1. Sjacob

    Sjacob Puttering Along

    All right guys, my Trabant P50 gearbox needs an oil change before I start driving around, and I was thinking that some of you must have some input on what oil to use? I have earlier changed the oil on my 601, where I was informed by the internets that 75W-90 would do the trick. However I was not very pleased with the resulting feel of the gearbox afterwards, as first gear became hard to engage and it suddenly started objecting to any gearchange.

    Anyone have any input on what oil to use in my 500 Kombi, and does this differ from the 601? I think i read somewhere that the older gearboxes only has room for 1 Liter?

    By the way, the transmission is probably not original, anyone know how to determine the age of the engine and gearbox?
  2. Sjacob

    Sjacob Puttering Along

    Okay, so I thought I'd post a reply to my own question as I have investigated a little further on my own, and maybe someone else is searching for an answer to the same question.
    According to most sources one should as far as possible use ISO-VG-68 (or HLP-68), which is an oil type for hydraulic systems. Some sources I have seen are also mentioning that this oil is commonly used in some automatic gearboxes of european makes. Anyways, this oil is the absolute best for any trabi gearbox according to both ldm-tuning.de and various forums, at least as far back as the 500. However I have been having some trouble getting this oil as it is not sold by the most common retailers unless you want to buy a LOT more than you need.

    As an alternative one may use 75W-90 oil, according to some sources. However i have seen claims on various forums that this oil dissolves or at least damages the seals in the older gearboxes (500 and maybe the 600), and some even claim that it does this to all trabi gearboxes, but this seems less probable. Furthermore, I'll mention on a sidenote that i went to a good (but expensive) retailer here in Norway and asked them if they had the hydraulic oil mentioned, but instead they could inform me that they had the 601 in their computer registry containing information on recommended lubricants for various car makes, and that according to them the 75W-90 is the oil you want in your 601. As the trabi is not a common car here i was so baffled by the fact that they had this info, that i bought some of their ridiculously over priced oil. I have put it in the trabi and some leaks have been detected, but i don't know whether it is from the oil type eating the seals, or if the much lower viscosity of this new oil compared to the old mud that was in there is allowing the oil to seep through existing wear. I guess a refurb of the gearbox is to be put on my shit-to-do-list anyways.

    So to summarize:
    ISO-VG-68 = very good, where did you get that?
    75W-90 = probably better than not changing the oil at all, but no guarantees on the future life of those pesky seals in your gearbox.

    If anyone disagrees or has other input, please do tell!
  3. Justin

    Justin Owner Administrator

    I know somewhere on the boards Keri posted something about transmission fluid. I will try to find it and send that excerpt your way.

    I know that based on her conversation, LDM does sell the proper fluid/oil that should be used in the transmission. I also know that John Short had a take on it as well. One of these days he is actually going to join on here and if you have ever dealt with John, he is a wealth of knowledge. I think what you wrote seems proper and correct, but the ideal situation I'm sure would be to use what came from the factory.
  4. Keri

    Keri Leader

    Don't do it!

    The 75-90 that is.

    "regular" 75-90 GL5 gear lube is a very bad idea. So is any gear oil with a strong sulphur smell. Better to leave what's in there alone for now.

    These oils have an Extreme Pressure (EP) additive for hypoid gears that will affect your syncronizers, your freewheel and possibly the seals. Our Trabis have no hypoid gears (or any other Bourgeous nonsense).
    I have some of the LDM tuning stuff in my trunk. It seem a little thin and has a reddish color.
    Perhaps my local Euro Imports specialists have some of the HLP-68 stuff for comparison

    С Днем Победы!
    (today is Victory Day!)

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