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manual transmission fluid

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Old 11-17-2009, 12:30 PM
Roy C Roy C is offline
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manual transmission fluid

I'm getting an 87 F150 this afternoon with the 4spd manual transmission. I called the Ford dealer and he said his book only goes back to 1988 but that it recommends an ATF for their manual transmissions. What is everyone else out there using for a manual trans? ATF sounds to light.

Please forgive me if I ask all the stupid questions but I'm not real experienced in automotive work. This vehicle is a project for me and my son.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:43 PM
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You can put gear oil in the four speed. The newer 5 speeds do require ATF though.
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:35 PM
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no do not put gear oil in that 4 speed. the old 4 speeds use gear oil, the old cast iron ones. all ford aluminum case manuals use atf. had a 4 speed from an 87 in my truck a while back, same problem noone knew what to fill it with. ended up finding a ford part number at one of the parts stores and it was just regular old atf. i put in about 30% of lucas trans medic to shut up the syncros. gear oil will trash that cause it is to thick wont lube the input bearing enough. if its cast iron, gear oil is fine, aluminum is atf
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:53 PM
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My '87 with an aluminum case overdrive 4 speed (3+OD) specifies gear oil, not ATF.
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Old 11-17-2009, 06:02 PM
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I just changed mine out and i used 80-90w gear oil, per recommendations
of folks on this site. Also, that is what it called for in a Haynes manual AND what drained out of it ;-) Good luck!
Jim
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Old 11-17-2009, 07:49 PM
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ok well i guess i should just come on here for any of my questions from now on cause i asked 2 trans shops around my house and a parts guy at the dealer and they all said if its aluminum its atf. was confient that they knew what they were talking about so i didn't look anything up, just did, says use gear oil. now ifeel like an a**. sorry all
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:02 PM
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He's sorta right, if you ignore the aluminum 4sp/OD transmissions. The newer 5 speeds have aluminum cases and they take ATF. The older cast iron trannies all take gear oil.
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:13 PM
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well i just never even questioned it when 2 tranny shops told me that. but i guess i should be more careful
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Old 11-17-2009, 08:15 PM
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You'd probably be amazed at how many people give out wrong information about cars, even people that do it for a living.
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Old 11-18-2009, 05:01 AM
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^^^ Agreed. Im a fleet mechanic for a living, and I can tell you unless the people you talked to were only months away from retirement, they probably were not working on an 88 when it was new. The younger mechanics probably have heard that "unless that ford is old as dirt, the manuals take atf." And heck, your truck has EFI, so it cant be that old... right? Most public mechanics have no idea about anything older than about 97-98, its all they ever work on, and all they want to know about.
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Old 11-18-2009, 07:17 AM
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Follow the recommendations of the owner's manual. My old '86 M4OD specified gear oil and my '88 M5OD says ATF. But with 200K on the clock, the syncros are loud as hell.

The Ford dealer told me that these trannies don't build up that much heat and don't need the heavier lube.

Tim
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:10 AM
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If you run ATF in a toploader design ( SROD ) it won't last long. Man there are lots of people giving out bad info these days I won't get into what I run in all my T5 builds . . . .
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:38 PM
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Small Leak

Ok so I have a small leak in my tranny and was wondering the same thing. Its a 1989 F150 with the 6. Manual transmision, and wondering when I add fluid is there anything I can add to help stop the leak?
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Old 05-18-2010, 04:19 PM
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A manual trans leak is something that needs to be fixed. First, find the leak, its either a rear seal, a front seal, posibly a rubber plug etc. But find it and replace it. Usually its not a difficult task.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:13 PM
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How do you check the fluid in an 89 with a 5 manual with a strait six.
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