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Manual transmission oil change?
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rrankin
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:22 pm    Post subject: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

How often do you? should you? change the transmission oil? Any other maintenance on the transmission?

By Distance or by time?


Thanks,
Rob
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mondshine
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:15 pm    Post subject: Re: manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

"By the book" the transmission oil is changed after the first 600 miles, and never again (wow!).

Most VW people I know change their transmission oil every 30,000 miles.

One suggestion is to remove the fill plug first (to be sure that you can; they are sometimes frozen in place) before removing the drain plug.

I fill it using the "trans-enema" technique; works great!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


As for oil, there are many conflicting opinions about which oil to use.
If you enjoy reading through a good pissing contest, check this link:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=276529

I purchased a replacement trans-axle from Rancho at the end of last season, and Dave (at Rancho) said to use LAT 80W90 which exceeds API-GL5.
I figure he knows a lot more about these trans-axles than I do, so I followed his advice.
He also said that it was unnecessary to change it after "break-in".

I have not driven 600 miles since the trans was installed, so I will think about that until next Spring (when the car comes out of storage).

Hope that helps, Mondshine


Last edited by mondshine on Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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citroen
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:27 pm    Post subject: Re: manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

I agree I use 80 w 90 plus Lucas oil treatment I also use Lucas oil treatment in my engine and I drive mine all year.
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:27 pm    Post subject: Re: manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

mondshine wrote:
"By the book" the transmission oil is changed after the first 600 miles, and never again

False. The Bentley manual and VW say 30k miles.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

In highway service changing the tranny oil every 100K miles would be pretty acceptable in my book, but as you deviate to more off road type use the interval should go down especially in dusty desert conditions. If you are doing deep stream crossing that are sucking oil in through the seals or the vents the interval may dropped to an oil change after every few months or even less.
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mondshine
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:58 pm    Post subject: Re: manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

Bruce wrote:

False. The Bentley manual and VW say 30k miles.


Bruce I do not disagree with the 30,000 mile interval, but I see no mention of that in my Owners Manual, or the Robert Bentley Type 1 Service Manual, or the 181 Workshop Manual.

My Bentley Manual says:
It is unnecessary to change the hypoid oil unless it has
become contaminated, a temperature change has made it
necessary to use an oil of a different viscosity or if the
transmission has been rebuilt. The hypoid oil should always
be changed 600 mi. (1000 km) after rebuilding the
transmission.

Where did you see this 30K figure?
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

For a Thing

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For a late bus

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EverettB Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

The 60-64 Bus "universal" owner's manual says Every 30,000
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carsdlt
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

Why the inconsistency ? Does the gear oil need to be changed in the "early" gearbox but not in the "late"? Why?...what constitutes "early" & "late"?
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:58 am    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

carsdlt wrote:
Why the inconsistency ? Does the gear oil need to be changed in the "early" gearbox but not in the "late"? Why?...what constitutes "early" & "late"?


The quality of lubricants improved markedly over the years, plus VW found out that the more you could keep people's grimy hands away from a gear box (or just about any other part of a car) the more trouble free it would be come.

Given half a chance people will screw up something as simple as an oil change. I have seen gear boxes, crankcases, fuel tanks, etc filled with an amazing variety of incorrect fluids over the years. Antifreeze in gas tanks, gasoline in hydraulic tanks, water in diesel tanks, you name the automotive fluid and I have probably seen it dumped in the wrong orifice by someone somewhere at sometime. Having the right amount of the right fluid doesn't do you much good either when someone leaves the drain plug loose or overtightens it to the points the threads strip.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:31 am    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

This is from my Bentley manual:

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Two weekends ago a friend brought his gearbox over for a couple of internal upgrades. This gearbox was just rebuilt 2 years ago and saw less than 5k miles in front of a 40hp in a Beetle. As the oil drained, there were black streaks in it, and the drain plug was full of black tar. In less than 5000 miles!

Anyone that says you don't ever need to change your gear oil isn't very bright in my book.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:10 am    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

Just shooting out ideas here but:
Maybe they removed the transmission service interval from the Owner's Manual for some reason even though it was still required.

They may have been expecting you to bring it in for service at the larger intervals in the later years.
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mondshine
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:17 am    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

There is no reason to fight about this.

It is possible that more frequent oil changes are necessary on swing axle cars, as the posted lubrication charts indicate; where the rear wheel bearings are lubricated with the same oil as the transmission.
While there may be a few of us that own swing axle/RGB Things, I assume the vast majority of us have IRS trans-axles.

Each of us can choose our own trans-axle oil change intervals, as well as the type or brand of oil we use.

For me, it takes at least 5 years to go 30,000 miles; I'll be close to 70 by the time I need to do this again.
I hope I (am still alive to) enjoy crawling around under my Thing in 2020.
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rrankin
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:47 am    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

mondshine wrote:
There is no reason to fight about this.

...

Each of us can choose our own trans-axle oil change intervals, as well as the type or brand of oil we use.



Well said. This is why I'm asking - there is a ton of 'conflicting information and well before I go opening my transmission or have someone else do it, I want to make sure it should be done.

I'm asking because I'm getting a lot of vibration at the top end of third and some in fourth on the shifter. Yes, it could be the bushings and my knobby tires, but it got me thinking I can't remember the last time I had that done.

Thanks for all of your opinions and references to printed material, it's helping me make an informed decision. Please keep it going and keep letting me know the driving conditions as I believe that has an impact. I think it's a good discussion to have to prolong the lives of our beloved Things.

Thanks,
Rob
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:17 am    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

mondshine wrote:
It is possible that more frequent oil changes are necessary on swing axle cars, as the posted lubrication charts indicate; where the rear wheel bearings are lubricated with the same oil as the transmission.
While there may be a few of us that own swing axle/RGB Things, I assume the vast majority of us have IRS trans-axles.


I thought of this and ran through the bus owner's manual from the mid sixties through the mid seventies and the change was made several years after VW went from swing axles and drop boxes to IRS suspension systems. It could still be the reasoning though and it just took a few years before the owner's manuals caught up with the engineering.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:18 am    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

Wildthings-
When I read your post, it made me curious about the transmission oil for older 181's.

Here's the page from the 1971 181 Owners Manual:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Swing axle, RGB, but still no mention of regular oil changes for the trans-axle (other than the initial change at 600 miles). Go figure Wink
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

mondshine wrote:
Wildthings-
When I read your post, it made me curious about the transmission oil for older 181's

....

Go figure Wink


Well that shoots that theory. Crying or Very sad

The bus changed in 1970 and it looks like the Beetle did as well.
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citroen
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

Ok Let me tell you how it was at the VW dealer I started working there in 1968 as a tech and we would have the owners bring there VW's in every 6 months for a gear oil change we would put the summer oil 90 w in the summer and change to 80 w for the winter there was no 80w90 so it was about the temp change not the miles
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

I will agree on the temp. In Germany on the BMW's we put auto trans oil in in the winter so you could shift the manual trans. There is nothing to dilute the trans oil like in a engine where you have gas going past the rings into the oil. In manual trans all that ruins the gears is sloppy shifting and grinding the gears were metal gets into the oil.
GB
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Manual transmission oil change? Reply with quote

There is less need for regular changes with a gearbox as there isn't the same level of introduced impurities - dust, moisture, dirt, acids, etc - you get with an engine that is constantly swallowing air and fuel

FWIW, I test drive/rinse second-hand gearboxes by draining the old oil (how long has it been in there?!), filling with high-detergent 20/50 diesel engine oil and driving for a few days and a few hundred miles... Then drain again and fill with the proper stuff for another decade
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