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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone! I am a little confused on the specs of my transmission and what fluids I should be using. I changed the rear diff oil a while back and refilled it with gl-5 75w-90 Castrol fluid. I am about to tackle the gear box/transfer case but I am also reading there is also a front diff I should be draining and filling also? Can someone clarify what I need to get my manual trans happy :)

Thank!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
And to boot my rear cam nuts and hardware have seized up. Looking at a lot of work to be able to align the rear. Ugh!!
 

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Your transfer case in your 4wd vehicle uses the same oil as your rear differential. I don't have experience with manual transmission but some vehicles share it with the transfer case. There is no front differential on your vehicle just the transfer case since you have 4wd.

Here is a video that might help.
 

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As DL175 mentions there is no separate front differential on this model, lubrication of front drive gears is done by the front transaxle fluid. Front transaxle oil change requires 3.6 US quarts of a transmission oil and not a high pressure differential oil, most GL5 rated gear axle oils contain HP chemicals which will eventually damage yellow metal transmission syncros, best to use a GL4 rated transmission oil. Best oil I have found for our manual transmissions is Motorcraft Ford Fluid XT-M5-QS Full Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid.

https://www.fcsdchemicalsandlubricants.com/main/product.asp?product=Full+Synthetic+Manual+Transmission+Fluid&category=Transmission Fluid

Redline, Amsoil and GM / ACDelco also make good GL4 rated synthetic transmission oils for our application. You may want to phone a Toyota service department to confirm which transmission oil they have been using in your area although it will likely be a low cost conventional bulk oil. There have been concerns of whether or not the Redline product causes more seal leaks than other transmission oils.

AMSOIL Manual Transmission & Transaxle Gear Lube 75W-90

Red Line Synthetic Oil - Gear Oil for Manual Transmissions - MT-90 75W90 GL-4 Gear Oil

In automatic transmission models the front drive gears are lubricated by type T-IV ATF fluid so the front gear sets don't really require high pressure hypoid type axle oils.
 

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Odd the manual calls for gl5 75 90 however you say gl4...
2003 Rav4 Owners Manual page 256; Manual Transaxle, Oil type: Gear Oil API GL-4 (first choice) or GL-5 (second choice) Recommended oil viscosity: 75W-90.

Certainly do your own research on the topic however.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry about that I guess it does say gl 4 or 5. Why would Toyota say it's OK to use gl5 if it eats at yellow metals? I've heard if you have brass synchros then gl5 is no good. Do the Rav trans use brass gears? I just bought 4 quarts of castrol 75 90 gear oil gl5 mt1. Now I'm questioning whether that's ok?! Also I'm still confused on the fluid reservoirs in the trans. A guy I know putmy car on the lift and I saw the main drain and then he showed me another drain by the exhaust which requires a 10mm hex and then the fill for that area was in a hard to reach spot above the exhaust. However everyone is saying there is only 1 fill...
 

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I don't know why Toyota would put GL-5 75W90 as a second choice in the manual. Maybe they mean that if you sank your Rav in a river in the middle of Mongolia and had to change fluids and couldn't find GL-4 transmission fluid which is difficult to find sometimes then an extreme pressure GL-5 rated oil instead of ATF or motor oil would be OK to get you to the next service center.

Replacing 5Th Gear On 4.1 And 4.2 Gearboxes. - Rav 4 Club - Toyota Owners Club - Toyota Forum
 

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Looking at the specs of the Castrol GL-5 MT-1 it says that it "Exceeds API MT-1 lubricant for non-synchronized manual transmissions used in buses and heavy duty trucks". It doesn't look like an oil for use in a small vehicle syncro gear transmission.

http://msdspds.castrol.com/bpglis/FusionPDS.nsf/Files/70B3A05A360B7B1F80257AA9005378CC/$File/Castrol_Syntrax_Limited_Slip_75W_90_00474.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Looking at the specs of the Castrol GL-5 MT-1 it says that it "Exceeds API MT-1 lubricant for non-synchronized manual transmissions used in buses and heavy duty trucks". It doesn't look like an oil for use in a small vehicle syncro gear transmission.

http://msdspds.castrol.com/bpglis/FusionPDS.nsf/Files/70B3A05A360B7B1F80257AA9005378CC/$File/Castrol_Syntrax_Limited_Slip_75W_90_00474.pdf
Well I bought the Castrol about a year ago and am finally getting around to it. So the consensus is I shouldn't put this in my gear box??
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Your transfer case in your 4wd vehicle uses the same oil as your rear differential. I don't have experience with manual transmission but some vehicles share it with the transfer case. There is no front differential on your vehicle just the transfer case since you have 4wd.

Here is a video that might help. Betty the RAV4 gets a Gearbox Oil Change - YouTube
So just to make sure I am correct. There are 2 drain places and 1 fill area? What confuses me is that the manual shows using a different hypoid oil in the transfer case? But from what everyone is saying and what I am seeing, the gear box and transfer case exchange the same oil... :shrug:

 

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You need someone who knows their 4.2 to tell you if the front g/box and t/box share the oil. The rear diff is obviously separate.

The 4.1 does share the oil between the g/box and t/box. But I thought the 4.2 had separated them?

If shared, you need a GL4 and GL5 compatible oil. If not, GL4 for the g/box and GL5 for the t/box.
 

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You'll need to change oil in the transaxle, transfer case and rear differential just as the above sheet says.

SAE gear oils were given new viscosity specifications in 2005, search SAE J306: 2005 and SAE J306: 1998, which will change your gear oil choices.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Your transfer case in your 4wd vehicle uses the same oil as your rear differential. I don't have experience with manual transmission but some vehicles share it with the transfer case. There is no front differential on your vehicle just the transfer case since you have 4wd.

Here is a video that might help. Betty the RAV4 gets a Gearbox Oil Change - YouTube
You'll need to change oil in the transaxle, transfer case and rear differential just as the above sheet says.

SAE gear oils were given new viscosity specifications in 2005, search SAE J306: 2005 and SAE J306: 1998, which will change your gear oil choices.
Thanks for the clarification. I'm glad I didn't put the Castrol GL-5 into the gearbox. The car is currently at a friends (long time toyota tech) who is fixing the rear alignment bolts. Everything in the rear end has seized up, so I am stuck buying new lower control arms, trail arm bushings and all new alignment bolt hardware. Thank God he only charges $40/hr. I was going to have him change the gear oil in the front but I told him to just change the hard to reach fill for transfer and I'll do the main gear box with Amsoil 75-90 gl4 or the Ford Motorcraft gl4 as suggested above. I love the Rav but the 2.0 motor is way too small for the size of her. If it wasn't for the motor and the terrible rear end set-up with the seized alignment bolts, I'd be much happier.

I find it so interesting that gl5 eats at yellow metals yet it is sold and recommended in the manual. I know my 1998 GTI Vr6 with 231K original miles on it only takes gl4 in her gearbox. It is a well known fact that gl5 will eat at the brass synchros in the VW VR6 transmission.
 

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Thanks for mentioning the rear alignment hardware, haven't had to look at that end yet.

Some are using 75W110 gear oil in rear diff and transfer case on these Ravs instead of 75W90, haven't changed those yet but will probably use 75W110 also. Maybe it would be more important to use heavier grade if one was doing a lot of towing, haven't read of many problems with rear diffs in these anyway.
 

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You need someone who knows their 4.2 to tell you if the front g/box and t/box share the oil. The rear diff is obviously separate.

The 4.1 does share the oil between the g/box and t/box. But I thought the 4.2 had separated them?

If shared, you need a GL4 and GL5 compatible oil. If not, GL4 for the g/box and GL5 for the t/box.
Can anyone answer this question about RAV4 4.2 ? I am on the same boat like the parent of this post. I have a leak from the seal of the transfer case to the propeller shaft and I need to know what kind of oil should I get and how much oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Can anyone answer this question about RAV4 4.2 ? I am on the same boat like the parent of this post. I have a leak from the seal of the transfer case to the propeller shaft and I need to know what kind of oil should I get and how much oil.
I can tell you for a fact that the 4.2 (2003 Model) Does in fact have separate reservoirs. I just changed my fluid a few months back.

Word of caution. Getting to the drain plug for the rear diff can be a pain in the ass. I had to drop the exhaust and the bolts were seized up. Turned out to be a longer project than I wanted to.
 

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A GL-5 oil won't harm yellow metals just because it's GL-5. Some will, because they use sulfurous compounds as part of the high pressure lubricant package. But, if you get a GL-5 which also has an MT-1 rating, it's fine. MT-1 (and MIL-PRF-2105E & SAE J2360) requires an even more stringent ASTM D-130 test (basically a yellow metal corrosion test) than is required for GL-4.
 

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I can tell you for a fact that the 4.2 (2003 Model) Does in fact have separate reservoirs. I just changed my fluid a few months back.

Word of caution. Getting to the drain plug for the rear diff can be a pain in the ass. I had to drop the exhaust and the bolts were seized up. Turned out to be a longer project than I wanted to.
I can second that as I checked levels in transfer and gearbox last week and topped up with different oils
 
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