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Old 12-24-09, 05:25 PM   #1
Poqman
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Default Change Rear Differential Fluid

Dealer wants $120 to change the differential fluid. Is there something more to this than I think? Is it as simple as pulling a plug and either draining or sucking out the fluid? Is a flush required? Would you use OEM fluid or go to a synthetic? My RX330 has 47k miles. Thanks.
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Old 12-24-09, 08:40 PM   #2
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I heard it's just drain and fill. But I looked at the differential and you need a hex key to unscrew the bolts. I think you also have to replace the gaskets like with an oil change. I've never done it though.
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Old 12-25-09, 08:58 AM   #3
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I would go to a mechanic or a toyota dealer to have the fluid changed. I would recommend synthetic fluid over OEM
Just my two cents
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Old 12-25-09, 09:54 AM   #4
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I have done this twice on my '04 RX 330. I bought the gaskets at the dealer and had the hex socket driver needed. I used Mobil 1 Synthetic and also did the transfer case fluid at the same time. The transfer case check and drain plugs are much harder to reach than the diff. You can buy the fluid and the tools and have $90 + left for your trouble...plus you'll then know how to do it. If you change your own oil, this is much easier. Good luck!
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Old 12-25-09, 09:58 AM   #5
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There is a thread in First gen with photo. Check that out.

The reservoir contains the fluid. After draining you get almost all of the fluid out [unlike transmission where a good portion is left in the system]. If you want to clean it a bit more, pour about 1/2 qt through the inlet, while the drain plug is removed.

Sticking with OEM is safe but you can always switch to better fluid, but you must do the research. What the other lube shops have in their vats may be of lesser specs than OEM.

As a DIYer, make sure you can open the fill plug before you attempt the drain. You may need special tools and the plugs may be tight. For he first gen, the size of the head is standard, but the clearance requires specail tool. Let me caution you that the stuff smells nasty.

One does not need special training to do the job, so you can certainly go to other places. Just make sure you supply them the right fluid, and crush washers.

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Old 12-25-09, 12:45 PM   #6
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thanks salimshah for the tip. I found the first generation instructions and pictures great. It answered all my questions.
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Old 01-02-10, 08:39 PM   #7
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What is the OEM spec fluid? Anyone have a part number for the gaskets?
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Old 08-06-10, 06:17 AM   #8
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Hate to bump this but I cannot find it anywhere anyone know what type of Diff fluid the RX330 uses?
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Old 08-06-10, 06:42 AM   #9
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Owner's manual perhaps?
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Old 08-06-10, 07:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badams1897 View Post
Hate to bump this but I cannot find it anywhere anyone know what type of Diff fluid the RX330 uses?
It is in the manual 80w-90 for transfer case and diff.
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Old 08-06-10, 09:46 AM   #11
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You can use 75W90 synthetic. My oil of choice right now is the Royal Purple 75W90 MaxGear oil, but I'm always experimenting.
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Old 08-06-10, 02:32 PM   #12
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Bangs head on wall forgot about the owner's manual. Thanks for posting.
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Old 05-03-11, 10:58 PM   #13
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Hi guys,

I'm just wondering do i have a rear Diff in my 2003 2nd gen harrier? (JMD)

It is front wheel drive.

Steve
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Old 05-04-11, 05:53 AM   #14
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The AWD only has the differentials...FWD (front wheel drive) does not.
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Old 05-04-11, 06:41 AM   #15
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I replaced mine with Amsoil severe gear. The Royal Purple stuff is real good too.
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