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Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed #3952213 12/18/15 11:50 PM
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rideahorse Offline OP
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I have a Ford F-350 2002 Diesel Crew Cab Long Box 4wd dually with the ZF 6 speed manual trans. Mine has the oil cooler and pump. Would I be better off using a manual transmission fluid or Mobil 5-30 HM than ATF. It lives on our 4 horse goose neck. It only has 129,000 miles on it but it has never been changed yet. The truck is bone stock but I have plans to bump it up a little.

Re: Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed [Re: rideahorse] #3952223 12/19/15 12:24 AM
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Greasymechtech Offline
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If it falls for conventional ATF, use a synthetic from Amsoil or Redline.

If you want a GL4 fluid, use RP Synchromax or MTF2 from Ravenol or Pentosin. I even consider the Honda MTF.


At what point should a lurker start posting :-)
Re: Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed [Re: rideahorse] #3952234 12/19/15 12:44 AM
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zeng Offline
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Originally Posted By: rideahorse
I have a Ford F-350 2002 Diesel Crew Cab Long Box 4wd dually with the ZF 6 speed manual trans. Mine has the oil cooler and pump. Would I be better off using a manual transmission fluid or Mobil 5-30 HM than ATF. It lives on our 4 horse goose neck. It only has 129,000 miles on it but it has never been changed yet. The truck is bone stock but I have plans to bump it up a little.


Sure you can , with GL4 gear oils .

a )For start-up at 0*C and above ----- SAE 40;SAE 85W90 or SAE 90 , and

b )For start-up at -15*C and above --- SAE 30 or SAE 80W90, and

c )For start-up at .........................

Last edited by zeng; 12/19/15 12:45 AM.
Re: Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed [Re: rideahorse] #3952251 12/19/15 02:32 AM
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Black_Thunder Offline
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i'd run synthetic atf myself.


I'd buy Callahan autoparts if I could.
Re: Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed [Re: rideahorse] #3952260 12/19/15 03:39 AM
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UrS4 Offline
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Put 75w-90 MTF in it. They are not designed to run fluids as thin as atf.

OEM motorcraft MTF, but stuff like Amsoil MTF should also be very good


1993 Audi S4 2.2 20V Turbo - German Castrol Edge FST 0W-40 - Mahle filter
Re: Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed [Re: rideahorse] #3952421 12/19/15 09:46 AM
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Ramblejam Offline
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Originally Posted By: rideahorse
I have plans to bump it up a little.


If you're going to be putting more power thru a ZF S6-650, a different lubricant would be appropriate -- Ford did the same thing in later model years when ratings went from the 275hp/525tq of yours, to 350hp/650tq.

https://www.fcsdchemicalsandlubricants.c...mission%20Fluid

Re: Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed [Re: rideahorse] #3952447 12/19/15 10:12 AM
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CT8 Offline
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I wouldn't do anything to bump up the power .

Re: Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed [Re: rideahorse] #3952451 12/19/15 10:18 AM
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Whitewolf Offline
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It's probably best to stay with something that has at least been tested by ZF rather than just guess.
Here's the link to their list/s just in case you don't already have it.

http://www.zf.com/corporate/en_de/produc...lubricants.html


My definition of an expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what's really going on to be scared.
~ PJ Plauger
Re: Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed [Re: UrS4] #3952533 12/19/15 12:10 PM
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92saturnsl2 Offline
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Originally Posted By: UrS4
Put 75w-90 MTF in it. They are not designed to run fluids as thin as ATF


How can you say that? ATF is what the manufacturer specifies, and that is what gets put in at the factory. Millions of miles are put on these trannies, having only used ATF.

If you use a 75-90 gear oil, you'll quickly discover that it's way too thick, and you'll have chatter and bearing noise in below freezing temps. Mark my words.

The only real substitute that has been proven effective is a synchromesh MTF fluid, which is just a bit thicker than ATF. I've used it successfully in a couple vehicles that specified ATF for the manual tranny with good results. Gear oil will not lubricate well at all.

Pennzoil Synchromesh, Royal Purple Synchromax, GM sells one under the AC Delco name IIRC, and they also have one with friction modifiers; not sure if there is any benefit to that.


96 Grand Prix SE (project car)
04 Odyssey EX 200k Philips Shield Choice 10w-30
96 Maxima GLE 275k Shell Rotella T5 10w-30
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited 4.0L 145k Mobil1 EP 0w-20
Re: Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed [Re: 92saturnsl2] #3952569 12/19/15 01:41 PM
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Ramblejam Offline
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Originally Posted By: 92saturnsl2
How can you say that? ATF is what the manufacturer specifies, and that is what gets put in at the factory. Millions of miles are put on these trannies, having only used ATF.

If you use a 75-90 gear oil, you'll quickly discover that it's way too thick, and you'll have chatter and bearing noise in below freezing temps. Mark my words.


Interesting assessment there.

Could you please tell us what Ford put into these transmissions at the factory from 2008 to the end of their usage in 2010?

Re: Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed [Re: rideahorse] #3952571 12/19/15 01:43 PM
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MinamiKotaro Offline
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Pennzoil Synchromesh.


1967 VW Beetle: Delo 15w40/ST4386
2004 Saturn Ion: Magnatec 5w30/DW5436
2014 Polaris Ranger 570: Delo 5-40/Wix 51356
Re: Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed [Re: rideahorse] #3952754 12/19/15 05:31 PM
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Greasymechtech Offline
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At what point should a lurker start posting :-)
Re: Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed [Re: Greasymechtech] #3952781 12/19/15 05:56 PM
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Ramblejam Offline
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It'd probably be an intelligent thing to properly vet documents for accuracy (context, publish date, etc.) before posting them to a thread.

Additionally, what's the deal with your continual "shotgun approach" to transmission lubricant selection? Do you just throw a bunch of stuff against a wall, and when one of the twenty sticks, say you were right all along?

Re: Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed [Re: rideahorse] #3952798 12/19/15 06:17 PM
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Greasymechtech Offline
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Shotgun approach?
Its called trial and error. No two transmission respond the same way to a fluid. And, there are CHOICES that are available. You have a problem with freedom of CHOICE?

If you have an issue with my improperly vetted document, then contact ZF.

And, please don't put words in my mouth. Don't remember saying I was right in every single thread in this forum. Usually, most members request assistance or opinions, and either do nothing, do something else and complain, or disappear.

If you have a problem with my comments, you the forum ignore function. Did you add anything to assist the OP in your post? No. You simple attack me. FU


At what point should a lurker start posting :-)
Re: Is there a better oil than ATF in a ZF- 6 speed [Re: Greasymechtech] #3952812 12/19/15 06:25 PM
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Ramblejam Offline
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Originally Posted By: Greasymechtech
Its called trial and error.


It's called applying generalized knowledge and belief to a specific issue.

Are you going to foot the bill for him to cycle through the list of half dozen different lubricants you've listed?

The document was accurate at the time of publication, and reflects the stance of various OEM's. However, that's no longer the case, nor does it reflect the views of ZF as to their in-house lubrication selection for this transmission.

If you're going to post a document in a thread, the responsibility of vetting is on you, not them. Take responsibility.

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