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2001 WJ/WG, 3.1TD VM Motori.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've spent the last few weeks looking on E-bay and enquiring at local parts stores for a rear axle filler plug for a Dana 35, the type fitted in my WJ. Not one store online or in my town supply them that I can find.

(Has any member from the UK successfully tracked any source for buying these things here in the UK? E-bay displays USA and Australia, but none local within Europe, as so to speak.)

On E-bay, I was getting a quote of about 9 dollars per plug, with stupid transportation costs ranging from 20 to 30 dollars, putting the cost to about 30 quid for 1 plug.

So I looked on Amazon using the wife's account and found an offer of 3 plugs, with a 10 day delivery time forecast. There was an optional cost for having them air delivered in less time that cost 8 quid, so I took that.

Now, when I ordered these plugs from the USA, it was on the night of the 26th, UK time. They arrived on my doorstep yesterday afternoon, on 30th Sept.

That is feckin' awesome!

Automotive tire Font Tread Material property Tints and shades


So, I have paid 30 quid in total for 3 Dorman plugs that came in 3 days from across the world.
Beat that Fiat suppliers, considering the crap I recently had regarding a bolt they couldn't even get right and they're a main dealer source.
 

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I've spent the last few weeks looking on E-bay and enquiring at local parts stores for a rear axle filler plug for a Dana 35, the type fitted in my WJ. Not one store online or in my town supply them that I can find.

(Has any member from the UK successfully tracked any source for buying these things here in the UK? E-bay displays USA and Australia, but none local within Europe, as so to speak.)

On E-bay, I was getting a quote of about 9 dollars per plug, with stupid transportation costs ranging from 20 to 30 dollars, putting the cost to about 30 quid for 1 plug.

So I looked on Amazon using the wife's account and found an offer of 3 plugs, with a 10 day delivery time forecast. There was an optional cost for having them air delivered in less time that cost 8 quid, so I took that.

Now, when I ordered these plugs from the USA, it was on the night of the 26th, UK time. They arrived on my doorstep yesterday afternoon, on 30th Sept.

That is feckin' awesome!

View attachment 245085

So, I have paid 30 quid in total for 3 Dorman plugs that came in 3 days from across the world.
Beat that Fiat suppliers, considering the crap I recently had regarding a bolt they couldn't even get right and they're a main dealer source.
I was gonna suggest trying the big A until i read the bottom of your post.
I've had nothing but good luck with Amazon, Rock Auto, Fleabay, Summit Racing and Morris4x4 deliveries along with always getting the correct parts.
The worst problems i had are with Quadratec which sent me the wrong parts a couple times and Rusty's Off Road which sent the wrong tranny mount with their Tcase drop kit but made good with an air delivery the next day.
Amazon does surprise sometimes with earlier than expected deliveries.

Are you gonna paint that Dana35 cover after changing the fluid?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, they look same size when comparing to the old crusty one. Definitely a dana 35 on mine so they should be fine 🤫
I painted the rear axle and diff casing in iron red about 3 years ago, which looked quite nice. I'm still debating whether to remove the diff cover and replace fluid that way, or to siphon out with the hand pump and just replace the plug. Either way, I'll be painting the axle again when I get to finally doing that brake line, which should be tomorrow if all goes well and no calamities surface.

I bet I've just jinxed myself...

Also, I've done the 1st siphon out of transmission fluid through the dip stick tube and added a round of fresh stuff. 2nd cycle will be in 100 miles and the 3rd and final another 100 thereafter.
I shall report back any successes or failures 👍
 

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Well, they look same size when comparing to the old crusty one. Definitely a dana 35 on mine so they should be fine 🤫
I painted the rear axle and diff casing in iron red about 3 years ago, which looked quite nice. I'm still debating whether to remove the diff cover and replace fluid that way, or to siphon out with the hand pump and just replace the plug. Either way, I'll be painting the axle again when I get to finally doing that brake line, which should be tomorrow if all goes well and no calamities surface.

I bet I've just jinxed myself...

Also, I've done the 1st siphon out of transmission fluid through the dip stick tube and added a round of fresh stuff. 2nd cycle will be in 100 miles and the 3rd and final another 100 thereafter.
I shall report back any successes or failures 👍
IMO the best way to change diff fluid is to pull the cover.
After the fluid drains out then clean everything with brake cleaning fluid.
This also allows inspection of the gear works.
If you do pull the cover i highly highly recommend picking up a lube locker gasket and you'll never have to scrape off or dig out silicon sealant from the thread holes again.

Yeah i checked my XJ's tranny fluid a couple days ago and its starting to look nasty but doesn't smell burnt.
Time to brush the cob webs off of my trick HF transfer pump.
Thats another thing on my to do list, might do it this Fall or next Spring.

The way i do it is pull out as much fluid possible usually a half gallon, then refill with fresh fluid the same amount.
Drive for a 100 miles or so then do it all over again.
Last time it took 3 of these cycles before the fluid started to look red again.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The first part of transmission fluid swap from the dipstick tube using the hand pump method, drawing out 1 litre of old, red-brown fluid seems to have noticeable benefits already- she shifts a lot smoother and the pick-up when flooring it is a lot more responsive, smoother and no longer clunky. In fact, she sounds a lot quieter on the drive train and the kick-down is smoother, like there's a split-second of pause before she really wants to go faster than what my foot on the pedal is demanding, rather than a clunk before taking-off and dumping black smoke everywhere. Maybe this black smoke was caused by such a delay in the pick-up, as I can't seem to get her to do it as much?

When I'm doing stuff like this, I like to get a bit nerdy with the research, and I came across this:

.

States the transmission fluid capacity is 10.5-11 litres. At 20 quid a litre for the stuff I paid, that's 220 quid thereabouts and 10 swaps- because I'm not dropping the pan and doing the filter yet (that job will be year after next if she's still running/owned by us) I'm sticking with the 3 swaps for now as just doing the one already seems to already be improving the performance.

Also, it's a lot cleaner doing it this way and no worries about breaking the drain/fill plugs, so definitely a good tip to follow and thank you for the advice.

In about an hour I'm going out to finally do that rear brake pipe. All rusted nuts are prepped and slackened and new stuff ready to go on. I'll take some photos of the main problematic parts of the job and the type of pipe-wrench I used to unlock that pesky rounded nut which I'll still be using.
 

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The first part of transmission fluid swap from the dipstick tube using the hand pump method, drawing out 1 litre of old, red-brown fluid seems to have noticeable benefits already- she shifts a lot smoother and the pick-up when flooring it is a lot more responsive, smoother and no longer clunky. In fact, she sounds a lot quieter on the drive train and the kick-down is smoother, like there's a split-second of pause before she really wants to go faster than what my foot on the pedal is demanding, rather than a clunk before taking-off and dumping black smoke everywhere. Maybe this black smoke was caused by such a delay in the pick-up, as I can't seem to get her to do it as much?

When I'm doing stuff like this, I like to get a bit nerdy with the research, and I came across this:

.

States the transmission fluid capacity is 10.5-11 litres. At 20 quid a litre for the stuff I paid, that's 220 quid thereabouts and 10 swaps- because I'm not dropping the pan and doing the filter yet (that job will be year after next if she's still running/owned by us) I'm sticking with the 3 swaps for now as just doing the one already seems to already be improving the performance.

Also, it's a lot cleaner doing it this way and no worries about breaking the drain/fill plugs, so definitely a good tip to follow and thank you for the advice.

In about an hour I'm going out to finally do that rear brake pipe. All rusted nuts are prepped and slackened and new stuff ready to go on. I'll take some photos of the main problematic parts of the job and the type of pipe-wrench I used to unlock that pesky rounded nut which I'll still be using.
With only one litre pumped out and there's a noticeable shift improvement is great news.(y)

Yeah these things take a lot of fluid and then there's a large amount of it that stays in the torque converter the reason for the numerous pump out/replace cycles. Getting some of the fluid circulating out of the torque converter, valve body, etc. is the reason i drive about 100 miles more or less between pump out/replace cycles.

My XJ's transmission is an Aisin AW4 4-speed with currently around 386K miles on it.
The AW4 does have a pan drain plug but after all those miles and years i'm not gonna take the risk on popping that plug out....what could possibly go wrong.
And dropping the pan, too much of a messy hassle for this DIY'er but its probably the best way to go.
So i settled on this method until the transmission finally blows then it'll get it rebuilt with all new fluid.
 
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