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Thanks guys, Really appreciate it!

With regards to Spirax, Shell now seems to be calling more axle/gear oils by that name. At least there seem to be more variations of it, with different nomenclatures than what was used in the past.

As a side note, from what I understand Shell Dentax is NLA.

At any rate, I ran across this Shell spec sheet and was wondering if this "S2" Spirax 80w-90 GL-5 is the equivalent of the "old" Spirax 80w-90 HD so many of us were using in our transaxle cars? I inquired to Shell with this question and never heard back from them.

Here are the urls:


 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Yeah, they've changed the formulation over the years, so the old Spirax 80W90 HD is no longer available AFAIK. It's a shame because it used to work pretty well. Closest on that chart would probably be the non-synthetic Spirax S3 AX (GL5/MT1) but no idea how well that would work for shifting performance. Given that Swepco and Redline are available and work well it's probably not worth doing the experiment.

Dentax is NLA but it was just a 90wt GL1, and there are equivalents available (Napa sells one, as does Millers). That said Dentax is completely inappropriate for anything but the gearbox of the pre-moly synchronizer cars (1971 and earlier, I think?). It would be Really Bad to put that in a transaxle car as you'd quickly trash your differential: the transaxle cars definitely need a GL5 to protect the ring & pinion.
 

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Yeah, they've changed the formulation over the years, so the old Spirax 80W90 HD is no longer available AFAIK. It's a shame because it used to work pretty well. Closest on that chart would probably be the non-synthetic Spirax S3 AX (GL5/MT1) but no idea how well that would work for shifting performance. Given that Swepco and Redline are available and work well it's probably not worth doing the experiment.

Dentax is NLA but it was just a 90wt GL1, and there are equivalents available (Napa sells one, as does Millers). That said Dentax is completely inappropriate for anything but the gearbox of the pre-moly synchronizer cars (1971 and earlier, I think?). It would be Really Bad to put that in a transaxle car as you'd quickly trash your differential: the transaxle cars definitely need a GL5 to protect the ring & pinion.
Thank you for the info. Yes indeed. I agree, it is not worth it to experiment since Swepco and Redline oils are readily available. Sorry for the commingling, but I did not mean to imply to use Dentax in a transaxle cars', transaxle. I only mentioned it because once upon a time, when life was simpler for the Alfa owner here in the states, it used to be "the go to" gear oil, for the period Alfa's you mentioned, as was the Spirax HD for the later period transaxle cars.

These standards seem to have all changed now. These changes appear to only have added to the confusion of what is the correct gear/transmission oil to use for a given car. The good news is that some modern GL-4 and GL-5 spec gear oils can protect the differential and are not harmful to some synchros. Of course, this is all important in a transaxle, where the differential and the transmission, share the same oil.

Please see the included links below. I have found this gentleman, Mr. Richard Widman, to be very helpful in understanding the API, MIL-Spec and SAE equivalents for gear/transmission oils. In my search to find the correct gear oil to use in other cars, Richard's advice proved to be very useful to me and to the car! He also takes the time answer e-mails.



 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Useful info, but a lot of the stuff he's writing about isn't really relevant for Alfas since they don't use brass synchronizers. That's one fewer thing we need to worry about in the Alfa world.

Report back with what you try, always good to have more data points.
 

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Well just for "grins" I inquired to Shell Oil Company technical information department to learn if they even make a modern equivalent to their old Shell Spriax HD 80W-90 oil. This time they replied and here is what the technician stated, listed in bold print and quotes below:

Case No: 00193265
Enquiry: Old Shell Spirax HD 80W-90 - Is There A Modern Shell Equivalent?
Response:

"Greetings,

Thank You for reaching out the Shell Technical team. Upon checking the Shell Spirax HD 80W-90 is an old discontinued heavy duty automotive gear oil (GL-5) and our current product with those specs is the Spirax S4 AX 80W-90.


Regards,
John Esguerra
Shell Technical Information"
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Interesting, that one isn't listed on the Shell page you linked to earlier. From the data sheet it does look quite similar to the old Spirax 80W90 HD. No idea if anything has changed beyond the naming.


Looks like these guys have it in quarts if you really feel like experimenting. Personally I'd just say go with the Swepco if you're going to mail order.

 

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Yes, for me it is confusing the way Shell has named a lot of their oils "Spirax" and with so many different "sub designations".

For those wanting a limited slip Shell oil for their transaxles here is what John the Shell technician suggested:

Case No: 00193539
Enquiry: Case No: 00193265 Old Shell Spirax HD 80W-90 - Is There A Modern Shell Equivalent?
Response:

"Greetings,

Thank You for reaching out to the Shell Technical team. The Spirax S4 AX 80W-90 does not have limited slip additives. If you're looking for a mineral heavy duty GL-5 80W-90 gear oil with 2-3% limited slip additives, you can use our Spirax S2 ALS 80W-90. Lastly, Shell does not have a limited slip additive available commercially.


Regards,
John Esguerra
Shell Technical Information"



As previously and often discussed, I don't believe the stock Alfa transaxle, with a 25% lock up, requires an oil with a limited slip additive.

It seems to me that 2-3% is quite a high percentage of limited slip additives for use in a factory, stock limited slip Alfa transaxle.

I may be wrong in my beliefs about these additives.

BTW: that seems like a really good price per qt listed at Atwoods for the Shell Spirax S4 AX 80W-90 oil. Thanks for posting.
 

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Here is more information direct from the Shell Technical Data team on the Spirax AX. It appears to be a direct replacement, without any changes in the formula, to the old Spirax HD:

Case No: 00193651
Enquiry: Case No: 00193265 Old Shell Spirax HD 80W-90 - Is There A Modern Shell Equivalent?

Response:

"Hello Tim,

The Spirax AX 80W-90 replaced Spirax HD. No formulation change.


Sincerely,
Don Spence
Technical Data Specialist, Shell Tech Center Houston
Lubricant answers on demand at www.LubeChat.com"
 

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I was just curious so I had to inquire and "beat a dead horse", just one more time.

Here is the lastest reply I received from Shell. It is regarding there "S#" designation nomenclature used for their Spirax oil:

"Hello Tim,

Yes these two products are a one to one match [the old Spirax HD = the new Spirax S4 AX]. In the Spirax products the S# is a tiering system. S2/S4= conventional base oil S6=synthetic base oil.

Sincerely,
Don Spence
Technical Data Specialist, Shell Tech Center Houston
Lubricant answers on demand at www.LubeChat.com"
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Nice investigating. If it's the same as the old Spirax HD it should work, I used that back in the day and it seemed fine.
 
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