Hopefully some good, factual information will come out of a discussion on what to put in the diff. Questions on gear lubes were prompted by interest in the spontaneous failure of century-old babbitt thrust washers, and the fact that some modern gear lubricants warn against their use in machinery with bronze components. It wouldn't be a good thing to rebuild the diff with bronze washers, only to have the wrong lubricant cause them harm and premature failure.
What do you know about gear oils these days ? What have you used with good results ? Why no bronze ? Any problems ? Should we be adding Marvel Mystery Oil ? (just kidding ; )
Been using Sta Lube 140 wt for years. Getting a little hard to find these days, but Langs probably has it.
I've run Lubriplate for years.
Here's a discussion on the subject back in 2009.
Stock rear end, I run 600W from Snyders or any of the other T parts suppliers.
And the definitive answer for the OP is?...
See my post with pic in the link below:
Hal, Dan, thank you both for the links. I especially appreciate links to prior discussions, I'm not good at searching the archives.
Good material in both links, I hope that resurrecting the topic isn't seen as unnecessarily repetitive. I'd like to think perhaps updates or new experiences might be added to good information posted two years, or nine years past.
I agree Rich. It doesn't bother me at all to re-discuss topics.
This is the stuff I use:
My dad bought this pail of SAE 250 about 65 years ago.
We've used it in the rear ends of all the antique cars and the gearboxes of the non-Ts.
We're down to a gallon so last fall I decanted it into a jug for easier storage.
I use the 600w from the model A or T vendors.
Simply put, as usual, Larry knows his stuff. 140 wt. Sta Lube. Dave at Chaffin's garage called me this afternoon to second Larry's choice, and he told me while the chemistry of lubricants that warn against use in systems with bronze parts will etch them, it's really not an issue - probably take another hundred years to do any real harm.
Of interest, Dave told me the original lubricant was 600w "gear grease" - not exactly a liquid. This jibes with the rather non-descript directions in the Ford manual to put one pound of gear grease in the differential.
For fun (and complication) the Model A Club provided a "recipe" a few years back to reproduce the original gear grease : 2-1/2 quarts 90wt gear oil, one pound of heavy, fibrous wheel bearing grease, and a can of STP oil treatment. Mix with a power mixer (using the wife's kitchen mix-master was recommended). Serves three.
Larry, a lot of favorite oil formulas have been deemed to be obsolete by the hooligans in Sacramento and have been banned for the common good. 10/40,20/50, some painting thinners and such.
Oh shoot, why not just type this Duane. :-)
My understanding is GL-4 and GL-5 may be the most injurious to the brass/bronze in the rear axle. Is this what your searches find too?
Yep, prolly the hundred year kind of injury.
GL-1 and GL-2 are the most harmonious to the rear axle thrusters?
The lower the GL# the better.?
I use the #600 lube since the guys at the parts store couldn't find Lubriplate 140 in the computer. :-/
Must be lower viscosity (80-90?) IF running a Ruckstell so the innards get lubed.
There's been 80-90 in the Crappy's axle for twenty years, it's shot and prob'ly has Babbit-like thrusters. Ick.
Just finished fresh axle rebuild w/bronze thrust washers. I used Royal Purple gear lube , claim that it’s compatible with all yellow metal. So far so good!!
If you want to wear out a Ruckstell real fast, try using 600 wt oil!
It also matters what seals you are using, as the thinner weight lubes can get past the original style seals easier than the 600 w
The lubriplate you are after is called APG-140 and for Ruckstell APG-90 for easier shifting I am told. I have never driven a T with any accessory transmission. The APG-140 is what I use in my own cars. The APG-90 and APG-140 are formulated especially for equipment that spends a lot of time just "parked" like farm implements and many Model T's in the colder climates. I have sold it in the past but the problem for me was the local bearing house which was the only dealer in my area and was impossible to do business with. I had to buy it by the case I think it was 12 or 16 containers that were the same size as a quart of motor oil at Kmart. That was enough for about 2 rear ends. Every time I ran out of the stuff the inside sales guy was a newbie by then and never heard of me or my company and they gave me full list price which made it impossible to sell and even break even. After a lot of phone calls I could finally get the price back where it was but had to do it again next time and it was just a hassle so I quit doing it. The lube is great and I still have a container on my shelf for another rear end. It IS a GL4 as I recall but I have come to agree with others who state that the "etching" of the bronze thrust washers if any is not something I have witnessed. I pulled my rear end apart last year after running it for about 30 years and it showed no signs of anything strange. I did have an inner bearing making noise on the passenger side axle but that was all I replaced. I spoke directly to Lubriplate when I decided to carry someone's lube in stock and the engineer confirmed that it was very likely the best product they had for the low RPM rear end and often "parked" piece of equipment. My own opinion is that just about any lube you find on sale at Walmart is likely way better than anything poured into a T rear end years ago. A common mistake is to assume that 600 Wt gear OIL is thicker than 140 Wt gear LUBE. It isn't. It is like Hardness ratings on metal - the number alone doesn't tell you much unless you know if it is Brinell, Rockwell, Vickers...or some other scale. I bow to Larry's experience with Ruxstell rear ends but those guys bought the 90 Wt stuff when I was selling it. Nobody had any problems with it and it was mainly sold to people who DROVE their T's a lot then - like me.
I should have mentioned that APG is designed to CLING to bearing and gear surfaces which is what is the main difference it offers to parked equipment.
Great input !! Thanks, fellows. In our conversation, Dave told me Ruckstells need a lighter weight gear oil to keep the planetary elements well lubed.
Some confusion over mentioning 600w gear GREASE that Ford used. It was a semi-paste like wheel bearing grease that hasn't been available for years now. Not the same as a 600w gear lube !
I sourced this from Walmart. Use it in my Ruckstell axle. Specifically states it "protects against corrosion of copper and bronze bushings”.
(Message edited by AzBob on January 05, 2018)
Thank Goodness, you don't live in California. You might have gotten cancer from that stuff.
What John said above is probably good advice-Lubiplate as noted above seems to be a good product for the job, but I had some issue finding it and it cost a fortune- as also noted by John. Similarly I found that the scales for oils vary and comparing is not apples and oranges.
I searched through the forum some last year and read what I could find on the internet. I posted a link to an article from a European fellow who owns an oil company who gave some good information about why sulfur additives are in oils and what damage they can cause to synchronizers- not quite a model T rear, but somewhat analogous, he also posted some wear images. I also emailed him about the TT rear and the worm drive -his recommendation was Chevron Delo ESI 85-140, reading the spec sheet it seems like it would have great compatibility and at the local oil distributor I got 5 gallons for ~$90 much much less than Lubriplate and I likely have a lifetime supply. (just be careful if you order there are other Chevron Delo gear oils that do have sulfur compounds)
That comment written right on the back of the super tech is nice to see!
FYI - lubriplate APG is sold by the pound not by liquid measure but the 2 lb container is exactly the same size as your standard quart container of motor oil with the usual small top on the corner. I recall it sold for about $10 for that 2 lb (quart) container in either 90 or 140 wt. I think Lang's used to carry it so I dropped out since it would be sourced by one of the bigger dealers and thus be available.
Funny but the "protects against corrosion of copper and bronze bushings" could be technically correct and the stuff could still attack the bronze bushings since the issue isn't corrosion. GL-5 is what started the whole discussion some years ago but I do think it is much to do about nothing.
I rebuilt my 1923 Touring rear end in October 2017, with Brass thrust washers, as I couldn't find Bronze. I used the following oil..
I don't recall anyone claiming any other lube than what's sold by the vendors will prevent the washers from going south. And I also don't think it's possible. In fact it's possibly more likely that some other lube might do damage. The 600 from the vendors is what's called for. Your car your choice but I go by the saying "If you wouldn't do it to your modern why do it to your T".
I once read that what some vendors sell as 600W was nothing more than repackaged 140W. I have no idea whether that's true.
I'd tell you what I use, but the last time I divulged any such information, I got more than my fair ration of feces.