Viper Differential Lubrication Service

Written by editor on . Posted in Tech Notes Plus, Winter 2009

Just like engine oil, your Snake’s differential fluid must be replaced at regular intervals. Not as often, but at regular intervals nonetheless. Chrysler LLC recommends your Viper’s differential lubricant be replaced every 22,500 miles (36 000 km) for 1992–2003 models, and every 18,000 miles (29 000 km) for 2004–2006 models. If your Snake is operating under severe service conditions then change the lubricant more frequently. Refer to the owner’s manual for the exact severe service drain interval. The fluid should be changed immediately if contaminated with water.

Drain Procedure:

  1. Drive the vehicle until the differential lubricant is at normal operating temperature.
  2. Raise and support your Viper. Note the jack locations and safety instructions in the owner’s manual.
  3. Remove the differential fill plug (see Figure 1).
  4. Remove the drain plug (as equipped) and go to step no. 5. Otherwise, install a fluid transfer pump into the differential fill hole. Remove (draw out) the axle lubricant from the differential.

    Go to step no. 6.

  5. Drain old lubricant completely, clean and install the drain plug. Tighten plug to 15 lb-ft (20 N·m).
  6. Fill differential with Mopar® Synthetic Gear & Axle Lubricant SAE 75W-140 GL-5 allowing enough room for 4 oz of Mopar Limited Slip Additive, Part No. 04318060AB. The differential is full when the lubricant is even with the bottom of the fill hole. Clean the fill plug and install. Torque the fill plug to 15 lb-ft (20 N·m).

Fluid Level Check

The exterior of the axle should be examined for evidence of a leak during every oil change. If there is evidence, the differential fluid level should be between the bottom of the fill plug and a point approximately 3/8 in. (9.5 mm) below the fill hole (Figure 1).

Long-Term Storage

Do you store your Snake for more than 90 days? If so, Dodge recommends that you turn the rear-wheel spindles several times each month. This will circulate fluid through the differential and help prevent corrosion of components above the fluid level.

Got A Leak?

Differential fluid leaks can be caused from a number of circumstances including: too much lubricant, worn axle shaft seals, cracked differential housing, worn pinion seal, worn/scored yoke, or a differential cover that is not properly sealed. Need help? Call your local Dodge dealer today.

Dana/226RIA (Model 44) Specifications
Lubricant Specifications

1992–2006 Viper Differentials use Mopar® Synthetic Gear & Axle Lubricant SAE 75W-140 GL-5, Part No. 04874469, meeting MS-8985 and Mopar Limited Slip Additive, Part No. 04318060AB, meeting MS-10111.

Torque Specifications

Differential Drain/Fill plug, 15 lb-ft (20 N·m)

Capacity, Refill

Differential lubricant 41 oz (1230 ml)

Friction-modifier additive 4 oz (120 ml)

All 1992–2006 Vipers are equipped with a Hydra-lok® or Trac-lok® (clutch type) limited slip differential. When replacing lubricant, it is important to add a few ounces of friction-modifier additive to the gear lubricant for the differential clutches. Failure to use this additive will result in clutch chatter and shortened clutch life.

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