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Old 07-19-2007, 03:46 PM   #1
dbswayne
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Information 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

This has been covered before, but a half-hour search yielded incomplete coverage, so I'll try a clearer thread.

The LW200 owners manual says that I never have to change the manual transmission fluid - but last time I checked, never is a long time. The Haynes manual says to change it at 100K with Saturn P/N 21018899 - but the parts guy at the local Saturn dealer didn't even stock the part, and after a looong trip to the shop he came back and told me to simply use Dexron III. His lack of knowledge on this question failed to instill confidence - and I'd hate to go against my owner's manual and change the fluid, then later learn that I've actually installed a lower quality fluid than what's already in there.

Are there any experts out there who can tell me the *best* fluid to use for a once-every-100K change?
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

Where do you check the fluid?

A LW200 with a manual tranny is pretty rare...
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

I had to search, but finally found the fill and drain plugs on the end of the tranny behind the wheel on the left front driver's side. I popped the fill plug and red fluid started dripping out - supporting the guy's claim that I should use Dexron III - but I still want someone with a little more confidence and experience to confirm that.

Damn right they're rare... I live in Seattle, and I imported this one, sight-unseen, from a goat ranch in Nebraska (the top of the antenna was chewed off). Why? I just don't trust automatic transmissions. Why an LW200? I dunno, I just decided I had to have one....
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbswayne View Post
I had to search, but finally found the fill and drain plugs on the end of the tranny behind the wheel on the left front driver's side. I popped the fill plug and red fluid started dripping out - supporting the guy's claim that I should use Dexron III - but I still want someone with a little more confidence and experience to confirm that.

Damn right they're rare... I live in Seattle, and I imported this one, sight-unseen, from a goat ranch in Nebraska (the top of the antenna was chewed off). Why? I just don't trust automatic transmissions. Why an LW200? I dunno, I just decided I had to have one....
I changed my fluid with Dexron III three times, I believe since I bought the car. Last time was at 115,000 miles. I understand what you mean about some techs.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

Im working on a theory............There is no "stick" on my car but there is a red screw top that says trans can I put fluid in that hole? Because I really think that if I put trans fluid in, it MIGHT work (see my thread I cant post it here)
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

Yes, that's the fill hole.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

The manual transmission on the L is a Saab F-35 unit that "needs" Saab MTF0063. There are no substitutions or alternatives for this stuff. Dexron III is an Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) and is unsuitable. You can get the MTF at a Saab dealer but GM should also sell the stuff. It is a full synthetic oil with special additives to improve the action of the synchronizers. The recommended procedure is to drain, fill, drain, fill, drain, fill to fully flush out the old fluid. MTF0063 is extremely expensive. The three fils will come to 4.5 litres, so you buy 5. I didn't. I bought 2 and did it once (1.5 litres). You will notice improved shifting.

Congrats on the manual. This car is a blast and is a totally different animal to the auto (yes, I own one of each).
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:59 PM   #8
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Happy Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

Thank you very much! I'll give it a try.

Cheers
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

The only common substitute I see popping up in the Saab forums is Redline Synthetic MTL.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

When I bought my L100 it had ATF in the manual transmission, and the previous owner (original owner since new) said he put Amsoil Synthetic ATF in it.
I have done 2 transmission fluid changes since I bought the car and the Amsoil seems to work great.

The redline synthetic MTF, what viscosity should be used? 75W90? or is there a generic type to use?

Last edited by Aman1001; 02-08-2012 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

Well since I own a LW200 manual I would like to say welcome to the club! And yes the 5 speed wagon is hilarious and surprises most that it does have a stick in it.

My question is, I did a fluid changed and the info that I found was that it was just ATF. Since I want to keep the car I used Mobil 1 full synthetic fluid. I did notice slick shifting, however, some of the posts above have me wondering if that was not a good choice...
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Old 02-09-2012, 05:04 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

Have you had any issues with the Mobil 1?

The Amsoil has been great. The problem is, its getting harder to find. The place where I have been getting it doesnt sell it anymore.

The NAPA store here in my area sells the Mobil 1 for a good price, but I'm just not sure about it.

I called the dealer, and the parts guy told me he can get the GM fluid for $29.50 a litre and it would take 2-3 weeks to get from the US.
So if I can source out something else that'd be better.
The guy at the dealer did mention something about the fluid being 75W85.

Does anyone know anything or confirm if that is true?
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

It has worked really well so far, but cold mornings I have issues with first gear. I also was very hard on my trans the first year I had it, so it will be hard to say if the oil has been a factor or if being too rough with it has caused any issues.

I know my fourth gear is a bit harder to get into, but it is also the same gear that I blew my shifter apart on the highway, so I probably caused some damage.

However, when I first did the change (original oil was in it) It felt way different, I liked it so far. I have also been considering other types of oil, AMSoil Royal Purple and so on. Still would like to know about the Mobil 1 being harmful or not...
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:29 AM   #14
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Default Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

Hmm interesting. I'll have to keep the fluid in mind anyways.

When you say you blew your shifter apart, do you mean the plastic assembly inside?
If so, I had that happen to me too. I ended up fixing mine by forming a piece of sheet metal around the back of the ball and then drilled 2 holes and bolted the sheet metal to the plastic part on the shift rod. Actually made a difference in shifting believe it or not and its way stronger now then the dumb plastic ring they come with from factory.

I've heard about using Royal Purple too, but still not sure about it. I'm curious to know more myself.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=167367

Literally blew it apart doing a 3-4 shift at what ever speed 3rd gear tops out in... scared the hell out of me.

My dad actually took some heavy felt and a hose clamp and dremealed a section for the hose clamp to go around on the front. For very well until the plastic on the front broke after some rough usage. 300 bucks for a new one

That's a really good idea too about using a piece of metal. I kept my old one to modify. See what I can make outta that lol

On topic, anyone chime in on oil?
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:35 PM   #16
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Default Re: 2001 LW200 manual transmission fluid change?

Does this apply to the V6 variety? Cause I've been putting in DEXRON III/Mercon in my trans. I give a trans oil change once a year. The trans was in terrible shape, but has improved over time.
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