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I have a 4spd top-loader behind a mellow 289. The car leads a very casual life now as a driver/cruiser--it doesn't have enough juice left to race anyone, but runs smooth. The miles on the trans are a mystery--potentially more than 180,000.

I checked the fluid and it was very low, so I pumped out the old fluid and replaced it w/ the same fluid I used in the rear-end--85w145 hypoid limited slip gear oil that was recommended by the local rod parts guys. The old-timers in there usually know their stuff, but after changing the old trans fluid w/ this new stuff, the tranny is incredibly stiff, and refuses to go into first w/o a throttle blip and a bit of force, then it thuds into gear. Prior to the fluid change, the tranny would fall into gear w/o any effort. Other than fluid, there hasn't been any change. The weather has been rather cold--near freezing at night.

Will this fluid get better w/ some wear, or is it completely incorrect?
 

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Becaue it's close to winter, the 145 wt oil is way to thick. The 80-90 is what I used to run in mine. They were still stiff until driven for several miles. There may be better oil now but the oil in the toploader is designed to be a heat absorber. If you were to put in 50 wt. and drive it a long distance, you could suffer from gear failure. Because you think the trans is high mileage, I'd be real careful.
 
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