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Old 11-05-2009, 08:08 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trollbait View Post
At least check the fluid levels in the diff and transfer case. A friend didn't on a beater truck, and had a wheel come off on the highway.
I agree about checking the level, but how would a dry differential result in the loss of a wheel?
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:17 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
I agree about checking the level, but how would a dry differential result in the loss of a wheel?
Yea... I'm curious about the wheel myself. Only thing I can think of is the dry diff. built up so much heat, over time it weakened the axle... causing the wheel/axle to break off. Though, that's just my wild guess, I really have no idea. Seems like the Diff would seize up before anything else. Maybe that's what happened... the diff seized up, and with the tire moving at HWY speeds, it torqued the axle, etc too much and broke it off. *shrugs*.

-------

So, before I emailed Royal Purple about fluids for my xplodr, I didn't even know there was fluid in the transfer case
4wd is important for me, so maybe I'll change that fluid... and then just check the diff. fluid levels and top them off.

What is diff. fluid supposed to look like? ... if it's no longer transparent, I'm just wondering if I should change it rather than top it off ... because don't these fluids lose their viscosity over time?

What I worry about with not changing the oil at least every 6 months is the anti-corrosion components of the oil losing their protective properties, creating havoc on my engine.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:47 PM   #33
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You're already using synthetic. The oil isn't going to break down that fast.
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:37 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTUboi86 View Post
Yea... I'm curious about the wheel myself. Only thing I can think of is the dry diff. built up so much heat, over time it weakened the axle... causing the wheel/axle to break off. Though, that's just my wild guess, I really have no idea. Seems like the Diff would seize up before anything else. Maybe that's what happened... the diff seized up, and with the tire moving at HWY speeds, it torqued the axle, etc too much and broke it off. *shrugs*.

-------

So, before I emailed Royal Purple about fluids for my xplodr, I didn't even know there was fluid in the transfer case
4wd is important for me, so maybe I'll change that fluid... and then just check the diff. fluid levels and top them off.

What is diff. fluid supposed to look like? ... if it's no longer transparent, I'm just wondering if I should change it rather than top it off ... because don't these fluids lose their viscosity over time?

What I worry about with not changing the oil at least every 6 months is the anti-corrosion components of the oil losing their protective properties, creating havoc on my engine.
It was the wheel and axle. The diff wasn't dry, but really low. Either through the motion of the gears, most likely, or the road grade to let rain flow off, one side ended up starved for lubrication. Eventually the heat and wear snapped the axle. Being an old, high mileage beater didn't help. My friend uses synthetics in his trucks now.

The main anti-corrosion component are bases that will neutralize any acids that form during engine use. The TBN in oil analysis is a measure of much of those bases are left. Time isn't really a factor in their, and other additives, lifespan.

GM uses an oil monitoring system on their cars for oil changes. There is no mention of a mileage or time for oil change intervals in their manuals. The computer monitors things like engine run time, rpms, engine temps, and environment temps. Then it compares this data to charts of known depletion rates of oil additives under certain conditions. The lowest interval on HHR was 6700 miles. The use of EOC likely led the computer to low ball it, and the GM engineers likely assumed the minimum spec of additives in the oil.

IIRC, Ford recommended changing the Ranger diff at 100k. I did it at 60k to put in synthetic. Used Mobil1 which wasn't much more than a brand name regular oil. The truck was a daily driver, with the potential of 20k miles a year, at the time. With your situation, I don't think synthetics are worth the expense. A quality dino oil should be fine.

If you are going to change the transfer case fluid, and if they are the original fluids, you might as well do the diffs while crawling around under there. I said doing the rear diff throughly takes 2 days. Most of that time is allowing the RTV to cure. You can just suck the old fluid out of the fill plug though, and just not touch the cover plate. I think that's the only way to get the fluid out of the transfer case and front diff.

Before you start, you need to be on a level surface in order to get the correct fluid levels in. Filling can be a pain and messy do to the limited space and angles for bottles and funnels. I know that the rear diff is filled to the bottom of the fill hole. I don't know why it would be different with the front and transfer case, but I only had 2wd. If you have a limited slip diff, you will need to add traction modifier. Doesn't hurt to put RTV on the plug threads when your done.
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:03 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trollbait View Post
You can just suck the old fluid out of the fill plug though

Filling can be a pain and messy do to the limited space and angles for bottles and funnels.
I did both my diffs, struggling with the mess using whatever I had around the house. Then I bought this for something like $5 at WalMart:


I used it to do my transfer case and I wish I had used it for my diffs. It was cheesy but dealing with it was way better than doing it the hard way.
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:40 PM   #36
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Cool stuffs. I'll have to get one of those pumps. It's in the automotive section at walmart? I think I've actually seen it.

I just got back from my trip. It was about 145 miles round trip from the place I filled up at (Baraga, 26 miles from Houghton/Hancock Mich... has cheap gas ... so total of ~200 miles, but gas mileage is only for the 145)

On the way there, it was VERY windy and I was getting blown all over the road. On the way back there was barely any wind at all. I also had 3 passengers... totaling more than 700lbs of weight (which includes me ... closer to 800 would be more accurate cuz I had two overweight people and two average people). Considering all of that, I got 21.81 miles per gallon. I think that's pretty sweet!

I didn't use cruise control at all, just my foot. Kept it at 55mph, didn't accelerate up hills (just kept my foot steady), and coasted down the other side usually without my foot on the gas.

What do you think?


I don't know why, but about 10 miles into the return trip, I glanced down at my temp gauge and it was just about out of the "Normal" range and by the H (Hot). I'm wondering if my thermostat stuck closed or something because the trip there it was fine. I removed some duct tape from the vents in my bumper and started driving again. About 5 miles later, it finally started dropping and returned to it's normal spot.
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Old 11-07-2009, 04:14 AM   #37
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You may be able to save even more gas by coasting down hills instead of "coasting" in gear. Shift to neutral. Rev-match while shifting back to drive (to avoid extra transmission wear); know how many RPM you'll be turning in gear and raise the RPM before shifting. However, being old and beat-up, you might not want to experiment with things like this.

It sounds like your overheating was caused by too much grille blocking.
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Old 11-07-2009, 07:23 AM   #38
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You had too much of the air intake blocked off, that's all, and removing the excess duct tape was the right thing to do. There's nothing wrong with the vehicle.
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Old 11-07-2009, 09:23 AM   #39
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This is the best gas mileage I've ever gotten with this beast. I'm so stoaked right now!

I know something under my hood is going (It's been squeeling in the cold weather for the last 2-3 years [~12k miles]. After Wednesday, I'm thinking it might be my alternator cuz with the lights on, heater on full blast and radio on ... my (idiot gauge) looked like it was showing below 12 volts which is unusual. Normal winter driving for me the lights are on, heater is full blast, and radio is on. So... maybe if that's fixed I'll get even better mileage. The sound appears it may be coming from the Alt. area too, but can't tell (even with the screwdriver-to-ear trick)

I've noticed that my Serp. belt looks like it is visually getting pretty hot, like one of the bearings in a pully are bad. (excessive wear, and is now smooth on the non-ribbed side). Replacing the belt, it does the same thing.

Only reason I haven't fixed it is because I don't know what exactly is wrong.
Majority of the parts are original, or were, when I bought it in 2006 ... amazingly, the battery was the original Motorcraft as well. Only replaced it for higher CCA.

Wondering if I could get even better mileage if I replaced the alternator (if that's what is bad). I've replaced the idler & tensioner pullies last month to try and diagnose, but it wasn't those.

I've posted on [explorerforum.com] about this, and there's no real "answer". They think it's either the water pump, power steering, tensioner pulley, idler pulley or Alternator ... which names almost everything on the serp. belt except the crank.
My A/C doesn't work, so I had already taken that off the serp. (Bad clutch, I think ... it should work if I fix that).
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Old 11-07-2009, 10:04 AM   #40
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My first thought was you had a bad belt and/or tensioner, but you've already done that. Take the belt off, and try to spin the different pullies by hand. If its a really bad bearing (which this sounds like) you may be able to tell by hand. Otherwise just replacing everything till you fix it can get expensive.
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