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Old 02-25-2010, 11:41 PM   #1
XRL
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Default Alternative fluids than OEM

So I figured since I was going to be starting to overhaul the RL (nearing 100K), it might not be a bad idea to start up a list of different fluids that these things use. If you know of any more, please post them up.

Honda Transmission Fluid: (all these claim to be Z1 rated)
OEM: Honda Z1 & the GM equivalent
Mobil 1: Multi-Vehicle ATF, Synthetic ATF
Castrol: High Mileage ATF, Import Multi-Vehicle
Quaker State: Nothing
Pennzoil: Nothing
Valvoline: MaxLife Dex/Merc ATF
Royal Purple: Max ATF
Amsoil: Synthetic Universal ATF

RDM:
I've got nothing. People have talked about Royal Purple Sychromax, but it's listed as a manual transmission fluid, not a gear lubricant. Other people have made mention of a 75W-something or other weight fluid, but I need more clarifications on this. Most manufacturers seem to have a 75W gear oil of some sort though.

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Old 02-26-2010, 10:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by XRL View Post

RDM:
I've got nothing. People have talked about Royal Purple Sychromax, but it's listed as a manual transmission fluid, not a gear lubricant. Other people have made mention of a 75W-something or other weight fluid, but I need more clarifications on this. Most manufacturers seem to have a 75W gear oil of some sort though.
Versatrak fluid is recommended and should be available at GM dealers. I noted others were using RP Synchromax but wanted verification.

I emailed AMSOIL and Royal Purple ... to their credit AMSOIL said they had nothing similar to Versatrak. Royal Purple said Synchromax was a valid replacement. I've used it for 18 months - in snow and ice - without a whimper from RDM.

If you're going for complete fluid replacement ... include brake fluid, coolant and transfer case (aka - power take-off unit). The PTU juice is GM 12378261... I searched the web and found several replacements (synthetic gear lube).

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Old 02-26-2010, 11:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by XRL View Post
RDM:
I've got nothing. People have talked about Royal Purple Sychromax, but it's listed as a manual transmission fluid, not a gear lubricant. Other people have made mention of a 75W-something or other weight fluid, but I need more clarifications on this. Most manufacturers seem to have a 75W gear oil of some sort though.
A manual transmission is a gear box, the RP synchromax part #01512 will work in the rdm/gear box with clutch pac but GM's versatrac fluid is GM's only recommendation for the RDM, I wiil use the RP, Its all trial and error(save a few bucks on oil or spend a couple $K on RDM). One person used 75/90 Mobil 1 synthetic gear lube but he is now changing his RDM/clutch pac not known if its from the lube or dolly towing.
Check the color of your brake fluid(should be translucent, if not its contaminated)syringe it out of the reservoir (using a syringe will keep air from getting in the lines)then bleed some through all the lines also , this will help keep your caliper pistons and rear wheel cylinders from seizing.

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Old 02-26-2010, 12:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Of coarse the stuff is recommended from GM, thats to get u to buy it. Most of the aftermarket synchromax-synchromesh oils say its for maunual trans. Meaning moving parts!. I couldnt get the RP in my area so i used Pennzoil synchromesh with no problems. These manufactures want u to believe u cant use anything else.

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Old 02-26-2010, 12:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Someclown View Post
A manual transmission is a gear box, the RP synchromax part #01512 will work in the rdm/gear box with clutch pac but GM's versatrac fluid is GM's only recommendation for the RDM, I wiil use the RP, Its all trial and error(save a few bucks on oil or spend a couple $K on RDM). One person used 75/90 Mobil 1 synthetic gear lube but he is now changing his RDM/clutch pac not known if its from the lube or dolly towing.
Check the color of your brake fluid(should be translucent, if not its contaminated)syringe it out of the reservoir (using a syringe will keep air from getting in the lines)then bleed some through all the lines also , this will help keep your caliper pistons and rear wheel cylinders from seizing.
Of coarse dolly towing will mess up the RDM...Tells ya right in the manual.. I seen that post to!!!

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Old 02-26-2010, 12:39 PM   #6
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by stbvue View Post
Of coarse the stuff is recommended from GM, thats to get u to buy it. Most of the aftermarket synchromax-synchromesh oils say its for maunual trans. Meaning moving parts!. I couldnt get the RP in my area so i used Pennzoil synchromesh with no problems. These manufactures want u to believe u cant use anything else.
Yes I know, All the versatrac is is a synthetic hypoid with additives.
Just like they don't want you working on your vehicle, because selling parts is there bread and butter!!

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Old 02-26-2010, 01:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Amen to that!. It was easier than i thought to change the fluids in my vue. The guy at advance was real helpful, he showed me the suction sucker tool i used to fill the RDM and PTU with. Great tool for the job. You might already have one, ya just suck the amount you need right out of the bottle then fill. Wish i could post pics on here.

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Old 02-26-2010, 02:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by stbvue View Post
Amen to that!. It was easier than i thought to change the fluids in my vue. The guy at advance was real helpful, he showed me the suction sucker tool i used to fill the RDM and PTU with. Great tool for the job. You might already have one, ya just suck the amount you need right out of the bottle then fill. Wish i could post pics on here.
Get a photobucket and upload them there, then just post the pics here.

I saw a post from Ritz back in the day about using a big syringe for the drain and fills.

That's a good call grumpy, I probably should do the other fluids as well. Coolant will work itself out with the water pump at 100k, and brake fluid I guess I could do wit the pads and rotors.

I'll probably go with RP synchromax, can this same fluid be used for the PTU? I might consider trying the Mobil 1 stuff as well, I don't expect to be towing my vue, well, ever, so it should be OK.

As an aside, if the clutch packs were toasted, how would the fluid have any effects? Isn't the fluid behind the clutch packs inside the differential itself?

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Old 02-26-2010, 03:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by XRL View Post

I'll probably go with RP synchromax, can this same fluid be used for the PTU? I might consider trying the Mobil 1 stuff as well, I don't expect to be towing my vue, well, ever, so it should be OK.

As an aside, if the clutch packs were toasted, how would the fluid have any effects? Isn't the fluid behind the clutch packs inside the differential itself?
I'm using the Royal Purple Synchromax in our Vue's with no issues whatsoever. I also replaced the PTU fluid with synthetic 75w-90 gear oil from wal-mart (I don't remember the brand) and it seems to be working just fine as well.

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Old 02-26-2010, 04:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

'I'll probably go with RP synchromax, can this same fluid be used for the PTU?'

Only on the '02-'03. The '04 and up specify Hypoid Gear Lube for the PTU.

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Old 02-26-2010, 06:28 PM   #11
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1saxman View Post
'I'll probably go with RP synchromax, can this same fluid be used for the PTU?'

Only on the '02-'03. The '04 and up specify Hypoid Gear Lube for the PTU.
I used the Mobil 75W90 for the PTU.....I would think they require a different viscosity in the two.

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Old 02-26-2010, 06:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by XRL View Post
Get a photobucket and upload them there, then just post the pics here.

I saw a post from Ritz back in the day about using a big syringe for the drain and fills.

That's a good call grumpy, I probably should do the other fluids as well. Coolant will work itself out with the water pump at 100k, and brake fluid I guess I could do wit the pads and rotors.

I'll probably go with RP synchromax, can this same fluid be used for the PTU? I might consider trying the Mobil 1 stuff as well, I don't expect to be towing my vue, well, ever, so it should be OK.

As an aside, if the clutch packs were toasted, how would the fluid have any effects? Isn't the fluid behind the clutch packs inside the differential itself?
A syringe works but, you may have to suck the fluid out of bottle a few times....The Sucker tool lets you do up to a full quart. Not to mention the tube fits snug in the Vue/GM fill holes with out falling out. Worked nice and Quick for me anyhow.

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Old 03-01-2010, 01:51 AM   #13
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Suction Gun at Advance Auto.....$10.00 ...Make sure to open and check before purchasing.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 9240026_ptl_w54220_pri_larg.jpg (9.5 KB, 29 views)

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Old 03-01-2010, 01:56 AM   #14
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Used this in my RDM...
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File Type: jpg 7070062_pzl_3501_pri_larg pennzoil.jpg (16.3 KB, 36 views)

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Old 03-02-2010, 06:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by stbvue View Post
A syringe works, Not to mention the tube fits snug in the Vue/GM fill holes with out falling out. Worked nice and Quick for me anyhow.
A turkey baster works just as well and holds almost half a litre

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Old 03-09-2010, 12:50 AM   #16
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by col_dude190 View Post
I'm using the Royal Purple Synchromax in our Vue's with no issues whatsoever. I also replaced the PTU fluid with synthetic 75w-90 gear oil from wal-mart (I don't remember the brand) and it seems to be working just fine as well.
I was in walmart today and saw this 75w-90 supertech. It was cheap, I figured what the heck. Supertechs tend to be "decent" in UOAs, and I figure that even the worst new juice is probably better than my old, old juice.

So it seems like people are using it for the PTU or the RDM, but not both. Which should i use it for? The RDM should take 750mL, how about the PTU?

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Old 03-09-2010, 10:06 AM   #17
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Quote:
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I was in walmart today and saw this 75w-90 supertech.

So it seems like people are using it for the PTU or the RDM, but not both. Which should i use it for? The RDM should take 750mL, how about the PTU?
I used 75W-90 in my PTU ... IIRC the PTU needs slightly less than one quart.

I don't know about putting lube in the RDM ... I know nada about most fluids but wouldn't feel comfortable replacing a lightweight trans fluid with 75W gear oil.

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Old 03-09-2010, 10:14 AM   #18
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by XRL View Post
I was in walmart today and saw this 75w-90 supertech.

So it seems like people are using it for the PTU or the RDM, but not both. Which should i use it for? The RDM should take 750mL, how about the PTU?
I used 75W-90 in my PTU ... IIRC the PTU needs slightly less than one quart.

I don't know about putting lube in the RDM ... I know nada about most fluids but wouldn't feel comfortable replacing a lightweight trans fluid with 75W gear oil.

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Old 03-09-2010, 10:15 AM   #19
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Sorry about the dupe post ... I think the site went haywire for a few minutes.

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Old 03-20-2010, 12:00 AM   #20
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Default Re: Alternative fluids than OEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by stbvue View Post
Used this in my RDM...
How's it been holding up? They've got this stuff (pretty cheap) at my local auto parts store. Not sure if I want to order the royal purple or use something local. I don't see a specific manual transmission fluid from Mobil1.

So the PTU requires a hypoid gear lube or 75W-90. Can this same fluid be used in the RDM?

This is what i've got right now:

ATF: Honda Z1
PTU: Supertech 75W-90 Synthetic Blend gear lube (it's claimed to be a hypoid)

So for the RDM I can either use a manual transmission fluid(ie RP Synchromax or Pennzoil Synchromesh) or a 75W90 gear lube?

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