trans oil

Post Reply
LittleAl
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:52 pm
Bikes: 1954 FL Panhead
1976 Sporty
1983 FXRT Shovelhead
2000 FLHT TC
2008 Anniversary Ultra
Location: New York City

trans oil

#1

Post by LittleAl » Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:03 pm

with due diligence I looked in the KB but the few threads there don't seem to end conclusively

what oil for the tranny on my '54?

seems motor oil is the choice rather then gear oil
I'd like to use HD semi-synthetic sport trans oil, I use it in all my other bikes and buy a case at a time, I'm sure it's fine but wanted to check with you guys
in my motor I'm running a name brand 20-50 I got cheap at Wallmart (I think it's Valvoline) in gallon containers

so what's the concenses on the stuff I have "in stock" lol?



steinauge
Posts: 521
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:05 pm
Bikes: 1938U,1949FL,1961FL,1968XL,1979FL ,1958 FL, 1965 BMW,1975 Honda CB750

Re: trans oil

#2

Post by steinauge » Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:48 pm

You can be sure the semi synthetic will do a good job AND find every imaginable means of egress from your transmission!That stuff is slippery! As far as 20-50 in a panhead I have no experience with it.I use Valvoline 70 wt,Kendall 70 wt or Shell rotella 50 depending on what I can get.I dont suppose it will harm it to use a multigrade. Maybe one of the more modern guys can help out here?

LittleAl
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:52 pm
Bikes: 1954 FL Panhead
1976 Sporty
1983 FXRT Shovelhead
2000 FLHT TC
2008 Anniversary Ultra
Location: New York City

Re: trans oil

#3

Post by LittleAl » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:02 pm

I've always believed that to be totally a myth.

I use semi-syn in my other tranny's (tc's & shovel) and full syn in my motors and with seals/gaskets in good shape they haven't, nor should they, leak.

I fully expect to switch to full syn 20-50 in my Pan too, after she's broken in and fully expect her not to leak also, as long as I've done a decent job when I redid the motor.

Panacea
Posts: 1857
Joined: Fri May 24, 2002 1:00 am
Bikes: 64FL 99FLHR 01FXSTD
Location: Mpls. MN.

Re: trans oil

#4

Post by Panacea » Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:25 pm

Al, I've been using BelRae in my 51 tranny that was re-built a couple years back, even with the new bushing in the MDG ,she will still seep past with more than a quarter inch showing in the bottom of the fill hole. Once below that level there is no problem. I've never tryed 20-50, which is what I run in the motor, but I'd bet it would be fine...Mike

LittleAl
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:52 pm
Bikes: 1954 FL Panhead
1976 Sporty
1983 FXRT Shovelhead
2000 FLHT TC
2008 Anniversary Ultra
Location: New York City

Re: trans oil

#5

Post by LittleAl » Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:30 am

well I wound up putting in plain old Valvoline 20-50, same as i have it the motor. I'm sure it will be fine.

FlatHeadSix
Moderator
Posts: 2681
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 5:14 pm
Bikes: '31 VL, '34 VD, '45 WLA, '47 WL, '49 FL, '51 WL, '58 ST (Hummer), '71 GE (Servi)
Location: Lonoke, Arkansas

Re: trans oil

#6

Post by FlatHeadSix » Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:15 am

Al,
I always found it kind of strange that the MoCo advised AGAINST synthetic lubes right up until they started marketing their own engine and transmission oils in synthetic and synthetic blend in Harley-Davidson bottles. Now they tell you there's nothing better.

I've never tried any multi-grade in any of the old bikes, the straight weights have always worked for me and I'll stick with them as long as they're still available. I'm also not fussy about who makes it, like Steinauge I grab what ever is handy; Valvoline, Kendall, Rotella, or H-D, and I put the same stuff in the oil tank and the transmission. It gets plenty hot here in Arkansas so I stick with 60 or 70 during the summer months.
But, I also have to agree that the multi-grade is probably just as good and will not hurt your engine or transmission as long as you have enough in there and its clean.
I've repeated this many times in similar threads, one of our other members put it out there years ago: "Clean oil is better than dirty oil, Dirty oil is better than NO oil". Keep it full and keep it clean and you should be fine no matter what you put in there.

mike

LittleAl
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:52 pm
Bikes: 1954 FL Panhead
1976 Sporty
1983 FXRT Shovelhead
2000 FLHT TC
2008 Anniversary Ultra
Location: New York City

Re: trans oil

#7

Post by LittleAl » Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:37 pm

I hear you Mike. The only reason I'll eventually put in full syn in the motor is I have a Wallmart about 45 minutes from me and every once in a while I go and buy quite a few gallon jugs of oil. it just seems easier to use one oil for all my bikes.

couldn't be more true about clean vs dirty vs none. I absolutely believe it. In all my vehicles I've always changed every 3-5K and send every 3-4th oil change to Blackstone to tell me what's going on in my motors. I keep vehicles a LONG time and lots of miles. my truck has 191K and still going strong, my '00 EG has 80K, except for a new cam & pistons (upgrades only) still original, my '83 Shovel I've put over 70K since I've owned her (8 years).

I was just a bit concerned about using something in the tranny to help with shifting after all the problems I originally had. Finished it all up and put about 90 miles on her since yesterday and with the partial tranny rebuild and proper lever & clutch adjustment so far she's shifting like butter.

Hauula Pan
Posts: 402
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:15 am
Bikes: 1952 FL
Location: California

Re: trans oil

#8

Post by Hauula Pan » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:31 am

OK this is only my opinion and subject to much debate so take it for what you feel its worth. I would advise against any type of synthetic in the old bikes. Multi weight might be ok but I would stay with straight 50, 60 or even 70 weight depending on where you live and what season it is. Trans uses same as engine on the old stuff. 60 weight is the tried & true standard. Harley puts synthetic in the new bikes and several are having trouble. Quite a few of the twin cams here are destroying trans bearings as fast as they can replace them. My recommendation is straight 60 weight and maybe a touch of Lucas.

LittleAl
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:52 pm
Bikes: 1954 FL Panhead
1976 Sporty
1983 FXRT Shovelhead
2000 FLHT TC
2008 Anniversary Ultra
Location: New York City

Re: trans oil

#9

Post by LittleAl » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:06 am

I meant full syn in the motor, not trans, although I do understand what your saying. In the trans for the short term I'll use the 20-0 I just put in there, next change I think I'm gonna use the semi-syn "sport" HD trans oil, I have a lot of it around

texasbobber
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:10 am
Bikes: 51 Panhead
77 FXE
97 FXSTC

Re: trans oil

#10

Post by texasbobber » Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:42 pm

for several years I've used Redline Shockproof Heavy. I try to change it once a year.

Jack_Hester
Ex-member
Posts: 442
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 7:21 pm
Location: Roxboro, NC, U.S.A.
Contact:

Re: trans oil

#11

Post by Jack_Hester » Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:12 pm

Hauula Pan wrote:I would advise against any type of synthetic in the old bikes. Multi weight might be ok but I would stay with straight 50, 60 or even 70 weight depending on where you live and what season it is. Trans uses same as engine on the old stuff. 60 weight is the tried & true standard.
I'm curious as to why. All single-weight oils are really multi-viscosity oil. Ever notice how thin a 60W gets, when it's hot? 'Back in the day', oil companies would not publish this fact. But they knew it. Amsoil markets a '60W' racing oil, but will tell you that it is a multi-weight with a shearing strength of 60W.

I have proven to myself, and others who were interested to learn from my trials, that synthetics are the best for any engine. Been using them since the early 80's, when I could get a reliable source for them. As of early Spring of this year ('09), my '59 fired the first time on 10W-40 synthetic. 1600+ miles, and the third change at 100 miles with 20W-50, it is running smooth. I run my idle at a fast clip, to keep my oil pressure above 10 psig. Lifters perform better with the pressure up. Even the old H-D 105 would not keep the lifters pumped at an idle, and the oil was hot. I'm running OEM hydraulics, and they like the 20W-50 just fine.

Speaking on the original topic, I run 75W-90 synthetic gear lube in my transmission. Gear lubes are not ranked the same as engine oils. The above lube is equivalent to a 20W-50 engine oil, by the charts, though I personally think it is closer to a 30W-60 by the comparison in how they pour from the container.

Jack

mbskeam
Posts: 1004
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 5:52 am
Location: Sultan, WASH
Contact:

Re: trans oil

#12

Post by mbskeam » Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:04 pm

I run 75W-90 synthetic gear lube in my transmission
same here,
tryed thicker years ago, but all that did was make it shift hard.....

fourthgear
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:12 pm
Location: north florida

Re: trans oil

#13

Post by fourthgear » Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:42 pm

I run 70-140 syn. in all three of my bikes ,two panheads & a 03 TC & they all shift just wounderful. I was using 75-90 & went to the other grade because of The temps down here . Probably not for all regions because of temps being lower at night in some places. I know one thing for sure, my 03 Ultra shifting is much smoother.Like I said , not for all ,but works for me.

Post Reply

Return to “Transmission, Starter & Shifting”