Nissan Armada & Infiniti QX56 Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
258 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A couple notes on my experience with changing the front and rear diff fluids.

I used Valvoline synthetic blend 85W-140 based on recommendations from both the Titan and Armada discussions. The full synthetic is twice as expensive and hard to find in my area.

Rear diff:

This is an easy project. You need a 10mm hex socket or a 10mm allen wrench to open the plugs. The hex socket is available at NAPA as a single for $5 - all other auto places I went wanted to sell me a $25 set. What drained out was about like grease - black, metallic flakes, thick like sludge. Yikes. The drain plug has a magnet on it that had a good amount of metal shavings, but nothing of significant size.

Pumping the fluid back in takes some patience. I blew through the cheapo pump from pep boys and replaced it with a NAPA pump. Worked much better, but the oil is thick and it takes a while. I filled it until it spilled out the fill plug, then let it settle, checked the level and added a bit more. Remember to coat the fill and drain plugs with some sealant.

Front diff:

Harder to get to. You have to drop one of the skid plates. The drain is on the bottom - easy. The fill you have to feel around for on the side of the diff. Both use a 3/8" ratchet - here a short extension is nice because the plugs are flush with the surface of the diff. Nice clean oil came out of here (showing how little the AUTO mode actually uses the front drive system) and few shavings. Again, pumping fluid back in took some patience. Also, after the initial fill to where oil was spilling out the fill plug, I let it settle and had to add approx three more pumps (1/3 quart) to get it back up to level.

Fun project. Total time was an hour plus clean up. Be ready to get greasy - so I recommend latex gloves and a few spill cloths.

Next up is the transfer case.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
359 Posts
Good point about settling. I let mine sit a bit, but I think I'll "pop the top" and just make sure it's full. One other thing I did was add a few pumps in the top with the drain plug out to add some "flushing" action. I think the grease/sludge may be from a manufacturing safeguard, interesting for a Nissan Eng. to comment on that. I am going change again in a few thousand miles and then go to full synthetic.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
84 Posts
Nice post. May be you can post some pics when you do the transfer case...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,363 Posts
I went full synthetic Mobil. Part synthetic is still part dino. The dino oil has particles of all sizes in it. Synthetic particles are all the same size. Smaller particles burn at lower temps than larger ones. Also, Dino oil breaks down over time, snythetic has a longer life before breakdown. Part synthetic oil will give you a more homogenous oil, but you will need to change just as often as the dino stuff breaks down. The synthetic stuff will last 2-5 times longer.

Also, from reading and talking to a lot of titan and armada owners, the diffs have a sealent in them from the factory. This sealent, like chaulk on the seams of the diffs, has excess that is inside the casings. This excess falls off into the diff oil. The seal is maintained but the excess breaks down and gets mixed into the oil in the diffs. Most people find their diffs full of sludge after the first 1500 miles. One change, and it remains clean as the excess comes out. I changed mine at 1500 miles to get the gunk out. :schla24:
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top