pumpkin juice.... (1 Viewer)

Oct 7, 2005
Cedar Falls, Iowa
So I got my cruiser a few weeks back and am just getting time to really go through it mechanically. What color/fuild type should be in the differentials? I checked mine today and it was brown and looked a little thicker than 10w30.... How often should it be changed? It has 139K and I bet it never has been changed. :doh: Didn't see any metal or junk in the fluid.

Blue 60
Jan 9, 2005
Gear oil should be lighter in color than that, and fairly thin, too (a little darker than ginger ale, for lack of a better comparison...). Yours has probably been in there for too long, and perhaps mixed with some of the wheel grease. Are your wheel knuckles (right inside from the rotors, around the axle) leaking grease or slimey oil, too? You may need to rebuild that one day and replace the seals. If you don't known the repair history of your rig, it's not a bad idea. Regardless, change those fluids!

It's really easy to change that differential oil (no oil filter to change, even!) so go ahead and do it whenever you can. Most guys just use normal gear oil (80-90 usually...) but the synth oils have a following too. Typically, you should replace the gear oil every 10k miles or so (I think). or anytime you cross water as high as your axle/breather line ... so synethics could add up $$-wise if you plan on offroading and doing any water crossings. I think regular gear oil works just fine. And bound to be an improvement over what you have.

Cruisers can lost a long time on bad oil / grease, so you're probably fine, but the sooner you change the easy stuff, the sooner you won't have to worry about it. And, if you haven't found a OEM Factory service manual from Toyota yet, track that down.

If your knuckles aren't leaking, it'd be wise to put a ziptie (untied) or some other thin piece of something down into the fill plug of each, just to make sure there is some grease in there. The fill plug itself is kinda a joke but it is a good way to see what's going on inside there without tearing apart your axle.

Welcome to the club! I bought my Cruiser exactly one year ago from yesterday, so I know how you feel... once you spend a few weeks on this board, though, you'll have most of the basic stuff figure'd out (and a lot of useless knowledge from chit-chat and more lift/tire opinions floating through your head than you'd ever guess existed).
Oct 22, 2003
Latitude 58N or 19N
ballardcruiser said:
Typically, you should replace the gear oil every 10k miles or so (I think).
That sounds a bit too ambitious for normal use. Owner's manual probably says 60K or so, maybe 30K for hard use. When I changed my BJ70 diff fluid, it was also muddy grey- brown. Definitely overdue at 150K!
Apr 22, 2004
Johannesburg, South Africa
I had always kept my full but dont think I ever fully changed it. It was a good colour when I dropped it to put in the new gears. The new stuff is of course that reddish colour.

I found the best price for gear oil was the local farm and feed store. Mystic brand I belive was cheaper then NAPA and Checker.

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