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Old 08-08-2009, 10:29 AM   #1
manualman
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Default Man Trans Fluid: Dexron III vs VI

Bought some Valvoline Maxlife ATF for the MANUAL transmission in my 2002 SL.

Strange thing is that the specs on their website say it complies with BOTH Dexron III and VI. This sounds fishy to me. Anybody use this stuff in an MP2 trans?

Other recommendations?


On another matter, I can't find any specs on parts store PS fluids other than "good for GM and Ford vehicles. Not reassuring. is this universal stuff good for our PS systems?
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: Man Trans Fluid: Dexron III vs VI

You are OK on the power steering fluid.

The ATF that claims Dex-6 compatibility is too low of a viscosity. Dex-3 is 7.5 to 7.7 and Dex-6 is 6.5 and that is a bunch. Look for an ATF that does not mention Dex-6. The 2 that I know for sure are OK are Mobil-1 synthetic universal ATF and Amsoil synthetic universal ATF, and these will work well in the automatic. Neither one is listed as Dex-6.

Round up your local Amsoil dealer and buy a gallon of Torque-Drive synthetic ATF and fill the manual trans and use the extra in the power steering.

GM came out and claimed that Dex-6 is backward compatible for use where Dex-3 was specified in automatics. It probably is in a conventional automatic. This is a shot of the back of a jug of Dex-6.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Man Trans Fluid: Dexron III vs VI

I had Maxlife ATF in my SL2 5spd transmission. I wasn't happy with the shifting so I invested in some Torquedrive (~5X more expensive around here). Although it's better, I'm still not happy so I'm going to with the Stainless shifter bushing next to see how much that helps.

I guess I'm on the fence about the Maxlife ATF. It meets some pretty tough spec's that a lot of other ATF's don't so it should have some higher quality ingredients. Maybe the Maxlife caused some problem in my transmission that the toquedrive couldn't recover from? Maybe the transmission was abused before I got it and a fluid change isn't going to fix that? Maybe the new bushing will smooth things out? I hope so.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Man Trans Fluid: Dexron III vs VI

There are a couple of fluids that you can use in teh MANUAL transmission with success. But, if by poor shifting you mean blocked shifts then that is just wear. A bit higher viscosity helps but is not a panacea.

It also helps that the cables are straight and clean and the transmission shift levers are not covered in oil and grit. Powdered mica is the best lube. Gun shop or high end art supply store. You want 100% powdered mica, no fancy color.
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: Man Trans Fluid: Dexron III vs VI

Thanks oldnuc!

Is that Navy or civilian type nuc?
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Man Trans Fluid: Dexron III vs VI

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
You are OK on the power steering fluid.

The ATF that claims Dex-6 compatibility is too low of a viscosity. Dex-3 is 7.5 to 7.7 and Dex-6 is 6.5 and that is a bunch. Look for an ATF that does not mention Dex-6. The 2 that I know for sure are OK are Mobil-1 synthetic universal ATF and Amsoil synthetic universal ATF, and these will work well in the automatic. Neither one is listed as Dex-6.

Round up your local Amsoil dealer and buy a gallon of Torque-Drive synthetic ATF and fill the manual trans and use the extra in the power steering.

GM came out and claimed that Dex-6 is backward compatible for use where Dex-3 was specified in automatics. It probably is in a conventional automatic. This is a shot of the back of a jug of Dex-6.
I have synthetic GM/Allison/Castrol Transynd ATF in my manual transmission now. Cost me $38 at the local GM/Allison dealer down the road. Seems to work very well so far, and has very similar viscosity to the DEX-3 that had been in there. Amsoil ATF appears to be quite similar to Transynd, but costs $5 to $10 more in these parts.
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Man Trans Fluid: Dexron III vs VI

The Torque-Drive and the Transynd are identical spec wise. Either one works just fine.

I would think you could use it in the automatic also and take the fluid change interval out to next never. The only justification that I have found for the original 30,000 mile automatic change interval was the short service life of the Dexron-3.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:46 PM   #8
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Happy Re: Man Trans Fluid: Dexron III vs VI

I'm still pretty happy with the R/P Synchromax fluid I put in a while back. It replaced MaxLife and it did make a noticeable difference in shifting (smoother).
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Man Trans Fluid: Dexron III vs VI

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Thanks oldnuc!

Is that Navy or civilian type nuc?
Primarily civilian although I spent time on a sub tender for fast attack boats.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: Man Trans Fluid: Dexron III vs VI

Currently, I'm using a mix of MaxLife ATF and Mag-1 (both Dex III). I'll be switching to a mix of RP Max ATF and RP Synchromax to see if it shifts smoother, though it's probably rusty operator issues more than tranny issues.
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: Man Trans Fluid: Dexron III vs VI

Why the mixture? Mixing lubricants can prove counterproductive due to unforeseen additive component interactions.
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