unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

General discussion about our beloved Tercel 4WD cars
User avatar
dlb
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 6338
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:03 pm
My tercel:: none currently, 7 previous
Location: shawnigan lake, bc, canada

unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by dlb » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:23 am

i've put traditional 80w-90 gear oil in all of my tercs and my 4wd corolla. each of these cars has had at least one gear with worn synchros. those gears all shift more or less fine once the car has been running for 5-10 minutes but while the car is still cold, shifting into them is a pain. i'd like to try some gear oil that is thinner when cold to improve this.

so, does anyone have any experience with something that lubricates worn synchros adequately even when cold? i am open to both traditional and synthetic oils. i'm not looking for anything to magically fix worn synchros, i just want them to shift adequately when cold, like they do once 80w-90 has warmed up.

User avatar
Gottolovem
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 1635
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:28 pm
My tercel:: 1985 SR5 with snow plow,1987 auto 1984 parts car,1987 FX-16 GTS
Location: Reno

Re: unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by Gottolovem » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:04 pm

I have the same issue I think that Petros has posted in the past that he likes a mix of reg and synthetic.
Not sure what weight or ratio is the best perhaps he can chime in ?

User avatar
dlb
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 6338
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:03 pm
My tercel:: none currently, 7 previous
Location: shawnigan lake, bc, canada

Re: unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by dlb » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:17 pm

i know that both splatterdog and 4wdchico use full synthetic. 4wdchico uses stuff marked 'NS' which indicates it does not have friction modifiers for limited slip diffs (i think), and i'm not sure what splatterdog runs. i'm hoping both of them see this thread and comment on how their choices of gear oil act in cold weather.

MR2Di4
Advanced Member
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 1:06 am
My tercel:: 1985 SR5 4WD Wagon
Location: Ketchikan, Alaska

Re: unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by MR2Di4 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:59 am

I was experiencing the same problem with my Trans when I did a fresh fill. I found that draining oit half of the new 80W/90 and replacing it with a broad range full synthetic yielded good results. The only hard shift is the 1-2 shift on cold mornings, but after a couple of miles everything seems to work just fine.

MR2Di4 8)
'85 4WD SR5 S/W (Winter Daily Driver)
'88 Toy Truck (Summer Daily Driver)
'86 4WD AT S/W (First T4WD, long gone...)
'88 MR2 N/A (Namesake College Car, also long gone...)
'70 AMX (Family Heirloom, will never be gone...)

User avatar
dlb
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 6338
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:03 pm
My tercel:: none currently, 7 previous
Location: shawnigan lake, bc, canada

Re: unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by dlb » Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:59 am

MR2Di4 wrote:...replacing it with a broad range full synthetic yielded good results.
sorry mr2di4, what do you mean by "broad range"?
MR2Di4 wrote:The only hard shift is the 1-2 shift on cold mornings, but after a couple of miles everything seems to work just fine.
is that with the synthetic/traditional mix? that's what i'm currently experiencing with just 80w-90 traditional oil.

User avatar
Petros
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 9599
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by Petros » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:05 pm

the syncro works by friction, slipperly oil like synthetic will reduce friction and reduce the syncro's ablity to work properly.

this is why they do not work well when cold, the oil is thick. Once it warms up it is thins and is less slippery, so the syncro works properly.

ATF is designed to allow the auto trans clutches to grip, running perhaps 20 percent ATF with the regular multi vis gear oil might help. I do not know the long term consequences of doing that. We ran a 50/50 mix ATF/gear oil mix in the Nissan race cars to allow faster shifting. the trans held up well to racing abuse (hard fast shifts at 10,000 rpms), and the trans was more or less similar to the production trans except for closer gear ratios. When I asked my boss at Nissan about running a 50/50 mix for street use he sternly warned me that I should use what the trans was designed to use for daily driving.

You might try running 50/50 mix for a week or so and than changing it out with a lower viscosity gear oil. that will flush out sludge and deposits out of the syncros, and give lower viscoity oil a better chance to grip.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

MR2Di4
Advanced Member
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri May 05, 2006 1:06 am
My tercel:: 1985 SR5 4WD Wagon
Location: Ketchikan, Alaska

Re: unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by MR2Di4 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:35 pm

dlb wrote:
MR2Di4 wrote:...replacing it with a broad range full synthetic yielded good results.
sorry mr2di4, what do you mean by "broad range"?
MR2Di4 wrote:The only hard shift is the 1-2 shift on cold mornings, but after a couple of miles everything seems to work just fine.
is that with the synthetic/traditional mix? that's what i'm currently experiencing with just 80w-90 traditional oil.
For whatever reason the Valvoline full synth said 75W/140 on the bottle which I took to mean it would work with a "broad range" of temp and viscosity requirements.

Yeah that's with the mix, but it was a lot more pronounced with just straight oil. At least now I can make a reasonably smooth shift if I don't wind it up on cold mornings.
'85 4WD SR5 S/W (Winter Daily Driver)
'88 Toy Truck (Summer Daily Driver)
'86 4WD AT S/W (First T4WD, long gone...)
'88 MR2 N/A (Namesake College Car, also long gone...)
'70 AMX (Family Heirloom, will never be gone...)

TURTCEL
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 662
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:42 am
My tercel:: 1985 4WD SR5 Wagon, Brown (TURTCEL)
Location: Everett, WA

Re: unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by TURTCEL » Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:16 pm

I just added a bottle of LUCAS Trans fix to my Terc since 3rd gear has been a little rough shifting into...we will see. Might be too thick but can be changed.

Peace
1985 Tercel 4wd SR5 Wagon, WEBER Carb, Brown (TURTCEL)
1988 Corolla DLX All-Trac Wagon, 4 speed AT, Silver (Wife's new car)
1993 Ford Escort Wagon LX, 5 Speed, Smurf Blue (Smurfette)...selling

c_j
Top Notch Member
Posts: 231
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:06 pm
My tercel:: T4WD#4: '86 SR5 6-speed, original Barto lift & steel bumpers & winch, also 95Amp alternator
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Re: unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by c_j » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:23 pm

For the record, I was running full synth (Castrol or Mobil1 75w90 )in my last Terc (worked nicely), and my current one had synth in it when I got it and it shifted wonderfully. Now I've got regular gear oil in. With the regular gear oil and the colder temps, shifting is a great pain from 1 to 2 and also 2 to 3 until things get warmed up.

I would go back to synthetic.

User avatar
dlb
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 6338
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:03 pm
My tercel:: none currently, 7 previous
Location: shawnigan lake, bc, canada

Re: unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by dlb » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:25 pm

that's really interesting, colin. your current terc shifted fine when cold with synthetic, and shifts lousy when cold with traditional? if it is that black and white for you, i may give synthetic a shot.

c_j
Top Notch Member
Posts: 231
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:06 pm
My tercel:: T4WD#4: '86 SR5 6-speed, original Barto lift & steel bumpers & winch, also 95Amp alternator
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Re: unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by c_j » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:25 am

dlb wrote:that's really interesting, colin. your current terc shifted fine when cold with synthetic, and shifts lousy when cold with traditional? if it is that black and white for you, i may give synthetic a shot.
Not quite. I have not had the synthetic in the cold temps (with this trans). I should have made separate statements there:
  • The trans shifted better with the synthetic 75w90 (warmer temps).
  • With regular 80w90 the cold temps, the trans upshifts really poorly, especially when cold and more so in the lower gears.

User avatar
Petros
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 9599
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by Petros » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:06 pm

when I changed from gear oil to full synthetic (purple MTF) with my current high mileage transmission, it started leaking gear oil out the seals and the regular gear shifts were clashing gears like the syncros were suddenly worn out. After enough of the purple MTF leaked out I put back in about half regular gear oil, with about half purple. The seepage and gear clashing subsided.

last gear oil change I used 3 quarts of Valvoline multi vis gear oil and one quart full synthetic. shifting is slow when stone cold on really cold days, but otherwise good all other times. I double clutch it to down shift when the trans is still cold.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

Mr. Mad Ox
Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:40 pm
My tercel:: '86 SR5 Wagon
Location: Northeast TN USA

Re: unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by Mr. Mad Ox » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:01 pm

Petros, are you talking about this stuff:http://www.amazon.com/Royal-Purple-Sync ... hromax+mtf or this stuff: http://www.amazon.com/Royal-Purple-Perf ... sim_auto_1

I think I'm having a similar issue

atoyta
Advanced Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:32 pm
My tercel:: 3 wagons now
Location: Monroe, Washington

Re: unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by atoyta » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:05 pm

I have had good luck with the redline synthetic mtl

User avatar
Petros
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 9599
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: unhappy with 80w-90 gear oil

Post by Petros » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:54 pm

yes, that is the stuff, "Royal Purple MTF". costly too (about $60 to fill a T4wd transaxle). I felt stupid after paying that much to have it leak out and make my trans act like the syncros were worn out.

most of the stuff labeled "synthetic" are actually blends, which might behave better than pure synthetic. A lower mileage trans, or a fresh rebuild with new seals and syncros might also take to pure synthetic gear oil better than a worn one.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

Post Reply