New Venture NV-273 Transfer Case (NP-273)

NV-273 Transfer Case Specs and Service Procedures

Applicable Models:

1999 - 2010 Ford F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550 Super Duty
2000 - 2006 Ford Excursion
2003 - 2012 Dodge Ram 2500, 3500, 4500, 5500

Applicable Transfer Case(s):

New Venture Gear NV-273 (sub-models NV-273F, NV-273D
New Process Gear NP-273 (sub-models NP-273F, NV-273D)

The NV-273/NP-273 transfer case has primarily been used in Ford and Dodge/Ram trucks, but it's important to note that Ford transfer cases are not interchangeable with the Dodge variants and visa versa as several spline configurations and yoke types have been used on NV-273 transfer cases. This is a heavy duty, chain driven unit with a 2.72 : 1 planetary reduction in low range and a cast aluminum case. Dodge and Ford recommend separate maintenance intervals for this transfer case despite their similarities, and these should be followed accordingly to prolong transfer case life. The NV-273 is similar in design to the NV-271, however the 271 is a manual shift type while the 273 features an electric shift module.

NV-273, NP-273 Transfer Case Specs

Model Designations NV-273, NP-273, NP-273F, NV-273F, NP-273D, NV-273D
Manufacturer New Process Gear (later New Venture Gear)
Assembly Sites East Syracuse, New York 1999 - 2010
Full production shifted to Mexico by 2011
Applications 2003 - 2012 Dodge Ram 2500, 3500, 4500, 5500
1999 - 2010 Ford F-250, F-350, F-450, F-550, Excursion
Case Material Cast aluminum
Transfer Case Type Chain drive
Shift Type Electric shift
High Range Gear Ratio 1.00 : 1
Low Range Gear Ratio 2.72 : 1
Fluid Spec Ford Motorcraft MERCON LV ATF
(Supersedes Motorcraft XL-12 transfer case fluid)
Fluid Capacity 2.0 U.S. quarts (4 pints)
Service Intervals Ford 150,000 miles under normal driving conditions
60,000 miles under "severe" service conditions*
Dodge/Ram 60,000 miles/48 months under normal driving conditions
30,000 miles/24 months under "severe" service conditions*

* Severe service conditions include frequent use of the 4 wheel drive system and/or off-road driving situations.

How to Replace the Fluid in a NV-273 Transfer Case

The process outlined below is based on a Ford transfer case (NV-273F), however service procedures are applicable for Dodge NV-273 transfer cases (NV-273D).

Click any thumbnail to view fullsize, detailed image

NV-273 transfer case fill and drain plugs

• Ensure the vehicle is off, the transmission is placed in park (or in gear if equipped with manual transmission), and that the parking brake is fully set.

• Locate the transfer case drain and fill plugs on the rear of the case. We recommend you loosen the fill plug first to ensure that it can be removed before draining the transfer case. Do not drain the transfer case if the fill plug is seized in the case; proceed with service only after the fill plug has been extracted/repaired.

transfer case with oil pan beneath

• Place a suitable drain pan below the transfer case drain plug.

• Remove the drain plug (10 mm Allen) and allow the transfer case fluid to drain.

• When the transfer case fluid has drained completely, reinstall the drain plug snug tight (do not overtighten, threads in cast aluminum case are easy to strip).

• 3 quarts of Motorcraft XL-12 (for Ford applications) or MOPAR ATF+4 (for Dodge/Ram applications) and a fluid pump are required to refill the transfer case. While the transfer case capacity is listed as 2 quarts, you'll want a 3rd quart on hand as it is difficult to completely empty a quart container with a fluid pump. Quart container hand pumps are available at your preferred auto parts store.

pumping ATF into transfer case

• Remove the fill plug (10 mm Allen).

• Pump ATF into the transfer case through the fill plug hole until the fluid level reaches the bottom of the fill plug (oil will begin to run out of the fill plug hole when it is full).

transfer case fluid level full, oil spilling from fill plug

• Once the transfer case oil level is full, reinstall the fill plug and snug tight. Clean any spilled oil from the transfer case.

• Drive vehicle, park on level surface, and check for leaks.