How to Change the Rear Differential Fluid on a 2002 Silverado

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In 1999, Chevrolet replaced the C and K-series of pickups with the Silverado. The 2002 Silverado came in three different sizes 1500, 2500 and 3500HD. The engine sizes ranged from a 4.3-liter V-6 that produced 200 horsepower in the 1500 to an 8.1-liter V-8 that produced 340 horsepower in the 3500HD. All three sizes of the 2002 Silverado had five rear axles to choose from, 8-3/5 inch, 9-1/2 inch, 9-3/4 inch, 10-1/2 inch and 11-1/2 inch. All of the axles undergo the same process to replace the differential fluid, only the fluid capacities change.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheel chocks
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Ratchet
  • Drain pan
  • Clean shop rag
  • 3 to 4 quarts 75W-90 synthetic gear oil
  • Torque wrench
  • Place the wheel chocks around the front wheels of the Silverado to prevent them from rolling while jacking up the truck.

  • Raise the rear of the truck using a floor jack and slide the jack stands beneath the axle. Lower the jack until the Silverado's weight is supported only by the jack stands. Remove the floor jack.

  • Slide the drain pan under the drain plug on the rear differential "pumpkin" -- the large orb in the center of the rear axle.

  • Remove the check and fill plug at the top of the "pumpkin" with a ratchet. Remove the drain plug at the bottom of the "pumpkin" with a ratchet. Allow all of the gear oil to drain from the rear differential.

  • Clean the drain plug, and then the check and fill plug with a clean shop cloth.

  • Reinstall the drain plug and tighten it to 20 foot-pounds on the 9-3/4-inch rear differential and 24 foot-pounds on all other size differentials, using a torque wrench.

  • Fill the differential with 75W-90 synthetic gear oil through the check and fill hole. The 8-3/5-inch differential requires 2.41 quarts., the 9-1/2- and 10-1/2-inch differentials require 2.75 quarts., the 9-3/4-inch differential uses 3 quarts. and the 11-1/2 inch uses 3.83 quarts.

  • Insert the check and fill plug and tighten it to 15 foot-pounds on the 9-3/4-inch differential and 24 foot-pounds on all other sizes, using a torque wrench.

  • Raise the Silverado up from the jack stands with a floor jack and slide the stands from under the truck. Lower the Chevrolet to the ground. Remove the wheel chocks from the front wheels.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always remove the fill (upper) plug first. This way, if you have trouble loosening it, you're not left with an empty differential.
  • After the maintenance is complete, take the old differential fluid to a fluid recycling center. Many auto parts stores perform this task free of charge.

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References

  • "Mitchel1 OnDemand 5"; 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Rear Axle Fluid Replacement; Mitchell Repair Information Company
  • "Mitchel1 OnDemand 5"; 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Rear Axle Fluid Replacement; Mitchell Repair Information Company
  • "Mitchel1 OnDemand 5"; 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Rear Axle Fluid Replacement; Mitchell Repair Information Company
  • "Mitchel1 OnDemand 5"; 2002 Chevrolet Silverado Silverado Fluid Specifications; Mitchell Repair Information Company
  • MSN Autos: 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Specs
  • MSN Autos: 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Specs
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