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                                                   1930 DeSoto CF

   I'm going to be changing the lubricants in my cars differential and transmission. I now have the 600w in them and want to switch to something with better wear protection. Also the 600w makes shifting difficult until it warms up. 

   After doing some research it looks like the oils with a GL-1 rating is what is needed. This differential has bronze thrust washers in it so extreme pressure lubes are not compatible. This lube specifically states that it is compatible.  The price seems reasonable for 2 gals. and is available at any tractor supply. Nice when you live in the middle of nowhere USA.

Traveller Ford Tractor All Mineral 90 Transmission Fluid, 2 gal.
$24.99

API Service GL-1

  • For use in final drives, hydraulic systems and manual transmissions of Ford Tractors manufactured between 1939 and 1952
  • 2 gal.
  • Guaranteed to meet performance requirements
  • Mineral Gear Oils are straight mineral oils formulated with rust, oxidation and foam inhibitors. They are recommended for use in automotive and industrial applications that do not require extreme pressure (EP) additives. Mineral Gear Oils are sulfur-free and suitable for use in gear sets that contain copper, brass and bronze bearings.
  • GL-1
  • 90W GL-1 formula
  • Temperature rating: -22 to 435°F
  • 2 Gallon
  • Recommended for mobile hypoid and industrial gear sets requiring: API GL-1, MAN 342N, ZF TE-ML 05A & TE-ML 12E, AGMA 9005 E02, U.S. STEEL 224, DIN 51527 Part 3, David Brown S1.53.101

 

 

 

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I have both a 32 and 36 Plymouth     manual calls for 160 in summer and 110 in winter     I think 90 is too thin for summer    I get my lube from--------WARREN OIL---- I use 140 all year   their product is compatible with older drive train

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  Thank you for your thoughts.  You bring up an interesting idea so I checked in the original instruction book for this car and it says to check with your local DeSoto dealer for the correct lubricants. 😮 It does say to thin the lubricants in the winter with undyed kerosene. I think I'll pass on that. It also says to fill the diff. and Trans. to the bottom of the fill holes.  I'm sure there will be some thoughts on that. 

   I'll see if other viscosities of this lube are available.  90w-140 might be an option.

 

 

 

  

 

 

Edited by Fossil (see edit history)
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Is your differential hypoid (requires EP--extreme pressure--GL-4)?  A visual recognition factor for hypoid is if the pinion enters the pumpkin well below the pumpkin's center.

 

NON-hypoid (require straight mineral oil withOUT EP additives) diffs usually have the pinion entering at the center of the pumpkin.  NON-hypoids usually used 600-W, the dark, smelly stuff from Ford A & T parts houses.  600W is somewhere around SAE 180 in viscosity.

 

Recommend you investigate fully before committing to a gear oil.

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I used to use all kinds of different oils in all the different cars trying to replicate what the factory ordered, but after talking to a number of different restorers and experimenting a bit, I just use Sta-Lube SAE140 GL4 in almost everything--transmissions and rear ends. You can use hypoid gear oil in a transmission without ill effects and the 140 is thick enough that it slows the gears at a stop so it's easy to get into 1st gear. GL1 is mineral oil, if I'm not mistaken--I use it in the Borg-Warner overdrive but nowhere else and I don't know if I'd want it in a transmission that was looking for 600 weight. 

 

Experiment with viscosities and see what works best for shifting. I started with the 90 weight recommended in my owner's manual in my 1941 Buick but I could not get it into 1st gear at a stop. The 140 cured that with no other ill effects and it shifts beautifully. And since all our cars are warm weather only, the thicker oil isn't as much of a liability. Granted, all my cars have synchromesh where your DeSoto does not, but the slowing of the gears is still a factor. The right viscosity can have a profound effect on shift quality, synchros or no synchros. Plus it's easy enough to change so you can experiment a bit with various weights and blends.

 

Just don't over-think it. We always get bogged down in these discussions worrying about phosphorus hurting yellow metals and bearings and bushings, but most of us have had no ill effects using GL4 in old cars. GL5, well, the jury is still out (I am of the belief that it won't hurt the metal) but if it's not settled then don't use it and you won't have to worry. All cars are different and like different oils, but you should be able to get something that works well and isn't terribly exotic or difficult to get.

 

Make sure you report back so others can learn from your experience, too!

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3 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

Make sure you report back so others can learn from your experience, too!

Thanks Matt and I will. 

The 600 works great in the tranny when it's warm but when it's cold there is no way I can shift without gear clash.  Just makes my skin crawl. 

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Just try something else and see if it's better. GL-1 means mineral oil, and as such is safe for brass if you are worried about that.

 

Since there's no synchromesh, a far bigger issue might be protecting the edges of the gears (or dogs if that is what you have) where they contact. I suspect that is why 600w is still so popular in the Model A Ford crowd. Most of the AACA transmission oil threads are about Synchromesh, and that's a whole different game.

 

In an unsynchronized transmission, I might look into Redline "shockproof" in the thicker grade. I say "look into" because I have not tried it in an antique and more research is needed. It has microscopic plastic balls in it, and is meant to protect unsynchronized transmissions with dog-type engagement, among other things.

 

The balkiness cold was just part of the game in those days. If you want to minimize it, the oil will probably have to be synthetic. Nothing else will flow the same cold as hot.

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@Fossil I see you're in SD, where the 600-W will be r-e-a-l-l-y slow-moving most of your year, so I guess my question is how much do you want to drive the car below, say, 45 degrees F.  In my area (SF Bay Area), in our "winter" (spring by your standards, rarely below low 30s) I'll let the car idle for 5 minutes at 35-40* ambient and the 600-W in the crash-box trannies thins out enough to be just "slightly sticky," and is fine after another 5 minutes of driving.  Consider cutting the 600-W with maybe 40 weight motor oil, OR use GL-4 140.  Perhaps 85W-140 will help, I dunno.  If you tell us the temperature conditions in which you want to use the car, perhaps some of our members in cooler climes will chime in.

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Thanks Grimy and Tom. 

My operating temperature range will be +40 to +90 F.  I'm seriously giving the 85w-140 GL-4 a try in the transmission.  Just leave the 600 in the differential for now. Like Matt says I'm probably giving this too much thought.  If it doesn't work I can drain it out and try something else.  Just looking to it shifting in the spring and fall like it does in the summer. 

Everything I'm doing this winter is about drivability. 

I appreciate everyone's help.

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