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#2020470 - 09/18/10 11:05 AM Check that Duramax Transfer Case!
Jim 5 Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4008
Loc: Calgary Canada
After reviewing a number of threads on the duramax forums, I decided to change my transfer case fluid (Dex VI) at 43k miles.

There is a great deal of information out there on the fact that the ATF in the transfer case gets hot and burns off. There are guys draining their transfer case at 100k miles and getting out 1/2 qt when the capacity is 2 qts.

At 43k miles I pulled out 1.5 qts, so this early I had already suffered some burn-off. It's an easy job to do. When the transfer case goes dry, this case suffers "pump rub" and basically the pump shaft wears a hole through the aluminum transfer case wall.

There is a representative of a manufacturer of transmission parts that wrote a paper in a trade publication around this pump rub problem recommending overfilling the transfer case to 3 qts and instead using synthetic 5w-30. Overfilling with ATF is not recommended as it is said it will foam if overfilled - the 5w-30 will not. Tons of guys have done it (3qts of syn 5w-30) and are reporting no-burn off and very long transfer case life on this regime. Theres a number of guys with 100k miles on 3qts of 5w-30 in the case with no problems. The bigger sample size is the guys with between 30k and 50k on 5w-30 in the transfer case with no problems. I'll leave the dispute out of whether to do this or go with MFG spec out of this thread.

I might do it out of warranty, but don't want to give GM any excuses if I have an issue. I may move to the Redline D6 ATF for my next change and I'll likely change it at 30k miles intervals since its easy and it only takes 2 qts. Word to the wise - use the speedo sensor hole at the top of the transfer case for filling - you'll never get a funnel in that tiny fill hole, even if there was access. Leave the fill hole open to verify right level of fill.

Anyhow, whatever fluid you choose, I wanted to let the duramax owners out there know that it's important to stay ahead of this.
_________________________
Jim A
07.5 GMC Sierra 2500HD LMM Rotella 15w-40
09 Odyssey EX-L CT 5w-20
66 Bronco QS 10w-30
08 BMW K1200S Rt 15w-40
08 Pitster Pro X4 Rt 15w-40

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#2020473 - 09/18/10 11:10 AM Re: Check that Duramax Transfer Case! [Re: Jim 5]
oilboy123 Offline


Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 6499
Loc: Everett, Washington
I would use the best syn trans fluid I could.
_________________________
Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing wrong with this, except that it ain't so.
Mark Twain







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#2020478 - 09/18/10 11:14 AM Re: Check that Duramax Transfer Case! [Re: oilboy123]
AzFireGuy79 Offline


Registered: 03/08/08
Posts: 1286
Loc: Arizona
Looks like he has that part figured out already, Redline D6!
_________________________
2008 Chevrolet 2500HD 6.6 DMAX, CCSB,Z71
2011 JEEP Grand Cherokee Overland HEMI 5.7

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#2020480 - 09/18/10 11:15 AM Re: Check that Duramax Transfer Case! [Re: Jim 5]
Jim 5 Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4008
Loc: Calgary Canada
That's what I'm going to do, but more importantly, just to realize these things run dry quicker than most transfer cases is the key to keeping them alive in my opinon.
_________________________
Jim A
07.5 GMC Sierra 2500HD LMM Rotella 15w-40
09 Odyssey EX-L CT 5w-20
66 Bronco QS 10w-30
08 BMW K1200S Rt 15w-40
08 Pitster Pro X4 Rt 15w-40

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#2020494 - 09/18/10 11:24 AM Re: Check that Duramax Transfer Case! [Re: Jim 5]
AzFireGuy79 Offline


Registered: 03/08/08
Posts: 1286
Loc: Arizona
I had never heard of this prior to your post. Good info for sure. The Redline D6(any of their atf's) will resist burnoff much better than any dino atf. It will be interesting to see what your results are using the D6 knowing burnoff is an issue. Keep us posted!
_________________________
2008 Chevrolet 2500HD 6.6 DMAX, CCSB,Z71
2011 JEEP Grand Cherokee Overland HEMI 5.7

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#2020526 - 09/18/10 12:09 PM Re: Check that Duramax Transfer Case! [Re: Jim 5]
xxch4osxx Offline


Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1458
Loc: Cedarbrae, Ontario
What year is this truck? Would it not use Auto-Trak II fluid?
_________________________
2004 Chev Silverado 4x4 using all Amsoil lubricants.
2008 Mazda 3 GS Sport Hatchback 5sp MT (Girlfriend's car)


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#2020559 - 09/18/10 12:47 PM Re: Check that Duramax Transfer Case! [Re: xxch4osxx]
Mokanic Offline


Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 1563
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Royal Purple Synchromax will not burn off and is excellent in transfer cases. I know some of you will think I am nuts but I use their Syntractor III fluid in all my Kubotas. That stuff is lasting 3 times longer than the synthetc blend Super UDT fluid. Anyway,I has some leftover and I put it in the differential part of my daughter's Corolla automatic 60,000 miles ago. Still clean and purple as it was when it went in. I don't use their oils personally but their gear fluids are tough as nails.

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#2020586 - 09/18/10 01:21 PM Re: Check that Duramax Transfer Case! [Re: xxch4osxx]
Jim 5 Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4008
Loc: Calgary Canada
Originally Posted By: xxch4osxx
What year is this truck? Would it not use Auto-Trak II fluid?


Nope, it's not an automatic transfer case. It's a new body style 2500HD in my signature. My previous chev avalanche used the autotrack II. Different transfer case. It just has 2Hi, N, 4H, 4L. No 4wd Auto.
_________________________
Jim A
07.5 GMC Sierra 2500HD LMM Rotella 15w-40
09 Odyssey EX-L CT 5w-20
66 Bronco QS 10w-30
08 BMW K1200S Rt 15w-40
08 Pitster Pro X4 Rt 15w-40

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#2020630 - 09/18/10 02:22 PM Re: Check that Duramax Transfer Case! [Re: Jim 5]
xxch4osxx Offline


Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1458
Loc: Cedarbrae, Ontario
Ah, ok, I was just wondering, as my Silverado uses the Auto-Trak fluid. I just don't understand where the fluid would escape from when it gets real hot though. My transfer case never loses a drop and I change it every 2 years regardless of milage.
_________________________
2004 Chev Silverado 4x4 using all Amsoil lubricants.
2008 Mazda 3 GS Sport Hatchback 5sp MT (Girlfriend's car)


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#2020642 - 09/18/10 02:51 PM Re: Check that Duramax Transfer Case! [Re: Jim 5]
caravanmike Offline


Registered: 05/09/09
Posts: 938
Loc: ohio
Originally Posted By: Jim 5
After reviewing a number of threads on the duramax forums, I decided to change my transfer case fluid (Dex VI) at 43k miles.

There is a great deal of information out there on the fact that the ATF in the transfer case gets hot and burns off. There are guys draining their transfer case at 100k miles and getting out 1/2 qt when the capacity is 2 qts.

At 43k miles I pulled out 1.5 qts, so this early I had already suffered some burn-off. It's an easy job to do. When the transfer case goes dry, this case suffers "pump rub" and basically the pump shaft wears a hole through the aluminum transfer case wall.

There is a representative of a manufacturer of transmission parts that wrote a paper in a trade publication around this pump rub problem recommending overfilling the transfer case to 3 qts and instead using synthetic 5w-30. Overfilling with ATF is not recommended as it is said it will foam if overfilled - the 5w-30 will not. Tons of guys have done it (3qts of syn 5w-30) and are reporting no-burn off and very long transfer case life on this regime. Theres a number of guys with 100k miles on 3qts of 5w-30 in the case with no problems. The bigger sample size is the guys with between 30k and 50k on 5w-30 in the transfer case with no problems. I'll leave the dispute out of whether to do this or go with MFG spec out of this thread.

I might do it out of warranty, but don't want to give GM any excuses if I have an issue. I may move to the Redline D6 ATF for my next change and I'll likely change it at 30k miles intervals since its easy and it only takes 2 qts. Word to the wise - use the speedo sensor hole at the top of the transfer case for filling - you'll never get a funnel in that tiny fill hole, even if there was access. Leave the fill hole open to verify right level of fill.

Anyhow, whatever fluid you choose, I wanted to let the duramax owners out there know that it's important to stay ahead of this.

thanks for the 411. i have a 03 duramax/allison trans 4X4 at work. is this the same transfer case? mike
_________________________
Oils I use: Any 5w-30,5w-20 conventional
Filters I use: Purolator 14006, 20195, 22500

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#2020895 - 09/18/10 08:50 PM Re: Check that Duramax Transfer Case! [Re: caravanmike]
Jim 5 Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4008
Loc: Calgary Canada
Originally Posted By: caravanmike
Originally Posted By: Jim 5
After reviewing a number of threads on the duramax forums, I decided to change my transfer case fluid (Dex VI) at 43k miles.

There is a great deal of information out there on the fact that the ATF in the transfer case gets hot and burns off. There are guys draining their transfer case at 100k miles and getting out 1/2 qt when the capacity is 2 qts.

At 43k miles I pulled out 1.5 qts, so this early I had already suffered some burn-off. It's an easy job to do. When the transfer case goes dry, this case suffers "pump rub" and basically the pump shaft wears a hole through the aluminum transfer case wall.

There is a representative of a manufacturer of transmission parts that wrote a paper in a trade publication around this pump rub problem recommending overfilling the transfer case to 3 qts and instead using synthetic 5w-30. Overfilling with ATF is not recommended as it is said it will foam if overfilled - the 5w-30 will not. Tons of guys have done it (3qts of syn 5w-30) and are reporting no-burn off and very long transfer case life on this regime. Theres a number of guys with 100k miles on 3qts of 5w-30 in the case with no problems. The bigger sample size is the guys with between 30k and 50k on 5w-30 in the transfer case with no problems. I'll leave the dispute out of whether to do this or go with MFG spec out of this thread.

I might do it out of warranty, but don't want to give GM any excuses if I have an issue. I may move to the Redline D6 ATF for my next change and I'll likely change it at 30k miles intervals since its easy and it only takes 2 qts. Word to the wise - use the speedo sensor hole at the top of the transfer case for filling - you'll never get a funnel in that tiny fill hole, even if there was access. Leave the fill hole open to verify right level of fill.

Anyhow, whatever fluid you choose, I wanted to let the duramax owners out there know that it's important to stay ahead of this.

thanks for the 411. i have a 03 duramax/allison trans 4X4 at work. is this the same transfer case? mike


I think they're all the same. It's a pretty easy job to do.
_________________________
Jim A
07.5 GMC Sierra 2500HD LMM Rotella 15w-40
09 Odyssey EX-L CT 5w-20
66 Bronco QS 10w-30
08 BMW K1200S Rt 15w-40
08 Pitster Pro X4 Rt 15w-40

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#2021252 - 09/19/10 10:28 AM Re: Check that Duramax Transfer Case! [Re: Jim 5]
gmctodd Offline


Registered: 11/29/07
Posts: 225
Loc: Happy Valley, PA
this is also the case for the gas powered 2500HD pickups. They use the same transfer case and experience the same problem.
_________________________
Todd

06 GMC Sierra 3500 D/A DRW-Wolfs head Extreme duty/Fram TG
08 Envoy-Wolfs Head Super duty 5w30/PL25288


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#2021352 - 09/19/10 12:32 PM Re: Check that Duramax Transfer Case! [Re: Jim 5]
unDummy Offline


Registered: 02/01/03
Posts: 8756
Loc: RI
Its foolish to run any gearbox to 100k without maintenance, or even checking the level.
Too many are bedazzled by the maintenance guide in owners' manuals which is useless and worth wiping your ars with!

It should be changed every 30k/2yr.
You can use a UOA to prove any longer intervals if you want.

A full synthetic is the 1st upgrade that should always be considered. MTF/MTL is another option if you want a little better protection.
_________________________
Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt the person doing it.
Your automaker lied!
Is this a spelling/grammar forum or BITOG?

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#2021489 - 09/19/10 04:19 PM Re: Check that Duramax Transfer Case! [Re: Jim 5]
Jim Allen Offline


Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 4477
Loc: NW Ohio
I'd like someone to explain how t-case fluid "burns off?" That would take temps at or near it's flash point (375+). I have seen up to 300 degrees in various full-time t-cases at times but there's very little moving in a part-time case to create heat when it's in 4x2 mode.

Leaks... maybe.

The NP-261 t-cases in the '01-07 do have a tendency to wear a hole in the case at one of the oil pump locating tabs and leak but it's not due to "burn-off" it's a locating tab that breaks. The lack of lubrication occurs after some or all of the oil leaks out. You can read about it below.
NP261
_________________________
Jim Allen
Keepin' the Good Old Days of Four Wheeling Alive

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#2021540 - 09/19/10 05:38 PM Re: Check that Duramax Transfer Case! [Re: Jim 5]
Sunnyinhollister Offline


Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 418
Loc: Hollister, CA
I didn't know Dex VI was approved for the T-case. Last thing I read from GM was that Dex VI was NOT to be used in the T-case.

Dexron III is being phased out as a product name. It is being renamed Manual Transmission Fluid and carries p/n 88861800 U.S. (88861801 Canada).

"If fluid p/n 88861800 U.S. (88861801 Canada) is not yet available when servicing a manual transmission or transfer case, Dexron III can be used in its place.

DO NOT use Dexron VI in place of manual transmission fluid in any manual transmissions or transfer cases that specify Dexron III, as a failure may result."

Has this changed?
_________________________
2013 Chevy Cruze Eco 6MT - New member of the family
2012 Chevy Volt - 210 MPG Lifetime average
2010 Ford F150 XLT 4x2 - Sold
1998 Jeep Wrangler Sport

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