M5OD-R1HD what is the correct fluid?


Best fluid for the M5OD-R1HD transmission is...

  • Synthetic parts store ATF

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  • Synthetic manual transmission fluid

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    4

Mike Tonon

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Ford says the new Mercon replaces what was used over a decade ago, that a Ford no longer makes. But I’ve read mixed thoughts on whether it completely supersedes it or not. I think it was something about the newer Mercon not having a useful additive that the old Mercon had.
 


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RonD

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Mercon V made after 2002 is backwards compatible so will work fine
There were a few years in the late 1990's where Ford changed it.
Kinda like "ethanol is bad for fuel systems", yes at one time it was, but pretty much all fuel system made after 1985 or so don't have a problem with it.
So old news, for both, lol

Many like synthetic ATF in the M5OD-R1, never tried myself

It holds just under 3 quarts bone dry, 2.8quarts
 

Mike Tonon

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Mercon V made after 2002 is backwards compatible so will work fine
There were a few years in the late 1990's where Ford changed it.
Kinda like "ethanol is bad for fuel systems", yes at one time it was, but pretty much all fuel system made after 1985 or so don't have a problem with it.
So old news, for both, lol

Many like synthetic ATF in the M5OD-R1, never tried myself

It holds just under 3 quarts bone dry, 2.8quarts
I looked for Mercon V synthetic, but haven’t been able to find it. Is it a different Mercon, other than V?
 

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No, its Mercon V, can't use LV

Google: synthetic atf transmission fluid mercon v
 

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Well merc/dex was for Mercon and Dextron III, not Mercon V, so can't say

In a manual trans I doubt it would matter too much, its just lubrication and cooling that is needed and corrosion protection
So the fiction modifiers and other additives for automatics don't come into play
 

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The purists will tell you Mercon V and Mercon V only. Last change, I used some either some Castrol or Mobil 1 brand synthetic oil that is rated to meet or exceed Mercon V specifications and it stated as much on the bottle. The transmission shifts smoother but like with all the other synthetics I've used, there has been no measurable difference in fuel economy, if that is what you are driving for.
 

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Went to the dealer to ask about 20 questions. The guy at the parts counter, who I know has been there years, because I’ve dealt with him before, said Mercon V. It’s backwards compatible for Mercon (which is what this transmission originally took). He said it was about $6 a quart from them, takes almost 3 quarts. He couldn’t find anything on change intervals. Automatics are 30,000, he said, but there was nothing for the R1HD. Then he told me he would personally do a full synthetic and never bother changing it again. They didn’t offer any full synthetic for this application, go to parts store or online.

Went to parts store... narrowed it down to Mobile1 full synthetic ATF. Said it was for a Ford Mercon applications about $11 a quart. Also saw a Lucas semi-synthetic ATF. The first thing it listed on the inner back label was compatible with Ford Mercon. About $8.50 a quart.

The dealer also said that the power steering takes the same thing, Mercon/Mercon V. And finally I learned how much our power steering systems take... 2.1 pints (according to the guy at the dealer parts counter. SO... what say I get TWO QUARTS of the Mobile1, TWO QUARTS of the Lucas and mix them and change out my transmission fluid and the rest use in my power steering, after I suck off the the stuff in the reservoir? I like Lucas products, but I know Mobile1 is good. What would you guys recommend?
 
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You would save about $5 mixing them. For that price I would go synthetic all the way.
 

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You would save about $5 mixing them. For that price I would go synthetic all the way.
Ahhh, but where’s the fun in that?

No, I just read that synthetic may or may not be better for this application. Some are saying that Mobile1 is too slippery and flows too well/acts thinner. It looks like Mercon V might be about the best all around fluid. But then some are saying redline MTL, which if I understand correctly, is like a thin gear oil. Others say 0w30 motor oil. I don’t really know what I should use. I’m thinking maybe a quart of Mobile1 a quart of Mercon V and a quart of Lucas ATF might be about right. I will say that this transmission, which I’ve slways had Mercon/Mercon V in, is more notchy than my 87 Ranger with the TK5, which took 80w90 gear oil.
 

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You are thinking into it way too much IMO. It's just a bunch of spinning gears and bearings - as long as it doesn't have gear lube in it, it doesn't really matter. What matters more is what your transmission likes and it does take some experimentation. Some of mine were better with engine oil, some were better with ATF, most were about the same.

My thought is that higher mileage transmission would benefit from a heavier engine oil and lower mileage ones should probably have ATF. I say that because a heavier oil will help fill looser tolerances caused by wear but they may not lubricate as well in a newer/rebuilt trans with tighter tolerances where a thinner ATF or oil would work better.
 

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Went to the dealer to ask about 20 questions. The guy at the parts counter, who I know has been there years, because I’ve dealt with him before, said Mercon V. It’s backwards compatible for Mercon (which is what this transmission originally took). He said it was about $6 a quart from them, takes almost 3 quarts. He couldn’t find anything on change intervals. Automatics are 30,000, he said, but there was nothing for the R1HD. Then he told me he would personally do a full synthetic and never bother changing it again. They didn’t offer any full synthetic for this application, go to parts store or online.

Went to parts store... narrowed it down to Mobile1 full synthetic ATF. Said it was for a Ford Mercon applications about $11 a quart. Also saw a Lucas semi-synthetic ATF. The first thing it listed on the inner back label was compatible with Ford Mercon. About $8.50 a quart.

The dealer also said that the power steering takes the same thing, Mercon/Mercon V. And finally I learned how much our power steering systems take... 2.1 pints (according to the guy at the dealer parts counter. SO... what say I get TWO QUARTS of the Mobile1, TWO QUARTS of the Lucas and mix them and change out my transmission fluid and the rest use in my power steering, after I suck off the the stuff in the reservoir? I like Lucas products, but I know Mobile1 is good. What would you guys recommend?
For the power steering, I just stick to the Mercon V. I suck the old fluid out of the reservoir and refill every three years when I do the brake fluid.

For the transmission, it guess it depends on the year of your vehicle as to what the manual says. I'm pretty sure mine has a mileage interval in it. I can't remember if the 1998 I had before did or not but there were definitely differences between the two.

I would not do a full synthetic change and just call it good for as long as you own the vehicle after that. But that is me. In the end, it's your vehicle and your money. I'm just some guy on the internet who doesn't pay your bills. What you decide to do or where to compromise at is going to be your call. Me being a bit OCD from years of working aircraft and on my own vehicles, I'd rather spend the extra money and drive it until the junkyard claims it for whatever reason. Vehicles are generally a money pit anyway where one almost never gets out of it what they put in it.
 

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For the power steering, I just stick to the Mercon V. I suck the old fluid out of the reservoir and refill every three years when I do the brake fluid.

For the transmission, it guess it depends on the year of your vehicle as to what the manual says. I'm pretty sure mine has a mileage interval in it. I can't remember if the 1998 I had before did or not but there were definitely differences between the two.

I would not do a full synthetic change and just call it good for as long as you own the vehicle after that. But that is me. In the end, it's your vehicle and your money. I'm just some guy on the internet who doesn't pay your bills. What you decide to do or where to compromise at is going to be your call. Me being a bit OCD from years of working aircraft and on my own vehicles, I'd rather spend the extra money and drive it until the junkyard claims it for whatever reason. Vehicles are generally a money pit anyway where one almost never gets out of it what they put in it.
What a coincidence, I work in the aircraft industry!

Maybe a Mercon V changed out every 40,000 or so miles is most ideal, then?
 

sgtsandman

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What a coincidence, I work in the aircraft industry!

Maybe a Mercon V changed out every 40,000 or so miles is most ideal, then?
That probably would work. I do much of my maintenance based on time for simplicity's sake. Like engine oil change, tire rotations, and brake inspection and lube every spring and fall instead of every 7,500 miles. Brake fluid, engine coolant, and power steering fluid every three years. I have three vehicles to maintain, so I need to make everything as simple as possible to keep me sane. Otherwise, I would be constantly doing maintenance all year long while trying to do all the other things I need to do. It might be a bit over kill but it works for me and I know exactly what has been done and when. My CR-V is 20 years old and is running strong mechanically. Road salt is starting to take it's toll on the body work though. While I don't own the 1998 Ranger anymore, the current owner is still using it for his handyman business and loves it. Of course, being it's a Ford, rust has been an issue but mechanically, it's still sound and not giving any unpleasant surprises.

In any case, that is what I do and it's not everyone's preference.
 

Mike Tonon

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I don’t get that and I’ve heard it before, about Fords having rust problems. My 07 is still pretty much rust free. No holes, no major rust. It’s never been garaged and has been in Connecticut winters for 12 years. I only wax the thing an average of once per year or so. My dads 87 Ranger was a little quicker to rust, even that wasn’t horrible. That had the clearcoat that would start flaking off after about 3 years, though. But I have noticed one common thing. The 87 and my 07 both got rust under the passenger door, but not the drivers door.
 


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