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Old 05-25-2004, 05:08 PM   #1
memphisjames
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Question rear diff oil change

How much is reasonable to have someone change the rear differential gear oil?

I did most of the 30k service myself, but I could not get the drain bolt to budge. I took it to a shop someone on NASIOC recommended and had it done this morning, and it cost me $65. He arrived at that price by charging me half what the dealer charges. I did call the dealer myself and verify that they would have charged me $120.

I really wish I could have done this myself. Most expensive quart of oil evAr.
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Old 05-25-2004, 05:57 PM   #2
heffergm
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Well, considering most mechanics will charge a minumum of an hour of labor, $65 is about what I'd expect.

What you should have done is just gone to sears and bought a 2-foot breaker bar and done it yourself.
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Old 05-25-2004, 06:27 PM   #3
DreddRS25
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Check out www.scoobymods.com

Click on Modifications
scroll down to drivetrain
forth item listed is how to change the fluid, with some hints.

But just like what Heffergm said, get a breaker bar. If you can't get it with arm strength plus breaker bar, then set up the breaker bar and place a jack underneath the bar and jack up. The weight of the car will act as leverage. Just a shot.


(The dealer wanted to charge me $110 to replace a driverside window I just had busted.)
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Old 05-25-2004, 08:13 PM   #4
MRF582
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if it takes a 2 foot breaker bar to budge the fill and drain plug, what kind of torque must be applied to fully tighten the bolt within specs? 150 ft lbs?
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Old 05-25-2004, 08:22 PM   #5
Hayes
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Put some thread sealer on the bolt and tighten to around 35 ft/lbs or just good and snug with a one foot long wrench and one good arm pull. I think it's the thread sealer that hardens and make the first off so darn difficult.
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Old 05-25-2004, 11:19 PM   #6
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Just changed the rear diff. gear oil a few hours ago. The plugs are hard to unscrew because they are tapered and large diameter, and also made of steel while the diff. cover is aluminum. Somehow they just seize and don't want to come out. I put the car on ramps, sprayed some PB Blaster and used a 3-ton floor jack to push on the ratchet, with a piece of wood under the handle. Remember to do the fill plug first, otherwise failure is not an option. With plugs loosened, drove off the ramps, drained and filled. I did use thread sealant. By the way, those with Legacies must have harder time servicing rear diff., because of longer overhang.
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Old 05-26-2004, 11:20 AM   #7
memphisjames
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Quote:
Originally posted by DreddRS25
Check out www.scoobymods.com

Click on Modifications
scroll down to drivetrain
forth item listed is how to change the fluid, with some hints.

But just like what Heffergm said, get a breaker bar. If you can't get it with arm strength plus breaker bar, then set up the breaker bar and place a jack underneath the bar and jack up. The weight of the car will act as leverage. Just a shot.


(The dealer wanted to charge me $110 to replace a driverside window I just had busted.)
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I followed the instructions on scoobymods when I tried to remove the drain bolts myself (that site rules). I did try with a breaker bar and a jack, and the back of the car started to raise like it was going to come off the ground. I guess I wussed out and gave up too soon. I'm hoping it won't be quite so tight next time, so I can do it myself.

Next time, I will definitely post here before I give up and take the car in.
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:23 PM   #8
orndog
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Dang, should have gone to Jiffy Lube or something. Personall, I do it myself. Heck, I'd use a straw to save $65 for that job.
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Old 05-26-2004, 03:04 PM   #9
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What did y'all use to get the fluid in there?

I had the Valvoline 75w90 bottles which you can squirt, but I was still fighting gravity. Once I got to 1/4 of a bottle left I had to start pouring it into the next bottle

john
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Old 05-26-2004, 03:49 PM   #10
LTSmash
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i used a small plastic pump to fill the rear diff fluid. i'm sure you can buy it at any auto parts store. i can't find a picture, but it's similar in design to something like this (see below), except it's completely made of plastic and is designed to attach to 1 quart bottles of oil.

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Old 05-26-2004, 06:43 PM   #11
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My mechanic did it for me for $10. I provided the oil.
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Old 05-26-2004, 11:35 PM   #12
voam
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Quote:
Originally posted by hawksoob
My mechanic did it for me for $10. I provided the oil.
I am moving to Atlanta.
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Old 05-27-2004, 10:43 AM   #13
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I use a 5 foot piece of clear tubing and connect it to the gear lub nozzel after cutting the tip back about 1/4 inch. Hang the bottle from the hatch cover, put the hose in the top fill hole and go have a smoke or an ice tea. O-yes clamp the hose BEFORE you insert into the differental.
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Old 05-31-2004, 03:57 AM   #14
Schlogen
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what size tubing? 1/4 " ??
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Old 05-31-2004, 09:18 AM   #15
Hayes
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1/4 inch ID
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Old 05-31-2004, 10:10 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by memphisjames
I did try with a breaker bar and a jack, and the back of the car started to raise like it was going to come off the ground.
I did the same thing, my car was about ready to lift offf the ground, but the bolt finally moved. I soaked it in penatrating oil too so I'm guessing that helped a bit.
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Old 05-31-2004, 12:15 PM   #17
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The diff. is mounted through a number of rubber bushings so there'll be some movement before the plug turns. The car may also lift a bit but the springs will still be loaded.
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Old 07-13-2004, 02:28 AM   #18
Makalu24
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Why would Subaru add the extra inconvenience of square plug heads on the rear diff?
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Old 07-13-2004, 08:38 AM   #19
orndog
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Quote:
Originally posted by Makalu24
Why would Subaru add the extra inconvenience of square plug heads on the rear diff?
Inconvenience? It's a 1/2" breaker bar or ratchet plug. No need to use a socket or extension which could easily move a bit on you causing you to strip or round-out other types of plugs. The only think easier is the rear end of a Dodge truck - a rubber plug. Of course, they dry rot, and could also pop out on you if the diff builds any pressure due to a clogged vent or something. Very common, and it's amazing how quickly the diff will regurgitate it's gear lube...
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Old 07-15-2004, 12:21 AM   #20
SubaruImpreza_power
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lol I feel like an idiot.. but I got a 1/2" Breaker Bar and a Socket Extenstion.. but from what it would seem it would round out the rear diif bolt Before it breaks loose..

So what does this Ratchet plug look like?
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Old 07-15-2004, 03:22 AM   #21
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I had mine up on a lift and a large ratchet with some muscle got mine off easy
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Old 07-15-2004, 08:23 AM   #22
orndog
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Quote:
Originally posted by SubaruImpreza_power


So what does this Ratchet plug look like?
What I meant was that the plug fits the end of a 1/2" ratchet or breaker bar. No need for an extension (as stated, that might let your angle slip anyway which would equal a stripped plug) or to have to find a special sized socket or anything. It's a great setup, and it's in an accesable spot... unlike say a 90s Mustang GT or something. The only downsides are:
Too tight from the factory.
Owners have the tendency to overtighten it themselves because a 1/2" drive allows you alot of leverage.
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Old 07-15-2004, 11:39 AM   #23
hawksoob
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After having the mechanic change mine for 10 bucks a few months back, I got the idea to swap out with synth. Again, the plugs were in there ape tight. I got a 2 foot pipe at Home Despot, slid the bottom three inches or so of the handle of the ratchet wrench down inside, placed my jack at the junction of the pipe and the wrench handle, the other end of the pipe was wedged underneath the tire. Jack jack jack....pop.
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Old 07-15-2004, 01:24 PM   #24
cougar
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Quote:
Originally posted by heffergm
Well, considering most mechanics will charge a minumum of an hour of labor, $65 is about what I'd expect.

What you should have done is just gone to sears and bought a 2-foot breaker bar and done it yourself.
Agreed... I'm 5'4", 130lbs., and I was able to get it undone with an 18" half-inch drive socket wrench. If *I* can loosen it, anyone should be able to.



EDIT: And the wrench didn't cost me $65 either .
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Old 07-15-2004, 02:01 PM   #25
ButtDyno
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Quote:
Originally posted by cougar
Agreed... I'm 5'4", 130lbs., and I was able to get it undone with an 18" half-inch drive socket wrench. If *I* can loosen it, anyone should be able to.
It depends how many bananas the FHI gorilla had had that day. Mine was apparently put on by a pissed off gorilla rather than a tame one.

john
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