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2005 Blue SSR with Manual Transmission
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the forum. Just bought an SSR. It only has 14K miles on it. We just got it on a lift for the first time. Transmission oil is black. Probably never changed. I haven't look at the differential oil. Probably black too. The SSR didn't come with an owner's manual. I have one on order, but it will be several days before it arrives. What's the best lube oil for trans and diff? Help appreciated.
 

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The SSR manual transmission is a Tremec T56 M10. The recommended fluid is Dexron III ATF. Tremec’s website recommends Dexron III, as well as a multitude of Tremec rebuilders. Not sure why your fluid is black, Dexron III ATF is red.
 

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Your statement about the transmission oil being black leaves me puzzled. I drained mine at 35K miles because the engine and transmission were coming out. The trans oil was transparent red, totally clean. If your oil is black, did someone go away from the recommended Dex III and use old school manual transmission oil? If so, I'd be concerned about damage to the transmission.

GM has rebranded Dex III as Manual transmission and transfer case fluid - 88861801 is the Canadian part number. DO NOT USE DEX VI synthetic even if recommended by a GM dealership. I installed DEX VI when we had the engine and transmission back in the truck, and within a couple of days, I started seeing small amounts of transmission oil on my garage floor. Did some research, and found out DEX VI has smaller molecular structure, and seeps through the casing joints of the Tremec. Fine for autos, not good for manual transmission. As soon as I drained and changed to the manual transmission fluid (formerly DEX III), the oil leak went away.

Your gear case oil will be black when it comes out. My suggestion is to order a new rear cover from Simple Engineering. Aside from the nice aluminum look, it is a larger casing, allowing about an extra quart of rear end lube. Make a mess once and be done, rather than adding the cover later and throwing away perfectly good fluid.

Use Synthetic Axle lubricant SAE 75W-90 Canadian part # is 89021678

If the dealership parts department or your mechanic says you don't need the Limited slip additive, don't believe them. When I changed the oil and installed the new synthetic lubricant, my rear end started to growl on any tight turns. Took a day or so to start happening, but it got loud.

Drained some fluid, and added Canadian # 992694 Limited slip additive. 5 ounces recommended, probably 7 ounces if you go to the larger rear cover. The growl went away within a day, and it's been happy since.

By the way - I suspect the only reason for the Canadian part number is that we measure in litres rather than quarts, and because the label is different, GM assigns it a different part number..
 
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2005 Chevrolet SSR manual transmission
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I suspect someone along the line added an MoS or graphite based additive to the transmission. No other reason I could guess oil would be black. Probably not harmful but unnecessary. I and I suspect Tremec would suggest drain & refill with DexronIII or GM manual transmission fluid, they are the same, as noted by @Flassh .
$.02
 

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2005 Blue SSR with Manual Transmission
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. We have Dex III in stock. I did do a search before asking. Some of the results were from a long time ago. I was thinking it was black because it was old. I looked at it with a flashlight indoors and outdoors in bright sunshine. Not even a hint of red. My son said it did smell like ATF. The transmission shifts great so hopefully it isn't hurt. I'll order the new diff cover before changing that fluid. My son said it looked OK. My cover has a drain plug. Is that factory or something the previous owner added?
 

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Thanks guys. We have Dex III in stock. I did do a search before asking. Some of the results were from a long time ago. I was thinking it was black because it was old. I looked at it with a flashlight indoors and outdoors in bright sunshine. Not even a hint of red. My son said it did smell like ATF. The transmission shifts great so hopefully it isn't hurt. I'll order the new diff cover before changing that fluid. My son said it looked OK. My cover has a drain plug. Is that factory or something the previous owner added?
:oops:
Sounds like you may already have an after market (Simple Engineering) has one. Look at their site and see if your's is the same.

By the way, while I support all of what Flassh had to say regarding the trans fluid proper type, we part company with his selection of a (Synthetic) for the rear end.

I've got lengthy posts here regarding my 456 rear end gear problems and working with East Coast Gear Supply. Their owner/CEO has written a long technical article regarding what to use and what not to use for proper rear end lubes.
I gotta find it again and re-post it but for sure while he does and I do too believe in using syn oil in engines, he has long time experience and solid reasoning as NOT using syn gear lubes for rear ends.
 

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:oops:


By the way, while I support all of what Flassh had to say regarding the trans fluid proper type, we part company with his selection of a (Synthetic) for the rear end.
I went with what GM is putting in all its truck differentials on the assembly line. Couldn't tell you about the cars because I haven't checked.
 

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'06 FPR Smokin Asphalt; '04 Ulta Violet
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@twinscrew , There ya go, more ideas will come along. Meantime--Welcome from Forney Texas. Consider clicking on the Colored Letter/Picture, top far right corner, go down to "Account Settings", click, and fill in your information. Especially your LOCATION and the year of your SSR, like the rest of us. Then go the the left side and click on "Signature". Also put the year of your SSR in your "Signature", and anything else you want to show in your posts, and we can help you better if you have a problem. When you finish click the "SAVE" box.

Click here for the "How To Library" OneDrive

Also click on this link and go to Post #1 Help Us Help You---UPDATE

Then go to the "New Member Section" and introduce yourself. New Member Section

Nick & Kathy
 

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I read the article. It's not practical for most end users to install a diff temp gauge and crawl under to check it.

The one area I question is going from 75 - 90 to 85 -140, whether synthetic or dino. It would seem squeezing fluid that thick through the gears would have a significant impact on performance and possibly create its own heat issues. I'd like to hear from GM engineers the reasoning behind chosing the thinner fluid.
 

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:)
OK, I went to their site and was able to extract the article regarding rear gear lubrication.

Here is what he had to say..........

https://eastcoastgearsupply.com/files/PDF Files/ecgs-gear-oil-recommendation1.pdf
Read the article and it struck me as a poorly written opinion, unsupported by any meaningful data! Read something like " Machinery Lubrication", a trade publication, and you'll see unanimous agreement on the benefits of synthetic lubricants for industrial gear boxes. Engineers there will talk about 30% better internal fluid friction in a synthetic versus mineral oil. They'll also mention 18% better wear and efficiency numbers - real data obtained through studies, not pull the drain plug and watch how fast or slow the fluid runs out!

Personally, I wouldn't run anything but a synthetic in my ride.

As a side note, I installed my own 4.56s many years ago and they still are about a 2 on your 1-10 scale for quietness. They've been on synthetic the whole time.
 

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Read the article and it struck me as a poorly written opinion, unsupported by any meaningful data! Read something like " Machinery Lubrication", a trade publication, and you'll see unanimous agreement on the benefits of synthetic lubricants for industrial gear boxes. Engineers there will talk about 30% better internal fluid friction in a synthetic versus mineral oil. They'll also mention 18% better wear and efficiency numbers - real data obtained through studies, not pull the drain plug and watch how fast or slow the fluid runs out!

Personally, I wouldn't run anything but a synthetic in my ride.

As a side note, I installed my own 4.56s many years ago and they still are about a 2 on your 1-10 scale for quietness. They've been on synthetic the whole time.
:unsure:
" a poorly written opinion, unsupported by any meaningful data! "

Not sure a lot of those that are actively in that business would agree with the above comment. This guy has built an impressive business that continues to grow. A couple of years ago, when I was exploring different after market sources for a 456 set, I spoke with a couple of different outfits around the country and turned out they all seemed to know and respect Chase Perry who runs this shop and I believe authored that article.
His perspective it would seem is based on several years of experience with his crew working on rear gear swaps/changes and replacements as well as other related items.

Personally, I am solidly in the "syn" camp for engine lubrication, but I'm tending to buy into his theory as to a different choice when it comes to rear end gears.

Obviously it comes down to one of those..........."Your experience and results may vary".;)
 

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2006 FPR Black/Silver, 2005 Slingshot Yellow Indy Pace/Parade Truck #35
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I would look into REDLINE fluids. Many of us in the BMW world use them, and love them. I have personally used REDLINE fluids in all my BMW trannys and rear ends for the past 30 years with excellent results.

Here is their website: Red Line Synthetic Oil

You can put in the SSR, and it comes to a webpage with products approved for the SSR.
 

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I would look into REDLINE fluids. Many of us in the BMW world use them, and love them. I have personally used REDLINE fluids in all my BMW trannys and rear ends for the past 30 years with excellent results.

Here is their website: Red Line Synthetic Oil

You can put in the SSR, and it comes to a webpage with products approved for the SSR.
(y)
I used Redline syn oil in my Harleys and their Shock Proof as I recall it in the transmission. Good stuff.
 
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