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How To Change Rear Differential Fluid 00-06 Chevy Suburban

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How To Change Rear Differential Fluid 00-06 Chevy Suburban

Created on: 2014-05-28

Learn how to replace the differential fluid in your 00-06 Chevy Suburban or other GM Truck, with this video from 1A Auto

  1. step 1 :Draining the Differential
    • Place a drain pan underneath the differential
    • Loosen and remove the differential drain plug with a 3/8" ratchet
    • Let the fluid drain
    • Replace the drain plug with a 3/8" ratchet
    • If you're not removing the differential cover, skip to step 5
  2. step 2 :Removing the Differential Cover
    • These next steps are only necessary if the drain plug is corroded or if you're replacing the differential cover
    • If needed, use a chisel and hammer to reshape the 13mm bolts
    • Hammer a 1/4" socket onto the bolt if you chiseled rust off the bolts
    • Remove the bolts with the socket and ratchet
    • Repeat the process on the rest of the bolts leaving the bottom ones on
    • Insert a drain pan beneath the differential
    • Remove the bottom bolts
    • Insert a chisel into the bottom of the differential cover and lightly hammer it out until fluid leaks
    • Replace the bolt on the top of the differential cover
    • Insert a chisel on the other side of the differential and hammer it until fluid leaks
    • Let the fluid drain
    • Pry out on the bottom of the differential with a chisel
    • Remove the bolt on the top
    • Pull the cover down and out
  3. step 3 :Preparing the Differential Cover
    • Vacuum out any debris inside the differential
    • Insert a rag into the differential to cover it
    • Scrape off any gasket/residue with a razor blade
    • Clean the perimeter of the differential with a wire brush
    • If replacing your old differential cover, scrape off any residue from the perimeter of the cover
    • Clean off the metal residue around the magnet inside differential cover
    • If replacing with a new differential cover, place a light coat of RTV around the perimeter
    • Insert the gasket onto the cover
    • Place another coat of RTV around the perimeter of the cover
    • If replacing with the original differential cover, follow the gasket maker's instructions
  4. step 4 :Installing the Differential Cover
    • Double check that there's no fluid on the perimeter of the differential
    • Feed the differential cover into place
    • Insert the top bolt to the cover by hand
    • Replace the rest of the bolts by hand
    • Insert the brake line bracket in place when replacing one of the top bolts
    • Tighten the bolts to the differential and let them sit to form the gasket
    • Torque the bolts to 15 foot-pounds in a crossing or star pattern
  5. step 5 :Refilling the Differential Fluid
    • Remove the filler plug with a 3/8" ratchet
    • Replace the differential fluid until it pours over the side
    • Place a pinky inside to check the fluid level
    • Replace the filler plug
    • Tighten the filler plug with a 3/8" ratchet

Tools needed for replacement

  • General Tools

    Razor Blade / Gasket Scraper

    Hammer

    Jack Stands

    Chisel

    Drain Pan

    Wire Brush

    Floor Jack

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

    Gear Oil

    Cloth Rags

  • Ratchets & Related

    Torque Wrench

    3/8 Inch Drive Ratchet

  • Sockets - Metric

    13mm Socket

  • Sockets - SAE

    1/2 Inch Socket

  • Specialty Tools

    Vacuum

Installation Video
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Brought to you by 1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet.

Hi, I'm Don from 1A Auto. I hope this how-to video helps you out, and the next time you need a part for your vehicle, think of 1AAuto.com. Thanks.

In this video, we're going to show you how to fully service the rear differential as well as just replacing the rear differential fluid. The items you'll need for this are a 13mm socket and ratchet with an extension, 3/8 inch ratchet, hammer and cold chisel, vacuum, razor blade, rags, wire brush, drip pan, differential fluid, and we recommend jack and jack stands.

Now your rear differential is located right here and the drain plug for it is right here. If all you're doing is changing the fluid, you just want to remove this plug so using a 3/8 inch ratchet. Loosen and remove the plug. Make sure you have a drip pan underneath. When you pull the plug out, the fluid will just drain out. Then once it's done draining, replace the plug. If this is corroded, there's another way to drain it which we're going to show you now because we're going to show you how to fully service this rear differential.

Our bolts are in rough condition so we're just using a cold chisel and a hammer to reshape the bolts. You can see it's redefining the edges of the bolts, making it easier to get a socket on there. These bolts are 13mm, but, after reading the rust off, you have to take a 1/2 inch socket and hammer it onto the bolts, that gets a nice tight seal, and then we're able to remove the bolts. We'll just fast-forward here as Mike removes that bolt the rest of the way, and he's just going to repeat the procedure on each of those other bolts all the way around the differential cover. For the higher ones, it does get a little more difficult, and you will need an extension for your socket and ratchet to actually remove those bolts. Make sure you have a drip pan below the differential cover before you remove the last of the bottom bolts. You just want to remove those.

Now, using your chisel, just hammer out on the bottom of the differential cover. Then replace the bolt at the top of the differential cover. Then, use your chisel and hammer again on the other side. Then just let the fluid drain out.

After it's drained for awhile just pry out on the bottom and then remove that bolt. Now if any debris falls down inside of here, as you can see right there, you just want to vacuum all of it out and then take a rag, make sure it's somewhat clean, and just wipe everything down and just stick this rag back in there. Then, using a razor blade, just cut off that old gasket along the outside. Then just use a wire brush to get any leftover residue of the gasket.

If you're putting your old cover back on, you'll obviously want to scrap all of this off as well as you can, as well as clean out the inside. This is a magnet here, and you can see this all metal residue, just very fine metal shavings from the inside of the differential, so you want to clean all of that off. As we said before, you could just drain the differential and then refill with new oil but you'll still have all the metal particles on the magnet. It's a good idea to pull off the cover and clean off all the metal from that magnet so it can continue doing its job.

As you can see here, we're actually putting a new differential cover on this vehicle. Obviously you can do that and get one of those from 1AAuto.com. We're using a light coat of RTV, and then we're going to put the gasket on and then another light coat. If you were reusing your old differential cover, you would just follow the directions on the gasket maker of the RTV and use probably a larger bead. Make sure there's no fluid on the outside here. Then take your differential cover and feed it up into place. You just want to replace the top bolt to hold it in. Then we'll just fast-forward as he replaces the rest of the bolts.

Be sure to put this brake line clip back in place with the last bolt, and then we just follow the directions on the sealant. We tighten up the bolts most of the way, let it sit and form the gasket a little bit, and then go through and tighten the bolts. We tighten them to 15 foot-pounds using a crossing pattern, and then just go all the way around them to make sure that we've got them all.

Now remove this filler plug using your 3/8 ratchet, and ours is in rough condition so we're just going to hammer the ratchet into place and then just remove that plug. You want to just do this until it starts to pour over the side. When it starts to pour over the side, you can just put your pinky in there and make sure that the fluid is right to the top of the filler hole. Just reach in there with your pinky. If it is, then you're all set, and you can replace your cap. It's all wet. Then just tighten it up with your ratchet. You're all set.

We hope this video helps you out. Brought to you by www.1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the Internet. Please feel free to call us toll-free, 888-844-3393. We're the company that's here for you on the Internet and in person.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Razor Blade / Gasket Scraper
  • Hammer
  • Jack Stands
  • Chisel
  • Drain Pan
  • Wire Brush
  • Floor Jack

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Gear Oil
  • Cloth Rags

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Torque Wrench
  • 3/8 Inch Drive Ratchet

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 13mm Socket

  • Sockets - SAE

  • 1/2 Inch Socket

  • Specialty Tools

  • Vacuum


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