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335 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Totally forgot to change my transfer case fluid, so I figured I'd to it right around when my oil change was due.

I approached this a little differently. Rather than doing a long drawn-out voice over, I simply recorded myself doing the oil and fluid change, and edited it so you can see each of the steps involved. The hardest parts of auto repair isn't in the procedure itself - its the logistical aspects of accomplishing it. I learn best by simply watching someone do the thing, rather than have someone explain the steps and show a "perfect world" example.

I added a bunch of annotations to point out a few things I'm doing, so please view the video on YouTube to see them. I tend to be a clumsy spaz whenever I work on my own cars, so theres one or two things I kinda flubbed. It doesnt help when theres a gopro right on your snout, but I did my best.

I think I covered my bases ... but let me know if you have questions on what I'm doing or if totally screwed something up.


335 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Here are the annotations I posted for the video:

- 13mm wrench (oil drain - if its really stuck, use a good sharp 13mm socket on a 1/2 inch ratchet. Just be careful tightening it back on)

- 3/8 rachet (for the tcase drain/fills)

- shop towels (rags and regular towels work too, just be careful about lint and fibers)

- gloves (you always want to minimize the amount of used oil you get on your paws)

- 2 drain pans (my recycling place wants us to keep engine oil separate from ATF/gear oil)

- 7 quarts of 5w20 synthetic (theres nothing magical about pennzoil; any modern brand-name synthetic will do.)

- 2 quarts of MOPAR 68089195AA (borg-warners take special-snowflake fluid)

- MOPAR MO-899 filter (PLEASE use a mopar oil filter. Almost all cold start noise/oil starvation issues I've seen with this engine are due to quality control issues with the anti-drainback valves on aftermarket filters)

- General
As of now my truck has a 3 inch not-so-bolt-in levelling kit and no front fascia, which makes this really easy. However even without the extra lift, I had no issues maneuvering underneath the truck, and I have a little bit of a belly. If you have issues getting underneath, or if you're closer than you want to be to the catalytic converters, by all means put the vehicle on jack stands.

- 0:03
Uh yeeeea dont do that lol. I can get away with this because I know the drain plug is not on tight. You'll want to use one hand to keep the wrench centered on the bolt, then use the other to break it loose. If you're in an awkward position where its not comfortable to do this, use a ratchet. If you come at it at an angle like I did, you'll increase the chances of stripping it.

- 0:12
I've always taken the fill plug out before the drain plug. I haven't had this happen, but doing this will prevent a situation where you drained the fluid but can't get the fill plug open.

- 0:40
I took the front facia off my truck because I'm sick and tired of it smacking everything on trails, and having to duck underneath it all the time whenever I fix stuff

- 0:50
If you change your oil yourself, and put the filter on until the seals "kiss" plus a quarter-ish turn, it'll come off super easy like it did here (none of this was staged). If its really stuck, use a shop towel to get some extra grip, or an oil filter wrench.

- 1:00
This is the technique I use to fish the filter out without spilling its contents everywhere. If you're changing it at operating temperature, its gonna be really hot, so use a shop towel or an extra glove to make it tolerable - you dont want to spill it on yourself.
Make sure that the gasket came off with the filter! If it was installed super duper tight, it might still be on the mating surface.

- 1:30
I have a habit of installing filters on the tight side. Spin it until it "kisses" the mating surface, then tighten it about a quarter to a half a turn.

- 1:39
According to the service manual, removing the filter allows some more oil to drain out of the engine, so you'll want it to keep draining. Someone told me these engines keep alot of oil in its passages for MDS and VVT.

- 1:45
I screwed this up too lol. You hear that grinding sound as I thread it in? Because i rested the drain plug on the ground, some dirt and crap got on the threads, and I didn't clean it all out. Make sure the threads are clean - it should spin in with virtually no effort. Its a good idea to use teflon on these too.

- 1:54
I was a little tight with these, they should just be snug. Especially if you're using teflon.

- 2:12
I only show me putting 1 quart in, but it really takes almost 2.
Theres no trick to this, just squeeze it in until it starts to spill out the fill plug.

- 2:30
Make sure your funnels are decently clean!

- 2:34
I leave the engine cover off. I'm constantly fixing stuff on this damn thing :3

- 2:38
That water you see dripping is actually sweat! It was hot out today lol

- 2:41
If you had a hard time taking the oil fill off, it wouldn't be a bad idea to lube the green o-ring on it with some oil.

- 2:50
Quickly check that nothing spilled everywhere lol (it happens)
To reset the EVIC oil change reminder: key in *run* position, push gas 5 times within 5 seconds (i think its 3, but i do it 5, my previous truck was a chevy), turn key to off, then start the truck.

ONCE IT STARTS: listen for weird engine noises. the oil light should briefly come on and then almost immedately turn off. It shouldn't be on for longer than 2 "Mississippi" seconds. (The light takes priority over any other light - if its on longer than a second, the "Low oil pressure" message will appear. This is fine as long as its not on longer than like 1-2 seconds.) Shut it down if it takes longer.

- 3:04
Once its out, check for leaks. If there is one, it'll usually be a slow drip leak by the filter.

- 3:13
Check that the EVIC actually reset itself. It should read 0 miles at 100% life. Sometimes the percentage doesn't reset - I'm not sure if its a glitch or intentional - but either case, just do the reset procedure again and it'll fix itself.
I like to use Trip B to track my distance between oil changes, and Trip A for my distance between gas fillups.

Super Moderator
34,750 Posts
- 2 quarts of MOPAR 68089195AA (borg-warners take special-snowflake fluid. Manual states specifically NOT to use ATF on these tcases)

Only the 44-44 transfer cases require the BW 44-44 fluid. You have a Tradesman which means you have the 44-45 transfer case that uses ATF+4.

From the manual:

Transfer Case
We recommend you use MOPAR® ATF+4® Automatic
Transmission Fluid.

Transfer Case – BW44–44 Only

We recommend you use MOPAR® BW44–44 Transfer
Case Fluid.

The 68089195AA part number you mention corresponds with the 44-44 fluid and is not the correct fluid for your 44-45 case.

335 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)

BorgWarners take special snowflake BorgWarner fluid.

Its likely just ATF plus a special additive package, so even if it did want plain ATF it wouldn't care. Problems come in if its the other way around (adding plain ATF to something that needed special snowflake fluid)


Super Moderator
34,750 Posts
IDK what exactly the 44-44 fluid is, but its spec'd for my transfer case so I use it. I'm not going to speculate because I don't have anything to substantiate speculation.

Your 44-45 isn't listed on the chart in your picture. I am not sure why you are so insistent that your transfer case uses the more expensive 44-44 fluid when the manual clearly states it uses AFT+4

335 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I really did not want this to turn into a fluid discussion, because with chryslers it can get a little confusing.

Chrysler has a history of switching fluid specifications for their outsourced equipment. My 1996 XJ has an asian-warner built AW4 transmission that requires DEXIII. Around 2000, chrysler issued a TSB *requiring* all AW4 equipped vehicles be changed to ATF+4, without making any changes to the fluid specification or the transmission itself, which resulted in slippage. I was told Asian-Warner actually issued a bulletin insisting *not* to use ATF+4 because of this - since this was mechanically the same transmission used in Toyota's 4Runner, they didn't want any mix-ups. Manufacturers like to unify their specifications so dealerships dont have to stock multiple different types of fluid (GM is notorious for this... believe me hehe), and I'm thinking this is one example.

So when I see specs from the service/owners manuals that conflict one another, I default to the original equipment manufacturer's (BorgWarner in this case) recommendation, which is the special snowflake fluid I used. But you're right, I really don't think it matters.
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