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Hot Rods Lubricant for t5–s10 five spd manual pre world class

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Flatheadjohn47, Sep 22, 2022.

  1. Have about 10,000 miles on a s-10 five spd manual that I ran in my 32 cabriolet—-all new synchros,bearings,etc—-complete overhaul. Sold the 32 cab and want to renew the aging fluid b4 installing in my 36 ford 5 window. Ashamed to say I do NOT remember what type of fluid type I used previously and the fluid that came out when drained was dark and dirty. Went on line to determine what type of fluid to put back in and read more different variations ranging from ATF to synchromesh fluid to 5-30 wt motor oil. I live in s.Texas—weather is pretty warm and if it freezes it usually last only a day or two.I am interested in what HAMB members have to say. I am a 75 year young hot rodder that uses my hot rod flatheads daily and occasional drags—my 32 cab had run 80 mph in the 1/8 when running a 3:89 9 in Detroit Locker. The trans has been zero troubles—shifted nicely never any grinding or synchro troubles. I am reasonably sure I remember it was a PRE—world class t-5 from an s-10. Thanks John in s.Texas. Have over 60 years hot rod flathead 4446A0FD-951C-422D-BB17-3CD85575E6B2.jpeg 7DED652C-2A54-4AB8-AA39-AAC39F329B85.jpeg DA063098-6CD0-44C8-9F3F-AFA57AF25CAD.jpeg 20D1A2EA-8433-4910-B547-6FA20D1B4F76.jpeg 14F305A5-BB15-4518-AC68-81BDF2FBE9A0.jpeg 7B16F359-2474-4AC4-83A7-E27E1A0EC23E.jpeg FAFF6312-84EA-4AF8-818F-41A6B7EA351A.jpeg B03C0B72-A65D-467F-96F0-39A1F892DD3E.jpeg 830F7F21-7F0D-4131-8868-04DB449CEA10.jpeg experience.
    hrm2k likes this.
  2. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 1,908

    427 sleeper

    All of the T5's I've come across had ATF in them. That doesn't mean that lubricant's weren't changed later in production, though.
    anthony myrick likes this.
  3. Mike Lawless
    Joined: Sep 20, 2021
    Posts: 263

    Mike Lawless

    Tremec recommends ATF
    fauj likes this.
  4. Depends on the year . It’s a little confusing.
    WC uses ATF as does Tremec.
    Some of the older non WCs used 70 weight oil
    Some recommend synchromesh for those
    Some guys use ATF in both
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022

  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,577


  6. Dirty Dug
    Joined: Jan 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,693

    Dirty Dug

    Non-world class T-5s use 70 weight. Redline 70-75 is the best.
    Rand Man and gimpyshotrods like this.
  7. Clear as mud
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  8. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,739

    from So Cal

    As I posted in that thread that @Mr48chev linked to above "for S10/S15 pickups, w/ manual shift transmission the recommendations are: model years 70 - 87 - 80W or 80W-90 GL-5; Post 87 the recommendation is Dexron III spec ATF (which as I posted above is an obsolete specification, but still widely available), with some exceptions (82 - 83 model years within a specific serial number range, the recommendation is GM part #1052951, which appears to be an obsolete part # and I haven't found a cross reference to it yet.)"

    This is from the factory recommendations.
  9. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 11,004

    Atwater Mike

    Solutions for proper lubricants in specific trannies are...Slippery.
    I recall some laments regarding synchro rings in some of these (Tremec, W.C., and pre W.C.)
    Synch rings were made of varying materials, and it was unclear which were in which, then if fluid was changed to something 'unfriendly', synchros came out in shards. (Shiver!)

    O.K., a Mexican friend of mine tore down a Tremec, asked me where he could get some 'synchos'.
    I replied that the proper term/pronunciation was 'synchros'.
    His answer: "No, it's synchos. It's a five speed!"
  10. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,869



    That is for World-Class T5's!

    The original specification from Borg Warner is API GL4 70W gear oil.

    Using ATF in a NWC T5 will result in premature failure.
  11. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,869

    David Gersic likes this.
  12. I cleaned up and replaced the bearings in a Ford 3.03 Toploader manual 3 speed transmission last winter for use in my '50 Ford (behind the original flathead). This tranny came out of a '64 Comet and was working well when I tore it apart. There was virtually no wear anywhere and the original synchros were in good condition. After putting it back together I pondered on what oil to use. There are plenty of choices, maybe not all good ones, but lots of choices non the less. I decided to use Valvoline Synchromesh Manual Transmission Fluid. I've put a bit less than 2000 miles on it so far and everything seems good. :) I'm not suggesting this would be the correct oil for a T-5, I'm not even suggesting it's the correct oil for a 3.03, but it's what I decided to use and time will tell if it was a good choice or not.

    It seems like the oil originally recommended for some trannys is not available in the same formulation it was when these units were new, either that or I'm just having trouble finding the information I need to be sure I'm making the right choice.

    Anyway. the oil I used is for most GM and Chrysler manual transmissions (according to Valvoline)

    Maybe this info will help confuse things just a little more than it already is. Maybe it will add some useful information, I don't know, I'm just throwing it out there.
  13. patterg2003
    Joined: Sep 21, 2014
    Posts: 776


    If the transmission still has its data tag then it should be on this list so that the year and make of the vehicle can be determined. The information then could be used to determine the oil for the transmission for that make and model of vehicle.
  14. Primered Forever
    Joined: Jul 7, 2008
    Posts: 613

    Primered Forever
    from Joplin,MO

    I’m using Valvoline Synchromesh in my NWC T5 with no issues.
  15. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 2,167


    Amsoil has a product that is recomended for Tremec T4,5,156, TKO 500,600 and GM part number 1052931. The product code is MTF-QT. I use their product MTG-qt in my Doug Nash 4+1 (same as Richmond ).
  16. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 4,432

    Rand Man

    Do any of you think the early T5’s are already hard to find. I was looking for a replacement gear or something. Couldn’t find that part anywhere. Complete trans for sale looked like cores only.
    As for fluid, I say that 70wt.
  17. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,869


    What do you need?
  18. Do these transmissions use a more conventional brass blocker ring? Or do they use a steel, cone-shaped blocker ring with the wear surface coated with some kind of organic or composite material that looks similar to the facings of the clutch disks and bands in an automatic transmission?
  19. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 8,185

    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    In the rebuilt T5 trans I sell I have always told the customer Dexron. Never had any problems to date.
  20. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 4,432

    Rand Man

    I don’t remember exactly. Seems like it won’t hardly downshift into second. You have to go way low into first, or lug it out in third. The road to my house has this tight curve that needs second gear. It’s just annoying. Otherwise, car is flawless. A mechanic had it apart, and couldn’t find second gear and maybe something else. Put it back together.
  21. lake_harley
    Joined: Jun 4, 2017
    Posts: 1,802


    I have a 4-speed in my Model A that looks like a S-10, 5-speed (T5). Bought the transmission at a swap meet so I have no idea of what it came out of. I had the same "which lube" question and ended up using synthetic ATF, but still don't know if that's correct. Maybe it's always had a bit of vibration but after about 1200 miles I've started noticing a vibration between 40 and about 55 MPH, then it seems to smooth out a bit. Like I said I just started noticing the vibration but maybe I'm just getting more comfortable with the car and didn't think anything of it before. Seems to do it in 3rd and 4th, so I don't know if it's transmission related or something else (driveshaft balance perhaps?).

  22. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,512


    Take it up that fast in 2nd if it will go there. Also try putting it into neutral at that speed. That should answer a couple of questions.
  23. Still no consensus
  24. Mike Lawless
    Joined: Sep 20, 2021
    Posts: 263

    Mike Lawless

    This page (also printed and came with my brand new T5) has a note on non WC near the bottom.
    Is a Tremec any different than a BW? I don't know. So, I reckon one needs to do their due diligence and figure it out on their own.
    Also of note, the A833 4 speeds that came stock in my 70 Challenger and 72 Demon "back in the day" both had ATF in 'em from the factory. I changed both to conventional gear oil and neither one could be power-shifted after that.
    Screen Shot 2022-09-24 at 4.56.34 PM.png
    I had a hard time finding any locally. The one I did find, the guy was asking $700 for. When I went to look at it, the tailshaft housing was loose with a few bolts missing, and it was locked up. I told the guy it was junk and wasn't worth spit. He was still trying to sell it months later.
    I ended up buying brand new. It was a good chunk of change, but man, she shifts sweet!

  25. I used manual trans fluid in my NWC S-10 T5. At room temp it's thicker than ATF, but thinner than gear oil. The manual trans fluid is probably same as the synchromesh fluid. But mine was labeled as manual trans fluid.

    What came out of the trans, pulled at a junkyard, was like gear oil smell.
  26. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 20,869


    That is a WC T5.

    The NWC T5 has been out of production for about two decades.

    The world-class T5, and the non-world class T5 have very different lubrication requirements.

    A non-world-class T5 does not have bearings under the gears riding on the main shaft. It has gears that ride on the main shaft.

    If you do not use gear oil in your non-worldly class T5, you will destroy it over time.

    Those that claim that they are running ATF in their non-world class T5 just have not yet driven enough miles to do the damage.

    As a former engineer at General Motors, I can tell you how many warranty repairs happened due to the incorrect lubricant being put in a non-world-class T5.

    The warning about not using gear oil is specifically targeted at API GL-5 gear oil, which is the most common gear oil found in an auto parts store. That, and it will make for balky shifting.

    That particular GL grade of gear oil will eat white metal over time, things like blocking rings, and synchronizers.

    You will note that I called out API GL-4!

    That is the gear oil that is supposed to be in a non-world-class T5.

    I seriously cannot believe that I have to keep busting out the fact that I used to work for General Motors and read this directly out of the literature associated with the S series pickups, F-bodies, and Blazers.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2022
  27. Mike Lawless
    Joined: Sep 20, 2021
    Posts: 263

    Mike Lawless

    Thanks Gimpy. That's good info for everyone who has questions.
  28. enjenjo
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 2,578

    from swanton oh

    Sounds like the brass synchro ring is worn out. The other thing that can do it is too much end play on the main shaft. You can find the synchro rings on Ebay. Unfortunately nearly the whole trans needs to be disassembled to change it.

    I have rebuilt a ton of T5 transmissions, more than I can remember, and have recommended Dextron II for them without any failures for both WC and NWC

    If you need a stray part or two I likely have it for any T5. I have no mechanical speedo S10 tail housings for sale. All I have are spoken for.

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