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Old 02-25-2013, 05:40 AM   #1
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Topping off the rear axle fluid

The fluid is just a tad low in the rear axle and want to top it off before an upcoming trip. I was reading the chevy p30 manual and the gear oil viscosity is different depending on the axle model.
How can I determine the model I have? In my signature is info on the model coach I have along with the VIN. I tried decoding the vin thinking that like the engine one of the letter/numbers might lead me to knowing what I have. Maybe someone can chime in and give me another place to check. Shouldn't their be a stamp or a tag on the axle itself somewhere?

Thanks,
Doug

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Old 02-25-2013, 05:57 AM   #2
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Call your local police or state police auto theft unit. They can decode your VIN.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:14 AM   #3
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VIN decoding to determine the deferential

Im able to decode the vin. I just thought it was strange that I couldn't identify the axle model by the vin because for example you can identify the brakes and the engine etc. I know I the coach I have is 1 ton. Would that narrow it down? If nothing else I can always use the SAE-80W 90 GL-5 gear lube. But if I have the Rockwell model I wouldn't want to thin out the lube too much. Plus later on when I do a full fluid change I'd like to know what I have to refill with the proper viscosity.

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Old 02-25-2013, 06:44 AM   #4
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Maybe a phone call to a General Motors dealer might help you determine what axle configuration you have.

Another question I have is, if the fluid is low then where did it go? Do you have a leak on one of the axle seals? Gear oil does not evaporate.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:50 AM   #5
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If the pinion is at the centerilne of the differential its standard. I doubt you have a commercial chassis. To the best of my knowledge no motorhomes were built on the commercial chassis.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:34 AM   #6
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Have you crawled under the mh to look for any manufacturer identifying markings or tags on the axle?

Additionally, if you do not know when the diff fluid was last changed you may want to just change it out instead of just add.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:56 PM   #7
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Jack up one wheel, block rest, brakes off, not in park, does the one rear wheel move?

If not then limited slip which requires different oil.

When in doubt use stuff for limited slip and you will be fine.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:53 PM   #8
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It's now identified as the a standard axel. Being the RV is primarily driven in the summer here in Florida Im using the heavier 85W - 140 GL5. Last question I have is is the axle cover sealed with silicone sealant or a gasket? Then what are the torque specs? I tried looking through the chassis manual and it doesn't mention these things. Thanks
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:02 PM   #9
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What do you call 'low' on fluid? When I was checking larger vehicle differentials, I was making sure that the fluid was with 1/2" of the fill hole. Remember that the differential fluid will expand when it gets hot. You do not want the oil up to the bottom of the fill hole.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R2Home View Post
What do you call 'low' on fluid? When I was checking larger vehicle differentials, I was making sure that the fluid was with 1/2" of the fill hole. Remember that the differential fluid will expand when it gets hot. You do not want the oil up to the bottom of the fill hole.
According to the manual your wrong. At least on my coach model. This is what the Coach chassis manual is calling low. Look at the lower left of the illustration.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:21 PM   #11
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Standard Axle cover and filler plug torque specs

Well, thanks to another forum I was able to get the info I needed to do the maintenance. Since no one seem'd to know this info I thought I'd share for future reference in case someone does a search on the topic.

There are two common axles that come standard on the p30 chassis.

How to distinguish the two:

If it has 10 cover bolts it is a DANA 80 (11") and the cover bolt torque is 35 ft-lbs. The filler plug torque 25 ft-lb

If it has 14 cover bolts it is a GM corporate (10.5") and the bolt torque is 30 ft-lbs. The filler plug torque 18 ft-lb

The cover may be sealed with a gasket that only runs about $5 at Auto Zone or you can use RTV. Either will work. I actually prefer Permatex Ultra Black RTV.
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