This blog article and video walkthrough will guide you through the necessary steps on how to change the front differential gear oil on 2012-2022 Ram 1500 models. We also briefly discuss the correct Ram 1500 front differential fluid specifications, the change interval, proper fluid capacity, and why changing your Ram 1500 front differential fluid is so important.
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- Ram 1500 Front Differential Fluid Change Info
- Ram 1500 Front Differential Fluid Change Video Guide
- Step-by-Step Ram 1500 Front Differential Fluid Change Instructions
Ram 1500 Front Differential Fluid Change Info
These DIY steps and information apply to the following Ram 1500 models:
- 2012-2022 Ram 1500 front differential fluid change for 4WD models
- 2021-2022 Ram 1500 front differential fluid change for TRX 4WD models
Ram 1500 Front Differential Change Interval
When should you change your Ram 1500 front differential fluid gear oil? While it's always best to follow the manufacturers' recommendations, changing the fluid about every 50,000 miles to 60,000 miles should be acceptable under normal driving conditions; however, if your truck experiences more aggressive driving, full-time/consistent 4WD engagement, off-roading, or frequent trailer pulling, servicing the differential fluids more frequently—like every 30,000 miles—would be recommended. Also, if using a cheaper, non-synthetic brand of fluid, the differential fluid will need to be changed more often. Following the recommended Ram 1500 front differential fluid change intervals and the recommendations noted here can eliminate and minimize mechanical issues and costly differential repairs.
Why Should Ram 1500 Front Differential Gear Oil Be Changed?
Your front Ram 1500 differential has a good amount of moving internal components. This includes bearings, pinion gears, and crown gears. These internal components rely solely on the diff fluid's lubrication film strength for protection and longevity. The diff fluid experiences excessive shear loads and various heat cycles through use. In time, these heat cycles and excessive loads deplete the differential fluid's lubricating properties and film strength. Continued use of old differential fluid will result in differential bearing, pinion gear wear, and failure. Therefore, having regular front differential fluid changes is essential. Changing the Ram 1500 front differential fluid as routine maintenance will significantly extend the life of the front differential, minimize driveline noises due to wear, and ensure the bearings and gears receive reliable, clean lubrication.
Ram 1500 Front Differential Fluid Type Specifications
- Recommended Ram 1500 front differential fluid types compatible with SAE 75W-85 API GL-5 differential fluid gear oil specifications. (RAVENOL DGL J1C1144-001-999)
- RAVENOL Gear Oil DGL 75W-85 GL-5 is equivalent and compatible with Ram 1500 front differential fluid part numbers 68210057AA and 68210057AB.
Ram 1500 Front Differential Fluid Capacity
- 2012-2022 Ram 1500 front differential fluid fill capacity is 1.1 liters (1.16 quarts).
- 2021-2022 Ram 1500 TRX front differential fluid fill capacity is 1.4 liters (1.5 quarts).
Ram 1500 Front Differential Fluid Change Tools Needed
- 3/8- or 1/2-inch drive 8mm hex bit socket (6 point)
- 3/8- or 1/2-inch ratchet (dependent on bit socket drive size)
- 3/8- or 1/2-inch extensions (dependent on bit socket drive size)
- Waste oil drain pan container
- High temp RTV or thread sealant (the drain and fill plugs do not have sealing washers or O-rings and rely on clean threads and sealant to seal)
- Protective rubber gloves
- Optional fluid pump tool (All RAVENOL gear oil bottles come equipped with a built-in flex hose cap that works well for most gear oil applications. However, if you choose to use a different brand of gear oil, the service is much easier with a fluid pump tool and flexible hose. We offer two fluid pump tool solutions: part numbers J91001 and T2A0129.)
Disclaimer: Blauparts recommend having a factory-trained A.S.E. certified Ram mechanic perform vehicle maintenance. Always refer to the owner's and factory service manuals for Ram axle differential fluid changing procedures. Always wear protective gloves and safety glasses when handling fluids and oils.
Ram 1500 Front Differential Fluid Change Video Guide
Step-by-Step Ram 1500 Front Differential Fluid Change Instructions
How To Step 1
Since the front differential fluid gear oil is thicker, it is best to warm the fluid before draining it. This can be done by taking your truck for a quick 10 to 15-minute drive. This will allow the front Ram 1500 differential fluid viscosity to get thinner and flow more easily from the front differential when drained.
How To Step 2
Most Ram 1500 front differential gear oil changes can be done on a flat-level surface without lifting the vehicle. Lifting the Ram 1500 with a floor jack, jack stands, or by an approved automotive hoist is optional when changing the front differential fluid. The Ram 1500 should have enough ground clearance to access the front differential area.
If lifting the vehicle, correctly refer to your factory owner's manual for the proper vehicle lift point locations and safety procedures.
The vehicle needs to be in a level position to confirm the correct differential fluid level when refilling. If the truck is not level, this can cause the differential fluid level to be incorrect and could cause differential damage.
How To Step 3
Remove the front skid plate if your vehicle is equipped with one. In our case, the truck we serviced didn’t have one. These are typically held in place by four 13mm bolts, two on the front side and two on the rear side of the subframe.
How To Step 4
Locate the front differential fluid fill plug. This is located on the front right side of the differential closest to the left axle.
It is always best to confirm the fill plug can be removed before draining the Ram 1500 differential fluid. This will ensure you can refill the differential with fluid in case the fill plug is seized or can’t be removed.
Loosen and remove the fill plug in a counterclockwise direction using an 8mm hex-bit socket and ratchet.
How To Step 5
Locate the differential fluid drain plug. This is on the lower center of the differential. Loosen and remove the drain plug in a counterclockwise direction using an 8mm hex bit socket and rachet. Allow the old dirty Ram 1500 differential fluid to thoroughly drain out of the differential into a suitable waste oil drain pan.
How To Step 6
Use a clean rag and wire brush to clean the drain and fill plugs of any excess fluid, corrosion, contaminants, and debris. Then apply a small amount of automotive grade thread sealant or high temp RTV on the drain and fill plug threads to ensure a quality seal with no leaks.
How To Step 7
Reinstall the drain plug by threading it in a clockwise direction. Tighten the drain plug using an 8mm hex-bit socket and a torque wrench. We tightened it to a safe 25 ft lb. torque specification in this instance.
How To Step 8
Begin filling the differential with a fluid that meets or exceeds the recommended gear oil specifications. The correct fluid level is achieved when a fluid stream begins overflowing from the differential fluid fill port.
Once the Ram 1500 fluid level has been confirmed, we recommend waiting around 5 minutes to allow any air pockets to leave the front differential. This will often allow one or two more pumps (small amount) of gear oil to still be added. The front differential gear oil capacity is between 1.1 and 1.4 liters depending on the exact front differential optioned in your Ram 1500.
How To Step 9
With the front differential fluid fill level confirmed, you can begin installing the fill plug by threading it in a clockwise direction.
Tighten the fill plug using an 8mm hex-bit socket and a torque wrench. We are tightening it to a safe 25 ft lb. torque specification in this instance.
Note: As previously mentioned, using a small amount of high temp RTV or thread sealant on the drain and fill plug is highly recommended to confirm a reliable seal with no slow leaks.
How To Step 10
Using a rag, clean and remove all excess drained and overflowed Ram 1500 front differential gear oil from the differential drain and fill plug locations. The front differential should be thoroughly cleaned of all fluid residue.
This will help when inspecting and confirming that the front differential does not have any leaks after performing your fluid change.
How To Step 11
If you chose to lift the vehicle with an approved automotive hoist, floor jack, or jack stands, you can lower the vehicle as highlighted and referenced in your factory owner’s manual. Confirm that the correct vehicle lift point locations and procedures are followed in your factory owner's manual.
How To Step 12
Once you have the vehicle on the ground, you can take the car for a simple 5 to 10-minute test drive and then examine the Ram 1500 front differential and confirm you do not have any leaks coming from the differential drain plug.
How to Step 13
Please dispose of your old front differential fluid responsibly by taking it to a certified recycling collection center.
Note: It is good to note in your records the current mileage at the time of your front differential fluid change and when you might want to change it next. We also recommend that you keep detailed service records to track your vehicle's condition. Keeping good vehicle maintenance records can help improve your vehicle's resale value.
See our disclaimer on the right-hand side of this page. Always consult your service manual and confirm your application's specific fluid and oil requirements. Always follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommended oil change intervals. Blauparts and RAVENOL are not affiliated with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V (FCA), FCA US LLC, FCA Group Marketing S.p.A, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Mopar, ZF, BorgWarner, New Venture Gear, its affiliated companies, subsidiaries, its licensors, any other vehicle, or vehicle part manufacturer. All trademarks and OE specification part numbers referenced in this product listing are displayed for identification purposes only. They are in no way intended to denote any affiliation with their corresponding owners.
This article was produced and written by the BLAU® Technical Team - Copyright © Blau®, Blauparts® LLC. All rights reserved.