Transfer case fluid: XL-12 or Mercon V | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Transfer case fluid: XL-12 or Mercon V

hwydave

Active Member
Joined
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Messages
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City, State
Torrance, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2009 XLT, 1999 XL (RIP)
The truck has 90k miles on it and I figure it is time to change the transfer case fluid (fluid color looks darker than before, but still somewhat pink-lish). The owner's manual say use XL-12 fluid but the local dealer say use Mercon V due to local climate (So. California). Google search turn up nothing. Which fluid is the right one to use? Thanks for your advise.
 



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I read some about the new transfer case fluid Ford makes. It was due to TC issues caused by the Mercon V. I suggest following the manual and use the new TC fluid, not Mercon V. Do enough research to be sure it's for your model, I think it only applied to the later generation transfer cases.

I also read some postings say the new TC fluid is virtually the same as the old Mercon I, which is what the Mercon V replaced. The Mercon V is very slick compared to older ATF's. Thus you also shouldn't use the Mercon V in place of Mercon in older Fords. Some dealers are recommending that also.
 






I have a 2010 xlt 5speed auto. I just changed out my trany & TC fluids. according to my vehicle specs calls for the XL-12 type fluid and I used the Valvoline transfer case fluid which meets ford's specs for the TC. Been running it for about a month now and no problems.
 






Use XL-12.

Mercon V is not to be used as a TC fluid, at least on Borg Warners TC's.
It even reads on the bottle not to use as a TC fluid.
 






Thanks, guys, for the advise. Exploerer_PL: you are right about the instruction on the bottle.

I ordered the XL-12 from Amazon since local dealer does not carry XL-12 (it also make me nervous about what kind of stuff they put in customer's car....). The drain and fill process should be more straight forward than tranny fluid change :-)
 






I went to ford dealer to buy the TC fluid and told them what car I have. The guy at the parts counter gave me Mercon-V bottles, and I told him he is wrong and showed him the text.
He looked like he just landed on Mars. You need to do your homework :), they do not know everything.
 






The TC is the easiest thing you will ever drain and fill with new fluid. The two plugs are large and easy to get to, and there isn't much fluid in it. I do suggest buying a pump from a parts store, the type which screws onto quart bottles. Those pumps for about $8 will let you fill the TC in about five minutes.
 






so this means I should drain the Mercon V from my BW4406 and put XL-12 in it?
 






so this means I should drain the Mercon V from my BW4406 and put XL-12 in it?

No, use the same Mercon I it came with, which stores still carry as Dexron III(and the bottle lists Mercon specs it meets). You/we may be able to use the XL-12, but what I read suggests it's virtually the same as Mercon.

The big deal is the price, Ford wants nearly $25 a quart for that special fluid. I think $3 a quart is much better, and I used to like $1 even more, way back when.
 






Ok, I'll add that to my to-do list. Though the transfer case hasn't given me a bit of trouble since I put it in a couple years ago.
 






Yeah, change it every year if you can think of it. The AWD is trouble free if the tires stay the same. My new 98 truck has had very dark fluid drain out three times so far, just a little lighter the last time. I have no symptoms, but I expect this TC to not last too much longer.
 






XL-12 is a replacement for "plain" Mercon, it may be actually same thing labeled XL-12.

Mercon V is a different, improved ATF.
 






Another vote here for the XL-12. I recently used it to replace what I suspect was the original fluid.
 






Yeah, change it every year if you can think of it. The AWD is trouble free if the tires stay the same. My new 98 truck has had very dark fluid drain out three times so far, just a little lighter the last time. I have no symptoms, but I expect this TC to not last too much longer.

Mine is no longer AWD. I did the BW4406 swap bout 2 years ago. so I have 2hi, 4hi, 4lo.. ya know 4 Wheel drive. But I am due for a fluid change regardless of what kind of TC it is.
 






That's good, the BW4406 is a tougher unit. That will tolerate some deficiencies of fluid type or quality. The viscous clutches or the clutch system of the A4WD models won't do well with the wrong fluid. I've got a Navigator BW4406 to go in this year some time. It's got the electromagnetic clutch type, and a shift motor.
 






 






I have a 2010 xlt 5speed auto. I just changed out my trany & TC fluids. according to my vehicle specs calls for the XL-12 type fluid and I used the Valvoline transfer case fluid which meets ford's specs for the TC. Been running it for about a month now and no problems.

I'm glad I found this, Mickalo! I'm going to attempt to do the differentials and transfer case Saturday afternoon and of course the Motorcraft Transfer Case Fluid (XL-12) is no where locally. The Valvoline Transfer Case Fluid is close by and says it's fit for transfer cases recommending XL-12 specific fluid.

Anyone have any ideas as to why I shouldn't use this?
 






I use amsoil atf that says on the bottle dexron II and merkon equilivant
roscoe
 






I wish makuloco would confirm this... My 05 with the 4411 lasted about 200k with Mercon V. He even says not to use xl-12 on TOD cases. Not sure I want to put older merc in instead.
 



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I went ahead and used the Valvoline Transfer Case Fluid in my fluid change. It said it could be used in place of XL-12 fluid and Valvoline has never let me down before... so why not?

In my 03 Ford Ranger, I swapped out the transfer case fluid for Valvoline ATF... although now knowing what I know now, I wish I didn't. Oh well. Another weird thing - when I dumped out the old fluid it was completely clear. Not sure what type of fluid that could be? I thought all transfer case fluid was red like ATF.
 






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