XXXVIII. Changing Żuk’s rear axle oil

Żuk being rear wheel drive with front engine, the rear bridge requires servicing, namely oil change. So far I miss the information on Żuk rear bridge recommended oil change frequency. But I also have no clue when it was last serviced, if it was serviced. So it has to be done.

I found that for Renault Trafic, it would be every 60000 km. For some Iveco Daily of the years 2000, it would be every 120000 km or 3 years.

Once again, the process is quite straighforward, just like a regular car gearbox oil change.

You only need a new seal, 5l of new oil and a oil syringe (because oil is annoying to pour). Which seal and oil depends on your model of Żuk, since there was two rear bridge design, the model 18/23 and late 3005/3015/3007/3017.

The difference between the two stands out by looking at them from the back: old type separates from left to right, new type are in one part with a cover facing the back.


(this table is not clear in this regard but between old type and new type, a big difference is the max torque, 1600 N·m vs 2500 N·m).

Update 2018-08-14: ahem, after re-reading carefully, no, the max torque is not that different -different still- it is only 460 vs 550 N·m (1570 vs 2500 represents “Torque test with drive semi-axis immobilised”, meaning unclear to me, please comment if you can enlighten me). Permissible load also differs (14000 vs  16000 N). Final drive ratio too (5,125/5,86 vs 4,778), which would mean less torque and higher top speed.

You see there that the old type, in addition to oil, also requires grease for the wheel bearing (łożyska półosi). You also see that the oil is not exactly the same. Autoryzowana instruckjia napraw samochódow Żuk  (1992, p. 183) is more precise about requirements:

  • old type 18/23: 1,1 dm3 of Hipol 15 based on PN-81/C-96075 + grease ŁT 43 based on PN-72-C-96134;
  • new type 3005/3015/3007/3017: 1,1  dm3 of Hipol 15 F based on ZN-71/MPCh/NF-73;

I do have the late version so I need Hipol 15 F, which is GL-5 SAE 85W-90.

IMG_20170829_185216 (2).jpg

Around 50 zł for the oil and 7 zł for the seal.

Same as if you were doing a gearbox oil change, you start by checking if you can unscrew the filling hole. If you cannot, that is obviously very bad (good luck fixing that!) but it would be even worse to notice it once the bridge is empty.

From below, we can see the two imbus key (emptying and filling) holes. For the record, the bottom screw should have a  magnet inside, not the upper one.


Once you have a bucket under, you can proceed. Since the oil is cold, it is best to give it time.


Once it seems more or less empty, you can unscrew the 10 screw (key 13) to remove the cap. And you can have a peek at the inside of the beast.


Notice the shape of the metal at the top. The seal should have the same.


You can clean up a bit the bottom with a bit of gasoline and the edge with the cutter blade. Once you are satisfied, you can prepare to close the cap with the new seal imbibed with oil.


Obviously, you’ll go gently and progressively (screws not one by one but a bit of each in turn) so not to cut the seal.


Then you refill. Depending on your syringe, might take a while. And when there is excess going out from the filling hole, you are set!


tylne most napedowy = rear drive bridge

uszczelka pokrywy tylnego mostu  = rear drive bridge seal

łożyska półosi = wheel bearing

olej … wg … = olej … według= oil … based on …

+ kosztuje = 57 zł = 13 € ; Żukventure cost so far = 1969 + 13 = 1982  €

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