Front Differential Drain Plug - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Front Differential Drain Plug

Welcome to my nightmare.

I started doing a simple oil change when I realized I pulled the wrong drain plug because I had to guess as my dealer did not include an owner's manual with my used Forester and I was in too big a hurry to be smart and download one.

So, I got some ATF and filled it in what I now suspect is the Front Differential Gear Oil (passenger side behind engine) rather than the ATF (which appears to be on the driver's side).

So, I now need to drain the Front Differential Gear Oil and replace it and I want to be darn sure I have the correct drain plug this time. Can someone please tell me where this plug is so I'm sure I don't make this an even bigger job than it's already become?!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 03:04 PM
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The Transfer case (what you are calling the Front Differential) has a T-70 Torx Drain.. The ATF is filled closer to the driver's side of the vehicle. It has a longer dipstick.

The Transfer case is a very short dip stick in the middle of the vehicle. You will need just under 1 gallon to fill the ATF and you need to use the Subaru HP ATF. Dexxron will work in a pinch.

Transfer case requires just over a quart of 75W-90.
The Transfer case is behind the Engine Crankcase and in front of the ATF Pan. Its the shiny one between the two black ones.

Be careful what you wish for.

Last edited by adc; 11-22-2009 at 03:21 PM.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 03:44 PM
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Good info adc. I'd suggest changing the oil twice to remove all the ATF fluid.
This may help out too.

http://www.diditmyway.net/SuperRuPic...ont%20diff.pdf

Richard
04 XT.... 98S
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by adc View Post
The Transfer case (what you are calling the Front Differential) has a T-70 Torx Drain.. The ATF is filled closer to the driver's side of the vehicle. It has a longer dipstick.

The Transfer case is a very short dip stick in the middle of the vehicle. You will need just under 1 gallon to fill the ATF and you need to use the Subaru HP ATF. Dexxron will work in a pinch.

Transfer case requires just over a quart of 75W-90.
The Transfer case is behind the Engine Crankcase and in front of the ATF Pan. Its the shiny one between the two black ones.
Thanks for your help.

I finally downloaded the owner's manual and it said the front differential gear oil should be API Class GL-5. Is that the same thing as 75W-90?

I don't recall seeing a 'shiny' one... the one I drained accidentally was a flat gray color and flat bottomed and I'm pretty sure it was the ATF pan. I'll look in front of that for the shiny transfer case.

I've been looking online for labeled pictures without any luck.

Incidentally, I believe the owner's manual also said Castrol Transmax J would work for ATF.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SuperRu View Post
Good info adc. I'd suggest changing the oil twice to remove all the ATF fluid.
This may help out too.

http://www.diditmyway.net/SuperRuPic...ont%20diff.pdf
That's EXACTLY what I've been looking for!

Thank you.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2009, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Stevens View Post
Thanks for your help.

I finally downloaded the owner's manual and it said the front differential gear oil should be API Class GL-5. Is that the same thing as 75W-90?

I don't recall seeing a 'shiny' one... the one I drained accidentally was a flat gray color and flat bottomed and I'm pretty sure it was the ATF pan. I'll look in front of that for the shiny transfer case.
Location is just my recollection. I just can't crawl under the car right now. But like I said it takes a T-70 torx, And it is not like an auto tranny pan. Its more like a "Housing"
Yea any 75W-90Gear oil. I use Mobil-1.

Be careful what you wish for.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 02:19 PM
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great bit of reference material there ...but does not show where to refill the front diff from for the auto trans ... any more words of wisdom ....

I figured I'd do it all this weekend its suppose dto be a blamy 37 !!

tbelt
tbelt tensioner
assessory belts
thermostat
water pump
front/ rear diff oil --- going to my prosche roots and going swepco !
brakes
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 03:15 PM
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If its like 2008:


The pic is looking from the right fender to the left (driver's side.) Its in the middle of the engine compartment..close to the firewall.

Slightly over a quart. I would do the rear diff first using a full quart bottle and keep refiling it so you can keep it horizontal and keep squishing the stuff in. Rear takes a bit under a quart. Again use ramps in the rear. 2quarts total. Don't overtighten.

Be careful what you wish for.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 03:19 PM
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I thought that was for the trans fluid .....
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-15-2010, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by 2003suby View Post
I thought that was for the trans fluid .....
On our 4EATs the tranny fluid dip stick is on the other side.

Richard
04 XT.... 98S
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-16-2010, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Stevens View Post
Thanks for your help.

I finally downloaded the owner's manual and it said the front differential gear oil should be API Class GL-5. Is that the same thing as 75W-90?

I don't recall seeing a 'shiny' one... the one I drained accidentally was a flat gray color and flat bottomed and I'm pretty sure it was the ATF pan. I'll look in front of that for the shiny transfer case.

I've been looking online for labeled pictures without any luck.

Incidentally, I believe the owner's manual also said Castrol Transmax J would work for ATF.
For foresters up to 05 use dex 3, for 06+ they need the subaru HP, castrol transmax is supposed to work, but I'd stick with the oem fluid.

If you're under the car, the auto trans pan is the big square one furthest back, then theres a metal thing with a T70 torx plug which is the front diff, and at the very front on the bottom of the engine with the header piping going around it is the somewhat lumpy oil pan.

Looking from the front of the car, the front diff fill tube is on the left, and the ATF fill tube is on the right, near the firewall, its a bit difficult to see iirc (on the XT its under the intercooler).

04xt/4eat, 16g, STI bits and bobs
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 04:39 PM
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All to familiar...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2003suby View Post
I thought that was for the trans fluid .....
I did the exact same thing yesterday...My question is - now that I will be changing the differential oil - where do you top up the tranny fluid?
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 04:56 PM
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http://www.scoobymods.com/manual_tra...91.html?t=3091

I have info at the bottom of the page there

Peaty

2010 Leg 3.6 R, 2013 OB, 2001 OB, 2001 Forester S and 1999 Miata
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 07:05 AM
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I certainly appreciate this thread and forum!

Thanks much for the well-organized documentation and advice. Will drain and fill the front diff. oil today!

Yesterday, I drained the rear diff. oil, which had about 60,000 miles of use on it, and itwas thin and murky. The magnet showed very little debris. Refilled the rear diff. with Valvoline 75w/80 dino. I intend on changing this oil only after a few thousand miles in order to clean out any left behind muck. Perhaps then I'll refill with Valvoline's Syn Blend.

At first the rear drain cocks were a bit of a bear to remove. After throwing some heat on them and soaking over-night with Liquid Wrench they came off easily enough with a plain old 1/2in ratchet.

TonyS.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 09:23 AM
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The magnet showed very little debris. Refilled the rear diff. with Valvoline 75w/80 dino. I intend on changing this oil only after a few thousand miles in order to clean out any left behind muck. Perhaps then I'll refill with Valvoline's Syn Blend. .
Supposed to be 75W-90 but you are only leaving it in for a shorter time period.

Be careful what you wish for.
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