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Discussion Starter #1
Issue #1

What tool do I need to get this drain bolt off? I have the necessary 24mm socket, but I cannot get my wrench in there due to interference. Here you can see the socket on the bolt, with a very minimal amount of clearance to the pipe. The wet stuff is the case fluid that dripped out when I took the filler bolt off. Have a look:



Issue #2

When peaking around down there I see an empty threaded hole behind (towards rear) and above (towards top of car) the oil pan. This is near the passenger front wheel. Am I missing a piece of hardware?

 

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I use a 15/16 wrench to access that drain plug through the passenger side wheel well. I'm not sure about that bolt but I will look around under the car and see if I can take a picture for you.
 

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To get at that drain bolt, I bought the cheapest and shortest 24mm socket I could find and ground the fluted end down with the bench grinder to make it as short as possible. The head of the drain bolt doesn't stick out that far and the socket doesnt haven't to be very deep.
Hope this helps.
 

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I paid a mechanic $20 to drain and refill the fluid. It is a lot of work plus buying the proper tools to do the job. You need a hydraulic jack and jack stands and probably 1 or 2 hours of frustrating time. The bolts are not easy to reach as the exhaust is next to the bolts and the cross member is under it making bolt removal quite difficult.

Thank goodness the Gen3 model I just bought is easier than my previous 05.
 

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Tools Required to Remove Transfer Case Bolt

From my research use a 24 mm shallow socket (with 3/8 inch end) for the fill plug. Use a 24 mm combo wrench for the drain plug.

Using a 1/2 inch ratchet is bulky (in that tight space where the cross member bar is) so use a 3/8 inch ratchet with a shallow socket. They do have 24mm shallow socket for 3/8 inch ratchet on Ebay and you will probably have a hard time finding them locally due to the fact it is usually for 1/2 inch ratchets. The 6 point is better than 12 point since it is stronger and less prone to strip. You definitely don't want to round that bolt since it is a very shallow bolt.

The job is much easier if you have a hoist which most mechanic have and they can leverage a better position. Doing this on your back doesn't give you as much space but it can be done but it is very difficult.

Just remember to remove the fill plug first because if you drain all the oil and can't remove the fill plug then you are stuck with no oil!
 

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I replaced both the filler and drain plugs on my Rav with aftermarket plugs. The heads protude further making using a ring spanner and a normal socket easier (19mm instead of 24mm). I've done the same with the ones on the gearbox.
 

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I replaced both the filler and drain plugs on my Rav with aftermarket plugs. The heads protude further making using a ring spanner and a normal socket easier (19mm instead of 24mm). I've done the same with the ones on the gearbox.
How did you figure out the correct size bolt ?
 

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The bolts are M18x1.5. Here in Australia, they are readily available in auto shops.
Make sure the drain plugs are magnetic type.
 

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I said drain plugs instead of plug in case you want to change the one on the gearbox as well if it is a manual one like mine.
I also found the heads on the Toyota plugs to be soft and become rounded very easily, whereas the aftermarket plugs have less tendency to become rounded as the spanner/socket has a better hold on them.
 

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I changed the oil in my transfer case yesterday. With the after market plugs it took me about 30 mins from start to finish. This includes allowing about 15 mins for the oil to drain. I use the syringe below to pump the oil in. It holds about 450ml. 2 syringe full fills the case.
 

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