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2007 Forester XT Sport
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204 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Based on alot of imperical data I collected on both this site and other Subie-oriented sites, I decided to change my MT to 100% Redline LWSP for my 60k servicing. Everything went well, for at least the first few thousand miles...then, things began to change,and NOT for the better!

I noticed that I began to get a grind on the 2nd to 3rd shift, especially when shifting quickly. Then, it got to the point where I had to gingerly almost "place" it into 3rd gear. Then, it began grinding on the 3rd to 4th shift, so I decided that measures HAD to be taken to preserve not only my sanity, but my gearbox as well.

So, angry, I went to my local parts store and bought the ONLY gear oil they had available on hand- Lucas GL-5 80w-90 oil. I know its not the right viscosity, and I can tell its affected the performance of my XT because of its thickness(now it feels like I really have to spin it to get it "on boost"). That being said, the grinding is gone and the gear noise I typically hear has abated. When I drained the Redline, I checked the mag cap and found there to be some metal shavings...not alot mind you, nor were there any chunks or flakes (which I expected to find), but the shavings were there, which is rather disconcerting, because it was obviously cleaned when I serviced it not 5k ago.

I should mention that I had absolutely NO issues with any shift "feel" or engagement problems prior to changing over to this product. I purchased the car with 27k on it last year and have almost 60k on it currently-my only mods are a K&N filter in the stock airbox, an afta-MAF Perrin hose and a Cobb ST 1 tune. All of these mods I had installed at around 45k miles.


My questions are these:

1) What sort of damage has been done to the synchros with this product?
2) What type of gear oil should I switch to?

I really enjoyed the smooth shifting and the fact that I felt like I was getting more power from the reduced friction of the Redline product, but, obviously, I'm REALLY leery of putting ANYTHING like that back in my trans.

I was thinking of putting in some "S" type subaru 75W-90 gear oil, or something similar to that. Anyone have any suggestions? Oh, and I'm not really keen on the Uncle Scotty's "brew"- I don't know why one would put synchromesh in a trans that isn't made for it...but I digress. Any thoughts would be welcome! Thanks!

uncle scotty's analysis link: http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?p=24034470#post24034470
 

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Premium Member
2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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Per recommendation of a local Subaru shop, I'm running Swepco 201 80/90, its designed only for differentials and manual transmissions. Shop put it in at 30K, I'm at 54K now and so far so good.

Stan
 

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2005 Sequoia, V70R auto
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2,869 Posts
I've been using 100% smurf blood since 5k miles without any problems. Some here have been having success with 50% smurfblood and 50% Motul.
 

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none none
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Use the valvoline nonsynthetic gl-5. It's a pretty good fluid. The subaru extra-S is decent, but harder to find and more expensive (its not synthetic, but a conventional with synthetic additives)
 

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2004 Forester XT '06 STi 6MT
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707 Posts
i'm using 100% smurf blood as well with zero issues. i noticed a huge improvement in shift quality and feel when i switched to it.

did you do the 60k yourself? if not did you/have you checked the dipstick level...are you sure you have enough fluid in your transmission?
 

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2007 Forester XT Sport
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204 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks...

For the advice!

Yes, Fraktal, I checked and rechecked the level a number of times...I really liked the shift quality of the 100% SB, but, I'm NOT going to keep running it if it continues to give me issues.

I actually found a site that sells Extra-S in individually packaged quarts for 12$ per quart...from what I can tell, that seems to be the best replacement oil without going with some sort of cocktail...
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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BLUE WASABI, (#2 Info Provider)
2008 SG Model D
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9,051 Posts
I have 100% smurf blood in the front and 100% Redline in the rear diff housing. I ran 100% smurf blood on both my '04 and '08 with no problems whatsoever and it was a vast improvement. My '04 had 80k miles on it, it had 300WHP, and I drove it hard. My '08 is closing on 70k now, I have 300WHP, and I don't drive it as hard (getting to be an old fart I guess...:lol:).
 

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2007 Forester XT Sport
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204 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I don't doubt..

That you have had a very good experience with Redline , sirwilliam...my issue is that I did use LWSP, and I now have trans issues. But, I do agree that, when I first serviced my MT with it, I was very impressed with how well it worked. But, the fact of the matter is, my driving style didn't change, nor were there any other aftermarket upgrades added, so the issue (through process of elimination) HAS to be the Redline product.

Crewser- Thanks for the links! I'm reading them now!
 

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2017 VW Golf SportWagen 5MT
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For car advice, I tend to find local people and trust and follow their advice. That way they won't give you some random idea to try out since you can come back to them and **tch.

Read Noah's post in this thread.

Stan
 

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2007 Forester XT Sport
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204 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Well...

Stan, THAT was an interesting response from someone who builds trannys on a regular basis! There was another member here too (BAC 5.2 or something) who built tranny's who DI recommend smurfsblood...however, I cant seem to reach him for his input. All I know is, yeah the car shifts better but you can FEEL that the heavier weight gear oil is just sapping some of the power through the drivetrain loss.

BTW, people...I cut and pasted this from the Flatirons website about LWSP oil:
"Redline Lightweight Shockproof Gear Oil

A unique gear oil designed to lubricate racing transmissions and transaxles which see serious loads (not recommended for most syncro-type transmissions)." So there ya go....use at your own risk, I guess.
 

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2010 Subaru Forester X? Auto, 76k miles
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2,157 Posts
Yeah, BAC5.2 (aka Phil) worked at Andrewtech, largest Subaru transmission specialist on the East Coast. He highly recommended the 50/50 cocktail of Redline Lightweight Shockproof and Motul Gear 300 (75/90). He also HIGHLY discouraged uncle scotty's cocktail as the Syncromesh is definitely not designed for subie transmissions. Phil always claimed he saw cars come in running 100% syncromesh with gear edges run down to razor sharp.

In my old 99 Foz, I did the 120k service and put in the local synthetic brand and started having problems (couldn't get into first above 10mph and it would sometimes slip right into first but grind horribly). I switched to the 50/50 LWSP/Motul and it cured my ills completely.

I've ran it in my 04 and am getting ready to hit 30k miles since changing, hence I'm on here looking at data again!
 

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05 Forester XT
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541 Posts
What about the Lubro Moly that NAPA stores are starting to carry?
Seems to have all the right keywords: Corresponds To API GL5 & MIL-L-2105 D
 

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2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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Collinsdad, you tried contacting me? Must have missed the PM :confused:

Odd that you are having problems. You'd be... I guess the third person I've ever heard have a problem.

The common recommendation is either a 50/50 or a 75/25 mix of Smurfblood:Motul. You CAN run 100% like Will does, and I did in my SF.

I used to hear the "but Redline says..." comment often. There are a few reasons why Redline suggests not using Shockproof in synchronized transmissions. But those reasons have nothing to do with why you would THINK they don't recommend it.

I spoke at LENGTH with Redline Engineers over this.

Reason 1. API certifications are expensive and time consuming. The Shockproof line was developed for race application, so it's easier and cheaper to not get API certification. That doesn't make the fluid illegal to use in a road-car, just that it's not certified.

Reason 2 (this is the good one!). Friction Modifiers. They are often added to transmission fluids to decrease internal friction. Most standard GL-5 fluids contain anywhere from .3% to .5% modifier. Lightweight Shockproof contains 3% (three). The fear is that the fluid will be too slippery for synchros to properly operate. It has the internal resistance of a 30weight motor oil, remember.

Now, for the above to make sense, you kind of have to know how a transmission works. Specifically how a synchronizer works. In our case, we have sintered bronze synchros on one side, and a machine polished alloy steel face on the other. There are some synchros a little different, but we'll keep it simple.

So, when you want to shift gears, these two surfaces get pressed together. BUT, this doesn't work the way you might immediately think. We have fluid between the two plates, and we know that this fluid is incompressible. That's why brakes work.

So zoom in on the interface between the two surfaces. You are squishing the fluid between them! All of the sudden, we have a fluid dynamics problem!!!

Two sliding plates with fluid between rely on a single fluid property to determine motion. That property is viscosity. And we know that Lightweight Shockproof has the viscosity of an 80W90 (or whatever).

So, we have a fluid with an extremely low internal coefficient of friction, but with a relatively high viscosity. And since we know how bearings work, requiring low internal friction and we know how synchros work, it requires no great leap of faith to see that Shockproof is actually a pretty good fluid for 5MT's.

It also has little polymer chains suspended within the fluid that elastically deform to dissipate energy between mating surfaces. And, the fluid was also designed to be used in rear differentials, which we just happen to have in the front of our transmissions.

Reason 3 (the boring reason): Poor low-temperature flow characteristics. The solution, from Redline, is to cut Shockproof with a high quality synthetic oil.

So the fact that you had a problem is interesting, and I'm curious about what might be going on.

Did you fill the trans enough? Shockproof is thick, and does like to sling around the case and adhere to EVERYTHING. That means that a full-fill when sitting still is usually substantially lower after driving around the block. Especially when using 100%, you absolutely MUST drive around the block, then recheck and refill as needed!

Do you have a leak? You just might. They often present themselves at the axle seals or the output shaft.

I do NOT recommend using Synchromesh. It's a fluid recommended by GM for all of their vehicles that specify GL-4 fluid. Without any exceptions, every car I've seen running straight synchromesh has, or will soon have, a blown front differential. Period. You take them apart, and the teeth on the ring gear will slice your finger like a ginsu knife through the skin of a tomato (anyone remember those commercials?)

Just my $0.02
 
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