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Old 10-21-2021, 09:41 AM   #1
Y-Blockhead
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Default Foamy Transmission Oil

I have had a small oil leak coming from the top front of my transmission on the drivers side for a while now. Yesterday I deciced to pull the floors out and investigate.
It appeared to be coming from the top cover (there is nothing else there!) so I pulled the shift tower.

Surprise, surprise!! The trans oil was extremely foamy, all the way to the top of the case.

So after draining that mess out, does anyone know of a trans oil that doesn't foam? I know there was a thread on Trans oil recently but I can not seem to find it...

I was using Penrite SAE 250. A little more than disappointed.


Extremely foamy Penrite SAE 250 after sitting for a few days.

Last edited by Y-Blockhead; 10-21-2021 at 09:46 AM. Reason: Forgot the picture.
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Old 10-21-2021, 10:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

I know this not your first rodeo, but I still have to ask. Is the vent clean?

I have never had this happen to one of our cars. I use half 600w and half STP.

Enjoy.
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Old 10-21-2021, 10:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

Could it be condensation or some water getting in some how ? How much do you use the car and in what conditions ? What transmission is this on what engine ? What are the foaming characteristics of Penrite 250 ? Sorry about all the questions just trying to get to the cause. Jim T.
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Old 10-21-2021, 10:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by WHN View Post
I know this not your first rodeo, but I still have to ask. Is the vent clean?

I have never had this happen to one of our cars. I use half 600w and half STP.

Enjoy.
Yes, I checked the vent before I pulled the tower off. My first thought it was building pressure.

The Shift tower was recently rebuilt, ~ 6 months. I had replaced because the 'ball' was square. I don't know why it didn't leak oil out of the vent.

Last edited by Y-Blockhead; 10-21-2021 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 10-21-2021, 10:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

Hey Jim. I drive the car a minimum of once a week, 20-30 miles. Trans is Model A crash box.

I was under the impression Penrite was good stuff. Guess I will go back to using Lucas 85W-140.

Last edited by Y-Blockhead; 10-21-2021 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 10-21-2021, 12:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

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Mikes affordable has a black 1500 or 1600 oil, I haven't tried it, suppose to be more like the old 600w.
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Old 10-21-2021, 02:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Y-Blockhead View Post
I have had a small oil leak coming from the top front of my transmission on the drivers side for a while now. Yesterday I deciced to pull the floors out and investigate.
It appeared to be coming from the top cover (there is nothing else there!) so I pulled the shift tower.

Surprise, surprise!! The trans oil was extremely foamy, all the way to the top of the case.

So after draining that mess out, does anyone know of a trans oil that doesn't foam? I know there was a thread on Trans oil recently but I can not seem to find it...

I was using Penrite SAE 250. A little more than disappointed.


Extremely foamy Penrite SAE 250 after sitting for a few days.
Contaminated oil !!
Water ???
Overfilled !
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Old 10-21-2021, 03:49 PM   #8
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

Blockhead,


gear oils, unlike hydraulic oils for example, do not have an extravagant anti-foam additive. (This has a technical reason).

If you have driven your car before, a foam crown is normal even after about an hour. The thicker the viscosity, the longer the foam remains.
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Old 10-21-2021, 03:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

I have used Penrite 250 for many years and have no intention of changing. I have never had an issue.
How long have you been using Penrite and why do you want to change? What evidence is there that the oil doesn't do its job if there is some foam? Has it been in some way deficient in lubricating?
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Old 10-21-2021, 04:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardtimes View Post
Contaminated oil !!
Water ???
Overfilled !
No to all three...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Werner View Post
Blockhead,

Gear oils, unlike hydraulic oils for example, do not have an extravagant anti-foam additive. (This has a technical reason).

If you have driven your car before, a foam crown is normal even after about an hour. The thicker the viscosity, the longer the foam remains.
Thanks Werner for the info. That is good to know. I guess I was just shocked at how MUCH it foamed, and was still foamy a week later.

Lucas 85W-140 claims to be non-foaming. That is what I used before trying Penrite. Never had an issue like this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Synchro909 View Post
I have used Penrite 250 for many years and have no intention of changing. I have never had an issue.
How long have you been using Penrite and why do you want to change? What evidence is there that the oil doesn't do its job if there is some foam? Has it been in some way deficient in lubricating?
Snnchro, you are correct. I have never had a problem with Penrite lubricating. I don't "want" to change. My issue is that it foamed so much that it was leaking out the TOP of the transmission. That is the only reason I asked if anyone knew of a transmission oil the did not foam.

Last edited by Y-Blockhead; 10-21-2021 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 10-21-2021, 04:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

Blockhead,

there is an additional reason: If synthetic oil is mixed with mineral oil, it can cause individual components to be incompatible and cause the oil to decompose.
If I understood correctly, was the foam still present within a week? Then that's a sure sign that the oil is contaminated. Since it then loses its lubricity considerably.
It makes sense to carry out a complete gear oil change and perhaps to attach a dipstick to be able to control the formation of foam.
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Old 10-21-2021, 05:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Werner View Post
Blockhead,

there is an additional reason: If synthetic oil is mixed with mineral oil, it can cause individual components to be incompatible and cause the oil to decompose.
If I understood correctly, was the foam still present within a week? Then that's a sure sign that the oil is contaminated. Since it then loses its lubricity considerably.
It makes sense to carry out a complete gear oil change and perhaps to attach a dipstick to be able to control the formation of foam.
Thanks Werner. I don't think either Penrite or Lucas 85W-140 are synthetics (altho Lucas does make a 75W-140 Synthetic Gear Oil). Those are the only gear oils that have been in this transmission. I don't believe the oil was contaminated. We'll see how the Lucas works... again.
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Old 10-21-2021, 05:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

It states in the ad do not let it have any contact with water.
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Old 10-22-2021, 12:47 AM   #14
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimvette59 View Post
It states in the ad do not let it have any contact with water.
“ANY CONTACT”….however slight.
WATER… will give this (contaminated) result appearance.. every time.
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Old 10-22-2021, 06:41 AM   #15
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

I continue to recommend straight STP.
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Old 10-22-2021, 06:44 AM   #16
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimvette59 View Post
It states in the ad do not let it have any contact with water.
That was my initial thought......has blockhead used a pressure wash wand near the vent?
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Old 10-22-2021, 09:18 AM   #17
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

According to the MSDS sheet for this product, it has no anti-foaming agents in it. It has very small amounts of Alcyl Amines and oleylamine compounds witch are surfactants and these can cause some foaming but they are in there to keep particles in suspension so it can lubricate more evenly. I have to give them credit for listing what is in there. It is a basic GL1 product.

Sta-Lube 140 MSDS will not list the additives that they use in their product but it would have the basic trade additive package as regulated by its GL4 rating with the API so a person can pretty much guess that it has mild EP sulfurous/phosphorous additives as well as corrosion inhibitors and anti-foaming agents. This is common with all GL4 related lubricants.

Last edited by rotorwrench; 10-23-2021 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 10-22-2021, 04:21 PM   #18
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

I have been assuming the Penrite 250 oil you have been using is the same as we get. Ours is labelled "Penrite Transoil 250". Is yours the same. Maybe we are not talking about the same oil.
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Old 10-22-2021, 06:27 PM   #19
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

Quote:
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That was my initial thought......has blockhead used a pressure wash wand near the vent?
Y-Blockhead doesn't use water, high pressure or not, to wash my Town Sedan.

Last edited by Y-Blockhead; 10-22-2021 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 10-22-2021, 06:37 PM   #20
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Default Re: Foamy Transmission Oil

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I have been assuming the Penrite 250 oil you have been using is the same as we get. Ours is labelled "Penrite Transoil 250". Is yours the same. Maybe we are not talking about the same oil.
Snychro, yes same, Penrite Transoil T250. I'm going to reinstall the shift tower tomorrow. Perhaps I will give the Penrite another try. As I had said earlier, I had no issues with Penrite, other than the foaming.
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File Type: jpg Penrite.jpg (43.3 KB, 87 views)

Last edited by Y-Blockhead; 10-22-2021 at 06:43 PM.
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