Standard viscosity “maxlife” ATF recommendation?

JHZR2

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My latest 1991 350SD shifts perfectly, but is a bit slow to go into reverse. There’s maybe a second delay. Going into the forward gears is instantaneous. I suspect that some piston seal is old and worn or shrunk/leaky.

I’ve never used a high mileage ATF, even in my much older MB cars. My understanding is that the valvoline maxlife atf is the gold standard for quality high mileage ATF. However, I also understand it’s on the low end of the viscosity range, so it can cover the LV type ATF/Dex VI.

I’m curious for recommendations on what would be the best bet for a standard viscosity Dex III/DM type ATF. Yeah I know all about how they shear down, even the Dex IIIH types. That’s ok. Mine won’t get there.

Is there one that is a better bet? Or do I just run either maxlife, or the Walmart brand high mileage version?

Thanks!
 
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Anything is better than what you have in there now. Even if you don't like Maxlife, even the cheapest generic ATF formerly known as Dexron III will be fine. Perhaps you might like Castrol Import Multi (which is a syn blend of original Dexron III viscosity, rather than LV like the full syn)

It doesn't matter what brand you use as long as you change it regularly.

However, there is nothing wrong with Maxlife in your 91.
 
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The abused 4T60 in the Cutlass Ciera I fixed up for my BIL responded well to one of the red "motor honey" products and ordinary DexMer. The additive looked like Cherry Grenadine. :)
 

wlk

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I've ran Maxlife is a couple old MB and they all shifted just fine for many miles. It is compatible with the older MB and if it doesn't respond to the Maxlife put some Lubegard Red in it, both are good products. I have also put the ST high mileage in several GMs over the years, when Walmart was out of Maxlife and it is fine fluid too. My preference would be to run the Maxlife
 
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I have also put the ST high mileage in several GMs over the years and it is fine fluid too
^ This is what I use in my 2005 Chevy 4L60E. Never has had a pan drop, just Siphon and fill 3 to 4 qts a couple of times a year. Just rolled over 232,000 miles last week and still shifts great.
 

MolaKule

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If its a dex III unit I would use Delvac 1 atf with a bottle of lubeguard red. Check the spec sheet on delvac 1 it looks very similar to Amsoil ATF, dex III viscosity but a PAO base.
I second that if you really want a Dexron III-H ATF (In No particular Order):

Mobil 1 Delvac


or

Amsoil ATF


or

Redline D4

 
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JHZR2

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If its a dex III unit I would use Delvac 1 atf with a bottle of lubeguard red. Check the spec sheet on delvac 1 it looks very similar to Amsoil ATF, dex III viscosity but a PAO base.
That is a good option for any AT that specs Dex II (like most of mine) or III. I’m not yet sure about the AT in this latest w126 though… thus my interest in a high mileage standard viscosity atf to start…

Anything is better than what you have in there now. Even if you don't like Maxlife, even the cheapest generic ATF formerly known as Dexron III will be fine. Perhaps you might like Castrol Import Multi (which is a syn blend of original Dexron III viscosity, rather than LV like the full syn)

It doesn't matter what brand you use as long as you change it regularly.

However, there is nothing wrong with Maxlife in your 91.
it’s not a matter of liking it. I like it just fine and would consider it’s use in other applications with more history in an instant…. I just want the higher starting viscosity for this one specific vehicle.

And for related reasons I want an HM…

I've ran Maxlife is a couple old MB and they all shifted just fine for many miles. It is compatible with the older MB and if it doesn't respond to the Maxlife put some Lubegard Red in it, both are good products. I have also put the ST high mileage in several GMs over the years, when Walmart was out of Maxlife and it is fine fluid too. My preference would be to run the Maxlife
Yeah it is a curiosity if the WM high mileage is any good, because I’d consider their generic d/m as an option, especially for an initial set of drains…. And I’ve had good luck with the WM ATF+4, though that’s more tightly formulated.
 
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Just me JHZR2 but I think Maxlife ATF would be just fine. Or like Trav said the Delvac ATF with red Lubegard sounds like a very good idea too.

Mattwithcats idea of TES-295 fluid is another possible very good idea too.

Heck I put 3 qts of Maxlife ATF in my 06 Acura TL. And put in 6 qts of Honda DW-1 in there too. So I got some faith in Maxlife ATF to a degree too.
 

wlk

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That is a good option for any AT that specs Dex II (like most of mine) or III. I’m not yet sure about the AT in this latest w126 though… thus my interest in a high mileage standard viscosity atf to start…


it’s not a matter of liking it. I like it just fine and would consider it’s use in other applications with more history in an instant…. I just want the higher starting viscosity for this one specific vehicle.

And for related reasons I want an HM…


Yeah it is a curiosity if the WM high mileage is any good, because I’d consider their generic d/m as an option, especially for an initial set of drains…. And I’ve had good luck with the WM ATF+4, though that’s more tightly formulated.
I have ran the ST ATF +4, MerconV and the HM and have never felt any difference or poorer shifting. A couple years ago I bought a 93 190E 2.3l that had a hard 2-3rd shift under WOT, did a couple siphon and fills 500 to1k miles apart with the Maxlife and ST HM and on the 4th one dropped the pan, drained the torque converter and refilled w Maxlife and it was smooth as it should be. Good luck with whichever you choose
 
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