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Mercon LV in the transfer case? #5362757 02/28/20 08:41 PM
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buck91 Online Content OP
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So after my experience with changing the transfer case fluid on my 2011 I'm looking to do an "early" change on my 2018. Interestingly, the manual is now specifying Mercon LV for the transfer case instead of the "transfer case fluid" (aka old Mercon). Did they change anything in the transfer cases between 2011 and 2018 or is this simply to appease the EPA gods? Thoughts on whether using a Mercon vs a Mercon LV fluid would be better long term- or if it would even matter?


2018 F150 Screw 4x4 2.7L Ecoboost
2011 F150 Scab 4x4 5.0L
1996 Mustang GT 5spd/ragtop
Re: Mercon LV in the transfer case? [Re: buck91] #5362765 02/28/20 08:49 PM
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4WD Offline
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My 2017 Tahoe and 2018 Z71 4WD’s use Dexron VI …
pretty much the same as M-LV … in fact I used a Ford/GM dual approved ATF …

Re: Mercon LV in the transfer case? [Re: buck91] #5362796 02/28/20 09:23 PM
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MParr Offline
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My 2014 specifies Mercon LV

Last edited by MParr; 02/28/20 09:23 PM.

2019 VW Tiguan SE 2.0 TSI Now: Castrol Pro OE LL IV 0W20 & OE VW
2017 Ford Escape SE 2.0T Now: Kendall GT-1 Max 5W30 FS & NAPA Gold 1348
2014 F-150 4x4 Now: Pro DS 5W20 & Motorcraft FL-500s
Re: Mercon LV in the transfer case? [Re: buck91] #5362812 02/28/20 09:38 PM
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CT8 Offline
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My wifesF350 uses LV in her trans case. It is supposed to be a better base oil? Not much in a standard transfer case. I did a change at 1,000 miles and the oil had sparkles.


2015 F150 2.7
2018 F350 6.2
Re: Mercon LV in the transfer case? [Re: buck91] #5362874 02/28/20 10:57 PM
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MolaKule Offline
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Originally Posted by buck91
So after my experience with changing the transfer case fluid on my 2011 I'm looking to do an "early" change on my 2018. Interestingly, the manual is now specifying Mercon LV for the transfer case instead of the "transfer case fluid" (aka old Mercon). Did they change anything in the transfer cases between 2011 and 2018 or is this simply to appease the EPA gods? Thoughts on whether using a Mercon vs a Mercon LV fluid would be better long term- or if it would even matter?


There are two reasons: 1) a minimal, fractional, EPA fleet mileage increase, 2) The slightly lower viscosity fluid was tested and found to be more stable and offer the same wear resistance as the slightly higher viscosity fluid spec.

No conspiracy needed. Simply because it has a slightly lower viscosity does not mean it offers less wear protection.


Dr. Larry Fleinhardt: "You know, that term "dark matter" has always perplexed me. It fallaciously implies that the 95% of our universe that cannot be observed is some amorphous, eventless emptiness."
Amita Ramanujan: "I'm sorry?"
Dr. Larry Fleinhardt: "I guess it's all too human. Instead of admitting to the present limits of our knowledge, we just declare things to be unknowable." NUMB3RS
Re: Mercon LV in the transfer case? [Re: buck91] #5362922 02/28/20 11:59 PM
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zeng Offline
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Mercon offers a higher oil film strength in the initial tens of thousands of miles/km , beyond which its operating viscosity may tip below that of LV .
Question then would be, at what mileage the crossing occurs, if ever there is one . Mileage dependent though .

Last edited by zeng; 02/29/20 12:00 AM.
Re: Mercon LV in the transfer case? [Re: buck91] #5363018 02/29/20 06:20 AM
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hatt Offline
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I recently changed my 2013 again. Dex/Merc has been keeping those part time cases happy for 40 years so I'm staying the course despite Ford's more recent recommendations. I though Ford got rid of the part time transfer cases in more recent years?


2013 F150 5.0, Delo 400 XSP 5W-40, Wix 57502
2010 Camry 2.5, PP 10W-30, Mobil1 M1C-251A
Re: Mercon LV in the transfer case? [Re: buck91] #5363069 02/29/20 08:18 AM
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SoNic67 Offline
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Originally Posted by buck91
So after my experience with changing the transfer case fluid on my 2011 I'm looking to do an "early" change on my 2018. Interestingly, the manual is now specifying Mercon LV for the transfer case instead of the "transfer case fluid" (aka old Mercon). Did they change anything in the transfer cases between 2011 and 2018 or is this simply to appease the EPA gods? Thoughts on whether using a Mercon vs a Mercon LV fluid would be better long term- or if it would even matter?

This is to squeeze a little bit more MPG, to satisfy CAFE. Nothing got redesigned. If you really want to go syntethic, AMSOIL has a version with higher viscosity than LV (they also have the LV one, called "Fuel Efficient"): https://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-prod...omatic-transmission-fluid/?code=OTFQT-EA
Another synthetic one that has standard Mercon viscosity (cSt @ 100º C around 7.4) is Mobil1: https://www.mobil.com/en/lubricants...products/products/mobil-1-synthetic-atf/

Last edited by SoNic67; 02/29/20 08:39 AM.
Re: Mercon LV in the transfer case? [Re: hatt] #5363073 02/29/20 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by hatt
I recently changed my 2013 again. Dex/Merc has been keeping those part time cases happy for 40 years so I'm staying the course despite Ford's more recent recommendations. I though Ford got rid of the part time transfer cases in more recent years?


Yeah, mine is bolted to a 440Q rated transmission with the same Dex VI ATF

Last edited by 4WD; 02/29/20 08:25 AM.
Re: Mercon LV in the transfer case? [Re: buck91] #5363152 02/29/20 09:40 AM
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Kira Offline
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It seems transfer cases are not as finicky about fluid as transmissions can be.

My '05 Ranger now sports 20 ounces Maxlife LV. The "clicking" into and out of 2WD and 4WHi is now immediate.

Re: Mercon LV in the transfer case? [Re: MolaKule] #5365244 03/02/20 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MolaKule
Originally Posted by buck91
So after my experience with changing the transfer case fluid on my 2011 I'm looking to do an "early" change on my 2018. Interestingly, the manual is now specifying Mercon LV for the transfer case instead of the "transfer case fluid" (aka old Mercon). Did they change anything in the transfer cases between 2011 and 2018 or is this simply to appease the EPA gods? Thoughts on whether using a Mercon vs a Mercon LV fluid would be better long term- or if it would even matter?


There are two reasons: 1) a minimal, fractional, EPA fleet mileage increase, 2) The slightly lower viscosity fluid was tested and found to be more stable and offer the same wear resistance as the slightly higher viscosity fluid spec.

No conspiracy needed. Simply because it has a slightly lower viscosity does not mean it offers less wear protection.


Also one less part number that has to be produced when another existing one can do the job.


2014 Ford Mustang GT Track Pack
1995 Ford Mustang GT

Ford/Mazda Parts Counter
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Opinions expressed are my own.
Re: Mercon LV in the transfer case? [Re: Kira] #5366713 03/03/20 10:33 PM
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MolaKule Offline
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Originally Posted by Kira
It seems transfer cases are not as finicky about fluid as transmissions can be.

My '05 Ranger now sports 20 ounces Maxlife LV. The "clicking" into and out of 2WD and 4WHi is now immediate.



It depends on the Make and year. In Toyota transfer cases most TC fluids have been 75W90's. Lalely, they have gone to a LV fluid.

Nissan Frontier TC's use a Dex/Merc viscosity fluid while the Nissan PathFinder TC fluids use 75W90's.


Dr. Larry Fleinhardt: "You know, that term "dark matter" has always perplexed me. It fallaciously implies that the 95% of our universe that cannot be observed is some amorphous, eventless emptiness."
Amita Ramanujan: "I'm sorry?"
Dr. Larry Fleinhardt: "I guess it's all too human. Instead of admitting to the present limits of our knowledge, we just declare things to be unknowable." NUMB3RS
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