Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.
Cadillac
 

Cadillac Forums | Help Us Help You | Advertise | Cadillac Parts | Cadillac News | Cadillac Classifieds / (Old System)

Cadillac Technical Archive | Cadillac Dealers | Cadillac Reviews | Cadillac Dealer Reviews | Cadillac Vendors

CadillacForums.com is the premier Cadillac Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 129
Like Tree3Likes
Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 1999 - 2006 Discussion, Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid. in Cadillac Escalade Forums; Alrighty... I just replaced the fluid in my front diff, rear diff, and the transfer case.... and took a few ...
  1. #1
    Patrick7997's Avatar
    Patrick7997 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2001 ESC, 2004 Escalade, 2007 HD Road King Classic
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Pewaukee, Wisconsin
    Age
    50
    Posts
    708

    Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    Alrighty... I just replaced the fluid in my front diff, rear diff, and the transfer case.... and took a few pictures.

    If anyone would like to see how I did it, read on.

    (moderators, if this is in the wrong section, I humbly apologize)

    Again, vehicle is a 2004 Escalade AWD, with 44,000 miles on it.

    Before we start, let's note that I drove the front of the Escalade onto a set of ramps, and then jacked up the rear by the trailer hitch, and placed 2 jack stands under the rear area, to put the truck up in the air and level. I'm not that small, and I was able to crawl around under there with no problems.

    Let's start with the front differential:



    This is the drivers side of your front diff. Camera is being held near the drivers side front tire, shooting towards the passenger front tire.. looking across the front axle area, if you will.

    You see two bolts there. The top one is bigger, it's a 15mm bolt. That is your FILL plug. The bottom one, the smaller one, is your DRAIN plug.



    Always remove the FILL plug first, as shown here. (Don't drain it and find out the fill is stuck... that's no good.)



    Fill plug is out, came out no problem. Now we remove the drain plug with a 13mm wrench. You're going to have your pan ready underneath this, because when this comes out, fluid will be draining.... the fluid will be shooting towards you a little, so factor that in your pan placement...



    Fluid is draining... nice. So far, so good.



    That drain plug is a magnetic plug, and hopefully you can see, there is a lot of material stuck on there....



    Drain plug wiped off... lotsa stuff there. Hopefully, I did this in time. Honestly, if I had an Escalade with 25k or more miles, I would go downstairs and change that front diff fluid RIGHT NOW. Now. You're still sitting there.... get moving! Joking. Okay, moving along.... let's assume the draining is complete. Replace your drain plug, the 13mm magnetic one.



    This is what we're going to use to refill the case. It's a little pumper, I have placed the correct length of hose on the pickup side, to go into a Mobil 1 75w90 bottle... I will put the long hose into the fill hole, and them pump the thing until fluid starts coming out the fill hole, indicating that the case is full to the plug hole... I've had that pump forever, I believe I initially purchased it at a marine dealer, and used it to fill up lower unit gear cases on outboard motors...



    Like so. Ready to go.



    Here we see I have started pumping, the fluid is flowing up the hose and into the case.

    When it's full, replace the FILL bolt, the 15mm one, and you're done.

    It took me around 2.5 quarts of 75w90 to fill it back up. An approximate number, there is probably some slight line loss with my long fill tube...

    You're done with the front diff!! Congrats! Light a Marlboro, take a break, and get ready to move to the middle of the truck, down the centerline, behind the transmission.



    Here we have the Transfer Case. This picture is shot from the rear of the truck, looking towards the front. Thus, this face of the case you are looking at faces the back of the truck. You see the two bolts there. It may not show up on the picture, but this case is actually inscribed "Drain" and "Fill". Same concept as before.

    Now, you see the square holes there, and you're thinking "What size wrench is that??" Heh heh, good question.



    There's your standard 3/8ths inch socket wrench, with no socket on it. Guess what?? That's the right size square.



    Like so. Note that's the drain bolt... we're going to do the fill bolt first, as always.



    Fill bolt is out. Case was really full, some came out. I was told at the Cadillac Dealer that that case is full of Auto-Trak II, the blue stuff. Which is $16 a quart. The factory fill, as you can see here, is ATF, Dexron III. So, save yourself some big cash, and just refill it with Dexron III (or Dexron VI) at a far lower price.

    This is thinner fluid, so it will really gush when you pull the drain bolt, and it will be coming AT you, so watch it, and watch your pan placement, unless you want a faceful....

    I'm sure you've got the idea here, Pull the drain bolt, let it drain, replace the drain bolt, set up your pumper, fill thru the fill hole until it comes out, replace fill bolt... These 2 bolts, like the front diff, came in & out with no problem.

    This case took about 1.5 quarts to refill....

    Pat yourself on the back, you have now completed 2 of the three cases!!

    I've hit the picture limit, seperate post for the rear diff....

    If there are mistakes here, I'm sure smarter people than me will point them out. You can save a pile of money here, with some easy work. Hope this helps someone... enjoy.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    CadillacForums.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    hcvone is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
    Automobile(s): 2013 CTSV Coupe , 2012 Escalade, 2014 SRX
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    H.V., Pa/Town of Webb, NY
    Posts
    12,787

    Re: Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    Pat, nice job, thanks for taking the time and posting this for the members.

  4. #3
    Patrick7997's Avatar
    Patrick7997 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2001 ESC, 2004 Escalade, 2007 HD Road King Classic
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Pewaukee, Wisconsin
    Age
    50
    Posts
    708

    Re: Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    Thanks for your kind words...

    Let me add one more quick thought. There are a lot of similarities in this write up to Tahoe's, Yukons, Trailblazers, Envoys.... they're very similar.

    However, in some of those trucks, AutoTrak II, the blue stuff, IS REQUIRED in that transfer case, and IS the factory fill.... just a little note. Sometimes you need the blue stuff...

    Not on the Escalade, apparently, but on some others, you do. Maybe because the Escalade is full-time AWD??? Not switchable, like the others?? Different guts inside that transfer case?? Speculating out loud...

    Just an FYI...

  5. #4
    Guyz1996deville's Avatar
    Guyz1996deville is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2003 Escalade
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Milwaukee
    Age
    34
    Posts
    540

    Re: Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    My transfer case had a ton of fluid in it. I pulled the fill plug and there was about a quart or more above that yet. How come there is a trend of transfer cases being over filled?

  6. #5
    digitalcaddie is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): '02 Escalade
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    201

    Re: Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    Better question is how do you over fill the transfer case? Tip the truck up on the bumper, fill the case, replace the fill plug and then put it back on the ground? Probably not...

  7. #6
    digitalcaddie is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): '02 Escalade
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    201

    Re: Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    BTW...I swapped the fluids on the front and rear diffs last night. Not too hard of a job...the truck was even sitting on the ground. I had some shavings on the magnetic drain plug that the dealer said is not a major concern. I hope he's right... The dude said noise/grinding sounds indicate a problem while the shavings normally accumulate. My truck has 64k miles on it and the stuff that came out was black...only about 1 qt in the front and 1 qt in the rear so it was time to do this job. Took just under 2 qts to fill the front and just under 4 to fill the rear. As for the rear level, there was a sign on a tag just above the rear fill hole that said the level should be 15-40mm below the fill hole. To achieve that level, I put a 90 degree bend in a plastic cable tie with 20mm of length hanging below the bend and used that as a dipstick. One word of caution when filling, it takes a little while for the fluid to settle. After I pumped in about two quarts in the rear, the fluid started flowing back out of the hole so I thought I had overfilled the case. After waiting 5 minutes, the level dropped and I was slowly able to add ~2 more quarts until the fluid registered on my makeshift dipstick. Great post Patrick.

    See pics below for dirty plug and clean plug from the front diff.


    [IMG]file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/rdysert/My%20Documents/Car%20Stuff/Differential%20Drain%20Plug/dirtyplug.JPG[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/rdysert/My%20Documents/Car%20Stuff/Differential%20Drain%20Plug/dirtyplug.JPG[/IMG]
    Attached Images

  8. #7
    CAD-E! is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 2003 Cadillac Escalade (sold)
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SAN FRANCISCO
    Age
    37
    Posts
    408

    Re: Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    dont forget the 2nd part. thanks again patrick7997 and hcvone for answering all my amsoil questions.

  9. #8
    xliemx is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): Cadillac
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    21

    Re: Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    just curious, I have a 03 ESV and am going to change diff fluids and put a chrome rear cover, what size rear diff does it have a 8.5 or 8.625??

  10. #9
    Big Q's Avatar
    Big Q is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): Cadillac Seville 1987 4.1DFI
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Hungary
    Posts
    34

    Re: Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    Hi! I have a 05 escalade with 100k miles and I have a strong buzzing from the front (like the trucks diff) can it be the reason is that the diff's fluid level is too low?

  11. #10
    pcguy760 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 02 Diamond White Pearl Escalade - Sold 10/11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    IL, USA
    Posts
    675

    Re: Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    Hi, I noticed my auto parts store only has "Mercon V" - is it okay to use this for the transfer case?

  12. #11
    Patrick7997's Avatar
    Patrick7997 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 2001 ESC, 2004 Escalade, 2007 HD Road King Classic
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Pewaukee, Wisconsin
    Age
    50
    Posts
    708

    Re: Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    PCGuy 760:

    No.

    You need Dexron III or Dexron IV...(or is it VI?? I always confuse that...) That's Dexron 3 or Dexron 6.

    Or you can use the blue stuff from a GM Dealer, the transfer case fluid, but it's pricey....

  13. #12
    pcguy760 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 02 Diamond White Pearl Escalade - Sold 10/11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    IL, USA
    Posts
    675

    Thumbs up Re: Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    Oops, my bad - I am so used to having my Expedition around I got the Dexron and Mercon mixed up (glad I did not really use the Mercon lol). I just got my Escalade and I am about to say bye to the Expedition.

    Ok thanks, I will get the Dexron then.

  14. #13
    klukshu is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): escalade
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1

    Re: Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    Great job thanks for the post thats going to be my next project

  15. #14
    pcguy760 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
    Automobile(s): 02 Diamond White Pearl Escalade - Sold 10/11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    IL, USA
    Posts
    675

    Re: Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    Hey is the transfer case different on an 02 because the drain and fill bolt is different on mine - more like a bolt type and it kinda looks different from the one pictured here...

  16. #15
    jwtjwt is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 2003 ESCALADE
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    11

    Re: Front Diff, Transfer Case, how to change fluid.

    Quote Originally Posted by xliemx View Post
    just curious, I have a 03 ESV and am going to change diff fluids and put a chrome rear cover, what size rear diff does it have a 8.5 or 8.625??
    Did you ever get an answer for 2003 ESV rear Diif. cover?

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Bookmarks

Cadillac Posting Rules

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Read about Lincoln | Buick | Kia Forte Forum
Need products for your Cadillac? Check out your options at the links below:

custom floor mats | Cadillac Chrome and Black Chrome Wheels | window tinting