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Synthetic transmission fluid

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Andrews' Lawn, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. Andrews' Lawn

    Andrews' Lawn Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    I have a 96' F-150 and I am wanting to know whether it is best to put synthetic trans fluid by just dropping the pan and refilling it with 4 or 5 quarts. Also, what is the best synthetic transmission fluid you can buy at an auto parts store because I know you have to order amsoil. thanks in advance.
     
  2. matthew Urban

    matthew Urban Senior Member
    Messages: 129

    I run a 92 F150,
    For my money, if you are goinig to spend the money on synthetic,
    Have the system flushed and refilled with the synthetic. Change trans filter while you're at it.
    I haven't switched to syn. yet, and mine has 117,000 mi.

    Good luck,
    Matt
     
  3. MDDMAX

    MDDMAX Member
    Messages: 38

    Don't!!!!!!! I did that in my old monte carlo and almost fried the tranny, I have talked with several tranny builders and unless you run the syn. from the start it will kill your tranny. The best investment you can make is a deep pan and a Fan cooled tranny cooler, you can get this cooler from summit racing or jeg's. It is Made by B&M and is worth it's weight in gold, many of my friends tow and say it is a life saver. It is like a radiator for you transmisson. Anyway, I have it on my DMAX, it only turns on when the trans temp gets warm or I flip the switch. Anyway, best of luck to you, I also like Mobil one for any fluid. they make great stuff, good luck

    Lenny
     
  4. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    We switched over 6 Ford F250/350 trucks to synthetic this year,they all had factory drains on the TC,all were E4OD's.We just serviced the pan,and drained the tc,most of the trucks took 15 quarts to fill up,none had had any problems since,that was november,they have all plowed,and are driven daily.All these trucks were 95-98's,and all had at least 50K,some had over 100K on them already.
     
  5. MrGreenjeans

    MrGreenjeans Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    synth fluid

    I just had a tranny rebuilt (4L80E in a '95 GMC K3500 dump) and we were going to put synthetic fluid in it from the start. My tranny guy decided against it though in case there would be some kind of a problem where the tranny would fail right away. He advised me to run it a while to be sure there were no problems and then he has some additive for me that is supposed to give the same benefits but cost a whole lot less. He is also going to install a tranny temp gauge when I get the truck back to him.

    I will try to get more information on the additive he recommends and post an update.
     
  6. MDDMAX

    MDDMAX Member
    Messages: 38

    John,
    I wish you the best of luck, If that is what you think then go for it but look at trans builders like Level 10, they build up ford trannys just like yours and advice against it. There are also local builders that say not to use it. Just wondering have you checked the fluid lately? That is the only way to tell it is failing, if it smells burnt better get it out of there. Anyway, what engines are those tanny's connected to ??? I know ford has major problems with their AODs and the Diesels, that is why I went with GM and the allison, nothing beats a combined weight rating of 26,000 lbs. Now i hear for is supposed to have a new 5 spd auto comming out with their new 6.0 L Diesel. Anyway, good luck to you, but you all should check out the tranny cooler with the fan mounted on it, mine is right under the bed and cools the tranny just fine. Good luck to you all, I guess, just like cars, different strokes for different folks. All I can give you is my opion, you have to make a judgement call on the rest

    Lenny
    Just my .02 cents
     
  7. MDDMAX

    MDDMAX Member
    Messages: 38

    Mr Green,

    Just noticed your truck, that is one heck of a rig. that tranny is a bullet proof. I hope it lasts you a while, also anyone looking of the best of the best in trannys try www.level10.com, they build some serious stuff. Also Tbyrne motorsports carries HD converters for GM trannys specially tuned for towing/hauling/plowing. Anyway, remeber to keep the fluid cool.

    Lenny
     
  8. MrGreenjeans

    MrGreenjeans Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    Bulletproof???

    MDDMAX:

    My tranny is hardly bulletproof. The truck has 77,000 miles on it and this is the second rebuild for it. Both times the reverse band has broken. Due to the applicaton we have gone with full rebuilds both times since we did not want to patch one thing only to have something else break. My tranny guy tells me that the reverse band is the weak link for the 4L80E and there is norhing available for an upgrade. I have confirmed that with several other reliable sources as well. The only modification is to put a cushion spring on the reverse actuator so it does not engage so hard. We did that this time and so far I dont notice any difference in the the apply. I was nervous about having a delay since I plow with the truck and hate waiting on the transmission.

    ANyways, YOUR truck is the one with the bulletproof transmission. I would love to have a Dmax/allison combo like you. I looked at them but they are more than I can afford. At least someone in this business makes enough to buy nice stuff. That gives me hope to keep at it in the hopes that some day I will get to that level too. (Or I could be insane. I once heard the definition of insanity is to keep dong the same thing expecting different results.)
     
  9. MDDMAX

    MDDMAX Member
    Messages: 38

    Mr Green,

    The allison is an expensive opition but, if you consider how many times you rebuild a 4l80 or anyother tranny for that matter, you more than break even in cost. Anyway, the Tranny can be had w/ a gaser for less then 29K ( i think) I know that is expensive but, you get a lot more truck than ford or dodge offer. Anyway, you do have a nice truck and I wish you the best of luck with your new tranny and business, may the snows be profitable.

    Lenny
     
  10. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    BULL$HIT!!!! That's MY opinion, maybe if you explain the logic behind that bit of genius I might listen, but other than that there is no basis for that sort of crap. If synthetic trashed trannies it would not be on the market as nobody would buy it.

    Every maker is very specific that the product is compatible with conventional fluid.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2002
  11. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    MDDmax,the Fords are not mine,they are landscaping companys,it was done at the owners request,I had nothing to do with the decision.So far all of them are fine,I do not check the fluid,I likey wont see those trucks for a while,if at all.I run regular ATF in my trans in the Dodge,my temp guage has shown that synthetic fluid would be of little benefit since my temps rarely get over 175 hot line,145 in the pan.A friend just lost reverse in his K2500/4L80E,its going to be a 3K day for him by the time he's done,ouch.
     
  12. MDDMAX

    MDDMAX Member
    Messages: 38

    Alan,

    First, thanks for changing your reply of just bullshi$ to bs plus explaining this. I am sorry to say I have no big chemical equasion to answer this, I have just been told that the mixing of Reg and Syn. fluid causes a problem, why I don't know but like John said, he has had no great improvements with syn fluid. I just have been told by several shops that it regualar fluid is fine. Another friend of mine has a Grand National that runs 12.00 in the 1/4 mile, he used syn fried the tranny after about 3-5 k miles now he uses regular and his tranny has lasted 20k miles. Humm, must be something in the synthetic. I don't know what to tell you, like I said I have no chemical equasion to answer this but, I am just going from what i have been told.


    Lenny
     
  13. jimsmowin

    jimsmowin Senior Member
    Messages: 130

    i have amsoil in all 3 trannys. no promblems at all. k-5 blazer 88, k2500 pickup 153,000 mi - 93, k3500- 1ton dump 50,000mi -97, lost alternator in dump the last weekend plowing. had 105amp, now have 180amp.
     
  14. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    I see, so you have NO knowledge of, or experience with, synthetics but you can peddle opinions under the shield of "I've been told". Impressive.

    Somebody lunched a tranny, so it "must be something in the synthetic". That elusive "something" sure gets blamed for a lot of bad stuff.

    From what I read, John doesn't run synthetic because his tranny runs cool anyhow. That doesn't sound like "no improvement" as much as "don't need it".

    I've heard a lot of "I heard" or "somebody said", and it has been my experience that there is usually not a whole lot of fact, or valid information in those things. Pretty much like everybody has heard of "somebody" who popped an air bag while plowing, but NOBODY has done it themselves.

    As for synthetic fluids, and this includes both oils and greases as well as ATF, it is well documented that synthetics will withstand higher temperatures than dino oils will. And some of those are independant lab tests, not the manufacturer claims.

    Good information is precious, hearsay isn't worth the time it takes to post it.
     
  15. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I have run synthetic in my other trucks,but I service them so frequently,I chose to go back to regular ATF,at 10 bucks a case.I (knock on wood)have only had one trans problem in all the years i have been plowing,in my 84 S10,a hard part faluire,most likely due to my wife's driving it like it was a bulldozer,and her not stopping before changing directions,but it took 3 yrs of hard use for it to catch up to it.Synthetic ATF does give you a safety net,especially with reguards to high temperature stability.
     
  16. General Grounds

    General Grounds Member
    Messages: 66

    :) AMSOIL,AMSOIL,AMSOIL. I'm completely sold on using amsoil, use it in all my trucks and never had a problem. use it in my western plows as well and have never had to change a pump or a seal EVER. great stuff. T
     
  17. Dockboy

    Dockboy Guest
    Messages: 0

    Alan,

    The following is my opinion and based purely on my own personal experience;) .

    I have found that unless trans. temp. and/or service intervals are an issue, dino ATF out performs synth. ATF, especially in "high" horsepower applications. What I mean by "out performs" is that the clutches grab better and tranny does not slip as much.

    I changed to synth. in my F250 PSD because I thought it would be better for the tranny due to the heavy service and high horsepower applications it was in. Almost immediatly, I noticed that the transmission was slightly "slushier" and didn't have as much bite. Temps dropped dramatically, from 160 to 130 under normal driving and 185 to 160 under heavy service(towing/plowing).

    While still having synth. in, I increased the horsepower again to nearly 400 at the rear wheels. Immediatly after the modifacation, the trans. was slipping badly. There was only 10k mi. on the ATF, good color and no "burnt" smell.

    I talked with several transmission specialists and the concensus was the same with all. Although synth. has excellent properties for longevity and heat reduction, it accomplishes this by producing less friction between parts. Hence, less friction between the clutches. They all suggested I switch back to dino. I did and it's like a brand new tranny:) Temps are still within normal operating ranges and it "hooks up" like there is no tomorrow.

    Just my $.02

    Greg
     
  18. MDDMAX

    MDDMAX Member
    Messages: 38

    Alan,

    I hoped it wouldn't come down to flaming but it has to, IF you can read, you would see that I have first hand experience with syn fluid and it sucked. It was IN MY car and the trans expericed the same problems Dockboy had except it smelled burnt. My friends Grand National, making well over 450 hp at the shaft, toasted a trans almost right away, now, the same rebuilt tranny with the SAME exact parts, just like the rebuild before, has lasted 20k + miles, humm...your right, must have been something else...lol....it was the syn fluid, no doubt about it, syn fluid isn't all that. Again, this is my opinion and I am greatful to live in a country where I can express it. This is an opinion back by many trans builders and two PERSONAL experiences that I have had, yes, this was stated in my FIRST post on the subject, maybe if you had read the whole post insted of flying off half cocked, you would have seen that. By the way, did you mention to tell everyone your first statment said nothing but "bullshi$"???? So since you are a moderatior, I am sure you will ban me from the board for this or whatever, but just let it be know, I have had first hand experiece with syn fluid and in my opinion, it sucked. You are entitled to your opinion too and I respect that but, don't just say "bullshi$" and not back your side of the argument up with anything either.

    Lenny
     
  19. Alan

    Alan PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,393

    OK,, I didn't think I was flaming anyone, and I still don't. And yes,, I DID read your first post, to the effect you had a trannie go west when it happened to be running synth. So your comclusion was that synth is bad stuff. NOTHING to back that up other than opinions.

    Fact is that synth will stand more heat before it breaks down and that all (excluding racing formulas) synth is made to be compatible with dino based ATF.

    There are plenty of opinions from "experts" floating around. Not all of them have any basis in fact. Every mech that I have any faith in has good opinions about synthetic oils and fluids. My experience with synthetic products is limited to Amsoil and Mobil 1, running in passenger vehicles, plow trucks, commercial mowers and small equipment. Had it in them for four years and have had NO failures traceable to the use of synthetic lubricants. I could blame the loss of the tranny in our K2500 to the use of synthetic, but it lost reverse instantly, so I'd sooner think it was the same probelm others have talked about, an internal mechanical failure.

    So, give me some logic as to why it "must be" the synthetic fluid that wasted your and your racer buudy's tranny and I'll be glad to listen. But the assumption that synth was the reason is about as meaningful as blaming it on the phase of the moon, could be, but not likely.

    Oh,, by the way,, you like Mobil 1 fluids? Do THEY come out of a hole in the ground?
     
  20. Dockboy

    Dockboy Guest
    Messages: 0