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Old 01-15-2018, 04:53 PM   #1
MobileSaturn
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Default Amsoil Weirdness

Replaced the fluid in my '99 SL SOHC 5spd with Amsoil Torque-Drive ATD1G-EA about two weeks ago / 600 miles ago. Not sure when the fluid was changed before that, but it was full when I drained it and came out red, clean, and smelling proper. Filled the transmission with ATD1G-EA at exactly 2.5qts and drove off.

Before changing the fluid, shifts were buttery smooth, minus the typical 1st gear resistance occasionally when at a stop; I've always shifted into 2nd and then into 1st whenever it gives me lip. Since changing the fluid, I find each gear to feel a bit more notchy, though there's no grinding of gears or true resistance. That is, unless it's cold.

The last couple cold days where I live have fallen around the 20s, which isn't really that cold. Nevertheless, when I start the car cold and try to shift it into either 1st or 2nd, it fights with all its might *it flat out does not want to go into gear. Just to see, 3rd gear acts mostly the same, but 4th and 5th take the shifts fine. If I wait a couple of minutes, I can manage to finagle it into either of the first two gears and get rolling, after which things feel about as notchy as before. Once the engine and transmission warm up, the first two gears begin to behave again.

Rule out the clutch as an issue for now; clutch engages fine and fluid was replaced two years ago, still topped off. Transmission fluid shows right smack in the middle of the grid area on the dipstick, which I've heard is where you want it rather than at the full mark. Any thoughts on what's up here?

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Old 01-15-2018, 06:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Amsoil Weirdness

Quote:
Transmission fluid shows right smack in the middle of the grid area on the dipstick, which I've heard is where you want it rather than at the full mark.
Why is that? Does it lower MPG or something?

...
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Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018

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Old 01-15-2018, 06:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Amsoil Weirdness

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Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
Why is that? Does it lower MPG or something?
Some threads I read suggest filling to the full mark can inhibit shifting at times, which is the issue I'm having now, hence my own confusion.

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Old 01-15-2018, 07:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Amsoil Weirdness

Filling to the full mark cold covers the input shaft and can end up with the seal leaking fluid onto the clutch. Overfilled is over 1/2 way on the crosshatch cold.

Your 1st-2nd sounds like a shifting cable or shift selector at the transmission issue. If it shifts with the engine off then it could be clutch related. Never heard of Torque Drive causing issues, usually ends up correcting them.

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Old 01-15-2018, 07:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Amsoil Weirdness

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Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Filling to the full mark cold covers the input shaft and can end up with the seal leaking fluid onto the clutch. Overfilled is over 1/2 way on the crosshatch cold.

Your 1st-2nd sounds like a shifting cable or shift selector at the transmission issue. If it shifts with the engine off then it could be clutch related. Never heard of Torque Drive causing issues, usually ends up correcting them.
Admittedly, I'm still running on the original shift cable, though it's never given me an issue before, and it seems strange the problem would crop up right after the fluid change. In any case, I can give it a look and report back.

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Old 01-15-2018, 08:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Amsoil Weirdness

If you cleaned the top of the transmission before adding the fluid you may have also caused the problem as about 1/2 of that selector mechanism is sensitive to stray dirt and gravel. The 1-2 shift is difficult if the lever is pushed to far to that side, dirt will change the pin to collar clearance. It is the horizontal lever that has a pin riding in the movable collar that selects the gear groups (1-2, 3-4, 5-R).

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Old 01-15-2018, 08:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Amsoil Weirdness

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Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
If you cleaned the top of the transmission before adding the fluid you may have also caused the problem as about 1/2 of that selector mechanism is sensitive to stray dirt and gravel. The 1-2 shift is difficult if the lever is pushed to far to that side, dirt will change the pin to collar clearance. It is the horizontal lever that has a pin riding in the movable collar that selects the gear groups (1-2, 3-4, 5-R).
Now that I could see being the issue. I made sure to clean the area around the dipstick thoroughly before removing it prior to draining, and once again after removing and replacing it post-fill. I'll check what I can in a couple days when I get some free time.

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Old 01-15-2018, 10:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Amsoil Weirdness

That shift selector comes off the trans with 4 bolts and can be bench rebuilt with minimal cost and effort. The results are usually rather impressive as well.

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