What are you using for transmission oil?

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What are you using for transmission oil?

Post by oakland12 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:39 am

I'm going to pull the transmission on my 12 Oakland and go thru it and I don't have any replacement oil left for it. What are you using for transmission oil in your antique? The last time I bought oil was 15 years ago. Maybe there's something better out there today.

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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:37 pm

Re: What are you using for transmission oil?

Post by nsbrassnut » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:48 pm

Hi Ken

Here is a bit of history of what I have been using and what a friend found out recently when trying to find the oil that I am using.

I have been using Shell Valvata J460 steam cylinder / gear oil in a 1914 Hudson transmission and rear end. It is yellow metal "safe". It was the recommended lubricant when I asked the Shell Dartmouth office about 10 years ago. I asked for a modern replacement oil for the old 600W oil. They contacted a lubrication engineer in the head office and this is what was recommended.

The minimum container size was a 5 US Gal pail, but the cost per litre (quart) wasn't much over that of good engine oil at the local auto supply store. I'm still running off that pail after more 5 years. It looks like honey and pours like molasses. I helped make the Hudson transmission slow down enough to shift and I think reduced the gear noise slightly. It is an oil that can tolerate some moisture which can be helpful with some of the older cars that can get wet or have condensation build up.
Recently I passed along the recommendation to a friend to try in his 1910 Franklin. When he check with the Shell it turned out that they changed the product number to Shell Omala S1 W 460, but they then discontinued the product. They referred him to Exxon Mobile which is almost next door to Shell.

They cross referenced the Shell item number and then talked to their technical support desk. They have an equivalent product Mobil SHC series #634. This is also a steam cylinder oil with similar characteristics. Mobil also lists a 600W cylinder oil which is slightly thinner at high temperature.

The viscosity of these oils is ISO 460. The oils are available in 5 USGal (19 l) pails, I don’t think they can be purchased in in quart/litre sizes.

They can be purchased through the local Mobil dealer.

Drive Safe


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Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:45 pm

Re: What are you using for transmission oil?

Post by Jewarjone » Sat Nov 14, 2015 11:12 am

You can buy 1500 and 600 wt Green Velvet transmission oils fron Restoration Supply in Escondido, Calif. it is formulated specially without modern additives for use in pre 1915 gear boxes and rear ends.

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