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Hello everyone, I finally got around to changing my RDU and PTU fluid and I even managed to snap a few cell phone camera pics while doing it. Not the best photos as they are from my cell phone, but I think they'll do.

What you'll need:
1. To lift the vehicle enough to get under it and work on it and have it sit fairly level.
2. 10 mm socket and screwdriver to remove plastic splash shield (not sure what's needed for the FDII metal skid plate).
3. 24 mm socket/wrench for PTU drain plug. * Note: Some model years may have a 10mm allen plug*
4. 17 mm socket/wrench for PTU fill plug.
5. 10 mm allen head/hex head socket/wrench for RDU drain plug.
6. 24 mm wrench for RDU fill plug (very limited space so must be a wrench, I used a nice big adjustable as the plugs were not super tight).
7. Medium sized flat blade screw driver for splash shield pop rivets.
8. About 3 qts. of 80W90 gear lube, a can of carb or brake cleaner.
9. A gear lube pump (space is limited for just pouring a quart sized container) and a 90 deg hose fitting for the pump tube.
10. A drain pan, some rags and a good 2 hours to complete everything and clean up.

To start, I drove the Jeep to the auto parts store to get my supplies. This also served the purpose of heating up the fluids to make them drain quicker. I lifted the vehicle in a level spot and removed the front/bottom splash shield. There are 6 10mm bolts (3 in the front, 3 in the back) and 4 plastic pop rivets (two on each side where the shield wraps up into each wheel well).



NOTE: Whenever draining fluids, always start by loosening the FILL plug first. If for some reason you can't get it out, you can still drive it somewhere to have the plug removed as the unit is still full of fluid.

Also, please be careful under the vehicle as some of the engine components may be quite hot!

Here's a view of the PTU unit from underneath


Position a drain pan under the PTU unit then loosen and remove the fill plug using the 17mm ratchet/socket or wrench.



Using the 24mm tool, loosen the drain plug then very carefully start slowly removing the plug. Wear gloves as depending on how much driving you've done, the fluid could be quite hot. Have a rag handy as well and double check your drain pan position! Once you have it down to the last thread you'll start to see some fluid leak out past the plug. Quickly spin and pull away to let the fluid drain.


Inspect and clean the drain plug. These are magnetic plugs so you'll likely see some small metal shavings and black gunk (assembly grease) around the magnet. For the first fluid change, it's not uncommon to see a few metal slivers on the magnet. These are likely some minor shavings from initial machining and break-in when new. Worry about them if you find more on the second change. I used some carb cleaner to spray off and clean the plug into the drain pan while the fluid continued to drip out of the PTU.



Install the drain plug and tighten to 24 ft. lbs (32 Nm). All of the plugs get tightened to this spec. This is not very tight by the way, so even if you don't have a torque wrench, it's equal to hanging a 24 lb weight on the wrench 1 foot out from the plug.

Break out the gear lube pump and some gear lube and start filling the PTU unit through the fill hole. I had a small amount of fluid run out very early in to filling the unit so go slow and give the fluid time to go in. This is where you'll want one of your rags to wipe everything dry every now and then and continue filling. As I continued to slowly fill the PTU, a few drips would slowly roll out so I just kept wiping it dry. You'll know you're full when the fluid runs out very quickly just as you pump it in. Quickly pop the fill plug back in and tighten to spec (above). Wipe up any spilled fluid.

The RDU is pretty much the same as the PTU but there is limited space between the back of the RDU unit and the rear sub-frame. You must use a wrench on the fill plug and I also had to put a 90 deg. adapter onto the gear lube pump tube to get it in there and fill it (Ok, it's actually a T-fitting in the pic with a plug/cap on the one end, but it's what I had laying around). I bought the gallon jug as I'm also going to change the front and rear diff fluids on the wifes GMC Sonoma. If you get the gallon jug though you'll have plenty for the next change @ 120k miles.


Here I'm pointing at the RDU fill plug, it's a tad cramped around it. Crack it loose and remove it.


As in the front, loosen and remove the rear drain plug. This one faces back (like the oil drain plug) so position the drain pan accordingly. It will flow out towards the rear of the jeep so be ready to move the pan to catch it! And again, watch for HOT fluid


Just bored waiting for it to finish draining...man, it's hot today...and this pavement is scorching my back.


Once again clean the drain plug and install. Tighten to spec (above).

Pump in the gear lube through the fill hole. I didn't have any premature drips when filling the rear but I still took it slow and steady. Once a steady stream starts running out, pop in the fill plug and tighten it up. Wipe up any mess/drips/runs.

I took the jeep for a quick spin around a few blocks with the 4x4 engaged to make sure the new fluid got all in where it needs to go then quickly double checked my levels again by pulling the FILL plugs. I slowly loosened and backed them out then watched for some fluid trying to escape. The front was fine, the rear took one more pump of fluid. Re-tighten them back up and we're almost done!

Put the splash shield back on and put away your tools and clean up. Time for a cold one! Whilst enjoying your frosty beverage of choice, break out the Jeep Maintenance booklet and record the date/mileage/receipt number, etc.
 

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That was a very well done How To. Many times they are poorly done. Your how to could walk a person with little mechanical knowledge through it. Nice job.
 
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Awesome, thanks for doing the how to and taking the pictures! I plan on doing it myself in a few years, and it will be nice to know where the fill/drain plugs are. Great work!

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using AutoGuide.com App
 

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Did you just drain and fill the cvt fluid? Did you check the levels after with the dip stick? The dealer told me you needed special "chrysler" tools to change the cvt fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys, glad you liked this.

Did you just drain and fill the cvt fluid? Did you check the levels after with the dip stick? The dealer told me you needed special "chrysler" tools to change the cvt fluid.
No, I drained and refilled the PTU (sort of transfercase) and RDU units (rear diff).
 

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Thanks for the guide, always helpful seeing pictures beforehand.
Did this today after the dealer told me both were dirty during my 5 year powertrain inspection. Saved $180 doing it myself. Both fluids looked pretty clean, didnt even seem like they took the drain plugs out to check them either. Now I get to drive back 30 min for them to make sure I did it next week :)

Oh, I think I might have used 1qt total between the PTU and RDF, before they were overblowing.
 

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This is a good informative thread.Just wondering if a little bit of RTV silicone would be good idea around the threads of the fill and drain plugs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is a good informative thread.Just wondering if a little bit of RTV silicone would be good idea around the threads of the fill and drain plugs?
Not really needed as the plugs have a crush washer for sealing. You could buy new sealing washers for both plugs. Plus you would never get the female threads in the units oil free for the rtv to make a good seal to the plug itself. I reused my crush washers and they haven't leaked a drop since. I suppose you could use teflon pipe tape though.
 

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This thread should reside in the Knowledge base
+1 on that.

I did mine a few months ago and this would have been great to read first.

The RDU was a bit tight as Todde says but had a pump luckily. I did my manual 6 speed box at the same time. That was the easiest bit.

Thanks for taking the time to write this up Todde.
 

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This thread and "patriot no synthetic oil" thread should be linked together somehow for future reference.
 

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agree with you all, fantastic Todd, i am just about to do mine (6sp man) 4wd and was wondering about the tools, a picture is worth a thousand words springs to mind,don't you agree Dane, Many thanks
 

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so how do you jack the patriot up and keep it level?

perhaps you can do this without jacking at all? I have not tried yet, but can you get under the patriot to do this work?

i know the oil change i can.

fyi, just got mine and have lots of time to worry about doing this but am just curious.

my other vehicle, 07 xterra 4x4 doesn't require lifting to change out it's equivalent fluids- diffs, xfer case. :notworthy:

on my old 5spd car when i changed the trans fluid, i jacked ip up on one side, filled till the fluid came back out, then lowered it and let it drain until it stopped coming out of fill plug, then raised back up and installed the fill plug. is this ok on the patriot??
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a normal floor jack and four jack stands. When I did this, I used a 2x4 board, about 4 ft long, on the under side frame sections and jacked up the whole side of the vehicle, then placed 2 jack stands on the normal jacking points. Then repeated the process for the other side until all four wheels were off the ground. You could also use drive on ramps and jack stands, or drive half the wheels up on the curb and only jack and jack stand one side.
 

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Just did the PTU and RDA oil change today on my 2011 Pat.I did almost everything the same as Todde did except for some reason i had the allen head on my PTU drain plug instead of the large bolt head.I didnt have a wrench big enough for the RDA fill plug and it was too tight in there for a socket so i just used a crecent wrench.I ended up using standard Valvoline 80w90 (non synthetic) high performance gear oil.The PTU held a little over a half a quart of gear oil and the RDA was the same and also held a little more than a half a quart.It ended up looking like i used 1 1/4 quarts of gear oil all together.I also found a 1/4 inch 90 degree fitting for the oil transfer pump so i was able to fill the RDA a little easier.Everything seems to be running smooth.Thanks for the tip with the fitting for the oil transfer pump Todde.It looks like it could be done without the fitting but you would need a longer pump hose and half to wrap it around a few things to get it in the fill plug :)
 

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It turns out that I'm gonna be a Guinea Pig on using synthetic gear oil for the PTU and RDA. Our local mechanic who I have gone to for many years did some research on synthetic and that is what he put in our Patriot which has 190K km on it and no power train warranty to worry about. I hope it works out OK with no damage to seals etc. It runs great on the highway no whine in the MT any more. I will keep you updated.
 

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so how do you jack the patriot up and keep it level?

perhaps you can do this without jacking at all? I have not tried yet, but can you get under the patriot to do this work?

i know the oil change i can.

fyi, just got mine and have lots of time to worry about doing this but am just curious.

my other vehicle, 07 xterra 4x4 doesn't require lifting to change out it's equivalent fluids- diffs, xfer case. :notworthy:

on my old 5spd car when i changed the trans fluid, i jacked ip up on one side, filled till the fluid came back out, then lowered it and let it drain until it stopped coming out of fill plug, then raised back up and installed the fill plug. is this ok on the patriot??
I did mine without lifting. Probably not quite so easy but circumstances at the time gave me no option. So yes you can reach including the gearbox (6 speed anyway).
 
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