View Full Version : Transmission: 4 spd oil for R2 Avanti

07-19-2017, 04:19 PM
I was checking fluid levels and found the tranny about 1/2 inch low. When checking the manual it was stated to use "special Studebaker lubricant". I searched using every combo I could think of on this site but couldn't find a reference to the "special lube". What is the recommended oil for the T-10? Thanks a bunch...

07-19-2017, 05:13 PM
I've been using Amsoil 75W-90 manual transmission lube in the T10 in my 62 Hawk with good results. Redline also makes excellent lubes for manual transmissions which many people also use. If I remember correctly, the original spec was for an SAE 80W lube. Bud

07-19-2017, 05:21 PM
I use redline mt90. No problems in 15 years.

07-19-2017, 08:56 PM
I recently went thru the same search/determination for my '64 Daytona/4 speed. I corresponded with Bob Palma regarding this, following is the email I sent to him, and his response:

Hi Bob,
What is the 'correct' lube for a Studebaker T-10 4 speed? Looked on the internet, and some say GL-4, some say GL-1, and just about everyone says NO GL-5 which I understand.

The Shop Manual says "80 weight mineral oil" which is the same thing called out for the Warner 3-speeds. I use GL-1 90 weight in my 3-speeds, and it works well except that first shift or two in freezing weather is kinda tough http://cdn-cf.aol.com/se/smi/0201d20638/01. Based on the Shop Manual calling the same 80 weight mineral oil out for the 3-speed and 4-speed, my inclination is that the GL-1 90 weight should be ok.

I found this thread: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?70883-proper-T-10-4-speed-lubricant on the forum. StudeRich seems to confirm what I'm thinking.
Just wanted to get your thoughts on this question Bob. Thanks for any advice you can give me!


And following is Bob Palma's response:
Hi, Paul;

Ted Harbit swears by RedLine, as in this post:
"On the Red Line bottle, largest letters are, MT-90. Lower down of the label, in smaller letters it says, 75W90 GL-4. That's the same stuff Ted uses. I have been using it a few years now, since I read where Ted mentioned it."

That's what I'd use. The GL-1 90-weight will work and is certainly acceptable, but will not allow you to shift very fast!

Best. Bob

Joshua Skinner
07-19-2017, 11:05 PM
I'll also plug Red Line MT-90 for the T-10. There is also MTL, the L is for Light, in 75W-80 and MT-85 in, you guessed it, 75W-85. I would not use Red Line for top off unless that's already what's in the gearbox.

07-20-2017, 07:59 AM
if original.. these old boxes will tolerate just about any quality 90W lube.... since most cars are driven in 70 + degree temps, I wouldn't worry too much about grades... Since its likely there's little leaking from the R/A, I'd do a 1-time synthetic after I'd removed the cover and cleaned/inspected inside closely.....Most of our systems need only 1 time done right service that will last most lifetimes...

07-20-2017, 08:11 AM
.... since most cars are driven in 70 + degree temps, I wouldn't worry too much about grades...

Jack, you must live in a pretty mild climate area. :) Here in North Carolina, it gets below freezing and those first couple of shifts with SAE 90 are pretty tough at 25 degrees F ! But that's still what I use in most of my manuals.

07-20-2017, 10:46 AM
It is just unreal the difference synthetic manual trans fluid makes! I put the Redline MT90 in about five years ago and I can shift my four speed in my 62 Hawk with two fingers... When it is cold!

07-20-2017, 03:04 PM
Reminds me of a '66 Ford pick-up my Uncle once owned. If he knew it was going to be 35 or colder, he would make sure it was parked with it in first gear and pointed where he wanted to start going. He said once you had let it warm up for about two minutes and then got a miles or so down the road, you could finally ease it out of first gear and try for second...

Paul Keller
07-22-2017, 04:16 PM
Red Line has a trans. lube offered specifically for the 1960's era 4-speed transmissions. I do not have the spec's w/ me (I'm at the library's internet) but here is what I recall.
It is a GL-5 lube with the oil viscosity ending in "NS"
Red Line's site refers to the lube as being formulated for B-W T10 (among others) transmissions.

That said, if Ted has tried a lube and it works well for his demanding use - It should be OK for us every day drivers.

Paul TK

Joshua Skinner
07-23-2017, 12:39 AM
The Red Line NS lubes are for transmissions and transaxles with differentials. And they do plug it for our market with this:
"Musclecar applications like Ford Top Loader, Borg-Warner T-10 and Super T-10, and Muncie transmissions"

MT-90 is not for hypoid gears, but works really well in old 4-speeds.

Here's everything Red Line for manual boxes: https://www.redlineoil.com/Products.aspx?pcid=7