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postjosh
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:36 am    Post subject: gear oil? Reply with quote

here's the story. my ev sits for weeks at a time in an unheated garage during the winter and spends a lot of time at below freezing temperatures. amazingly, i have had no problems starting it after it sits.the issue is the manual transmission. the shifter feels like it's in molasses. the gears have a tendency to rub if my foot isn't 100% on the floor when i shift. it's especially bad in first gear. i basically don't use 1st gear for 10 or 15 mins after i get started. after about 20 mins when the temperature gauge has started to move up, everything goes back to normal. double clutching seems to help a little. if i drive the van on on a regular basis, the problem is still there in the morning but clears up in less than five minutes. there is little or no problem in warm weather.

i had the gear oil changed last year about 2k miles ago. my mechanic says that the problem is just because the car sits for so long in the cold and i should just live with it. i'm thinking that there may have been sludge that the gear oil change didn't flush out and maybe the gear oil he used was too high of a viscosity. i'm thinking of doing another gear oil change myself in the spring, this time using redline 75w90. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CPCBF0/

am i on the right track? thanks!
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volkybus
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: gear oil? Reply with quote

yup in cold climetes a standard transmission should use 90 weight or less, but in summer I use 80/140 more or less so the heaver transmission oil makes it hard to shift..in artic conditions vw even recomends using autotransmission oil in below <i think>-5f...Bill 15 vw vans from 55-93 good luck
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Joshwa
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: gear oil? Reply with quote

The gear oil is very easy to change. I've not had that kind of issue with the gears feeling sluggish to shift when cold with any of the 3 manual vans I've owned. VW shows to run 2.5 liters of oil. I'm running about 2.9. Frans from dutch auto parts, who sent me a transmission, suggested using 3.2. I split the difference.

Do you know what they put in there with the gear oil change? 75w90 is the correct oil. You could just remove the side cover on the transmission to see if the oil seems like sludge. You won't lose much. Maybe half a cup.
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Last edited by Joshwa on Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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jjvincent
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:23 am    Post subject: Re: gear oil? Reply with quote

If it was mine, this is what i'd do. Drain the trans and fill it with ATF. Drive it for a month, then change it again with ATF. This will clean out all of that old garbage that gunks up the sliders and syncros. If the transmission is shifting fine, just change it again with AFT and forget the thick stuff.

Remember, since the mid 90's manual gearboxes went with AFT or an equivalent that was thinner. This is because manual gearboxes with that thick oil was killing gas mileage and automatics were beating manuals in that department. So manufacturers went with thin oil and ATF was the choice for about 10 years until they came up with something that's like water.

I've had a boatload of old manual gearboxes apart and what i said gets gunked up is what I have seen. So the only other option is to disassemble the gearbox, clean everything and reassemble. I assume you do not want to do that.
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Broseph Stalin
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:21 am    Post subject: Re: gear oil? Reply with quote

postjosh wrote:
here's the story. my ev sits for weeks at a time in an unheated garage during the winter and spends a lot of time at below freezing temperatures. amazingly, i have had no problems starting it after it sits.the issue is the manual transmission. the shifter feels like it's in molasses. the gears have a tendency to rub if my foot isn't 100% on the floor when i shift. it's especially bad in first gear. i basically don't use 1st gear for 10 or 15 mins after i get started. after about 20 mins when the temperature gauge has started to move up, everything goes back to normal. double clutching seems to help a little. if i drive the van on on a regular basis, the problem is still there in the morning but clears up in less than five minutes. there is little or no problem in warm weather.

i had the gear oil changed last year about 2k miles ago. my mechanic says that the problem is just because the car sits for so long in the cold and i should just live with it. i'm thinking that there may have been sludge that the gear oil change didn't flush out and maybe the gear oil he used was too high of a viscosity. i'm thinking of doing another gear oil change myself in the spring, this time using redline 75w90. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CPCBF0/

am i on the right track? thanks!

A synthetic like Redline I've found to be helpful in cold weather rather than dino lube. Smoother easier shifts in manual trans vehicles at startup in cold weather. I've used Amsoil synthetic gear lube in manual trans vehicles for a long time, BIG difference when starting cold.

I've never heard of ATF in a manual trans.
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jjvincent
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: gear oil? Reply with quote

Quote:
I've never heard of ATF in a manual trans.
You learn something new every day. It's been in use since the 70's. If you buy a brand new VW today, be prepared, the trans fluid in a manual gearbox will be the consistency like water. Just like it has been for BMW's since the mid 90's. As I said, just pull a gearbox apart and you'll see why they get hard to shift after many years.
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Mr Brown
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:16 pm    Post subject: Re: gear oil? Reply with quote

I use Ravenol TSG 75W90 semi synthetic. I tried many different types, VW G50, the new VW stuff, mineral GL4, GL5, Amsoil, Redline etc and the TSG works best for our climate here, super hot summers and cold winters. First two shifts are stiff on the coldest days but after that nice and smooth. It also meets the G50 spec which was the factory fill.
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Broseph Stalin
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: gear oil? Reply with quote

jjvincent wrote:
Quote:
I've never heard of ATF in a manual trans.
You learn something new every day. It's been in use since the 70's. If you buy a brand new VW today, be prepared, the trans fluid in a manual gearbox will be the consistency like water. Just like it has been for BMW's since the mid 90's. As I said, just pull a gearbox apart and you'll see why they get hard to shift after many years.

Now you got me thinking about it, I owned a '65 Mercedes 220S four speed manual trans that used ATF. Is it just a German thing? I wonder what would happen if I put ATF into say a 1997 Tacoma manual gearbox.
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Salem7
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:43 pm    Post subject: Re: gear oil? Reply with quote

My 2000 Ford F-250 7.3 diesel calls for ATF in the 6 speed manual. I also has a transmission oil cooler.

I do not drive my 1995 EVC in the winter. No shifting issues except it is sluggish get out of reverse after the first start up.
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jjvincent
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 7:51 am    Post subject: Re: gear oil? Reply with quote

ATF has been used for years. The old school consensus was to use thick stuff but not now. In racing when we run a syncro box, it's thin just because thick slows down the shifts and you lose some power when you check it on the chassis dyno. In addition to that, the thick oil can be too slick and thus the syncro doesn't work as designed and makes it harder to shift because the syncro doesn't have enough braking action. One that I've been using on a number of various gearboxes is Royal Purple Syncromax. This is because the BMW gearlube costs about 5X as much and gives no better performance or longevity.
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postjosh
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: gear oil? Reply with quote

wow, thanks for all the replies. i'm still interested in upgrading the gear oil but it seems that it wasn't my main issue.

i left the van with my mechanic for a few days while he waited for delivery of my sway bar bushings. it occurred to him that it might be a clutch issue so he took a closer look. it seems that my clutch return spring was broken. the clutch pedal came part way back just from fluid pressure but i wasn't getting the full range. that's why i had to double clutch to get it into gear. he fabricated a new one and the van shifts much better. yes, it's still stiffer when it's cold but it goes into gear just fine.
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