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abi Offline
#1 Posted : Tuesday, 31 August 2021 12:48:21 PM(UTC)
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Hi all, looking for a different oil for my Saginaw 4 speed. I freshened it up and at the same time used Penrites GL4 75W 90 thinking it was the best option. Well the shift is awful, seems like the oil is too slippery and does not allow the blocker rings to speed match (brake) the speed gears to the sliders. Puttering along is OK but upshifting at higher RPM grinds unless i shift deliberately slow.
I'm thinking I need to change to an oil that is less slippery, that will allow the synchros work. The issue is in all gears, 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th.
THe bellhousing is from the old setup and I can rev the engine to 5K in gear with clutch pedal on the floor and the car will not creep forward, so I dont think the pilot or clutch is dragging or misaligned.
Any recomendations?
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#2 Posted : Wednesday, 1 September 2021 8:27:27 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: abi Go to Quoted Post
Hi all, looking for a different oil for my Saginaw 4 speed. I freshened it up and at the same time used Penrites GL4 75W 90 thinking it was the best option. Well the shift is awful, seems like the oil is too slippery and does not allow the blocker rings to speed match (brake) the speed gears to the sliders. Puttering along is OK but upshifting at higher RPM grinds unless i shift deliberately slow.
I'm thinking I need to change to an oil that is less slippery, that will allow the synchros work. The issue is in all gears, 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th.
THe bellhousing is from the old setup and I can rev the engine to 5K in gear with clutch pedal on the floor and the car will not creep forward, so I dont think the pilot or clutch is dragging or misaligned.
Any recomendations?


I ran a normal (mineral ) 80-90W gear oil in the Saginaw box in my Monaro.. no problems
think back then, it was Castrol brand

I just checked... Penrite do exactly that these days and is the recommended oil for the Saginaw
per their 'selector' drop down

https://penriteoil.com.a...gear-oil-80w-90-mineral

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abi Offline
#3 Posted : Friday, 3 September 2021 11:38:36 PM(UTC)
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thanks smitty I see that oil you have listed has lim slip additives and extreme pressure additives and is a GL5 oil. I'm thinking I need a less slippery oil so the blocker rings grab and speed match a bit faster.
Smitty2 Offline
#4 Posted : Saturday, 4 September 2021 7:47:50 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: abi Go to Quoted Post
thanks smitty I see that oil you have listed has lim slip additives and extreme pressure additives and is a GL5 oil. I'm thinking I need a less slippery oil so the blocker rings grab and speed match a bit faster.


well, try other brands 80W-90 mineral oils and try one without the additives

pps.. you DO NEED extreme pressure additives in gear box oil

Edited by user Saturday, 4 September 2021 7:49:03 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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abi Offline
#5 Posted : Thursday, 9 September 2021 1:24:31 AM(UTC)
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Will do.
gm5735 Offline
#6 Posted : Saturday, 11 September 2021 11:10:37 AM(UTC)
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In the '70s and '80s we used to run Castrol EPX 80W/90, which Castrol used to list as equivalent to GMH AL93 SAE90 weight, the recommended Saginaw oil.
Castrol now seem to shy away from EPX for that application and recommend Castrol Universal 80W/90. Perhaps EPX has grown some additives that are undesirable.

Bill Tuckey described the Saginaw gearshift as stirring a crowbar in a bucket of rapidly setting concrete, and thats not far wrong - they aren't renowned as the slickest shifting gearbox around. If you are expecting slick light bang gearshifts from a Saginaw you are doomed to disappointment.

If you are having synchromesh problems in all gears, and the box has been rebuilt recently, I would have a good look at the synchro keys, and the rings themselves. The accuracy and quality of these items in the recent lot of rebuild kits has been very poor.
Unless you've got sewing machine oil or treacle in the gearbox, that's a more likely explanation than a few points of oil viscosity.
Dr Terry Offline
#7 Posted : Saturday, 11 September 2021 11:21:16 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: gm5735 Go to Quoted Post
If you are expecting slick light bang gearshifts from a Saginaw you are doomed to disappointment.


Very well spoken Sir. How true ?

Dr Terry
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gm5735 Offline
#8 Posted : Saturday, 11 September 2021 11:30:27 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Dr Terry Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: gm5735 Go to Quoted Post
If you are expecting slick light bang gearshifts from a Saginaw you are doomed to disappointment.


Very well spoken Sir. How true ?

Dr Terry


Back in the day I had quite a nice collection of chipped and broken gears to prove it too.
Smitty2 Offline
#9 Posted : Sunday, 12 September 2021 9:15:02 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: gm5735 Go to Quoted Post
In the '70s and '80s we used to run Castrol EPX 80W/90, which Castrol used to list as equivalent to GMH AL93 SAE90 weight, the recommended Saginaw oil.
Castrol now seem to shy away from EPX for that application and recommend Castrol Universal 80W/90. Perhaps EPX has grown some additives that are undesirable.

Bill Tuckey described the Saginaw gearshift as stirring a crowbar in a bucket of rapidly setting concrete, and thats not far wrong - they aren't renowned as the slickest shifting gearbox around. If you are expecting slick light bang gearshifts from a Saginaw you are doomed to disappointment.
...................


Tuckey was not far wrong. Going up a gear was ok (provided the shifter set up was all good.. although I still want to know which genius in GMH Eng designed that 'floor'system)
but going down?? ALWAYS a double declutch .. using shifter neutral to untangle it all (was my daily task on driving the HT 350 Monaro I had)

Edited by user Sunday, 12 September 2021 9:15:38 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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HK1837 Offline
#10 Posted : Sunday, 12 September 2021 9:56:31 AM(UTC)
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I wouldn't be surprised if it was simply an adaptation off another North American vehicle. GMH had similar designs here using the same shifter that was normally mounted on the gearbox but mounted remotely. One was the early LH big block Torana where an Aussie 4spd was fitted behind the Opel 1.9 but it sat forward of where it did behind a 6cyl or V8. So GMH mounted the shifter to the tunnel and used longer shift rods. The other I can think of was CF Bedford with Aussie 3 or 4spd. The standard Aussie 4spd shifter was used remotely with long shift rods. I bet there were obscure Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, Olds etc vehicles that used exactly what we had in HK-HG.
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Smitty2 on 12/09/2021(UTC)
Sandaro Offline
#11 Posted : Sunday, 12 September 2021 6:26:06 PM(UTC)
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I put a saginaw in my first Monaro with a Hurst Indy shifter, it was a lovely thing, click click between gears, up or down. Butchered the floor to get it in though!

Edited by user Sunday, 12 September 2021 6:29:12 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

abi Offline
#12 Posted : Sunday, 12 September 2021 11:14:21 PM(UTC)
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Thanks guys for all the advice but I have owned and driven this gts 327 for the past 25 years and it was good prior to the refresh,the issue is either the oil or the blocker rings as these are two of the 4 things changed, the other two being the bearings and seals.
The remote shifter was a typical GM north America thing at the time, the 67 Camaro's had a similar setup but GM moved to the tailhousing mount in either 68 or 69 as did Corvette. HQ muncie went to the tailhousing deal as a result.
I'm going to change the oil as a first move, I too liked the old Castrol EPX but the current stuff reads poorly, formulated to cover a few deleted oils including lim slip oils.
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