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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

This issue has been discussed at length in other posts, but I just wanted to share my gear oil experiences with Shell Spirax HD 80W-90 and Red Line 75W-90 NS. I started using Red-Line from May 2005 at 91,162 miles and enjoyed smooth shifting experience overall. I had used Kendall previously which was ok, but Red Line seemed to improve the shifting smoothness.

Out of curiosity for the Shell Spirax HD recommended by the owner's manual, I decided to swap for it in Sep 2006 when the car had 98,537 miles, thinking that it would be a better choice. My initial observation was a higher tendency to grind when cold, but not much difference when warmed up.

Recently, at about 101,000 miles I noticed that I was grinding the 2nd gear more easily on upshifts even when warmed up (1st to 2nd):confused:. All this time, downshifts have been ok (I've also tried to double clutch more often).

So last weekend, I decided to switch back to Red Line at 101,357 miles, and walla! The car shifts noticeably better again, even when cold! :D

So FWIW, my Alfa seems to prefer the Red Line 75W-90 NS over the Shell Spirax HD 80W-90. I would recommend (at least from my experience) those of you with grinding issues to consider Red Line if all else fails before attempting a rebuild! Just remember to get the "NS"!

Cheers,
Andre
 

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I did kinda the same thing in my verde and noticed the same thing.

I went from a mix of one qt of redline and Shell to all Shell
then to all redline. I have like 240K miles on the box and the redline made a big improvement.

I think the Shell need to be changed more often. when new it seems to work beter then after it is a few years old. but even new the redline seems to win for me. and I did not need to add anything for the LSD. I can tell that the LSD has more bite but it does not chatter.
 

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Good testemonial Tokky.

This mirrors my experience with my 87 Quad, now 83Kmi.

At 73K, I thought I was going to need a rebuils soon, changed the old gear oil with Spirax HD, not much change.

Tried Redline 75W 90NS, great improvement noticed after 400mi. Still in there..

Fellow Alfisti, have remarked to me how the trans shifts noticeably better than theirs, when they drove my car.

BTW, i had no issue with leaks.

Best regards, Elio
 

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I prefer Redline in my Spider gearbox too. The only downside is that it is more likely to leak, so you may need to check the level more frequently.
Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
88 Verde
 

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You guys are killing me... I just put the Spirax in and now I am going to worry about it for the next couple of thousand miles...

(another) Ed
 

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You guys are killing me... I just put the Spirax in and now I am going to worry about it for the next couple of thousand miles...

(another) Ed
:rolleyes: Nothing to worry about. I use it. No problems. Just drive:)
 

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Spirax HD contains the friction modifiers for hypoid gears and wouldn't be a benefit with syncros with 100K miles of use.

I have had good results with Spirax LS in the differential.

I solved the leaking seal problem on the spider by adding (1) 24 oz bottle of Lucas transmission fix with a quart of Redline NS in the box.

Benefits of Redline oil with out worries of weeping seals. (Better living through petrochemicals)


http://www.lucasoil.com/images/medialibrary/trans_fix.pdf

YRMV
 

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Ken:
The GTV has Spirax in the gearbox. I switched to Redline in the Spider because it would not shift into second gear when it was cold and filled with Spirax. I did not have that issue with the GTV.
Ed
 

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PO put in hypoid lube. trans would not shift to any gear without grinding. put in redline 3 years ago, now a little grind if I get too fast shifting to second. I have been thinking of changing to spirax or changing the redline for new just to flush whats left of the old lube.
cliff
 

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These are always interesting posts. I had grinding & leaking in my trans which I had rebuilt and filled with redline. I changed to spirax this spring when I took it out of storage and have been driving all summer before making this post. For me the spirax shifts smoother and I no longer have a leak.

What does everyone recommend for the rear end ?

Terry
 

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For the diff. because of the LSD, I'd use Spirax.
Redline 75W 90NS is NOT recommended
If you use another Redline like 75W 90, or MTL, you may/will need to fool around with friction modifiers.

TTFN Elio
 

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Spirax HD contains the friction modifiers for hypoid gears and wouldn't be a benefit with syncros with 100K miles of use.

I have had good results with Spirax LS in the differential.

I solved the leaking seal problem on the spider by adding (1) 24 oz bottle of Lucas transmission fix with a quart of Redline NS in the box.

Benefits of Redline oil with out worries of weeping seals. (Better living through petrochemicals)


http://www.lucasoil.com/images/medialibrary/trans_fix.pdf

YRMV
V interesting, guys....is this Lucas trans fix a really a good, time tested product to add to your leaky gearbox , without harming anything? I am suspicious about elixirs/snake oil additives, hope this is not one of those, as I am VERY interested. Even after a new front trans seal, gearbox leaked the first day! Dang Alfas!!!
 

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Hi All,

This issue has been discussed at length in other posts, but I just wanted to share my gear oil experiences with Shell Spirax HD 80W-90 and Red Line 75W-90 NS. I started using Red-Line from May 2005 at 91,162 miles and enjoyed smooth shifting experience overall. I had used Kendall previously which was ok, but Red Line seemed to improve the shifting smoothness.

Out of curiosity for the Shell Spirax HD recommended by the owner's manual, I decided to swap for it in Sep 2006 when the car had 98,537 miles, thinking that it would be a better choice. My initial observation was a higher tendency to grind when cold, but not much difference when warmed up.

Recently, at about 101,000 miles I noticed that I was grinding the 2nd gear more easily on upshifts even when warmed up (1st to 2nd):confused:. All this time, downshifts have been ok (I've also tried to double clutch more often).

So last weekend, I decided to switch back to Red Line at 101,357 miles, and walla! The car shifts noticeably better again, even when cold! :D

So FWIW, my Alfa seems to prefer the Red Line 75W-90 NS over the Shell Spirax HD 80W-90. I would recommend (at least from my experience) those of you with grinding issues to consider Red Line if all else fails before attempting a rebuild! Just remember to get the "NS"!

Cheers,
Andre
I am glad it worked out for you. But, one can find as many or more posts explaining that no change was evident when changing over to Redline NS. Again, I am happy for you, and others here, some which are friends, but I am not convinced that just changing oil will automatically fix these plagued alfa boxes. Its a love hate relationship, you know.....LOL
 

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Papa Sr,

I had box rebuilt this spring and replaced 2nd gear and its dog, all syncros, bearings, and all new seals. Rebuild is going on 6 months with no leaks. (it leaked when it was new from factory) It is to early too tell if time tested proven…Lucas products come highly recommend from Spec Miata crowd. “Trans Fix” especially because of the lack of sulfur and seal conditioning.

I switched over from Spirax in the Spider transmission to Redline MT-90 because of the many recommendations from this BB about Redline, lack of sulfur, and a brief discussion with a Shell technical rep who knew the limits of using Spirax HD in a manual transmission taxed by large amount of spinning inertia. (Italian transmission design from 1960s with updated syncros in the ‘70s installed in car from the late 80s – thus the need to backwards engineer my oil fifty years.)(where did the time go?)

Lucas maybe snake oil... but hey, what isn't from Corona, CA...if it works out on this Biscione, with no leaks over the cold Oregon winter, I will let you know. (don't forget to give me a bump to wake me up in spring)

Cheers,
 

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Shell spirax

Gentlemen: Spirax may be what Alfa recommended because that is what is available in Italy and over the rest of the world. Actually the only critical gear box oil is for old cast iron two liter boxes and for pre 105 series cars that DO NOT have moly sychro rings. Those older cars say use DENTAX 90 which is NOT a hypoid gear lubricant as used in rear ends. The reason is that Dentax 90 is NOT as slick and so the gear must be held longer to stop the spin to engage. That burns out the gear. However, I do appreciate the comments about using red line. My son of Vintage Racing motors takes care of lots of hot cars and he uses it EXCEPT for brass synchro ring boxes. He swears by it and his job taking care of lots of important and expensive cars is on the line. Were it not for the fact that I love old cast iron two liters I would use it too (except that I have on my favorite after 209,000 miles redone all rings and collars with moly, and from now on will use redline). But that is only on those. Even my non 102 series spiders have always used red line. That is why I am going to use it in my old 10204*00126 (as shown in the photo). I need to go another fifty thousand miles yet before I cash out. But I have NEVER used spirax except in rear ends and in steering boxes. Not so sure the steering boxes have fared well either, as far as that goes. It seems to gather more moisture than I wish.
 

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Not to diminish the results of the testing, but I've found that, like replacing old tires, replacing old gear oil with fresh oil always makes a drastic difference in just about every aspect.

I used Spirax, but recently, for giggles, tried Wal-Mart Supertech in the correct grade. It contains no LSD, and has worked fine for over 3,000 miles so far. Not any better or worse than the Spirax. The manual also says to change it every 30K, but my old oil was way nasty after less than 15K.

I don't believe in miracle oils for these gearboxes. Use what you are comfortable with. That said, I may try Redline NS next time! I just don't believe we have to limit ourselves to those two oils, but I know better than to press that issue. Nothing wrong with tried and true.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Not to diminish the results of the testing, but I've found that, like replacing old tires, replacing old gear oil with fresh oil always makes a drastic difference in just about every aspect.
I'm not trying to prove a point here, but I did note in my post that I had switched from Redline to Spirax first, and it did feel more notchy with a higher tendency to grind when cold after that change. Again, this is solely my experience. I just thought that it was quite an objective comparison considering that I switched from Redline to Spirax and then back and then making the observations;). I do agree that there may be other oils out there worth considering. That will be for the other folks here to chime in as I have not tried others.

Andre
 

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Papa Sr,

I had box rebuilt this spring and replaced 2nd gear and its dog, all syncros, bearings, and all new seals. Rebuild is going on 6 months with no leaks. (it leaked when it was new from factory) It is to early too tell if time tested proven…Lucas products come highly recommend from Spec Miata crowd. “Trans Fix” especially because of the lack of sulfur and seal conditioning.

I switched over from Spirax in the Spider transmission to Redline MT-90 because of the many recommendations from this BB about Redline, lack of sulfur, and a brief discussion with a Shell technical rep who knew the limits of using Spirax HD in a manual transmission taxed by large amount of spinning inertia. (Italian transmission design from 1960s with updated syncros in the ‘70s installed in car from the late 80s – thus the need to backwards engineer my oil fifty years.)(where did the time go?)

Lucas maybe snake oil... but hey, what isn't from Corona, CA...if it works out on this Biscione, with no leaks over the cold Oregon winter, I will let you know. (don't forget to give me a bump to wake me up in spring)

Cheers,
Thanks, Balocco.....I might try it...little to risk, I figure.....Pls let me know, if poss, by a PM, cuz sometimes I miss out on the forum , but a PM will stay put...
 
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