Black Gold. Texas Tea.

24 03 2014

I’ve been very excited to change the fluid in my front and rear differentials over the past year.  Not so much to change the fluid, but to replace the gasket.  I’ve noticed that they both leak and I feared that I was driving with dry gears.

The process started with watching many YouTube videos.  Turns out, it’s not such a hard job after all.  Just messy.

Gaskets were purchased from O’Reilly Auto.  Cheap.  I picked up some Gear Oil there as well.  The outside temperature shot up to a blazing 36 degrees on Saturday!!  So I got to work.

The 'Before' Shot

The ‘Before’ Shot

Bolts were easier too remove than I thought.  Mild “persuasion” with a hammer and we were on our way.

Soon, I struck pay dirt and I was draining the old oil.  Let me mention at this point that when I bought the Scout, I was told that ALL the fluids were RECENTLY changed.  My definition of recent is clearly different from the previous owner’s.  I thought he meant that the fluids were changed just prior to selling the truck.  As in DAYS or WEEKS.  Well, it’s clear to me now that the previous owner might also say:

  • America ‘recently’ elected their first African American President
  • Humans have ‘recently’ been to the moon.
  • The Woolly Mammoth ‘recently’ roamed the Earth

All true statements in the correct context.  But the black goo I was draining was more closely related to PASTE than liquid.



Differential cover off.

Differential cover off.

I let the glop settle and began to wonder…  “What does the engine oil look like…?”  So one job turned into two and soon I was draining the oil pan and removing the oil filter.  It was TAR!  I’m sure the cold weather didn’t help, but it was still the thickest, blackest, nastiest oil you can possibly imagine.  I’m mad at myself for not taking care of this sooner and I’m surprised the truck didn’t seize up before this.  I’m looking forward to seeing if I notice any difference in performance on my next open road drive.

Next, as the curdled dinosaur blood SLOWLY drained from all of LaVera’s open wounds, I painted the differential cover black.  My kids wanted to paint designs on them, but I wanted to stay with the classics.

All Buttoned Up

All Buttoned Up

The temp was now dropping and I ran out of time for the rear differential job.  So no open road testing until that gets done.  But we’re on our way to a healthier 2014.