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Old 07-12-2015, 11:48 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Worcester, MA
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1983 240D 4-speed: recommended transmission fluid and differential fluid?

Hello, all

Is there a current consensus on what fluid to use in the 4-speed manual transmission of a 240D (1983 aluminum Getrag, if that makes a difference)?

I'm hearing different recommendations. The two I see most often are ATF (Dexron II/III or Mercon II/III, I think), or Pennzoil Syncromesh.

The only manuals I've ever serviced in the past (not Mercedes) took gear oil.

Same question for the rear differential. Except that I haven't heard any specific recommendations. I do have the owner's manual, but it's buried somewhere in the car at the moment, and I don't necessarily want to trust 30+ year old recommendations, even if they're from the factory, when you consider all the advances in fluids in the decades since.

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Old 07-12-2015, 02:19 PM
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ATF is the recommended lubricant.
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Old 07-12-2015, 02:57 PM
Fueled by coffee
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Worcester, MA
Posts: 471
Originally Posted by Mike D View Post
ATF is the recommended lubricant.
I checked the owner's manual since my last post. There are different types of ATF. The owner's manual specifies ATF type A. I was at the store earlier and didn't see that. A little Googling suggests that type A is an outdated fluid spec, and people are split on using Dexron/Mercon II/III or type F.

However, none of the info I mention above was from a Mercedes forum. I'm curious what folks here are actually using.

As for the differential, the owner's manual specifies 85W90. I couldn't find that at the local store, either, but at least I know I can order that if need be.

EDIT: added this copied from wikipedia. Emphasis is my own -
In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, ATF contained whale oil as a friction modifier. But since whale oil would break down at higher temperatures, cars produced in the 1970s and later would not be able to use whale oil because of the higher engine coolant temperatures employed to reduce emissions and save fuel. A moratorium on whale oil at that time prevented the continued production of older ATF such as the original DEXRON formulation (Type B), and the Type A which preceded it. Vintage Chrysler products (Dodge, Plymouth, etc.) used Type A fluid, which is generally difficult to obtain now. It turns out that Type A was basically a nearly 50/50 mix of Type F (Ford) and Dexron (GM), so if you have a pre-1990 Chrysler vehicle, you can mix Type F and Dexron to get a near-match for type A. General Motors began marketing Dexron II Type C and later Dexron II Type D to replace the fluids which were made from whale oil.[10]
Don't know whether this applies to our cars.

Last edited by MagicBus; 07-12-2015 at 03:01 PM. Reason: added further info from wikipedia
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Old 07-12-2015, 03:17 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Wilmington, NC by the Atlantic ocean
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I'm running a rather exclusive blend in mine - whatever was in there when I got it. So far so good and it shifts like butter (new linkage bushings). When it's time for a change I'll probably go with a synthetic ATF, which is pretty good stuff. I'll study brands at that time but my understanding is that they're all pretty good. I have an LSR buddy and a different guy who's a drag racer, both of whom are who trans guys and I'll likely take their recommendation.

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