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Thread: Dana 35 differential fluid change.

  1. #1
    Nothing but a Thing Strodinator's Avatar
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    Dana 35 differential fluid change.

    I finally got around to changing the oil in my rear differential today and took some pictures so I figured I'd write it up for those of you that haven't done one yet and I don't see a Dana 34 specific one. I started by soaking every bolt on the diff cover with PB Blaster for about an hour before I started, which turned out to be beneficial because the PO had put gasket maker on each of the bolts to help seal. These were very easy to get off so I lucked out.
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    Last edited by Strodinator; 08-07-2017 at 05:38 AM.
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    Nothing but a Thing Strodinator's Avatar
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    Now generally you will want to leave the top bolt on so the cover doesn't fall off into your drip pan. but the PO had used RTV that essentially froze the cover on. I spent well over an hour beating on it with a rubber mallet and trying to pry it off with a chisel. Once it was off I opened it up and looked at the mess that the diff was. The oil was so thick it wasn't even really oil anymore and there was much less than there should've been in there.
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    Last edited by Strodinator; 08-07-2017 at 05:38 AM.
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  3. #3
    Nothing but a Thing Strodinator's Avatar
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    To actually clean the inside of the differential I took a hose and just started spraying on jet so that a majority of the gunked up oil could wash out. Once that was all through I took a lintless rag and wiped as much of thick stuff out as I could. This proved to be a challenged because I had just parked the Jeep so the oil was still very much hot. I had to quickly wipe to avoid burning my hands. Don't be dumb like me. With most of the oil out I began using engine degreaser to spray out the inside because it is safe to use around bearings. As I sprayed I slowly rotated my wheels so the gears rotated and got clean all the way around. On a side note, my transfer case and transmission were in neutral so they could spin freely while I hand turned the wheels. I finished cleaning by taking an air compressor blowgun and blew out the inside to make sure there wasn't anything left in there. Once it was all clean I let it sit for about half an hour so whatever water may have been in there had a chance to dry.
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  4. #4
    Nothing but a Thing Strodinator's Avatar
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    Once all the hard work was done I rewarded myself by painting the differential cover. I used rustoleum self etching primer and rustoleum outdoor navy blue. A couple coats of each and I was ready to button up the axle.
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    Last edited by Strodinator; 08-07-2017 at 05:41 AM.
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  5. #5
    Nothing but a Thing Strodinator's Avatar
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    Before I put the new gasket on, I used a wide chisel to scrape any remaining gasket from the differential and the cover, and then I used acetone to clean off anything else that might be on there. I used a paintbrush to brush gear oil onto the gasket so I could guarantee the seal, and put a dot of gray RTV on the end of each of the bolts to ensure seal at the threads and imitate thread lock. I first hand threaded them in, and then I used a torque wrench to tighten them to 30 ft/lbs. Once it was tightened up, I took a hand pump and pumped in Valvoline 75w 30 limited slip full synthetic gear oil in until it just started to leak out of the fill plug. Once it started to leak I stuck the plug in there, wiped it clean, and called it a day.
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  6. #6
    Nothing but a Thing Strodinator's Avatar
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    Lesson learned from this is that I'm sick of harbor freight gloves. Anything that breaks after 5 minutes of use shouldn't be allowed to be sold.

    Sent from my Life One X2 using WAYALIFE mobile app
    If you want to see a broke college kid struggle through an LS swap, then here's your chance: https://wayalife.com/showthread.php/...546#post956546

  7. #7
    Fresh Catch Joshman3280's Avatar
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    Wow that old diff oil was really bad. Good thing you got that out. Did you see any pitting on the gears?


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    Meme King WJCO's Avatar
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    Glad you got all that nasty shit out of there.
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  9. #9
    Nothing but a Thing Strodinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshman3280 View Post
    Wow that old diff oil was really bad. Good thing you got that out. Did you see any pitting on the gears?


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    There was some corners on the teeth taken off, no more than a couple but no pitting.

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  10. #10
    Fresh Catch Joshman3280's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strodinator View Post
    There was some corners on the teeth taken off, no more than a couple but no pitting.

    Sent from my Life One X2 using WAYALIFE mobile app
    Awesome, I know I did my D35 and I am not sure it had been done within the last 100k miles. To my surprise I had no pitting which was surprising considering the excessive water that came out. I serviced a customer's vehicle about two months ago and his Gears were pitted and rusted I advised him on the condition and told him he may be doing a rebuild soon. Sure enough back a month later with gear soup! . I felt bad but I guess that what happens when you don't service the fluids after 160k miles.


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