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#3267260 - 02/01/14 08:06 PM Which ATF would be best for gearbox use?
Panzerman Offline


Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 2500
Loc: Daytona, Florida
I have a bunch of Polaris ATVs some newer, some older. I refuse to buy the Polaris AGL or Amsoil Gear case oil for 10-12 bucks a quart. I plan on using ATF fluid in there. Ive had them apart and rebuilt them. The transmission is a gearbox, with a heavy three link chain that basically drives the gears. What ATF would be the best choice? I have used the ATF +4 and thought it was the best. Its the same stuff Dodge spec's for their transfer case on 4x4 models, which is about the same. I have used the regular old Dextron/Mercon too without any noticeable noise or problems. The transmissions are simple and tough. The worse thing is gear oil, It causes drag and stretches the chain. I imagine motor oil would work too and the older Polaris's in the 90s even stated use 30Wt motor oil before Polaris came out with their own lubes. The transmissions are the same from 1990s to present. What is your opinion on the best ATF for this type of application?

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#3267268 - 02/01/14 08:20 PM Re: Which ATF would be best for gearbox use? [Re: Panzerman]
Ramblejam Offline


Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 1004
Loc: Kentucky
The issue I see is that ATF + 4 is around 7.5cSt @ 100C.

Are you open to other ideas than just ATF?

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#3267272 - 02/01/14 08:24 PM Re: Which ATF would be best for gearbox use? [Re: Panzerman]
ccdhowell Offline


Registered: 12/30/05
Posts: 831
Loc: Shreveport, Louisiana
You might try Royal Purple Syncromax. I have used it in several 4x4 transfer cases. It is the viscosity of ATF but made for manual transmissions. Just might do the trick in your quads.
_________________________
Blue Lion Racing
XC Quad


Current lineup:
'13 Polaris Scrambler 850HO
'09 Kawasaki KFX450R
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#3267276 - 02/01/14 08:30 PM Re: Which ATF would be best for gearbox use? [Re: Panzerman]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 33770
Loc: New Jersey
Amsoil mtf is what I use in my BMW gearbox specced for dexron III ATF. I like the shift feel better,mane shift quality is retained much longer.

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#3267286 - 02/01/14 08:41 PM Re: Which ATF would be best for gearbox use? [Re: Panzerman]
Panzerman Offline


Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 2500
Loc: Daytona, Florida
The Polaris AGL is like water. Its purple and very thin too. Like I said, You don't want anything thick, It drags on the chain and stretches it. Ive had several quads, I had to split the transmission to replace the stretched chain. I am not sure, I would be saving any money by going with Royal Purple or Amsoil products. It seems crazy to buy the high dollar lubricant for such a simple design when ATF is everywhere for under $5 a quart. It only holds about 12 ounces. Unless its a big 500 thru 800 =, then it holds a qt. Id rather use a cheaper oil and change it more often. I can tell you, when you use the Polaris AGL and change it once a year, the metal shavings are crazy on the magnet plug. ATF and hardly any.

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#3267294 - 02/01/14 08:53 PM Re: Which ATF would be best for gearbox use? [Re: Panzerman]
Ramblejam Offline


Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 1004
Loc: Kentucky
Panzerman,

Ideally, we want something around 10 cSt @ 100C, nor too thick when cold...around 60 cSt @ 40C.

When looking for an inexpensive replacement that'll offer the needed protection, the best alternative that comes to mind is Universal Tractor Fluid.

Tractor Supply, for example, sells 5 gallon pails of Traveller UTF for $39.99

Good luck, sir.

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#3267296 - 02/01/14 08:54 PM Re: Which ATF would be best for gearbox use? [Re: Panzerman]
Doog Offline


Registered: 10/24/11
Posts: 3469
Loc: Ohio
I would use Castrol Import MV Atf.
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#3267322 - 02/01/14 09:20 PM Re: Which ATF would be best for gearbox use? [Re: Panzerman]
147_Grain Offline


Registered: 03/11/13
Posts: 1307
Loc: USA
It's hard to beat Amsoil's ATF.
_________________________
2013 Subaru Outback Limited H6 AWD
2013 Toyota Corolla LE
2012 Toyota Corolla LE
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#3267505 - 02/02/14 02:17 AM Re: Which ATF would be best for gearbox use? [Re: Ramblejam]
GaleHawkins Offline


Registered: 01/06/14
Posts: 346
Loc: Murray KY USA
Originally Posted By: Ramblejam
Panzerman,

Ideally, we want something around 10 cSt @ 100C, nor too thick when cold...around 60 cSt @ 40C.

When looking for an inexpensive replacement that'll offer the needed protection, the best alternative that comes to mind is Universal Tractor Fluid.

Tractor Supply, for example, sells 5 gallon pails of Traveller UTF for $39.99

Good luck, sir.


Yes UTF is the fluid the OEM maker states to use. ATF seems to work from what I can read but we have UTF for the backhoe and tractor so we just use it since we own it already.

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#3268466 - 02/02/14 08:40 PM Re: Which ATF would be best for gearbox use? [Re: Ramblejam]
MolaKule Offline


Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 14636
Loc: Midwest
Originally Posted By: Ramblejam
Panzerman,

Ideally, we want something around 10 cSt @ 100C, nor too thick when cold...around 60 cSt @ 40C.

When looking for an inexpensive replacement that'll offer the needed protection, the best alternative that comes to mind is Universal Tractor Fluid.

Tractor Supply, for example, sells 5 gallon pails of Traveller UTF for $39.99

Good luck, sir.


Good suggestion.

UTO has the advantage that it has higher AW additives, is better at dispersing moisture, and higher levels of anti-corrosion additives.
_________________________
"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." Thomas Paine smile

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#3269405 - 02/03/14 05:48 PM Re: Which ATF would be best for gearbox use? [Re: Panzerman]
Panzerman Offline


Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 2500
Loc: Daytona, Florida
I just checked the Polaris AGL Data sheet and Polaris AGL is 8.2 cst @ 100 C. Which would be really close to ATF. You have to be very careful not to go too thick in there. Those chains are the weak link and stretch fairly easy. they have to turn a lot of big gears. They also don't generate a lot of heat and have no pressure build up. Its splash system. Thinner is better.

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#3270210 - 02/04/14 01:40 PM Re: Which ATF would be best for gearbox use? [Re: Panzerman]
MolaKule Offline


Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 14636
Loc: Midwest
2 cSt of increased viscosity, especially with a fluid with a better additive package, should have an advantage over ATF on many fronts.

Chain stretching is due to tensioning forces on the chain, not viscosity.
_________________________
"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." Thomas Paine smile

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#3270812 - 02/04/14 09:53 PM Re: Which ATF would be best for gearbox use? [Re: Panzerman]
Whitewolf Offline


Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 1899
Loc: MI, USA
Originally Posted By: Panzerman
I have a bunch of Polaris ATVs some newer, some older. I refuse to buy the Polaris AGL or Amsoil Gear case oil for 10-12 bucks a quart. I plan on using ATF fluid in there. Ive had them apart and rebuilt them. The transmission is a gearbox, with a heavy three link chain that basically drives the gears. What ATF would be the best choice? I have used the ATF +4 and thought it was the best. Its the same stuff Dodge spec's for their transfer case on 4x4 models, which is about the same. I have used the regular old Dextron/Mercon too without any noticeable noise or problems. The transmissions are simple and tough. The worse thing is gear oil, It causes drag and stretches the chain. I imagine motor oil would work too and the older Polaris's in the 90s even stated use 30Wt motor oil before Polaris came out with their own lubes. The transmissions are the same from 1990s to present. What is your opinion on the best ATF for this type of application?

If I were you I would go for UTTO. I hate to tout brands on here but I have worked with Mobil 424.
_________________________
My definition of an expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what's really going on to be scared.
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#3271004 - 02/05/14 07:40 AM Re: Which ATF would be best for gearbox use? [Re: Panzerman]
roadrunner1 Offline


Registered: 04/08/09
Posts: 800
Loc: oh
I use THF in several older transmissions, transfer cases,power steering pumps, and gear boxes. In my opinion you can't get a better fluid for what you are looking for.

An important note on this subject;
Not all hydraulic fluids are equal, quite honestly there is a very wide spectrum of quality as there are no API or any other approvals other than manufacturers. PIQA had an article on this subject, some oil blenders use outdated manufacturer specs.

Choose a well respected brand name and you'll be fine.
_________________________
'07 f350 6.0

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