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Hi everyone, I picked up a new 2020 2500 Bighorn this week and after 500 miles I thought I would check the axle fluid levels. In the past I normally run them about a half inch under the fill hole or sometimes barely under and never had an issue.
I removed the rear fill plug, stuck my index finger down the hole and couldn't touch the fluid. I got a piece of thick wire, made about a 2" bend and stuck that down the hole which just touched the fluid. I added over a half Qt 75-90 and the level now sets about a half inch under. The front also needed a little less then a half Qt.

Anyone else find low axle fluid levels or is that the proper factory fill level?

Prior to my Ram purchase I started drinking the ford koolaid (aluminum body, 10 speed trans) but got my senses together and went with Ram.

Lovin my new truck

IMG-1593.jpg
 
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Aren't you glad you didn't go 30,000 miles before checking the diffs, like so many do?
 
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Yeah, glad I checked it just wish I would have checked it even sooner. I wonder if the factory is trying to save money by putting in the bare minimum. I saw chalk marks near the fill plugs assuming someone checked the level.
Probably should check the transfer case as well.

I also noticed while crawling around they've changed the front driveshaft design (looks like my past 1500), no more grease fitting.
 

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Yeah, glad I checked it just wish I would have checked it even sooner.
Then you can imagine how I felt when, against better knowledge, I didn't get around to check mine until at about 1,800 miles.
That poor magnetic plug couldn't even hold all the fine particles on it, let alone the larger pieces of metal.

EDIT: I did indeed check the levels when I first got it, but then everything still looked fine. Which makes sense with only six slow miles on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jimmy, I feel your pain and hope others will check theirs as well!!

By the way my magnet was dry too, clean as a whistle
 

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When I saw the subject, I mostly only clicked it to see what @Jimmy N. had to say on the subject. Well, I did already know, but I wanted a reminder.
Against his recommendation, I waited 1600 miles, (since my tiny gas engine really doesn’t even need axle fluid) and checked mine. It was about 1/2”-3/4” below hole. Not a ton on the magnet either.
 
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I checked mine and also low, added until just below hole.
 
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Hi everyone, I picked up a new 2020 2500 Bighorn this week and after 500 miles I thought I would check the axle fluid levels. In the past I normally run them about a half inch under the fill hole or sometimes barely under and never had an issue.
I removed the rear fill plug, stuck my index finger down the hole and couldn't touch the fluid. I got a piece of thick wire, made about a 2" bend and stuck that down the hole which just touched the fluid. I added over a half Qt 75-90 and the level now sets about a half inch under. The front also needed a little less then a half Qt.

Anyone else find low axle fluid levels or is that the proper factory fill level?

Prior to my Ram purchase I started drinking the ford koolaid (aluminum body, 10 speed trans) but got my senses together and went with Ram.

Lovin my new truck

View attachment 913430
What brand of fluid did you add? Thanks.
 

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I think the whole rear differential fluid level system is madness. Mine has a fluid level mark on the outside of the case about one inch or more below the hole. I assume others are the same. Just doesn’t seem to be an easy way to equate the outside mark to the inside level. Seems like a site gauge would be better but I guess economics won out. I know some after market covers have them but then you get into the madness of the shape and fluid flow of the aftermarket units.

Anyway, probably best to check and change early for peace of mind and to get out early wear metals.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I added Amsoil Severe Gear 75-90. If that's not available either Mobil 1 or Valvoline synthetic are a good choice.
Mine was pretty low, almost a qt.
 

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Just doesn’t seem to be an easy way to equate the outside mark to the inside level.
Stick the tip of your pinky finger in the hole up to the 1st joint then bend it downward, if you just feel the fluid it is about 1" below the hole.
 

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I just checked mine about 1.5 qts low in the rear and .75 in the front
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good thing you checked, especially the rear was pretty low
 

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OH MAN THANKS for this thread.

Low is an understatement as my front took a full quart of this stuff. The magnet in the fill plug was dry also.

917085


Then in the rear I added a little over 1/2 quart of Mobile 1 synthetic limited slip and still could not feel or find the fluid level. Opened up another bottle of the Valvoline in the picture and took another 1/2 bottle of it to get this fluid level.
917086


Easy plug to open as it just takes a 3/8ths ratchet. Neither of mine were tight. Of note is my rear plug magnet had some "swarf" stuck on it. With the level so low I found that hard to understand. There is no drain plug on either differential so don't waste your time looking. No sign of leaks. That tells me I just drove and towed 22,000 miles with low differential fluid in my 2019 Cummins 2500.

Another crazy thing is these plugs are in the lower half of the differential. Don't know what they hold but was quite surprised they both took as much as they did. Check yours now and thank the OP for this thread.

917087
 

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That tells me I just drove and towed 22,000 miles with low differential fluid in my 2019 Cummins 2500.
Now you know why I always check all the fluids as soon as a new or new-to-me vehicle comes off the trailer at home, before it gets driven anywhere.
 

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OH MAN THANKS for this thread.

Low is an understatement as my front took a full quart of this stuff. The magnet in the fill plug was dry also.

View attachment 917085

Then in the rear I added a little over 1/2 quart of Mobile 1 synthetic limited slip and still could not feel or find the fluid level. Opened up another bottle of the Valvoline in the picture and took another 1/2 bottle of it to get this fluid level.
View attachment 917086

Easy plug to open as it just takes a 3/8ths ratchet. Neither of mine were tight. Of note is my rear plug magnet had some "swarf" stuck on it. With the level so low I found that hard to understand. There is no drain plug on either differential so don't waste your time looking. No sign of leaks. That tells me I just drove and towed 22,000 miles with low differential fluid in my 2019 Cummins 2500.

Another crazy thing is these plugs are in the lower half of the differential. Don't know what they hold but was quite surprised they both took as much as they did. Check yours now and thank the OP for this thread.

View attachment 917087
I had lots of swarf at the beginning and I believe so did Jimmy N.
 
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Lots of is an understatement. It's finally showing just a little crap on the magnet after having cleaned it maybe six times now.
The first time it didn't all fit on the magnet, and there was larger pieces, too.
 

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I also noticed while crawling around they've changed the front driveshaft design (looks like my past 1500), no more grease fitting.
I don't suppose you mind snapping a picture of it, as well as grabbing the part # off of it? could be worth swapping out mine to the newer style so i don't have to fight the fitting, depending on what they changed it to
 
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