Mercon LV - Is it or Isn't it Synthetic?!!! - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:59 AM
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Mercon LV - Is it or Isn't it Synthetic?!!!

I am not trying to blow up the forum on a topic that has been beaten to death. I am trying to find a legitimate QUALIFIED source for the answer and I am being told by Ford it is NOT synthetic and read in other sources that are not Ford related that it IS synthetic. Do we have any petroleum engineers that could weigh in?

Again, sorry for beating this dead horse until is is already turning into glue, but I need to service my tranny and this makes a material difference in my approach. If Mercon LV truly is syn, then I'll use it. If not, I'm moving over to either Mobil 1 or Amsoil ATF.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:14 PM
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I'm not a petroleum engineer, so I'll defer to someone who is, but wouldn't a better question be "which ATF fluid--Mercon LV, Mobil, or Amsoil--has been shown in trials to perform best when it comes to cooling, wear, and shift quality?

I'm not trying to be impolite, I'm just curious why you're more concerned about the chemical base of the fluid than with performance of it. I assume your ultimate goal is to maximize the life and performance of the transmission, no?
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pl77 View Post
I'm not a petroleum engineer, so I'll defer to someone who is, but wouldn't a better question be "which ATF fluid--Mercon LV, Mobil, or Amsoil--has been shown in trials to perform best when it comes to cooling, wear, and shift quality?

I'm not trying to be impolite, I'm just curious why you're more concerned about the chemical base of the fluid than with performance of it. I assume your ultimate goal is to maximize the life and performance of the transmission, no?
You are not being impolite - you just unknowingly and gracefully proved yourself more intelligent, that's all!

Yep - you are correct on your assumptions for the most part. The point about the Mercon is that the dealer did a flush w/seal treatment at 50K (no filter change or screen clean) and I am intending on either a pan drop/'08 filter and pan install, flush with Mercon if it is syn. If not, doing the same only using a syn of a different mother.

Other than that, you are correct, your question really jumps out in front of all of that noise. I am usually towing so I need to pamper it with the good stuff. Anyone know the answers?
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:33 PM
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Mercon LV is not fully synthetic according to the MSDS (http://fcsdchemicalsandlubricants.co...us179895us.pdf) as petroleum distillates are indicated in heavy and light grades. It may be a synthetic blend though since the range is open enough to provide for non-mineral stocks too.

Both LV and SP are the recommended fluids though...and they work well.

It bears noting that a drain-and-fill service will only exchange about 8-10 quarts of the nearly 18 quart capacity in the TorqShift transmission. It takes a heated flush to open the internal thermostat for complete fluid exchange...keep THAT specific fact in mind as many fluids are NOT compatible.

Jonathan
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by howell_jd View Post
Mercon LV is not fully synthetic according to the MSDS (http://fcsdchemicalsandlubricants.co...us179895us.pdf) as petroleum distillates are indicated in heavy and light grades. It may be a synthetic blend though since the range is open enough to provide for non-mineral stocks too.

Both LV and SP are the recommended fluids though...and they work well.

It bears noting that a drain-and-fill service will only exchange about 8-10 quarts of the nearly 18 quart capacity in the TorqShift transmission. It takes a heated flush to open the internal thermostat for complete fluid exchange...keep THAT specific fact in mind as many fluids are NOT compatible.

Jonathan
Jonathan:

First, thank you for serving our country! Do you know Seargent Major K.Andersen, MSG / 18z, USSF - bet not but you never know. Small world, especially for the bad guys. At least that's how Osama feels right now as he is roasting over an open fire.

Second, you hit the nail on the head the other reason I really, really, really want to know.

Regards.......Sir.
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by CaptnKirk View Post
Other than that, you are correct, your question really jumps out in front of all of that noise. I am usually towing so I need to pamper it with the good stuff. Anyone know the answers?
It's got nothing to do with intelligence, I was just trying to rephrase the question because I didn't know the answer!

I just popped my brain trying to figure out the answer, and now I need to go nurse a headache. Apparently the differentiation between synthetic and petroleum-based is even more muddy than I had initially thought.

Base Oil Technology: Group I-IV, What It All Means - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

I went there after looking at the description Ford gives for their Motocraft Mercon LV:
  • Premium-quality ATF for Ford, Lincoln and Mercury transmissions
  • Provides excellent performance in electronically controlled automatic transmissions
  • Manufactured with high-viscosity index, premium-quality, hydroprocessed base oils and specially designed performance additives
  • Provides excellent shifting characteristics at high and low ambient temperatures, and guards against transmission shudder
  • Offers excellent thermal, oxidation and shear stability, as well as good low-temperature fluidity
  • Provides wear protection and inhibits the formation of gum, sludge, lacquer and foam
  • Helps prevent rust and corrosion
  • Dyed red for easy leak detection
  • Not for use in applications where MERCON® V, MERCON® SP, Continuously Variable Chain Type Transmission Fluid, Motorcraft® Premium Automatic Transmission Fluid, FNR5 Automatic Transmission Fluid or Type F Automatic Transmission Fluid is recommended
  • Not for use in transfer cases
  • Recommended by Ford Motor Company
  • Available in cases of 12 one-quart bottles

You'll note that I didn't have the foggiest idea what that bolded portion meant, which is why I went to the first link and ended up getting even more confused.

To make a long story short, I utterly failed at finding any sort of side-by-side comparison tests for various oils, so hopefully someone else can help you.
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pl77 View Post
I just popped my brain trying to figure out the answer, and now I need to go nurse a headache. Apparently the differentiation between synthetic and petroleum-based is even more muddy than I had initially thought.

Base Oil Technology: Group I-IV, What It All Means - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

I went there after looking at the description Ford gives for their Motocraft Mercon LV:
  • Premium-quality ATF for Ford, Lincoln and Mercury transmissions
  • Provides excellent performance in electronically controlled automatic transmissions
  • Manufactured with high-viscosity index, premium-quality, hydroprocessed base oils and specially designed performance additives
  • Provides excellent shifting characteristics at high and low ambient temperatures, and guards against transmission shudder
  • Offers excellent thermal, oxidation and shear stability, as well as good low-temperature fluidity
  • Provides wear protection and inhibits the formation of gum, sludge, lacquer and foam
  • Helps prevent rust and corrosion
  • Dyed red for easy leak detection
  • Not for use in applications where MERCON® V, MERCON® SP, Continuously Variable Chain Type Transmission Fluid, Motorcraft® Premium Automatic Transmission Fluid, FNR5 Automatic Transmission Fluid or Type F Automatic Transmission Fluid is recommended
  • Not for use in transfer cases
  • Recommended by Ford Motor Company
  • Available in cases of 12 one-quart bottles

You'll note that I didn't have the foggiest idea what that bolded portion meant, which is why I went to the first link and ended up getting even more confused.

To make a long story short, I utterly failed at finding any sort of side-by-side comparison tests for various oils, so hopefully someone else can help you.
Your effort is appreciated. But now you see why I started the thread - it's clear as mud.
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Old 11-16-2011, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by CaptnKirk View Post
Your effort is appreciated. But now you see why I started the thread - it's clear as mud.
I see your point now. It is fascinating that we can find numerous threads that get into heated discussions about the benefits and drawbacks of various engine oils and coolants, but I haven't seen any that do the same for transmission fluids. Perhaps the Torqshift isn't problematic enough to cause people to change from the Ford default fluid. Or, conversely, perhaps it's forgiving enough that it doesn't smack you in the butt when you experiment with an alternative synthetic fluid.

I'll respectfully back out of this discussion and leave it for those who've had experience with various fluids.
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:05 PM
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I am not a petroleum engineer either so I would defer to an expert who provides conflicting information to my own.

Ultimately though the 5R110 is a superb transmission, rugged and reliable. The recommended fluids are capable to 30k mile intervals AND both LV and SP may be mixed without concern (according to Ford).

The makeup of these fluids works...why try to fix something that isn't broken?..I do recognize that one of many Engineer Maxim is "fix it until it is broken and then replace it."

The used oil analysis from my own transmission services indicates better than average wear and my truck is a bit heavy.

Jonathan

P.S. I am glad to serve and I appreciate all the support from this community and all who support our forces - it takes the entire nation working together! - I don't know your friend from the SpecOps community and I agree about the close community size! They are true heroes!
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Old 11-16-2011, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howell_jd View Post

The used oil analysis from my own transmission services indicates better than average wear and my truck is a bit heavy.
That is good to hear since your truck is one of the coolest server duty RVs ever made. A bit heavy
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