fill till its level with the fill plug. If it's a Traction-Lok unit, make sure to add a bottle of friction modifier as well...

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-29-2009, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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I know the cover bolts to the subframe. Do I need to support the differential housing when I take those bolts out? Thankfully, this should be relatively easy since there is very little corrosion around that area. I have the conventional differential (code 5), do I still need the friction modifier?

Michael M. ASE P2 Automobile Parts Specialist.

1996 Thunderbird LX. Gone, but not forgotten Oct 1995-March 24 2016 Trick Flow headded, E85 guzzling beast.

1985 Mustang GT. modified stock Holley 4180C, Weiand Street Warrior intake manifold, equal length headers, true dual exhaust, 5 speed, 3.55:1 8.8'' rear end, Ford Racing 10.5" clutch.

1998 Mustang GT premium. Trans Go shift kit, Bassani catted x-pipe, PI heads, cams, intake swap, Accufab elbow, SCT Xcal 4 tune, Eibach Pro-kit, Maximum Motorsports Caster/camber plates, fat tires. Banging audio system.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 01:46 AM
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If you don't have a Traction-Lok, you don't need the modifier.
Put a jackstand/blocks under the pumpkin so it stays in place. Better than having to wiggle it around to line it up again if it does move to much, as it will drop some. The driveshaft and front mounts will hold it but best not to put all the weight on the front diff ears...

Ϣr

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
The driveshaft and front mounts will hold it but best not to put all the weight on the front diff ears...
okay, sounds good. I was worried about that. Especially since none of that stuff has really been touched in 13 years.

Michael M. ASE P2 Automobile Parts Specialist.

1996 Thunderbird LX. Gone, but not forgotten Oct 1995-March 24 2016 Trick Flow headded, E85 guzzling beast.

1985 Mustang GT. modified stock Holley 4180C, Weiand Street Warrior intake manifold, equal length headers, true dual exhaust, 5 speed, 3.55:1 8.8'' rear end, Ford Racing 10.5" clutch.

1998 Mustang GT premium. Trans Go shift kit, Bassani catted x-pipe, PI heads, cams, intake swap, Accufab elbow, SCT Xcal 4 tune, Eibach Pro-kit, Maximum Motorsports Caster/camber plates, fat tires. Banging audio system.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2009, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgino96tbird46 View Post
I know the cover bolts to the subframe. Do I need to support the differential housing when I take those bolts out? Thankfully, this should be relatively easy since there is very little corrosion around that area. I have the conventional differential (code 5), do I still need the friction modifier?
an air or battery powered ratchet would help you out a lot to loosen the cover bolts. An impact would help for the subframe nuts.

Also, the subframe nuts may need a wrench on the bolt head to keep them from spinning.

Last edited by tbirdguy; 04-07-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarus View Post
Taking the cover off can be a pain if the bolts holding the rear mount to the subframe or cover don't want to move. You can either undo the two attaching the hanger to the cover, or the two attaching the hanger to the subframe. The first is the easier way, but it will a bit harder to get the cover off then.
Wipe out the insides once the cover is off with lint free rags, and clean the mating surface and cover well.
Can someone clarify this part some more? I got the two large bolts going across the cover to back out some but cannot fully remove them. Do I just need to lift the pumpkin with a jack to align the holes?

I used drive-on ramps to get under the car, so the suspension was loaded. Does this have anything to do with my problem?
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-27-2014, 05:09 AM
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You need to support the pumpkin.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2014, 09:21 PM
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I've tried jacking up the pumpkin to no avail. The only way I could get the bolts to move a bit is if I stuck a prybar in between the two and even then they would not come out all the way. And now they won't move in either direction.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-29-2014, 04:44 AM
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Once you're reasonably assured there is no binding, either by the weight of the pumpkin, or supported too high, use a long thin shank drift punch, or a smaller diameter bolt to tap bolts out with a hammer.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-06-2015, 11:25 PM
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So is it better to have the suspension loaded on ramps or hanging free using jack stands? I didn't see an answer to that question above.
I changed out differentials using jack stands so I would think it would be ok here if you support the differential with a jack.
I'm getting a little noise from my gears so I was maybe going to change fluid completely and look for metal before pulling the differential. My oil looks thin and I suspect it has too much friction modifier because that's all I added through the axle hole and it was overfull.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 07:05 AM Thread Starter
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I can't see why not. I think that's how I did mine.

Michael M. ASE P2 Automobile Parts Specialist.

1996 Thunderbird LX. Gone, but not forgotten Oct 1995-March 24 2016 Trick Flow headded, E85 guzzling beast.

1985 Mustang GT. modified stock Holley 4180C, Weiand Street Warrior intake manifold, equal length headers, true dual exhaust, 5 speed, 3.55:1 8.8'' rear end, Ford Racing 10.5" clutch.

1998 Mustang GT premium. Trans Go shift kit, Bassani catted x-pipe, PI heads, cams, intake swap, Accufab elbow, SCT Xcal 4 tune, Eibach Pro-kit, Maximum Motorsports Caster/camber plates, fat tires. Banging audio system.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2015, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordonm1 View Post
So is it better to have the suspension loaded on ramps or hanging free using jack stands? I didn't see an answer to that question above.
I changed out differentials using jack stands so I would think it would be ok here if you support the differential with a jack.
I'm getting a little noise from my gears so I was maybe going to change fluid completely and look for metal before pulling the differential. My oil looks thin and I suspect it has too much friction modifier because that's all I added through the axle hole and it was overfull.
When you're changing the Differential..
The only time you want the suspension loaded is when you go to tighten the nuts and bolts of the knuckles/control arms..

Keep the suspension unloaded until you start tightening those fasteners..That way you get things lined back up properly to avoid a trip to the alignment shop..

When you fill the differential..Use 1 (4 oz) bottle of friction modifier then top it off with your favorite gear lube until it starts running out of the fill hole..

If your gear lube already has friction modifier in it..All bets are off how much friction modifier you need to add if any..

I know it's late, but my advice is to completely drain your differential..That means taking the cover off..

Then refill like I suggested..Use 1 (4 oz) bottle of friction modifier then top it off with your favorite gear lube until it starts running out of the fill hole..

Use a gear lube that does not include friction modifier..So you know for sure how much friction modifier is actually in there..

Good Luck with your used Differential..






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