Larry Crider
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Today’s new heavy duty pickup’s really having become high powered, load pulling monsters!   

With powerful turbo-diesel and V-10 engines today’s modern pickup can pull more and haul more than ever before. Since 1981 average horsepower in American made pickups has risen by 93%.  In just the last decade average horsepower has climbed 34% fueled by consumer demand and intense competition between manufacturers for lucrative truck sales.   

This competition for buyers has led to pickups such as the Ford F-350 Super Duty which when equipped with a fifth-wheel package can tow very nearly 20,000 pounds.   

All this torque, horsepower and extreme loads flowing through the differentials of these pickups has led to the requirement for vastly improved gear lubes.   

Numerous tests performed by organizations such as AGMA (American Gear Manufactures Association) and additive manufacturers like Lubrizol Inc.have shown industry wide problems pertaining to heavy duty differentials and the gear lubes used in them.   

One such test that really got both vehicle and lubricant manufactures attention showed that a heavy duty pickup towing a 10,000 pound trailer up a 3.5% grade developed differential/gear lube temperatures of up to 370F.    

This is well above the operating range of a typical petroleum gear lube and has made a serious condition known as thermal runaway common place.   

Thermal runaway happens when under extreme loads and climbing temperatures the gear lube thins out and the lubricants film fails leading to metal to metal contact. This in turn creates an upward spiral of ever more friction, heat and wear leading to the failure of the gear lube and catastrophic failure of the differentials bearings and gears.   

Because of this situation and also because of government mandated CAFÉ requirements vehicle manufacturers have started embracing the use of synthetic gear lubes.   

Synthetic gear lube has inherently higher film strength and much higher temperature tolerance than petroleum gear lube and has the added benefit of lasting longer in service between changes.    

In very cold temperatures, synthetic gear lube eliminates a wear causing situation common with petroleum gear lubes called channeling. Channeling is where the gear lube becomes partially solidified at cold temperatures and the differentials gears turn pushing a groove into the viscous gear lube instead of flowing properly around the gears resulting in poor lubrication of the bearing and gears and accelerated wear.   

It was with heavy duty pickups and all these issues in mind that industry leading synthetic lubricants manufacturer, Amsoil Inc introduced their new “Severe Gear” line of synthetic gear lubes.   

Amsoil Severe Gear combines a high grade polyalphaolifin full synthetic base oil with state of the art anti-wear additive chemistry including 30% more extreme pressure additives than is required for standard GL-5 gear lube applications.   

Amsoil Severe Gear also uses a high tech iron sulfide barrier film to act as a coating on gears. This sacrificial film is a hard load bearing coating that protects against wear in the event that the gear lubes film is breached under extreme conditions.   

Available in grades ranging from SAE 90 to SAE 250 Amsoil Severe gear has just about any application covered.   

Amsoil Inc introduced the first fully synthetic motor oil to meet American Petroleum Institute service requirements in 1972. Today Amsoil is considered the world leader in synthetic lubrication.   

By Larry Crider   

 Corpus Christi, TX 78411