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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Pleasanton CA USA
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    386

    Default Rear axle differential oil change

    This question is NOT about the Haldex AOC fluid change. That one, and the angle gear oil, were pretty straightforward.

    I'm at 110,000 mi. on my '04, and want to change out the rear axle differential oil. I can see the oil plug buried deep above the 90 degree bend in the exhaust pipe, facing the rear of the car. It's not accessible for a normal socket wrench. What type of wrench works to loosen
    the plug?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Western Head, Nova Scotia
    Posts
    3,089

    Default

    Drop the rear of the pipe and you can get to the diff plug with normal tools. Only takes a couple of minutes to pop those rear pipe mounts off and it sure beats trying to work around the pipe.

    Cheers,

    Bill
    Western Head, NS CDN

    '08 BMW 750i (Black Sapphire)-204K kms to-date
    '05 XC70 (Lava Sand)-296K kms to-date
    '02 V70XC-gone @393K kms
    '05 V70R (Magic Blue)-120K mi to-date - gone
    '96 854R (Red)-real CDN-spec 5-speed R - gone @270k kms
    And other Volvos and misc. Euro stuff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Posts
    44

    Default

    I just did mine using a 10" extension on my 3/8 drive socket and a swivel joint. The bolt is 13mm. Did not need to mess with the exhaust pipe. I used a helper (pipe) to turn the socket. I noticed I must have been low on oil because I put back more than I took out. Maybe just under a liter.
    IF IT AIN'T BROKE - DON'T FIX IT!
    04 Volvo XC70 5LT 120k "Floatey" Ruby Red
    07 Honda Accord V6 115k Silver
    07 Honda Accord L4 110k Bronze
    96 MB C220 330k (Parked) Silver

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    2,388

    Default

    According to Vadis, the voume of the differential is about 0.5 liter.
    Did you fill the differential until the oil reached the bottom of the fill hole?
    If so, then there is too much oil in it. 100mL should be removed.
    144 GL (1974)--->244 GL (1982)--->940 GLE 2.3i (1992)--->XC70 2.5T (2004)--->XC90 T5 (2018)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Anyone got any tips for seized plugs? My 05 has the diff plug in the back (there is not a second one next to the Haldex plug, I have to access it from the rear). I tried to remove both the Haldex and the rear diff plugs but if I try any harder they’re definitely going to strip.

    I’m at 120K miles and did my bevel gear fluid previously so I’m trying to finish out the fluid aspect of preventative maintenance.

    Thanks, great forum.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Cumbria, UK. Maine USA.
    Posts
    502

    Default

    Coat your socket with valve grinding compound as it will enhance the bite and not slip off or out, but make sure your completely remove the stuff from the fitting, do not let it get anywhere near the internals of your diff, discard the rags used to wipe it off,
    Current fleet: Couple of worthless old clapped out Volvo XC70's 02, 04 & Countless P.O.S's, Rust buckets, Junk cars,( 50W Oily cesspool Sludge) Stolen and other assorted rubbish cars, 1928 Jed Clampett Tourer, (8 hole cast iron lump, original rust and decay, 40W Straight Bacon Grease),

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Pleasanton CA USA
    Posts
    386

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Willy View Post
    According to Vadis, the voume of the differential is about 0.5 liter.
    Did you fill the differential until the oil reached the bottom of the fill hole?
    If so, then there is too much oil in it. 100mL should be removed.
    Don't do that....you'll overfill it by +350 ml, and it will leak gear oil thru the vent. Best approach is to measure volume of what you extract, and replace the same volume (assuming there is no "gunk" evidence of a leak).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    511

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NTXC View Post
    Anyone got any tips for seized plugs? My 05 has the diff plug in the back (there is not a second one next to the Haldex plug, I have to access it from the rear). I tried to remove both the Haldex and the rear diff plugs but if I try any harder they’re definitely going to strip.
    I had to heat my Haldex fill bolt with very low flame after trying lots of different penetrating oils. If you go this route be very careful because there's electronics and wires around the Haldex which can easily melt. I used a makeshift heat shield which helped a little but the wire insulation still softened a bit. But the bolt broke free afterwards!
    2007 XC70, 206,000 miles
    2002 V70XC, 130,000 miles, parts car

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Pleasanton CA USA
    Posts
    386

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Xfingers View Post
    I had to heat my Haldex fill bolt with very low flame after trying lots of different penetrating oils. If you go this route be very careful because there's electronics and wires around the Haldex which can easily melt. I used a makeshift heat shield which helped a little but the wire insulation still softened a bit. But the bolt broke free afterwards!
    Wrong thread. This topic is about the rear axle differential, not the Haldex AWD unit. These are two separate boxes with two separate jobs:
    Haldex: AWD automated clutch. Decides how much torque to transfer from propeller shaft to rear wheels
    Rear axle differential: Allows 2 rear wheels to rotate a different speeds while going around a corner

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    2,388

    Default

    There was a thread about the subject a while ago:
    http://www.volvoxc.com/forums/showth...ighlight=fluid
    Willy
    144 GL (1974)--->244 GL (1982)--->940 GLE 2.3i (1992)--->XC70 2.5T (2004)--->XC90 T5 (2018)

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