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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
DISCLAIMER: The procedures, methods and products written up here was for my circumstances only and were performed on a 2001 Automatic. I make no promises that your results will be the same nor do I claim that this is the best way to do it. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Printable PDF Attached at the end of the post

WARNING: Automotive fluids are not good for you. I have no reason do doubt the statement that used fluids are carcinogenic. Use latex gloves when handling used automotive fluid, and wash hands soon after you are complete with the task.

WARNING on working under a raised vehicle: This procedure requires that the vehicle be raised. Do not depend on the jack alone. Use jack stands and place them under the lift points as described in the owner’s manual.

Time Required: 1 hour

Differential Drain/Fill Crush Wash Part Number: 12157-10010. $0.84 each
Qty Needed: 2

Differential Fluid used, Mobil 1 Synthetic 75/90 GL-5 rated. $9.85 each
Qty Needed: 1.3 qts (2 bottles)
(Don’t cheap out here. This fluid will be in your car for 30k at least (my change interval). Some wait until 60k has passed to replace the differential fluid. That is a long time, and it is better to put in quality fluids and know that you are protected)

For people who have LSD, plan on purchasing a bottle of GM limited slip additive. Add this first, then add the differential fliuid until the diff is full. Thanks to Alexus_300 for this info.

Tools Needed:
-1/2” breaker bar
-10" 3/8" extension
-10mm allen key 3/8” socket
-torque wrench capable of up to 50 ft lbs
-12-14” length 3/8” clear tubing or a spill stop fluid tube (pictured)


Begin by driving the car 5-7 minutes to warm the differential fluid. If the car is already hot, skip this step. Warm diff fluid will drain faster and more completely. Be aware that you are also working very close to the exhaust piping. If the car is fully warm, so too will be the exhaust.

Step 1. Jack up the car. The car should be level when jacked up.
Step 2. Remove the *FILL* plug first. If you for some reason you drain the diff and cannot get the fill plug removed, you will have to flat bed your car to the dealer. Better to be safe and make sure you can undo the fill plug first. Use the 10mm allen head socket and the ½” breaker bar. This bolt will be tight. Make double sure that the allen is square and firmly in the hole before applying force.
Step 3. After you remove the fill plug, remove the drain plug using the same 10mm allen and the breaker bar.

Step 4. Allow fluid to drain. Go and have a beer and by the time you return it should be ready.
Step 5. Clean the drain plug. The plug is magnetic and is designed to capture and hold the fine metal shavings associated with normal wear. The plug should have black-like goo on it. If you see large metal shavings or chunks, call your dealer and ask them what they recommend.

Step 6. Replace the crush washer on both the drain and fill plugs. Reinstall the drain plug and tighten to 39 ft lbs.
Step 7. Use either the spill stop tube or the clear tubing, attach the tube to the top of the oil container. Make sure it is tight, as you will have to squeeze the fluid into the differential. You don’t want any leaks as you will be under the tube while you are squeezing.


Step 8. Position the oil canister inside the passenger side wheel as far above the differential fill plug as possible. Squeeze in as much of the first quart as possible.


Step 9. When complete, you will likely have extra fluid left in the bottle. Transfer it to the full bottle and repeat the process. You should be able to get almost ½ of the 2nd bottle into the differential before fluid starts to drip out. Once fluid begins to drip, stop filling, remove the tube, and replace the fill plug (using a new crush washer)
Step 10. You will need a 10” extension to get far enough away to use a torque wrench. Torque this bolt also to 39 ft lbs.
Step 11. Double check that you have torqued both fill and drain plugs. You are done.

Optional tasks:
- Since you are under your car, you should check all 4 of your axle boots. Any leaks or tears in these boots could mean a costly repair. However if caught early, you can just replace the boot, repack it with grease, and be fine.
 

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Man, this is great. I saw your other thread about changing spark plugs, that was good too. You should be writting DYI Manuals :lol:
 

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AWESOME stuff.... + REP to you for taking the time to do this!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pawel said:
Man, this is great. I saw your other thread about changing spark plugs, that was good too. You should be writting DYI Manuals :lol:
Thanks. I am doing most of my 60k service myself as it is all pretty easy. As I go down the list of tasks, I will just keep adding to the DIY list.

I will be doing the following things soon:
Power Steering flush.
Auto Tranny flush
Brake pad/rotor replacement w/ brake bleed
Coolant replacement

Have not decided yet if I am going to do the drive belt replacement myself.

Thanks for the note.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
pinoyballah said:
FINALLY!!! lol...rep++...there shouldnt be a difference if you have a manual right???
No difference, but the Toyota manuals suck. I have Honda manuals that are far and away better. The ones from Toyota are just too simplistic and don't have enough detail pictures. If I make any deviations from the manual I try to note them, however these DIY threads are mainly for those who don't purchase the manual.
 

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you are tha muthaf'n meng!!!!
 

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This is the first +rep and I give it to you! Saw your other thread
also; have something to do next weekend! Great write up!

I too am used to Helm's manuals for Honda --> awesome books!
We have done so many projects using the Helms... Too bad Toyota
isn't as good :(

j
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
JKSlexus said:
what would you say this diy cost you ruffly? again thanks
Fluid was $9.85 a quart.
New crush washers were $.84 each
The tube fill thing that I used was about $8, and I have been using it for 5 years now, so I consider it sunk cost at this point.

Total cost of parts $23
HTH

Cheers.
 

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Great DIY post. On a side note, for those of us that have the torsen LSD equipped on our cars, please add on to this DIY a bottle of GM limited slip additive to prevent the chattering noise associated with LSD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Alexus_300 said:
Great DIY post. On a side note, for those of us that have the torsen LSD equipped on our cars, please add on to this DIY a bottle of GM limited slip additive to prevent the chattering noise associated with LSD.
Thanks, will do.
 

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Out of the curiosity, does anyone know how much it would cost at Lexus Dealer to do the Diff Fluid Change??

I'm guessing at least $100. Is that too much or not enough :lol:

I'm gone +rep you for the good work :)
 

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Pawel said:
Out of the curiosity, does anyone know how much it would cost at Lexus Dealer to do the Diff Fluid Change??

I'm guessing at least $100. Is that too much or not enough :lol:

I'm gone +rep you for the good work :)
Anything more tham $10 for this is too much. This seriouls is VERY VERY easy. Don't be alarmed by the nubmer of steps on hiroshima's instructions. He's just very very detailed.

In an nutshell, you jack the car up, go under the car and unscrew 2 bolts, take out dirty oil, and put the new oil back in. THAT'S ALL.

Now, there are little tricks here and there to make this process smoother, some of which hiroshima lists.

For instance, what do you do with dirty oil? You pour it back into the oil bottle you just emptied, and bring them to near by Jiffylube or other oil change place. By law they are supposed to take them for free.

Other tricks also include, having the right pumping tool to put the oil back in there. Go get some from auto parts shop.

This takes like 30 mintutes, and it only taks that long because it takes a while for dirty oil to completely pour out, and it takes some time to pour new oil back in.


Seriously, EVERYONE should do this themselves. It's so easy, and so not worth spending $50 or $100 on.
 
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