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How to Change Gear Oil in a Chevy 10 Bolt

by Damon Hildebrand

The Chevy 10-bolt differential is the most popular automotive rear-end second only to the Chevy 12-bolt. With proper care and maintenance, the 10-bolt will provide years of trustworthy service to its car owner. One of the most important maintenance tasks to be performed on the 10-bolt is to change the gear oil. The gear oil can be easily changed by following the Chevy 10-bolt procedure.

Replace Gear Oil in 10-Bolt Chevy Differential

Park the car on a flat, level surface and set the parking brake.

Jack the rear-end of the car up using the floor jack until the rear axle is high enough to clear the automotive jack stands. Place the rear axle on jack stands spaced approximately thirty-two inches on either side of the differential.

Place the drain pan beneath the 10 bolt differential to catch the gear oil as it is drained.

Remove the drain plug from the bottom of the differential cover using the 1/2-inch combination wrench. Slowly unscrew plug until gear oil starts to drain around plug into the drain pan.

Remove the 10 bolts securing the differential cover to the rear-end using the 9/16-inch combination wrench. Slowly remove the bolts while allowing residual gear oil to drain into drain pan.

Remove the differential cover from the rear-end and set aside. Scrape off the cork gasket from the 10-bolt housing with a putty knife.

Install new cork gasket onto 10-bolt housing and replace differential cover. Hold cover in place and install the ten bolts into the cover hand tight. Complete installation of bolts by tightening completely with 9/16-inch combination wrench.

Install drain plug into differential cover using 1/2-inch combination wrench.

Remove the top fill plug from the differential housing using the 1/2-inch combination wrench.

Place small funnel into fill hole now accessible with fill plug removed. Fill rear housing to within 1/2-inch of fill hole.

Replace fill plug using 1/2-inch combination wrench and wipe any excess oil from differential.

Lower the car from the automotive jack stands using the floor jack. Release the emergency brake.

Tip

  • Drain 10-bolt differential gear oil after car has been driven and gear oil is warm. This will allow gear oil to thin and drain more freely.

Warning

  • Ensure automotive jack stands are secure under the rear axle and emergency brake is in good working order before working underneath vehicle.

Items you will need

About the Author

Damon Hildebrand is a retired U.S. Navy veteran. He has more than 15 years within the oil and gas industry in both technical and managerial positions. Hildebrand has been a technical writer and communicator for the last four years. He is a certified specialists in lubrication and tribology, as well as a certified maintenance and reliability professional.

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Photo Credits

  • blue classic car from rear image by Paul Hill from Fotolia.com