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front differential oil

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Old 11-24-2011, 12:04 PM
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front differential oil

Some of you may think this has been beat to death already, but after reading endless posts I am still not certain on which oil to buy for the *front* differential. Alldata says the front takes SAE90, and the rear takes either SAE90 or 85W90.
When I look at the car manual they make no distinction between the front or rear, says 85W90.
So two questions -
1. is the 85W90 OK for the front and rear?
2. Mobil 1 75W-90: this has also been debated before and I think the answer is that MB changed their original requirements to allow this, is that right? I already bought the 75W-90 after reading DETANE's DIY, but afterwards I saw some posts that debated his choice in using this.
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:50 PM
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W163 ML500 w/Kleeman headers, 3.09 gears, 1995 W124 Cab, heated seats, S600 style grill, FOR SALE
Originally Posted by Amopower View Post
Some of you may think this has been beat to death already, but after reading endless posts I am still not certain on which oil to buy for the *front* differential. Alldata says the front takes SAE90, and the rear takes either SAE90 or 85W90.
When I look at the car manual they make no distinction between the front or rear, says 85W90.
So two questions -
1. is the 85W90 OK for the front and rear?
2. Mobil 1 75W-90: this has also been debated before and I think the answer is that MB changed their original requirements to allow this, is that right? I already bought the 75W-90 after reading DETANE's DIY, but afterwards I saw some posts that debated his choice in using this.
1. You can use same front and rear.
2. I don't think you are going to do any harm using M1 75-90 unless you are doing some heavy duty towing or equivalent. The lower number is the weight when colde, and I don't think a lighter weight will hurt (although MB must have had a reason for the spec). If you can get the cold specs of what MB requires and measure against the M1 spec, you would have a pretty good idea.

I recently (6 months ago) had work done on both diffs, we used M1 75/90 from my long time MB indy mechanic (who spents years at a dealership) and he had no issues using M1.

Regards,
Jerry
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