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Dodge Nitro Forum
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

Hopefully someone can help me out on this. My Nitro is in for 30,000 KM service and they just called me telling me that I require "front and rear differential service".

1. What exactly is differential service?
2. Is it really required?
3. $300 for this service? Does that sound right?

My uncle is a licensed mechanic and he said he can do the front and rear differential service for half the price....

Thanks for your help.
 

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It is required at intervals stated in your manual under maintnance. It is the changing of the fluids of your front and rear differentials. My local dealer here wanted $240.00 to do front and rear, US funds. I did mine at 16,000 miles and it was pretty dirty. It's as easy as doing your own engine oil at home. This is how I did mine the easy and economical way. Go to auto parts store and get a drain pan, brake cleaner (for surface cleaning after your done), A suction gun and fluids. For the front I used 2 quarts of Valvoline durablend synthetic 80w90, for the rear I used 2 quarts of Mobil 1 super synthetic 75w140. As for just the rear you have to add one bottle of friction modifier. That lubricates the cluth packs and keeps them from chattering/binding up. The front axle has a allen bolt drain plug on the bottom, and a filler plug 3/4 the way up. You use a ratchet and small extension to open. Fill the way up till it reaches the top of that filler plug. The rear has a rubber plug that just pops off on the rear diff cover. Insert tube for suction gun and keep pullin out the fluid till no more comes out. Take your time and enjoy the smell. Total cost for me was about $50.00 for the gear oil and friction modifier. The suction gun with hose costed me about $8.00. Or you can pull the covers off and mess with the silicone gaskets. In my opinion, this is no different that draining your engine oil and filling it back up. Hope that helped
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
THank you

Do you want to fly to Toronto to show me? haha

I am not good with vehicles.

I got a quote for differential service for about 150. Better than paying those leeches 300 dollars!
 

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Welcome to the forums!

Thanks jeffrey, I'm coming up on the 30k mark and LOVE getting dirty. Sounds easy enough, and it is the weekend :D
 

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You do NOT need friction modifier. That is for limited slip differentials, and the Nitro doesn't have one. That said, it won't hurt. Also, arguably, you only need to change the fluids at the Schedule A mileage, which doesn't even mention diff fluids. Personally, I do oil changes at 6000 km intervals, and do the appropriate other fluid changes at increased intervals as well. So instead of changing my diff fluids at 30,000 km, I would change them at 36,000 km.

Also, I will never go to a stealership for anything except warranty work ever again. Last appointment I had at 24,000 km for an oil change and tire rotation, they changed my diff fluids and transfer case fluid (not supposed to be changed until 100,000 km!!!), and didn't even rotate the tires. Over $400 for what should have been $90. Just make sure you keep your receipts (even if you DO go to the stealership)
 

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Most of the quick lube joints around here will do your diffs for about $15-$18 each; more if you go synthetic of course.
 

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Yeah, I had had that stuff done at the dealer at 30,000 km. I gave the go ahead to do the transfer case too even though as Tyler stated, it doesn't need to be done until 100,000 km.

It wasn't cheap for sure, but my reasoning was that I'd get it done during my warranty period by them in case there were problems in the future. That will be my one and only time getting it done there though, it is very easy to do yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My dealership said to do it at 40,000 km (24,000 miles)....:confused:...seems like there is no standard for this maintenance item.
 
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I went to the dealership to get my 21K oil change and was told I "missed" the 15K mile differential drain/fill. They wanted $200 for that. So I did it myself using the fluid viscosities as stated in the owners manual. Nowhere could I find that this is required at 15K miles. The only trouble I had was reinstalling the bolts for the rear cover. I did not have a torque spec and went too tight and snapped one. Luckily the other 9 bolts did not get tightened that tight. Anyone know the torque spec for the rear diff cover? I also used a Felpro rear diff gasket although there was only the RTV gasket from the factory. Does it really matter if I use the gasket and RTV or just the RTV?
 

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Khaki Nitro Nut
07Lifted,4X4,6sp-man,3.7L
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Anyone know the torque spec for the rear diff cover? I also used a Felpro rear diff gasket although there was only the RTV gasket from the factory. Does it really matter if I use the gasket and RTV or just the RTV?
The manual says to use only Orange Mopar RTV. No mention of a gasket.

2007 Rear axle
Torque specs:............ N-m........ Ft. Lbs.
Differential cover bolts.. 41 ............ 30
Bearing cap bolts ....... 135 ...........100
Ring gear bolts ........... 102............ 75
Pinion nut minimum ...... 285...........210
Pinion mate shaft screw. 26............ 19
Axle damper ................ 61............ 45
Adjuster lock screw ...... 26............ 10

Bummer about the snapped bolt!
 

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The owners manual has a maintenance schedule in it, and it is the standard. Anything the dealer tells you that is sooner, is a lie to make them money. They told me that instead of "checking" the transfer case fluid at 25,000 km, they usually change it. Typical, especially when it's a $100+ service item. Also, I'm pretty sure only Schedule A is required, which has way fewer items to change in it (it's the light duty schedule). If you have a warranty claim though, you might have to prove you are a "light duty" driver.
 

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I just hit 50,000 km (about 30,000 miles) today and have to take it in for service.

I don't have the manual in front of me, what needs to be done at this point? I had the full differential stuff done at 30,000.
 

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Change the engine oil and engine oil filter, if not
replaced at 3 months.

Rotate the tires.

Inspect the engine air filter element, replace if
necessary.

Inspect the PCV Valve, and replace if necessary.

Replace the spark plugs (3.7L Only).

Drain and refill the front and rear axle fluid.

Inspect the manual transmission fluid, add as necessary
(3.7L Only).

Inspect the transfer case fluid, add if necessary.
 

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It is required at intervals stated in your manual under maintnance. It is the changing of the fluids of your front and rear differentials. My local dealer here wanted $240.00 to do front and rear, US funds. I did mine at 16,000 miles and it was pretty dirty. It's as easy as doing your own engine oil at home. This is how I did mine the easy and economical way. Go to auto parts store and get a drain pan, brake cleaner (for surface cleaning after your done), A suction gun and fluids. For the front I used 2 quarts of Valvoline durablend synthetic 80w90, for the rear I used 2 quarts of Mobil 1 super synthetic 75w140. As for just the rear you have to add one bottle of friction modifier. That lubricates the cluth packs and keeps them from chattering/binding up. The front axle has a allen bolt drain plug on the bottom, and a filler plug 3/4 the way up. You use a ratchet and small extension to open. Fill the way up till it reaches the top of that filler plug. The rear has a rubber plug that just pops off on the rear diff cover. Insert tube for suction gun and keep pullin out the fluid till no more comes out. Take your time and enjoy the smell. Total cost for me was about $50.00 for the gear oil and friction modifier. The suction gun with hose costed me about $8.00. Or you can pull the covers off and mess with the silicone gaskets. In my opinion, this is no different that draining your engine oil and filling it back up. Hope that helped
It's because of this post I crawled under my Nitro to take a looksee, and can't wait to add this feather to my hat at 18k miles.
 

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Is there a service manual reference for this job? Your all positive we need the friction modifier in the diff? I don't want to screw anything up back there.
 

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You all know it's fine and dandy to DIY , but if you have a problem later , they may not warranty your vehicle. So I go to local lube dudes and get a proper reciept. Only 50.00 for both diffs, and the transfer case. I like DIY but when it comes to warranty no way...... just my 2 pennies worth. I do the DAKOTA as it is off warranty , and I don't like anybody touching MY TRUCK !!!!!!!!!!
 
G

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Thanks for the info

The manual says to use only Orange Mopar RTV. No mention of a gasket.

2007 Rear axle
Torque specs:............ N-m........ Ft. Lbs.
Differential cover bolts.. 41 ............ 30
Bearing cap bolts ....... 135 ...........100
Ring gear bolts ........... 102............ 75
Pinion nut minimum ...... 285...........210
Pinion mate shaft screw. 26............ 19
Axle damper ................ 61............ 45
Adjuster lock screw ...... 26............ 10

Bummer about the snapped bolt!
Thanks for the torque information. I'm guessing my '08 has the same specs. I certainly am not going to use a "MOPAR RTV" sealant despite what the manual says. There are equal or better quality materials at any reputable auto parts store like where I purchased the lubricants. I also won't buy another gasket since I don't need one. The bolt should be an easy removal using a removal bit... once I get the time to get back under there :) I did not use a friction modifier since there is not a locker in there.

I like this forum but it took me awhile to figure out where the replies were posted, sorry it took so long for me to get back with you. But I am certainly getting ideas for future items to install like the hood props.

Thanks everyone!!
 

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Khaki Nitro Nut
07Lifted,4X4,6sp-man,3.7L
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30,657 Posts
Yep I agree. RTV is RTV if it is designed for the application.
I like to put as much information out there as possible.
Glad to help out. That is why this forum is so great! Folks helping folks. :smileup:
 
G

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You all know it's fine and dandy to DIY , but if you have a problem later , they may not warranty your vehicle. So I go to local lube dudes and get a proper reciept. Only 50.00 for both diffs, and the transfer case. I like DIY but when it comes to warranty no way...... just my 2 pennies worth. I do the DAKOTA as it is off warranty , and I don't like anybody touching MY TRUCK !!!!!!!!!!
That makes a lot of sense and will probably do that the next time I need differential or transfer case service. I also like to do it myself... well not in the winter :chuckle:
 
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