Ze flying Russian
Some interesting stuff I found on NASIOC while educating myself on different tranny fluids. I thought I'll share this with you:
I wouldn't bother with such a long-winded note ordinarily, but this is
I've been very happy with my Imprezas. Great cars. But the 5MT has
been a high point of the car. Frankly, it was my least favorite aspect
I had the usual issues. Heavy shifts. Balking. Occasional grinds.
first-gear lockout. These were all manageable, but took the polish off
I've tried MANY different Gear Oils. Most were lousy. Off the shelf
super-slick synthetics were terrible. The best thing I came across was
Redline Shockproof. Still not perfect, but better.
I more or less stopped thinking about it as of late.
But then, after studying the gearbox service manuals, I realized that
perhaps there was hope...
Rewind several years; GM produces a decent, but very temperamental MT
their newer cars and trucks. It was so temperamental that a potential
huge-dollar re-do was on the horizon. GM, not being complete idiots,
decided that it was possible to make the tranny work, but it would
some major chemical engineering to do so. They hired Pennzoil Corp to
their trannies. They did.
The end result was GM Synchromesh MT fluid. Chemically, this stuff
everything our Subaru trannies should need also. So I got to thinking.
And after a bit of Web browsing, I found many opinions. Now, because
Synchromesh fluid is application specific, it doesn't carry any GL-?
ratings. This worried some people, regardless of the fact that
it's more than adequate.
But of the many people that have used it in their Subaru and Honda
not ONE was disappointed. Seriously, not even ONE bad experience.
So, after a bit more homework, I found that the fluid is sold at GM
dealerships for about $9.00/Quart. It's made by Pennzoil. Pennzoil
it too, for about $4.50/Quart. But it's hard to find... anywhere but
AutoZone. Go figure.
So off I went to AutoZone to pick up the prerequisite four quarts.
out the old. Poured in the new. Crossed my fingers... and hopped in
Well, I'm amazed. Actually, stunned is more like it. First off, it's
the Subie 5MT, and not my '95 Prelude VTEC. So it's not perfect. But
improvement is astounding. Truly. I would NEVER have believed it if I
hadn't tried it myself.
NO grinds. NO balking. NO first-gear lockout. And MUCH lighter shift
action. Again, I'm astounded.
I have no faith in 'miracle oils' and other such off the shelf crap.
been using quality synthetics in my engines and brakes for years. Just
$4.50/Quart stuff. I'm 100% convinced that in general there is NO
to ultra-premium oils and such. Pure psychology. No science. I'll
reap ANY gains by using $12.00/Quart Mega-Hyper-Lube versus the
Valvolene I've been using. So you know I'm a non-believer.
But again, this stuff is truly miraculous. Pennzoil nailed it. Plain
simple. And it's cheap to boot. Virtually every bit of frustration
had with my trannies is gone.
So, that's my story. My Subies now shift wonderfully. NO complaints.
Every time I hop in the cars now I can't help but smile. It's that
I hope this helps. Let me know your thoughts...
PS. Pennzoil Synchromesh = GM Synchromesh #12345349 or use GM
The information presented here is gathered from the documents listed in the References section below.
Pennzoil-Quaker State Synchromesh is a unique transmission and transaxle fluid that is not API "GL" rated. It has an approximate gear oil grade of about SAE 80W and can be used when temperatures range from -40ºF (-40ºC) to 300ºF (150ºC). According to Pennzoil's product description it is "formulated with high quality paraffinic base stocks, a fluidity modifier, multifunctional performance additives, corrosion inhibitors, a foam suppressor and a shear stable viscosity index improver additive. It provides excellent oxidation stability, low temperature performance, excellent synchronizer performance and compatibility with yellow metals, such as bronze, brass and copper components found in manual transaxles and transmissions." This description makes Synchromesh suitable for use in some transaxles or transmissions where GL-4 gear oils are specified.
A post on the message board at www.oilanalysis.com found Synchromesh to consist of a 5W30 non-detergent oil with a friction modifer and an EP (extreme pressure) additive. It is made under contract for General Motors by Pennzoil (APC 3378) or by Texaco (Code 1874 MTX Fluid).
According to Don Johnson, Synchromesh fluid was developed for use in the New Venture manual transmission used by Chrysler and General Motors. Specifically, Synchromesh is formulated for transmissions that require GM Part No. 12345349 (Specification No. 9985648), GM Part No. 12345577, or Chrysler Part No. 4874464 (Specification MS-9224). Owners of Diamond Star Motors (DSM) Eclipse, Talon, and Laser cars with MMC (Mitsubishi Motor Corporation) transaxles have reported positive experiences using Synchromesh. The same can be said for owners of the Mitsubishi 3000GT and Dodge Stealth cars with the Getrag-manufactured AWD transaxles. The main benefit to DSM and 3/S owners seems to be excellent synchronizer performance, with reduced grinding and easier shifting compared to using some other gear oils.
Pennzoil Synchromesh Fluid can be purchased as that brand or as the equivalent products: Quaker State Synchromesh (Quaker State is part of Pennzoil), Texaco Synchromesh, GM Synchromesh, or AC Delco Synchromesh (part number 89021808). GM Synchromesh retails for about $10 per quart bottle at GM dealerships. Pennzoil Synchromesh is sold at many Auto Zone auto parts stores for about $5 per quart and should be available from Pennzoil distributors. Texaco Express Lube stores use Synchromesh but the stores I contacted would not sell the product by itself to customers. Pennzoil Synchromesh can be purchased in 5-gallon containers from oil-store.com.
Lubrication Basics by Don Johnson
Noria Message Board - Synchromesh what is it?
Pennzoil Synchromesh Fluid Product Description
Pennzoil Technical Information P-21-C; Automotive Gear Oils
Texaco Synchromesh Transmission Fluid
Viscosity and Engine and Gear Oil Grades