GL-1 Gear Oil Alternative

paulfarber

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Thanks, I'll have some. :D

All I've found out is this- Paul says use GL-5. Some others say use GL-1 (which Paul says dosen't exist). Others say run SAE 50 or similar weight motor oil.

I honestly don't think we're ever going to come to a consensus on this subject. I guess read this thread and others like it and try and make a decision on what oil is best. I'm not going to get into the oil debate but I've done enough of my own research and am comfortable with the oil I'm using (GL-1).
GL-1 does not exist. Napa et al is selling an oil that cannot by GL-1 becuase the NGLI does not recognize it as such. In order to be called a certain specification, it has to be tested by an authorized testing center. The NGLI web says says that GL-1 cannot be tested because the machines that DO the testing do not exist and more. So you buy a bucket of GL-1 it could be anything.. cow piss, oil from the Burger King fryer.. who knows? The formal testing body simply does not certify GL-1 (and several other) lubes anymore.

Every oil that is designed must cover the standards of the PREVIOUS lubes. That way you know that the latest certified lubes/oil are still safe for older machines.

GL-1 (or whatever is in that bucket) simply is not as good a lube as GL-4/5... that's why they did away with GL-1... new mechanisms are tighter tolerance, and need better lubes.

Its REALLY, REALLY not confusing. What is confusing is that people are passing off BAD INFO using 20,30,40+ year old lube orders. Why do some people put GL-1 in the tranny, but nothing but Royal Purple full synthetic in the engine? They pick one lube over another for no real coherent reason. The OE for the diesel is pretty plain OE that meets CF standards.. any oil will do.

I simply find this very interesting the web that people will create... its like my own little psychology experiment.
 

m16ty

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Paul, I said I wasn't going to get into the debate but you're trying to drag me in. As I said, I'm comfortable running my cow piss. I know you think I'm dead wrong and that's ok.

I find it hard to believe that a reputable oil company would put something akin to cow piss or BK fry oil in thier jugs and call it GL-1. I tend to think they make it just like they did back when GL-1 was tested.
 

mikey

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it sad the direction this thread turned... but regardless of the heated opinions, the facts that i find hard to dismiss are the conversation the OP had with rockwell in the first post and with their documentation...

http://www.meritorhvs.com/MeritorHVS_Documents/MM1.PDF

page 186 is the clincher for me...

A.P.I. GL-5 (Axle Lube)4 DO NOT USE IN TRANSFER CASES
4 Do not use multi-viscosity (i.e., 80/90W) GL-5 gear oil, axle lube.

at the bottom of that page it lists the t-136 and the approved oils: Petroleum or 50W Synthetic

ill run the rotella t... if my deuce explodes, ill let you all know...
 
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GL-1 does not exist. Napa et al is selling an oil that cannot by GL-1 becuase the NGLI does not recognize it as such.


Kinda like the Constitution dose not exist because Obama dose not recognize it.

Sorry just becouse it is no longer the standerd if you mix the same stuff in the barrel you still get a GL-1 lube. Its like saying 2+2 is not 4 because the calculator broke so we can't confirm it.
 

stumps

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First, there are two main organizations that deal with lubricant standards. National Lubricant and Grease Institute (NLGI), and American Petroleum Institute (API). NLGI deals primarily with greases, and API deals with oils.

As I understand things (I don't know much about NLGI), API is funded almost entirely by licensing its star logo, and certifying oils for API compliance. If you see the star logo on a container of oil, API certifies that oil as meeting their named standards... The problem is, most of the formulators of house brand oils, and many of the name brand oils do NOT pay API to license the star logo, and are not willing to pay API to test and certify their oils.... it is very expensive.

Some examples from a random survey of oil on my shelves:

Mobil 1 motor oil IS API certified, Mobil 1 synthetic gear oil is NOT. NAPA oils are not. TSC's Traveller oils are not, some of Walmart's Supertech motor oils are API certified. I was quite surprised to find that Rotella motor oil is not API certified.... It is a mixed bag.

Ok, so what is going on with the alphabet soup of API numbers on the oil jugs?

Simple, the formulator is telling you which API standards they were trying to meet when they formulated their oil. Absent the API star logo, you have only their word and your trust in their skill at their craft to go on.

So when you go to NAPA and see an oil that says it is GL1, you are being told that NAPA's supplier formulated the oil to meet the old GL1 standards. If you can't bring yourself to believe that modern GL1 oils exist, go to NAPA, and take a look for yourself. They sell quite a lot, because Meritor tells their customers not to use GL5 in their transmissions, or transfer cases.

[Oh by the way, Meritor is thus far the final incantation of Rockwell, and they list our transfer cases in their literature, and they tell you NOT to use GL5.]

I will take the word of the engineers at Rockwell over anyone who writes the US ARMY LO's any day of the week. Rockwell specifies the oil that will make their products give the best performance they know how to get. The US ARMY has its own agenda, which doesn't always coincide with best performance, or longest maintenance free service life.

-Chuck
 

paulfarber

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It is a convoluted mess.

Please re-read pages 176-179 and see what I mean.

Within those 3 pages it says:

Meritor does not approve petroleum-based and multiviscosity
oil.

Use only SAE Grade 50W synthetic oil in the transfer case.

* Do not use multi-viscosity (i.e., 80/90W) GL-5 gear oil, axle lube. Do not mix or switch oil types. Use the same oil that initially filled the transfer
case. Do not use multi-viscosity oils.

All I see is contradictions.

GL-1 IS A PETROLEUM BASED LUBE!!!!!!!

I have not seen any sludge forming in any mechanism due to GL-5 lube.

So Mertir is against petroleum lubes, then they are not. They are against multi-viscosity lubes, then they are not. They contridict themselves 4 times in 3 pages.

The best interpretation I can come up with is that the pages 176-179 are giving general warnings NOT to use petroleum oils in certain high temp operating transfer cases. If you read the MM3 (which is a Rockwell document) it refers back to another named document which one can only assume is this one.

The only thing that I can point to with certainty is:

TM 9-2320-361-10 Dec 1988

GO Gear Oil MIL-PRF-2105 Lubricating Oil, Gear, Multipurpose

And that is GL-5. So every duece you own, if its been serviced since 1988 (thats 23 YEARS AGO) has had GL-5 in it.

Now all these random scraps of paper that are pointing all over the place cannot erase the fact that for 23 years that evil, incorrect GL-5 has been in the tranny/transfer/axles.

Plus I have to reiterate:

* API Categories GL-1, GL-2, GL-3 and GL-6 were declared inactive by SAE Technical Committee 3 in 1995, even though oils may be marketed with these designations. Similarly, ASTM does not plan to maintain the performance tests associated with these categories, as in a number of cases these tests can no longer be run because parts or test installations are not available.

So how can a company be so specific in a lube, then turn around and specify an lube that is obsolete?

I don't see anything acrimonious going on... people are having a discussion.
 

stumps

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Hi Paul,

I have read those pages in several different revisions of that document, and my read is a little different ( Imagine that! ) :

1) Meritor wants only SAE50 synthetic used in their new transmissions and transfer cases.... a reasonable suggestion given the improvements the synthetic oils provide.
2) They tell you to use petroleum SAE50, or GL1, in everything that hasn't been initially filled with synthetic.
3) They tell you not to put synthetic in a box that was originally filled with petroleum SAE50.
4) They tell you NEVER to use GL5.
5) They tell you NEVER to use multiviscosity oil.

The reason their notes look like gobbledygook, is some of them are specific to certain boxes, and others are blanket statements for all boxes.

I am not saying, and have never said, that using GL5 will kill your deuce. I know, and I think everyone on this thread knows, that their deuces have been lubed over the last 30 years with only three products:

1) GL5 gear oil
2) SAE15W40 motor oil
3) GAA grease

.... well 4, if you include the hydraulic oil used in the airpacks.

The only argument you get from me is that although GL5 works pretty well, SAE30/40/50 motor oil is what the manufacturer specified, and works so much better that you should heed their recommendation.

I don't really believe that EP lubes past problems with yellow metal are a problem anymore, nor are they the reason to stop using GL5. I believe that the EP modifiers do not work well with small high speed sleeve bearings, such as are found between the deuces 2nd gear, and the main shaft. There have been a host of such bearings seizing up with GL5 on deuces that are run at high speeds.... ask M35Tom about that.... he is manufacturing OD gears for the deuce transmission, and is more than passing familiar with this problem.

-Chuck
 

mikew

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Specific to the transfer case; The manufacture's recommendation of GL-1 or SAE 30, 40 or 50 is the best choice. A yellow metal safe GL-5 probably would be ok.... as long as it's a air-shift.

My transfer case is a sprag unit, and works perfectly (just put in fresh sprags). I think GL-5 would absolutely make my sprag box non-functional, the sprags would never lock!

So I think there are certain instances where GL-5 might kill your Deuce.
 

PropDr

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Meritor does not approve petroleum-based and multiviscosity
oil.
I got some ISO 220w wale oil for ya. lmfao:funny:
About a month ago I drained the junk oil that uncle sam put in and switched to a mix of 75% SAE30w - 25% lucas (only used the lucas because the local auto parts store did not have any 50w) and it shifts way better. One of the best things i have done so far to the truck. I can actually shift from gear to gear in a timely fashon now.

Keep the GL5 with the hypoid and worm gears (axles and steering gear), thats what it was designed for. Use sinchromesh or streight oil for the trans and T-case.

True synthetics (polyester basied not diester) are alwayse an improvement over the dino based oils, even in a gear box. I have personally seen reductions in current draw on gearmotor setups of about 8-10% after changine from dino oil to synthetic. It's worth the cost and effort if you drive the truck every day.


I'm starting to think that paul keeps replying just because he likes the sound of his own keyboard.:doh:
 
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paulfarber

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Buuutttt...

These ARE NOT Meritor built trannys!

They are Rockwell units that originally used GL-1, then GL-5. The only reason Meritor lists them is because they got them via acquisition. Even the Manual (MM3.pdf) that they refer to in the 2010 MM1.pdf is a straight up Rockwell document (logo's and all).

I agree that you have three choices.... Gl-1, GL-5, or synthetic.

There is absolutely no reason to need or run synthetic lube in an T136 transfer case. You can, but its not *needed* by design.

GL-1 simply does not exist. Period. Its not out there. If you are going to cite a specific manufactures requirement (aka Meritor approves of GL-1) then how can you turn around and IGNORE the sole specific certifying authority that has clearly said that GL-1 died 15-20 years ago, there is NO testing for it and it is obsolete? If you want to follow the rules, you gotta follow them all, right?

The last part are these MYTHS that still keep popping up.

GL-5 WILL NOT EAT YELLOW METAL
GL-5 WILL NOT DESTROY A T136 TRANSFER CASE (its been in there AT LEAST 20 years!!!!!!)
GL-5 WILL NOT SLUDGE UP (where did Meritor get this? Why are none of the other MAJOR manufacturers claiming this?)
If there WAS a mass detrimental effect of GL-5 on T136 transfer cases, wouldn't the LARGEST fleet owner in the country have known about it? Where are the Army change orders? The LO changes forbidding GL-5?

A don't see anything in the Meritor document to contradict Rockwell, the US Army, or other manufacturers. For whatever reason they want synthetic lube in all the gearboxes they make (again, they did not MAKE the T136 in most deuces now).

Anyone have a Rockwell manual form the early-mid 80s that covers the T136 and see what they said before they were bought?

I do see GL-1 as an incorrect lube. It does not exist, and the Army hasn't used it in decades.

I do not see a NEED for synthetic lube. The transfer case is not subject to the stress/heat/service that would require it.

I do not see any reason NOT TO USE GL-5. The Army does, has for 20+ years. Anyone here know of any mass failures in M35s because Gl-5 is rotting out drive lines? No? Anyone?
 

stumps

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Buuutttt...

These ARE NOT Meritor built trannys!

They are Rockwell units that originally used GL-1, then GL-5. The only reason Meritor lists them is because they got them via acquisition. Even the Manual (MM3.pdf) that they refer to in the 2010 MM1.pdf is a straight up Rockwell document (logo's and all).
No, they are not... but then Exxon, is not Esso, and BP is not Sinclair, and Detroit Diesel is not GM, and White is not Hercules, and Verizon is not Ma Bell... well the list goes on and on.

These companies all are different from the companies they were in the 1960's, when the deuce was designed and built, but yet they are still making the same kind of stuff they were making back then.

I think Meritor knows enough about transmissions, transfer cases, and differentials to be considered more of an expert on what oil should go in them than any of us, and certainly more than the US Army. Remember, the Army had to go to Rockwell to get these made, they couldn't have done it themselves.

Paul, you don't need our approval to justify your choice of using GL5 in your deuce. Even though many of us think it is suboptimal, it is probably the right thing for you.

-Chuck
 
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Whats kinda funny is that if you got the truck from GL, or any truck released from active inventory, it had GL-5 lube in it. So, since about 1993 IIRC its had GL-5 in it, then you read an outdated TM (again, I cannot find a LO on this site that specifies a GL-1 rated oil) and think that somehow the new maintenance procedures/specs are going to rot out a drive line.

I would think that 17 years of GL-5 in an M35 would be sufficient time to rot out *something* if there was an issue with it.

I am not disagreeing with the use of GL-1, any oil is better than no oil.... but I find it irritating that some people say the GL-5 is the *WRONG* spec oil. That needs to be addressed and clarified.

Its akin to the 'knuckle lube' guys get all uppity about in jeeps. If you want to hear old wives tales, get two jeep owners together and ask one about knuckle lube. :cookoo:
Well, as the owner of an older CJ, I haven't come across this yet, but I guess that is because I am fairly new to Jeeps.

What I can say is that I have come across a bunch of fights over GL1 vs. GL5 in CJ transfer cases and transmissions, much like what I see here.

Guess I will have to read up some more!

LC
 

RangerDave

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Hey - Just sayn'....

That after 12 pages of posts, folks are just bickering about GL this or Motor Oil that and random scraps of paper - Why hasn't anyone just called Meritor and have them e-mail or fax the "official recommendations" and be done with it???

I find it really hard to believe that even though so-and-so didn't originally build the equipment, you're telling us that some where in their filing cabinet some scraps of paper of the creators findings/recommendations/and problems encountered wouldn't exist??? I would be perplexed if they didn't inherit the original designs and all of the notes concerning why certain oils are good and bad or indifferent - as well as some of the people that have worked on the equipment for decades...

I'm more apt to believe what the designer and support network recommends over a one size fits all LO that the military has produced to cover it's MODERN vehicles - not its aging ones that they are steadily replacing and don't care about the long term effects. Many of us have witnessed first hand the Gov't bureaucrats we have to work with, actually work against the recommendations of experts... All because they have a plan of their own...

If some one actually did this - you know, actually talk to someone and get an "official" write up that explains why they did what they did, why they use what they use and why the Military uses what it uses - It would be a lot more productive than goooooooglling for more scraps of paper.....

Or better yet, FOIA the Military for their research into proper lubes for the deuce and the failure rates of other lubes, if they won't give it to you freely...

I'd like to put the best in the old truck, not just the OK it'll do, and not make the mistake of WTF happened...
 

paulfarber

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Mertior never made the transfer cases..they were a result of buying rockwell. So other than some Army support contracts they have little new to say. The Mertior documents for the transfer case are simply (wait for it) original ROCKWELL documents!

I can't see how people can demand 'standards' and 'specifications' yet become mute when faced with the plain truth: GL-1 hasn't existed in decades. API says it gone and even if they wanted to test a batch of mystery goo to GL-1 performance they couldn't because the test apparatus is long gone.

So what is it? The oil standards body says that GL-1 is dead and GL-4/5 is the only current spec, or the manufacturer is staying using a oil that no one can test to any standard? You could pour molasses into a transfer case and call it GL-1... but its not API tested GL-1... so you are back at square one with random scraps of paper about GL-1 which does not exist.

Bottom line.. and i hate to burst all your GL-1 fantasies (well, not really, GL-1 is not an acceptable oil) but GL-5 has been in your M35 and just about every other MV for decades. If GL-5 was rotting out mechanisms, do you think that one of the 300,000+ vehicles that the Army uses it in would have come up with at least ONE issue? In the last 20+ years? Just one?

So all these random scraps of paper are not worth the ink they are printed on when faced with decades of real world use.... GL-5 really the only oil you can buy, and its been tested in 3 wars, 300,000 MVs and 20+ years of use.

Its really not that hard to understand.
 

paulfarber

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* API Categories GL-1, GL-2, GL-3 and GL-6 were declared inactive by SAE Technical Committee 3 in 1995, even though oils may be marketed with these designations.
 

paulfarber

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"Remember, the Army had to go to Rockwell to get these made, they couldn't have done it themselves."

The Army kills people and blows things up. They don't make vehicles, ammo or gasoline. When originally produced Rockwell said use GL-1 (or whatever the MIL-SPEC for GL-1 was, then it was changed to GL-5. Every lube order, TM and data plate was changed to reflect this. I think that they would have at least asked Rockwell about it.

Mertior is only seeing residuals from the Army support contracts that most likely still said GL-5 oils were acceptable. If Mertior was losing money becuase GL-5 was rotting out transfer cases I'm sure an army of lawyers and accountants would be all up in the Pentagon demanding changes or more money.

To date, there are no massive failures attributed to GL-5 in the M35A2 transfer cases.

There simply is no issue AT ALL, NONE, ZILCH, ZIP, NADDA in filling an M35A2 transfer case with GL-5, or the Tranny, or the axles. 300,000 vehicles, 20 years.... is that enough proof????
 

stumps

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Actually, Paul it would strongly appear that you are wrong. GL-5 is not adequately lubricating the 2nd gear's bearing when the truck is going fast in 5th gear. The gear has been modified a couple of times to improve things, as evidenced by the variety of differently designed gears found in actual transmissions, but it still seizes up on many of these trucks. Whenever a gear seizes on a shaft it is a lubrication problem.

Ask M35tom about it. He has spent a lot of time inside of these transmissions in his quest to manufacture a slightly faster overdrive 5th gear. He has found that SAE40 is an even better fit than the SAE50 motor oil that both Rockwell and Meritor recommend for this transmission.

But again, I will repeat myself: ... you don't need our approval to justify your choice of using GL5 in your deuce. Even though many of us think it is suboptimal, it is probably the right thing for you.

-Chuck
 

paulfarber

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Actually, Paul it would strongly appear that you are wrong. GL-5 is not adequately lubricating the 2nd gear's bearing when the truck is going fast in 5th gear. The gear has been modified a couple of times to improve things, as evidenced by the variety of differently designed gears found in actual transmissions, but it still seizes up on many of these trucks. Whenever a gear seizes on a shaft it is a lubrication problem.

Ask M35tom about it. He has spent a lot of time inside of these transmissions in his quest to manufacture a slightly faster overdrive 5th gear. He has found that SAE40 is an even better fit than the SAE50 motor oil that both Rockwell and Meritor recommend for this transmission.

But again, I will repeat myself: ... you don't need our approval to justify your choice of using GL5 in your deuce. Even though many of us think it is suboptimal, it is probably the right thing for you.

-Chuck

A design issue.. the transmission is a splash system. A change in the casting or some other device to enhance the flow of lube would solve it. It GL-5 isn't getting splashed to the right spots, neither is GL-1. They have the same viscosity (80-90) and other than some additives are the same.

To say that GL-1 flows 'better' than GL-5 is laughable. To say that GL-1 lubricates better is laughable. The base stock is the same, GL-1 simple did not have the additives that GL-5 does... its not like we are talking dino vs synthetic.

I can name several transmissions and transfer cases that had design issues that would cause failures (the T-84 in the jeep would splash all the oil from the T-18 into the T-84) The needle roller bearings in the T-84 input shaft *never* got enough lube and would wear. The L-134 engine in a jeep would rob oil from the main bearings because of the oil filter connection was right there.

Tons of bad designs, none could ever by fixed by changing the lube oil.

Also, you have not given any reason why GL-5 is not acceptable.

Again:

300,000 trucks
20 years
GL-5 in all of them.

By some people standards my 66 should never have made it to 2011 becuase that evil GL-5 should have rotted all the rotating parts.

I invite you to test drive it and see how well it runs.. after 44+ years, and 20 years of GL-5 in the cases.
 
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