2019 Ram Classic Diff and Transmission change

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Today I helped a friend of mine to do the initial fluid changes on the aforementioned parts of his 2019 ram classic with 26k miles on the clock and I'm laying out the process used and some observations.

We started with the diff that had a 14mm allen style drain plug and a rubber/plastic fill plug that I had never seen before which I just popped out with a flathead screwdriver. It did not inspire much confidence in the longevity but I haven't heard of problems with them however that might be my naivety. The fluid that came out was green and milky like there had been water entering the system so he was ecstatic to get that out of there early. We used Valvoline synthetic 75w90 in the pouch and it took more or less 2.5 quarts including some spillage involved and reusing the plastic plug did not result in any leaks.

The transmission is one of the zf8 variants and my friend did not want to get a new pan at this time for the filter change so it was a drain and fill. This is a hemi version where the exhaust crosses over right beneath the drain plug and makes it a real pain to get to. My solution to this was a 6 dollar set of harbor freight Allen keys which I grinded the shorter end of the 10mm down to just long enough to fit in-between the plug and exhaust to drain. The plug doesn't have to come all the way out for fluid to drain at a decently slow pace so we just left it partially in with the special key still attached and waited it out. Came back after 10 minutes and it was just a couple drips so it wasn't too bad a wait. The fluid came out basically the exact translucent green that new ZF8 fluid, always happy to see that.

The real pain comes in the filling and leveling procedure. The rear of the truck has to be jacked up a substantial amount to level the transmission, the fill plug is also right next to the exhaust and the procedure involved is pretty tedious. After the fill, starting of the truck, fill, reverse, drive, 2nd, neutral and back to park, check and fill all before the transmission gets to 122 degrees from a start of 100 is a test of speed on the ground. All in all we used around 6-6.5 quarts of transmission fluid.

My friend opted for maxlife in this change as a true Valvoline purist (his motor oil also shares the brand). When we went on the test drive the first couple shifts through each gear seemed a bit wonky but everything smoothed out real quickly and he is happy with the overall procedure.

Feel free to chime in and tell me how wrong we did this
 
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It did not inspire much confidence in the longevity but I haven't heard of problems with them however that might be my naivety.
You have to replace it after you pop it out, or it will leak. When I had my 2016 RAM 1500, I changed the driveline fluids also around 26K miles, and I reused the rubber fill plug. It leaked a couple of days later. I got a Dorman replacement. I made sure that there was no gear oil around the fill hole, whipped it with brake cleaner, let it dry, and put the brand new rubber plugin. It has never again leaked since then.

The transmission is one of the zf8 variants and my friend did not want to get a new pan at this time for the filter change so it was a drain and fill. This is a hemi version where the exhaust crosses over right beneath the drain plug and makes it a real pain to get to. My solution to this was a 6 dollar set of harbor freight Allen keys which I grinded the shorter end of the 10mm down to just long enough to fit in-between the plug and exhaust to drain. The plug doesn't have to come all the way out for fluid to drain at a decently slow pace so we just left it partially in with the special key still attached and waited it out. Came back after 10 minutes and it was just a couple drips so it wasn't too bad a wait. The fluid came out basically the exact translucent green that new ZF8 fluid, always happy to see that.
This is what you want with AMSOIL ATL in it (the picture is from my truck):

1648607873719.jpg


I did three drains and fills.

The real pain comes in the filling and leveling procedure. The rear of the truck has to be jacked up a substantial amount to level the transmission, the fill plug is also right next to the exhaust and the procedure involved is pretty tedious. After the fill, starting of the truck, fill, reverse, drive, 2nd, neutral and back to park, check and fill all before the transmission gets to 122 degrees from a start of 100 is a test of speed on the ground. All in all we used around 6-6.5 quarts of transmission fluid.
Sounds about right. You have to have the engine running so you can fill the last few quarts of the transmission fluid. The PPE pan above holds two extra quarts. When on the highway, the fins cool the ATF and it runs about 5 to 10F cooler.

My friend opted for maxlife in this change as a true Valvoline purist (his motor oil also shares the brand). When we went on the test drive the first couple shifts through each gear seemed a bit wonky but everything smoothed out real quickly and he is happy with the overall procedure.
That's all good, but ZF fluid (made by Shell) doesn't like to be mixed with other ATF. It will eventually start slipping. When it does, keep the oil pan on, and do three to four drains and fills before dropping the pan and installing a new one, and filling it back up with MaxLife ATF. As far as I know, MaxLife is better in every way than the overpriced ZF fluid, and AMSOIL is slightly better than MaxLife.

That's why I did 3 drains and fills. Because I installed a larger oil pan than the factory, three drains and fills got rid of nearly 100% of the old ZF fluid. The shifts are firm and precise. No issues whatsoever.

I did the drain and fills over the course of three days, and drove the truck each day to help wash out the old fluid. I never experienced any sort of wonky shifts or anything weird.

Feel free to chime in and tell me how wrong we did this
I used 75W-140 in the rear diff, and if he's towing, I would use 75W-140. For the front diff 75W-90 is fine (if he has 4x4). The torque spec for the rear diff drain plug is 52 lb-ft.
 

HyundaiAbuser

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No real towing to speak of at this point it’s 80% puttering around town then some hunting fishing and hardware store trips so that’s not anything to worry about. I will definitely tell him to keep an eye out and watch for any slipping. I also ride around with him pretty frequently and know what to look for. The shifts are currently firm and fast it had just seemed like the shift points were changed briefly for first few but it corrected quickly. Will definitely update if any future problems occur
 
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doing ALL my drivetrain fluids in my 2011 fronty manual tranny with Redlines Real synthetics + using 75-90 as dana notes on line netted me about 3 mpgs + put an aluminum titan differential cover on the rear + all is good as my lo mile 28 thou at purchase + just under 50 thou now as i am retired + drive ONLY as needed + haul some coal yearly. i have nice weather rides as well when Pa weather permits, an Audi tt 2001 225Q + triumph motorcycles as well!!
 
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The real pain comes in the filling and leveling procedure. The rear of the truck has to be jacked up a substantial amount to level the transmission, the fill plug is also right next to the exhaust and the procedure involved is pretty tedious. After the fill, starting of the truck, fill, reverse, drive, 2nd, neutral and back to park, check and fill all before the transmission gets to 122 degrees from a start of 100 is a test of speed on the ground. All in all we used around 6-6.5 quarts of transmission fluid.

Not sure I understand what you did there with the rear end jacking. These newer transmissions with the no dip stick tube is a real hassel for most people and i have been repeatedly told by techs now that they did it to stop morons from pouring engine oil into the trans dip stick hole. All of the manufacturers I've seen recently are using the vehicle level, not trans necessarily and the temp of fluid as the method to check for full which is basically just open the plug and see if anyting comes out. Some of these pans now include 2 different plugs in them also. Watch this...
 
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No real towing to speak of at this point it’s 80% puttering around town then some hunting fishing and hardware store trips so that’s not anything to worry about.
1648647321001.jpg


I think you're fine. I bet it's the same rear diff, and FCA decided to go thinner for fuel economy reasons. Mine called for 75W-140. That diff is easy on the oil. A nice middle-ground for it is 75W-110, like AMSOIL SVG 75W-110. But you should be okay with 75W-90.

Redlines Real synthetics
Oh boy, they have good marketing. Unfortunately, their D6 ATF is not confidence-inspiring as it needs more testing. Their engine oil formulations are from the SL-era, and they have yet to meet the target they set for 2021 to overhaul their High-Performance line into the 21st century.

This is their product catalog for 2021, yet you can't buy these oils anywhere, nor are they listed on their website: https://www.redlineoil.com/Content/files/RLO_CATALOG_2021.pdf

1648647775022.jpg


Those NOACK values are unreal for 0W-X oils (no, they don't have them yet for sale). I believe they are struggling with reformulating their oils. I have a suspicion that their parent company's marketing department set these targets for them.

using 75-90 as dana notes on line netted me about 3 mpgs
I seriously doubt that. Red Line's gear oils are NOT designed to be fuel efficient AT ALL. They are designed for heat resistance. Their cold flow competes with dino gear oil. I read similar nonsense from folks who switch to AMSOIL. While AMSOIL is good, and I use it, it won't improve your MPG one smidge.
 
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View attachment 94551

I think you're fine. I bet it's the same rear diff, and FCA decided to go thinner for fuel economy reasons. Mine called for 75W-140. That diff is easy on the oil. A nice middle-ground for it is 75W-110, like AMSOIL SVG 75W-110. But you should be okay with 75W-90.


Oh boy, they have good marketing. Unfortunately, their D6 ATF is not confidence-inspiring as it needs more testing. Their engine oil formulations are from the SL-era, and they have yet to meet the target they set for 2021 to overhaul their High-Performance line into the 21st century.

This is their product catalog for 2021, yet you can't buy these oils anywhere, nor are they listed on their website: https://www.redlineoil.com/Content/files/RLO_CATALOG_2021.pdf

View attachment 94553

Those NOACK values are unreal for 0W-X oils (no, they don't have them yet for sale). I believe they are struggling with reformulating their oils. I have a suspicion that their parent company's marketing department set these targets for them.


I seriously doubt that. Red Line's gear oils are NOT designed to be fuel efficient AT ALL. They are designed for heat resistance. Their cold flow competes with dino gear oil. I read similar nonsense from folks who switch to AMSOIL. While AMSOIL is good, and I use it, it won't improve your MPG one smidge.
I don't understand the part about competing with dino gear lubes. I guess this Amsoil magic fluid has a ton of testing?
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
Messages
1,649
Today I helped a friend of mine to do the initial fluid changes on the aforementioned parts of his 2019 ram classic with 26k miles on the clock and I'm laying out the process used and some observations.

We started with the diff that had a 14mm allen style drain plug and a rubber/plastic fill plug that I had never seen before which I just popped out with a flathead screwdriver. It did not inspire much confidence in the longevity but I haven't heard of problems with them however that might be my naivety. The fluid that came out was green and milky like there had been water entering the system so he was ecstatic to get that out of there early. We used Valvoline synthetic 75w90 in the pouch and it took more or less 2.5 quarts including some spillage involved and reusing the plastic plug did not result in any leaks.

The transmission is one of the zf8 variants and my friend did not want to get a new pan at this time for the filter change so it was a drain and fill. This is a hemi version where the exhaust crosses over right beneath the drain plug and makes it a real pain to get to. My solution to this was a 6 dollar set of harbor freight Allen keys which I grinded the shorter end of the 10mm down to just long enough to fit in-between the plug and exhaust to drain. The plug doesn't have to come all the way out for fluid to drain at a decently slow pace so we just left it partially in with the special key still attached and waited it out. Came back after 10 minutes and it was just a couple drips so it wasn't too bad a wait. The fluid came out basically the exact translucent green that new ZF8 fluid, always happy to see that.

The real pain comes in the filling and leveling procedure. The rear of the truck has to be jacked up a substantial amount to level the transmission, the fill plug is also right next to the exhaust and the procedure involved is pretty tedious. After the fill, starting of the truck, fill, reverse, drive, 2nd, neutral and back to park, check and fill all before the transmission gets to 122 degrees from a start of 100 is a test of speed on the ground. All in all we used around 6-6.5 quarts of transmission fluid.

My friend opted for maxlife in this change as a true Valvoline purist (his motor oil also shares the brand). When we went on the test drive the first couple shifts through each gear seemed a bit wonky but everything smoothed out real quickly and he is happy with the overall procedure.

Feel free to chime in and tell me how wrong we did this
Keep us updated on the Maxlife in the ZF8. I'll be needing to do a change in my ZF8 speed one of these days.
 
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I don't understand the part about competing with dino gear lubes. I guess this Amsoil magic fluid has a ton of testing?
According to RedLine, it contains a high concentration of POE. I have no way of verifying that, but the stuff is as dense or oven denser than dino oil. It's suitable for heat resistance but has inferior cold flow characteristics. AMSOIL Severe Gear uses Alkalythed Naphtalines as base oil. It's formulated similarly to how oil is made for wind turbines used for power generation. The best gear oils are made using Alkalythed Naphtalenes. There are other excellent alternatives like European Castrol Syntrax Long Life or Motul 300 Gear Oil.

I'm sorry I have to use the video below to illustrate what I'm trying to say. The guy is an AMSOIL dealer and not a very bright one, but at least he has an industrial freezer in his garage:

 
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According to RedLine, it contains a high concentration of POE. I have no way of verifying that, but the stuff is as dense or oven denser than dino oil. It's suitable for heat resistance but has inferior cold flow characteristics. AMSOIL Severe Gear uses Alkalythed Naphtalines as base oil. It's formulated similarly to how oil is made for wind turbines used for power generation. The best gear oils are made using Alkalythed Naphtalenes. There are other excellent alternatives like European Castrol Syntrax Long Life or Motul 300 Gear Oil.

I'm sorry I have to use the video below to illustrate what I'm trying to say. The guy is an AMSOIL dealer and not a very bright one, but at least he has an industrial freezer in his garage:


Yeah, that guy doesn't really know what he's talking about. I was going to go Castrol Syntrax LL, but I couldn't find enough information about it, so I decided that I would eventually go Redline differential oil in both cars. But cold pour point is just one test.
 
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Yeah, that guy doesn't really know what he's talking about. I was going to go Castrol Syntrax LL, but I couldn't find enough information about it, so I decided that I would eventually go Redline differential oil in both cars. But cold pour point is just one test.
Look through some of the Red Line Gear Oil UOAs here on BITOG and compare them to AMSOIL SVG and let me know what your conclusion is.
 
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Look through some of the Red Line Gear Oil UOAs here on BITOG and compare them to AMSOIL SVG and let me know what your conclusion is.
Are they on the same differential with the same usage? Pulling random UOAs isn't going to help.
 
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According to RedLine, it contains a high concentration of POE. I have no way of verifying that, but the stuff is as dense or oven denser than dino oil. It's suitable for heat resistance but has inferior cold flow characteristics. AMSOIL Severe Gear uses Alkalythed Naphtalines as base oil. It's formulated similarly to how oil is made for wind turbines used for power generation. The best gear oils are made using Alkalythed Naphtalenes. There are other excellent alternatives like European Castrol Syntrax Long Life or Motul 300 Gear Oil.

I'm sorry I have to use the video below to illustrate what I'm trying to say. The guy is an AMSOIL dealer and not a very bright one, but at least he has an industrial freezer in his garage:


Mobil 1 Delvac 75w-90 or Amsoil Severe Gear?
 
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Weber auto has some great concise vids, love where he shows the construction of a CVT belt!!
 
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