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Volvo Penta SX-M gear oil recommendation?

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  • Volvo Penta SX-M gear oil recommendation?

    Well I never thought I'd have this much frustration trying to find an alternative to the VP gear oil. I'm not close to a dealer and I know there are alternatives for the gear oil. The list on the VP site says API GL5 75W-90 for my SX-M 1.600 gear ratio drive. Now it doesn't mention anything about limited slip, etc. But from what I've been reading, there seems to be something about this.
    Has anyone used this or would you?
    It's fully synthetic and rated API GL 5, 75W-90 but also states "Excellent for use in limited slip differentials? Totally confused but it doesn't take much......
    Tks in advance to the "pros" on this site..

  • #2
    Howdy,

    Since there is no specific marine gear lubricant specification, ANY GL-5 gear lubricant (syn or NON-syn) is acceptable.

    Although they do not seem to mention LS additives.......most of us don't think you should use any gear oil that indicates it contains LS additives and/or it's specifically formulated FOR limited slip differential axles because it could damage the cone clutch.

    Any other GL-5 gear oil will be fine. I thought I had seen a sterndrive maker recommend against using an LS type oil but I couldn't find it.

    Maybe someone here can point you to a specific service instruction or bulletin (Bruce?) ............... Most of us prefer a synthetic. (Volvo specifies a synthetic for many of their newer drives. Be sure to follow the Owners Manual oil specification for your drive)

    Cheers,

    Rick
    1987 FourWinns 211 Liberator, Originally OMC 460 King Cobra.
    Re-powered in 2006 with a 1997 Mercruiser 7.4L Bravo III
    THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A GOOD OIL "THREAD"!!!

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    • #3
      Appreciate taking the time to respond. Just the info I was looking for. Tks

      Comment


      • #4
        Volvo-Penta gear oil can be ordered here on iBoats. They'll ship it to your door.

        http://www.volvopentastore.com/GL-5-...view_id.345164

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        • #5
          Umm, this page won't open for canadian addy's.

          Comment


          • #6
            Why not just use the Merc High Performance gear oil? It's approved for Bravos which have a cone clutch just like the Volvo and it's available everywhere....
            I've used it in my Cobra over 10 years and the gears are in great shape...
            Even did an oil analysis on the drive oil and it was fine very little wear.
            In any case I would not use an oil with an LS additive.
            1988 Four Winns 200 Horizon
            4.3 OMC Cobra

            98 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0 Selectrac
            07 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 5.7 Quadradrive II

            "While air doesn't freeze....rust never sleeps"

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            • #7
              If it's GL-5 rated, 75W-90, fully synthetic and no LS additives, I'll consider. tks

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              • #8
                I worked for Volvo dealerships the last 20 of my 33 years as marine mechanic.
                The first 13 years the shops I worked for used Lubrimatic, Sierra or MerCruiser high performance gear lubes (all of them meet Volvo specs) in the Volvo's and a few times a year we would have a Volvo with a slipping clutch. To fix them we would lap the cones and install a new clutch or replace the gears and clutch depending on how much $ the customer would spend.
                My first week at a Volvo dealer I was assigned a SX drive that was slipping. I tested the boat while it was still in the water and it would need about 1000 RPMs to engage forward. Hauled the boat out of the water and drained the lube. It was a greenish color, so not Volvo which is clear. I asked the service manager how I should quote the job ---- lapping vs replacement. Was told to refill with Volvo lube, run it around the bay for 15 minutes, drain and refill it again and test it again. It now shifted properly, no more slipping. I saw this happen many more times over the next 20 years. Just trying Volvo lube lube first would fix about 50% of the slipping Volvo drives.

                So based on my experience, would I ever put anything other than Volvo lube in a newer Volvo?
                Last edited by muc; August 20th, 2017, 10:30 AM.
                Good Luck Muc

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                • #9
                  Well if that's the case then I stand corrected!
                  Last edited by Lou C; August 20th, 2017, 07:42 PM.
                  1988 Four Winns 200 Horizon
                  4.3 OMC Cobra

                  98 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0 Selectrac
                  07 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 5.7 Quadradrive II

                  "While air doesn't freeze....rust never sleeps"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Well I guess it's off to the VP authorized dealer for some volvo oil. I'll sleep better at night just knowing. Tks Muc

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It would actually be interesting to send a virgin oil sample of the Merc Hi Perf and Volvo oil to Blackstone labs and see what the differences are. Maybe it has to do with the difference in the surface finish quality in the cones Merc vs Volvo.
                      1988 Four Winns 200 Horizon
                      4.3 OMC Cobra

                      98 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0 Selectrac
                      07 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 5.7 Quadradrive II

                      "While air doesn't freeze....rust never sleeps"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sign up today
                        I've used this for years and had nothing but success.

                        https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000IG20RC

                        They have other weights as well if you need them.

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