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Yellow metal in 1932 Packard


scott12180

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I have a 1932 Packard standard eight.

Is there yellow metal in the transmission or differential?

Brass and bronze are not compatible with gear oils rated GL-5 due to the high sulpher content, so I understand.  But I don't know what's inside a Packard transmission or rear end of this vintage.  Can I use a modern GL-5 or should I look for a GL-4 or other low-tech gear oil?

 

Thanks -- Scott

Troy, NY

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If your transmission has any syncromesh gears,  there are brass friction cones in them. 

 

There are different types of EP additives used in gear oils. I suggest you call the oil company tech line for whatever gear oil is available to you and get info from the "horse's mouth". I learned alot about lubricants talking with Quaker State's tech people that the shadetree mechanics had wrong, all too often.  

 

As a wise man once told me, "It's best to know which end of the horse to talk to.".  

 

Paul 

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There are one or more recent threads discussing EP oils which pass the Copper #1 and Copper #2 tests which supposedly contain less-active sulfur which is not harmful to yellow metals.  I'm sure I don't have the precise terminology correct.  I choose to use straight mineral oil in transmissions and B/W overdrives, and GL-4 EP in pre-war hypoid differentials.

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There is a bit of info about the Copper Strip Corrosion Test ASTM D130 in this thread at about page 12-13:

Gary W also started another thread about this topic but I can't find it just now.

 

So find an oil of viscosity that suits. Look at the MSDS or other data sheet for the results of ASTM D130. If the results are 1a (best) or 1b (almost as good) for the short and long term tests, you have found your oil. It won't devour copper-containing metals. If you can't find those results, find another oil for which you can find the results.

 

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I don't know anything about car but I recently found a great GL4 SAE140 gear oil at O'Reilly Auto parts that I am now using in my 1937 Buick Century.  It is Masterpro brand, fairly inexpensive and available on the shelf as O'Reilly part number 80040.

 

https://www.oreillyauto.com/shop/chemicals---fluids-16461/grease---lube-16582/gear-oil---additives-16905/gear-oil---140w-20063/2002/buick/lesabre?q=gl4 gear oil

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Recently (this year) there were two articles in Skinned Knuckles in reference to this very subject.  Chevron was a supplier of gear oil sans sulfur and phosphorous. 

Does anyone have those articles to scan in to share?

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2 hours ago, Curti said:

Recently (this year) there were two articles in Skinned Knuckles in reference to this very subject. 

 

I think scans of one of them was posted in a forum here recently:

 

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>> .... which is not harmful to yellow metals.  I'm sure I don't have the precise terminology correct.  I choose to use straight mineral oil in transmissions and B/W overdrives, and GL-4 EP in pre-war hypoid differentials.

 

Could you please share what, then, you use for a straight mineral oil?

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23 minutes ago, scott12180 said:

Could you please share what, then, you use for a straight mineral oil?

Different oils for crashboxes vs. synchromesh:

 

Synchro:  I use either SAE 90 or SAE 140 GL-1 ("straight mineral oil"), but have been known to blend the two viscosities of the same oil.  Three or four years ago I purchased 5-gallon pails of each (smallest package available at that time) from NAPA.  Not on shelf, but my local store got it within 24 hrs.  From the forums, I've recently learned that O'Reillys has GL-1 in gallon jugs; someone mentioned 140, so I don't know if they also have SAE 90.  I wish those more reasonable-size packages had been available then.  The clearest manufacturer's statement I've seen is in my 1948 Willys-Overland owner's manual, which is exceptionally explicit that only "straight mineral oil" is to be used in the transmissions and overdrives, and only EP oil in the differential--and that those fluids must not be used interchangeably.

 

Crashboxes:  I used Texaco Thuban SAE 250 for years but finished the five gallon pail, and haven't been able to find any locally  I have been using "true" 600-W (black, smelly, viscous) from Model T & A Ford suppliers, but recently have found and purchased a 5-gallon pail of "Chevron Cylinder Oil W ISO 460," an industrial oil.  I believe ISO 460 comes out to about SAE 180, so I should have bought their ISO 680.  There are other threads on the forum with charts comparing ISO viscosities to SAE numbered viscosities.

 

Hope this helps!

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Yes, it helps.  Thanks.

 

For what it's worth, I've used two kinds of what I think are straight mineral oils, although with fatty oils thrown in because they are primarily marketed as steam cylinder oils. 

One is Shell Valvada 680 and the other is Exxon Cylesstic TK 1000. 

Both come in various viscosities, but I happened to have these two in some quantity.  They are close to the Model T 600W differential oil that you mention. I don't know if they are good for a transmission, though.  Especially one with synchronizers. That's why I asked. 

 

I will share two observations.  I recently drained the transmission on the '32 Packard because I didn't know what was in there, and found that it had this Exxon TK1000 that apparently I put there years ago.  (I've owned the car twice, now.)   I filled it with StaBil GL-4 85W-90 and on a 100 mile trip noticed that the shifting was much more difficult than it was.   The other observation is that I had Exxon TK-1000 in a 1926 Packard, but when the weather turned cold, experienced considerable howl in neutral until things got warm.  I changed to a modern gear oil with Lucas Stabilizer which quieted things down well. 

 

So the TK-1000 might be OK for summer use, but too thick for cold-season use.  The 85W-90 is definitely too thin for summer driving.

 

--Scott

 

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Even in the SF Bay Area where it almost never drops below freezing (or below 55 in my garage), the SAE 250 is stiff for the first five minutes in cold weather, and the cold idle drops when the clutch is engaged.  I run the same gear lube year-round.

 

I tried SAE 90 GL-1 in my 1934 Pierce with synchro 2nd and 3rd and (locked-out) free wheeling, but drained it and moved to a blend of 2/3 SAE 140 + 1/3 SAE 90, which minimized the Oh Drat occasional crunch.  Do you have synchro in your '32 Packard?  That's Pierce's first year for synchro.

 

I think you meant Sta-Lube rather than Sta-bil, so I suggest you not be tempted by their claims for their GL-6 synthetic for differentials.  As I've recounted before in the forums, literally 20 years ago I was planning a banzai run to Cleveland OH in my '36 Pierce.  I called and spoke with a Sta-Lube Ph.D. chemist and explained my concerns: high heat protection, EP lube, and safe for yellow metals.  He assured me there was nothing injurious in their GL-6.  In Wyoming, I crawled under to top off a leaky rear shock and found a huge amount of heat radiating from the diff.  Found an auto parts store in the nearest small town and bought a drain pan and GL-4, and changed the diff oil on the spot.  The draining oil was full of the dreaded Golden Sparkles, indicating that the yellow metal was going away.  No further heat problems for the rest of the (round) trip, and 15K miles later there is no apparent damage to the diff.  Apparently I caught it in time. 

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I did mean Sta-Lube.  My apologies.

And my car is a Packard 902 with a three-speed synchromesh transmission.

 

I've learned to place little value on the pontification of those with advanced degrees but little practical experience.  I'm glad that you caught your differential before major damage occurred.  Experience is the best and only teacher to trust.

 

Since the Shell Valata and Exxon Cylesstic are straight mineral oils, I think I'll use the Cylesstic TK-1000 as long as it gives quiet running.  I may change to the lower viscosity Valata when the weather turns cold, if I continue to drive.  However if anyone on the forum has experience with these, I'd welcome your shared comments.

 

Thanks to all for your thoughts.

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I was surprised to learn that the 4 speed manual transmission in my 1967 Plymouth GTX has yellow metal bushings in it and requires non-sulfur gear oil so this issue affects a lot of cars! When I had my 1934 Packard with synchro trans I used Sta lube GL-4 oil which was reasonably priced and available at my local NAPA store.

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