I decided to tackle the next project on my 2000 rav4, which was change the transfer case fluid. I didnt even know I had one till I read Haynes Manual and I didnt even know where it was till I researched this forum. I know it hasnt been changed in over 70,000 miles so I def. wanted to do it. So here are things I used to change the fluid:
1. 10qt oil catch pan w/ screen
2. Rags and big piece of cardboard
3. 1 qt. of GL-5 Coastal SAE 75W-90 gear oil
4. 10 mm hex wrench
5. Lubricant spray just in case bolt was rusty
6. 10ft of clear tube 3/8 inch thick (You dont need 10ft, but it was a good deal. Id say you need about 2 1/2 to 3 feet.
7. THE ALMIGHTY HAYNES MANUAL (even though they were very vague about the transfer case). To be honest I didnt even use the manual for this, but I always keep it handy just in case.
To start, I checked the transfer case dip stick, which is located behind the passanger side tire. If you turn your wheel all the way to the left you can see it sticking out. The owners manual and haynes manual dont even mention a transfer case dipstick. The right amount of oil is in the case, but the oil itself is dirty. Here is a pic from behind the wheel, under the car and then the dipstick.
After finding the location of the dipstick and checking the fluid level and quality, its time to find the drain plug. Its basically between the transfluid pan and the motor oil pan. Its right near the exhaust pipe, so if u follow it under the car you'll see it.
Now, its time to drain the old fluid. A strong turn clockwise and the drain plug is turning. THe drain plug had some gunk on it, so I cleaned it before putting back. I wanted to check how much fluid was in there so I know about how much to add. The haynes manual says 0.7 quarts, but i wanted to make sure. So i took an empty motor oil quart and put the fluid in there. The motor oil quarts have the measurements on the back so you can see how much oil is in it. The old oil filled about 3/4 of the quart so Haynes manual was about right.
After draining and putting back plug, its time to add the fluid. Now Im pretty sure there is a check/fill plug somewhere, but after reading horror stories about how difficult it is to find or get to, i decided to add the fluid through the dipstick, just like the transfluid. The dipstick is kind of hard to get to because of the distance, so this is where the clear tubing comes into play. I didnt find a need to raise the car or remove the wheel. I try and avoid excess work if its truely unnecessary. I dont think i'll even raise my car, unless i need to rotate tires or check brakes. ANyway, I used a 2 1/2 foot piece of clear tube. The squeeze bottle fits perfectly into the tube. I put rags under the area just in case I overfilled it or the tube came out. I also put the cardbard under this area too. Since the gear oil doesnt have the measurements on the back like the motor oil, it is kind of difficult to figure out how much 3/4 or 0.7 of a quart is. So every once in a while, I would take tube out, let it settle and check with the dipstick. I would add fluid until it got to the right area.
I must say, Im new to all this fluid changing stuff and this was a pretty simple, easy and quick project. I hope you all enjoy!!