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Front & Rear Differential Factory Fill Low

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by MA250, Nov 30, 2019.

  1. Nov 30, 2019 at 4:25 PM
    #1
    MA250

    MA250 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Just changed the fluid on the front and rear differential of my 2019 TRD Pro with ~12K miles. Measured the drained fluid from both differentials Rear was .5 -.6 quart low The front was low .3 - .4 quart low. Put in Redline 75W85. The truck seems to drive smoother and the slight wine noise in the 50s when feathering the throttle is mostly gone. The front fill was approximately 20% low and the rear 1/8 low. Is Toyota squeezing $'s and filling them on the low side of specifications?

     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019 at 11:49 AM
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  2. Nov 30, 2019 at 5:02 PM
    #2
    Itchyfeet

    Itchyfeet Banned

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    You're not alone I found my rear diff was pretty low when I dumped it around 850 to replace with Redline.
     
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  3. Nov 30, 2019 at 5:12 PM
    #3
    MA250

    MA250 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Did you change your front as well? The front only holds 1.6 quart and it was .4 low
     
  4. Nov 30, 2019 at 5:18 PM
    #4
    cnstaco

    cnstaco Well-Known Member

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    When you drain your diffs there is still gear oil inside, it will not be the dry measurement when refilling. Don’t ask why I know this. I put 4 in the rear and 1 in the front. But I have a locker in both. If you over fill it it will leak through the breather.19B3594D-6919-458F-AC99-E125BFB04492.jpg
     
  5. Nov 30, 2019 at 5:27 PM
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    gotoman1969

    gotoman1969 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve toured the factory. They use an auto fill system, guy filling the diffs just puts a nozzle in, it puts in the measured amount, so if they unit is off a bit I could see why they’re low on fluid.
     
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  6. Nov 30, 2019 at 5:46 PM
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    Itchyfeet

    Itchyfeet Banned

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    The front one I didn't measure, but I did change
     
  7. Nov 30, 2019 at 5:48 PM
    #7
    ryan760

    ryan760 Well-Known Member

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    People have been suggesting underfilled diffs for years now though. Toyota builds 200,000 of these things a year. I'm pretty sure if there were a calibration problem with the fluid metering machines they would have fixed it by now.

    That said, these machines do have tolerances, and as such, some trucks are getting slightly less fluid than others, but all of the trucks are in spec.
     
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  8. Nov 30, 2019 at 6:07 PM
    #8
    Pro-Taco

    Pro-Taco Well-Known Member

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    Both of my differentials were under-filled. Front by .5qt and rear by .7qt. I measured exactly how much came out and exactly how much went in to the fill line. I used redline 75w-90. 75w-80 is too thin for my taste and even for Toyota's (squeeze every MPG) taste, which specs it at 75w-85.
     
  9. Dec 1, 2019 at 4:32 PM
    #9
    Ice8

    Ice8 Well-Known Member

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    Honestly it makes sense the rear diff on the TRD OR is larger than the other ones. If they are filling them all the same and not adjusting the quantity dispensed then the issue arises.

    Mine was 1/2 a quart low as well.
     
  10. Dec 1, 2019 at 5:58 PM
    #10
    Ronzio

    Ronzio Well-Known Member

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    You can blame the dealership you bought it from as all Toyota vehicles go thru a new vehicle check list prior to the owner taking possession. Topping off all fluids is on that list.
     
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  11. Dec 1, 2019 at 6:05 PM
    #11
    MA250

    MA250 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'm kinda surprised that there is a noticeable \ detectable difference just changing the differentials fluid. Drivetrain is abit quieter. Not that it wasn't quiet, it is. Had a little bit of a whine that started around 7K in the 50s on gas feathering, even that is all but gone.
     
  12. Dec 1, 2019 at 8:15 PM
    #12
    jerzsubbie

    jerzsubbie Well-Known Member

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    Guys, draining your diff is NOT an accurate way of measuring how much oil was filled at the factory.

    The entire inside of the housing, all faces of the gear, all faces of the pinion, the axels, and everything else in the diff is covered in oil even after you drain it. There is also a small amount pooled at the bottom of the diff, opposite of the drain plug and around it. All of that certainly adds up. Point is, you’ll never get every drop out.

    I rely on the age old method of checking the fill hole; if it’s not right up to the fill plug while on level ground, top it off. Mine was about 1/2” low.
     
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  13. Dec 1, 2019 at 8:19 PM
    #13
    eon_blue

    eon_blue 8" third member

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    You'll never get the full amount of oil out when you drain it... plenty gets left behind in the axle housing and stuck to the gears.

    If you want to know if it's full or low, simply remove the fill plug. The diffs, tcase and (manual) transmissions get filled with gear oil to the point where the fluid will run out when you take out the fill plug...if you remove it and nothing comes out, you're low. Draining it and measuring what comes out versus how much is supposed to be in there is not accurate at all
     
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  14. Dec 1, 2019 at 8:20 PM
    #14
    MannyS

    MannyS Well-Known Member

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    Checking the differential, transfer case or transmission fluid levels are NOT on the dealer make ready check list generated by Toyota.
     
  15. Dec 1, 2019 at 8:40 PM
    #15
    ryan760

    ryan760 Well-Known Member

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    Better yet, just drive the truck and stop worrying about it.

    Change out the oil every 15k miles, per the owner's manual, and that's that.
     
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  16. Dec 1, 2019 at 9:46 PM
    #16
    Jeff Lange

    Jeff Lange Well-Known Member

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    Differential fluid levels are not on that list. They are inspected visually for leaks. Dealers are not instructed to remove any plugs to check the fluid level.

    The acceptable range for the amount of fluid in the differential is pretty large, and a lot stays in various places after driving the vehicle. You will almost always put more in than you drain out on the first fluid replacement, and possibly on subsequent services as well.

    Jeff
     
  17. Dec 1, 2019 at 9:56 PM
    #17
    ZachPrerunner

    ZachPrerunner Sometimes she goes, sometimes it doesn’t

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    As others have said, it’s not that big of a deal. Your diff isn’t going to grenade itself being .5 of a quart “low”. Drive the truck, change the fluids at the recommended interval, and continue on. Toyota knows what they’re doing, otherwise you’d see a recall or a TSB.
     
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  18. Dec 1, 2019 at 10:13 PM
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    Ice8

    Ice8 Well-Known Member

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    This was a pretty common problem with the 2016 and 2017 trucks. It took just over half a quart in the rear diff to make fluid spill out from the fill plug. I am hoping that this was corrected for subsequent models.

    Was pretty standard on earlier models to check. Look up the howling rear diff thread, the leaking rear diff thread, etc.
     
  19. Dec 2, 2019 at 1:34 AM
    #19
    Big tall dave

    Big tall dave Well-Known Member

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    ^^Agreed. I would add to this by saying that I always check these fluids after driving around the block, and with the truck on level ground (or on a drive-on hoist, never a 2-post hoist though)

    PS. Both my front and rear diff fluid was low from the factory. Transfer case was perfect.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  20. Dec 3, 2019 at 1:21 AM
    #20
    Pro-Taco

    Pro-Taco Well-Known Member

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    It's actually rather simple, for example, you remove 1.1qt and fill back in 1.6qt (front diff) to the fill line, which makes it .5qt low. I believe Toyota lists "wet fill" in the manual. "Dry fill" is always more, which makes it irrelevant how much was filled at the factory, it was still .5qt low.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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