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I use Red Line MTL and have been using it for years in my 3's. Not only does it have the right specs (SAE 75W-80; GL-4) but it's also one of the few genuine Group 5 (polyol ester) oils available. I find it ideal in all weather conditions, cold or hot, and my gear lever moves like an eel in oil.
 

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For you fans of genuine synthetic oils, I recently came across another suitable brand that also markets a manual transmission oil that meets our requirements. It is a German company, Ravenol, that makes a variety of lubricants derived from Group 4 polyalphaolefin (PAO) base stocks. The product is Ravenol SAE 75W-80, MTF-2, API GL-4 manual transmission oil. For those who are interested, make sure the product is MTF-2 as the company makes other products that are not PAO-based.

Ravenol has a North American distributor: https://www.ravenolamerica.com
Ravenol products are available from both Blauparts and Amazon.

I have not used this product so cannot vouch for its utility for our vehicles so keep this in mind should you choose to experiment.

For those who are not necessarily familiar with API base stock designations, lubricants are categorized in five classes where Groups 1-3 consist of petroleum (crude oil) base stocks, and Group 4 (PAO) and Group 5 (polyol esters) are fully synthetic base stocks. Most so-called synthetic oils are actually derived from hydrocracked Group 3 petroleum base stocks but can legally be referred to as fully synthetic for reasons I won't go into now. When I recently checked the Pennzoil website they stated that that their synthetic products are actually derived from natural gas which of course is a petroleum product.

I'm aware that many of you may not be concerned with any of this and certainly many marketed synthetic oils are definitely superior to pure petroleum-based ones. If, however, the possibility exists that true synthetic lubricants may potentially have an advantage in terms of performance and longevity, this might be a topic worth pursuing.
 

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Just drained my tranny last week & refilled with the Ford Motorcraft fluid. Didn't feel any difference after a few hunderd miles of driving. Filled up with almost exactly 1.8 qts before fluid started dripping out of the filler hole. Notably, I only managed to drain out 1.6 qts from the factory fill.. and it was already a murky brown color.

Might swap it out with Redline or Amsoil after a few thousand miles, just to see if there's any difference with those fluids.

For you fans of genuine synthetic oils, I recently came across another suitable brand that also markets a manual transmission oil that meets our requirements. It is a German company, Ravenol, that makes a variety of lubricants derived from Group 4 polyalphaolefin (PAO) base stocks. The product is Ravenol SAE 75W-80, MTF-2, API GL-4 manual transmission oil. For those who are interested, make sure the product is MTF-2 as the company makes other products that are not PAO-based.

I have not used this product so cannot vouch for its utility for our vehicles so keep this in mind should you choose to experiment.
The Ravenol MTF-2 looks interesting too, I'm definitely looking into that. I've tried Pentosin MTF-2 before (also from Germany) in my Aisin-equipped Subaru transmission, it was some good stuff.. better than OEM, Redline, or Amsoil for that particular car.
 

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Pentosin MTF2 if you can still find some NOS - new old stock - is what I'd try if your transaxle requires 75W-80 GL-4. Last I looked it is more spectacular than the Ravenol... in terms of ('real low) cold temp viscosity while still meeting 75W-80.
 

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Ensure your clutch hydraulics are free from air, the latter giving you less disengagement of the clutch and a more gravelly feel. Do the Mazda clutch disengagement test... per the FSM.
 

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Pentosin MTF2 if you can still find some NOS - new old stock - is what I'd try if your transaxle requires 75W-80 GL-4. Last I looked it is more spectacular than the Ravenol... in terms of ('real low) cold temp viscosity while still meeting 75W-80.
I agree it was the best performing in cold weather of all the tranny fluids I've ever tried. Just found some on Napa's website of all places. Gonna order me 2 bottles just so I can try it out when it gets cold again.
 

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Meanwhile I still haven't changed mine out lol. The last 3 weekends have been horrible weather. 1st weekend after I acquired a piece of plastic tubing for the fill part of this job, there was a storm that caused nearly $1B estimated in damages, tennis ball hail. Next weekend, massive rain again. This past weekend, rain and thunderstorms, just south of me got 8inches of hail. Next weekend........surely it can't be 4 weekends in a row......right? lol 😛
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Good weather wishes being sent your way.

I'm about to swap mine out again. Did it at 20k and I'm about to hit 40k miles.

I just need to decide between OEM and Redline MTL.. I have both ready to go but cannot make up my mind with all of this mixed info... ugh!
CK
 

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Discussion Starter #50
In terms of shifting feel.. the Redline MTL has less friction than OEM. It slides into gear more smoothly and has been very predictable during operation.. no surprises.. like all the gear lock I got from OEM fluid.. the CS trans mount and motor mount may have helped with that though.

The reports of separation and transaxle issues has me concerned about Redline though.

Can someone possibly clear that up for me?
CK
 

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Discussion Starter #51
I use Motul Gear 300 75W-90 (GL-4/GL-5) in my sports car's manual transaxle, which is fitted with a Wavetrac differential. It's Wavetrac's recommend lubricant, to maintain their warranty. I've attached Motul's technical spec sheet. View attachment 277563

Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
Could you explain the benefits of the Wavetrac? Is it a full transaxle replacement with a limited slip diff?

I didn't see Mazda listed on their website. Custom?
CK
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Nevermind.. kept reading.

  • Do NOT use RedLine, Shockproof® or similar gear oils.
Performance Gear Oils we recommend:
RequirementOil
75W90Motul Gear 300 (100118 1l)
75W140Motul Gear Competition (101161 1l)
Motul Gear Oil is available from Wavetrac dealers

Please note that you will void the Wavetrac® Limited Lifetime Warranty if incorrect gear oil is used.

.................
Umm... Faqs section from Wavetrac..

Your new Wavetrac® differential is incredibly durable and will withstand the harshest environments...as long as suitable oil is used. Many customers ask what oil we recommend for use with the Wavetrac® differential. We feel the best answer is:
Use the "factory fill."
In other words, use the gear oil spec that your car manufacturer recommends for your car. The Wavetrac® is compatible with virtually all factory-installed gear oils used today. If you are racing your vehicle, and wish to upgrade the gear oil to improve performance or durability in racing conditions, choose the oil carefully: be aware that some gear oils have additives that are not recommended for use with your Wavetrac®. (Basically a C.Y.A. msg.)
CK
 

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In terms of shifting feel.. the Redline MTL has less friction than OEM. It slides into gear more smoothly and has been very predictable during operation.. no surprises.. like all the gear lock I got from OEM fluid.. the CS trans mount and motor mount may have helped with that though.

The reports of separation and transaxle issues has me concerned about Redline though.

Can someone possibly clear that up for me?
CK
I found when searching on-line that a few sources REALLY didn't like Redline. One or two in particular said that on transaxle disassembly they found a grey paste in the nooks and crannies, a "mud" so to speak, that constituted some/all of the additives that "fell out of suspension" from the bulk of the Redline lubricant. One of these sources said that the remaining fluid was devoid of anti-wear properties and he had seen the much-heightened wear of components that had resulted... notably gear flank faces.

I have the snips somewhere of these sources... but it'd take me a while to find them.

Many people, in street use, find Redline to be fine...

Me, I strongly believe that i) clutch adjustment (confirmed, full-disengagement); ii) shift linkage adjustment are absolutely essential for good transmission behaviour... as a first. Then, second... I am moderately willing to accept that the first few shifts of the day COULD be a bit notchy (with a good, protective lubricant)... so I granny-shift to compensate... to NOT allow it to shift in a notchy way...

It is well to realize that smooth, buttery shifts are NOT the only indicator of a lubricant's good qualities. Gear face and bearing protection also figure-in.
 

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Discussion Starter #54 (Edited)
I think OEM is going back in..

I called my mechanic and he said not to DIY it. He has a friend with a tranny shop that will make sure no air gets in and everything is fully operational.

Phew.. One less thing for me to worry about.
CK
 

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I think OEM is going back in..

I called my mechanic and he said not to DIY it. He has a friend with a tranny shop that will make sure no air gets in and everything is fully operational.

Phew.. One less thing for me to worry about.
CK
Makes sure no air gets in where? If you are changing the oil in a manual transmission, you can't keep the air out......and any mechanic that says otherwise is a mechanic that shouldn't be touching your car.....it's a simple drain and fill....no different than changing the motor oil.
It's the clutch line that needs to be bled, but if the transmission fluid is being changed you don't need to touch that..
 

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Makes sure no air gets in where? If you are changing the oil in a manual transmission, you can't keep the air out......and any mechanic that says otherwise is a mechanic that shouldn't be touching your car.....it's a simple drain and fill....no different than changing the motor oil.
It's the clutch line that needs to be bled, but if the transmission fluid is being changed you don't need to touch that..
Having said that you do not have to bleed the clutch hydraulics - you're totally right. However it'd be wise to bleed the clutch hydraulics. Air that somehow has migrated-in to the clutch hydraulics (which strangely, for whatever unknown and inexplicable reason often DOES) can result in a snatchy-feeling synchro (often-times felt at 2nd gear...and worse at 1st gear). This is due to the resultant inadequate clutch disengagement. It'd be worth doing (and it is a no-tools job on a SkyActiv-MT).

Only thing is: if shift action is improved - you may not be able to figure out whether it was the new transaxle lubricant... or the clutch hydraulics bleeding that was responsible. Could be both...
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Makes sure no air gets in where? If you are changing the oil in a manual transmission, you can't keep the air out......and any mechanic that says otherwise is a mechanic that shouldn't be touching your car.....it's a simple drain and fill....no different than changing the motor oil.
It's the clutch line that needs to be bled, but if the transmission fluid is being changed you don't need to touch that..
I think he was just trying to steer business to his buddy that has a transmission shop. He implied that his buddy would be better equipped to help with a fluid change, but he would do it, if I wanted.

Might be nice to get a pros opinion that has more experience with manual transmissions though.
CK
 

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I think he was just trying to steer business to his buddy that has a transmission shop. He implied that his buddy would be better equipped to help with a fluid change, but he would do it, if I wanted.

Might be nice to get a pros opinion that has more experience with manual transmissions though.
CK
Just remember to take the "pros" opinion with a grain of salt too. Everyone has biases and experiences that influence their opinions, and unless you know & trust what those are, you're just hoping they have your best interest in mind.

After driving few hundred miles on the Ford Motorcraft fluid, I'm not impressed. If anything, it's gotten slightly worst at times shifting into 2nd or 3rd. Somtimes it feels completely smooth, sometimes it doesn't... overall, it's 'meh'. I think the OEM fluid (which was slightly underfilled) was just as good, if not better. I've been doing mostly city driving too, granny-shifting alot just because... well, what's the hurry when there's a bunch of cars in front of you?

I would try Redline too, but it's only been 'OK' as well in my previous manual cars.. nothing special. I know every make & model car is different, but I'm just going back to what's worked for me personally.

Just picked up some Pentosin MTF-2 from Nappa.. so as soon as I have time, the Ford fluid is coming out ASAP.
 

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*The Electrician*
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I will be interested in hearing what your experiences are with the Pentosin...
Me too, after I get this redline in, if Im not happy, it's getting OEM again. After that, Id be willing to look at other options like the Pentosin.
 
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