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George Teebay wrote:
"1) … but be sure you get the dark, smelly, viscous stuff rather than the translucent, less-viscous stuff also sold as 600-W but which I suspect is repackaged SAE 140. The dark, smelly, viscous version is probably equivalent to about SAE 200 in weight. I choose NOT to use this in my diff, but it’s fine in transmissions."
I’d like to just throw out the thought that if the gear lube for the transmission is too thick it may not be able to lubricant the bearings or bushings sufficiently.
I had a 1925 Franklin years ago in which I used that really thick, tallow-ey lube which was packaged as Steam Cylinder Oil (Exxon Cylesstic TK-1000). It was basically a fluid grease. Yes, it made shifting very smooth, but after 20,000-some miles, the new owner of the car reports that the transmission needs to be rebuilt. I don’t know the details, but the comment made me suspect that the thick lube did not lubricate sufficiently.
A restoration professional once told me that you should use the lightest possible lube that will make shifting reasonably easy. Now, you figure out what that means !
What I’ve been using in my 1920’s cars lately is Shell Valvata. From Shell’s website:
" Shell VALVATA J Oils are premium quality, high viscosity, low volatility oils that contain fatty compounds. They are recommended for bath or pressure lubricated bearings that operate at low speeds and moderate loads. VALVATA J Oils are especially well suited for worm gears. They are not suitable, however, for use with hypoid gears. These oils are also recommended for lubrication of steam cylinders in the presence of wet steam in non-condensing systems."
They come in two viscosities, but I can’t recall sitting here which I use. I’d have to look in the garage. But it does not contain sulfer and seems to work well.
For what it’s worth — Scott