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Is there a better transfer case oil than OEM?

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by fdbyrne, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. Jan 18, 2017 at 8:23 AM
    #21
    Caltech90

    Caltech90 Well-Known Member

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    I was hoping it was 1/4" NPT, I have a ton of those in brass with barb ends.
     
  2. Jan 18, 2017 at 8:24 AM
    #22
    moe2o4

    moe2o4 Well-Known Member

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    OME 3" Lift, 32" Tires, Lots of Mods!
    Nope a little bigger than that but that union is only a few bucks at the local toyota dealership!
     
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  3. Jan 18, 2017 at 8:25 AM
    #23
    tamer

    tamer hamerworx.com

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    I had better luck with Redline and Valvoline than I did with Mobil 1.
     
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  4. Jan 18, 2017 at 8:26 AM
    #24
    moe2o4

    moe2o4 Well-Known Member

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    Just take those 2 part numbers with you and tell them that's what you need and they should most likely have them in stock or it may take 1 day to order them in!
     
  5. Jan 18, 2017 at 8:32 AM
    #25
    2000GTacoma

    2000GTacoma Well-Known Member

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    I used Redline in it before and did not notice much change. Neo makes a full synthetic gl4 75w-90 I was looking at.
     
    Mush Mouse likes this.
  6. Jan 26, 2017 at 9:52 AM
    #26
    btanchors

    btanchors Well-Known Member

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    I own a 2015 Tacoma, which still specifies 75W-90 in the transfer case. But, I am about to acquire my third Tundra, a 2017 model. Beginning with the 2014 model year, Toyota specifies 75W for the transfer case. I did some research, and found the following points:
    • Beginning with the 2014 model year, the supplier for the Tundra's Transfer case changed from a Japanese company to Borg-Warner. The change in recommendation from 75W-90 to 75W coincided with this change. This suggests a new design could be the reason for the change to 75W, not a simple reduction in viscosity with the same design to just save a few cents on fuel economy. I am willing to bet the 2016 Tacoma's transfer case is a new design as well, not just carried over from the 2015 model.
    • At 100 degrees Centigrade, which is probably a bit higher than normal operating temperature, 75W-90 is over THREE TIMES thicker than 75W. 75W at 100 degrees Centigrade is actually thinner than transmission fluid.
    • I contacted both Amsoil and Redline about which of their products to use in the transfer case. BOTH declined to give a recommendation, stating they had no product suitable. In Redline's case, I actually spoke to their technical support. He stated that Toyota has not released the specs on this 75W fluid. He also said transfer cases have been known to have parts that require very specific frictional characteristics for its lubricants, therefore, they cannot formulate or recommend an existing product for the transfer case.
    • Toyota's OEM fluid is specifically labeled as a transfer case fluid, NOT for differentials or transmissions. This suggests it is a very specially formulated fluid - and the cheapest I have found it is about $55 a quart!!!
    • I have not seen anything from Toyota that is authoritative indicating it is OK to use 75W-90. The fact that some dealerships are using 75W-90 means little to me, unless they have approval from the manufacturer to do this.
    So, I am not saying 75W-90 in the transfer case will hurt anything, but I am convinced it is a lot different than the OEM fluid. It's certainly a LOT thicker, and possibly, the OEM fluid may have different frictional characteristics. So, use 75W-90 at your own risk.

    I know several Toyota dealerships use 75W-90, but I suspect this is out of ignorance more than anything else. Plus, I would imagine they would have a hard time explaining to a customer why a replacement fluid costs $55 a quart.

    I have not yet decided whether to use OEM fluid, or the same 75W-90 I have been using in my Tacoma - I'd like to hear more comments from others, as well as what dealerships are using in this before I make a final decision.
     
    bweber, Hellapeno, 1MK and 1 other person like this.
  7. Jan 26, 2017 at 10:01 AM
    #27
    2000GTacoma

    2000GTacoma Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Wonder if the straight 75w would be good in a transmission to make shifts smoother?
     
  8. Jan 31, 2017 at 8:46 AM
    #28
    Blazingbluesport

    Blazingbluesport Well-Known Member

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    Transfer case replacement is a LF type oil. I am no expert but did considerable research speaking with friends who are fleet mechanics and reading as much as I could find. I learned that some differential oils (mobil 1 etc.) contain phosphorus that can damage the soft metal synchro bushing that are made of brass and copper. The only direct replacement for LF type oil i could find is Royal Purples Synchromax. I have used it for 15000 miles with no issues at all. They also have a warranty that they will pay for repairs or replacement if it is shown that their fluid caused the problem. I contacted them directly to insure this was a LF type fluid. (They posted my questions on their web site)
    All that being said when I was doing my research I went to the local Toyota dealership and asked for the LF transfer case oil. The parts guy looked at me like I was a nut. He told me they just use the 90w gear oil they buy in a 55 gal drum. So either he didn't know what he is talking about or it doesn't matter.
     
  9. Jan 31, 2017 at 9:05 AM
    #29
    Fern_Four_Fifty

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    BobIsTheOilGuy.com

    Best place for any and all questions regarding oils.
     
  10. Jan 31, 2017 at 9:35 AM
    #30
    splitbolt

    splitbolt Well-Known Member

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    I was up in the air about what to use in the t.case.
    I went with Toyota LF75W for the reasons you listed and the possibility it matters to the pump.
    Redline and Amsoil straight up tell you, they do not make a compatible oil.
    IIRC, Royal Purple does. It's Synchromax; which is like the Redline MT-90, in so far as their recommended uses.
     
  11. Jan 31, 2017 at 11:01 AM
    #31
    Cold_Toad

    Cold_Toad Well-Known Member

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  12. Apr 5, 2017 at 7:52 AM
    #32
    Nastyman

    Nastyman New Member

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    I used Redline MTL (75W-80 GL4) in my 2016 Taco part-time t-case. 2000+ miles with no issues, but I don't use 4WD often. I decided on the Redline MTL after much research and seeing no need to spend $50 (!!!) for a quart of Toyota LF. A part-time t-case is non-hypoid and probably doesn't need a GL5 gear oil. Secret special additives in the LF? Maybe....maybe not. In any event, the Redline MTL specs are comparable to the Royal Purple Synchromax and I happened to have a couple quarts on hand anyway.

    FWIW, the LF 75W t-case gear oil part number is 08885-81080. A similar Toyota part number in Europe/Asia, which is identically spec'd as a Toyota LF 75W t-case gear oil, is 08885-81081. Do a Google of the part numbers and compare images of both cans. You can also translate some of the Russian websites where posters say the "-81081" label on the can was glued over the original "-81080" label on the can.

    Why point this out? Because Ravenol MTF-3 75W meets the European/Asian Toyota LF 75W 08885-81081 specs and can be purchased via Amazon for about $12 per quart. So the Ravenol MTF-3 may be another good t-case gear oil to consider (and is what I'm looking to use for my 2016 4runner full-time 4WD transfer case).
     
    Waited many moons and TacoMan408 like this.
  13. Apr 5, 2017 at 9:07 AM
    #33
    splitbolt

    splitbolt Well-Known Member

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    Anyone try scoring free LF under the FTC's affirmation of the Magnuson-Moss Act regarding aftermarket replacement parts? Or, use it to get Toyota to divulge a compatible fluid?

    A warrantor may condition the warranty on the use of certain parts or service if it provides these parts and services without charge to the consumer under the warranty, or alternatively, if the warrantor receives a waiver from the Commission. See 15 U.S.C. 2302(c).
     
  14. Apr 7, 2017 at 7:12 AM
    #34
    justdoit

    justdoit Well-Known Member

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  15. Apr 7, 2017 at 7:30 AM
    #35
    Storman

    Storman Fukitol abuser

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    Whole bunch of shit! $$$
    I used Amsoil severe gear 75w90 in front and rear diffs, I will be using OEM 75w Toyota TC oil at $55 /qt for transfer case when the time comes
     
  16. Apr 7, 2017 at 7:36 AM
    #36
    pjensen641

    pjensen641 Well-Known Member

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  17. Apr 7, 2017 at 7:55 AM
    #37
    pjensen641

    pjensen641 Well-Known Member

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    A little searching and I found this... The last post has an attachment for "Ravenol MTF-3" lubricant. It indicates that it is a replacement for "TOYOTA 08885-81081" which is the Toyota LF fluid. Apparently can be had on Amazon for $12/quart. Made in Germany...

    My experience with gear oils is that you damn well better use the right stuff. Standard GL5 and many GL4 gear oils have some nasty anti-wear compounds designed only for differential sets. Under high heat, they can attack non-ferrous metals.
     
  18. Apr 7, 2017 at 7:59 AM
    #38
    1MK

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    Yup, the newer trucks use LF SAE 75W. As usual, new and oddball fluids usually take some time to gain support/certification from name brand oil companies. Something in the transfer case has changed and therefore a new fluid is required. As far as I can tell, it's more then just viscosity and probably has something to do with new materials and friction adders like @btanchors has mentioned.

    We just did a 30k on @thinkingburrito 2016 Tacoma and changed front and rear diff fluids, and decided to just inspect the transfer fluid. It's WAY thinner than your usual gear oil. It still looked like new so we left the stuff in there and will change it at a later date when other options are possibly available.

    On today's vehicles, it's often not worth it to venture outside of specialty fluids until more information is published. $55 bucks or whatever the stuff costs is much cheaper than a $5,000 dollar transfer case later in the vehicles life.
     
  19. Mar 31, 2018 at 5:13 PM
    #39
    tacomatrddave

    tacomatrddave Member

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    Just be careful with the transfer case oil. Lots of brass bushings in there. They used to use 75w90 gear oil up to 2015. In 2016 they switched to the 75w LF. I did a ton of research looking for an equivalent. Finally called red line engineering. Was told they have analyzed the Toyota LF and there is something in there they can not replicate so there is no equivalent. He explained Toyota and others are now getting tolerances so tight that there are many specialty oils as traditional viscosities cannot get in between the parts. He recommended using the Toyota oil.

    1 liter of the LF costs $81! So at 30k I decided to filter it. Ran it through a paint filter and put it back in. Now at 50k I am towing much more with a new camper. Decided to bite the bullet and buy the LF and replace it. What I drained out was pretty dark, but very clean. Ran it through the a paint filter again just to see if here was any material or particles. Found a few small particles. But that was it.

    It takes just slightly more than 1 liter. So I had to use a couple oz of thebokd that I had filtered what I took out to top it off. Im glad I changed it, after looking at the color. Feel bad I had to use a little of the old. But it’s oretty expensive.
     
  20. Mar 31, 2018 at 5:28 PM
    #40
    splitbolt

    splitbolt Well-Known Member

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    Alternatives:
    -Ravenol MTF-3 75w
    -Bravoil FMT-3 75w
    -Morris Lubricant Lodexol MTFE 75w
    -EXN-MTF 75w
    -Royal Purple Synchromesh

    Better?:notsure:
     

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