How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V General Discussion Discussion, How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; Changed the differential lube today on my V @ 2165 miles. Here's the process to do-it-yourself! 1. Items Required: -- ...
  1. #1
    StealthV's Avatar
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    How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    Changed the differential lube today on my V @ 2165 miles. Here's the process to do-it-yourself!

    1. Items Required:

    -- Two quarts of GM #12378261 GM Synthetic Axle Lubricant SAE 75W-90 (~$27/quart)
    -- One 4 oz. bottle of GM #1052358 Limited Slip Axle Lubricant Additive
    -- One 10-mm hex allen wrench
    -- Suction gun
    -- Oil drain pan
    -- Set of Rhino ramps or equivalent
    -- Creeper to roll under car
    -- Troublelight to see in the dark :coolgleam
    -- One CTS-V (most important part!)



    2. Before the oil change, drive at least 10-15 miles at highway speeds to warm the differential.

    While working under the car, the engine, transmission, differential and exhaust will be extremely hot. Be careful, safety first!

    3. With the rear of the V safely supported, remove the fill plug first. The fill plug is located on the driver's side of the differential, half-way up the side of the differential housing and is a bit tricky to get at with the exhaust pipe in the way. Try using both ends of the 10-mm allen wrench to loosen the fill plug.



    4. Position the oil drain pan under the differential and remove the drain plug with the 10-mm allen wrench.

    Caution! Hot lubricant will come out quickly!




    5. While the differential housing is draining, clean up the drain plug. Here's the "before" shot of my plug. The dark glob on the end of the magnetic plug is the metallic paste that has formed from normal bevel pinion gear break-in.




    6. After the lube is done draining, install the clean magnetic drain plug and tighten snugly with the 10-mm allen wrench.



    7. Remove the top of the suction gun and fill it half full with the new GM diff lube. Pour in the bottle of limited slip additive and then continue to fill the suction gun body with diff lube until near the top of the gun. Place the top of the suction gun back on, go under the V, place the hose in the fill hole and press in the handle on the suction gun to push the fluid into the diff housing.

    8. Once the suction gun is empty, refill with diff lube and continue to fill the differential housing until lubricant begins to spill out of the hole.

    9. Reinstall the fill plug and tighten until snug.



    10. Clean up your mess, safely lower the V and take it for a spin and enjoy the knowledge that for not much money, you've done your differential a favor! V

    (Yes Reed, you can put it on the FAQ)

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    Rich H's Avatar
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    Re: How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    Excellent pictoral write-up Stealth V. Belongs in a Manufacturer's O&M manual.

    I have a question on the "metallic paste" on the magnetic drain plug. You say this is "metallic paste that has formed from normal bevel pinion gear break-in". This material looks identical to that found on my engine oil drain plug. I just changed the engine oil again today (2600 miles) and it had nearly the same amount of this material on the plug as it had at the first change (700 miles). It appears to be much too fine to be caught by the oil pump screen but should be collected by the filter. However, it seems to keep showing up on the plug.

    Is it possible that this metal paste is a result of machining of gear or engine components and is not completely flushed out during, or prior to, assembly? In any case, this is compelling evidence that the rear differential fluid should be changed before the manufacturer's recommendation (Caddy says never if not in servere service).

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    Re: How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    From my experience, a LSx engine takes 10,000 and sometimes more to fully break-in. If your drain plug has the pasty slime, without any visible metallic slivers, it sounds perfectly normal for 2,600 miles. The drain plug will begin to be noticeably cleaner each time you change oil.

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    Dreamin is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    Excellent writeup!! What do you use to add those cool arrows??

    One small request... Step 3, BOLD, highlight, somehow emphasize the "remove the fill plug on the driver's side" statement, maybe add a "Do This First"... If Joe-do-it-yourselfer removes drain plug first, and then for whatever reason cant get the fill-plug out... they're F***ed.

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    Re: How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    Thanks for the input Dreamin, I wordsmithed and added some bold lettering.

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    Re: How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    Dreamin

    I 2nd this request - good point.

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    Re: How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich H
    Is it possible that this metal paste is a result of machining of gear or engine components and is not completely flushed out during, or prior to, assembly? In any case, this is compelling evidence that the rear differential fluid should be changed before the manufacturer's recommendation (Caddy says never if not in servere service).
    It is highly unlikely that the contaminants on the magnetic plug were from the machining or assembly process, but the result of the gears all getting "happy" with each other.

    The company I work for builds hundreds of pieces of off-highway equipment each day and we take contamination very seriously. Parts are rejected anywhere in the machining or assembly process if there is even the smallest about of chips, dirt, foreign debris, etc. The reason we do this today is in the past we learned that not following this process led to high early-hour, "infant mortality" of components in our machines.

    Since I don't work for GM, I can't comment on their processes, but I'd wager they take it very serious as well by properly cleaning all the parts as they move through the manufacturing and assembly processes. The few seconds it takes to clean a part during the build of the car is incredibly more cost effective than fixing someone's car under warranty because it was built "dirty."

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    Re: How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    StealthV - I can't comment on GM assembly & machining practices either but contamination happens to even the best assembly plants. I have read on the BMW boards that there was a problem with a small sampling of M3 engines that suffered premature failure due to this very problem - leaving machining residue in the engine.

    Since this metallic paste is present in so many GM components including engines and rear differentials, I would tend to agree with you that it is a break-in byproduct and not a QA problem. However, there are some people on this board who have not seen it on their engine drain plugs after the first oil change. I think you are one of the few who noted it on the differential drain plug. But then, very few have reported that they have changed it yet on the V. Based upon your input I think I will wait until ~5,000 miles and change both my rear differential and tranny with synthetic lubricant. Before I saw your writeup I was going to follow the manufacturer's recommendation and not change either.

    By the way I see you have a K&N oil filter (HP2006 long) installed. That's what I installed at my last oil change. It took between 5 and 10 seconds to fill it with oil at startup. I was a little worried when the dash and nav screen flashed "low oil pres - shut down engine". I guess this is normal with an oversize filter.

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    Re: How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    Fill the engine oil filter with oil before you put it on the car. You can put about 3/4 of a quart in a HP-2006 filter. Guess I need to write up a engine oil change how-to procedure.

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    Re: How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    Good advice for this application - although you can't do this with every oil filter since many (most I've dealt with) are installed horizontally.

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    Re: How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    real, big time racers will tell you, quite loudly(!) to NEVER pre fill an engine oil filter before installing. You will then be pumping unfiltered oil (even tho it's new, it very likely could have contaminants in it) thru your engine. Most of them have a kill switch on the fuel system or the ignition system to allow for turning over the engine without firing to build up oil pressure...unless your running a very special, highly modified engine, I wouldn't worry about the low oil pressure when you change oil and first start up. Fact is, you really don't need anything more than the stock oil filter...most users change the oil and filter WAY before they need too. We're all fanatics with the baby!

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    Re: How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    If fresh M1 has contaminents big enough to get caught by the filter it is pretty crappy oil and poor quality control. Been filling my filters with oil since 1984 and yes, a racer taught me that trick.

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    Re: How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    For those that have done this, how much fluid did the diff take to get to the right level?

    I ask because mine only took 1.4 bottles today. (1 bottle being 946ml)

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    Re: How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    Mine also only took 1 1/4 bottles and I was pretty worried. I am hoping that someone knows for sure.

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    Re: How to Instructions - Differential Lube Change

    Yes, that's the proper amount. If you filled it up and it is oozing out the fill hole, you are golden.

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