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SAE20 Motor oil for Trans. fluid????

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HP JUNKEY
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SAE20 Motor oil for Trans. fluid????

Post by HP JUNKEY » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:26 am

I went to our local Advance Auto yesterday to grab some Type F, and the counter guy asks me what I was running it in, so I tell him a Street/Strip Turbo 350...... He says that him and his buddies just started using straight 20 weight motor oil in their transmissions :shock: :shock: I'm like, "WHAT"??? He says that on a FRESH trans the motor oil runs 25 to 35 degrees cooler and holds up better then trans fluid...........I believe he uses it but I am skeptical about it.....Any thoughts????
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10secBu
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Re: SAE20 Motor oil for Trans. fluid????

Post by 10secBu » Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:51 am

Can't say I've ever heard of using motor oil in a transmission. I would question if the oil has the correct additive package for a hydraulic clutch transmission.

Now some cars will use a hydraulic oil in place of transmission fluid, but have not heard of motor oil.

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LS6 Tommy
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Re: SAE20 Motor oil for Trans. fluid????

Post by LS6 Tommy » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:02 am

Umm, NO. ATF is NOT motor oil... Trans pump & converter stresses will kill motor oil. Some imports use motor oil in their manual trannies, but that's a different thing altogether.

Rule #1- don't listen to the idiots at the parts store. They're NOT technicians... (Usually)

Tommy
20k mile '80 Malibu, currently undergoing long term (aka no money) factory style install LS6 454, Cowl Induction, Legend LGT 700 5 speed. Full Global West suspension, 17" N90 wheels, 12" front/11" rear disc brakes, 9" 3.70 Auburn Pro posi.

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Re: SAE20 Motor oil for Trans. fluid????

Post by Pete@Hughes » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:15 am

I've encountered several racers that have claimed to use Mobil 1 5W-20 synthetic oil in their transmissions, but have no idea what the long-term results were. That being said, engine oil does not have the proper friction modifiers and anti-foaming agents for use in an automatic transmission. I do not foresee the frictions and band(s) providing very good longevity or durability if you were to attempt to use engine oil in an automatic.

Also, as LS6 Tommy brought up, engine oil is not going to be very durable when encountering the sometimes extreme high temperatures that can be generated in the torque converter, especially if you are using a torque converter with a high stall speed.

If you're looking for something better than your average parts store ATF then I suggest using either Lucas Sure Shift or Lucas Marine ATF. We use these two products exclusively in everything we build. These fluids provide outstanding durability, longevity, and heat management properties. We use the Sure Shift in all street, street/strip, towing, and off-road applications. We use the Marine ATF in most extreme high horsepower applications (Sure Shift still works well in these also), although the Marine ATF can easily be used in lower-power applications as well.

Three good rules of thumb to follow when it comes to this type of thing:

1.) If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
2.) Don't try to re-invent the wheel.
3.) Anytime the conversation turns to "me and my buddies all do this...", stop listening. That is an official conversational red flag that the b.s. is really going to get thick if you allow the conversation to continue. ;)
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Re: SAE20 Motor oil for Trans. fluid????

Post by HP JUNKEY » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:30 am

Pete@Hughes wrote:I've encountered several racers that have claimed to use Mobil 1 5W-20 synthetic oil in their transmissions, but have no idea what the long-term results were. That being said, engine oil does not have the proper friction modifiers and anti-foaming agents for use in an automatic transmission. I do not foresee the frictions and band(s) providing very good longevity or durability if you were to attempt to use engine oil in an automatic.

Also, as LS6 Tommy brought up, engine oil is not going to be very durable when encountering the sometimes extreme high temperatures that can be generated in the torque converter, especially if you are using a torque converter with a high stall speed.

If you're looking for something better than your average parts store ATF then I suggest using either Lucas Sure Shift or Lucas Marine ATF. We use these two products exclusively in everything we build. These fluids provide outstanding durability, longevity, and heat management properties. We use the Sure Shift in all street, street/strip, towing, and off-road applications. We use the Marine ATF in most extreme high horsepower applications (Sure Shift still works well in these also), although the Marine ATF can easily be used in lower-power applications as well.

Three good rules of thumb to follow when it comes to this type of thing:

1.) If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
2.) Don't try to re-invent the wheel.
3.) Anytime the conversation turns to "me and my buddies all do this...", stop listening. That is an official conversational red flag that the b.s. is really going to get thick if you allow the conversation to continue. ;)
LOL,,,,I have no intentions on "trying" motor oil in either of our transmissions :lol: you always hear a lot of weird things coming from all walks of life, some strange things are actually true or have some merit :lol:...

If I were to switch from the type F to the Lucas trans fluid, will the Lucas "mix" o.k. with what is left over in the convertor?
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7.70's in the 1/8th, 12.20's in the 1/4!
Full interior, Street driven Chrome bumpered
Iron Headed 355 SBC


80 Malibu355 TH350 3800 stall 4.11's Street-Drag
71 Chevelle 396 SOLD
84 Cutlass, #1 Sons ride, finally 327 powered!
2010 Black on Black HHR,,Family Wagooon!
99 Hoe 4x4
99 Z71 Extend-O Cab #2 sons ride
99 Hoe 2WD Texas truck #1 sons ride
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Re: SAE20 Motor oil for Trans. fluid????

Post by Pete@Hughes » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:23 pm

HP JUNKEY wrote:
Pete@Hughes wrote:I've encountered several racers that have claimed to use Mobil 1 5W-20 synthetic oil in their transmissions, but have no idea what the long-term results were. That being said, engine oil does not have the proper friction modifiers and anti-foaming agents for use in an automatic transmission. I do not foresee the frictions and band(s) providing very good longevity or durability if you were to attempt to use engine oil in an automatic.

Also, as LS6 Tommy brought up, engine oil is not going to be very durable when encountering the sometimes extreme high temperatures that can be generated in the torque converter, especially if you are using a torque converter with a high stall speed.

If you're looking for something better than your average parts store ATF then I suggest using either Lucas Sure Shift or Lucas Marine ATF. We use these two products exclusively in everything we build. These fluids provide outstanding durability, longevity, and heat management properties. We use the Sure Shift in all street, street/strip, towing, and off-road applications. We use the Marine ATF in most extreme high horsepower applications (Sure Shift still works well in these also), although the Marine ATF can easily be used in lower-power applications as well.

Three good rules of thumb to follow when it comes to this type of thing:

1.) If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
2.) Don't try to re-invent the wheel.
3.) Anytime the conversation turns to "me and my buddies all do this...", stop listening. That is an official conversational red flag that the b.s. is really going to get thick if you allow the conversation to continue. ;)
LOL,,,,I have no intentions on "trying" motor oil in either of our transmissions :lol: you always hear a lot of weird things coming from all walks of life, some strange things are actually true or have some merit :lol:...

If I were to switch from the type F to the Lucas trans fluid, will the Lucas "mix" o.k. with what is left over in the convertor?
Yes sir, either fluid will blend with Type F without any issues. The Sure Shift actually says on the label "not for use with Type F applications", but we have ran it blended upwards of 50/50 with outstanding results while experimenting with various ATF types, formulas, and blends in our own racing program.
Pete Nichols
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800-274-7223, ext. 209
602-889-3621
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Re: SAE20 Motor oil for Trans. fluid????

Post by TexasT » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:24 am

I would not try motor oil but I do use hydraulic oil. Cheaper than trans fluid but somewhat hard to see on the dipstick.

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Re: SAE20 Motor oil for Trans. fluid????

Post by shoedoos » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:51 am

Other than price, what characteristics make the tractor fluid your choice?

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Re: SAE20 Motor oil for Trans. fluid????

Post by malibu795 » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:08 pm

while I have used HYD in autos yet....
I have mess with PS systems in a hyd boost application in heavy towing applications...
PS is ~7w
ATF is ~10w
hyd is ~15W

HYD fluid is usually designed to handle 200-250* at 3000-4000psi without fading..

avg performance trans maxed out under 300psi though some all our race will push 500psi..

one thing to keep in mind, thicker the fluid WILL lower stall/coupling of the TC, thicker fluid is harder to shear
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Re: SAE20 Motor oil for Trans. fluid????

Post by Doober » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:58 pm

Interesting to read...

My Fiero uses 5w-20 in the 282 Getrag, says so right on the dipstick plug... almost 190k on the car (probably trans too?) and it still shifts just fine.
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Re: SAE20 Motor oil for Trans. fluid????

Post by TexasT » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:07 am

shoedoos wrote:Other than price, what characteristics make the tractor fluid your choice?
I was told to try the John Deere HyGuard but I wasn't into trying to source it. I found this in a five gallon bucket at the autozone for about $55. Seemed to be compatible by the specs on the bucket. Ive been using it for several years. Seems to work good.

So, to answer the question, price and the ability to get it local. It was an experiment and I like my results.
Rich

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Re: SAE20 Motor oil for Trans. fluid????

Post by LS6 Tommy » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:58 am

Doober wrote:Interesting to read...

My Fiero uses 5w-20 in the 282 Getrag, says so right on the dipstick plug... almost 190k on the car (probably trans too?) and it still shifts just fine.
Many manual transmissions use motor oil. The OP was asking about using it in an automatic...

Tommy
20k mile '80 Malibu, currently undergoing long term (aka no money) factory style install LS6 454, Cowl Induction, Legend LGT 700 5 speed. Full Global West suspension, 17" N90 wheels, 12" front/11" rear disc brakes, 9" 3.70 Auburn Pro posi.

"The older I get, the faster I was"

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