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Old 07-22-2009, 12:11 PM   #1
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Transfer Case fluid question

Hmmm...the manual says the transfer case should be filled with SAE 75W-90, but what came out of it is ATF.

I was hoping to change the oil today but now I dont know what to put in it.

Can anyone help me on this?

And it looks like there is a small cooling radiator coming off the Transfer Case.

Last edited by dirtroads_33; 07-22-2009 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:55 PM   #2
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Heres some photos so you know i'm for real.
Should I refill my Transfer Case with ATF?


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Old 07-22-2009, 12:58 PM   #3
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I use 80/90 in mine. I dunno... I've never heard of putting ATF in a t-case before. I'd stick to the spec book.
Unless the cooling radiator you mentioned is tied into the transmission too. Then that might be the reason for the ATF being in the case, since it is most likely circulating oil for both.

Last edited by kodiak90; 07-22-2009 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:08 PM   #4
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the 75/90 is for gear cases on 4cyl you have a 6cyl with probably a 340h which shares the same tranny fluid as the hydraulic transfer case you have.
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:17 PM   #5
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Then again, if the radiator is just for the t-case, you might not want to run a 75/90 oil through a cooling system since it will thicken up even more. The person who did this probably lived somewhere cold. The ATF shouldn't hurt it your case. If there aren't any metal filings in the oil, I'd just put ATF back in.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:19 PM   #6
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Thank you kodiak90 and RMA for replying

The small radiator is connected to the Transfer Case with two short tubes, maybe a foot and a half long each, they don't go to the tranny or anywhere else.

I just went ahead and filled the Transfer Case up with the gear oil I bought, it doesn't really seem any thicker than the ATF so I expect it will be all right.

Unless I hear different I'll call that project done :^)

Now on to the leaky power steering pump...
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Old 07-22-2009, 04:54 PM   #7
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The correct fliud for a tranfer case behind an auto trans in a 2nd gen, a A340H in your case, is Dexron II/III ATF, NOT gear oil. That is why ATF came out of the transfer case. The gear oil may not look any thicker but I would drain it and refill with ATF. The transfer case is hydraulically activated and may not work correctly with gear oil. Also the fliuds in the transfer case and transmission can mix if a seal goes, and if the transfer case has gear oil then your transmission gets contaminated.

As for the power steering pump if you want to rebuild it gasket kits are cheap
http://www.pskits.com/

Last edited by eric-the-red; 07-22-2009 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:49 PM   #8
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Listen to Eric!
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:14 PM   #9
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Completely off topic, but it's nice to see someone from Winfield on here. My parents used to have a place on Bottom Wood Lake Road and I've waterskied Wood and Kalamalka Lakes a lot.
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:10 PM   #10
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Thanks eric-the-red and neoworm0,

I re-visited the service manual and saw my mistake, supposed to be ATF in the Transfer Case.

Guess I've got to get back out there and make it right...it's not a bad job and I do like working on my truck.

Hey RobD, I really liked Winfield but I moved back into Kelowna for work, and Kal Lake is really beautiful, was out swiming there with friends last weekend...so nice.

I see you put 33" tires on your runner, are you glad you did? I'm thinking of doing it with 1.5" bj spacers and ome900 rear springs.

Thanks for all replies.
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:09 AM   #11
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Almost made the same mistake

Picked up a 95 A340H w/ TC to replace the worn one in my 92. Once installed went to the manual to see what fluid was required and it says Gear Oil 80/90, but the transfer case was leaking ATF. Since the Tranny was used and a little beat up i figured the wrong fluid was used. ALLDATADIY lists Gear Oil as well, but this must be for the manual vs auto tranny. My 92 tranny also had ATF in it.

Glad I came on here to verify. Thanks all.
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:14 PM   #12
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Heres the wording from the Service Manual in the Maintenance section:

(c) Transfer:
Remove the filler plug and feel inside the hole with
your finger. Check that the oil comes to within 5 mm
(0.20 in.) of the bottom edge of the hole. If the level
is low, add oil until it begins to run out of the filler hole.
Transfer oil (Except 3VZ–E A/T):
Oil grade
AN GL–4 or GL–5
Viscosity
SAE 75W–80
Transfer fluid (3VZ–E A/T):
ATP DEXRON)II
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:17 PM   #13
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If all you did was drain the chain case at the back of the transfer, you might be OK. Just get that gear oil out now, refill with ATF, drive it around a bit in 4WD, then drain and refill again. Check the condition of your transmission fluid too just to be safe.
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:47 PM   #14
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Well the ATF is back in the transfer case and the gear oil is out, live and learn you know.
I also replaced the power steering pump with a used one a friend gave me for cheap and it works well and doesn't leak. Needed the vise grips for that job.

Next project...front wheel bearings.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:41 PM   #15
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I just made a similar mistake last night. Put in ATF into the Transfer Case where 75w80 is required. Why are they using two different types of fluids in the transfer cases? Is it the same type of transfer case or a different model??
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:54 AM   #16
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My feeling is that the transfer case on the automatic tranny's (which mine is)take ATF, while the manual tranny transfer cases take gear oil.
You would never know this from the Hanes Manual, but the full Service Manual says there is a different fluid for each type.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:07 AM   #17
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79-95 pick ups/84-95 4runner Haynes manual states in chapter 1 section 2 (1-2) Transfer case oil:
1985 and earlier: API GL-4 or GL-5 SAE 75w90 gear oil

1986 thru 1989- manual: API Gl-4 or GL-5 SAE 75w90 gear oil
Automatic: Dexron II ATF

1990 & later- 4-cylinder engine: API GL-4 or GL-5 SAE 75w90 gear oil
V-6 Engine: Dexron II ATF
(1990 and later does not Specify manual or automatic, just engine size)

While I am at it might as well add diffs and manual/ automatic fluids..........

All years Diff oil- API GL-5 SAE 80w90 hypoid gear oil

All years Manual trans oil- API GL-4 SAE 75w90 or 80w90 gear oil

Auto trans fluid 1979-83- Type F ATF
1984-95- Dexron II ATF
I am Quoting Directly from the haynes manual, I am not giving advice on what you should use. As I have read many threads on most of this stuff, I have found that most go by personal experience and preferance on most stuff, ex: front and rear differential gear oils. Just thought this might help some one in the future.
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