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303 tractor hyd oil in a manual transmission #4460578
07/16/17 01:17 AM
07/16/17 01:17 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 6
ohio,usa
racsan Offline OP
racsan  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 6
ohio,usa
well about 2 weeks ago i bought a used 94 ford ranger, very well used and needing all sorts of stuff, when i checked the manual transmission fluid, it had 80w90 hypoid oil in it (can tell by the smell) i knew this is a major problem and it should have atf in it, i drained it out, had only about 2 qts in it, which means it was also low on oil. i went to my oil supply and found i had only 1 qt of atf, but i had over half of a 5 gallon bucket of 303 tractor hydraulic fliud. now since atf is pretty much a hydraulic flid itself and this in a manual transmission, i figured it might be safe, they both seem about the same viscosity and when you consider the heat and loads that a farm tractor is under, than 303 should be more than good enough for a old ford ranger 5 speed. ive searched online just out of curiosity and all ive seen others do with 303 as far as automotive usage is to run them in drag race automatics. so far after 500 miles ive not had any issues with my ranger transmission, at least its closer to the right fluid and its now full, any damaage that was done by being low on oil and being the wrong oil has already been done, but i am curious, any reason why 303 tractor hydraulic fluid shouldnt be used in a light-duty 5 speed manual trans? i know that hypoid oil is bad because of being too heavy and not "yellow metal frendly" which can eat up syncros. trans does have input shaft bearing noise, had it when i got it, and of course its not going to fix itself no matter what oil might be used. vechicle has high milage but not sure how high, shows 44K but its anyones guess how many times its rolled over, im sure its at least 144k but could be 244K. any thoughts on 303 oil and if i should dump it for the atf as soon as possible to avoid a future problem? granted it might not be a "yellow metal frendly" oil, i have no idea, considering tractors dont have sycros (to my knowledge) it wouldnt nessasarliy have to be good for sycros. ive not had a issue with it going up through the gears or downshifting either one. (yet)

Re: 303 tractor hyd oil in a manual transmission [Re: racsan] #4460580
07/16/17 01:27 AM
07/16/17 01:27 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,623
Dallas,Tx USA
aquariuscsm Offline
aquariuscsm  Offline
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,623
Dallas,Tx USA
Does it have a T5 tranny? If so,it specs Mercon V. I'd go ahead and replace it.


1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 5W20

Re: 303 tractor hyd oil in a manual transmission [Re: racsan] #4460581
07/16/17 01:28 AM
07/16/17 01:28 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 6
ohio,usa
racsan Offline OP
racsan  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 6
ohio,usa
its the M5OD, spec is mercon/dexron atf

Re: 303 tractor hyd oil in a manual transmission [Re: racsan] #4460585
07/16/17 01:43 AM
07/16/17 01:43 AM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,623
Dallas,Tx USA
aquariuscsm Offline
aquariuscsm  Offline
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 18,623
Dallas,Tx USA
You're right,Madza transmssion:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazda_M5OD_transmission

I did some reading out of curiosity and Mercon III/Dexron seems to be the fluid that gives the best shifting. 80W90 gear oil is definitley the wrong fluid.



1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 5W20

Re: 303 tractor hyd oil in a manual transmission [Re: racsan] #4460650
07/16/17 07:04 AM
07/16/17 07:04 AM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,759
The Midwest
skyactiv Offline
skyactiv  Offline
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,759
The Midwest
I'd put a real manual transmission fluid in it, not some GL5 smelly sulfur stuff that is far too slippery for the synchronizers to work,
not automatic transmission fluid as specified by Ford and definitely not tractor fluid.

What the big three sometimes did was to use the same fluid in both automatics and manuals in some vehicles to eliminate an additional expensive UAW employee in the pit.
There were/are strange rules you cant phantom unless you've had a high dollar union job like I do.

Retired Chrysler manual transmission guru ex[plains it here:



Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 13' VW GTI 3 door 6 speed manual
Re: 303 tractor hyd oil in a manual transmission [Re: skyactiv] #4460729
07/16/17 09:03 AM
07/16/17 09:03 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 12,896
NE,Ohio
Rand Online content
Rand  Online Content
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 12,896
NE,Ohio
Originally Posted By: skyactiv
I'd put a real manual transmission fluid in it, not some GL5 smelly sulfur stuff that is far too slippery for the synchronizers to work,
not automatic transmission fluid as specified by Ford and definitely not tractor fluid.


That transmission isnt too picky.

I like redline MTL in those. Another good choice is the ford full syn gl-4 gear oil.
XT-M5-QS IIRC.


2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
Re: 303 tractor hyd oil in a manual transmission [Re: racsan] #4460770
07/16/17 10:01 AM
07/16/17 10:01 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
303 is a John Deere spec that hasn't been around since the 60's.

I don't think it has any decent anti-wear or extreme pressure additives.

REAL tractor fluid (for the kind of tractors with powershift and wet brakes) makes an excellent auto trans racing fluid. it also cost several times more per gallon than the junky "303" oil.

I see no reason to worry about your trans


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: 303 tractor hyd oil in a manual transmission [Re: racsan] #4460771
07/16/17 10:01 AM
07/16/17 10:01 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,664
Charlotte, NC
Oldmoparguy1 Offline
Oldmoparguy1  Offline
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,664
Charlotte, NC
I'd use Penzoil MTF, Manual Transmission Fluid. Works for me.


A Randomly Selected Thought For The Day:
If Noah had used Zip, he could have used a smaller boat.
Re: 303 tractor hyd oil in a manual transmission [Re: racsan] #4462066
07/17/17 05:12 PM
07/17/17 05:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 19,234
Iowegia - USA
MolaKule Offline
MolaKule  Offline
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 19,234
Iowegia - USA
If you can find Pentosin FFL-4 or Redline DCTF Dual Clutch Transmission Fluid (8.1 cSt)
they have the correct viscosity and friction modification for MT's speced for fluids of the ATF viscosity.

Last edited by MolaKule; 07/17/17 05:14 PM.

Reading is fundamental; understanding is not a given ability.
Re: 303 tractor hyd oil in a manual transmission [Re: racsan] #4464142
07/19/17 03:55 PM
07/19/17 03:55 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 11,839
Idaho
CT8 Offline
CT8  Offline
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 11,839
Idaho
A higher quality utf that meets a newer spec would be a better gamble.


2015 Ford F150 2.7
2018 Ford F350 6.2

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