That's a very unforgiving area. Detected during maintenance inspection slight groaning noise prompted inspection. It requires some special tools to do. The fill plug torques to 29lb-ft and the drain torques to 48 lb-ft. Going in soon for my 5K service.
Toyota has scared me away from this one with their sealed tranny though. You guy might be great but it's a specialty thing most get over their head on and underquote. You can also jack up the driver side of the truck to get it all out but just draining it level gets enough of it, that plug is low and at an angle to begin with. The approximate failure mileage was 98,528. As I hit 35mph, my car comes to a jolting stop with a loud bang and drag on the tires. Clean all of your housings with a good degreaser to keep an eye on possible leaks.
Still to diagnose this last issue which is probably related to the collision with the dump truck in 2016. Basically as things seat and mesh together any casting flash or burrs get shaved off. The technician diagnosed that the rear differential housing was rusted, leaked fluid intermittently and there were multiple holes to the point that the component may fracture. Took it to the dealership. A great link to all of the required gaskets, part numbers, proper torques, and much more information is at. They concluded it was normal.
When filling, the oil will begin to run out at some point. After looking around on the internet I found this is a common problem, of the housing not only being too thin of metal for the application, but low quality steel that's prone to corrosion. Learn how to replace the axle seals and flush your differential's fluid with the help of this article. Here's a closer shot on where the plugs are: The procedure for both is identical to the rear. Depending on the dealership I guess, they said that the first oil change should be done at 5K.
Remember watching people run track during the Olympics? Might be that the pinion bearing is bad and everything else inside is still in decent shape. I know years ago, it was normal to do a maintenance at 1000 miles, and the newer cars don't call for it. It may be worth asking which method they use. Would sometimes shift itself out of drive and into neutral, while driving. When I realized I had this problem, I searched the Toyota forums online and it appears to be a very common issue with these vehicles and Toyota is aware but will do nothing about it.
A failed pinion is loudest right at the pinion and where the carrier bolts into the rear member. Impact was the only 6 pt Craftsman socket I could find in this size. I have not experienced this sort of malfunction in nearly 50 years of driving. My 4runner is heavily modified for 4wheeling and runs on oversized tires, so failure was not a big surprise. Which mine has seen little.
Reinstall the fill plug and torque it down. I'm hoping the threaded hole is not damaged, I may have to chase the threads with a tap. Doubly so if you launch a boat and dip the rear wheels in the water - this kills the differential. A pinion bearing also makes noise 4 times wheel speed - so it'll get loud at low speeds fast. You are to check and grease the driveshafts every oil change. I hear that the transmission is a sealed unit, which pretty much eliminates the desire from this driveway mechanic to change it myself.
Plugs just popped very easily. This fluid quart pump makes the job easy since you have to move the fluid from the bottle up into the differential fill hole. I loved this car before this incident. It is more common the wheel bearings than the pinion, but if you've got a pinion failure I guarantee you've got wheel bearing failure. I guess they want to drum up more business down the road.
Let the fluid fully drain. When I removed the drain plug, oil shot out about a foot horizontally and totally missed the pan. This article applies to the Toyota 4Runner 1995-2002 , Tacoma. So I replaced them all during the fluid change. Make sure when you loosen it that you aren't pulling down at an angle or you'll round it for sure. It wasn't explained to me when I signed but I went back there with a question about a month after I bought it and while I was talking to the service manager he told me about the first 5 services are free. The source of the leak is severe corrosion that has removed much of the structural metal of the differential housing.