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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Since this thread carries on for a few pages I’ve edited this post to include conclusions for those that only want the results.

Disclaimers:
This is personal opinion. You may reach other conclusions.
  • I no longer consider Mobile or Amsoil to be the lubrication leaders they once were. I will use their oils in the right time and place, but today only Redline delivers Group IV oils.
  • Many believe “factory oils for me”. Yet VOA (virgin oil analysis) has shown Polaris oils to be mediocre.
  • Polaris PS-4

  • It’s important to know that the SAEJ300 (engine oil) standard and the J306 (gear oil) standard are quite different. It’s also worth knowing that two different 75W-90 gear oils can have very different viscosities. 75W gear oil, as an example, spans the low side of 10w motor oils, any 15w, and midway through the 20w. That’s a lot of viscosity variance.
Recommendations:
Motor oil:
I use and suggest Shell Rotella T-6 5w-40. I’d rather have a 10w-50 for my turbo, but we suffer from fuel-based viscosity dilution in these quickly. I believe changing the oil every 25-30 hours is the smarter play, and so cost is a consideration. And again, Poo factory oil is easily beat.

For high heat operation in the turbo's I suppose I’d run Mobile 1 15W-50 in a 5 qt container. # 122384.

BTW, I go back and forth between these two, and can make a solid argument for either in the turbo)
Both are under $25 and even Walmart sells them.

Filter:
So long as you'd not using a Fram this isn't super critical. I happen prefer the Purolator PL14610. If I get around to a filter relocation project that will change to something larger.

Demand Drive:
This is a pretty basic hydraulic fluid. Technically I prefer Amsoil’s ATHQT (tractor hydraulic fluid) as it covers all temperature extremes. However, the devil is in the details: Buying Amsoil is stupid inconvenient, and shipping it gets expensive. So if you can find ATHQT (quart) locally, great. Next up is Amsoil’s AUFDQT-EA, and you should be able to get that at any local powersports store.

But I have no reason to believe Poo’ Demand Drive is a poor performer. Also, John Deere’s J-20D or equivalents (available practically anywhere) is perfectly fine. J-20C would be for severe heat use.

Pick your posion, any is better than not maintaining it!

AGL:
AGL is expected to cover three very different Rzr types, and in my mind can’t be optimized for any of them.

800 and related with chain drive transmissions and separate fine drive fluid:
I suggest a low viscosity Manual Transmission Fluid rated at GL-4. I would NOT run an ATF. Research shows they generally don't have EP or AW additives (extreme pressure, anti-wear). Amsoil’s #MTF, and Pennzoil’s Synchromesh appear to be good choices. You aren’t going to use lots, so I suppose I’d spring for the Amsoil if you can find it locally. If not Pennzoil’s Synchromesh will be great.

Want to know LOT’s more?

Synchromesh fluids and GL-# ratings....

Synchromesh Manual Transmission Lubricants

1000’s and related with integrated final drive and transmission sumps, and chain drive reverse:
I think Mopar’s Synthetic 70W80 gear oil is perfect for these. That’s part number 68227765AA. This thing meets MT-1, GL-5, and J2360 specs, so it’s pretty good, yet light enough to not hurt a chain. (That’s a manual transmission oil rating and two high load hypoid gear ratings! Pretty darn impressive!)

Turbo’s and others with integrated final drive and transmission sumps, no chain drive at all, and higher output engines
While I believe the Mopar would work well here, I suggest Redlines group IV synthetic 75W90 gear oil. (It falls on the lighter side of the 75W’s and is a real group IV synthetic.)

All of the above are pretty good oils. Push come to shove I think you could run the Mopar oil in everything and get away with it. I'm very very tempted to run it in my turbo.

What follows is the thought process, results of a fair amount of research, and fellow members input.

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Original Post


VOA research has shown Polaris AGL to be a 0W to 5W oil. While the additive package could be found in a motor oil, the oil analyst suggested it was very much like tractor hydraulic oil. In fact, for a time Amsoil themselves stipulated their synthetic tractor hydraulic fluid as a replacement.

Today Amsoil stipulates a GL-5 gear oil rated at 75W-90 to replace AGL. However, while the cold flow viscosity of such an oil has quite a range, that range starts at 10W and could be as high as 20W (on the motor oil J300 table). Note then the possible range never touches the 0W-5W range AGL reportedly occupies.

Now I’m not saying this won’t work, or perhaps be even better. I AM saying it appears to no longer be a direct replacement. Might this void warranty? Since its viscosity is higher, doesn’t this eliminate Magnuson-Moss? Is cold operation compromised?

And what might Amsoil have to say? I’ve seen no explanation for why they now specify a thicker rated oil, and/or what that might mean in cooler operating situations. Is there a case that it clings or climbs better (this is a splash lubrication application)? Might it be that their oil actually does meet 5W flow rating? I’ve not seen a lower cold viscosity gear oil rating (J306) than 75W, and perhaps there isn’t one.

Anybody got a great Amsoil contact that would care to comment? I’d like to change my tranny oil, and I’d like to use Amsoil, but……

Respect to all,

D
 

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I personally don't agree with the product Amsoil recommends for use in both the transmission and rear end (ATV/UTV Differential and Transmission Fluid). I think they missed a critical difference between the two applications. The factory transmission and Tx case are not lubed with gear lube. The rear end uses gear lube, the transmission uses a fluid more akin to ATF or hydraulic fluid. Its exact non-Polaris equivalent is unknown (unfortunately). The rear end needs gear lube, any will do. Amsoil's product is wrong for one or the other of these applications.

Many people swear by putting gear lube (such as 75w90) and a variety of other types in their transmission/Tx. I'm sticking with AGL. I don't want anything in there that doesn't have the climb rate and other properties Polaris selected for their machines. I don't want to mess with different seal swelling and compatibility either. I just buy the genuine stuff from discounters such as FixMyToys and get a good nights sleep. YMMV. JMO, I'm only at 8000 miles on AGL.
 

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I've ran Lucas universal hydraulic oil in the front diff of every rzr I've ever owned and I've owned pretty much all of them. (10 800s, 12 900xp, 14 1000xp 16 xpt and 18 rs1) I've also ran 75w90 Lucas in the transmission and Brad Penn v2 10/40 or 20/50 depending on time of year in the engine in everyone as well. Never had a single issue with a front diff, transmission, or engine related to lubrication. I don't trust any oil manufacturer like amsoil that makes me go buy a product from vendor selling oil out of his garage. Just my 2 cents. I will stick with what has worked for the past 10 years. Still great info here though.
 

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Buy some John Deere hygard, can be bought in quarts on amazon and run it in the front diff. I have been to the factory where they make these and watched them put it in.

Run any gear oil you want in the tranny, I prefer mobil one 75w whatever, Can't remember now.
 

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Synthetic ATF in the front diff of every Polaris I have owned.

75W90 in the Transmission.

Used to use 5W20 in the older Polaris ATV/RZR 800 with the separate Transfer Case.
 

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Good thing Polaris quit putting grease zerks on every pivot point there is on the suspension!!! We would be having a grease type/brand used debate too instead of everyone complaining about their suspension squeeking instead of just giving the maintenance points some grease, who cares what brand, just grease for no squeeks. Did I say maintenance??? If you question “off brand” lubes, go to your Polaris dealer and buy what they recommend and then you’re safe, right? Or are the suggested fluids that manufacture “x” recommends, are they designed to make those components last just long enough to get the consumer through the warranty period (which I guarantee you that you paid for that 6 month warranty anyways) just so they can sell parts??? To each their own and it’s all personal opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
All: Thanks!

Hunderworks: Yes, in fact I've done research on the Demand Drive Fluid in the hopes I could better understand what AGL is by learning what it is not. (reverse engineering of sorts) I agree with you completely. More on DDF in a different thread.

Itching: Rear end oil is different from transmission oil? OK, please coach me here boss. My turbo seems to have one fill/oil point for both tranny and rear end. Maybe we have different machines? Or am I being an idiot? (again).

Bullitt: I suggest you look for my DDF thread that is forthcoming. Prolly tomorrow.

Whiteford: Yes, of course. Do you recall me asking if anybody had any good contacts? A good contact name beats a cold call most times.

Pat: Uh.. What? Nevermind. I do appreciate your intent to help the community.

All:
I'm going to have to correct myself some. DDF is, and is only, low viscosity tractor hydraulic fluid. Deere J-20D to be exact, although we don't know what's in the DDF bottles. What that means is I should eliminate UTHF it as a likely candidate from the VOA of AGL. That leaves 5W-20 motor oil. Or a new possibility I'd not considered: A poor 75W-85 gear oil that specs like a light motor oil.

This would explain Amsoil's take, the position of some very learned folks on BITOG, and the experience of some here as well. It also supports the reason some of us think about this: The present hypothesis shows a substantial oil improvement is possible over AGL.

Darters:
Given your statement of regularly rebuilding these transmissions (different thread), I'm a little confused by your apparent lack of interest in the pursuit of better oils. Perhaps I can get you to reconsider? Your contribution and experiences would doubtless be of value. For what it's worth, this thread is all your fault. You'll recall the upper bearings in the transmission you reported are chronically failing.... (I'd still appreciate the failing bearing numbers too!)

All:
So OK, I've no more answers yet. It does seem some form of "climbing" oil is needed, and it's seems it will be a low viscosity gear oil. Yet I've also read warning about using oil too thick as it creates chain stretch. Oh dear, is Po right? Is AGL some kind of extra low viscosity gear oil, something testing out like motor oil? Crud, what if the components that contribute to making an oil "climb" aren't tested for in a oil analysis. (read much swearing in background).

Am I proving AGL is the right oil here? Good lord, this wasn't expected. (God, am I going to have to admit all the "I only use factory oil" guys are right?)

OK, a conversation with Amsoil is coming. I wonder how a manual transmission oil might do here?

Anybody got anything else to contribute?

respect to all,
d
 

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Motor oils and gear lubes are NOT measured on the same viscosity scale! You cannot compare them viscosity wise.



AGL stands for Angle Gear Lube
 

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This will be interesting to follow from an engineering/oil quality stand point but if you are looking at it from a cost saving stand point don't waste your time. I was just recently looking into alternative fluids from a cost saving stand point and found that the majority of the alternatives recommended by most people cost just as much as the Polaris brand oils if you buy them online and not from your local stealership. That's my two cents anyways.
 

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Never used OEM fluids, ever. Recommending the best oil has never been the goal of any oem manufacturer, rather it’s a business decision. OEM’s recommendations are marketed to persuade buyers and even induce fear, i.e. warranty void. It’s a business deal for the OEM, not a quality deal for the consumer.

Many have been able to purchase AMSOIL at Preferred Customers savings online, check it out AMSOIL UTV Product Lookup Guide

AMSOIL is the only oil I have used for over 25+ yrs, never would I use anything else. I value my equipment and I only use the best. Every thing in my signature has AMSOIL in every area that is lubed.
 

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What the heck? A gallon of Polaris AGL costs $55 on Amazon. That's enough to change 3x (3years on my RZR). Front differential takes a whopping 8oz, so a quart of DD lasts 4 years. Not seeing a huge cost savings even if the replacement is half the cost per ounce.
 

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Not to dumb down this conversation . But if the oil looks good still when you drain it ...then there is no big issue.

I have been running ( based on Nate's recommendations at Alba racing) Maxima Syn Blend 10w -40 engine oil in the last 4 RZR's we owned. My experience with the factory Pol engine oil is it breaks down and turn black quickly especially in Turbo models.
The Maxima goes about 2 times longer and typically looks good still when I change it .

In the transmission.... I have always used factory Polaris brand and it always looks about as good as it does going in ...I have seen very little breakdown

In the front Diff...I have used Amsoil and Polaris I do not see a difference between them. With both brands after 10 hrs of hard riding in 4 wheel drive it is black and very broke down . Since it only takes about 1/3 of a Quart and it is super easy to change , I just change it every 10 hrs depending on driving style and conditions

Here is a quote from Alba, from what I have seen I tend to believe them......

Alba take: The oil that comes in your RZR is junk. Yes we said junk. If your pour it and watch you will see it is very watery. We typically do not recommend running oils other than what the manufacturer recommends but Polaris oil is the exception and many learned this the hard way. The problem we see first is in the valvetrain. The camshaft will wear through the shim bucket and cause massive failure. Polaris themselves has come out with heavier duty buckets to help aid with this problem but it is a bandaid. Polaris has also come out with a extreme oil we assume due to the problems with there regular oil. We made the switch to Maxima oil in 2012 and immediately saw the benefits. No more problems. We will now never again use Polaris engine oil. On that note we only use OEM Polaris oils in every other part of the RZR (diffs, and transmission). So why would Polaris use such a poor oil? Our guess is to help meet new stricter emissions standards. About Maxima oil: Why do we use Maxima Synblend. The Maxima Synblend offers great quality oils and unlike automotive oils it is not EPA friendly and for use only for offroad/racing use only. It offers a very high zinc content which is a anti wear additive and also offers great cleaning properties. This is important as everyday we see these engine consuming dirt even with the best filtration systems. Your best line of defense against this is to change your oil often with good oil. Since we change the oil often full synthetic oil is not recommended as its extended life is not an issue. We have used this oil for 5 consecutive years in the SCORE series (1750 miles of grueling desert racing a year). We have won all 5 years with zero failures. We trust this oil and only this oil in all of our race vehicles.


I cant believe I just replied to an OIL thread....yep that just happened !

 

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All: Thanks!

Hunderworks: Yes, in fact I've done research on the Demand Drive Fluid in the hopes I could better understand what AGL is by learning what it is not. (reverse engineering of sorts) I agree with you completely. More on DDF in a different thread.

Itching: Rear end oil is different from transmission oil? OK, please coach me here boss. My turbo seems to have one fill/oil point for both tranny and rear end. Maybe we have different machines? Or am I being an idiot? (again).

Bullitt: I suggest you look for my DDF thread that is forthcoming. Prolly tomorrow.

Whiteford: Yes, of course. Do you recall me asking if anybody had any good contacts? A good contact name beats a cold call most times.

Pat: Uh.. What? Nevermind. I do appreciate your intent to help the community.

All:
I'm going to have to correct myself some. DDF is, and is only, low viscosity tractor hydraulic fluid. Deere J-20D to be exact, although we don't know what's in the DDF bottles. What that means is I should eliminate UTHF it as a likely candidate from the VOA of AGL. That leaves 5W-20 motor oil. Or a new possibility I'd not considered: A poor 75W-85 gear oil that specs like a light motor oil.

This would explain Amsoil's take, the position of some very learned folks on BITOG, and the experience of some here as well. It also supports the reason some of us think about this: The present hypothesis shows a substantial oil improvement is possible over AGL.

Darters:
Given your statement of regularly rebuilding these transmissions (different thread), I'm a little confused by your apparent lack of interest in the pursuit of better oils. Perhaps I can get you to reconsider? Your contribution and experiences would doubtless be of value. For what it's worth, this thread is all your fault. You'll recall the upper bearings in the transmission you reported are chronically failing.... (I'd still appreciate the failing bearing numbers too!)

All:
So OK, I've no more answers yet. It does seem some form of "climbing" oil is needed, and it's seems it will be a low viscosity gear oil. Yet I've also read warning about using oil too thick as it creates chain stretch. Oh dear, is Po right? Is AGL some kind of extra low viscosity gear oil, something testing out like motor oil? Crud, what if the components that contribute to making an oil "climb" aren't tested for in a oil analysis. (read much swearing in background).

Am I proving AGL is the right oil here? Good lord, this wasn't expected. (God, am I going to have to admit all the "I only use factory oil" guys are right?)

OK, a conversation with Amsoil is coming. I wonder how a manual transmission oil might do here?

Anybody got anything else to contribute?

respect to all,
d
Where are you using AGL then? It is not a ring and pinion (diff) lube.

BTW, a friendly suggestion--list your machine in your profile, or at least in your posts.
 

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Where are you using AGL then? It is not a ring and pinion (diff) lube.

BTW, a friendly suggestion--list your machine in your profile, or at least in your posts.
Let me clear this up, because I see it getting confusing:

900 and up models only have 1 case to fill in the rear, it requires "AGL". We don't actually have a rear "differential", just one gear case, (models without "turf mode")

800 (570 guys correct me if I'm wrong, because I'm assuming) and under models have separate cases for the rear diff and trans.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Motor oils and gear lubes are NOT measured on the same viscosity scale! You cannot compare them viscosity wise.



AGL stands for Angle Gear Lube
Yes. You'll note I mention the SAE J300 and J306 standards a few times in my opening post. Those are the relevant standards for motor oil and gear oil respectively. But it never hurts to point it out in case somebody not reading carefully, so thanks!

Now's probably a good time repost my second paragraph from the opening post:

"Today Amsoil stipulates a GL-5 gear oil rated at 75W-90 to replace AGL. However, while the cold flow viscosity of such an oil has quite a range, that range starts at 10W and could be as high as 20W (on the motor oil J300 table). Note then the possible range never touches the 0W-5W range AGL reportedly occupies."


d
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
This will be interesting to follow from an engineering/oil quality stand point but if you are looking at it from a cost saving stand point don't waste your time. I was just recently looking into alternative fluids from a cost saving stand point and found that the majority of the alternatives recommended by most people cost just as much as the Polaris brand oils if you buy them online and not from your local stealership. That's my two cents anyways.
We agree. But to be clear:

To a significant degree this is not about cost. As you guessed, it's an exercise (and a failing one at that) in attempting to improve transmission lubrication. Cost can, I must admit, have a tiny factor in engine oil, but that's not what we're talking about here. So unless it's based on unobtanium this thread is about improving reliability, not cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Itchin:

Good suggestion. Will do. Thanks. (now done)

Richard:
Thanks for the coaching. Never been or touched an 800. Good to know. Thanks.

All:
Guys, I'm only talking about AGL here. And not from a cost perspective. No shits given about cost. Darters, and a few others, have mentioned they've seen chronic transmission failures in upper bearings. I'd like to avoid that. I also am not impressed in general with Po's oil's (DFF seems to be fine though), and so suspect AGL. Granted with little data beyond what I've mentioned.

Is it possible the bearing failures would have occurred regardless of oil? I suppose.

This then is an attempt to gather data. I'm hoping we can get vendor that work on these to chime in, but of course most will see this as "just another oil" thread. Not sure I blame then. But if we stay on a data driven focus perhaps we can forward our knowledge enough to be of value.

I've a few thoughts to add, but my wife wants to out to dinner. More later.

My best to all,
D
 

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My .02. I run 20% Lucas Synthetic additive in my RZR transmission, with the other 80% being AGL.

I had a 2014 Ranger 800 6x6 for 4 years, they are known to have transmission issues. I pulled it apart one winter and saw quite a bit of wear. I rebuilt the trans, filled with 20% Lucas and then did not change the fluid for an entire year on purpose. I pulled the transmission back apart and it looked great inside. My personal testing made me a believer. I think having a “sticky” additive that won’t run off the bearings, gears and chains helps with wear.

I have absolute no scientific data to back it up, just something I tried and I believe it helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My .02. I run 20% Lucas Synthetic additive in my RZR transmission, with the other 80% being AGL.

I had a 2014 Ranger 800 6x6 for 4 years, they are known to have transmission issues. I pulled it apart one winter and saw quite a bit of wear. I rebuilt the trans, filled with 20% Lucas and then did not change the fluid for an entire year on purpose. I pulled the transmission back apart and it looked great inside. My personal testing made me a believer. I think having a “sticky” additive that won’t run off the bearings, gears and chains helps with wear.

I have absolute no scientific data to back it up, just something I tried and I believe it helps.

I'm interested in additives, particularly those that aid in "climb". And yes, while close, since its only personal experience, it's has a data point: same machine went from failing to looking good. That's authoritative in my (feeble) mind. Is there only the one kind of Lucas additive? If not, which one did you use? Do you know how or what it's supposed to do?

Finally, I listen to the snowmobile guys. It's a community that has been pushing oil performance as long or longer then the MX guys have been, and certainly longer than the UTV or ATV community has even existed.

Thanks for the insight!

-d
 
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