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Thread: Changing transfer case oil - 2001 Tribute

  1. #1
    Registered Member

    2001 Mazda Tribute 5-sp 4WD

    Join Date
    May 2012
    DC metro area

    Changing transfer case oil - 2001 Tribute

    Can anyone tell me how you change the gear oil in the transfer case on a 2001 Tribute? The Haynes manual says there's a drain plug, but I think they are using pix from the V-6 engine. Attached please find 2 pix that I took of my transfer case tonight, one from the front and one from the rear. I don't see a drain plug; that thing that looks like a drain plug in one phote is cast into the housing. 1338250450670.jpg1338250505198.jpg
    I did find this online at
    "Ford Motor Company uses what they call a sealed transfer case assembly in its 2001 Escape models even though there is a drain plug to drain and refill the unit. Routine maintenance has been eliminated through the use of synthetic lubricants. Unless the transfer case leaks or has been repaired, Ford considers the unit lubricated for life. Leaks show up as dark or dirty spots on the transfer case and indicate the need for periodic fluid checks and repairs."
    I can live with this if this is how Ford/Mazda intended it; I just want to put something like Lucas or another additive in there to smooth things out a little more. I just don't want to pay $250 to have a dealership tell me this when there are plenty of smart guys in the community. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered Member

    2001 Mazda Tribute 5-sp 4WD

    Join Date
    May 2012
    DC metro area
    O.k., I should have said, "Do I need to really worry about changing the oil in the transfer case?" Because from both how it's built (no drain plug--at least that I can see), and the info above, it appears that Mazda & Ford don't want anyone to worry about it. Correct?

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