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Vanagon Gear Oil
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chris garrett
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:49 am    Post subject: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

I realized that my transmission has a slow leak and I want to check the oil level. The owner's manual says the oil does not have to be changed and some here say not to change it or problems will ensue.
After 30 years it seems like a good idea to refresh the oil in spite of the warnings. First of all how do I check the oil level? Is it 1/2" below the bolt hole?
I plan on using Penzoil 80w-90 GL5.
I have a 2.5 Subaru engine and I would like to protect my trans and final.
Thanks for any advice and comments.
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Last edited by chris garrett on Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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zak99B5
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:18 am    Post subject: Re: Final Drive Gear Oil Reply with quote

I am guessing a manual tranny....

Never heard of not changing the gear oil in one. Only the advice not to change automatic tranny fluid after high mileage if it hadn't be changed before.

Just below or up to the fill hole is good. I always have a hard time feeling the oil level with my pinkie. So I usually fill to it starts to dribble out.

GL-5 can cause problems with the brass sychros. My MkIV GTi's tranny didn't like it at all--shifts became painfully slow after I replaced the factory fill with it (Lucas synthetic GL-5). Then I learned about GL-4, and replacing with that brought back easy shifting.

Personally, I would just go to the VW dealer and get their gear oil.
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chris garrett
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:48 am    Post subject: Re: Final Drive Gear Oil Reply with quote

No, sorry it's an '85 Vanagon automatic. I should have posted that.
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dkoesyncro
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:38 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

Not sure about the auto or the correct way without opening the Bentley....

A reliable source in the NW said if I can't find swepco that common mobile delvac 90 is good. So far, it's been great.
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kourt
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:04 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

Howdy,

Help us out a bit here: tell us if you're talking about the transmission or the differential. They are two separate entities.

Your differential will be properly filled if you do the following:

1. park on a level surface
2. open the fill plug on the passenger side with a 17mm hex tool
3. siphon out the old gear oil (check its quality and quantity--don't just throw it away)
4. pump in the new gear oil until it comes out of the fill plug hole
5. close the fill plug hole and check for leaks

I'm using Mobil 1 75w-90 gear lube with no problems. It is relatively clear and therefore shows ATF contamination very easily.

If you feel the differential pan gasket is leaking, drop the pan and replace the gasket. All the major van vendors sell replacements; I'm using the cork gasket right now with no problems. Thinner gaskets may call for a very thin coating of your favorite gasket maker compound on the contact surfaces of the pan and the differential.

Other sources of leaks: output flange seals, governor seal, back-to-back seals on pinion on transmission side, weep hole near diff/trans joint on the bottom of the unit, vents on top (if you are overfilled or foaming).

I hope this helps.

kourt
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chris garrett
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:31 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

Hey Kourt,
Thanks for the info. What's the best way to siphon the oil? I was just going to drop the pan.
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kourt
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:44 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

Google "gear oil siphon"

Any auto parts store should have this type of cheap siphon for less than $10.

kourt
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

chris garrett wrote:
I was just going to drop the pan.


That's what I did and as careful as I was (following instructions from TheSamba), I still took a gear oil bath.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Next time, I'll be siphoning.

kourt wrote:
Mobil 1 75w-90


That's what I put in mine. Four years later, still shifts like butter.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Merian
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

siphon first, then drop the pan

you will find more oil in it and can inspect for sludge, change the gasket, look at the "stuff" above, etc.

I normally Repl. Differential Oil every 7-10 years, no matter what mileage, but I suggest you do it again much sooner as the 30 year old oil remnants will mix with the fresh oil you put in.
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Tom Powell
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

chris garrett wrote:
Hey Kourt,
Thanks for the info. What's the best way to siphon the oil? I was just going to drop the pan.


I think that any of the gear oil pumps available at a FLAPS can also act as a siphon, however you usually have to hold the handle in the up position or it gets sucked down and the siphon stops. Better to buy a good pump and use it as a pump to remove the fluid. The ones with a clear body or clear hoses give you a visual clue as to whether the fluid is moving.

For my '69 camper with manual transmission I use StaLube GL-4. They have a pump which screws onto the container and that makes filling a lot easier. Would be easier to do it on a hoist rather than laying on your stomach on the concrete and pushing the pump.

Caveats:
Always loosen the fill plug before removing the drain plug. Nothing worse than an empty transmission with a stuck fill plug.
If you are draining or siphoning get the job started with the fill plug in place. When you remove the fill plug the flow will increase dramatically.
Have a single drainage container larger than the quantity expected. It's messy to change containers while the oil is flowing or to move a pan that's filled to the brim.

Aloha
tp
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chris garrett
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

Okay, thanks for all the good advice guys.
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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

Tom Powell wrote:
Caveats:
Always loosen the fill plug before removing the drain plug. Nothing worse than an empty transmission with a stuck fill plug.
If you are draining or siphoning get the job started with the fill plug in place.


There is no drain plug on an A/T. The fill hole is also the siphon hole, unless you prefer dropping the pan to drain it. Wink
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tarandusVDub
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

Do the oil types mentioned and method work for MT too?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

tarandusVDub wrote:
Do the oil types mentioned and method work for MT too?

The manual tranny has a drain and a fill plug (as noted, loosen fill first).

No need/use to siphon the old oil out. To fill, I use plastic hose that runs from the rear wheel to the tranny and in the fill hole. Others use a pump to get the oil up and in.

There is no pan you can drop on the manual.

On the manual, the gear box and differential share the same fluid (vs ATF in the auto tranny and separate gear oil in the diff housing).

The manual tranny has yellow metals in it, so you should use appropriate gear oil for the synchronizers.

The gear oil in the diff (only) on an auto doesn't have the same consideration.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

When you pull the pan leave two bolts on one side in place, just loosen them about turn. This will allow the pan to pivot down hopefully towards your drain pan. Once the tranny is well drained, you can then remove the last two bolts.
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atomatom
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

zak99B5 wrote:
tarandusVDub wrote:
Do the oil types mentioned and method work for MT too?


...

The manual tranny has yellow metals in it, so you should use appropriate gear oil for the synchronizers.



and there i thought this was the most succinct and helpful thread on gear oil. but alas, the boogie man of the yellow metals is out. Smile

for the manual transmission, you must manually read all 13+ pages of this thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=366486

the short version of manual gear oil is that many G5 oils are ok, but VW said G4 because of the tender yellow bits. mine blew up with redline in it, coincidence or cause? i suspect more to do with age. my trans rebuilder warranties it only if i use GL5 BG UltraGuard 75w-90. others swear by swepco, and some say redline MT90 is fine. i'd appreciate recommendations of gear oil that were easier to purchase without reading a 13 page pissing match.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:43 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

atomatom wrote:

my trans rebuilder warranties it only if i use GL5 BG UltraGuard 75w-90. others swear by swepco, and some say redline MT90 is fine. i'd appreciate recommendations of gear oil that were easier to purchase without reading a 13 page pissing match.[/quote]

I tried the UltraGuard for a few thousand miles and could hardly get the tranny into gear, had to fight every shift. Drained $60 of oil out after only a few thousand miles and went back to the GL4 I have successfully used for many decades at this point, still doesn't shift as well as before but much better than with the UltraGuard. Never experience any undue ring and pinion gear yet running a GL4 oil doubt that I ever will.

Note that Redline says not to run their lighter oils in a hypoid gear box. I tried their stuff a while back (being unaware of the warning, if it was given then) and dumped that oil in short order as the gear box was noisy and the oil obviously wasn't giving decent protection.
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chris garrett
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:26 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

Can someone please tell me the gear oil capacity on the differential?
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kourt
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

Google vanagon automatic differential gear oil capacity... this info is about as reliable as anything someone would post here (especially since half of the discussion has digressed to manual transmissions, which you don't have).

The first search result lists 1.3 qts for the automatic differential. My Haynes manual says 1.2 liters (1.26 qts)... but you simply need to park on a level surface and fill to the bottom of the fill/drain plug hole. Do you not have a level surface to do this work?

Do you have the owner's manual? Or a Bentley? I know it's in the Bentley.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Vanagon Gear Oil Reply with quote

Yes, I have an owner's manual and a Bentley. I couldn't find the capacity. I just wanted to get an idea how much I should buy.
Thanks for you help.
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