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Transfer Case Fluid Change

Mistubishi recommends changing the transfer case fluid every 15000 miles for severe use or every 30000 miles for regular use. There is no such thing as too often, so feel free to change the fluid at earlier intervals, especially if you race. Regularly changing the transfer case fluid will keep it in top shape and reduce wear on an extremely expensive part of the driveline!

1. Use a jack (no ramps) to raise the passenger front side of the car to access the Fill and Drain plugs on the transfer case (t-case). Remove the Fill plug and then the Drain plug. Have a drain pan under the t-case to catch the fluid. NOTE: the Fill and Drain plugs on the t-case have aluminum washers on them, do not lose them!
2. Lower the car back to level ground to assist in draining the t-case completely. While draining, clean any shavings off of the magnet on the Drain plug (pic). Once draining is complete, raise the car again and replace the Drain plug making sure the aluminum washer is in place. Torque the Drain plug to 23 FT-LBS.
3. Since the Fill hole is on the side of the t-case, it can be tricky to get the replacement fluid in. A hand pump from your local auto parts store would be necessary, however, being a little creative can be cheaper and make the job even easier. 3/8" ID (1/2" OD) vinyl tubing from the local home improvement store (about $4 for 10 feet) can be used to extend a funnel, allowing the funnel to placed safely on top of the engine and be long enough to reach the Fill hole. NOTE: 1/2" OD tubing is the largest that will fit into the Fill hole!
4. The t-case should be filled with the car level. On a lift, this isn't an issue, but when changing the fluid in the garage, all four tires should be on the ground. Filling from the top of the engine bay (either with a pump or funnel) is the way to do it. Place the funnel from the top of the engine bay in a location where it can be held securely and reach the Fill hole on the transfer case, keeping the tube as unkinked as possible (top pic).
5. Insert the hose into the Fill hole on the t-case (bottom pic). It is a good idea to place a rag or shop towel on top of the downpipe directly under the Fill hole. Any fluid overflow that runs onto the downpipe will burn, smoke and smell when the car is started :)
6. Lower the car to the ground so it sits level. This is done since the the fill level is the height of the bottom of the Fill plug. On level ground, if too much fluid is used, any excess will simply run out of the Fill plug on a level car. Many people will use the "overflow" method of measuring to ensure the case is not over-filled, but it never hurts to measure the correct amount of fluid. The transfer case holds .58 Quarts and the service manual specifies API GL5 SAE90 fluid, but we highly recommend using Mitsubishi Diaqueen fluid (OEM). The fluid is rather thick and can take some time to fully drain from the funnel. When getting close to max capacity, fill the funnel slowly and wait for it to completely drain. A funnel with a long tube can hold a decent amount of fluid, so make sure the fluid already in the funnel is taken before adding more.
7. If you cannot reach it from the top, raise the car and pull the tube out of the Fill hole, but lower the car again after the tube is removed. The tube must be removed since it blocks the entire hole and may keep excess fluid from draining. The car must then be level (and on level ground) to ensure that the hole is not too high or low in relation to the fluid. When no fluid comes out of the Fill hole on a level car, raise it up again and replace the Fill plug making sure the aluminum washer is in place. Torque the Fill plug to 23 FT-LBS, wipe any fluid off of the downpipe and transfer case, remove the jack and you are done!

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