ATF in the Primary>

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by 67wizard, Feb 18, 2010.

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  1. 67wizard

    67wizard Junior Member

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    From another web. Just wondering what you think about using ATF in the primary? Sorry but here I go again asking questions. They say its much cheaper than the HD performance +

    (Synthetic ATF comes in many formulations but the most common is Dexron III. It has the same properties of clutch engagement as Dexron III with some advantages. The main advantage of synthetic fluid is it's ability to resist thermal breakdown. If you ride in extreme heat or just want to extend your primary fluid change intervals then this is probably your fluid.)
     
  2. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    I guess the million dollar question is why put ATF in the Primary...it is just a small cavity that hosts a spinning chain and spocket...not a whole lot going on in there, so why not use a gear lube like Formula +...it is inexpensive and simple...I like that. :D

    On my Sporty, it has an oil wetted clutch, but also has tranny gears along with the primary chain, so I compromise and use 85W Spectrol Primary / Chaincase lubricant that is safe for oil wetted clutches.

    In that case, a bit of my metric experience takes over. Being hard on oil wetted clutches, and the fact more items are lubed by the motor oil as well...they do not recommend 100% synthetic to ensure long life clutch operation, and I agree.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  3. glyd-n

    glyd-n Junior Member

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    I've read a little about this, but i'm wondering if this is safe or will it do damage to the primary. I have no intentions of using ATF, but some people are using it. Besides being cheaper, are there any benefits and negatives to to using it?:dknow:dknow
     
  4. mnultra

    mnultra Active Member

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    Cheaper is always a stickler for me. Sale price on something, okay, but if something is cheaper, it's usually cheaper for a reason and fluids for our bikes is a perfect example. For the most part, it's the additives put into oil that drive the price. I want those additives for my bike and my peice of mind. I guess it's your own money, you can spend it any way you want but, IMHO, a couple bucks on a 38 oz. primary that the normal rider will change twice a year does not justify the risk involved going with a "should be fine" product.
     
  5. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Would you put fork oil in the transmission?

    Then why ATF in the primary, just because someone else does it?

    Spend the extra dollar and use what was MADE for the application.
     
  6. Jonas

    Jonas Junior Member

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    I have tried it. Not because of price. I used AMSOIL Super Shift Non-Slip Racing Transmission Fluid.

    It has been a while.

    I did a little research on it first. The claim was a smoother shift and a more positive neutral position(easier to get it into neutral). When I first changed I did notice some positive changes. But after a 1000 miles or so, I did not really notice any difference. I change it every 3000 miles anyway, so figured it was worth a try. Some people swear by it.

    I don't know if it is good or bad. I don't plan to use it again, the benefits were not there for me. Although I would not knock someone who does use it.

    It was not long ago HD said not to use synthetic oil.
     
  7. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    If the different products sold in the different stores could be used indiscriminately for other uses, the labels would just say "OIL" on them. This way one size would fit all but they're not labeled that way.
    Everything mechanical has been specked for a specific type and grade of oil when it is manufactured and those that use ATF in the primary are using something that wasn't specked for use in that area. It was meant to be used in an automatic transmission that is pumped under pressure .
    There are clutch manufacturers that recommend using ATF when you run their clutches but they are more concerned about the hook up of their clutches than the longevity of the parts in the primary. Different products have different additives in them to do the job for which they were intended and other products when used to substitute these specific products will also work but not as good as the product that was made for that application.

    Some people seem to think they know more than the manufacturers that make these products and the old saying goes " I use it with no problems "(so far) should always be added to that statement because sooner or later, you'll see why you shouldn't use it.

    Like I mentioned above.... Would you put fork oil in the transmission? Why not?
     
  8. Jonas

    Jonas Junior Member

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    Two Reason for me;

    I have never seen any information to make me think it would improve performance or operation.

    I change fork oil every 25000 miles. I tried the ATF based on the information I read and the fact I know I would be dumping it out in a couple months. If I saw some great results I may have kept using it.

    What about the people who used synthetic oil (against HD recommendation) because it made the bike run cooler.? Now HD recommends it, and even came up with it's own line. They also put it in all three holes(same oil). Why use the same motor oil in the motor, transmission and primary?

    Like I said, I don't use it, I don't recommend it. But I have never read anything that would make me think it would damage the bike.
     
  9. jaceddie

    jaceddie Junior Member

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    Formula + isn't that expensive! It isn't worth it just to save a buck or two.
     
  10. Jonas

    Jonas Junior Member

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    The ATF is not to save money. I know that is what the original poster posted. It is about the wet clutch.

    Many makers of aftermarket clutches recommend ATF in the primary.

    I think people just see ATF in the primary. Think that does not make sense:newsmile055:

    Read up on it a little. You might be surprised. It is not fork oil.
     
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