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SM420 Gear Oil - what type to use & fill level
#1101996 Mon May 11 2015 03:39 AM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 38
J
Wrench Fetcher
Is Master Pro GL-5 80w-90 gear oil (from O'Reilly Auto Parts) okay to use in a SM420 tranny? Is the fill up to level basically the oil plug on the passenger side up about half way? Thanks.

Re: SM420 Gear Oil - what type to use & fill level
JackAttack #1101999 Mon May 11 2015 04:27 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 31,520
Bubba - Curmudgeon


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
Re: SM420 Gear Oil - what type to use & fill level
JackAttack #1102027 Mon May 11 2015 09:54 AM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,766
D
'Bolter
That's what I've been using in all my manual transmissions for 57 years.
Yes the fill hole is the one that you're looking at. It's the
plug in the lower center in this picture:
http://www.pbase.com/dennygraham/image/137528063/large
As noted in the manual that Tim has link to, the level
should be about 1/2" below the hole when the oil is cold.
Stick your pinky finger in and you should be able to
touch the oil.
Don't over fill, it will expend when hot to the bottom of
the fill hole.
dg


Last edited by Denny Graham; Mon May 11 2015 09:58 AM.
Re: SM420 Gear Oil - what type to use & fill level
JackAttack #1102213 Tue May 12 2015 04:24 AM
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 37
F
F*C Offline
Wrench Fetcher
Denny - That transmission looks great! Did you rebuild that yourself?

Re: SM420 Gear Oil - what type to use & fill level
JackAttack #1102241 Tue May 12 2015 12:41 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,766
D
'Bolter
Yes, I do all my own work, cept on the late model stuff, which
I'm not equipped to trouble shoot....yet.
dg

Re: SM420 Gear Oil - what type to use & fill level
Denny Graham #1102481 Wed May 13 2015 03:22 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 986
Shop Shark
JackAttack,

I know this has been a controversial subject in previous posts concerning gear lubricant for the 3 speed and 4 speed transmissions in these AD trucks. It has been my experience, especially with the old cast iron Muncie 3 speed transmissions that have cone type synchronizers that the GL-5 80W-90 gear oil is too slick causing the synchonizers to slip thus causing double clutching for gear engagement. These sychonizers in turn wear much faster. A few years ago I spoke with a GM line worker that worked for GM Atlanta, GA. plant in the late 50's. He was the person that convinced me that the straight 90 weight mineral oil based gear lubricant was the way to go. He told me that GM used this mineral based gear lubricant up until the mid-seventies, even in the Muncie M-21 and M-22 4 speed transmissions. He explained that the mineral oil based gear lubricant had a higher level of ash which in turn caused these synchonizers to slow and engage as designed, thus eliminating double clutching. I purchased my straight 90 weight gear lubricant at NAPA. You have to ask the guy behind the counter and they usually have it in the back in "dust" covered gallon jugs. This gear lubricant is also used for antique tractors. I had a this problem with an old Muncie 3 speed in my '58 Chevrolet Biscayne. Problem solved after changing to straight 90 weight mineral based gear lubricant. Just letting you know my experience. Take it for what it's worth, it your choice.

Tim


"Pay attention to the details! It ALWAYS pays off."

1949 Chevrolet 3100 Series 1/2 ton Pickup
1964 Chevrolet C10 (Ol' Yella) (SOLD)
1958 Chevrolet Biscayne 2 door (SOLD)
1970 VW Beetle
Re: SM420 Gear Oil - what type to use & fill level
JackAttack #1102807 Fri May 15 2015 04:45 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 249
4
Shop Shark
SAE 90W mineral oil is what the shop manual calls for use in transmission.
SAE 90W multipurpose in rear axle, (and as a alternative to the mineral oil in transmission.
80W for extreme cold locations.


Baking in the nice desert sun, breathing life back into a 48 3800 5 window.
Re: SM420 Gear Oil - what type to use & fill level
JackAttack #1103664 Wed May 20 2015 12:40 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 249
4
Shop Shark
For those seeking proper gear oil for the SM420, today I made the drive to several sources and came up with two places that carry/stock or can readily get the SAE90 Mineral oil required.
Price was about the same 18-20 dollars a gallon.
NAPA has the following:
[img]http://www.spicetraders.com/photos/sae90mineral2.jpg[/img]
I bought a gallon today.
While over at Tractor Supply Stores I found this:
[img]http://www.spicetraders.com/photos/sae90mineral.jpg[/img]



Baking in the nice desert sun, breathing life back into a 48 3800 5 window.
Re: SM420 Gear Oil - what type to use & fill level
JackAttack #1104277 Sat May 23 2015 03:12 AM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 986
Shop Shark
48X3600,

That's it! The stuff works and I swear by it! If you use the factory specified transmission lubricant, the tranny will last a lot longer! $18 -$20 a gallon is "cheap insurance."

Tim


"Pay attention to the details! It ALWAYS pays off."

1949 Chevrolet 3100 Series 1/2 ton Pickup
1964 Chevrolet C10 (Ol' Yella) (SOLD)
1958 Chevrolet Biscayne 2 door (SOLD)
1970 VW Beetle
Re: SM420 Gear Oil - what type to use & fill level
JackAttack #1104292 Sat May 23 2015 04:50 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 4,801
C
'Bolter
Warren Oil still makes 90W mineral oil. Page 38 is the mineral oil. I guess I'm selling it too cheap at $9 a gallon.

http://www.warrenoil.com/catalogs/warren_catalog.pdf

Thats all we used in all of our transmissions until synthetic came out. Instead of our transmissions requiring bearings every 100,000 miles, we now go well over a million miles. I use it in everything. Denny got rid of the synthetic because it is so slick that his synchros didn't grab. I don't notice that because I always shift without a clutch anyway.

I sell Warren's Type A ATF for $2.49 a quart. I read in a lot of forums that type A is no longer available. I just got through placing an order for a pallet which is 84 cases of 24.

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