Motorcraft transfer case fluid

  • Motorcraft transfer case fluid MERCON Synthetic Blend® V Automatic Transmission and Power Steering Fluid is a high quality automatic transmission fluid recommended by Ford Motor Company. It was developed for use in new electronically controlled automatic transmissions built after 1989 and power steering systems built after 1998 that require MERCON.® V o MERCÓN® liquid
  • Motorcraft MERCON Synthetic Blend® V Automatic Transmission and Power Steering Fluid is formulated with high quality, high viscosity index, synthetic/hydroprocessed base oils and specially designed performance additives. It is specifically formulated to provide improved shift characteristics at high and low ambient temperatures, excellent thermal and oxidation resistance, and good low temperature fluidity. Provides wear protection and inhibits gum, sludge, lacquer and foam formation. It also provides protection against rust and corrosion.
  • It is especially effective in applications where high temperatures are a concern. Due to its excellent thermal, oxidative and shear stability, this fluid is required in manual transmission applications such as Mustang with G1 manual transmissions and F/E series with TR 3650 and ZF S5-47 manual transmissions.
  • Formulated for power steering systems to provide excellent low temperature fluidity as well as improved high temperature thermal stability for use in extreme conditions in all seasons
  • Do not use in applications where MERCON® LV, MERCON® SP, Continuously Variable Chain Type Transmission Fluid, Motorcraft® Premium Automatic Transmission Fluid, FNR5 Automatic Transmission Fluid, or Type F Automatic Transmission Fluid is recommended

Full Size Ford 4×4 Transfer Case Fluids

Choosing the correct Ford transfer case fluid is critical to the life and performance of your full-size 4×4 truck. Over the years, lubricant specifications and service requirements have changed, which can make it difficult to choose the right type of Ford transfer case fluid by type. This is especially true with Ford, as the latest version of MerconV Fluid is NOT approved for use in 4×4 transfer cases. We’ve compiled the handy Ford transfer case fluid chart below to help you select the correct transfer case fluid for your Ford 4×4.

For later models, transfer case fluids are VERY specific. DO NOT USE generic fluids in these transfer cases!!!! For older transfer cases, you can upgrade to newer synthetic-based fluids, but you must rebuild or at least replace the old seals, as the additives in the synthetic fluids may not be compatible with the old seals. The following chart was compiled using the OEM factory shop manuals and ENGINE specification guides. While we have made every effort to present accurate information, the information in this chart in no way supersedes or supersedes the recommendations in your Ford OEM Owner’s Manual, Shop Manual, or other official Ford publication or specification list.


*1959-1977 Ford Gear Drive Transfer Case: Many Ford shop manuals list SAE 50 motor oil for use in temperatures above 10°F and SAE 30 motor oil for use in temperatures below 10°F. Early manuals ALSO give the option of using SAE 90 weight mineral oil WITHOUT extreme pressure additives above 10°F and SAE 80 mineral oil without EP additives for use below 10°F. SAE 50 and SAE 30 single viscosity motor oils are still available, but today it can be difficult to find a straight mineral gear oil. The Dana 20, Dana 21, Dana 24 and NP205 gear drive transfer cases have some freedom for alternative fluids, but we recommend that you stick as closely as possible to the original Ford fluid requirements.


**1974-1979 NP203 Full Time Transfer Case: The NP203 Full Time Chain Drive Transfer Case MUST have engine oil as a lubricant. For model years 1974-1977, Ford lists SAE 50 motor oil for use in temperatures above 10°F and SAE 30 motor oil for use below 10°F. For 1978 and 1979, Ford specifies Ford Standard Transmission Lube D8DZ-19C547-A for all Bronco and F150-F250-F350 transfer cases, including the NP203. The Ford specification is ESP-M2C83-C.

In 1992, D8DZ19C547A was replaced by F2ZZ-19C547-A SAE 80w Manual Transmission Fluid which was later replaced by XT-4-QGL 75w90 GL-4 Conventional Gear Lube (Ford Specification WSS-M2C203-A1) AND XT-M5-QS 75w90 Fully Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid (Ford Spec WSS-M2C200-C). We had a lot of experience with NP203 transfer cases in the 1970’s and 1980’s and our experience was that any fluid other than a lighter motor oil could cause bearing problems and/or chain stretch problems. Both Dodge and GM also used the NP203 transfer case and both specified 10w30 motor oil. Since Ford does not claim that newer manual transmission fluids are compatible with 1978-1979 NP203 transfer cases (and we don’t believe they are), we recommend that you use the original equipment recommended motor oils for your Ford. NP203. Replacing Ford Transmission Fluid Information is current as of July 2017.


 ***1978-1979 NP205 Part Time Transfer Case – For 1978 and 1979, Ford specifies Ford Standard Transmission Lube D8DZ-19C547-A for all Bronco and F150-F250-F350 transfer cases, including the NP205. The Ford specification is ESP-M2C83-C. In 1992, D8DZ19C547A was replaced by F2ZZ-19C547-A SAE 80w Manual Transmission Fluid which was later replaced by XT-4-QGL 75w90 GL-4 Conventional Gear Lube (Ford Specification WSS-M2C203-A1) AND XT-M5-QS 75w90 Fully Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid (Ford Spec WSS-M2C200-C). Unlike the NP203 chain drive transfer case, the NP205 gear drive transfer case is quite tolerant of different fluids as diverse as Dexron ATF (used on 1980-1991 GM NP205) and SAE 140w Gear Lube (used on Dodge NP205 above 90°F). Ford does not claim that XT-4-QGL or XT-M5-QS are backward compatible with the 1978-1979 NP205, but we do recommend that you use the same SAE 50 motor oil that Ford specified for the 1973-1979 NP205. , we would not. be afraid to use XT-4-QGL 75w90 Gear Lube or XT-M5-QS 75w90 Full Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid in a Ford NP205 that had new seals (original seals may not be compatible with newer base oils and additives).


****For model years 1980 through 1987, Ford recommended Dexron II Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) for 4×4 transfer cases. Dexron II was replaced by Dexron III. For model years 1987-1996 (Bronco, F150 and 1988-1997 (F250, F350), Ford originally specified Mercon. Mercon has now been replaced with Mercon V, which is NOT recommended for use in 4×4 transfer cases. Both Dexron II as Dexron III and Mercon fluids are listed in Ford shop manuals and meet the same specification as Ford XT-2-QDX Until mid-2018, Ford specified synthetic-based Motorcraft XL-12 transfer case fluid for use in chain drive transfer cases that originally used Dexron II or Mercon, however Ford has since replaced the XL-12 with Mercon LV As of May 2019 an old Motorcraft webpage still lists a Mercon LV as Not for use in transfer cases, but the most recent LV page specifically states that LV is now for all transfer cases We are not aware of any lubrication related issues with the use of Mercon LV or Dexron III on NP208F, BW1345, BW1356 or BW4407 transfer cases on 1980-1997 era Ford 4x4s.

***** For model years 1997-2007, most Ford factory shop manuals list Mercon as the recommended transfer case fluid. Ford introduced Mercon ATF in 1987 and Mercon is the recommended fluid for most Ford 4×4 transfer cases from 1997 to 2007. Mercon was replaced by Mercon V which is NOT recommended for use in transfer cases, so Ford recommended XL-12 for use in 1997-2007 transfer cases, which was replaced by Mercon LV. As of May 2019, an old Motorcraft web page still lists Mercon LV as Not For Transfer Case Use, but the newer LV page specifically states that LV is now for all transfer cases.

Transfer case function, fluid level and condition

A transfer case is the center of the powertrain of four-wheel drive vehicles and some four-wheel drive vehicles. Mounted at the rear of the transmission, it splits power from the engine and sends it to the front and rear axles via front and rear driveshafts. It also synchronizes the difference in front and rear wheel rotation, and can contain one or more low-range gear sets for off-road use.


Low range gears in the transfer case allow the vehicle to be driven at much lower speeds while still operating within the usable power band or engine RPM range. This also increases the available torque on the axles. Low-range gears are used during low-speed or extreme off-road maneuvers, such as navigating dangerous roads, climbing rocks, or pulling a heavy load. This feature is often not present on all-wheel drive vehicles.


In some vehicles, such as four-wheel drive trucks or vehicles intended for off-road use, the driver controls the transfer case. The driver can activate the transfer case in two-wheel or four-wheel drive mode. This is sometimes accomplished by means of a stick shift, similar to that of a manual transmission. On some vehicles, the transfer case may be electronically operated via a switch or button. Others have transfer cases that cannot be selected and are permanently locked in all-wheel drive mode. This type of transfer case may also be called a center differential.


If you dissect a transfer case, you’ll find some components that are common to all transfer cases, such as an input shaft. The transmission turns an input shaft and is connected to two output shafts: one that turns the front driveshaft and one that turns the rear driveshaft. Most modern transfer cases also have a differential. The transfer case differential is like the axle differential. Allows one output to rotate at a different speed than the other to prevent transmission from binding on hard surfaces.


The three basic types of transfer cases are part-time 4WD, full-time 4WD, and active 4WD.


Part-time 4WD is the most common type of transfer case. Allows you to operate the vehicle in two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive high range (4Hi), and four-wheel drive low range (4Lo). 4Hi operation generally uses a differential to improve drivability. Part-time 4WD systems offer smoother operation on pavement and better fuel economy since the driveshaft and front axle can be completely disengaged from power. The strongest transfer cases are generally part-time systems because they are designed for actual off-road use, often in truck and utility vehicle applications.


Full-time 4WD is the simplest type of transfer case. It sends power to the front and rear axles all the time. To eliminate, or at least decrease, transmission binding on hard surfaces, this type of transfer case also uses a high-range differential. Some offer a 4Hi lock position that locks the diff to improve traction on slippery surfaces, but also causes bogging down when operating on dry pavement.


Active 4WD is the easiest type of transfer case to use because it requires no input from the driver. A variety of full-time and part-time systems have been developed that use electronic, computerized, or mechanical means to adjust the amount of power delivered to the axles according to wheel slip. They come in a variety of names and performance levels, but provide some of the benefits of a part-time system without the owner having to change anything. Active 4WD was designed for smooth operation without driver input and can be found in everything from trucks to luxury sports cars.


The main difference between the transfer case in a 4WD vehicle and that of an AWD vehicle is that the latter does not offer the additional low torque multiplier gear ratio that is used for serious off-roading. On all wheel drive vehicles, it is necessary to allow the driveline to slip to prevent binding. This is accomplished by including differential gears within the transfer case.

The transfer case always works, whether you use four-wheel drive in your vehicle or not. The level and condition of the transfer case fluid should be inspected each time the oil is changed. Transfer cases can be filled with gear oil, automatic transmission fluid (ATF), or specialty lubricants. It is important to periodically inspect the transfer case for damage, leaks, or other problems. The fluid level and condition should also be inspected as transfer case fluid may be leaking from the output shaft seals, input shaft seal, case gaskets or fluid inspection and the drain plug gaskets.


If you are considering purchasing a vehicle with a transfer case, have an ASE Certified Technician visually inspect the exterior of the case, fluid level and condition, and test drive the vehicle to ensure that the transfer system is four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive is working properly. Follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the type of transfer case fluid and how often it should be replaced. If the transfer case oil has become contaminated, shows evidence of metal particles, or is black in color, it should be replaced immediately.

What is the difference between genuine Ford and Motorcraft parts?


If you’ve ever shopped for a part for your Ford, you’ve probably seen genuine Ford parts and Motorcraft brand parts. Technically, there is no difference between the two, even if you see the same part with different labels. However, there are subtle differences, and you may be surprised to learn. So let’s take a closer look at their differences and why.

What is Motorcraft?

Motorcraft makes various parts for a number of different auto companies, including Ford. In fact, Motorcraft is the official parts brand of Ford and has been since its inception in the 1950s. Ford used Autolite as a parts manufacturer for a brief period in the 1960s.

Ford owns Motorcraft. However, Motorcraft is free to make parts for any company they want, like Mazda. As a subsidiary of Ford, they use the same manufacturing process, materials and quality standards as any OEM parts company.

What are OEM parts?

OEM parts are manufactured for the original fitment in vehicles. As such, these part manufacturers are subject to strict requirements throughout the entire process. The car manufacturer, in this case Ford, specifies what materials can be used, how the parts are made, even the exact dimensions and required functionality. As a result, OEM parts fit perfectly, perform strictly as intended, and outlast other aftermarket parts.

What are aftermarket parts?

Aftermarket parts can be any part made by any manufacturer for any vehicle. Because they can be made by any company, they are not held to the same strict standards as OEM manufacturers. The only real requirement is that these parts must work.

This can result in parts not working properly or lasting as long. In many cases, aftermarket part manufacturers make the same part for multiple vehicles. As a result, the pieces do not always fit together correctly. It could be a mounting bracket that doesn’t line up exactly, or it could be that the part doesn’t fit in the allotted space.

What are genuine Ford parts?

Motorcraft did not make all the parts for your Ford vehicle. Many other manufacturers make parts that Ford uses to build your vehicle. These pieces come from all over the world. Ford calls any part made for your Ford as part of its original build a Genuine Ford Part.

The manufacturers of these parts continue to make replacement parts to meet the repair and maintenance needs of your Ford vehicle. Any part made by these companies will come with the Genuine Ford Part label.

What are counterfeit parts?

It can be challenging to spot a counterfeit part, but you can consider any aftermarket part to be a counterfeit as a general rule. Many manufacturers go to great lengths to create an aftermarket part that looks exactly like its OEM equivalent. So if you don’t see the Motorcraft or Ford Genuine Part label, you probably have a counterfeit part.

As stated, counterfeit parts are technically the same as aftermarket parts. In most cases, they look the same and work fine, at least initially. It’s the substandard materials and inaccurate performance specifications that make them counterfeit.

Usually the counterfeit or aftermarket part will fit and work, but won’t last as long. For a mechanical part, it could break more easily or wear out faster due to inferior construction materials. When considering electronic components such as computer chips, switches, electrical sensors and more, these parts may not perform as precisely as genuine Ford parts. Also, they may burn out faster because they were not designed to work in their intended application.

Aftermarket parts cost less to manufacture, making them less expensive for you to purchase. So you can save a little money initially if you choose an aftermarket part to fix your Ford. However, if it breaks or wears out before a Genuine Ford Part and you have to replace it again, have you really saved money?

What are Autolite parts?

In the 1960s, Ford switched to Autolite to make its parts. So if you own a Ford from this era, you may have Autolite labeled parts on it. Using an Autolite replacement part shouldn’t harm your vehicle, but Autolite no longer has to manufacture these parts to OEM standards. So you can consider them just like any aftermarket part.

Should I choose a genuine Ford part over a Motorcraft part?

If you can choose between a genuine Ford part or a Motorcraft part, either will work just fine. Motorcraft manufactures its parts for Ford vehicles, using the exact OEM specifications implemented in the original manufacture of your Ford. So it will work just like a genuine Ford part.

Because Motorcraft has its own brand identity, it produces parts for your Ford under its name. So, for example, you can find the exact part with a Ford Genuine Part tag just like one with a Motorcraft tag. You won’t find any other difference beyond the label, making Motorcraft an acceptable alternative.

In many cases, Motorcraft manufactures Genuine Ford Parts under the Genuine Ford Parts label for direct sale to Ford dealers around the world. Usually you will see both labels in these parts. Consumers generally look for the lowest price. So if you see these two labels for the same part, you can buy the cheaper one with confidence, knowing it will work. That said, it’s not usually the case that you find one cheaper than the other unless you have some kind of coupon.

Why should I use genuine Ford parts or Motorcraft parts?

In addition to working better and lasting longer, the use of an aftermarket part may affect your warranty coverage. The use of aftermarket parts voids the manufacturer’s warranty. So if you plan to replace a part, be sure to check if doing so will void your warranty. It might save you a few bucks on the repair, but if something more serious happens, it may not be covered.

For example, you could replace a switch with an aftermarket equivalent that regulates fuel injection. If your fuel injection system fails because the switch malfunctioned, your warranty will not cover the cost of replacing your expensive fuel injection system.

If you find this post about Motorcraft transfer case fluid helpful to you and you want to know more about car fluid knowledge, please check more on our website Auto Oil And Fluid. Thank you for your interest!



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