02 Transfer Case - too much fluid? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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02 Transfer Case - too much fluid?


New Member
October 28, 2008
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City, State
Kelowna, Canada
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 V8 Limited
Hello, I just had the transmission rebuilt and the torque converter replaced on my 02 V8 Explorer 120K.

A couple days after, I started getting ATF fluid dripping from the transfer case.

Looked it up in my Haynes and it suggested checking the level of the transfer case fluid.

When I unscrew the check/fill plug, ATF fluid came pouring out. Is this my problem? Is it overfilled?

The proper level should be at the bottom of the check/fill plug, but it is higher. I was going to drain it to the bottom of the plug but I am off on a trip tomorrow and don't want to do the wrong thing.

Any info would be appreciated.



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How much poured out? Was it like a quart? Cauz that pouring out fluid is normal. Depends on the temperature, angle, and so on.

I wouldn't worry about it for 2 reasons:
1) I dont think there would be any harm done even if you poured in 1 more extra quart. The fluid in the transfer case is not pressurized.
2) You would have to park the vehicle at like a very steep incline and then pour in the fluid in order to overfill it. So this is very unlikely since nobody puts in a transfer case at weird angles -- and even if this was the case, reason #1 would negate this reason.

Thanks for the reply. I was in the garage on level ground and put the screw back in as soon as it poured out. Probably 12'' circle on the floor.

In the back of my head I was wondering if the transmission shop overfilled it so I would get a leak. I took it into the tranny shop 7 days after the tranny was rebuilt, they put it up on the lift and said that it was probably a seal and would be between $250 and $450 to fix.

Just a coincidence or maybe not?

Well, I won't worry about it being too full. Possibly it may stop leaking now that some spilled out.

Thanks very much.


Where on the transfer case is it leaking? Cauz if its at the front (where it mates with the transmission's tailshaft housing), then it might be the transmission's seal.

But I'd remove that plug, let it drain out until it stops, put the plug back in, wipe down the area where its leaking, and see if its still leaking a few days later.


It appears to be leaking higher up the transfer case, not from the seam down the center.

I will let out the extra ATF fluid. Should not matter if it is hot or cold since it is not pressurized I would imagine.

Thanks very much for your help.