ATF for old Mercedes 722.3 4spd auto 'box?

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Can anyone suggest a correct synthetic ATF for '90s era Mercedes-Benz 722.3 4spd automatic in a 500E? It sounds like the current widely used standard isn't technically ideal for this older auto 'box that isn't computer controlled. I found this good info posted elsewhere but would like to know what the BITOG members suggest. Watch out for that "should be used" and "can be used" thing. For the newer 722.6 transmissions, MB says the latest fluid (236.14) "should be used" for older applications (i.e., early production 722.6 in the late 1990's) that originally called for for 236.12 or 236.10. Problem is, the .14/.12 spec is a low viscosity fluid, while the older .10 spec was for a normal (thicker) viscosity. MB says the thin stuff "should be used", but I don't agree. They recommend thin fluid for fuel economy, which is not my priority. The newer stuff is not always better! Again, this is for newer MB transmissions, not our 722.3's in the 500E, but you get the idea. And The old Red Line Dex-II formula is no longer available. Red Line D4 or High Temp are the Dex-III replacements which will work well in a 722.3/.4/.5 transmission (the D4 can be used in the 722.6 as well). DO NOT use Red Line D6, which is the lower-viscosity Dex-VI. I am now using D4 or High Temp in all my cars. I haven't been able to find it for any less than approx $44/gallon ($11/qt) with free shipping, so if anyone knows of a cheaper source, please share! Amsoil ATF (the current formula, anyway) is also a good Dex-III fluid. And Brief Discussion on the subject of ATF oil for 722.3 / .4 / .5 gear These transmissions were built at that time for use with "ATF IID" developed oils. It has already been noted several times that, for example, ATF III contains something "aggressive" and can dissolve the brake bands, which leads to slip when shifting. Thus, I am using standard ATF IID (3 € / liter from Addinol) and I am very satisfied with the ATF IID from Addinol Oils Germany. My automatic gearbox is 15 years old...Under the hood, you will find a 300hp AMG engine in my car... And the "unfortified" ATF IID is plenty for the job! Oils from 236.10 and 236.14 service sheets are meant for transmissions with electronically controlled converter clutch (Küb) plate clutches and brake bands, ie from 722.6 and up. These transmissions have special requirements on the coefficients of friction of the oil, therefore, the requirement is for "thin" oils. Therefore, be sure to look when buying oil for the following approvals: 236.6 ( list of approved oils ) or 236.7 ( list of approved oils ) Are any of these ATFs correct? http://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?pid=54&pcid=9 http://www.amsoil.com/shop/by-product/tr.../?code=OTFQT-EA https://www.motul.com/system/product_descriptions/technical_data_sheets/2788/original/Dexron_III_TDS_(GB).pdf?1302206858
 

JHZR2

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Some in the MB diesel crowd have gone to dex vi. Max life ATF was also popular as a back-spec. Best bet though may be a name brand dex/merc with lubriguard red. Specifically, Mobil ATF, which still holds the equivalent Allison certification, as opposed to be ping a totally unlicensed, generic fluid.
 

ringmaster

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Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Some in the MB diesel crowd have gone to dex vi. Max life ATF was also popular as a back-spec. Best bet though may be a name brand dex/merc with lubriguard red. Specifically, Mobil ATF, which still holds the equivalent Allison certification, as opposed to be ping a totally unlicensed, generic fluid.
Are these the two ATFs are you are suggesting? http://www.valvoline.com/products/brands/maxlife/automatic-transmission-fluid/37 http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Other_Products/Mobil_1_Synthetic_ATF.aspx# I thought the Mobil ATF would be the most 'generic' of the bunch in an attempt to cover a huge range of vehicles? The MaxLife has very low viscosity…..like a Dexron VI….likely not ideal for this old 4spd?
 
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I have had great luck with Mobil 1 ATF in Mercedes gear boxes. These transmissions are ancient any dex 4 fluid is fine.
 
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lim

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RM, Those that can be used in 722.3 automatic transmissions are MB Approval 236.8 and 236.12, although the former is for arctic use only! Those that should be used are MB Approvals 236.1, 236.6, 236.7, 236.9, 236.10 and 236.81. Of the three brands that you list only Motul produces solutions. These are Motul Dexron IID (236.7) and Motul Dexron III (236.9). Regards, lim
 
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You might consider a TES 295 spec fluid such as Spirax S6 ATF A295 or Mobil Delvac Synthetic ATF. Both meet the MB 236.91 and are approved for DEXRON III applications. After consulting with Tom Johnson aka MR_TRANSYND I chose this fluid for my 93 Volvo 4 speed AW 70 transmission. $8.40/qt including tax for the Spirax S6. http://www.epc.shell.com/docs/GPCDOC_GTDS_Shell_Spirax_S6_ATF_A295_(en)_TDS.pdf http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lubes/PDS/GLXXENCVLMOMobil_Delvac_Synthetic_ATF.aspx Hope this helps.
 

JHZR2

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Originally Posted By: ringmaster
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
Some in the MB diesel crowd have gone to dex vi. Max life ATF was also popular as a back-spec. Best bet though may be a name brand dex/merc with lubriguard red. Specifically, Mobil ATF, which still holds the equivalent Allison certification, as opposed to be ping a totally unlicensed, generic fluid.
Are these the two ATFs are you are suggesting? http://www.valvoline.com/products/brands/maxlife/automatic-transmission-fluid/37 http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Other_Products/Mobil_1_Synthetic_ATF.aspx# I thought the Mobil ATF would be the most 'generic' of the bunch in an attempt to cover a huge range of vehicles? The MaxLife has very low viscosity…..like a Dexron VI….likely not ideal for this old 4spd?
As I mentioned, a number of people are putting Dex VI and maxlife into their 30-year old diesel ATs and they are doing well. Of course those boxes use bowden cables and vacuum regulators to adjust, and people do tend to tinker. I meand the standard Mobil D/M ATF. it is a conventional, actually available at Target for a good price. It stands out to me because it still holds and shows an Allison approval, so you now there is some consistency to the Dex II/III spec. I like lubeguard red in there and I say good to go. Lots of folks have used M1 ATF as well with good success. I use it as PSF in cars that call for ATF for steering. Ive not personally used it in an AT.
 

ringmaster

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Originally Posted By: lim
RM, Those that can be used in 722.3 automatic transmissions are MB Approval 236.8 and 236.12, although the former is for arctic use only! Those that should be used are MB Approvals 236.1, 236.6, 236.7, 236.9, 236.10 and 236.81. Of the three brands that you list only Motul produces solutions. These are Motul Dexron IID (236.7) and Motul Dexron III (236.9). Regards, lim
Great info. So far it looks like Motul Multi ATF is the best choice for this old 'box. A modern synthetic blend with old school MBZ approval. Am I right?
 

ringmaster

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I ended up ordering Motul Dexron III https://www.motul.com/system/product_descriptions/technical_data_sheets/74/original/Dexron_III_(GB).pdf?1335541694 Hopefully the ol' Benz 'box shifts like new again smile
 
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I have an 722.3 transmission in my W123, and I've never heard of anybody having problems running regular Dexron III. Keep in mind that GM pioneered automatic transmissions and for many years many manufacturers just bought automatics from GM or developed their own and based their fluid specifications on GM's Dexron formula's. The earliest ATF's from Chrysler and Ford were based on early Dexron specs as it was the only proven ATF spec on the market. For decades the big 3 dominated when it came to automatic transmissions and air conditioning, even my 83 300D came from the factory in Stuttgart with an GM Harrison AC compressor.
 
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Good info here. I'm about to start digging in to my trans to check for a B2 piston failure on my '89 560SEL's transmission and I need to figure which fluid is called for.
 
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