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#4604099 - 12/15/17 05:42 AM Consistency of gear lube in very cold weather
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5789
Loc: Michigan
We all know that a 0 - 5w multi-grade motor oil flows better in cold weather. We have probably watched videos where this oil is made very cold and poured out and it is very thick.

This made we wonder how thick a 75-90w gear lube must get in cold weather. Is it like frozen ice cream or butter? How the
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#4604110 - 12/15/17 06:12 AM Re: Consistency of gear lube in very cold weather [Re: ZZman]
rooflessVW Online   content


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 4059
Loc: North Carolina
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#4604114 - 12/15/17 06:36 AM Re: Consistency of gear lube in very cold weather [Re: rooflessVW]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5789
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: rooflessVW



Like ice cream then?.... smile
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#4604177 - 12/15/17 08:07 AM Re: Consistency of gear lube in very cold weather [Re: ZZman]
kschachn Offline


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 9413
Loc: Upper Midwest
Originally Posted By: ZZman
Like ice cream then?.... smile

No, read the graph.

Besides, it's not the same environment as a motor oil nor does it have the same viscosity requirements.
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#4604187 - 12/15/17 08:13 AM Re: Consistency of gear lube in very cold weather [Re: ZZman]
4WD Online   confused


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6395
Loc: Texas
Does not get pumped … still requires mobility … some may have noticed the OEM’s went synthetic with gear oil long before getting behind synthetic lubes in the motor …

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#4604225 - 12/15/17 08:42 AM Re: Consistency of gear lube in very cold weather [Re: ZZman]
ARCOgraphite Offline


Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 11970
Loc: N.H, U.S.A.
Like a 10w40 to a 15w50 motor oil. Ive only trashed a diff through shock not through cold running. Though back when I had RRWD diffs with SAE90 I had a garage smile
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#4604239 - 12/15/17 08:54 AM Re: Consistency of gear lube in very cold weather [Re: ZZman]
fenixguy Offline


Registered: 02/08/17
Posts: 307
Loc: NC
I'm sure this has been posted here before, but it's still fun to watch.

Gear Oil in Cold
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#4604286 - 12/15/17 09:31 AM Re: Consistency of gear lube in very cold weather [Re: fenixguy]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5789
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By: fenixguy
I'm sure this has been posted here before, but it's still fun to watch.

Gear Oil in Cold


Cool video.... Looks like caramel.... Lol
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2003 Mercury Grand Marquis. Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle oil
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2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 LT. Amsoil Metric 10w-40

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#4604313 - 12/15/17 10:02 AM Re: Consistency of gear lube in very cold weather [Re: ARCOgraphite]
4WD Online   confused


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6395
Loc: Texas
Yep … 4 speed big blocks got a few …

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#4604471 - 12/15/17 12:51 PM Re: Consistency of gear lube in very cold weather [Re: ZZman]
Black_Thunder Offline


Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 1285
Loc: Wisconsin
what's weird is my vehicles i the late 90's came factory filled with either 75w90 or 75w140 synthetic.


and my Parents recently bought a 2015 Ford Escape that is spec'ed for 80w90 in the rear axle......why not 75w90?
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#4604530 - 12/15/17 01:36 PM Re: Consistency of gear lube in very cold weather [Re: Black_Thunder]
Y_K Offline


Registered: 05/29/09
Posts: 2149
Loc: WA (USA)
Because 80W-90 is not a syn oil and perhaps they want you to have a higher viscosity at lower temperature band. Chevron Delo ESI 80W-90 is certified for 500k miles in big trucks with Dana / Meritor rear ends.

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#4604616 - 12/15/17 03:13 PM Re: Consistency of gear lube in very cold weather [Re: ZZman]
barryh Offline


Registered: 01/09/16
Posts: 312
Loc: Cheshire, England
I've never seen gear oil in cold weather but I've certainly felt the difference a thinner oil makes.

My BMW motorcycle has gear oil in the gearbox, shaft drive and final drive. Spinning the rear wheel by hand in neutral demonstrates there is a really substantial amount of oil drag at - 5 deg C which is my lower limit for riding. Switching from the specified mineral 80W90 to synthetic 75W90 subjectively reduced that drag by a large amount. When I graphed the oils it was a reduction from approx. 4000 cSt to 1000 cSt. That reduction in cold viscosity has to be worth having and I won't be going back to the 80W90.
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