Originally Posted by The Green Machine
Fram has paper end caps...
That's the tired age-old rumor but the Fram filters that don't have steel end caps use a synthetic fiber for their end caps, not paper or cardboard. It just looks like cardboard. Fram uses that material because it flexes with the synthetic filter media so the two don't separate where they are glued together.
Oil filter wise, I'm happy with AC-Delco Duraguard, Fram ToughGuard, Purolator PureOne, Wix, and Mopar. What may surprise some is that the Fram ToughGuard with its 99% filtration efficiency is actually an extremely high quality filter and it actually filters better than many far more costly oil filters. I saw that first hand in a tour of Fram's testing lab last year. I didn't believe that before I saw the test results with my own eyes and saw how they test & compare all the major filter brands & models on their test floor. The ToughGuard outperformed most of them... really. I used to be a Fram hater, no more.
Coljag, first make sure to use nothing but a major brand of ATF+4 in your transmission. If it doesn't specifically say ATF+4 in big letters on the front of the bottle, it's the wrong stuff.
In your axles, the exact viscosity of gear lube is not critical, just make sure it has a GL-5 rating which is required by the axle. For most of us, 70W-80, 80W-90, or 75W-90 is fine. If you tow a trailer, a heavier viscosity like 80W-120, 85W-140 is fine. 99% of the gear lubes you find on the store shelves will have the "friction modifier" additive required by your rear axle's limited slip differential. You can verify that on the back label by finding words to the effect (or close to) 'Compatible with limited slip differentials'... which means it has the required additive. Personally, I prefer a conventional gear lube in my axles but a synthetic is ok too. Use the same gear lube in both axles, the presence of the friction modifier additive is fine for the front axle even though it doesn't have a limited slip differential.
Any good major brand of engine oil is fine... I prefer Valvoline 10W-30 but Castrol, Mobil, Shell, Havoline, Pennzoil, etc. are all fine. Even Walmart motor oil is fine, it is made for Walmart by Valvoline. There are no bad choices of engine oil if you stick with the major brands, all will do a superb job of protecting your engine providing you do regular oil and filter changes.
The transfer case also requires ATF, and it's not fussy at all... any ATF is fine, you can use the same ATF+4 in it that your transmission requires.
Regarding synthetics... I use them in my power steering and transmission (ATF+4 is a synthetic), but I wouldn't use it in my engine except in the winter if I lived where it got extremely cold. Today's conventional engine oils work fine in temperate conditions and cost less.
Hope that helps.