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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 07-13-2013, 01:01 PM   #1
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Stupidly Basic: Rear Differential

Basically how often should the oil/fluid in the rear differential be changed and what is it? I don't know that it's ever been done before and my truck is 20 years old this year. Also how do you fill it? The only other cap I see is the inspection plug and it looks like someone tried to get in and rounded the corners off of it -__-
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:14 PM   #2
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There are two holes in the housing, the lower is for draining, the upper is called the check/fill plug. The fluid should be filed to the point that it comes back out of this hole. The recommended oil weight for the differential varies by climate, but is generally 80/90 gear oil. If someone screwed up the check fill plug you are going to need another to replace it once you are able to remove it. If it is completely rounded off you can try welding another nut onto it and use it the remove the plug. Incidentally the plugs are interchangeable, but you want the one with the magnet in it at the bottom to help collect metal shavings.
If you are unsure of whether it needs changing or not, pull the check/fill plug and or drain a little of it out the bottom. If it is green, silver, looks burned or smells rancid, then it would be a good idea to change it.
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:20 PM   #3
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Oh it will definitely get changed. My dad was notorious for slacking on his maintenance when it was his truck so everything I get into gets new fluid/questionable parts. Also doesn't 90 weight always smell rancid? lol... Anyway thanks. I finally have some money so I'm completely going through everything.
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'93 Pickup 22RE
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Flowmaster Super 40
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MicTuning 40"
Supreme 3" lift
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:27 PM   #4
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Kind of, but if its bad, it will REALLY smell, from a distance it will smell. If you have a 5 speed in the truck you can use the 80/90 in it as well. If you were a little closer than northern idaho i would say come by and we'll weld another nut on there and get it fixed. It is a 24mm nut, you could try hammering a smaller socket over it to get it removed.
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Old 07-13-2013, 01:58 PM   #5
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How would heat affect everything if I need to loosen it up once I figure out how to get it off? I'm in school for welding so I have access to an OA torch to apply some heat if i need to.
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:21 PM   #6
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30k is what toyota says on intervals I think. 90wt is good. Gear oil always smells horrible so dunno if smell is the best way to determine.

Make sure to remove fill plug before draining to make sure you can refill. Use wrench or vice grips and your man hands to break free. Cheater bars and liquid wrench are your friend. Get low profile magnetic drain plugs (use allen heads) from aftermarket vendors like inchworm or marlin, etc.
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Old 07-14-2013, 12:10 AM   #7
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If you're not rock crawling/bouncing your differentials over stuff, I recommend gold plug's replacement drain plugs over the OEM low profile hex ones. Much more powerful magnet to collect shavings and such. And then there's no reason why couldn't use your former drain plug to replace your current busted one.

If rock crawling, then just look at the part numbers for your transfer case to get the OEM drain plugs w/ the same threading -- or the aftermarket source's noted above.
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Old 07-14-2013, 01:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highonpottery View Post
30k is what toyota says on intervals I think. 90wt is good. Gear oil always smells horrible so dunno if smell is the best way to determine.

Make sure to remove fill plug before draining to make sure you can refill. Use wrench or vice grips and your man hands to break free. Cheater bars and liquid wrench are your friend. Get low profile magnetic drain plugs (use allen heads) from aftermarket vendors like inchworm or marlin, etc.
Well it definitely needs to be done then. I'm almost at 105k currently and it's POSSIBLY been done once (when my dad ruined the plug) and I'm not even sure if we actually did it.
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'93 Pickup 22RE
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Flowmaster Super 40
Spectre CAI
Rigid Industries E Series/Duallys
MicTuning 40"
Supreme 3" lift
Pro Comp suspension
BFG 33x10.50
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Old 07-14-2013, 08:24 AM   #9
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I'd say its pretty common to go over, even way over. Many people neglect PM and go over intervals. At that point though the most important thing is to make sure there is actually oil still in there
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highonpottery View Post
I'd say its pretty common to go over, even way over. Many people neglect PM and go over intervals. At that point though the most important thing is to make sure there is actually oil still in there
That's what I'm worried about xD
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'93 Pickup 22RE
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Flowmaster Super 40
Spectre CAI
Rigid Industries E Series/Duallys
MicTuning 40"
Supreme 3" lift
Pro Comp suspension
BFG 33x10.50
LCE Headers
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:04 PM
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