1996 GM 4L60E Mobil 1 ATF Or Dexron VI ATF

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Aug 13, 2007
St Louis MO
I'm getting ready to service the Transmission in my 1996 Impala SS and there's a number of different fluids I could use. So far I've been looking at Mobil products; either the full synthetic, which is only rated Dexron III, or Dexron VI which is a partial synthetic. I'd like to go with the full synthetic, but for whatever reason it doesn't meet the latest Dexron VI spec. My question is; does that seem to imply the partial synthetic Dexron VI fluid is superior to the full synthetic? Thanks in advance
Ive been tossing this same question around for quite some time now.I have to have dex 6 for the 06 Impala so i might just use it for the 01 Blazer as well.
No that does not imply the partial synthetic Dexron VI is better than the Mobil 1 ATF (Mercon V, Mercon, DexronIII, ATF+4). Now Dexron VI is a far better fluid than any conventional ATF, so it has its place. Personally, prices are similar between the Mobil 1 ATF and Dexron VI, so toss a coin as to which you want. If you want a full synthetic that is a replacement for Dexron VI then go with Amsoil ATF or Redline D6.
I put M1 ATF in my Saturn TAAT, which are notorious for a 'reverse slam' due to varnish, and it seems to work much better and is highly recommended on Saturnfans over conventional Dexron IV. Not sure about Dex VI. Can't go wrong with M1 ATF IMO.
Try the Valvolne Dex VI, full syn. I purchased mine at Napa for $4.50 per quart. It works well in Chevy 3L80E transmission, 27' motor home. Skip
If you can find it, I'd go with TranSynd (Allison spec TES-295) available from Castrol and ExxonMobil. Although GM has back-spec'd the Dex VI for all the previous releases, I have seen some seal compatibility issues with certain applications. Allison is continuing the Dexron III "dino" formulation as TES-389.
Flip a coin. Either ANY Dexron-VI or full synth ATF will work well. Use whatever is available locally or buy online. The important things are reasonable maintenance intervals, VB mods that match engine mods, filtration, and proper ATF temps.
I replaced the Mobil 1 Dexron III Synthetic ATF in my BMW after 35,000 miles with Castrol blend Dexron VI. My mechanic remarked how clean the old Mobil 1 fluid looked. Just my one, very positive expereince with Mobil 1. Transmission seems to shift a bit smoother with the new Dexron VI. Of course I said the same when I put in the Mobil 1 .
Honestly I would not be in a rush to get a Dexron VI fluid in there. Nothing wrong with Dexron VI, and it certainly is better than old generic Dex III fluid. In fact Amsoil ATF would work fine in this application. However - with a 1996 GM I would go Amsoil ATD, which is a full synthetic ATF for Allison® TES-295 and DEXRON® III. Not only is the viscosity a better match, it's still has all the good properties of synthetic ATF. Amsoil ATD ATF
I have a 1996 Roadmaster wagon with the same transmission as yours. I did a pan drop on it when I bought it at 90k miles and changed the filter and used Mobil 1 ATF (about 4 qts). This summer with about 105k on it I dropped the pan, changed the filter and filled it up and flushed it using the return cooler line and used 12 qts total. I used GM Vehicle Care Dex VI this time for the flush, I bought it from GM parts direct online. It was cheaper than the other Dex VI fluids in the stores at the time. It has always shifted fine and still does. I didn't notice any change. I plan to stick with Dex VI but will consider the Valvoline next time since it says "Full Synthetic" on the bottle and I don't think the GM variety is a full synthetic. I don't think it is worth $6 a qt if that is what I have to pay however. Hopefully you can find it for less than $5 like someone else mentioned and then I would buy the full synthetic. I'm certain Pablo's recommendation would be a great one as well.
You guys have me convinced, I'll be looking for some full synthetic ATF for the Allison® TES-295 spec. Whether it's going to be the TranSynd, Amsoil ATD, or some other equivalent, I don't know yet. I'll have to see what I can find locally first. One thing I have found is that it's not available in quart containers, looks like gallon jugs is the smallest size container this stuff comes in Thanks, Keith
The Amsoil product as far as I can see does NOT meet the DEXRON-VI specs. Of course if they obtained an approval they could prove me wrong!
Those of us who have been around the 94-6 b-bodies a LONG time have found the M1 synthetic Dexron III to NOT be a good choice in this application. This is the enthusiasts and several of the tranny building guys that cater to us that say this. It is something most guys who have tried a few things agree on. Amsoil seems to get good results though as do many regular dino fluids. My Caprice is pumping around 480hp through a 4L60 that was built 4 years ago and has something over 40K miles on it, the last 15K with this much power, before that was 320-360hp. Till last fall I was using basic fluids, Mobil dino and Walmart brand stuff. Last fall I dropped the pan to make a shift kit tweak and the pan was spotless but I topped up with Dexron VI. With the small diameter converter and deep pan I have that was about a 50% fill. No UOA and the pan has not been back off but the slip rpm as reported by the computer is signifigantly lower during the shifts. The shiftkit tweak only affected the 1-2 shift and the 2-3 shift is rising fewer rpms too so the fluid is doing this. 3-4 shift is up near 120mph so I have not experianced that at WOT and can't comment on it's reaction. If you just sunday or daily drive it and do not expect a lot of performance I am sure any of the discussed fluids will work fine. If you are looking to add power and use the car hard I would stay away from M1 in this application. I am sure it is a good product just the results say it is not right here, sort of like the M1 5w-30 everyone wants to dump into these LT1s, good oil but not right for this engine.
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