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#1504105 Wed Jun 07 2023 03:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2023
Posts: 3
Hey everyone,

I'm new to this forum. I inherited my grandfather's 1952 Chevy 1/2 ton pickup! I've been driving it around for the last two years and trying to figure out how to work on it myself. All of this is new to me but it is A LOT of fun! I have a question about the transmission oil. The manual calls for 1 1/2 pints of 90 weight gear oil to be put in the transmission fill hole. I have seen some who also put oil into the ball housing/universal joint filler plug hole. Manual says this isn't necessary because that joint gets its lubrication from the transmission. Does it help to put a few ounces in the universal joint filler hole? Will this overfill the transmission? If so, is there any harm in having a little more in there?

Any help on this topic will be greatly appreciated!

Pastor Matt

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 2,437
I let the tranny oil seep down into the ball joint. Regarding overfilling the tranny, assuming you have a SM420, I fill mine via the side plug until the oil gets to about 1/2"-1" below that hole.


My '50 Chevy 3100 5 window, 235cu
My truck []
If I'm not working on my truck or VW camper, I'm fishing with the wife or smoking Salmon.
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 26,997
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
If the housing gets overfilled the lube will seep out of the input shaft area and contaminate the clutch. If there's wear in the driveshaft bushing just behind the universal joint ball, the lube can seep down the torque tube and overfill the rear end, resulting in leakage at the rear axle bearings and brake contamination. Since the spinning gears in the trans splash lube all over inside the case, if you can touch the oil through the fill hole in the side there's plenty of lube in the case. A slightly low oil level is better than over full. Don't use fancy synthetic lubes in a stovebolt transmission- - - -plain old 90 weight mineral oil is all it needs.

"It is better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and eliminate all doubt!" - Abraham Lincoln
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Joined: Jun 2023
Posts: 3
Thank you!

Joined: Jan 2022
Posts: 1,015
Short answer to the question "Can you overfill transmission?" is "Not for long." wink

'57 GMC 102, Original 347 V8, HydraMatic, 3.08 rear gear, added A/C, disk front brakes, HEI, AFB carb, '98 Honda Black Currant paint. T-boned and totaled 10/13
'52 GMC 152 Stake Bed, Original 228, SM420, added A/C, disk front brakes, '67 Chev 3.55 rear gear. Gets used as a real truck.
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,690
Gearhead, Moderator for The Swap Meet and General Truck Talk
Pastor Matt,

Just a note to say "Welcome to the Stovebolt Community" since these are your very first couple of posts.

We would love to see some pictures and learn more about you and your truck that you've "...been driving it around for the last two years...". thumbs_up

Perhaps you would re-introduce yourself and your truck in our Welcome Centre?

You also might like to drop a note in The Southern Bolters forum and say hello to other Bolters near you.

Catch you in the various forums as your need for info takes you.



1951 Chevy 3 window 3100 (My Grandpa's hunting truck)
1966 Chevelle (Wife's Hot Rod)
2013 Chevy Silverado (Current daily driver)
US Army MSG Retired (1977-1998)
Com Fac Maint Lead Tech Retired (1998-2021)

Finally time to get to work on my Grandpa's (now mine) truck!
Joined: Jun 2023
Posts: 3
HA! That's what I want to avoid.

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 8,115
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
Originally Posted by PastorMatt
I have seen some who also put oil into the ball housing/universal joint filler plug hole. Manual says this isn't necessary because that joint gets its lubrication from the transmission. Does it help to put a few ounces in the universal joint filler hole?
If you look at Page 4-10 of the service manual (the rear axle section), it says to put 1/2 pint of transmission lubricant thru the hole at the rear of the transmission. It says nothing about lubricating the u-joint in the transmission and u-joint sections.

Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos []
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
Busting rust since the mid-60's
If you're smart enough to take it apart, you darn well better be smart enough to put it back together.

Moderated by  Dusty53, SWEET 

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