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I know that whenever it comes to selecting a high-quality transmission fluid for TH350, or TH400 for that matter, it always opens up a can of worm. TH350 and TH400 drivers are hobbyists; they are sensitive and won’t compromise on standards.
I also know for a fact that automatic tranny rebuilds are difficult. A couple of years ago, it used to be easy. Nowadays, even if you want to choose automatic transmission fluid, you have to be careful. The process is complex because a lot of brands have stepped into the industry over the last decade. Back in my days, things were easy-peasy.
There was no YouTube, there were hardly any weblogs and that allowed us to work easily. Now with the excess information overload, the millennials are very easily distracted. So, when you are out there on the interwebs, looking for transmission fluid for a TH350 and/or TH400, you are bound to get either partial information or some nuggets of misguided info!
Pressed For Time – Here’s Our Top Picks
|Castrol 03520C TRANSMAX DEX/MERC ATF, 1 Gallon||Check Availability <<|
|Valvoline ATF +4 Full Synthetic Automatic...||Check Availability <<|
|Royal Purple 06320-6PK Max ATF High Performance...||Check Availability <<|
The Great Debate about Transmission Fluid for a TH350 and TH400
Several years ago, the agenda behind the performance-related tranny build was different. People relied on old practices. Brands were well established; it wasn’t easy to come by a high-quality build. For TH series, people normally used Type F transmission fluids. The results were excellent, even by modern standards.
Today, companies, such as; Nascar, have got over 4, 5 different types of transmission fluids for different category vehicles. In that order, it is not easy to choose the right type of fluid for your TH350 or TH400 build. F series is considered an acceptable brand because we have synthetic variations of automatic transmission fluids.
The question is, is it acceptable to use the “F” type fluid, or retaining to contemporary Dexron V, and VI series a better alternative? The first rule of thumb is to be mindful of ATF rating. The future of automatic transmission vehicle industry looks very promising. It is expected that normal household cars will be having up to 8 gears.
Right now, several companies are offering ATF certified transmission fluid products. If you want something durable for your brand new TH350, TH400 or later models in that series, make sure that the ATF rating is being followed. A few days ago, we published a post about the difference between gear oil and transmission fluid. It is a very helpful guide, especially for beginners who’re having a hard time choosing between different brands.
Are Transmission Fluids Backward Compatible?
These days, each car company has created a specific type of gear oil and transmission fluid for their vehicles. Add the common misconception that transmission fluids are backward compatible with the older generation of TH350 and TH400 series cars. You will eventually find yourself slogging through the slippery slope of engine oil, transmission fluids, and vice versa.
The backward compatibility part is not true. The modern version of fluids is compatible with only the type of cars they are made for. On that note, some people argue that when it comes to TH350 and TH400, the Dexron VI series fluid is backward compatible. I’d say that isn’t true. Dex VI is good transmission fluid, but it was made to enhance the performance of modern models of TH350 and TH400. Using Dexron VI on older models of the aforementioned generation will not harness the same results.
What If Speed Is Your Main Concern for TH350 and TH400?
If you want to use your TH350 or TH400 for faster and speedier performance, perhaps Ford type F fluid is best for transmission purpose. I’d recommend Dexron III too, but Dex 3 is more of a friendly companion to TH350. For TH400, you have more torque pushing through a high profile engine. Therefore, you’re going to have to make an intelligent decision.
The good news is that many oil companies have reportedly addressed the concerns on backward transmission fluid compatibility. For that very reason, these manufacturers have reportedly released special transmission fluid with a combination of different oils. What’s even better is the fact that these fluids are certified and often endorsed by popular companies.
Moving on, there is also a synthetic variation of transmission fluids. This type generally lasts longer, and the change intervals are not frequent. For instance, Exxon-Mobil’s mPAO is gaining a lot of positive traction for being a go-to choice for people looking for TH350 and TH400 transmission fluids.
But if you are really looking for the best ATF, you’re going to have to stick with pure synthetic transmission fluid. Just like synthetic motor oil, the transmission fluid category is offering semi-synthetic and full synthetic variants. In that case, you should go for full synthetic transmission fluid because it has minimum additives, and it lasts longer than a semi-synthetic ATF.
Make Sure Your TH350 and TH400 Are Getting a Proper Fill:
We, at ‘My Engine Needs’, conducted a recent survey on automatic transmission fluid. It was discovered that the most damaging factor was the drivers’ inability to properly fill the transmission pan. Ideally, the fluid should level with the pan’s rail height. Don’t go over it, or lower than the desired limit for optimal results.
Don’t worry about overfilling. Especially if you are driving a TH400, it is acceptable to overfill the transmission pan by a quart or an extra ½ percent. For such vehicles, a little bit of extra transmission fluid is much better than under filling. Since it is a Turbo category performance-hungry vehicle, TH400 has been known from time to time for pushing the fluid away from the filter. If you are driving too fast, the G-force can cause the line pressure to drop, which further enables clutch slip. As a result, your automatic transmission will fail at high speed.
For more details on which type of transmission fluid is suitable for TH350 and TH400, don’t forget to revisit this webpage. We will be updating it soon with additional content. For now, we’d love for you to share your thoughts through the comments section below.
A Little More on Our Top Picks
Castrol 03520C TRANSMAX DEX/MERC ATF, 1 Gallon
- Enhanced friction durability for smooth transmission performance
- Meets DEXRON-III H requirements and satisfies requirements of DEXRON, DEXRON-III, IIE and II
- It enhances the smoothness of transmission in your vehicle with enhanced friction durability.
- The transmission fluid is suitable for use in transmission and power steering for General Motor vehicles, older Ford and other vehicles.
- It meets the requirements of DEXRON, DEXRON-111, DEXRON-111H, DEXRON 11, AND DEXRON 11E.
- It can work under extreme temperatures, thereby providing protection when driving in superior temperatures on the highway.
- The transmission fluid also provides resistance oxidation and prevents the increase of viscosity.
- Affordable price.
- Castrol 03520C can also be used in power steering that requires MERCON.
- You will have a challenge seeing the level of the fluid in the container.
What we like
Do you want to enhance the performance of your transmission while also extending its life?
Castrol Transmax gives a better experience while you are changing gears as it promotes enhanced friction durability.
And if you are looking for versatility, the Castrol TRANSMAX DEX/MERC ATF is what you need. The ATF can be used across a large variety of different car models. Thus, it is among the best transmission fluids that offer value for your money, and it performs better than many other products that cost the same.
Plus, you can use the transmission fluid for various power steering applications that require MERCON.
For some transmission fluids, they may have a problem performing under superior temperatures. Well, not so for Castrol 03520C. This will provide optimal protection even in high temperatures. As such, it is ideal for you when you have long-distance drives that heat up and stress the tranny.
We also like that the ATF is high quality, which not only offers you the best performance but also makes it durable. Despite being high quality, the ATF comes at an affordable price for everyone. It also meets the DEXRON-111H, DEXRON, DEXRON 11E, and DEXRON 111 requirements.
One of the features that make the Castrol TRANSMAX DEX/MERC ATF standout is its superb compatibility. You can use the transmission fluid for all Ford models from 1983 to 1966. Also, you can use the ATF for General Motors from 2005 and other models that came earlier.
The biggest undoing for transmission fluids is oxidation, which occurs when the fluid is heated or performs under a lot of stress. When transmission fluid is oxidized, it produces a burnt smell. It also disintegrates, reducing its performance significantly. As such, when you look for transmission fluid, you should consider its resistance to oxidation.
Castrol TRANSMAX DEX/MERC ATF provides superb resistance to oxidation and prevents its increase in viscosity.
For some transmission fluids, it is a challenge performing in cold weather, and they may make gear shifting a challenge. On the other hand, you have Castrol 03520C, which ensures smooth gear shifting even in cold weather. As such, it provides more protection for the system by reducing the friction significantly.
What we do not like
You may have a challenge estimating the amount of fluid that you use because it is difficult to read the levels on the container.
Valvoline ATF +4 Full Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid 1 QT
- Formulated with full-synthetic base stocks and advanced additive technology to meet the challenging demands of automatic transmissions.
- Enhanced anti-shudder protection for smooth shifting and maximum power transfer
- Better oil flow in cold temperatures and better protection of the system at high temperatures.
- It comes with anti-wear technology that helps to improve the durability of the transmission.
- Automatic transmissions can be challenging and demanding, which requires more protection. The Valvoline transmission fluid comes with full-synthetic base stocks that help to enhance performance and protection in the demanding automatic transmission.
- It also features anti-shudder protection, which enables maximum power transfer and smooth gear shifting.
- It also contains cleaning additives that help to keep your tranny clean.
- The transmission fluid is suitable for a large variety of models, including Merc/Dex, Mercon LV, and many others.
- It may be pricey
What we like
The Valvoline ATF features a fully synthetic formulation, and it also comes with other advanced additives. The formulation and advanced additives reduce wear and tear and prevent leaks.
If you want an ATF to guarantee a smooth shift of the gears, Valvoline ATF is what you need. By reducing wear and tear and other causes of transmission breakdown, the ATF helps to extend the transmission’s life. Not to mention that it also optimizes your transmission’s performance.
Additionally, the transmission fluid contains some cleaning additives. As the transmission fluid circulates, it collects and eliminates all deposits from parts that are prone to friction. Thus, the additives help to keep your transmission clean and offering optimal performance.
When you compare conventional and synthetic fluids, you will notice a considerable difference in terms of drain interval. Being a synthetic transmission fluid, Valvoline ATF does not disintegrate even when it performs in high temperatures. Thus, you will have a more extended drain interval.
The transmission fluid is compatible with most transmission fluids. Additionally, it comes with additives such as an agent that conditions the seals and prevents leakages.
Valvoline ATF promises you a high-quality transmission fluid that guarantees you not only maximal performance but also long life. It stands out for being super compatible with a large variety of models. These include Dexron V1, Mercon V, and Mercon LV.
It is also compatible with European models such as Audi, Saab, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. For conventional transmission fluids, they have a challenge functioning under extreme weather conditions. As such, you will not have optimal performance and protection on your tranny.
On the other hand, you have Valvoline ATF, which is synthetic transmission fluid. The fully-synthetic transmission fluids come with thermal properties that help it to perform well under adverse weather conditions. Thus, you will have a smooth gear transmission even when it is cold and protection against friction and wear, which extends the life of your tranny.
Automatic transmissions can be demanding and may heat up. The transmission fluid protects the tranny from overheating, and it also resists oxidation and increases in viscosity.
It also provides better film protection in high temperatures.
What we do not like
It may be more expensive as compared to its conventional counterparts.
Royal Purple 06320-6PK Max ATF High-Performance Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid – 1 qt. (Case of 6)
- High Film Strength Helps to Dramatically Reduce Heat and Wear
- Automatic Transmissions Generate a Great Deal of Heat and Depend on Transmission Fluid for Cooling and Protection
- High film strength.
- Reduced heat and wear.
- The transmission fluid reduces the heat, thereby extending the life of your transmission.
- The transmission fluid is also highly compatible, and you can mix it with other automatic transmission fluids.
- Automatic transmissions are highly demanding, and they generate a lot of heat. The Royal Purple 06320-6PK helps in cooling it off and protecting it.
- It is high-quality transmission fluid, and it provides you with high performance.
- A bit challenging pouring it into the transmission.
- Some customers complain of not getting the right quantity after ordering.
- Others say they cannot notice any difference in performance.
What we like
A lot of automatic transmission failures come about as a result of overheating. Automatic transmissions are very demanding, and they generate a lot of heat, and they depend on transmission fluids to cool off. The Royal Purple Max ATF is engineered to reduce the amount of heat and wear on your tranny, thereby extending its life.
If you do not want to drain your current transmission fluid to use Royal Purple Max ATF, do not fret. The transmission fluid is compatible with a wide range of automatic transmission fluids. However, to achieve the best in terms of performance and protection, you should drain your current transmission fluid. After that, fill your tranny with the Royal Purple Max ATF.
Unlike other transmission fluids, Royal Purple Max ATF has more resistance to oxidation and an increase in viscosity. Thus, you are assured of a more extended liquid life and drain intervals.
The long-lasting transmission fluid assures you of better gear shifting, increased performance, and enhanced fuel economy.
Additionally, Royal Purple Max ATF provides you with more film protection and reduced friction on parts. That reduces heat and wear. As such, it enhances the durability of your tranny. The Royal Purple Max ATF is recommended for use for multiple passenger vehicles.
While other transmission fluids may have a problem working in cold temperatures, and extremely high temperatures. Your transmission will have problems shifting gears, and when the temperatures are high, they may disintegrate.
However, for Royal Purple Max transmission fluid, it performs well in high temperatures and when it’s cold. You will have a smooth gear shift for your tranny. Plus, the synthetic transmission fluid does not disintegrate at high temperatures ensuring you of optimal protection.
Plus, the Royal Purple Max synthetic transmission fluid comes with a lot of additives. Among the additives include cleaning agents. As the transmission fluid is circulating, it collects and eliminates all the deposits on the areas prone to friction, leaving your tranny clean. Thus, you will experience better performance and extended life for your tranny.
What we do not like
Some customers complain that when they try to pour the transmission fluid to their transmission, it becomes a challenge, and it spills all over.
For others, they say that they do not notice any difference between using other transmission fluids and Royal Purple Max ATF.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many quartz of transmission fluid does a 400 Turbo take?
The amount of transmission fluid that a 400 Turbo will take depends if it is a new converter or an old one. A converter that has been in use may retain some fluids. As such, you may need less fluid to refill it.
If the converter is new, the transmission can take about 10-11 quartz. The same applies if you drop the pan, and the fluid drains out. If you have not dropped the pan, the converter will hold some fluid. As such, you may need 6-8 quartz of transmission fluid to fill it up.
Ensure that the deep stick is correctly installed so that you can use it to gauge the ideal amount.
How much transmission fluid does a th350 take?
If you are from rebuilding the th350 tranny and it is empty, 10 quarts of transmission fluid is enough. When you get to about 8-9 quartz, start checking the dipstick to ensure you get the right amount into your tranny.
You may have drained the tranny by removing the pan and changing the filter. Thus, the converter will have retained some of the fluid. As such, you may need about 5 quartz to refill the tranny. The dipstick should be installed to measure the appropriate amount.
What is the best ATF 4 transmission fluid?
ATF 4 has a formulation to meet the needs of automatic transmissions. It provides enhanced protection and prolongs the life of your transmission. ATF and ATF 4 differ in that the latter has a formulation for fine-tuned transmission. ATF4 is used in the sensitive Chrysler 4 speed transmissions.
Valvoline ATF 4 is the best ATF 4 transmission fluid. It is of high quality and meets the protection needs of sensitive transmissions. It has superior additives that enhance transmission protection. For instance, it features superior anti-oxidation properties. These prevent the formation of acids that may cause corrosion in the transmission.
It also features properties that offer superior protection against wear. Thus, it guarantees a longer lifespan for your tranny. It performs well both in cold and hot temperatures. And it provides a smooth shifting of gears.
What transmission fluid does a Turbo 400 take?
Amsoil ATF works with a Turbo 400. The high-quality ATF can withstand the intense pressure in a Turbo 400 transmission. As such, it enables it to perform and also offers optimal protection.
You can also use Mobil 1 automatic transmission fluid. The Dex 111/ Mercon offers you a prolonged oil drain interval. The Turbo 400 transmission can use any high-quality automatic transmission fluid. The transmission fluid should not break down under high pressure or temperatures.
Should you use synthetic transmission fluids on the manual or automatic transmission?
Either of the transmissions is fine to use. If you are using a manual transmission, you can look for a fluid that will lubricate your gear and allow smooth shifting.
On the other hand, if you are using an automatic transmission, you can use synthetic transmission fluid. Automatic transmission generates a lot of heat. If you use conventional transmission fluid, it may break down because of the high temperatures that the automatic transmission causes.
However, if you use synthetic transmission oil, you are assured of protection and optimal performance at all times. Synthetic transmission fluids do not break down under high temperatures, and they are also oxidation resistant. Thus, you will have longer fluid drain intervals.
Do synthetic transmission fluids have any other property?
Since synthetic transmission fluids are human-made, they come with a lot of specifications to meet the different transmission needs. Nowadays, automatic engines are coming out more complicated, which requires more protection.
Some car manufacturers are coming up with their own transmission fluids to meet the needs of their specific vehicle.
As such, synthetic transmission fluids are coming with a lot of additives to perform different tasks. For instance, the Royal Purple Max ATF comes with cleaning agents additives that help to clean your tranny. As the transmission fluid circulates, it collects the deposits and sludge, leaving your tranny clean. A clean transmission means better fuel economy, longer intervals of draining the transmission fluid, and better performance.
Among other additives that you get with synthetic transmission, fluids include thermal properties. The properties enable the transmission fluid to perform under extreme temperature conditions.
Can I use my transmission fluid with other transmission fluids?
Most transmission fluids are compatible with other synthetic transmission fluids. What that means is that you do not have to drain your old transmission fluid to add the new ATF.
However, that may adversely affect the performance and protection properties. For instance, Royal Purple Max ATF is compatible with other synthetic transmission fluids. However, mixing it with the old ATF affects its performance and reduces the drain interval.
To get the best results, you should use your Royal Purple Max ATF, or any other new synthetic ATF, alone. Drain the old one and fill the tranny with the new ATF.
Are synthetic transmission fluids specific to a model?
Some car dealers will come with transmission fluids that are specific to the car model. This helps to satisfy the specific transmission needs of that model.
However, most synthetic transmission fluids are versatile, and they meet the requirements of a variety of car models. As such, you can use it with any of the car models, and it will not void its warranty.
For instance, Valvoline ATF meets the requirements of several models, including Mercon LV, Dexron V1, and Mercon V. The ATF is also compatible with European brands such as BMW, Audi, Saab, and so on.
Last update on 2021-05-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API