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Old 09-15-2009, 11:59 PM   #1
Audi Junkie
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Default Gear Oil for Manual Trans

Has anyone done a drain and fill? I'm looking for the drain plug location. Did a little digging on the UK Astra foums, and apparently there is a TSB saying to overfill to 2.4q the Getrag, but not shure if it's the same unit we have. Anyway, the GM fluid is just relabeled DexIII, which is quite thin (8cSt).

In a high powered application, with hard duty, I'd go strait for a a regular 75w-90 (15cSt+) or a mix of that and lighter oil such as Redline MTL (10cSt), which is considered a "Syncromesh" fluid, developed a a more robust replacement to motor oil or ATF in a manual trans. I know it's confusing, but motor oil and ATF like Dex are often used in manual trans. Syncromesh is sometimes refered to as a 80 or 85 weight, like in Honda apps.

Many Saturn drivers with the Getrag in other vehicles like Redline models use Mobil 1 ATF and like it. I want to go a little thicker to keep the gearbox from chattering itself loose in stop-n-go driving, but not strait to a full 75w-90 manual trans fluid (like a "gear oil") so I'm going with a super-premium "75w" ester gear oil Silkolene Pro SRG 75. Should be easy to find at local motorcycle shops, for what it's worth. Expensive at $22. Another high-end choice would be AMSoil ATD (ATF), AMSoil Syncromesh or Redline MTL.




Tech sheet:

http://www.silkoleneusa.com/download...orted_File.PDF

Fuchs/Silkolene makes the most amazing lubricants in the world.

Pro SRG 75 is specificly recommended for tuned Astras in the UK market.
http://www.opieoils.co.uk/p-832-silk...-gear-oil.aspx

Now I just need to get the drain bolt locations.

I'll repost the TSB on the trans overfill later.

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Old 09-16-2009, 12:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Gear Oil for Manual Trans

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...39#Post1496839

quote:

I suspect by 2003 they were putting a better/more fluid in the transmission.

Here is the TSB; Document ID# 854232

Subject: Grinding/Rattle Type Noise Coming From Transmission
(Diagnose and Perform Repair) #02-07-29-001 - (01/28/2002)
Models: 2000-02 Chevrolet Cavalier
2001-02 Oldsmobile Alero
2000-02 Pontiac Sunfire
2001-02 Pontiac Grand Am
with Manual Transmission (RPO M86 or M94)

Condition
Some customers may comment on a grinding or rattle type noise coming from the transmission. The
noise usually occurs with the transmission in first or second gear at low RPMs and can be intermittent.
Cause
This condition may be originated by the natural harmonics of the engine that leads to a vibration in the
transmission.
Correction
There are two separate noises. Follow the diagnostic procedures listed below to determine which noise
the vehicle has and perform the outlined repair. If you are comparing like vehicles, you must compare
vehicles with the same motor and similar mileage.

Diagnosis for Noise #1
This is a very distinct noise that is usually much louder than the second noise that can be associated with
this transmission. If the vehicle is not making any noise when trying to verify the condition, it can be
induced by making several tight left hand circles with the vehicle at normal operating temperature.
Making a sharp right hand turn will usually stop the noise. While the noise is occurring, in order to
distinguish between the two noises, you can press lightly on the clutch pedal without releasing the clutch
and the noise will NOT go away or change. As a second diagnostic aid, while the vehicle is making the
noise, shift to third gear and the noise will stop. If the noise is determined to be this type, perform the
repair for noise #1.

Repair for Noise #1
Replace the transmission fluid with Saturn Manual Transmission Lubricant, P/N 21018899. Overfill to a capacity of 2.4L (2.6 qts). A possible side effect of this repair may be a higher shift effort.

Document ID# 854232
Subject: Grinding/Rattle Type Noise Coming From Transmission
(Diagnose and Perform Repair) #02-07-29-001 - (01/28/2002)
Models: 2000-02 Chevrolet Cavalier
2001-02 Oldsmobile Alero
2000-02 Pontiac Sunfire
2001-02 Pontiac Grand Am
with Manual Transmission (RPO M86 or M94)
Service Information Page 1 of 3
http://service.gm.com/servlets/BlobS...32&evc=numSrch 6/18/2006
capacity of 2.4L (2.6 qts). A possible side effect of this repair may be a higher shift effort.
1. Raise and support the vehicle. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in the General Information
sub-section of the appropriate Service Manual.
2. Place a suitable container under the transmission assembly.
3. Remove the drain plug located on the bottom of the transmission and completely drain the fluid.
4. Re-install the drain plug.
Tighten
Tighten the drain plug to 38Nm (28 lb ft).
5. Lower the vehicle.
6. Remove the fill plug located on the top/middle of transmission on the driver side, near the red
vent cap. If you use the check level plug on the side of the transmission, you will not be able to
overfill the transmission.
Important: Fill the transmission to the amount specified. Too much lubricant will cause the fluid
to leak from the vent. Not enough fluid will defeat the purpose of this bulletin.
7. Fill the transmission with 2.4L (2.6 qts) of Saturn Manual Transmission Lubricant P/N 21018899.
DO NOT USE THE RED VENT CAP TO FILL.
8. Re-install the fill plug.
Tighten
Tighten the fill plug to 38 Nm(28 lb ft).
Diagnosis for Noise #2
This noise, commonly referred to as gear rattle, can be induced by lugging the engine in any gear, but is
usually most noticeable in first or second gear. While the noise is occurring, if you press lightly on the
clutch pedal without releasing the clutch, the noise will be reduced or eliminated.
Repair for Noise #2
Do not attempt to repair this noise. This is a characteristic of the vehicle and any vehicle equipped with a
manual transmission can be made to make a similar noise. Driving at slightly higher engine RPM levels
will reduce this noise.
Parts Information
Parts are currently available from GMSPO.
Warranty Information
For vehicles repaired under warranty, use:
Part Number Description Qty
21018899 Lubricant, Saturn Manual Transmission 3
Service Information Page 2 of 3
http://service.gm.com/servlets/BlobS...32&evc=numSrch 6/18/2006
Copyright General Motors Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Labor
Operation Description
Labor
Time
K3950
Manual Transmission Fluid - Drain and Refill (Includes Diagnosis)
(Chevrolet Cavalier, Pontiac Sunfire) 0.7 hr
Manual Transmission Fluid - Drain and Refill (Includes Diagnosis)
(Oldsmobile Alero, Pontiac Grand Am) 0.9 hr
GM bulletins are intended for use by professional technicians, NOT a "do-it-yourselfer

__________________________________________________ _____________


So, is this the same trans? Our trans takes the new GM XXX800 MTF and Transfer Case oil which is actually $5 Dexron.

Look these threads over and let me know if I am on track.

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...6&#Post1598916

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Old 09-16-2009, 05:14 PM   #3
burgermeister
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2008 Astra XE
Default Re: Gear Oil for Manual Trans

I don't think the Astra transmission is related to the Alero transmission. I think it's a GM-Europe Powertrain creation, made just for the Astra 1.8liter. I know it's built in Austria. It claims to have "fill-for-life" fluid, though I think that may be a bit optimistic for a manual tranny ...

Why would you want to overfill yours? Does it have gear rattle? Mine is dead quiet, no matter what I do.

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Old 09-16-2009, 10:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Gear Oil for Manual Trans

The new Getrag fluid is supposed to be GM Manual trans. & Transfer Case Fluid, 88861800 (US) or 88861801 (Canada)...which is plain Dexron, about the weakest MTF fluid still used. Syncromesh was concieved as a replacement upgrade for ATF and motor oil, so it's worth a try. Wonder why GM did not use Syncromesh? I'm not even shure which apps use it oem.

As far as overfill, yeah, I hear ya on the no problems so far why do it, but if I'm doing the work already and will have 2L of the fluid, why not just put it all in. Another litre would be another $22, so...2L sounds fine.

I may do a quick run of premium ATF to completely flush the trans out and "practice" doing the change. ATF+4 is a great fluid cheap, sort of slippery though, maybe Dex VI would be ok for a flush, but it is not apoproved for MTL.

Obviously a complex subject, but I am comfortable enough to buy $50 worth of Silkolene to do the job.

Pennzoil or GM Syncromesh would be a good upgrade for much cheaper.


btw- Vauxhaull Astra says drain MTF once at 6000 miles. I'm not shure what MTF they use to replace it. Likely it is a branded product, probally the same GM/ATF/Dex we use here.

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Old 09-18-2009, 12:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: Gear Oil for Manual Trans

http://www.opieoils.co.uk/c-681-car-oils.aspx


Opie recommends the SRG if you use the selector for the Vauxhaull Astra.

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Old 09-18-2009, 06:57 PM   #6
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2008 Astra XR
2005 ION-2 Sedan
Default Re: Gear Oil for Manual Trans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audi Junkie View Post
As far as overfill, yeah, I hear ya on the no problems so far why do it, but if I'm doing the work already and will have 2L of the fluid, why not just put it all in. Another litre would be another $22, so...2L sounds fine.
I'm confused on your statement there.
You're talking about overfilling the fluid initially, but your quoted statement says that you'll just underfill it with only 2L?


Also, my dealership says that the MT is supposed to be a sealed unit (Not too sure about that) but the fluid is guaranteed for 100,000 miles. I do find that hard to believe, and they may not care as soon as the warranty is up, but they've given me no reason in the past to disbelieve them.

...
My audio system thread, how to replace speakers: http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=137456

2008 Astra 3 door XR, 5-speed MT Black Sapphire, custom audio system

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Old 09-18-2009, 07:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Gear Oil for Manual Trans

I'm willing to go with 2L as a slight overfill. This stuff is expensive.

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Old 09-18-2009, 11:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Gear Oil for Manual Trans

Here's a tech procedure for the Mk IV.

http://www.astraownersclub.com/docum...cal/boxoil.pdf

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Old 01-08-2010, 08:30 AM   #9
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Checkered Flag Re: Gear Oil for Manual Trans

I just switched the fluid in my 5 speed to Redline D4 ATF and it is fantastic. I live in Michigan and it's been below freezing for a while now which hasn't made my synchros very happy. I was having trouble shifting shifting from first to second and getting it into first every so often. The Redline fixed it all and it shifts great now.

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Old 01-21-2010, 01:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Gear Oil for Manual Trans

If I had it to do over, I'd have went for a thinner fluid, like an ATF.

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Old 05-21-2012, 12:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Gear Oil for Manual Trans

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironwill8282 View Post

I just switched the fluid in my 5 speed to Redline D4 ATF and it is fantastic. I live in Michigan and it's been below freezing for a while now which hasn't made my synchros very happy. I was having trouble shifting shifting from first to second and getting it into first every so often. The Redline fixed it all and it shifts great now.
Sorry to resurrect an old thread.

On the topic of Redline fluids, we recently acquired a 2008 Astra 'XR' 3dr 5 spd. and I was wondering if Redline's manual gear fluid is a good option as well.

Anyone gone with Redline's MT-85 75W85 GL-4 Gear Oil ?

...
- 2008 Silver Astra 3dr ' XR ' 5 spd

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: Gear Oil for Manual Trans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Anyone gone with Redline's MT-85 75W85 GL-4 Gear Oil ?
As was discussed in this thread, the F17 manual transmission found in the Astra is filled from the factory with Castrol BOT 402. If nobody posts here about a switch to Redline, I suggest you compare the specs of the two transmission fluids and decide for yourself. Good luck.

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Old 06-16-2012, 05:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: Gear Oil for Manual Trans

I was in a performance shop today and was looking at the different trans fluids they had.
They had both the Redline D4 ATF and the MT-85 GL-4 gear oil.

I want to change my trans oil, but not sure which to use either. I wonder if the dealer will be any help to ask?

...
08 Astra XR/SRi 3Door, Star Silver, 18" Penta Alloys, Irmscher Boot Spoiler
16" SRi Alloys, Kumho I'Zen Winter Tyres, Yakima roof rack, Rockymounts Pitchfork,
Eonon D5107, Blue LED conversion

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Old 06-22-2012, 09:43 PM   #14
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Default Re: Gear Oil for Manual Trans

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBeck2000 View Post
As was discussed in this thread, the F17 manual transmission found in the Astra is filled from the factory with Castrol BOT 402. If nobody posts here about a switch to Redline, I suggest you compare the specs of the two transmission fluids and decide for yourself. Good luck.
Hi, kind of been distracted w/my new Tiguan 6M.

The BOT 402 is twice as thick as the "refill" fluid in US when the trans is service. Here it calls for GM Transaxle. Good cold performance and mpg are target goals. If someone added tons of power, they should take the driveline visc up too.

For instance, my VW 4cyl now has 300ft-lbs torque and came with a new thin fluid, thinner than ATF at 6cSt. I upped it to 12cSt by mixing some Redline MTL I already had. In the process, I saw RL has a new MTL 85 product, at 12cSt, just a hair thinner than BOT 402.

What would I use now? I'd head strait for Pennzoil or GM Syncromesh. Google it. iirc, 9cSt. About $7 a quart, available everywhere.

GL-4, the only spec needed. Choose visc by power level and climate needs.

I'll stick around if anyone wants to chat.

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Old 06-23-2012, 11:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: Gear Oil for Manual Trans

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBeck2000 View Post
As was discussed in this thread, the F17 manual transmission found in the Astra is filled from the factory with Castrol BOT 402. If nobody posts here about a switch to Redline, I suggest you compare the specs of the two transmission fluids and decide for yourself. Good luck.
Thanks...didn't know about the Castrol factory fill.

To be honest, I wouldn't know how to properly assess the specs between various fluid options.

Our XR is due to go into my shop shortly for a coolant flush, Motorvac, etc. anyway, when it's in, I'll pass along this info to them and get their opinion.

I do know my shop used some synthetic auto tranny fluid for our vans from Total Lubricants ( formerly Elf out of Europe )...not sure if Total also has a suitable gear oil as well...and if so, how it stacks up to Castrol & Redline.

Thanks again !!

...
- 2008 Silver Astra 3dr ' XR ' 5 spd

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