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Differential Oil Question

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Pat Masac, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. Jun 8, 2010 at 2:29 PM
    #1
    Pat Masac

    Pat Masac [OP] Member

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    This is a first post for me. Hello to everyone. It is a great to find a community of people who know what a quality truck really is.

    I have a 1995 Toyota Tacoma 2WD V6 with 297,000 miles on it. I am 42 years old and have been driving the same truck since I was 28 (I love what you do for me!). All I have done is change the oil and filter every 3.5K, changed a timing belt (about 3 times), radiator (250k), front left lower ball joint and a water pump- runs and looks great with a cold a/c (it's hot in Texas). My transmission fluid has been changed at every 50k. However, I have never changed the differential fluid. After looking over the Haynes manual, it says that my truck requires API GL-5 SAE 90 Hypoid Gear Oil. After searching around a bit, I have come to the conclusion that one can no longer get this oil. I really think it's time to change it and I don't want to make matters worse as it runs just fine. Does anyone have any suggestions? From what I can tell Toyota was not using synthetic oils at this time. Can I change to a synthetic in the differential? Thanks for your help and I look forward to learning more and helping if I can. My goal is 500k. Thanks.
     
  2. Jun 8, 2010 at 2:33 PM
    #2
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    Welcome to TW. Yes, you can switch to a synthetic. A 75-90w will suffice.
     
  3. Jun 8, 2010 at 2:38 PM
    #3
    BigRedToy

    BigRedToy ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    Hearing about your 300k on the same diff oil makes my Tacoma sad. :(
     
  4. Jun 8, 2010 at 2:43 PM
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    x2
     
  5. Jun 8, 2010 at 4:53 PM
    #5
    Pat Masac

    Pat Masac [OP] Member

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    Hey BigRedToy, You are absolutely right!! I should have never gone this long without a differential oil change- don't know what I was thinking! My Tacoma has been so good to me- I should do the same to her.

    Thanks for the recommendation on the oil. A couple more questions: Why can one no longer get the 90 SAE oil? Is the 75w 80 the same thing or an improvement?

    Thanks
     
  6. Jun 8, 2010 at 4:55 PM
    #6
    Pat Masac

    Pat Masac [OP] Member

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    Sorry, I meant 75W 90, of course. Patrick
     
  7. Jun 8, 2010 at 5:05 PM
    #7
    747

    747 function > form

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    Brand: Sta-Lube
    Type: Hypoid Gear Oil API GL-5*Plus 80w-90 ("*Plus": LSD suitable)

    Changed mine last weekend. Good luck.
     
  8. Jun 8, 2010 at 5:32 PM
    #8
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

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    Holy crap! You may have a very interesting time getting the fill, and especially the drain, plugs out. You are going to need every trick in the book and then some. Put a wire brush to them to clean off all the corroded crud you can and start hitting them with PB blaster on a regular schedule! Entire threads (on this site and many other vehicle enthusiast sites) are dedicated to plug removal alone. You might want to just go buy some new ones now just in case you have to go ape shit on them or they get damaged, and you can always return them if you don't need them. You'll need new crush washers anyway.

    Also, yes, as Pd3 says, you may want to do it once with a flush batch for a week, then drain and fill again. Go drive it and get it nice and churned up and hot so the particulates are suspended in the oil, and to help it drain out quickly and completely. Boy, that is going to smell reaaaaallly bad.

    If I am not mistaken, you want to change the diffs and transfer every 30K.

    And now I just realized you have 2WD, but still, the rear diff drain plug will be a lot of fun...
     
  9. Jun 8, 2010 at 5:33 PM
    #9
    96er

    96er Sport Rally'er

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    I drained my original diff oil @ 195k and it was dark but not burnt or anything. I replaced it with Coastal GL 5 75W-90. Same goes for my transfer case. I think changing fluids every 30k is way, way overkill and not necessary, neither is synthetic.
     
  10. Jun 8, 2010 at 5:37 PM
    #10
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

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    I just do it according to the owners guide maintenance interval and use Valvoline dinosaur oil. I am sure these trucks survive just fine in the third world being abused and without synthetic...
     
  11. Jun 8, 2010 at 5:39 PM
    #11
    toycar18

    toycar18 Well-Known Member

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    75w 90 is an improvement - it covers a larger range of temps.

    The first number is cold rating and second is heat. W stands for winter

    So it has the same high temp as SAE 90 but will be more fluid in colder weather. The lower the first number the better winter rating it has and the higher the second number the better heat rating it has. Stick with the manufacturer recommendations.

    I would spend the extra money and get a synthetic.

    Something like Mobil 1 75w90 or Valvoline SynPower 75w90 about $10 per quart

    If I remember correctly it takes about 3-4 quarts...probably closer to 3.

    The best gear oil is Royal Purple Max Gear 75w90 but it is more expensive.. about $17-$20 per quart. It has been show to increase MPG and friction drastically.

    Watch the video on the following link. The link is at the bottom of the page.

    http://royalpurple.com/gear-oil.html
     
  12. Jun 8, 2010 at 5:40 PM
    #12
    96er

    96er Sport Rally'er

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    Not to mention those dusty, dirty, damp conditions they're driven in. Just youtube the Top Gear Toyota truck special that'll give you a good idea of what these trucks can withstand.
     
  13. Jun 8, 2010 at 5:42 PM
    #13
    96er

    96er Sport Rally'er

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    My rear diff took exactly 2.6 quarts when it started weeping; my transfer case was exactly 1.
     
  14. Jun 8, 2010 at 5:53 PM
    #14
    toycar18

    toycar18 Well-Known Member

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    Cool... thanks for clarifying!

    I changed oil at Grease Monkey in High School.

    There would be Toyotas that came in with 150K and never changed there diff fluid. The fluid was always very clean. It was amazing.

    American cars would come in with 10K and the fluid would be black - especially Jeeps.

    I wouldn't recommend waiting 150K to change it.

    The gear oil just stays cleaner and doesn't break down as soon in Toyotas.

    Probably should change every 30K-50K with synthetics.

    If you tow, live in a hot climate or any other harsh environment change it sooner.

    Synthetics don't cost a ton more and will reduce friction resulting in better mpg, more horsepower, etc - it is minimal but it helps. It also protects much better than conventional oils.

    Oil is cheap compared to parts.
     
  15. Jun 8, 2010 at 6:08 PM
    #15
    747

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    Capacity ('03 FSM):

    2RZ–FE: 1.35 liters (1.43 US qts, 1.19 lmp. qts)

    3RZ-FE & 5VZ-FE:
    > 4WD Extra long model: 2.45 liters (2.58 US qts., 2.16 lmp. qts)
    > w/ Diff. lock Short model: 2.65 liters (2.80 US qts., 2.33 lmp. qts)
    > w/ Diff. lock Extra long model: 2.95 liters (3.18 US qts., 2.60 Imp. qts)
    > w/o Diff. lock: 2.55 liters (2.69 US qts., 2.24 lmp. qts)
     
  16. Jun 8, 2010 at 7:28 PM
    #16
    98tacoma27

    98tacoma27 is gooder 'en chicken Moderator

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    Excellent point, and I would recommend removing the fill plug before the drain plug. Nothing sucks more than having and empty diff with a stuck fill plug.
     
  17. Jun 8, 2010 at 11:40 PM
    #17
    kumaWRX

    kumaWRX Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. We have some domestics especially GM and Chryslers that have bad groan out of the diff at less than 75k miles. While we have Toyota trucks with 225k miles and no fluid change and the rear end is silent. Overall I am a fan of the 3rd member type diffs that the Toyotas have instead of the Dana style. The Ford 9" is also 3rd member style and everyone knows its a bulletproof diff.

    All that aside I just replaced my diff oil that only had about 39k miles on it with Royal Purple Maxgear 75W90. I chose to put synthetic because it has less friction and supposedly foams less resulting in greater protection. Plus, I may never drain it again so I wanted good stuff. It may be in my head but I swear that while cruising at 60mph the RPMs are about 100 lower than when I had the OE dino.
     
  18. Jun 9, 2010 at 7:41 PM
    #18
    Pat Masac

    Pat Masac [OP] Member

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    Hey, Thanks for the advice. Please let me clarify, I have NO problems with any groaning or noise from the diff, just seemed logical to change at 300K! I don't see any signs of corrosion around the drain or fill plug but will scocar's advice on removing the plugs. I also agree with 96er- I don't think I'll be changing to a synthetic- if the original made it this far, why change? I'm thinking of Pennzoil in a 75w-90.

    Also, toycar18 is right, domestics are shit. My wife has a Camaro- I've changed the window motors numerous times. I had to completely overhaul the A/C- changing every component but the evap- which I flushed thoroughly. If I could find an idiot to buy this junk I'd take a Corolla in a second.

    Thanks All, Patrick
     
  19. Jun 10, 2010 at 12:42 AM
    #19
    kumaWRX

    kumaWRX Well-Known Member

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    Pat, Pennzoil is very good conventional oil, I'd say one of the best so use it with confidence.
     
  20. Jun 12, 2010 at 2:57 PM
    #20
    Pat Masac

    Pat Masac [OP] Member

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    Scocar, Do you really think I need to replace the crush washers? It's Saturday and I'm about to go tackle this job but can't afford any down time for my truck. Are these a dealer item?

    By the way, I settled on Sta-Lube in 80w-90 from Napa with the 10 dollar hand pump that comes with it (thanks, Bkeith47)- figure I can use the pump on the tranny latter.

    Wish me luck. Pat
     
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