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Old 11-24-2005, 02:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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03 Transfer Assembly fluid change with pics

Well I took my MDX to a local Honda dealership (Acura dealership is 1 hour away) for the transmission and transfer assembly fluid change. The techs there did not have a clue about it. (If your not trained in it then you can't falt them for not knowing) Then an older tech came back from lunch and new what I was talking about. He told me that the Pilot's transfer assembly uses the tranny fluid for lubrication but the Ridgeline uses the hypoid fluid like my MDX. He figures the other techs will be getting in services soon. But since they were not official trained to do it, he was not going to try on changing it on my MDX but did insist this is something I could do my self. So I set out to do just that.

Both washers are the same size as that of the fill crush washer for the rear diff. The honda dealership part number (as it reads on my invoice) is: 94109-20000 Washer, D 90400 Both bolts (drain and fill) are torqued at 33 ft/lbs per service manual. A SAE 90 or SAE 80W-90 hypoid gear oil, API classified GL4 or GL5 is recommended per service manual. I am using a synthetic Mobil 1 75W-90 hypoid gear oil. I don't know if this will damage the transfer assembly or not but I will post if there are any changes.

Here is a little info I found on the net that talks about the difference of gear oil and hypoid gear oil:

"Hypoid" is not really a question of oil, so much as a question of gearcutting. Old (1920's) rear axles used straight bevel gears to form the crownwheel and pinion. These had two disadvantage, the pinion shaft meets the crownwheel on its central axis, and the straight cut gears are noisy. By using a more complex "hypoid" gear tooth shape (if you look at a pinion, the teeth appear twisted) these problems can be addressed. The more gradual engagement of the teeth along their length reduces noise. By careful design of the geometry the pinion can be made to mesh _below_ the axis of the crownwheel. As the centre height of the crownwheel is fixed by the wheel height, this allows the propshaft to be lowered relative to the car body, giving a clearer floorpan and lower centre of gravity for better cornering. Hypoid bevels are now universal in this application. Because of the sliding contact that hypoid gears make, their hydrodynamic contact pressure is higher. To be suitable for use with hypoid gears, a lubricant must be capable of resisting high pressures. Oils with "EP" ratings (Extreme Pressure) such as EP90 are required. Some brands describe themselves as "hypoid" instead, a term which is synonymous with EP. GL-5 is a formal API standard for this type of oil (comparable to MIL-L-2105B/C/D)

Any way here is a pic of where the transfer assembly is located


[IMG][/IMG]

And a closer pic to see the fill and drain bolts

[IMG][/IMG]

And the tool I use for the VTM fluid change and the transfer assembly fluid change

[IMG][/IMG]

Hope this info helps.
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Old 11-24-2005, 02:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 11-24-2005, 05:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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cool where did you get the pump. Assuming from the name you put in the chuck of your drill.
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Old 11-24-2005, 06:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Got the pump at home depot for like 7 bucks. Hooks up to the drill. If you go this route, be sure to run some of the fluid you are transfering into an empty container to clean out some of the excess grease that is inside the pump. This particular pump noted its use for oils, where as other similar pumps just noted for water.
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Old 11-24-2005, 06:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I put amsoil 80-90 in my transfer case.
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Old 06-17-2006, 05:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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X2Z,
Just wanted to say thanks for posting this. I changed my fluid this week and your illustrations and advice made the process go very smooth.
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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X2Z,

Thanks for the pictures. I was able to verify that what I thought was the transfer assembly was indeed the transfer assembly.
I am wondering what the drill pump was used for. I just finished replacing the oil and gravity was all I needed to drain it and I was able to squeeze the bottle of 80W-90 to fill the case.

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Old 08-05-2006, 03:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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X2Z

I find it interesting that the Honda tech said they use transmission fluid for Pilot transfer case lubrication. I think it is identical to the MDX transfer case, isn't it? I'd have have to scratch my head on that one.

I also used Mobil I 75w - 90. First change (5000 miles) I flushed with Mobil I, drove for 15-20 miles, then drained and refilled again with Mobil I 75w-90. I just drained and refilled again at 15,000 miles. No issues, so far. I did notice that the transfer case is running much cooler to the touch on very hot days. I guess that's one of the side effects to running the very slippery synthetic oils, (according to Mobil I literature, anyway). I noticed the same effect on my old Jeep when I changed out the diff fluid, and replaced with Mobil I 75w-90. The difference in running temperature was remarkable.

A good point to spotlight is to always remove the top (fill) plug BEFORE you remove the bottom (drain) plug. That way you don't drain the fluid, and then find you can't get the fill plug out. Especially important on the VTM-4 fluid changes. A few here have reported that the fill plug is sometimes very hard to remove.

BTW-
How much did you figured you saved by doing it yourself?
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Old 08-09-2006, 08:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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highcountrymdx- The tech mentioned that the transmission fluid lubricated both the transmission and transfer assembly. If this is accurate I don't know, but maybe our resident tech could chime in. As far as price is concerned, I don't know how much I save, I never bothered to check.
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by X2Z
I don't know how much I save, I never bothered to check.
My dealership quoted me $70 (although that seems high now that I think about it) to do this service so quite a bit of savings for me!!
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Old 08-10-2006, 01:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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VTM Fluide Service

What a coink'idink Just got all vital fluids changed today. $31.00 for Acura oil, part 94109-140000 washer. Tranny drain $69.00; Part 90471-PX4-000 Washer. VTM service, $72.00 washer 94109-2000-$1.07

I forgot,...what are we analyzing here?
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Old 09-04-2006, 01:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Is it true that '02 MDX transfer assembly is inside the transmission? I have to take it to the dealership to change the fluid?
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The transfer case is attached to the transmission, but is still a separate unit. It does not share the same fluid.
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by highcountrymdx
The transfer case is attached to the transmission, but is still a separate unit. It does not share the same fluid.
If they don't share the same fluid, how do we change the transfer fluid on '02 MDX?

(I can see the transfer case, but there is no drain and fill plugs on '02 MDX. It's similar to the picture posted on this thread but not the same.)
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Old 09-17-2006, 06:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by cerritos


If they don't share the same fluid, how do we change the transfer fluid on '02 MDX?

(I can see the transfer case, but there is no drain and fill plugs on '02 MDX. It's similar to the picture posted on this thread but not the same.)
2001 & 2002 MDX do not have gear oil for the transfer assembly (I believe it is lubricated by the fluid inside the transmission). Only 2003 - 2006 have gear oil that gets changed as described in this thread.
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