Front Differential Fluid Change Pictures - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum



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Go Back   Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum > 2002 - 2009 TrailBlazer/Envoy Tech > 02-09 Vortec 4.2L I-6 Engine and Drivetrain > 4x4 Drivetrain

4x4 Drivetrain 4x4 Repairs & Problems

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  #1  
Old 02-20-2010, 07:15 PM
lhassebrock lhassebrock is offline
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2002 Chevy TrailBlazer LT
Summit White 4.2L I6 4X4
Join Date: May 2007
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Front Differential Fluid Change Pictures

I recently changed out the fluid in my front differential and thought I'd share a few things in case it helps anyone out. Also found out my fiances uncle is an amsoil dealer...Sweet!

The following pictures are through my drivers side wheel well with the front tire removed. I would suggest removing the front tire, you'll thank yourself later.

The fill plug takes an 18mm socket.



I could get a regular 3/8 in ratchet on the fill plug but couldn't get enough leverage to break it loose.



I certainly could have found enough extensions laying around to gain clearance, but it would have been a total pain. I ended up using the handle off of my jack as a breaker bar. I wedged it between a section of the frame and the handle of the ratchet and with a little tug upward it broke right loose. Be careful though there's some electronic connections back behind there you probably don't want to break.



The drain plug isn't in a particularly accessible location either. My ratchet combined with the 13mm socket necessary to do the job didn't have the clearance. But a 13mm wrench did the trick. This plug has a nylon washer behind it and came right out.



Hope someone finds this helpful.
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:47 PM
Wex Wex is offline
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for my fill plug i used a 1/2 inch drive ratchet with 5 inch extension.

drain plug i used a common wrench

very simple task but messy while draining. lube came pouring out and had to wipe off everything lol

lube was purchased at autozone for about $22 bucks total.
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2010, 11:40 PM
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the roadie the roadie is offline
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First time owners are always asking for pics. Thanks! I edited your post in only one place where you meant to say "drain".

And another thing to remember is always take out the FILL plug first. In case you can't get it out (especially important on a differential), you want to find out before you have drained it. In an emergency, though - you can always refill it through the vent tube.
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:13 PM
lhassebrock lhassebrock is offline
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Quote:
I edited your post in only one place where you meant to say "drain".
Thanks for the cleanup Roadie, and as he mentioned, make sure you can loosen the fill plug before taking out the drain plug.

Quote:
very simple task but messy while draining. lube came pouring out and had to wipe off everything lol
Once I made sure the fill plug would come out I put it back in part of the way, this will slow the fluid pouring out of the drain hole. Once the fluid started to slow I opened the fill hole up and let the rest drain out. Sounds like it's a good thing I went that route.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:47 AM
JerryIrons JerryIrons is offline
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2006 Chevy TrailBlazer LS EXT
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I just did this job myself recently and took some pictures to post, hope you don't mind but I think I will just add to this thread. This job is actually so easy that it almost doesn't need a write up, but it isn't done all that often, and sometimes it's nice to know what you are getting yourself into... I was going to start my own thread but you beat me to it! I was also changing a front wheel bearing and decided to change the front diff fluid as well, I would recommend removing the wheel for this job too, much easier to get at things, both for fluids, and the bolts.
Also, if you remove the engine shield on the bottom you will have an easier time of it - these are 13mm bolts. Then you will have some room on the bottom to get the differential bolts off easier. Like others have said make sure you get the fatty fill bolt off first. You should be able to reach in then and check the fluid level - just below the edge of the hole. (note: I suppose this can vary depending on how high your driver side frame is jacked up...)
Here is a pic: (fill bolt removed obviously)


The drain bolt is 13mm. The fill bolt is 18mm. Both of these bolts are torqued to 24 foot pounds. Don't do what I did and try and tighten the bolt thinking you are attempting to loosen it. Don't ask it was 12:30am and I was getting tired, luckily I just put it off until the morning before I got mad... I had room for a smaller cheater pipe and a breaker bar underneath to make things easier. According to my notes I had no room for a socket on the drain bolt - I ended up using a brake wrench just to be safe.
Here is a shot underneath with the engine shield off:


The rust and other crap you are seeing is what happens when you live near Buffalo New York! It's about 5 degrees F right now and I am in an unheated garage. It sounds cold but really isn't as long as you are out of the wind - I usually work with a sweatshirt and 2 pairs of latex gloves, but I always wear a open face ski mask hat. (balaclava)
A shot of the fatty fill bolt:


A shot of my used differential fluid - for some reason I had a sudden craving for ice cream to put this over haha.


Lastly, a shot of the lubricant used, by no means a product recommendation. Service manual calls for 0.8 Liters of synthetic 75W-90 lubricant. What I liked about the valvoline was the tapered end - all I did was use a piece of hose, cut the tip of the bottle to fit the hose, ran the other end into the differential, and squeezed the bottle to empty it - pretty fast. I think you want the hose like 2 or 3 feet long to make it easier. Having the wheel off makes it a lot easier to fill up.


The service manual does not call for any sealant to be put on the bolts (it does for the transfer case), and when I removed my bolts there was no evidence of any previous sealant used.
HTH,
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:19 PM
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the roadie the roadie is offline
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Much appreciated!
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryIrons View Post
This job is actually so easy that it almost doesn't need a write up...
You'd be surprised the jobs we get requests for a "step-by-step-with-pics" write-up for. Like changing the air filter....
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:47 PM
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sdhsg sdhsg is offline
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Front Differential

Thanks for the pictures. the the replace the seal on the drive side half shaft. oil level was down about half way. Great another project!!!
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:47 PM
got_titan got_titan is offline
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thanks for the great pics! working on my sisters envoy and these pics helped a great deal! thanks again....
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2010, 09:46 PM
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barniejekyl barniejekyl is offline
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my project this weekend. thx for all the pics and the write-up....
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2010, 10:22 PM
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Michblaze02 Michblaze02 is offline
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Is there any sort of torque requirements for the plugs at all, or is it just until they are nice and tight again.

By the way, thanks for the pix, now that I don't have to use my stock jack (there's not much worse then having to use the stocker) that comes with the ride I'll be doing this as soon as it gets a bit warmer out around here.
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