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Old 10-30-2011, 01:56 PM   #1
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what kind of oil??

What weight of oil do I use in my 2001 zr600 articcat drive/dropcase assembly? I'm planning on changing this oil out, but I'm not sure what to put back in? My neighbor has a 1998 zr600, and he said to use 10W30! That just didn't sound right, I'd like to use a synthetic if possible.

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Old 10-30-2011, 02:30 PM   #2
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People have used Cat chain case oil to tranny oil to gear lube 85w-90.
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:37 PM   #3
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I have used automatic transmission fluid for many years without problem. My reasoning is that the silent chain used in our chaincases is like the chain inside the transmission of many front wheel drive cars and is just a smaller version of the chain used in my truck's 4 wheel drive transfer case. In both of these applications, some form of automatic transmission fluid is used to lubricate the chain. Someone will come on pretty soon and say I'm comparing apples to oranges, but I don't see it that way. In all of these applications I see sprockets and a chain that transfers power from one sprocket to the other one, just like our snowmobile chaincases.

I have never been a fan of using heavy weight gear oil in chaincases but many people do.

Lastly, a manufacturer of silent chain supports both my choice of transmission fluid, and my contention that gear lube is not a good choice. I have attached the page from their website and the link is below. In general they state that greases or heavy oils (ie: gear lube) should not be used because it doesn't penetrate chain joints. It also recommends SAE 5 wt oil (ATF can be substituted) for temps below 40 degrees. This is what a manufacturer of the chain says.

In the end, it is your chaincase and you can use what you want. I'll keep using ATF in mine.


Ramsey Products | Lubrication of Silent Chain
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File Type: pdf Ramsey Products _ Lubrication of Silent Chain.pdf (502.2 KB, 96 views)
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:25 AM   #4
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I have used the automatic transmission as well, never had any problems.
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:57 PM   #5
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If you want to use ATF and a synthetic oil, ATF +4 is a synthetic oil that is used in Chrysler transmissions.

Last edited by NineLives; 10-31-2011 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:10 PM   #6
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 Quote: Originally Posted by NineLives View Post
If you want to use ATF and a synthetic oil, ATF +4 is a synthetic oil that is used in Chrysler transmissions.
This thread was just around a few weeks ago, I remember discussing it with 109jb. ATF is fine, as is all types of synthetic and regular chaincase oils. DO NOT use gear lube, it is way too thick at the low temperatures.

As far as Chrysler transmissions, don't get me started on those pieces of junk. Just replaced a bearing for $1600 at 53k miles. No towing, no abuse, just normal driving. Chrysler told me to go pound salt.
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:40 PM   #7
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Semi synthetic 80w90
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:39 AM   #8
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Im using synthetic 5/30 mainly cause thats what I had when I replaced my chain and sprockets. If I had ATF I would have used it. I dont think it matters alot as long as it flows well cold.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:09 PM   #9
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 Quote: Originally Posted by Hemicharger99 View Post
This thread was just around a few weeks ago, I remember discussing it with 109jb. ATF is fine, as is all types of synthetic and regular chaincase oils. DO NOT use gear lube, it is way too thick at the low temperatures.

As far as Chrysler transmissions, don't get me started on those pieces of junk. Just replaced a bearing for $1600 at 53k miles. No towing, no abuse, just normal driving. Chrysler told me to go pound salt.
Sorry to hijack but don't give into Chrysler, go to owners manual and follow complaint resolution procedure. I HAD a 95 Intrepid that required 4 new transmissions before warranty was up at 80,000 KM (complete POS). Please note the HAD reference,
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Old 11-01-2011, 05:52 PM   #10
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How did this all of sudden become a Chrysler transmission bashing tread? The OP asked about a synthetic chain case oil he could use in his chain case and 109jb suggested he use ATF. All I said what he could use ATF +4 which is synthetic ATF oil used in Chrysler transmissions, just because you have had bad experiences with Chrysler products does not mean there is anything wrong with the oil.
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