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OT..Kind Of....Transmission Fluid-Synthetic or Dino?

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Old 12-09-2004, 09:31 AM
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Default OT..Kind Of....Transmission Fluid-Synthetic or Dino?

Ok...this is a little off topic but it is boating related. I was wondering if anyone could chime in and offer opinions and facts about who makes the best transmission fluid out there? I've got a HD GMC (non Allison) and have about 38,000 miles on it now. Many of these miles are from towing and I was wondering:
1. What does GM/GMC use from the factory in their transmissions?
2. Would it be better/worth it to upgrade to synthetic for towing purposes?
3. Drain and refill or pay the $80-$100 to have it completely flushed?

Right now I'm leaning towards paying the money to have it flushed and buying Mobil 1 synthetic tranny fluid. I know that synthetic oils are always better than dino but am wondering if it's worth the extra $$ for the synthetic or to just increase the oil/fluid change frequency to compensate?

Where to find fully synthetic tranny fluid (Mobil 1 in particular)...Auto Zone?
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Old 12-09-2004, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: OT..Kind Of....Transmission Fluid-Synthetic or Dino?

Good questions.

Synthetics do have properties that far exceed a dino oil in friction, viscosity, temperature tolerance, and film strength measurements.

An auto trans application, though, typically doesn't suffer from point friction loading issues or heat breakdown from single origin exposure (turbocharger housings, piston crowns).

Trans fluid's biggest test is in the torque converter. That is the spot that gives ATF nightmares. Kinetic shearing causes the excess heat we all see on the trans temp gauge, and most of it occurs in the TC unless your trans is slipping. Properly operating trannys only subject the fluid to momentary band slipping during shift events. The gearface friction in a modern trans does not approach the recommended limits of the lube.

Trans fluid pulls a double duty as a straight hydraulic oil AND a gear lube AND a wet clutch style fluid. It must perform all of these duties while being polluted with byproducts from the other functions it does.

So far, I've been a believer in using the fluid spec specifically called out by the mfr. But I have been using a typical brand name conventional product.

I'm as interested as you are in hearing thoughts here.

mc
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: OT..Kind Of....Transmission Fluid-Synthetic or Dino?

From the Allison standpoint, they typically come from the factory filled half with Transynd and then topped off with dino. Yes the two are compatable. This is in the 1000 series. I had mine flushed at about 30K and completely refilled with Transynd. Noticed a drop of about 30 degrees off the temp gauge. Plus, now I don't have to worry about transmission fluid changes for the next 100-120K miles.

If you're going to run a synthetic, I'd look hard at Transynd. As I said above, it's totally compatable with Dexron-Mercon fluids and meets and exceeds all the standards for Allison (which are designed to run on D-M or Transynd) so it shouldn't be a problem in your auto.
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: OT..Kind Of....Transmission Fluid-Synthetic or Dino?

jordy,
I don't have the Allison tranny, is there a specific weight to the Transynd fluid? Where would I purchase some if that was my decision? Sounds like the Transynd works for you if it took 30 degrees from the normal operating temp of the tranny!

Please post more opinions and suggestions everyone .
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: OT..Kind Of....Transmission Fluid-Synthetic or Dino?

Synthetic if you tow a great deal. Auto Zone does have it. It will give you a little "heat" protection.

FWIW I own a large transmission facility.

Sam
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: OT..Kind Of....Transmission Fluid-Synthetic or Dino?

Neverfastenuf, would you recommend the Mobil 1 or do you have an opinion of a different synthetic for my application (Non-Allison)? How about Amsoil or other?

Thanks for the post.
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: OT..Kind Of....Transmission Fluid-Synthetic or Dino?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave1972
jordy,
I don't have the Allison tranny, is there a specific weight to the Transynd fluid? Where would I purchase some if that was my decision? Sounds like the Transynd works for you if it took 30 degrees from the normal operating temp of the tranny!

Please post more opinions and suggestions everyone .
I know, I was just posting based upon my experiences in my Allison, and the fact that they're both designed to run Dexron-Mercon oil would lead me to believe that you wouldn't have a problem running it in your non-Allison.

Seems to me auto tranny fluid hovers around 10w, much like hydraulic fluid.

I just went and looked at a jug in my shop, no weight rating on it. Says it meets Dexron III standards, but nothing about Mercon. I do know that when they flushed my tranny, it was full of pink tranny fluid and the owner's manual recommends Dexron-Mercon, so I still don't think it would be a problem. I like it just because it's designed for all the use and abuse that the Allisons tend to see over their life.
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: OT..Kind Of....Transmission Fluid-Synthetic or Dino?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave1972
Neverfastenuf, would you recommend the Mobil 1 or do you have an opinion of a different synthetic for my application (Non-Allison)? How about Amsoil or other?

Thanks for the post.
Mobil 1 will work fine. Oil discussions can go on for hours and hours. What we like about the Mobil 1 is the availability. You can get it anywhere.

Sam
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Old 12-09-2004, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: OT..Kind Of....Transmission Fluid-Synthetic or Dino?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jordy
From the Allison standpoint, they typically come from the factory filled half with Transynd and then topped off with dino. Yes the two are compatable. This is in the 1000 series. I had mine flushed at about 30K and completely refilled with Transynd. Noticed a drop of about 30 degrees off the temp gauge. Plus, now I don't have to worry about transmission fluid changes for the next 100-120K miles.

If you're going to run a synthetic, I'd look hard at Transynd. As I said above, it's totally compatable with Dexron-Mercon fluids and meets and exceeds all the standards for Allison (which are designed to run on D-M or Transynd) so it shouldn't be a problem in your auto.
I have been upselling some customers to allison transynd for just about evrey brand of auto trans,it IS compatible with dex2 and dex3 fluid,the only draw back is cost.It is so good that allison would have warranteed the 1000 trans in the gm's for 100k instead of 36k if gm would have put that in them instead of their cheap dexron 3,Smitty
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Old 12-09-2004, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: OT..Kind Of....Transmission Fluid-Synthetic or Dino?

great response smitty!

I was just thinking that the Allison is so much heavier duty than what I have that maybe the fluid was different. Sounds like it's just a better product all the way around. The question is....is it better than Mobil 1? I'm not sure on cost of Mobil 1 but AutoZone's I've seen only sell it by the quart. I'm not sure how many quarts I need but I'm guessing I'll need 10-12....I have a vague memory that the Mobil 1 was around $7-$8/quart...which would put it at 28-32/gallon (math genius, I know).

I did a google seach for Transynd and found out that it's made by Castrol and can be found at heavy duty service stations for around 35/gallon. It's marginally more expensive than the Mobil 1 and this stuff sounds like it works.

I also found that Amsoil makes something called the Torque-Drive which is a copy from the Transynd. It has almost identical properties as the Transynd and is also specified for use in the Allison transmissions.

Sounds like either one will work for my application. If anyone has more thoughts on this, bring em on!
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