Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag? - Transmission Forum

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Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Sunday, July 25, 2004 8:44 PM
ON FEB 18, 2004, I POSTED THIS THREAD ON DOMESTICTUNERZ.COM. IT IS NOW JULY 25, 2004, AND PER THE RESULTS OF SOME CONTIINUED EXPERIMENTATION, I EDITIED THE ORIGINAL POST. I ADDED SOME NEW INFORMATION, AND THUS, HERE IS THE FINAL DRAFT. ENJOY!

In an attempt to perfect the shifting of my Getrag transmission, I conducted a transmission fluid experiment on my 2004 Cavalier LS Sport Coupe.

Here are my conclusions…

TRANSMISSION FLUIDS THAT I HAVE TRIED SO FAR:
Dino Dexron III (stock)
Redline MTL
Royal Purple Synchromax
Saturn Manual Transmission Lubricant (as recommended by the GM TSB)
Redline D4 ATF

DINO DEXRON III (stock):
The Dino Dexron III provided a decent shift -- by nature, it is a thin fluid. Yet, because of its non-synthetic base, it was very susceptible to the cold, and shifting the trans was difficult on those 10 degree Illinois mornings.

SATURN MANUAL TRANSMISSION LUBRICANT:
The Saturn manual lube quieted my trans (even though I have an 04 and I don't have the growling problem), however, it was like shifting through mud. At $17 per quart, this was the biggest waste of money. In other words, even if your Getrag is growling, don't put this stuff in your trans -- it is simply a higher-viscosity fluid. Forget high speed shifts with this stuff -- cold mornings are a killer for this fluid, too.

REDLINE MTL & ROYAL PURPLE SYNCHROMAX:
The Redline MTL and Royal Purple Synchromax were comparable, although I believe the MTL was a tad bit smoother. If you live in a moderate to hot all-year-round climate, I would recommend either of these fluids. Both Redline and Royal purple have fantastic reputations in the racing world...

REDLINE D4 ATF:
Last night, I drained that $hit Saturn fluid out of my Getrag and put in Redline D4 ATF -- this is an automatic transmission fluid that satisfies all Dexron requirements (up to Dexron IV), Mercon specifications, and GL-4 gear lube requirements. Well, I took the car for a spin around the block, and so far, the shifting is incredible -- smooth, quiet, no clash on high speed upshifts/downshifts. Keep in mind that when I performed this fluid change, it was winter in Illinois, and the average daily temperature was at or below 32F.

PROBLEMS WITH REDLINE D4 ATF:
In mid-month April, as the temperature began to rise into the 50’s and 60’s, I began to notice that upshifts/downshifts into 3rd gear were becoming notchy. Soon thereafter, I drained the existing Redline D4 ATF and replaced it with Redline MTL. Presto! The “notchiness” disappeared and my transmission shifted nice and smooth. It is now July 25, 2004, and I still have the Redline MTL in my transmission – my transmission is still shifting great – no “notchiness,” no gear clash, and high speed upshifts/downshifts are a breeze.

CONCLUSIONS AND RAMBLINGS:
For those who live in a COLD ENVIRONMENT (constantly at or below 32F), I suggest using Redline D4 ATF. This fluid is very similar (except for the GL4 requirement) to B&M Synthetic Trick Shift ATF and Royal Purple Max ATF, therefore, I presume that these other fluids would be fairly similar to the Redline D4 ATF. When I compare the Redline MTL to the Redline D4, the main difference is the viscosity (MTL is slightly thicker). However, I recant my earlier suggestion and DO NOT RECOMMEND Redline D4 ATF as an all-year-round fluid for those who live in a cold winter/hot summer environment. As the temperature rises, the Reline D4 experiences a slight change in viscosity, and thus, it becomes a tad bit too thin for the Getrag.

In light of my new findings, I suggest either Redline MTL or Royal Purple Synchromax as all-year-round fluids (cold winter/hot summer) for the Getrag 5-speed. It is now July, I am still using Reline MTL in my own trans, and so far I have had zero problems with gear clash or “notchiness.” With respect to my original claim, the Getrag does indeed work better with a thinner fluid (due to tolerances, gear configuration, etc – and that’s why GM specifies Dexron III as the stock fluid). However, there is a “happy medium” for this transmission, and I whole heartedly believe that Redline MTL achieves this medium.

OTHER COMMENTS
I was reading some online reviews of Redline and Royal Purple products. In several reviews, I read comments like "this fluid leads to accelerated synchronizer wear." Hey, dip****, why don't you read the specs on your trans first? If your trans specifies a gear oil, then use an appropriate synthetic gear oil (both Redline and Royal Purple make them). TRANSMISSIONS THAT SPECIFY AN ATF SHOULD NOT USE A GEAR OIL, AND VICE-VERSA!!!

WARNING FOR THOSE WHO USE REGULAR GEAR OIL OR A GL-5 SPEC FLUID IN THEIR GETRAGS (this excerpt is from redlineoil.com)
"Most manufacturers of manual transmissions and transaxles recommend an 80W or 90W GL-4 lubricant. GL-5 gears oils which are required in hypoid differentials are not used in most synchromesh transmissions because the chemicals used to provide the extreme pressure protection can be corrosive to synchronizers, which are commonly made of brass or bronze. Typically, the use of a GL-5 lubricant in a synchromesh transmission will shorten the synchronizer life by one half. The extreme pressure requirements of spur gears and helical gears found in transmissions are not nearly as great as found in rear-wheel drive differentials. A GL-4 lubricant provides adequate protection for most manual transmissions, unless a unique design consideration requires the extra protection of a GL-5"

Examples of GL-5 lubricants:
Standard gear oil
B&M Stick Shift Fluid

Just some food for thought…

SOURCES:

Redline Oil
www.redlineoil.com

Royal Purple Oil
www.royalpurple.com

Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Thursday, July 29, 2004 7:33 PM
I changed mine to royal purple syncrhomax the car shift's great the gear-changes seem more positive and i even autoX with it and it seemed to tighten the diff action a bit I run royal purple in everything and love it to death. i even run my air compressor with royal purple, and it runs a lot cooler with that than compressor oil. royal purple rules <br>

see ya!

Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Sunday, August 01, 2004 11:15 AM
bumpity bump bump bump...

Any other opinions? I know a lot of people ask questions about manual transmission fluid changes -- I just wanted to make their search for the proper information much easier.

Thanks!
Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Wednesday, August 04, 2004 11:58 PM
What about auto trans, 4 speed to be exact, 2001 2.4L, would you still recomend royal purple? I'm here in IL too, 40 miles west of chicago <br>


-SJ
Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Thursday, August 05, 2004 9:10 PM
I switched to Mobil 1 Synth ATF. I find the shifts were a lot smoother than that junk Saturn fluid that the dealer put in to fix the trans growl.. I still have the growl, but at least the shifts are 100% smoother!! <br>


Dark blue 2002 Z24, 2.4 Ltr.
Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Saturday, August 07, 2004 9:58 AM
i use mobal-1 ATF..... i dont have any of these problems you have spoken about....
chirs <br>

'02 Z-24 Supercharged
13.7 @102.45 MPH Third Place, 2007 GMSC Bash SOLD AS OF 01MAR08

Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Sunday, August 08, 2004 8:22 PM
I've been a hardcore Redline products user but in the Getrag i've run into my own issue's using both the MTL & D4 ATF... mostly with what your calling 'notchiness & gear clash". I've also used Mobil 1 synthetic ATF and have now gone with B&M Trick Shift synthetic ATF... so far it's been working like a dream, while not as entirely smooth as the MTL was at first, its not varied by temp. difference. I can live with a little less smoothness in the gears, especially when the trade off is getting a better 3rd gear entrance than i was with the MTL. <br>

<IMG SRC="http://www.j-body.org/registry/kernol/sig.jpg">
Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Tuesday, August 10, 2004 6:56 PM
Friends, maybe you may think that I am crazy, but my car's user manual indicates me at "Recommended Fluids and Lubricants", that my 2000 Getrag tranny use SJ Sae 15W40 oil.

If you check my registry you will see that I live in Venezuela, hot wheather all year, personally I don't know if this info was an error when the user manual was translated to spanish, but definetely it sounds wrong to me. Also are you sure that Getrag manual trannies uses ATF oils?.

Regards, <br>

___________________________
MAKING MY DREAMS A REALITY
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Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Sunday, December 26, 2004 5:56 PM
when it got cold out side the syncromax started shifting hard. making 3rd gear almost impossible in the morning so i installed Mobil1atf and it shifts great <br>

see ya!

Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Monday, December 27, 2004 5:50 AM
This is one benefit to my Isuzu tranny. The fact that I can use 5w30 motor oil. And it shifts just like it does with that GM syncromesh crap in it.

<br>

<img src ="http://www.j-body.org/registry/shooff/personal_pic.jpg">
Noise doesnt add horsepower. Horsepower adds noise.
"This is one 2.2 I wouldnt mess with" - DropTopPaul
Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Tuesday, December 28, 2004 8:45 PM
I ran B&M Trickshift for over a year with no problems, then this summer I swtiched to Amsoil synthetic ATF and never looked back. Just as quiet and even smoother. <br>




Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Wednesday, December 29, 2004 11:35 AM
ok i am confused. you can use atf fluid in a manual tranny? sorry to sound dumb but this is my first manual car and hearing this is confusing me........

<br>


Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Thursday, December 30, 2004 9:18 AM
importfightercavalier wrote:

ok i am confused. you can use atf fluid in a manual tranny? sorry to sound dumb but this is my first manual car and hearing this is confusing me........


yes you can my friend..yes you can..kinda weird tho huh? its for the better tho <br>


Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Thursday, December 30, 2004 11:56 AM
I took out 2 quarts of the stock @!#$ fluid, and put in 2 quarts of Synchromesh, it fixed my "pennies in a can" Getrag noise for now.

I would like to do a full flush and refill though.

<br>


Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Friday, December 31, 2004 12:12 AM
I know i'm going to sound stupid but is changing the tranny fluid as simple as changing oil? do you have to drop a pan or is there a plug? thanx P.S. how much will I need? <br>

<img src="http://registry.gmenthusiast.com/images/h8hondaz/sig.jpg">
Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Friday, December 31, 2004 6:09 AM
well thats very strange i'd never thought of doing that. <br>


Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Friday, December 31, 2004 5:25 PM
Go with B&M products.

<br>


>>>For Sale? Clicky!<<<
-----The orginal Mr.Goodwrench on the JBO since 11/99-----

Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Tuesday, January 04, 2005 7:35 PM
the ill-tempered way to change your trans fluid:
(my car is an 04 Cavalier, so I will be instructing you as if I were working on my car)

Tools needed:
3/8" drive: ratchet
3/8" drive: 5/16" allen/hex socket
3/8" drive: extension (at least 12" long)
3/8" drive: Torque Wrench
5/16" allen wrench
12" length of pipe (used as a breaker bar, slips over the end of the allen wrench)
Drip pan
Flexible funnel
Towel

Fluid Needed:
2 quarts of (insert the name of your preferred transmission lubricant HERE).

1. Either jack-up the front end of the car or drive the car onto a set of ramps (Pep Boys sells "gorilla ramps" for $17 per set, they hold 4000lbs each).

2. If you are using a jack, make sure to use a set of jackstands. In any instance, chock the rear wheel and put the e-brake on (prevent rolling backwards and subsequent death from a 2000+lb piece of steel landing on your chest.

3. Locate the transmission drain plug (a the very bottom of the trans case, 6 o'clock position, has a hex-type plug)

4. Insert the 5/16" allen wrench into the drain plug, place the piece of pipe over the end of the wrench, and loosen the drain plug. Make sure to place the drip pan under the drain hole (duh?). From this point, you can spin off the drain plug with your fingers, the pipe/allen wrench combo simply makes it easier to break the plug free. I use an allen wrench because there is not enough room for a ratchet/hex socket combo -- the drain plug is very close to a steel front-end crossmember.

5. Let the fluid drain into the pan -- go smoke a cigarette, do whatever, just make sure to let all of the fluid drain out of the case.

6. Replace the drain plug -- use your finger to thread the plug in, and then use the allen wrench to snug it down DO NOT USE THE BREAKER BAR TO TIGHTEN THE PLUG. Use the allen wrench as your guide -- tighten the plug until the allen wrench flexes slightly. Wipe the mess with your towel.

7. Locate the fill plug -- the fill plug looks identical to the drain plug, except that it is at the top of the trans case, next to the red transmission vent cap. Open your hood, lean over the driver's side wheel well, find your ABS modulator, and look DOWN. There is the plug.

8. Attach the hex-drive socket to the 12" extension, attach the extension to your ratchet, insert the socket into the fill plug, and unscrew the plug. To prevent from dropping the plug, partially unscrew it and then fish your hand around the air intake and unscrew the plug the rest of the way.

9. Place a long-spout flexible funnel (Autozone and Pep Boys sell them -- they are made by Blitz -- they have a blue top with an 18" long flexible tube attached to the bottom of the funnel) into the fill plug hole.

10. My getrag calls for 1.8 quarts of fluid. Save yourself the trouble and just pour in 2 quarts. The additional .2 quarts will not harm your transmission. TO REVIEW: pour in 2 quarts of (insert the name of your preferred transmission lubricant HERE).

11. When you finish pouring, let the funnel drain for a minute, and the remove it from the fill plug hole. Use your towel to wipe any mess.

12. Re-install the fill plug (using a similar process to step 8). However, set your torque wrench to 28 ft-lb and tighten the plug using this torque setting.

13. Clean any spills, throw away any empty bottles, and remove the drain pan from under the car, remove the wheel chock/jackstands.

14. Lower your car to the ground or drive it off the ramps.

15. Enjoy a smooth-shifting transmission

Sincerely,
illtmprdman
Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Tuesday, January 04, 2005 11:37 PM
you didnt try gm syncromesh?? <br>


Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Friday, January 14, 2005 11:57 AM
Alright, i'd like some feedback on this:

I live in Seattle (for those that don't know me, which means that the *average* winter temperatures are usually in the 40's (although at nights when it's unseasonably clear it can drop into the 20's), and the highs in the summer rarely ever break above the mid-80's. However, in the summer i usually do roadtrips into the cascades and the scablands, whe the temperature is above 100 deg.

An issue i've had (and just fixed) this winter, and the winter of 2002-2003 is that the linkage pin (the one that connects the metal "shifter" on the tranny-end of the shifter cables to the shaft running into the transaxle) broke--even after i eased up on my shifting after it broke the first time--the second pin snapped while on the freeway--both times shifting it FROM 3rd into 4th.

I'm thinking part of this may be due to the resistance provided by the synchros.

Right now the shop replaced the stock rolled pin with an 8-notch bolt (a.k.a harded steel) to try and make it NOT break again, however, my gut feeling tells me that pressure from the synchros is a contributing factor.

Now, the first time the pin broke, i was running saturn synthetic fluid--for the whole getrag fix.

This time, i was running synchromesh--since the fall of 2003 i snapped the driver's halfshaft and had to replace it.

What fluid would you recommend for ease of shifting and taking some of the pressure off of the shifter linkage so this doesn't happen again?

Thanks If you want to take this to e-mail, you can pull mine from my profile <br>

Goodbye Callisto, Hello Skađi:
2008 Pontiac G6 GXP Street Edition Coupe

The only thing every single person from every single walk of life on earth can truly say
they have in common is that their country is run by a bunch of fargin iceholes.

Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Saturday, January 22, 2005 6:18 PM
i've been running amsoil atf for about a year now and it shifts nice in the summer but 1st and 2nd are a bitch in the winter... you guys think the mobil atf would help? <br>



Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Sunday, January 23, 2005 6:03 PM
Keeper: I've used both those fluids.. I never broke anything, but shifting in cold weatrher was a major PITA!

I really recommend switching to Mobil 1 Synth for overall easier shifting in cold and warm weather.. It really did feel like someone put a new/different tranny in my car after the fluid change. It won't get rid of the tranny rattle, but at least it's a lot easier to change gears. <br>

Dark blue 2002 Z24, 2.4 Ltr.
Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Sunday, January 23, 2005 8:14 PM
Well, lone, you're in new Brunswick, i'm in seattle...

your idea of cold is when the frost on the grass in the morning is nitrogen freezing from the air. my idea of cold is anything below 10C

<br>

Goodbye Callisto, Hello Skađi:
2008 Pontiac G6 GXP Street Edition Coupe

The only thing every single person from every single walk of life on earth can truly say
they have in common is that their country is run by a bunch of fargin iceholes.

Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Sunday, January 23, 2005 9:12 PM
I'VE HAD IT WITH THE SATURN FLUID!!!

I've grinded going into third so many times the past few weeks due to the cold weather!! I hate it! I'm getting the B&M synthetic trick shift ATF. The last thing I need is fugged up gears. Stupid GM and their stupid band-aid bulletins. <br>



Re: Thinking of changing the fluid in your Getrag?
Sunday, January 23, 2005 9:47 PM
i havent changed mine yet dont really have any problems <br>


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