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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 05-15-2009, 11:02 AM
BDFD BDFD is offline
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Front Differential Oil Change?

I'm going to change the oil in the front differential this weekend on my 1996 F250 4x4/351. I'm under the impression that I need to get a pump and suck the old oil out of the fill hole in the front.

If this is how it is done (with the axle still in the truck), waht is the best way to go about it cheaply? I have my counterpart's hand pump but he says he has a hard time pumping warm 10w40 with it. I do not want to buy a $50+ electric pump for something I will only do once every so often.

Anyone got any tricks or anything? Am I even going about this the right way in the first place? Remember, 4x4 novice here...
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:42 PM
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Why are you changing it? Unless it is an LS diff, which I don't think was even available on the '96 models, you don't need to change the fluid unless it has water in it.
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:23 PM
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I checked it last year when I first bought it and it was low. I topped it off and I'd just like to change it all out. The seals are somewhat blown and the oil is old and dirty.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:55 AM
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I just pumped the old oil out. It was half full of water. F'ing great.
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:08 PM
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Why are you changing it? Unless it is an LS diff, which I don't think was even available on the '96 models, you don't need to change the fluid unless it has water in it.
yep they were, i got one too ! mostly were available on floor shift 4x4 trucks ,
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:58 PM
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How do you know if you have a front LS? My rear one doesn't work at all. Is there a code for this?
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:28 PM
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How do you know if you have a front LS? My rear one doesn't work at all. Is there a code for this?
Look on the VIN sticker on the driver's side door frame near the striker plate. Look at the AXLE code. If there is a three character axle code and the last character is a "2"-you have a factory front limited slip.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:33 PM
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Why are you changing it? Unless it is an LS diff, which I don't think was even available on the '96 models, you don't need to change the fluid unless it has water in it.
My Service Manual for my 92 says that the differential oil should be changed every 100k miles.
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Old 05-17-2009, 06:14 AM
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I used a small cheap hand pump from Harbor Freight. Was not real fast, but worked ok. Also handy if you get too much ATF in a tranny. Used it on my son's car for that.
Good Luck Frank
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:25 AM
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Question - if it turns out that I have a factory frony limited slip, do I need to put in the friction additive?
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:21 PM
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It wouldn't be a bad idea.

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Old 05-18-2009, 05:08 PM
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Right on. I wasn't sure if the guts if the front diff has the same type of equipment as the rear.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:22 PM
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if you found water in your oil , i would pull the 3rd member and flush the housing to get it out. Dont get me wrong, its a suck job but so is replacing the 3rd member when it blows up when you really need it
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:50 AM
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Ok, help me out here (4x4 rookie). What is the third member and how do I yank it?
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:19 PM
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In order to pull the 3rd member, you need to pull the driveshaft,
remove the driversside axle shaft. then unbolt the 3rd member from the driverside TTB(catch the oil). Now it gets tricky. push the passenger axle inward, remove the axle "c" clip and remove the axle. now the 3rd member is out of the truck. clean the 3rd member w brake cleaner and prep it to go back in. Install is reverse of removal. Good luck. that 3rd member is heavy!!
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:19 PM
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1960, 4x4, 95, bronco, change, diff, differential, explorer, f150, f250, fluid, ford, front, mountaineer, oil

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