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Thread: How to: Change diff fluid (AWD)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Austin, Texas
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    How to: Change diff fluid (AWD)

    For AWD only
    Quote Originally Posted by winston;
    or: How to make a mess and (not!) burn some gears.

    Tools needed:
    -Drain pan
    -3/8" ratchet
    -6" extension for said ratchet
    -75W90 or 80W90 GL5 Gear Oil.. the 80 is factory spec, but 75 is much easier to find
    -Teflon tape
    -Transfer Pump
    -Ramps / Jack Stands

    Estimated time:
    ~45 minutes

    Warning:
    If you break your car its your problem.

    Steps:

    1. Put your car up on ramps. I started with the back end, then when finished turned the car around to do the front. I found the back was easiest to get up on ramps with locked AWD as it is a little light and was pushing the ramps otherwise.... Be careful, it is bad to drop your car off ramps.

    2. Put pan under Diff/Transfer Case (hereafter just Diff), use the ratchet to remove the Fill plug. This must be done first as it allows air in so that draining happens properly. Then remove the drain plug.

    3. Wait for oil to stop dripping. It took around 1/2 an hour to do the rear one, and 15 minutes to do the front. This is largely because the front drain is on the bottom of the casing, while the back one is on the side... Gravity helps more with the front.

    4. When oil has stopped dripping, use shop cloths to wipe the area clean, then replace drain plug using some Teflon tape on the threads to help seal it.

    5. Use transfer pump to fill through fill hole... The service manual defines full as the oil level being level with the bottom of the fill hole. In practice this means keep pumping until oil starts dripping out the fill hole, then wait for the dripping to stop. Then replace plug, again with some Teflon tape to seal threads.

    NOTE: When doing the Front diff (which is a ***** because its above the exhaust pipe) a) let the exhaust pipe cool as it gets f'n hot if the car has been running too long and b) try to keep oil from dripping on the pipe as it could catch fire.


    Pictures:
    (Click image for full sized versions)

    Drain Pan before:


    Transfer Pump:

    I picked this up Sunday. It cost a whopping 7$ at princess auto... Canadian tire has the same sorta thing for around 20.

    Gear Oil:


    Rear Drain:


    Rear Fill:
    '08 SX4|'96 Miata M-Edition

  2. #2
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    Nov 2010
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    Austin, Texas
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    ..con't..
    Quote Originally Posted by winston;
    Draining Rear:
    [IMG]http://winston1.net/sx4/img/Diffs/IMG_0040t.JPG[IMG]

    Rear Drain Plug: (note the magnet)


    Rear Fill Plug: (no magnet, but same size)


    Oil from Rear:


    Front Diff:

    The drain is the one on the bottom. The Fill is the one middle one up the side, the only one thats not a bolt. Remember, no sockets are needed to do this change, just use the ratchet, I used the 6" extension on this which made it pretty easy, though still awkward.
    '08 SX4|'96 Miata M-Edition

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    127
    Mind using arrows to point out the drain/fill bolts?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Taylor, Mi
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    886
    Thanks for bringing this over. Nice writeup!
    '08 Silver AWD Crossover AT with a few doo-dads

  5. #5
    Nice writeup, but I'll pass on anything that's labor intensive.....oh, and messy as well.
    If you can read this, thank a teacher; if it's in English, thank a soldier.

    Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno!

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    2,691
    It took me less time to do this than to put on the snow tires.
    The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
    Andy Rooney

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Jesuit View Post
    Nice writeup, but I'll pass on anything that's labor intensive.....oh, and messy as well.
    WELL worth the money to do it yourself! You'll spend ~$100 getting it done "professionally"

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by 02C2 View Post
    WELL worth the money to do it yourself! You'll spend ~$100 getting it done "professionally"
    Yes, I know...a hundred dollars well spent in my book. :wink:
    If you can read this, thank a teacher; if it's in English, thank a soldier.

    Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno!

  9. #9
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    Nov 2010
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    East Moline, Illinois
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    908
    how did the viscosity change work for you? Did you get any weird noises?
    K-9's Carbon, fabrication, TIG welding, CAD, CAM, and computer simulation services. Fabrication and Profectional CAD engineering for the little guy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    837
    I'd read enough horror stories about those gear boxes, that when mine needed changing, I took it in to the dealer.
    It was done right and fast and I have the receipts to prove that it was done by the book. The rear diff cost me about $60 and the front one sometime later, was about $85.

    The mechanic did admit to me that the rear diff oil was really nasty when he drained it out. That's typical.
    That first change needs to be done at 7500 miles, by the book.

    Regardless, of who does it, maintenance on the SX4 is very important. Just get everything well documented.
    And please, don't try to get creative.....use the oils specified in the owners manual. The engineers at Suzuki
    know what works best in their cars.

    Cheers Mates!
    Last edited by The Shadow; January 15th, 2011 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Info

    Five time Suzuki Owner: My last Suzuki= a 2009 SX4, X-Over, iAWD, AT, Tinted and striped

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