RAM Transfer Case Fluid

dnewton3

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I'll throw in my $.02 here ...

Per the reference page near the top, the Ram trucks have two applications:

Auto T-case
The Mobile LT is a tractor-hydraulic fluid; it's good quality stuff. This is a typical universal tractor fluid that can be used in shared-sump systems that use the fluid for both the transionssion and the hyrdraulics. This is a very common thing in tractors and has been for decades. This is the fluid for the t-case the OP has, and I would say any good quality UTHF will work for this application.


Part-time t-case
The part-time t-cases apparently use the Shell Spirax A389 stuff; that "389" reference is a nod to the Allison "TES-389" fluid spec, which is essentially a nod to the old GM Dexron III-h stuff ( they are red-colored ATFs and the Shell product even has "ATF" in it's title). Meaning that this is essentially a lessor cost alternative (read as non-synthetic) option as a traditional automotive ATF. The Allison TES-295 is their high-end synthetic ATF spec, and the TES-389 is their common-man non-syn ATF spec. In these applicaitons (which does not include the OPs truck), just about any decent Dex/Merc fluid will suffice. A cautionary note is that GM and Ford don't license those old fluid specs and haven't for a while, and so if you use a "Dex/Merc" variant, you'll want to assure yourself it's a good product from a reputable company. For example, Mobil's "D/M' is actually an approved and licensed Allison fluid, even though "Dexron III-h" and "Mercon" are not licensed by GM and Ford. But Allision keeps the spec alive for a non-syn choice in their fluid spec line-up. Reputable companies like Mobil, Shell, Castrol, Valvoline, etc are going to make their Dex/Merc fluids to a good quality level despite a lack of the GM and Ford licenses being issued.


I am not convinced that the Amsoil look-up tool is spec'ing the right fluid for the OPs application, I think they are being generic and not realizing that there are two fluids in play here. Amsoil's site shows the same two ATF products for all three t-case applications. To me, that does not seem correct; they are ignoring the UTHF stuff. Maybe it's their opinion that the ATFs will suffice for the UTHF application? I do see that Amsoil has an agricultural section, and in there they have a "hydrostatic" trans fluid, but it's not really marketed as a UTHF; it's more of a hydrostat fluid like is used in zero-turn mowers, but it is in their "agricultural" section ... for what that's worth. Might be worth a try to reach out to Pablo for his opinon here.

I would use any decent quality UTHF. I would recommend getting a synthetic one and not having to change it as often.
 
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Here you go. It’s still Mopar Transfer Case fluid which is the same as Mobilfluid LT as far as I know. I’m not commenting on the other fluids, but I would use the one that is warranty approved. How much does the transfer case hold? Two quarts?

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dnewton3

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Most all modern t-cases are link-plate chain-driven and not gear-mesh. As they are link plate, the fluid has nearly nothing to do with the power transwer; it only lubes the plates against each other and the plate-to-gear contact.

Since Ram does not spec a fluid, it only "recommends" a fluid (the Mobil LT), then it's reasonable to conclude that any decent UTHF will suffice. You could get a 5-gal pail of UTHF for the same $29 of that one quart of the Mopar fluid. All OEM t-case fluids are grossly over-priced.

Shaeffers makes a good quality syn UTHF; that would be worth considering. Maybe contact SalesRep?
 
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dnewton3

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The more I think about it, the more I question the "auto" application of this t-case. The reason I say this is because the "auto" description that Snagglefoot posted describes a system which is biased to front drive, and only engages rear drive upon demand. That, IMO, is NOT what any big powerful truck has. I makes me think this application should be using the ATF and not the UTHF. I think we are mis-interpreting the "auto" description here. I seriously doubt that Ram truck is driving it's front wheels all the time and only engages the rears upon demand. Does anyone else find this odd??????

The first thing I would do is pull the fill plug of the OPs t-case, stick a clean paper towel in there, and see what color comes out. If it's red, I'd use an ATF. If it's clear or light-amber, I'd use a UTHF. TEST FIRST and then make a decision what to buy; ATF or UTHF.
 
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The more I think about it, the more I question the "auto" application of this t-case. The reason I say this is because the "auto" description that Snagglefoot posted describes a system which is biased to front drive, and only engages rear drive upon demand. That, IMO, is NOT what any big powerful truck has. I makes me think this application should be using the ATF and not the UTHF. I think we are mis-interpreting the "auto" description here. I seriously doubt that Ram truck is driving it's front wheels all the time and only engages the rears upon demand. Does anyone else find this odd??????

The first thing I would do is pull the fill plug of the OPs t-case, stick a clean paper towel in there, and see what color comes out. If it's red, I'd use an ATF. If it's clear or light-amber, I'd use a UTHF. TEST FIRST and then make a decision what to buy; ATF or UTHF.
Add this in. This vehicle uses UTHF. If you take it in for warranty work and the mechanic drains red fluid. You’ve got some ‘splaining to do.
 
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Hey you folks use whatever u want. I'm just saying be careful with the auto t case , as the clutch can be an issue....and the above with the tcase overheating in 4 lock? Not true. They do not unlock in the lock mode when turning. They will bind/dry hop wheels a bit on dry pavement. Are they the best tcase? no. But if the fluid is kept changed we don't see many issues. My issue would be if you use "too slippery" of a fluid, you WILL create slippage/heat.
Also, comments on Borg Warner transfer cases manufactured prior to the 2019 re-design are not technically valid.
 
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@dnewton3 All RAM 1500 trucks are rear-wheel drive biased, as the front diff is just an afterthought, or about the same size as the rear diff on a Charger/Challenger. The ZF 8 Speed used in the RAM trucks is the same one used in sedans, SUVs, and so on, and it's the rear-wheel-drive model. Trucks with 4x4 have a transfer case attached to the rear of them. Yes, ZF makes a 4WD model of the ZF 8 Speed, but Stelantis doesn't use it in any of their vehicles. The RAM TRX might have beefier components, but even so, it's still rear-wheel drive biased.

Also, for the 2016 model years (which I have) and onward, the clutch material in the BW44-44 transfer case was switched to a high energy material, so friction modifiers are no longer required. I suspect that they use the same type of high-energy clutches in the BW48-11 and BW48-13. So, technically even Ford Type-F fluid should work just fine in this application.

BW 48-13 and BW 44-40 Mopar part# 68049954AC
That's MobilFluid LT - if you want to keep using it you can buy it *only* in 5-gallon pails for about $125 a bucket, or you can pay the dealership $30~$40 per quart. Are there better fluids out there? Sure. RedLine Oil MT-LV and Revenol BW44 are two of them, and they both cross-reference with Mopar 68049954AC. As per AMSOIL's recommendation, my transfer case also recommends the same transfer case fluid as yours. I called AMSOIL and spoke to them, and brought up MobilFluid LT. They assured me that their AMSOIL ATF (red cap) is a suitable replacement. I doubt they would expose themselves to such potential liability just to sell some lube, especially considering how little fluid a transfer case takes. They have too good of a reputation to trample it just to make a sale.

Hey you folks use whatever u want. I'm just saying be careful with the auto t case , as the clutch can be an issue....and the above with the tcase overheating in 4 lock? Not true. They do not unlock in the lock mode when turning. They will bind/dry hop wheels a bit on dry pavement. Are they the best tcase? no. But if the fluid is kept changed we don't see many issues. My issue would be if you use "too slippery" of a fluid, you WILL create slippage/heat.
This gentleman from Canada made an entire video about RAM's 4WD problems. It's very good, very detailed, just watch it, and let me know what you think. The video shows clearly how the computer disengages the front wheels, even when 4WD Lock is enabled.



I suspect they implemented it this way instead of installing a locking differential between the front and rear axles. It's another cost-saving measure, nothing more. The only system that will indeed bing up in 4WD Lock mode are those built with the part-time on-demand BW44-45 and BW48-12 transfer cases. It stands to reason that the permanent 4WD system in the TRX operates in a similar fashion, it might just engage and disengage more aggressively (as in faster).
 
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I like deals and definitely think $30 a quart of any lubricant is a rip off. However, if I had to pay for a five gallon pail of lube, that’s about 10 transfer case changes at two quarts per change. It would be sitting in a guys garage for 10 years unless you changed the lube every Sunday. I guess I’ll cry me a river.

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I like deals and definitely think $30 a quart of any lubricant is a rip off. However, if I had to pay for a five gallon pail of lube, that’s about 10 transfer case changes at two quarts per change. It would be sitting in a guys garage for 10 years unless you changed the lube every Sunday. I guess I’ll cry me a river.

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I would just go for the Ravenol BW44 fluid then, which crosses with the Mopar fluid. It's PAO, and has no friction modifiers. Heck, Castrol 75W-85 GL4 manual transmission fluid would also work great, also a great lube. RedLine MT-LV is PAO-Ester, also a great lube. There are many great options without friction modifiers in them. I believe I'll just go with Ravenol for my next fluid change.
 
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@Snagglefoot - also I apologize if what I said gave you the wrong impression. I was merely trying to help the OP. I have absolutely nothing against you. If anything, I do have a bone to pick with FCA over some of the corners they cut on these trucks. On the other hand, it could always be worse... or... "Thank God it's not a Chevy" :ROFLMAO: -As they've been plagued with AFM issues lately and there is even a class-action lawsuit that was filed this month. I know, I know, a class-action lawsuit will not help the customers as much as it will make money for the lawyers. Still, I wouldn't touch a recently built GMC/Chevy truck with a ten-foot pole, lol.
 
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@Snagglefoot - also I apologize if what I said gave you the wrong impression. I was merely trying to help the OP. I have absolutely nothing against you. If anything, I do have a bone to pick with FCA over some of the corners they cut on these trucks. On the other hand, it could always be worse... or... "Thank God it's not a Chevy" :ROFLMAO: -As they've been plagued with AFM issues lately and there is even a class-action lawsuit that was filed this month. I know, I know, a class-action lawsuit will not help the customers as much as it will make money for the lawyers. Still, I wouldn't touch a recently built GMC/Chevy truck with a ten-foot pole, lol.
No problem Mr. Crowley. All good. I learned a lot about the options as well as the makeup of MoblilFluid and Mopar Transfer Case Fluid. Snag
 
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What I said was crystal clear: MobilFluid LT is used because Stelantis can get it at a low cost. They also sell the stuff as Mopar Transfer Case Fluid. The fact that it's used in a 500K combine doesn't mean that it's suitable for a transfer case. I'm sorry to say, but your logic is flawed. The only reason

The Ravenol BW44 can be used instead of MobilFluidLT. It's a hydraulic fluid without friction modifiers made with PAO base oils instead of Group II+.

The thing is that Ravenol has no recommendation for the BW48-11 found in my truck. I haven't been back to the dealer since I bought the truck, but I am curious as to what fluid they will offer.

Thanks
 
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The thing is that Ravenol has no recommendation for the BW48-11 found in my truck. I haven't been back to the dealer since I bought the truck, but I am curious as to what fluid they will offer.

Thanks
Your transfer case takes Mopar 68049954AC (or MobilFluid LT). Mopar resells MobilFluid LT in the Mopar 68049954AC bottle.

Now, if you look here: https://www.ravenolamerica.com/passenger-car-products/gear-oil-transfer-case-fluid-ravenol-bw-44/ - you'll see that the Ravenol fluid references compatibility with Mopar 68049954AC. They don't want to name MobilFluid LT for apparent reasons, as everyone wants to make their product sound fancy and sell it at a good profit margin.

The same goes for your transfer case @T-REX 702 - the Ravenol BW44 fluid as well. I believe that the naming scheme that Ravenol choose to use is misleading, however, they came out with this fluid before the BW48-XX transfer cases were released.
 
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I think for price of that truck, and HP its putting down, if doing fluids yourself, buy the stuff at the counter of the dealer u might be looking for warranty at
 
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