4 Speed Owners Must Read!!!!!

Discussion in 'U-shift em' started by bostongsx, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. 71gs3504sp

    71gs3504sp Well-Known Member


    I have search on many forums on this matter. Jason is correct that Sta-lube is the only non synthetic GL-4 around and that is the what is need for these muncies. I will be installing it in my muncie tomorrow.

  2. olds+buick

    olds+buick Member

    A couple years ago, I finished my project which has an M-20, it looks like I ignorantly filled it with GL-5. I had replaced the synchro rings myself during the rebuild, not too scary of a job if you are patient and have the exploded drawings. Anyway, my symptom is chronic need to adjust the clutch because the shifter will get very stiff in 1st & reverse, especially at high idle. I think there is also a Whine from the countergear assy in 1st. Could this switch to GL-4 be the cure? Also, I heard someone say that you should only use GL-3 which comes from the GM counter. Any thoughts? Thanks, Ed
  3. 1969buickGS

    1969buickGS Well-Known Member

    Ken Klazura, owner of U.S. Speed Research, is a well known transmission builder and re-builder. He is the inventer of the Twin Turbo 400 trans used in hot rods, pro street machines, monster trucks, mud dragsters, tractors, and more. Ken also builds street rods and has rebuilt thousands of transmissions. Recently, I had him rebuild my Super T-10 to go with the 496 big block Chevy stroker motor that is in my American Graffiti '55 Chevy two-door sedan clone car, and Ken also rebuilt my Muncie M-20 and an M-21 for my two 1969 Buick Gran Sport coupes. For the third '69 GS, a convertible, he rebuilt and customized the TurboHydraMatic 375 into a Turbo 400, and on and on.

    With that as background, as I was about to install the M-21 in one of the GS coupes, I had to run all over the place and talk to various experts, including the Valvoline technician hot line, to sort this GL-4 and GL-5 situation out before proceeding.

    Ken Klazura is adamant about the additives that most commonly available GL-5 lubes have; they will eat the brass synchros and cause other types of mayhem. But, as we know, it is very difficult to find the right lube, or to find GL-4 in the 85W-140 consistency.

    Below is the response from the Valvoline tech on-line, and, moreover, I recommend the use of the Sta-Lube GL-4, available at NAPA and at Amazon.com, as well as try to voice our needs to the major lube manufauturers to PLEASE provide us with what we need.

    The GL-5 with no additives, etc., is also ok from what I know, but I would rather use an appropriate GL-4. I did install the Valvoline GL-5 in the M-22 but have not driven the car yet.

    Has anyone used the Valvoline GL-5 -- what have the results been for you so far? THANKS!

    > Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2010 14:56:55 -0400
    > From: ValvTechLine@ashland.com
    > To: 1969buickGS
    > Subject: Re: GL-4 and GL-5 manual transmission lubricants

    The Valvoline Gear Oils can be used for both GL4 and GL5. The real concern is the type of sulfate used in the gear oil. You can not use an active sulfate for GL-4 applications. Valvoline uses an inactive sulfate that will not harm any yellow metal such as bronze. This allows our products to be used in manual transmissions that have bronze synchronizers and differentials without causing any type of corrosion to yellow metals.
    From: 1969buickGS
    Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 2:52:35 PM
    To: valvtechline@ashland.com
    > Subject: Re: GL-4 and GL-5 manual transmission lubricants

    Feedback type: I have a question/comment about a product

    Please comment on the corrosive properties of your GL-5 gear lube now sitting in my 1969 Buick Gran Sport four-speed transmission, pursuant to the following Internet findings:
    GL4 versus GL5
    from: http://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=120197&page=3
    GL5 is a different spec, and is not 'backwards compatible' with GL4. GL5 gear oil is a lubricant with very high extreme pressure performance needed for Hypoid gears where sliding and rolling contacts operate under very high loadings. This is achieved by incorporating high concentration of sulfur-based additives. The downside to such high sulfur in oil is it tends to corrode yellow metals, so can ruinparts like brass synchronizers and some bushings. So any equipment needing GL5 performance is designed taking this limitation of the lubricant into account.

    GL4 oils are much more friendly to yellow metals, and so are used in equipment where such high load sliding-rolling contacts aren't present. The designers of such equipment aren't as limited in the use of brass parts. So the bottom line is that if your equipment calls for GL4 it probably doesn't need GL5 performance, and you may be asking for trouble down the line if you use a lube it wasn't designed for.

    From: http://www.automotivehelper.com/topic33390.htm
    [Quoted from www.pennzoil.com]
    What happens if API GL-5 gear oil is used in an API GL-4 gear oil application?
    API GL-4 and API GL-5 products typically use the same extreme pressure (EP) additive system, with the API GL-5 having about twice the concentration of a API GL-4. In service, these additives become active under extreme load and temperature when the protective oil film can be squeezed away. EP additives work by forming wear-resistant compounds with the metal of the gear tooth surface. As the gears mesh, these compounds shield the gear teeth from direct metal-to-metal contact that would cause wear and damage to the gears. If too little of the active additive is present, proper protection would be compromised.

    Too much of this additive could cause excessive chemical corrosion of the gear surface. If an API GL-5 gear oil is used in a application where API GL-4 gear oil is called for, chemical corrosion of "yellow metal" components may occur, such as bronze synchronizers, brass bushings, etc. This may lead to shifting difficulties or shortened equipment life.
    [End Quote]
  4. 1969buickGS

    1969buickGS Well-Known Member

    Also, one other important factor for our Oldie manual trannies, is the slippery lube properties and additives in most of the synthetic gear lubricants available.

    Again, transmission expert Ken Klazura mandates that no GL-5 be used, and that no synthetic trans lube be used either.

    The slippery stuff does not allow the synchros to work properly is what he told me.
  5. olds+buick

    olds+buick Member

    Thanks to you guys, I got wise to this fluid issue. I finished my '73 Cutlass (M-20) a couple seasons ago and after rebuilding it myself filled it with GL-5. VERY sticky, especially if RPM's were not just right. After hunting around for the GL-4, I found an NOS bottle of GL-3 I bought in 1980! What a difference, much smoother. BTW, GL-4 is only $30/ gallon at NAPA. Thanks Again, Ed BTW, I will change it:beer again next spring be sure it is all new.
  6. 1969buickGS

    1969buickGS Well-Known Member

    OK, great -- congratulations!

    Now, please share the NAPA product description and Part Number so everyone can get some GL-4 and help spread the wealth around a little bit, thank you!
  7. CJay

    CJay Supercar owner Staff Member

    Its made by Sta Lube. The 1 gallon bottle is Sta Lube pt # SL24239. I just put it in my GS last weekend. Big difference in the shift quality. Seems to shift much smoother.
  8. SP4SPD

    SP4SPD Slideways in the streets!

    Just added the Sta-Lube from NAPA 2 weeks ago and as everyone else says, It does make a difference in shift feel!
    I did a 150 mile + cruise to the Back to the Bricks yesterday and the trans never shifted better!
  9. Jim Rodgers

    Jim Rodgers Well-Known Member

    I put an M22 Super Case Muncie from Auto Gear in my GS in 2007. Filled it with GL-5 like Auto Gear said to do. I found a GL-5 that was also MT-1 compatible per the label. The trans would hang up between 2nd and 3rd a LOT, and sometimes would hang up in reverse. BIG pain in the rear, and many burned hands and arms reaching under the car and across the headers "unsticking" the shifter.:blast:

    After MANY attempts adjusting the linkage I pulled the shifter and sent it out to Shifter Pete for rebuild. Came back like new and guess what, still hanging up like always. :blast: :spank:

    Basically parked the car in 08 tired of messing with it.

    Then lo and behold I come across this thread a few days ago! :Comp: I dash out to Summitt and pick up some Red Line, come home and drop the plug on the M22. Once the silver and copper colored GL-5 is finished dripping into the pan I fill the M22 with the Red Line. Take the car out, and after putting more miles on it than I have since the tranny went in in 07 it has only hung up between 2nd and 3rd twice. Some of these miles were speed shifting and otherwise banging thru the gears just to see if I could get it to hang up.

    I think I will put a few more outings on it and then drop the plug again and give it another dose of Red Line in hopes of getting all of the contaminants out.

    While I'm glad I found out about the proper fluid for this transmission, I'm still pissed at Auto Gear and the oil mfg's for recommending a faulty product. :rant:
  10. moleary

    moleary GOD Bless America

    This is the combo for your Muncie or AutoGear tansmissions if anyone is wondering:TU: Combine equal parts.

    Attached Files:

  11. Clarkie

    Clarkie Well-Known Member

    I (just like Mike, who is the previous owner of my car), also saw the same Penzoil Synchromesh fluid today. I also couldn't find any GL rating, but it says that it provides "excellent synchronizer performance and compatibility with yellow metals, such as bronze, brass and copper components found in manual transaxles and transmissions." Anyone use this?

    I also found Penzoil synthetic GL-4 75w90 gear lube. Which of the two (Synchromesh fluid or the synthetic GL-4) would y'all recommend?

    By the way, I tried at NAPA this morning, and I can't get Sta Lube here in Canada (at least according to the counter-person).

    Thanks in advance for your replies.
  12. dl7265

    dl7265 No car then Mopar

    Good to hear Jim . I used the Sta- lube at advice of this thread . Worked great .

  13. 69GS430/TKX

    69GS430/TKX Silver Level contributor

    Good to hear this helpful update. Thank you for posting, Jim.
  14. Davis

    Davis Moderator

    Thanks for your update Jim this is great information.
  15. Clanceman427

    Clanceman427 Hardtops need not apply

  16. bostongsx

    bostongsx Platinum Level Contributor

    Guys I started this thread years ago, this is the cheapest part of your transmission(the fluid) just pony up the extra dollars for the good stuff.
  17. SpecialWagon65

    SpecialWagon65 Ted Nagel

  18. waynek4

    waynek4 Well-Known Member

    You can just drain the GLl5 and replace it with the GL4

    ---------- Post added at 03:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:07 PM ----------

    NAPA Sta-lube GL4
  19. Clanceman427

    Clanceman427 Hardtops need not apply

    My local NAPA shelves only had GL5's but I asked them to order the Sta Lube GL4. They got Redline full synthetic GL4. As I pumped it into my Saginaw I could hear the synchros saying "aaahhhhh.." in relief. Man that stuff is pricey, $16 per quart. But like you all have stated, well worth it. Can't wait to try it out.
  20. 68sschevyII

    68sschevyII New Member

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