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Sorry Jay, it wasn't my intention to argue with you, in you documentation. A tremendous job you have done. I just wanted to confirm you statement and emphasise, that the oil names from then, is difficult to find. And the specifications has been elevated, over time. So in general , oil spec. to day is ,far better oil than back then.
And my reff. to "Religion" was just related to a given brand, in the market. Mostly all oil companies has similar specifications.
You are right in comparing apples with apples. You do grow the same apples in different gardens. And to day there is a higher competition in the oil business than then. So some oil refineries, is specialising in producing the different oil product. And selling there refineries as branded as buyers products.
It is also noticeable in the special recipes and test procedures, specially in test procedures ,that the car producers specifies for a given oil. A SAE specification, to day, isn't the same, quality stamp as it was 50 years ago.
If I may take the grease as an example.
It is from AR factory stated as an NLGI 1 grease.
The spec. NLGI 1 does only refer to the grease ability to float to the far corner, certainly important. But it doesn't say anything, about the grease ability to protect the metal against metal connection.
A Dentax 90 is a GL 1 (Gear lubricant 1 according to American Petrol Institute)
A Spirax S1 is a GL 3 oil according to Volvo Spec 97305.
To day you can buy a Castrol GL5. Probably also GL5 in other brands/products
The ciffer behind GL is referring to the additives. Or development stage of gear Lubricant, as I read id
If you has a desire for only Dentax 90 . And you come into a situation where you have to renovate the transmission. You have been driving a lot more than the 237000 miles that Jay has done( Its impressive)
Will you then demand that Timken deliver bearings, produced according the same specifications 50 years ago. Or will you accept that Timken, has a program to steely increase the number of running hours of there bearings.
Even the fact that we are driving an old car. Doesn't mean, that we have to live , as they did back then. And its difficult for to understand , whey we should not benefit from develobment. Just my humble opinion
 

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Richard Jemison
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Whale Oil

No one uses whale oil now either except in old whale oil lamps. It would be crazy to use anything else.
Actually whale oil lamps work better with current lamp oil, ar even vegetable oil. If whale oil was "REQUIRED'' little light would be made now from one!

You antiques are better kept in the dark anyway.............

Just so you are better informed there is nothing in your "Valuable" 102 or 106 transmissions that cant be replaced with later internals.
Your internals are far more valuable as donor parts to build CR race
boxes.:laugh:
 

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I do have this among my pictures.
Don't know , where it is from.
But the layout, looks similar to the one , that is in front of ones eyes, when open the hood of a 2000 spider.
But the Spirax 90EP and the Retinax G, puzzle me.
 

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I do have this among my pictures.
Don't know , where it is from.
But the layout, looks similar to the one , that is in front of ones eyes, when open the hood of a 2000 spider.
But the Spirax 90EP and the Retinax G, puzzle me.
Two points:

1. I would never trust or rely on any reproduction stickers for accuracy. They may have been made up on a computer to look similar to an original without having an original to make a copy of. Or, it's possible that somebody created an "updated" variant with what they thought would be good modern lubricant replacements.

2. There's a good chance that stickers may have been different according to region (we know that cars delivered to USA and Europe were different, so maybe stickers were different too?) and maybe even were different for specific countries. Such regional differences probably would also have been reflected in the owners manuals -- which were not just plain-vanilla translations but sometimes contain subtle differences with respect to subject matter.

Anyway, I think the documentation Jay provided gives clear answers for those who want to stick with original lubrication specifications.
 

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Sticker for early 2600, not two liter

After the last post telling me how stupid I was I intended to unsubscribe to this thread. Don't know why I am still involved. There are seemingly so many esteemed experts out there who believe Dentax 90 is just baloney and that I shouldn't even have wasted my time to find its new name. But, I know the properties of Dentax 90 works best on two liter transmissions regardless of all the new oils, new improvements, new formulations, etc. etc. I've been through all that before in many past decades. I remember, for example, when the "know it alls" tried to convert to straight 30 weight non detergent motor oil with a magical additive calls "Molycote". But they soon discovered that worked about two years before their second gear would start to grind. That wild idea died out. I have met lots of scoffers. In the end Dentax 90 works. But I admit it is not for later transmission, just on pre-1965 one.

I long ago learned to respect what others with other vintage Alfas assert about those in which they have experience. For example I remember once finding it necessary to apologize for insulting all the Milano owners after a comment I thought those cars were ugly as if styled by "rear end crash" and suitable only for chopping to make them into pickups (or "mokes" as they call such vehicles down under). Bad suggestion! I also was roundly castigated when I suggested that even the newest Alfa brake systems ought to use Castrol LMA. I personally still believe that because I have also had Alfetta, Gtv-6, Spiders, and 164s. I don't often fight frozen brakes. Still, I have learned not to make many comments in threads from other forums unless there is a question of how something fits, or something I've had to personally solve in the past myself. So, I understand why comments from others unfamiliar with two liter cars can miss the mark. Now to your oil sticker:

(1) Since the recommendations shown for brakes say to use Girling AMBER I know the sticker is NOT for a two liter. Amber did not exist until cars with disk brakes, and the 2600 had them in front first and then later all way round. The recommendation for two liter was Griling Crimson. Both were supplanted by what is now Castrol LMA. And I certainly learned what I should not use American brands like Lockheed or Bendix or Preston brake fruids. Castrol LMA is top of the line, exceeding DOT 3 or DOT 4 limitations. But there might be something we ought to experiment with. I once was astonished that a 2600 Sprint which sat for almost ten years outside on the dock of an oceanside wharehouse still had fully functioning disk brakes and clutch because the owner had started using in it the same brand silicone brake fluid he stocked and used in his wharehouse Hyster fork lifts. I've never had the guts to try it myself. Maybe there is something better better than Castrol LMA.

(2) Your sticker says use Shell Dentax 90 in the gearbox (in Italian "Cambio") meaning its transmission. I must confess I do not know the other suggested supplier but I certainly do know that Dentax 90's specific qualities made it thicker and not as slippery as to require pressure on the sychros longer to slow the gears for a shift. I went to great pains to find why we can't get Dentax 90 now, and ended up verifying that Shell Spirax S1 C90 is IDENTICAL. People should look at the comparison in the product disclosures I posted. Only the name is changed. I suspect that due to discontinued agricultural use (which explains why old stock can sometimes be found in farming areas) such as oiling combine sprocket chains, etc., where it once was in great demand.

(3) The differential on two liter or 2600 calls for Shell Spirax EP90, but don't let that confuse you to think that the new name for Dentax 90. Spirax EP90 is the same regular rear end grease one could find in almost any service station under their brand names. Any EP (extreme pressure) grease is best suited to hypoid gears -- the ring and pinion type -- common to all rear end differentials. But experience has shown it does not work well in two liter gear boxes because the EP additive (for extra pressure) made it too slick. Some said it "ate" the synchros, but that was not so. Instead, it was so slick the synchros had to stay in contact longer to slow the gears down enough to make a shift and thus wore out fasteri. Incidentally, this Spirax EP90 (i.e. regular rear end grease) is also the oil recommended for the steering boxes of both 2600 and two liter. I have seen some boxes in which previous owners tried to use anti seize compound. In some two liters it may have worked pretty well, but since the later 2600 boxes have needle bearing on the "roller" they need the EP grease so they don't go dry and the roller finally seize for lack of lubrication. Again I speak from experience. I have had thirteen two liter spiders over the years. I have repaired steering boxes for both two liter and 2600.

So, with this post I am going to quit following this thread. I did what was intended by providing the specific information to guarantee the Shell Dentax 90 is identical to Shell Spirax S1 C90 which replaced it. If, as I have been bluntly told, I should keep my antiques in the dark, then clearly I am also an antique. Consequently, if you need specific information concerning such antiques you should contact me via my email address. I am obviously too stupid for some of the enlightened brethren. Back when I started with my two liter there were no dealers and fewer sources of parts. I had to learn everything and find everything the hard way on my own. I learned, for example, that 1941 Plymouth (later also used in Studebaker cars) throw-out bearings are perfect replacements, that Chevy II clutch disks would work. I know that one can find identical bearing using the same sizes measured in metric made not only by Timken, Fafner, New Departure, etc. etc. but also even in Japan and in China and India. In the early days my father was an International Harvester Dealer and I used pickup bearing which allowed me not only lst, 2nd and 3rd oversize, but also 1/2, 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 because the outside of the bearing fit the Alfa engine main bearing blocks and the big ends of the rods. The only specific Alfa bearings that one has to get from Alfa are those shouldered ones for split case transmissions. Same with seals. They all use metric measurements. But where were these enlightened ones all these years? Nice that there is the Alfa Bulletin Board now. One can really learn a lot from others who share, but why should I wish to be slammed and treated like I'm just old and stupid?
 

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oily discussion...

Dear Jay,

This thread is not about whether whale lamps need whale oil, not about religious belief in ancient oils, and also not about whether there are better oils on the market now than 50+ years ago.... Instead, let's continue our valuable discussion about what is (i.e. are the specifications of) the best oil for the 102 gear boxes! An important discussion for me, as I doubt I can still get the oils recommended at the time. Therefore, I for sure highly appreciate your input, a combination of rational arguments and 50+ years of experience with 102's, which definitely beats what I have to offer so far.

Gr., Pieter

PS I suggest that we simply ignore anyone in this thread who proudly states a mantra of "you don`t have to listen, but you won`t win the argument", but who doesn't understand that you cannot argue without a reasonable argument....and that offensive remarks don't make people listen!
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Lombardi at Mil-Spec Products

Jay, thanks again for your great research. :thumbup1:

I have a call into Mr. Lombardi at Mil-Spec Products. He's out this week, but I'll see what he's got next week regarding the Spirax S1 G 90.

Stu
 

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Sorry Jay, if its my post you refer to.
You should that know, among all, that I don't intend to question you insight and knowledge.
In my first post , I stated "A tremendous job you have done" and if I my add not only in connection with oil.
This forum cant survival without you experience , and you willingness to share more that 50 years with the Alfa Romeo cast ion engines.

And thank for given light to the sticker. It could maybe be interesting for Ruedi, to know its for a 2600 and nor a fraud.
Interesting thou.
It recommend
Dentax 90 for the gear box
Spirax 90 EP for the differential.
I found a product specification
for Shell Spirax G a GL4 gear box oil spec from June 98.
What amuse me was this disclaimer.
"These characteristics are typical of current production. Whilst future
production will
conform to Shell's specification, variations in these characteristics may
occur."
 

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I am hoping that Jay meant he would no longer be following this Dentax 90 thread rather than the BB in its entirety. We'll see. His delightfully curmudgeonly contributions have amused and enlightened us all. Without his generosity I might still be working to restore my car.

I have witnessed this public forum, and others, to have a representative mix of people from across all types. This includes people who mean well, but whose sense of humor does not appeal to a major portion of readers. I have been accused of being among this group. I believe the source of Jay's offense is well known to frequently help people and cause pulsing forehead veins in about equal proportion. Alas, it's been going on long enough it's not likely to change now.

Hopefully Jay will ponder one of Ruiz's four agreements and realize the hurtful comments reflect upon the speaker and not Jay.
 

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When I returned home from Alabama to Georgia in 1989 with my first Two-Liter Alfa (#1844); excitedly, the first thing I did was call Jay Nuxoll, the ‘Two-Liter Lover’. He was surprised that his Alfa fame (or flame?) had reached all the way across the continent; still he was helpful and encouraging despite being a busy attorney with a family the size of a little league ball team and we talked into the wee hours of the morning. At the time, that Two-Liter was my 5th or 6th Alfa, it was familiar but strangely unique. Since then Jay has shared his Alfa wisdom, parts, friendship and even opened his house up to me and numerous Alfa friends. Despite the fact that I have been riding the RedLine for over 10 years, I truly intend no disrespect and have nothing but admiration for Jay.
 

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Jay, thanks for the research about oil for our old gearboxes. Many years ago, when there were still Alfa dealers, I could not find the Dentax 90 oil locally in Palm Beach and had to drive to Miami to get some from the Alfa dealer. I bought two or three gallons and it was put in gallon-size plastic milk bottles which I stored in my steel cabinet. I figured I would have enough for my 2600 for life, but I did not transfer it to more substantial containers. Years later, I discovered that the plastic bottles had deteriorated and I lost most of the oil and, by then, it was no longer available. I have one quart left. I have not driven my car anywhere near the miles you have, but I have never had a gearbox problem and the synchros work beautifully. Again, thank you for your research, as I now know what I can use.
Larry
 

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I will unsubscribe to this thread after this. Not because of any problems but just that it is not really relevant for what I am doing. I race my cars, none of them are street cars. I am not trying to put anyone down and question your input, and I think its great that someone is willing to do the research to track down what happened to a lubricant that disappeared. Bravo.

But my warning is that lubricant companies to a large extent are run by the marketing people, not the engineers. And through the years I have seen the small nimble manufacturer's that I used swallowed up by the conglomerates that keep the name but change the formulations, base stocks etc.

But.....

Redline 75/90 NS works really well for me in a torturous application. And despite what has been bandied about. To my knowledge the guys building close ratio 105 / 115 gearboxes right now to a man will tell you that they use the steel syncro's if they can source them, they work better in these gearboxes. And those builders (RJ and others) I have used have recommended I use Redline NS lubricant in my gearboxes.

Greg
 

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Thanks for your reply Richard, but l must say l have raced 2 MGA's, 2 Lotus 20's, Brabham's in the form of 1 BT6 1500 ex FJ Denny Hulme brought here (Australia 1963) by Frank Gardner after he fitted the Cosworth twincam, 1 BT15 both F3 and twincam, 1 BT21C, 1 BT21 replica, 1 Lotus Eleven S2 Climax, and have a host of road cars. I have used Penrite oils mainly HPR30 in all these and never ever had a blow up. The BT6 still has the u/1500cc lap record at Sydney Motorsport Park for Historic Group M. So you would have to think l would trust Penrite and their products. Also l know and have raced against some of the Penrite family members ....
 
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