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Old 03-30-2011, 12:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default transmission/diff oil changes

So Mr. Lube quoted $60 each to change the differential and transfer case oils, and $110 for the transmission, which is just plain silly, since the books say all you have to do is remove the fill plug, remove the drain plug, goop up the drain plug with some Suzuki part number or equivalent, reinstall the drain plug, fill to the bottom of the fill hole, and install the fill plug.

Two questions, however: Does anyone know a more generic description of whatever sealant is required for this, that I might be able to locate at NAPA or Canadian Tire? And do I need a special socket to grab the plugs? It looks like a square recess, which I didn't actually think to try just fitting the 3/8" ratchet into *without* a socket---but everything else on the car is metric, so maybe I need to buy a special bit for those?

(Also, I'll have to buy a decent catch pan, and I saw a neat-looking funnel with a long flexible neck---any other tricks to make the job less messy for those of us without a full mechanics pit and/or car lift?) Alternately, do any of the near-Vancouver folks know anyone who will do all four in one go for some reasonable labour cost, to save me the bother and the risk of getting it wrong and spilling a bunch of oil down the side of the street...?
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Totally ridiculous. I just did this, front and back - forgot the size of the socket, but I didn't have to get any special tool, it was one of the sockets in the regular set. Just removed the drain plug and fill plug, drained into a tub, put back the drain plug (with no goop or sealant) filled the fill plug until it ran out of the fill plug. Closed up fill plug. Done. And remember, GL5
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You can use Permatex Ultragrey or teflon thread seal tape from any plumbing supply or hardware store - the required tool is a 10mm square drive, which is surprisingly difficult to locate, I got mine on eBay, you can also check your closest Ford dealership, as it's used on Fords.

Please avoid the use of a 3/8 sq drive ratchet, it will work in a pinch, but it damages the plug recess especially if the plug is tight - not only is the 3/8 square drive small, but it has rounded corners, making it very likely to slip.

Also get yourself a cheap gear lube pump - around $5, screws directly onto the top of the bottle, and makes filling the transmission & transfer case so much easier - there really is no room in the tunnel for your long necked funnel, etc.

It's very important that you remove the fill plug first - that way, if you find it doesn't budge, you're not left with a vehicle minus oil and unuseable.

Please make sure you get the correct weight & grade of oil - the transmission takes a GL-4 (which may be difficult to locate), the transfer case & differentials take a GL-5. Put the wrong oil in the wrong place and you will have problems - if you can't locate a GL-4 oil for the transmission, you can use a GL-5, provided it is "yellow metal friendly" or safe for use with brass & bronze components.

You may think Mr. Lube's prices are unreasonable, but he has to cater for overheads, including insurance for the little things that can go wrong, as mentioned in the preceeding paragraph.
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I quit using funnels for jobs like this many moons ago..

I use a pressure vessel (garden spray type), remove the nozzle and the gear oil will flow easy, no mess... just squeeze the trigger..

A 3/8" Johnson bar or ratchet should fit those plugs, any sealer will work to stop weeping, Teflon tape works well, Philip

EDit: Heed fordem advice, I have never experienced issued using 3/8", but if too loose or plug too tight may cause problems..
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Definitely excellent advice to remove filler plug first.
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Old 03-30-2011, 05:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Cool, thanks guys. Everything I'd read said to remove the filler plug first, but that's an awesome justification for why that's important. Also, the gear oil pump sounds like very much a good idea, so will try to find one of those.

One day when I make my millions I'll build me a garage with a mechanics pit, but in the meantime, one makes do with a shade-tree
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This is the one I have - and you can find it at Amazon (that's where I got the picture), I picked mine up at the local Plews dealer, most parts stores will have something similar.

Amazon.com: Plews Tools 55-001 Pump: Automotive Amazon.com: Plews Tools 55-001 Pump: Automotive
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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This is what I use, just smaller,Click image for larger version

Name:	Garden-Sprayer.jpg
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ID:	11517 Last one I bought on sale $8.00
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Great ideas (and the photos) aquanaut20 and fordem!

Getting the lube into the fill holes (and nowhere else) is the toughest part of the job.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I first used one of these pressure containers on a ford with the sealed tranny, (No dipstick).
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