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31 Franklin: What weight is  recommended in the rear-end,transmission, steering gear and shocks? I drained the transmission and wound up removing the pan, there was a thick oil like a thin gear oil, I assume it has not been changed in 85 years. I know some old-fords took a higher weight.

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I tried 600 weight model A Ford trans fluid in the 1930 147 (with the Detroit 4 speed that is also used in 1931 151 and 152 series cars) and made it about a block into the first drive before I turned around and went back home - drained it out and 30 years later have my extra quart still on the garage shelf (ie. you could not shift the car without stropping it between gears).  

 

There is a drop per minute test in the owners manual - I called an oil company (Mobile perhaps) and they found me an equal - cannot recall what it was but worked fabulous and most companies have an engineer on hand who can answer.

 

My best advice is always to call Tom Rasmussen or Jeff Hasslen - lots of opinions out there, though I view them as a "top" authority of those who actually successfully drive cars long distance in touring.

 

For steering box use Penn Right (spelling ?) I believe it is called - and I believe it is an English made fluid.  I usually get it from WWW.RESTORATIONSTUFF.COM

 

As to the shocks - I have then rebuilt by Five Points and whatever they recommend should work well

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9 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

I tried 600 weight model A Ford trans fluid in the 1930 147 and made it about a block into the first drive before I turned around and went back home - drained it out and 30 years later have my extra quart still on the garage shelf (ie. you could not shift the car without stropping it between gears).  

 

There is a drop per minute test in the owners manual - I called an oil company (Mobile perhaps) and they found me an equal - cannot recall what it was but worked fabulous and most companies have an engineer on hand who can answer.

 

My best advice is always to call Tom Rasmussen or Jeff Hasslen - lots of opinions out there but always go top those who actually successfully drive their cars.

 

For steering box use Penn Right (spelling ?) I believe it is called - and I believe it is an English made fluid.  I usually get it from WWW.RESTORATIONSTUFF.COM

 

As to the shocks - I have then rebuilt by Five Points and whatever they recommend should work well

So you are saying none of the rest of us successfully drive our cars? Last time I counted I had 15 roadworthy cars and trucks in my care, including six Franklins. Have yet to have a problem using what the manufacturer called for lubrication.

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On 5/2/2016 at 9:41 AM, newbymachineworks said:

So you are saying none of the rest of us successfully drive our cars? Last time I counted I had 15 roadworthy cars and trucks in my care, including six Franklins. Have yet to have a problem using what the manufacturer called for lubrication.

There is a lot to be said for Tom & Jeff's learning curve (especially in the 1980's and 1990's when logging 1000's upon 1000's of miles on Franklins).  I would not place one persons opinion over another, but ask several and then make your best informed choice.  I found Model A Ford 600 weight oil to not work in a Detroit 4 speed as it was too thick and did not match the drip per minute rate referenced in the manual (it may have said 600 on the bottle but it did not match drip / drops specks) - that being said it could have been brand or .....  A Detroit 4 speed is a rare beast - if that is what we are all talking then I would use extreme caution to take care of it.

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Not to throw an iron in the fire, but what is everyone using for engine oil these days  ?  It has been 2006, since our last Franklin, but I have a friends 1928 that he asked for help to get running (oil pan is dropped and clean and ready to add oil).  And, always was a problem with the 1930 trashing oils due to heat/use.

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18 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

 

There is a lot to be said for Tom & Jeff's learning curve (especially in the 1980's and 1990's when logging 1000's upon 1000's of miles on Franklins).  I would not place one persons opinion over another, but ask several and then make your best informed choice.  I found Model A Ford 600 weight oil to not work in a Detroit 4 speed as it was too thick and did not match the drip per minute rate referenced in the manual (it may have said 600 on the bottle but it did not match drip / drops specks) - that being said it could have been brand or .....  A Detroit 4 speed is a rare beast - if that is what we are all talking then I would use extreme caution to take care of it.

I really should have been more specific on what I use. I use Mobil 600 which is about an ISO 320 rating, or 140 in a API chart. I will agree that I have seen oil sold for Model A Ford use that is way to thick. 600w was an old AGMA rating from the 20's , Mobil 600 is still made to old formulation. 600 Super is a different animal all together, ISO 480. Mobil 1000 is ISO 680. I also have steam traction engines and live steam locomotives, so I have done a pretty fair amount of research into various cylinder oils. Have Mobil 600 in two Detroit four speeds and don't have an issue. But I will add we don't put the miles on that Jeff and Tom do, and probably never will.

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I have a 1930 145 & for the past 12 years + have had Ford 600 since most of the original Transmission fluid leaked out when I got the car. I do have problems getting a clean shift when the engine is hot--drive 5 miles or so. Not sure if this is because of the Ford 600 or needs an adjustment or-? My question is What is the proper Fluid for a 145 & is anyone else having the same problem with a 3 speed 145, if so what was your fix?

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On 5/6/2016 at 2:20 PM, crankyfranky said:

I have a 1930 145 & for the past 12 years + have had Ford 600 since most of the original Transmission fluid leaked out when I got the car. I do have problems getting a clean shift when the engine is hot--drive 5 miles or so. Not sure if this is because of the Ford 600 or needs an adjustment or-? My question is What is the proper Fluid for a 145 & is anyone else having the same problem with a 3 speed 145, if so what was your fix?

A 145 has a Warner 3 speed transmission is a very different beast than a 147, 151, or 152 Series with the Detroit 4 Speed transmission (which has a rather complicated bearing and gear design for the time - transmission was also used in Stutz M cars and transmissions and parts are incredibly rare even when new).  Thus, you may be able to get by fine with a thicker fluid in a 135, 137, 145, 153, and 163 transmission - I do not know answer though.  I tried the 600 Ford Model A fluid in the 147 4 speed in 1980's and it was one of those things I did not ask the club members driving (a mistake on my part).  I made it out of the garage and down the street, though could not go from 2nd to 3rd without stopping the car.  I immediately decided too risky and did not ever want to risk transmission damage so limped it back into the garage and started on the quest to solve (and unfortunately did not record the solution and sold the car in 2006 or so - by the way, dad and I drove about 6,500 miles over 20 years and the next owner I hear drove another 17K miles over 5 year thereafter).  Some private PM's suggest 140 weight for a 147 Series w/Detroit 4 speed car, as does newbymachineworks who posted above about the Mobile 600 which equates to 140 (and sounds like they have very much done their math homework as well).  Personally, I would avoid anything that takes 5 miles to "warm-up" given it is probably a 80 to 90 degree day to start with when driving (these are more user friendly and enjoyable cars than that). 

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I have located some of the Mobil 600 & or the equivalent with a GL-5 rating & will change to that & see what the results are. As far as 5 miles to warm up--No, when I drive to a Car Meet in the Town next to Me which is 10 miles away I stop & pick up a friend who is about 5 miles away. When I leave his house is when I have trouble getting a clean Shift without grinding gears. So it warms up probably the same as ant other Franklin a mile or so. Later when I make the change I'll post a message. Thanks for all the good information.

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The viscosity of #600 cylinder oil is similar to everyday SAE 140 gear oil.  They are not rated on the same scale.  Years ago Chape Condit, who was a Franklin  engineer and then a field factory service engineer for Sunoco recommended using a modern 85W-140 oil which is what I have used my 147 3 speed for decades.  The thing to watch for is that the label says it is safe to use with yellow metals, bronze and brass.  Modern additives without protection for yellow metals can attack them.  I have no problem shifting when the tranny is cold and when warmed up can easily shift between 2nd and 3rd without using the clutch.  Technique is super important with these crash boxes.  Lubriplate is good source for safe lubricants.  I used their straight 140 in my Series 11.

 

Gordon Howard

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