The Reason you should change your own diff fluid (1 Viewer)

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Aug 18, 2010
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Pulled the third member and the front diff to get 4.88's in today and guess what I found!!!

My front diff fluid was supposed to have been changed at the dealer 5000 miles ago.

This is what was stuck to the magnet, but it definitely looks like it bounced around a bit first. I'll take some pics of where it came from once we open up the front diff.

Here's a pretty pic of the third member if you've never seen it as well :)
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TheFuzz

Twinkie, Twinkie, Cupcake
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:eek: That looks painful. I'd be a little miffed if I were you. Not to go off on a total tangent, but man, whats with all of the crap service people have been getting lately? Is the LC/LX platform truly so "specialized" that techs are scared of getting too deep into it? All of these bad service stories are starting to wear on me a little. I guess finding a good local specialty shop that knows what they are doing is worth it!

Edit: Slee needs his own logo emoticon on here!
 
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Damn thats kinda ridiculous...edit..really ridiculous.

Even if LC/LX is specialized changing diff oil is pretty standard I'd think. As far as Ive seen thats something I could do and Im far from being a mechanic.

The s*** service is def true, just look at Nick (2000UZJ) and his dealer experiences. Absurd. Really glad we have the Cruiser Shop in Dallas, too bad only stealers can do warranty work.

Def want to know where that came from. Looks like an effed up gear tooth but that prob woukd have been noticed. I cant believe it didnt get caught and seize your diff.
 

rusty_tlc

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No way to tell if that tooth broke 5 miles ago or 5K miles ago, I wouldn't put to much blame on the dealer ship. But I agree doing your own service is a great idea.
 
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Wouldnt you be able to feel a broken tooth in the driveline?
Not once it hits the magnet. It looks like it bounced around a few times though. I'd think you would feel it when it happened, but someone else (wife, friend) could have been driving the truck when it occurred.

The oil that came out was black as could be, It really looks as if it has been in there a long time. I'm not saying the dealership caused anything, I'm not 100% sure that they did the front diff service...

The back looked golden and new, but they definitely didn't empty it through the drain plug... I had to spend 20 minutes with a pry bar and screwdriver to get the plug surround opened up enough to hammer a socket in there to remove the plug... And I haven't been off road since the service. It looks serviced (did they suck it out?)

The wheel bearing also may have been done, but I assure you they were not torqued to spec and had very little grease in them for just being done. I could put the hub socket on them and remove them by blowing on the socket :)

I'm taking the diffs in today for gears so I'll take some pics of the damaged tooth on the old gears
 

sleeoffroad

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No way to tell if that tooth broke 5 miles ago or 5K miles ago, I wouldn't put to much blame on the dealer ship. But I agree doing your own service is a great idea.
Agree with this. How do you know it was there when the dealer changed the fluid? However, would they have picked up something is wrong if the lube monkey saw that? Who knows.
 

sleeoffroad

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Not once it hits the magnet. It looks like it bounced around a few times though. I'd think you would feel it when it happened, but someone else (wife, friend) could have been driving the truck when it occurred.
When mine broke while wife was pulling me out with a struck snow plow there was no indication. Only when I drove it later that day did I hear a very faint click noise. If you were not in tune with the vehicle you would not have heard it. If it is the spider gear, you might not even hear it.
 
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Agree with this. How do you know it was there when the dealer changed the fluid? However, would they have picked up something is wrong if the lube monkey saw that? Who knows.
I don't know that the tooth was broken when they were supposed to have changed the fluid. What I am concerned about is that the fluid did not get changed... It was the color of the motor oil in my old f-250 diesel after 5000 miles.

The rear diff fluid was a nice golden color like it was changed 5000 miles ago. My concern is that they didn't change the fluid.
 
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Got the diffs back in today. All of the gears are fine. All we can figure is that the piece is still left over from the previous owner who grenaded the front end before putting in the ARB. So that means the tooth has been floating around for 10,000 miles at least!!!

Also when putting in an ARB. put the line in the solid part of the front diff, not in the Aluminum cover...

Amazing the things you find when you start tearing into your truck.
 
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Since the rear looked fresh and the front didn't I would guess that the tech didn't even realize that it was 4WD and just changed the rear fluid like they don on 2WD Tundras and Sequoias. Same truck, right? :rolleyes:

Anyway, I've had numerous experiences similar to stuff like this over the years. I do all my own maintenance except for only the major services, and I've been considering getting air tools and doing them myself lately. It's a shame that you can't get decent service at a dealership while paying $100/hr.

Only way I've EVER been able to make sure to get exactly what I want is to ask the service writer to get the tech for me so I can speak with him directly. When I've done that, I can explicitly tell them what I am paying for, what I expect to be done, and what I want to see when I pick the vehicle back up. When I've done that, nothing gets "lost in translation" and I've been pleased with the results. If the service writer tells me that he donsn't know which tech will do the work, then I ask for him to pick a senior guy right there and let me speak with him. I've never been told "no, we don't allow that"....
 

justdifferentials

Gear & Axle parts for ALL Toyotas new or old...
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broken tooth

When mine broke it was missing about 1/3 of a ring gear tooth. Didnt even click, actually was howling. I've dealt with diffs forever, so I was surprised to find a broken tooth.

Got the diffs back in today. All of the gears are fine. All we can figure is that the piece is still left over from the previous owner who grenaded the front end before putting in the ARB. So that means the tooth has been floating around for 10,000 miles at least!!!

Also when putting in an ARB. put the line in the solid part of the front diff, not in the Aluminum cover...

Amazing the things you find when you start tearing into your truck.
 
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how often do you guys change your diff fluid. What about drive shaft grease and other fluids etc. I am religious about my oil and what not, but have not changed any of this stuff since i got the rig 7 k miles ago.
 
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I change mine right around the 30K mile marks. Need to do it now... may do it this weekend, since I am not tiling a bathroom ("wife's" project).
 

rusty_tlc

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how often do you guys change your diff fluid. What about drive shaft grease and other fluids etc. I am religious about my oil and what not, but have not changed any of this stuff since i got the rig 7 k miles ago.
A lot of guys "base line" all the fluids when they buy a truck so they know where they are starting. I had some pretty good service records from the PO so it wasn't necessary in my case.
Other than that the maintainence schedule in the owners manual should be your guide. If you do a lot of off road miles you might consider a shorter cycle just because of the increase in exposure to dirt and dust.
 

sleeoffroad

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I don't know that the tooth was broken when they were supposed to have changed the fluid. What I am concerned about is that the fluid did not get changed... It was the color of the motor oil in my old f-250 diesel after 5000 miles.

The rear diff fluid was a nice golden color like it was changed 5000 miles ago. My concern is that they didn't change the fluid.
For same reason the fronts get dirty pretty quick. Don't know why, but that is the case. Not saying they did not do it, just a observation we have made here at the shop.
 

rusty_tlc

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For same reason the fronts get dirty pretty quick. Don't know why, but that is the case. Not saying they did not do it, just a observation we have made here at the shop.
The front diff is tucked up pretty close to the engine, maybe the increased heat breaks down the oil faster?
 
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i wonder if the front diff is more active because it's the steering end. is there perhaps a greater rotational difference in corners at that end? if so, could this contribute to wear/fluid contamination?
 

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