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How To: Transfer Case Fluid Change (Photo thread)

Discussion in 'Explorer & Ranger Transmissions, Transfer Cases, &' started by ExplorerDMB, February 15, 2006.

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    1. ExplorerDMB

      ExplorerDMB Moderator/Technician Moderator Emeritus

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      I decided to change my transfer case fluid since I just went over 77K recently. I don't really know the intervals - but you should check it once you get around 60K. The fluid is just normal Dexron Mercon III ATF- so if you know what burnt transmission fluid looks like and smells like - you know what to look for in your tcase if it needs to be changed. My transfercase is the 4405 Borg-Warner T-case.

      The service itself is quiet easy: all you need is a 3/8s raceht, a funnel or pump, drain bucket, and your choice of fluid (3 pints or about 2 quarts worth). :thumbsup:


      I did this at my house instead of the shop, so I was limited to a funnel which is kind of tricky to use on a transfercase. Anyhow, first you need to find the drain and fill plugs. I recommend removing the fill plug first to allow air to get into the t-case which will allow the fluid to run out of the drain smoother instead of in "gulps" (people who have done this before know what I mean). Anyhow here's a picture for help:

      Drain and Fill Plugs:

      [​IMG]



      Undoing the Fill/Check Plug:

      [​IMG]


      Once you have taken the fill plug out, go ahead and set that aside and get going on the drain plug. Both plugs should be pretty tight (mine had thread sealer on them previously), but putting the plugs back should only be snugged like a oil drain plug. When you are ready to pull the drain plug on the t-case, thread it out with your fingers and set your drain pan underneath it. This should catch all the fluid and you should just let it drip out.

      Undoing the drain plug:

      [​IMG]

      Fluid Running Out:

      [​IMG]



      Once it is emptied as good as it's going to get, put the drain plug back in. I like to clean up the area with brake clean, so if for some reason I get a leak, I can pinpoint it easier. Now, time to fill 'er up:

      How My Funnel Was:

      [​IMG]


      It worked out quiet well with my driveshaft there. Anyhow, gently fill it up and fill it like a differential - until it starts to flow out of the fill hole. Once it gets the big gushes out and its just lightly letting out - go ahead and put the plug back. Make sure you tighten it:

      [​IMG]


      That's it! You're done. I put Royal Purple synthetic ATF fluid in my transfer case. I am running royal purple in my differentials and t-case now. I am still in search for a Mercon V fully-synthetic fluid (I believe just Amsoil has it right now). Picture of the bottles are below. Hope this was easy enough for you - was pretty easy to me! :thumbsup: Good luck

      -Drew

      000_0712.JPG
       
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    3. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      Another excellent thread Drew. Thanks.
       
    4. '97 V8

      '97 V8 Well-Known Member

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      looks easy. i need to change the t-case oil too.
       
    5. SkanlaxJMO

      SkanlaxJMO Well-Known Member

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      look's "easy" with my luck the drain plug and the fill plug will be frozen on...lol
       
    6. '97 V8

      '97 V8 Well-Known Member

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      haha, true true. you know how it is.
       
    7. pgdsm

      pgdsm Active Member

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      [QUOTE='97 V8]looks easy. i need to change the t-case oil too.[/QUOTE]


      why dont we get to gether and both do this??
       
    8. dkchrist

      dkchrist Well-Known Member

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      good write up might oughta check mine @ 50k now
       
    9. wmorrisw

      wmorrisw New Member

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      my transfer case is leaking

      my transfer case is leaking. Can the tranfer case cover be removed on the car?
      I have 98 4x4 Explorer 4.1 sohc.
       
    10. ExplorerDMB

      ExplorerDMB Moderator/Technician Moderator Emeritus

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      if transfer case service is needed - I would recommend removing the whole transfer case and working on it on a bench

      -Drew
       
    11. wmorrisw

      wmorrisw New Member

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      The cover just seems to be leaking a little. Can it come off without removing the whole thing?
       
    12. ExplorerDMB

      ExplorerDMB Moderator/Technician Moderator Emeritus

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      It's like 6 bolts holding the transfercase to the trans. The cover has like 12-15 bolts. I think it might be hard to remove the cover still attatched to the trans due to room.

      -Drew
       
    13. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      As a part of the 4405 Rebuild Diary,(a shameless plug for you to go read it,) I did find that Mobil 1 now is openly claiming Merc V compatability on the bottle.
       
    14. tktrain

      tktrain Active Member

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      I switched over to Mobil 1 ATF in my X about 3 months ago. It is indeed Mercon V rated.
       
    15. sport01mi

      sport01mi Member

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      Sounds like you just saved me 20 dollars. :) Thank-you!
       
    16. X-North

      X-North Active Member

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      frozen plug...thats why you need some lube and a straight bar :p if you dont have it then a ratchet and a piece of 2 feet long pipe would do the job ;)
       
    17. g8r

      g8r Active Member

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      Okay stupid question.......is just jacking up the front end good enough?
       
    18. X-North

      X-North Active Member

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      Yes ...even not jacked you can do the oil change ...but if its stuck there you gonna says some bad words heheheh
       
    19. X-North

      X-North Active Member

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      Thank you for it mister but I have a kind of damper in front of my drain hole....do you have any idea how to revome that damper ??? BTW the sell pump at wal mart for around 20 bucks now...you can use it both on air and liquid...i have found it on the wall near oil racks and sports center...so somewhere between the car oil and the ATV oil :p
       
    20. shortstack

      shortstack Active Member

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    21. IZwack

      IZwack Moderator Emeritus

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      I think for you, living in Alaska, it would be worthwhile to go with synthetics because synthetics are affected less by temperature than conventional oil.
       
    22. GT5S84

      GT5S84 New Member

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      Mercon V Fluid

      FYI for all - Mercon V is actually a Synthetic based fluid. If you want another option besides the Ford ATF, Royal Purple, or Mobil 1 - Valvoline makes a Mercon V ATF fluid that meets/exceeds Ford's spec. It is a full synthetic ATF. They also make a Mercon/Dex fluid for higher mileage called MAX Life ATF. It is essentially Mercon V (full synthetic) with seal conditioner additives to keep gaskets & seals from shrinking/leaking. This fluid can be used in the transfer case and/or in your automatic transmission too. Hope this helps and gives you other options.
       
    23. shortstack

      shortstack Active Member

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      ya basiclly all me fluid is synthetic, differentials, tranny , transfer, and motor although i have't noticed any mileage improvement or smoothness
       
    24. briwayjones

      briwayjones Manual Master Elite Explorer

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      It will make a difference if you change it, your tranny and front and rear differentials over to synthetics.
       
    25. WWasem

      WWasem Active Member

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      Thanks for the excellent write up! I intend to execute your procedure tomorrow! :)
       
    26. Fifty150

      Fifty150 Active Member

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      I'm going to my local Ford Dealership next week for a full fluid swap. Transmission, transfer case, front differential, & rear differential. All OEM will be replaced with Lucas Oil. [​IMG][​IMG]
       

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