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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:56 am 
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Gearbox oils were available to Saab when they designed their manual gearboxes, yet they still specified engine oils for those gearboxes. If it were as simple as gearbox oils being better for any gearbox, irrespective of design, surely Saab would have specified a gearbox oil?

Granted that the most modern lubricants may change things - Saab did introduce a synthetic fluid on the last 9000s and NG900s, with a procedure for changing to this fluid for earlier models.

Saab's position on gearbox lubricants is explained here:
http://townsendimports.com/Web/transmis ... oxlube.htm

This could be from as early as 1997 but no earlier, since mention is made of the synthetic gearbox fluid in the 9000 and NG900.

The classic 900 and 99 gearbox may have special requirements, being a fairly uncommon design and being highly-stressed in the turbo variants, despite originally being designed for the normally-aspirated 99.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:42 pm 
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Hi

That's out of date. Their mention of other brands recommending engine oils for a gearbox is what gives it away, Honda/Acura, Peugeot etc all recommend using various different manual transmission fluids and not engine oils and have done for several years. Also their bit about how the engine oil is superior to gear oil shows the age, that simply isn't the case with modern oils. The only things about that that apply today are the bits where they mention it's cheaper and more convenient to use an engine oil.

If you really are certain that you want to use an engine oil, I'd go for a bike 10w-30 oil. As bike oils are designed for applications that share oil between the engine and gearbox, they will give better gearbox protection than a normal car engine oil.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:00 pm 
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Think that is the cause of the contentious issue, basically use engine oil or not, specially since the gearbox itself can't be compared to almost all others...

So in the end modern technology in oils has negated all of Saabs concerns in the link to townsend imports?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:31 pm 
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I can't really see the point of using an engine oil as, in a car engine, they are designed to deal with different things. Engine oils are formulated to deal with high temperatures and combustion byproducts, but not the shearing forces of gears. In most cases an engine oil is a passable alternative to a gear oil, but with the range of gear oils on the market now, I don't see the reasoning for using an engine oil in a gearbox.

In the information from the link, it mentions not needing an EP oil, which is fair enough, plenty of gearboxes are like that, but they still recommend gear oils. Engine oils tend to be roughly a GL4 specification if compared to a gear oil. The bit about the synchros not being slowed sufficiently by an EP oil is also something that comes up with many cars, but if an engine oil is a GL4 and a GL4 gear oil is used of pretty much the same viscosity as the engine oil, what's the difference when it comes to the synchros?

The bit about synthetics and seals is completely out of date. When synthetics first appeared on the market, there were issues with seals leaking, but the motor industry couldn't afford for that to keep happening, so there was change in the seals (in the 1970s) to stop that from happening. Okay, there might be issues with less reputable oils and seals, but as we don't deal with that kind of thing, it's not something that is a problem with the oils that we sell.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:38 pm 
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Thanks, Tim. I understand that oil technology has progressed since the 1990s and I wasn't by any means suggesting that Saab's recommendation back then is still the last word on the subject. My question was really about the point Saab makes in that memo that different gearbox designs require different lubricants. Are you saying that it is as simple as looking at the original lubricant recommendation and picking the modern equivalent? I'm not saying it isn't - I don't know. I'm just wondering how the recommendation for, for example, a Classic 900 gearbox is derived. That gearbox is a bit of an unusual design (but not unique, I'm sure) and 900 owners have been stuck between a 20-year-old recommendation from Saab and a lot of guesswork. With the gearbox's reputation for fragility coupled with the high torque output of the engine, it looks like I'm not the only one looking for a way to apply modern lubricant technology to make it more reliable. Especially now that some parts are starting to become difficult, if not impossible, to obtain.

Saab did change to a synthetic fluid in the late 1990s and they have only ever recommended against synthetic engine oils in the gearbox, not their own synthetic gearbox oil (and presumably other synthetic gearbox oils).

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:22 pm 
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Hi

Yes, different gearbox designs do need different oils, but they want gear oils ideally, rather than an engine oil. Using an engine oil for a gearbox is a bit like using a brick to bang a nail in - yes it will do it and it costs less, but it's not the ideal option.

The main thing to consider is that engine oils are designed to deal with higher temperatures, burning and the chemicals produced by the burning of fuel. Gear oils do not have to deal with those issues (other than temperature, but not to the extent that an engine oil does). The main issue for gear oils is the cutting action of the gears breaking down the longer molecules and reducing the effectiveness of the oil and having to cope with the pressures generated. They have various things in common, like resisting foaming, anti-oxidisation additives etc, but nothing that makes an engine oil more suitable for a gearbox than a gear oil. The only time when I'd recommend an engine oil in a gearbox is a shared application, like motorbikes, classic Minis, model Ts, etc etc.

Cheers

Tim

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:16 pm 
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I'm happy enough that you have already dealt with the engine/gearbox oil question and that there is likely a suitable modern gear oil for almost any gearbox application.
What I'm asking above is how we arrive at a suitable choice of modern oil for a particular gearbox for which the original lubricant spec. is now well out-of-date. As you and Saab have said, different gearbox designs have different lubrication requirements. When choosing a modern gearbox oil, is the choice influenced mainly by the design of the gearbox, the type of oil originally specified or a bit of both?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:59 pm 
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We look at the original spec, then update it based on the oils available now. As an example, a lot of older cars will recommend a SAE90 in the gearbox, but you can change that to an 80w-90 as it will flow better from cold, making cold shifts easier and less strain on the gearbox. The GL spec required is a little trickier sometimes.

http://www.opieoils.co.uk/pdfs/tech-art ... ations.pdf

Certain cars will require GL1 oils and I often stick to that as cars that need a GL1 are old (vintage, 1920s/30s etc) and delicate. However, if they have been rebuilt, with new seals, that changes everything. A friend of my boss has a 1931 Austin 7 that has been fully rebuilt. They recently completely a Lands End to John O'Groats and back again trip recently, using the Fuchs Pro R 20w-50 synthetic ester based oil in the engine and gearbox (that oil is also sold as a bike oil, which is why it went in the gearbox) with no problems whatsoever. I think they've been using the Pro R for about 6 months so far and it's been absolutely fine, so good that he's put it in another of his 7s. While GL1 applications tend to be quite sensitive, I tend to recommend a GL4 oil for GL 2 and 3 applications as there are very few of those oils available and they aren't overly sensitive. With GL4 gearboxes, I generally go for a GL4 or 5, depending on what it is. There are certain GL5 oils that can be used to replace GL4 and not cause any issues in a gearbox. One of those is the Fuchs Sintofluid, which I'd offer as an option for the 900 (especially ones with aftermarket diffs). Not all GL5 oils work well as gearbox oils, sometimes they are better as diff oils.

In something like a 1980s Cortina, the original oil spec for the gearbox was a 80w mineral oil, as that was what was available at the time. If it was me recommending a current oil for that, I'd chose the Redline MTL as it's a 70w-80, so will help the cold shifts and as it's synthetic, it will give better better protection than a mineral oil, without upsetting any of the components of the gearbox.

Cheers

Tim

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:08 pm 
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Car Model: Ex Turbo X JZW onwer
Do you do oils for the XWD systems?

saab 9-3 2.8 V6T XWD, 2008/9 manual

Haldex Gen 4

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:06 am 
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Hi

Unfortunately no. We don't have anything suitable for the Haldex system, although you should be able to get it from a VW dealership if you can't find it elsewhere.

Cheers

Tim

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:59 pm 
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hi i would like to change my gearbox oil in my 2003 saab 93 aero but lots of confusion around what oil to use i wont to put a good quolity oil in what would you say i should use thanks steve


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:17 am 
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You need a MTF for the gearbox and I would go with a good quality one like the Redline MTL, Amsoil MTF or Fuchs Sintofluid.
 
http://www.opieoils.co.uk/c-670-75w-80-75w-85-mtfs.aspx
 
Regards

Tim

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:13 pm 
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great thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:11 am 
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A friend's autobox sometimes has minor hiccups. (not kicking down quickly, or holding onto gear a wee bit long). I asked about the oil and apparently the oil in the box is no longer "pink" but brown.

model: Saab 9-5
Year: 2003
milage: 163k
gearbox: automatic
type: 2.2 Tid, standard
Driving style: like a granny, does longer distances.

I advised a change, but with what oil? Can an decent independent do this or should he go to a gearbox specialist?

All advice greatfully received!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:32 am 
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Hi

This is ideal for the auto

http://www.opieoils.co.uk/p-69402-mobil ... fluid.aspx

As for who can do it, all I can say is with most autos, an independant can do it.

Cheers

Tim

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:45 am 
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Thanks! :D

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:29 am 
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What about gearbox oil for 1997 Saab 9000 Aero, manual, with the 3.61 final drive ratio if that matters.

Oil for such cars that are tuned and putting out ~300 bhp has been a subject of debate here for years, with some sticking to the mineral engine oil recommendation and others using Amsoil products in there ?

What would you suggest for low mileage performance use ?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:46 pm 
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Hi

I would always tend to go for a synthetic gear oil over a mineral engine oil when it comes to gearbox use. While engine oils can be used in gearboxes, it's not what they are designed for and will not do as good a job as a proper gearbox oil.

I would use the Fuchs Sintofluid 75w-80, Amsoil MTF or Redline MTL.

http://www.opieoils.co.uk/c-670-75w-80- ... fluid.aspx

Cheers

Tim

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:40 pm 
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Thanks. Currently it has Amsoil Severe Gear Oil in there ([you]this[/you]) and it is eons better than the old gunk that was in there. It cost me a chubby small fortune however since I flushed, refilled, flushed a few times with the Amsoil before leaving the nice clean new oil in there.

Why was the Amsoil not in your current recommendation ?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:03 pm 
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Hi

Because it's a little thicker than an MTF. A MTF at 70w-80 or 75w-80 is roughly equivalent to a 10w-30 engine oil (original gear oil spec) in viscosity terms. If the gearchanges are fine with the Severe Gear, you're fine to stick with it, but if the changes are stiff, I'd go for something thinner like the ones I mentioned before. I know it's making more power than standard, but that often doesn't heat the gearbox oil too much, so you don't need a thicker oil.

Cheers

Tim

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