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And so, because to me "weekend" means "an additional 2 days per week to work with no break," I am back with additional DIY guides and photos.

To do this very quick and easy service, you will need:

* a 3/8" ratchet
* a breaker bar, depending on how many salty Ohio winter roads your truck has braved
* a 12mm socket
* ~1.5 quarts of 75W90 gear lube
* a drain pan
* 4 ramps ideally, to have the truck level
* a hand pump to push the new fluid in ($15 at Autozone)
* invest in a small ultrasonic parts cleaner and some concentrated degreaser (see below)

1) After driving the truck up to operating temperature (and if you're OK doing so, at least half a mile in 4x4 to get the front differential doing some movement of gears), you will drive up on the ramps and orient yourself. My Pro-4X has a plastic shield which partially covers the front differential and the engine oil pan. I am pointing at the oil drain plug to help orient anyone for whom this is totally new:



2) Using your previously-never-used-12mm-socket (because that is a very, very odd size), you will remove the 4 bolts holding the plastic shield in place. Now you will see the drain plug for the front differential:



3) Up near the axle (which, as it were, extends out of the front differential which provides power to that axle when in 4x4) and on the passenger's side, you will see a matching plug. This is the fill plug:



4) Remove the fill plug first with the ratchet and/or breaker bar, as this will allow air to escape as the differential drains in a few minutes. Note how the magnet in the fill plug (which is not constantly covered in gear oil) has actually caught a significant amount of metal particulates (and this is only used strenuously when in 4x4... so that is lots of wear):



5) After getting your drain pan in place and gloves on, remove the drain plug and watch the surprisingly-grey OEM fluid rush out and hit you with the embalming fluid stench. You will find that the drain plug is even more coated with metal:



6) While the fluid drains, run your differential plugs through the ultrasonic parts cleaner you ought to get, because it removes ALL of the grime you can never fully wipe off. If you're going to put these back into contact with fresh lube, why willingly add ANY of the old metal particulates back?? You need to reinstall the drain plug - I tightened it snug, as I could not find a torque spec anywhere.



7) Use the hand pump to push in 1.5 quarts and just SLIGHTLY more than that, through the fill hole:



8) Reinstall the fill plug (again, I snugged it, as I couldn't find a torque spec anywhere). You will then want to never-seize the plastic shield's 4 bolts before reinstalling them, as the top of the threading is open to the air and upward-facing bolts = salt and water will easily work down into the threads.

You have changed the front differential fluid. Rejoice greatly at your triumph.
 

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@mrbrefast - Thank you very much for taking the time to do this thread. I changed my fluid out today. Was super easy.
 

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Premium Member
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@mrbrefast - Thank you very much for taking the time to do this thread. I changed my fluid out today. Was super easy.
My pleasure - I like to try and be helpful, if and as I can.

Also: if you (or anyone, really) are looking for a source for Amsoil, I am your guy. Send me a private message, and I can get you set up as a Preferred Customer, to get significantly reduced pricing.
 

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Good write up, how many miles before you guys change the diff fluid? I don't see it in the manual. Also I think the forum should add a DIY instructional section
 

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Also I think the forum should add a DIY instructional section
I Agree.

previously-never-used-12mm-socket (because that is a very, very odd size)
Toyota loves the 12mm socket as well. Great write up!!
 
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