How to: Transfer Case Fluid Change (with pics)

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Thread: How to: Transfer Case Fluid Change (with pics)

  1. #1
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    How to: Transfer Case Fluid Change (with pics)

    Disclaimer: This is not professional advice or official procedure, just something I tried. I am not responsible for any damage or loss, direct or indirect to you or property resulting from someone following these steps.

    This was done on a 2013 Juke S AWD that has about 19,000 miles. Nissan recommends replacing every 30,000 miles or 24 months only if towing a trailer, using a camper or car-top carrier, or driving on rough or muddy roads. For normal use they recommend inspecting every 15,000 miles and no specific interval for replacing.

    My opinion: These gears work hard. The gear oil is not expensive - under $7 for 1qt. Same oil is used in rear differential as well. 1 Qt is more than enough to fill transfer case and rear differential. If you take time to open the filler plugs to check the oil, you might as well replace it. Filler plug is not easy to get to and you need to replace the Aluminum gasket anyway. You'll be throwing away less than a Quart total for both.

    So, my plan is to replace both oils every 15,000 miles (or no later than 30,000 miles)

    I was able to replace the fluid without jacking up the Juke. I could slide in with my head, neck and shoulders, that’s it. It wasn’t far enough to see the fill plug. But I did by feel and taking pictures ahead of time.

    If jacks are used, four are needed so the vehicle is level in order to fill the fluid to correct level.

    Material:

    • Gear oil API GL-5 service 80W-90 (370ml / 3/4pt). I used Valvoline Gear oil from Walmart. The label said Limited Slip. However, it can be used on conventional and limited slip differentials.
    • 2 Drain/Fill plug gaskets. These are made of Aluminum. Nissan part# 11026-1CA0A. Also, Dorman M18 095-149 ($1.99 ea @ Napa# 7041390. Amazon has a pack of 10 for under $9)
    • Both rear diff and transfer case use same oil and gaskets. If you buy 1Qt oil, it's mor than enough for both. If you do them together, total material cost per change would be less than $11 ($7 oil +$4 for four gaskets)


    Tools

    • Fluid pump that fits narrow neck on 1 Qt. Gear Oil bottles ($9.99 from Oreillys)
    • 10mm hex L wrench with a long handle (I used Harbor Freight #69084)
    • 10mm S-type wrench. (I used Harbor Freight #99699). 10mm combination wrench will work, but I found the S-Type gave me that extra angle for turning
    • 10mm hex bit socket
    • Torque wrench
    • Breaker bar
    • 3/4” steel pipe for extra leverage





    How to apply the S-type (or combination) wrench. Wrench is applied on the hex bit.




    Steps:

    0. Located the Transfer Case: Three power-train components meet at the transfer case on the AWD model - left and right front drive shafts, and propeller shaft. Locate the rear end of the propeller shaft on the rear differential. Follow the shaft to the front of the car. The other end of the propeller shaft is connected to the transfer case. In the below picture the circled part is the engine oil drain plug. Transfer case drain plug is in the square. And the arrow is pointing to the front end of the propeller shaft where it connects to the transfer case.



    Another way is to locate one of the front drive shafts, say the passenger side, and follow that to where it meets the transfer case.

    1. Warmed up the fluid by driving around until Juke reached normal operating temperature.
    Wear chemical resistant gloves and watch for hot surfaces!

    2. First removed the fill plug. Oil was not too dark. But It looked like it is time to change
    Unexpected: Space in front of fill hole is only about 2”. It was not enough for a drain plug socket on a ratchet. I had to use the L-wrench, turn the plug some, and then turn it some more with hex-plug on S-type wrench alternatively.



    When using the S-Type Wrench



    When using the combination wrench


    3. Nissan insists never to re-use the drain plug or fill plug gasket. Here’s why. The inner edge of the aluminum gasket is pressed into the hole forming a ridge/ contour. If it is reused, the contour lines could be different. This could cause tiny cuts on the gasket surface where fluid can leak from. These are about $4 a piece. I think it is worth the price rather than having a leak.





    4. Placed an oil collector pan under the drain plug and loosened the plug using 10mm drain plug socket and breaker bar. Then removed the plug by hand. There is no magnet inside of drain plug. Both plugs looked identical. I left the drain open for 10-15 minutes.




    5. Inserted a new gasket on the drain plug and tightened it to 26 ft lb.

    6. Screwed-in the fluid pump on gear oil bottle. Inserted plastic tube into the fill hole. Slowly pumped for a couple of minutes, waited for a couple minutes to allow the oil to settle. Repeated this until oil started oozing out of the hole. Waited a few minutes and checked to make sure oil level is right at the fill hole.




    7. Inserted another gasket on the fill plug. Tightened the fill plug to 26 ft lb.

    8. Took the Juke on a test drive.

    9. Checked both plugs again to make sure there is no leak.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How to: Transfer Case Fluid Change (with pics)-009-web-edited.jpg   How to: Transfer Case Fluid Change (with pics)-003-web-edited.jpg   How to: Transfer Case Fluid Change (with pics)-023-web-edited.jpg   How to: Transfer Case Fluid Change (with pics)-007-web-edited.jpg   How to: Transfer Case Fluid Change (with pics)-037-web-edited.jpg  

    How to: Transfer Case Fluid Change (with pics)-042-web-edited.jpg   How to: Transfer Case Fluid Change (with pics)-024-web-edited.jpg   How to: Transfer Case Fluid Change (with pics)-031-web.jpg   How to: Transfer Case Fluid Change (with pics)-013-web-edited.jpg   How to: Transfer Case Fluid Change (with pics)-002-annotated-web.jpg  

    Last edited by genuser; 03-20-2017 at 09:58 AM.

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  3. #2
    Moderator Swiftab's Avatar
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    Very nice tutorial. Now we expect this whenever you do maintenance. Thanks!
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  4. #3
    Senior Member Spiritmolecule's Avatar
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    Excellent write up. Is there a generally accepted mileage that this service should be performed at?
    Precision Turbo 4831, Tial Wastegate, Custom Intake, Custom Hard IC Piping, Mishimoto Z-Line IC, Custom 2.5-3”Downpipe, Uprev Tuned @ 20psi, Custom CVT Cooler, Synapse DV, 2J Racing Pulley,Dual Saikou Michi OCCs, Impact Racing Strut Bar, Stillen Rear Sway Bar, TBPerformance Front Cross-Member & Trunk Brace, 370Z Fog Light, LED Brake Light Reflectors, Blitz SBC, AEM Boost Controller & AFR Gauge, 370Z Akebono Big Brake Kit on StopTech Drilled & Slotted Rotors with SS Lines.

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swiftab View Post
    Very nice tutorial. Now we expect this whenever you do maintenance. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritmolecule View Post
    Excellent write up. Is there a generally accepted mileage that this service should be performed at?
    Thank you.

    Nissan recommends replacing every 30,000 miles or 24 months only if towing a trailer, using a camper or
    car-top carrier, or driving on rough or muddy roads. For normal use they recommend inspecting every 15,000 miles and no specific interval for replacing.

    My opinion: These gears work hard. The gear oil is not expensive - under $7 for 1qt. Same oil is used in rear differential as well. 1 Qt is more than enough to fill transfer case and rear differential. If you take time to open the filler plugs to check the oil, you might as well replace it. Filler plug is not easy to get to and you need to replace the Aluminum gasket anyway. You'll be throwing away less than a Quart total for both.

    So, my plan is to replace both oils every 15,000 miles (or no later than 30,000 miles). That's $7 oil + $8 for two gaskets = $15. I will look in hardware stores for those gaskets, then I may be able to get them even cheaper.
    Last edited by genuser; 05-02-2015 at 08:49 AM.

  7. #5
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    Success! I found a cheap alternative Aluminum gasket. Updated the first post. Installed it in the filler plug and it seems to be holding ok. This will bring down the cost. If you do rear diff and transfer case together, total material cost per change would be less than $11 ($7+$4, four gaskets).
    Last edited by genuser; 05-02-2015 at 02:02 PM.

  8. #6
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    I just cant seem to crack open the fill plug on on the transfer case. I am using the method above . I guess i need more leverage. I sprayed it with some pb blaster. Ill try again tomorrow.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuclearchris View Post
    I just cant seem to crack open the fill plug on on the transfer case. I am using the method above . I guess i need more leverage. I sprayed it with some pb blaster. Ill try again tomorrow.
    You may need to use a steel pipe for extra leverage. Good luck!

  10. #8
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    Thank you for this tutorial, I finally was able to change both the rear and transfer case today on my 2013 Nismo Juke with 25,000 miles. The rear diff was not that bad however the transfer case fluid was completely black. I would recommend people to this get this done.

  11. #9
    Junior Member EB Group's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genuser View Post
    Disclaimer: This is not professional advice or official procedure, just something I tried. I am not responsible for any damage or loss, direct or indirect to you or property resulting from someone following these steps.

    This was done on a 2013 Juke S AWD that has about 19,000 miles. Nissan recommends replacing every 30,000 miles or 24 months only if towing a trailer, using a camper or car-top carrier, or driving on rough or muddy roads. For normal use they recommend inspecting every 15,000 miles and no specific interval for replacing.

    My opinion: These gears work hard. The gear oil is not expensive - under $7 for 1qt. Same oil is used in rear differential as well. 1 Qt is more than enough to fill transfer case and rear differential. If you take time to open the filler plugs to check the oil, you might as well replace it. Filler plug is not easy to get to and you need to replace the Aluminum gasket anyway. You'll be throwing away less than a Quart total for both.

    So, my plan is to replace both oils every 15,000 miles (or no later than 30,000 miles)

    I was able to replace the fluid without jacking up the Juke. I could slide in with my head, neck and shoulders, that’s it. It wasn’t far enough to see the fill plug. But I did by feel and taking pictures ahead of time.

    If jacks are used, four are needed so the vehicle is level in order to fill the fluid to correct level.

    Material:

    • Gear oil API GL-5 service 80W-90 (370ml / 3/4pt). I used Valvoline Gear oil from Walmart. The label said Limited Slip. However, it can be used on conventional and limited slip differentials.
    • 2 Drain/Fill plug gaskets. These are made of Aluminum. Nissan part# 11026-1CA0A. Also, Dorman M18 095-149 ($1.99 ea @ Napa# 7041390. Amazon has a pack of 10 for under $9)
    • Both rear diff and transfer case use same oil and gaskets. If you buy 1Qt oil, it's mor than enough for both. If you do them together, total material cost per change would be less than $11 ($7 oil +$4 for four gaskets)


    Tools

    • Fluid pump that fits narrow neck on 1 Qt. Gear Oil bottles ($9.99 from Oreillys)
    • 10mm hex L wrench with a long handle (I used Harbor Freight #69084)
    • 10mm S-type wrench. (I used Harbor Freight #99699). 10mm combination wrench will work, but I found the S-Type gave me that extra angle for turning
    • 10mm hex bit socket
    • Torque wrench
    • Breaker bar
    • 3/4” steel pipe for extra leverage





    How to apply the S-type (or combination) wrench. Wrench is applied on the hex bit.




    Steps:

    1. Warmed up the fluid by driving around until Juke reached normal operating temperature.
    Wear chemical resistant gloves and watch for hot surfaces!

    2. First removed the fill plug. Oil was not too dark. But It looked like it is time to change
    Unexpected: Space in front of fill hole is only about 2”. It was not enough for a drain plug socket on a ratchet. I had to use the L-wrench, turn the plug some, and then turn it some more with hex-plug on S-type wrench alternatively.



    When using the S-Type Wrench



    When using the combination wrench


    3. Nissan insists never to re-use the drain plug or fill plug gasket. Here’s why. The inner edge of the aluminum gasket is pressed into the hole forming a ridge/ contour. If it is reused, the contour lines could be different. This could cause tiny cuts on the gasket surface where fluid can leak from. These are about $4 a piece. I think it is worth the price rather than having a leak.





    4. Placed an oil collector pan under the drain plug and loosened the plug using 10mm drain plug socket and breaker bar. Then removed the plug by hand. There is no magnet inside of drain plug. Both plugs looked identical. I left the drain open for 10-15 minutes.




    5. Inserted a new gasket on the drain plug and tightened it to 26 ft lb.

    6. Screwed-in the fluid pump on gear oil bottle. Inserted plastic tube into the fill hole. Slowly pumped for a couple of minutes, waited for a couple minutes to allow the oil to settle. Repeated this until oil started oozing out of the hole. Waited a few minutes and checked to make sure oil level is right at the fill hole.




    7. Inserted another gasket on the fill plug. Tightened the fill plug to 26 ft lb.

    8. Took the Juke on a test drive.

    9. Checked both plugs again to make sure there is no leak.
    Well done!
    Thank you for putting that together for everyone.
    2015 Nismo RS 6MT Super Black

  12. #10
    ayS
    ayS is offline
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    having a hardtime breaking loose the bolts from the factory for the first time on the transfer case. Any advice for getting it off easier? any other tool we could possibly use besides the steel pipe method?
    2016 Pearl White Nissan Juke Nismo RS AWD

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