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Old 02-02-2015, 10:19 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle Maintenance

My 1998 F-250 came with axles "lubricated for life". Even under the severe duty maintenance schedule, they did not call for changing the axle lubricant.

I just took delivery of a 2015 Ram. The User Guide (1500/2500/3500) maintenance schedule calls for changing the axle fluids every 20,000 miles if it is used for "frequent trailer towing".

Just curious, are owners of late model GM, Ford, Toyota trucks seeing a similar maintenance requirement?
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:53 AM   #2
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Front axle bearing/hub assemblies are sealed units and not lubed with the diff fluid, many $$$$$.

Transmission, differentials & transfer case... 50k towing/severe service.

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Old 02-03-2015, 10:21 AM   #3
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Is Ram the only manufacturer that is recommending changing the axle fluids if towing frequently?
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:36 AM   #4
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Axles

Never heard of any such requirement.

I need to see my mechanic who does transmissions, rear ends, four wheel drive, etc. I will ask him.

My ford econo van is at 190,000 on the original fluid.

What is the spec on your fluid. Maybe they are going cheap and not using a real rearend fluid 75w90, etc.
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:53 AM   #5
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Ram specs synthetic gear lubricant SAE 75W-140 for the rear end.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:08 AM   #6
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Think you guys are getting things mixed up. GM/Ford also has similar intervals. Axle lube is not the same as your rear diff fluid.

I just changed mine. It's good to go for another 20K.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:20 AM   #7
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I'm talking about the axle, front and back, not the differential.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:25 AM   #8
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30 k interval on my 2007, I think. If they use a cheap fluid they sure charge a lot for it. with the 4 wh drive it is 2 differentials and a transfer case. I am at 150k now. I pretty much stuck to the heavy use/towing schedule for the first 100k. Now that it is broken in well, out of warranty, and I have a light trailer I have backed off the heavy use schedule just a little. I would sure reccomend following it for the first 60k or so though.
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siegmann View Post
I'm talking about the axle, front and back, not the differential.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siegmann View Post
I just took delivery of a 2015 Ram. The User Guide (1500/2500/3500) maintenance schedule calls for changing the axle fluids every 20,000 miles if it is used for "frequent trailer towing".

Nothing in my 2010 manual says anything about axle fluid. Not to say it hasn't changed. But pretty sure that's not even a thing. Just the differentials and transfer case.

Axles are usually greased units that slide into tubes that connect to your differential.

Anyone wants a peak, here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wk2ivzdw10...2-3rd.pdf?dl=0

You can also ask here: http://www.ramforum.com
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:43 PM   #10
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Question

Can't speak for Rams but if the owners manual 'sez "fluid" the rear axle bearings may be the same as GM 3/4 ton...diff fluid bearing lubrication.

At 3min....
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:58 PM   #11
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I think he is getting confused because of the language in the owners manual, and I just want to help. The manual does refer to it as "axle fluid". See page 568 of the manual I linked to. However, the manual is talking about the differentials.

Quote:
Inspect the front and rear axle fluid,
change if using your vehicle for police, taxi, fleet, off-road, snow plowing or frequent trailer towing.
Since we know that the Ram 1500 does not feature a solid front axle, we can infer that this is in fact the Differential fluids.
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:07 PM   #12
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12-15,000 miles on the AAM 11.25" axle used in the bigger Dodge trucks. Must be careful of fluid spec.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:56 AM   #13
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Bold (Post #11), you found my reference, and I think you are right.
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Old 02-05-2015, 02:39 PM   #14
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Nomenclature. Most mechanics call the sealed, internally lubricated gearcase assembly that contains the differential, ring, and pinion an "axle." If it's a "solid axle" then the assembly will include the half shafts and possibly wheel bearings. Otherwise the half shafts and CV joints are outside the case, but the case is still the axle and contains axle fluid, which lubricates not only the diff but also the R&P set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siegmann View Post
My 1998 F-250 came with axles "lubricated for life". Even under the severe duty maintenance schedule, they did not call for changing the axle lubricant.

I just took delivery of a 2015 Ram. The User Guide (1500/2500/3500) maintenance schedule calls for changing the axle fluids every 20,000 miles if it is used for "frequent trailer towing".

Just curious, are owners of late model GM, Ford, Toyota trucks seeing a similar maintenance requirement?
GM says I'm supposed to replace mine and I do.

The modern synthetic fluids last a very long time and with light to moderate use can easily last 100,000 miles or so which is as far out as the maintenance schedules go. All automakers are trying to minimize maintenance and have a goal of zero maintenance other than oil changes for the first 80,000-100,000 miles or so. Which is why we have dexcool. In that light the axle fluid is being dropped from the maintenance schedule in some cases where it perhaps should not be.

Usually the fluid requires replacement due to contamination before it fails due to shear. Water and grit from wearing parts are the two main contaminants. Limited slip diffs produce more grit. Water is more of a problem when there's high humidity and temperature extremes. There will be more wear and therefore more contamination and more shear if you work the axles hard. I live in Minnesota and have a plow on my truck and a gov-lock rear. So axle and transfer case fluid changes are a must for me. If you live in Arizona and don't play in the mud then maybe you can run the same fluid for 200,000 miles.
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