Which Auto Trans Fluid To Use??
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Which Auto Trans Fluid To Use??

    G'day Folks,

    Looking for a recommendation for Auto Trans Fluid for a ZF 3HP 22 auto box. This particular box is in an old BMW ('77 3.0L) but I am pretty sure they were in plenty of other cars in the late 70's early 80's including Pug 505's.

    The Castrol website suggests Transmax M. I don't think it is a Dexron 3, which by previous readings seems to be a must to avoid in older boxes.

    Also what have been people's experiences with Nulon G60 which is formulated for use in Auto boxes?

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    Thanks in advance for the collective wisdom from fellow AF'ers.

    Philip

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    I wouldnt put 3 in it....I just checked if the penrite site has been updated and it appears to be the case...seems like the old DII will no longer be available and DIII will take over again...strange...
    Re nulons automatic trans treatment..I ve used it a few times and its made a difference every time...
    One particular w126 merc went from being unable to get into 3rd to never having issues again...been 3 years now...bought the car cheap because trans wasnt changing...$10 later and she was like new...Highly recommended....Their power steering stuff is good as well...




    dino

  3. #3
    UFO
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    Castrol still make Transmax M and it is usually available at REPCO and other suppliers. It is the equal to DII

    Use DIII at your own peril and do not believe the spotty yoof behind the counter that tries to tell you that 3 is better than 2.

    I cannot comment re the Nulon auto transmission product as I have never used it. There was a thread elsewhere recently commenting about both auto and manual Nulon products.
    Craig K
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  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Philip,

    Gudday!

    Many early Euro auto gearboxes are designed to use Dexron2 type oils. The later Dex3 is a totally different formulation and will destroy the earlier gearboxes by etching the friction lining material.

    Castrol Transmax M is suitable for the early gearboxes, and is readily available from almost everywhere. Use it and you will be pretty safe.

    Regards,

    fento

  5. #5
    UFO
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  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Many thanks for the prompt and useful replies!!!

    I will be looking to do a service on the box this weekend with a new filter and gasket and I reckon I will go the Transmax M and the G60.

    Again many thanks!!

  7. #7
    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    I have been running Transmax M in the ZF 4HP18 auto box in my XM for about 80,000 km. For the 40,000 km before that it had Transmax Z, which was what was in it when I bought it. I started using Transmax M because a valve started sticking intermittently. Regular changes of Transmax M made the problem go away for a while. A week or so back I added Nulon G60 for the first time, and the valve stopped sticking immediately. Now, after a week, it does stick a little occasionally, but I think it is better for the Nulon. Time will tell. I plan to add more Nulon at the next Transmax M change after another 10,000 km or so. I think that will be the real test.

    Roger

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts Dave's Avatar
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    Yes on that vintage definitely go for Transmax M.

    Dave


  9. #9
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  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamma View Post
    But, Penrite recommend a Dex 111 for my car, which given previous discussion on this site is not suitable for the older trannys.

    Although, I have happily used Penrite engine oils in the past.

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Gamma's Avatar
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    Penrite DEX III is suitable for older autos.
    Some of the other auto oils are not suitable.
    I think Castrol do still make a DEXII
    http://www.castrol.com/castrol/secti...tentId=7066081
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  12. #12
    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Castrol does make a Dexron II product. It is called Transmax M and is widely available. I use it in the ZF 4HP18 auto box of my XM. I buy it a carton at a time (3x4l packs) from my local BP distributor.

    General Aussiefrogs wisdom is that it is the right product to use in a number of older ZF auto boxes, certainly in the 4HP18, and possibly also in the 3HP22. The same general Aussiefrogs wisdom would suggest that no manufacturer's Dexron III product, not even Penrite's, is the right fluid for those boxes.

    By "general Aussiefrogs wisdom" I do not necessarily mean everyone, but a sufficently large number for everyone else to take notice.

    Roger

  13. #13
    UFO
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    Dex IID/Transmax M only in the boxes that specify it.

    How difficult is this for people to understand?
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  14. #14
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    http://www.penriteoil.com.au/pis_pdf...JAN%202011.pdf


    Although a DEXRON-III, this product has been
    carefully balanced to ensure correct performance in
    automatic transmissions that require DEXRON-II
    type products.
    cough cough cough

    I think its wiser to errr on side of caution and stick with DII....or Transmax...
    I remember back in the early nineties...we were "all" told by the "oil sales guys" that DIII was safe in boxes demanding DII...Dont know about you but I aint going to follow their advice in this case...Once bitten twice shy...




    dino

  15. #15
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    The requirements as laid out by ZF are crystal clear (PDF, 115 KB). You have only two choices:

    1. Use lubricants that have 11A or 11B approval.

    2. Alternatively, use any mineral based Dexron-II or Dexron-III lubricants.



    If you're going to use a lubricant that isn't on the approval list, make sure that it is of a mineral base. Semi-synthetic, fully-synthetic, or synthetic-based lubricants may only be used if it has been officially approved to ZF standard 11B. Note that very few synthetics have been given approvals (I suspect ZF are very picky in regards to the composition of the base oils).

    Penrite ATF DX-III would not be suitable for ZF transmissions for cars because, according to the product data sheet, it is hydrocracked (i.e. synthetic) and not approved to standard 11B.

    Unless the packaging is very clear, it can be difficult to determine which unapproved Dexron-III lubricants are mineral or synthetic.

    Most Dexron-IID (but not Dexron-IIE) lubricants are mineral based, aren't too expensive (facilitating frequent changes) and is plentiful on Australian retail shelves. Too easy.

  16. #16
    sans witticism SLC206's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel_vert View Post
    The requirements as laid out by ZF are crystal clear (PDF, 115 KB).
    I'm especially impressed by the term "offensive, sporty driving style" - apparently if you drive your 4HP20-equipped vehicle like this, you need to disregard the "sealed for life" requirement and replace your gearbox oil more frequently
    Regards,

    Simon

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  17. #17
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    Attached are the details from when the car was new. They may be of interest (but not quite crystal clear).....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Which Auto Trans Fluid To Use??-bmw1.jpg   Which Auto Trans Fluid To Use??-bmw2.jpg   Which Auto Trans Fluid To Use??-bmw3.jpg   Which Auto Trans Fluid To Use??-bmw4.jpg  

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Simon,

    A very comprehensive listing - unusual to see any manufacturer not prefer a specific brand.

    The point that may need watching here is that there have been many oil upgrades and new products since the manual was printed - and this is where you may get caught. For example, the manual lists the term Dexron, but not the now available different grades of the same name.

    Take care,

    Fento

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