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      08-19-2013, 11:24 AM   #1
italyix
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Redline MTL in fresh 6MT

Hi all, as many have read in my other posts, the dealer replaced my transmission at ~62k miles (I can check on the exact mileage later) as it was diagnosed with bad syncros.

Having read and experienced how "annoying" it is to shift from 1->2 and 2->3, I thought a fresh MT was going to fix the problem...WRONG! While shifting was improved, the 1st gear hard engagement was still there, having to basically find my way into 1st gear gate and then babying the shift to second, and notchiness in third. I was annoyed at this point and thought I needed to break in the tranny. OK, so I did and while things loosened up a bit, it was still a PITA to shift. I was seriously starting to question my choice in MT vs DCT

After reading that other members have also had their tranny replaced at around the same mileage as mine, it got me thinking that perhaps the OEM oil and BMW's "extended" maintenance was just not up tp par to what this tranny needs. This was also "confirmed" in my mind by an article i read, written by Mike Miller on Redline oils, where he states back in the day, BMW trannys had a life span of 60k (which coincidentally is when mine was replaced) while using OEM oils. After switching to Redline MTL, these problems started to go away and as Mike Miller now calls Redline MTL "mother's milk for manual gearboxes", i made the switch and replaced the OEM oil (with 800 miles) to Redline MTL. I was able to flush all the oil and put exactly 2.5 qts back in the transmission.

IMPRESSIONS:

This morning was the first time I was able to test out the new oil and let me tell you...Mike was right

Fisrt gear engagement is now crisp and direct. I dont have to find my way into the gate and it just goes in (TWSS).

1st to 2nd is GREATLY improved, no more hesitation! Third gear notchiness is gone and while before I had a hard time going into third (slight hesitation from the transmission to accept third), now it feels like the tranny is pulling third in, instead of me forcing in the gear, hard to explain but if you ever experienced this, you know what i'm talking about.

Cold shifting is also vastly improved and as soon as the oil is warmed up, shifting becomes a pleasure rather than a chore.

Now some of you might object to this, as most are still within the warranty period. While I am one of those people (1 year left on CPO), I did not want to ruin yet another transmission, and retain OEM oil just to make it to CPO end.

In closing, the diff is next on the list and while I have the oil, I hurt my back changing the tranny oil (twisted on the wrong side ). As soon as my back feels better, I will switch the diff oil to Redline. And guess what! Redline engine oil as soon as CPO is over. (insert jokes here).

I hope this quick review serves as a catalyst for some other people hesitating in making this switch. DO IT, you will not regret it.

Thank you for reading.
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      08-19-2013, 11:31 AM   #2
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Great to know. I guess I'm one of the few that has had no problem with the trans being notchy or anything like that. However, I did just change my OEM fluid just a couple of thousand miles ago and it felt just as good afterwards.

But I've used Redline in my other BMW's before and was happy with their product. Glad you were able to fix your problem though!
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      08-19-2013, 11:43 AM   #3
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For the E90/92 M3, Redline actually recommend D4 ATF, not MTL. MTL is thicker than what is needed so before it warms up, it is stiffer. D4 ATF is thinner and is the recommended fluid for 6MT.
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      08-19-2013, 12:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
For the E90/92 M3, Redline actually recommend D4 ATF, not MTL. MTL is thicker than what is needed so before it warms up, it is stiffer. D4 ATF is thinner and is the recommended fluid for 6MT.
True, however MTL and D4 ATF do not seem to be that different.




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      08-19-2013, 12:13 PM   #5
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You are rolling the dice on anything but oem fluid for the diff. I ran the castrol syntrax and mobil 1 with ls additive and both made the diff chatter pretty bad within 500 miles. Went back to the oem fluid and it quit making noise in 50 miles.
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      08-19-2013, 12:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italyix View Post
True, however MTL and D4 ATF do not seem to be that different.
It isn't but MTL is thicker so before warming up, it is harder to shift. Redline recommends D4 ATF so I stick to that.

Read this article:
http://www.redlineoil.com/news_article.aspx?id=13

It says Mike Miller recommends MTL for older BMWs but newer cars should use D4 ATF.

Quote:
While respected BMW tech expert Mike Miller (and Bavarian, as well) confidently recommends MTL for every BMW manual gearbox without complaints, Red Line follows a baseline closer to the factory recommendations.
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      08-19-2013, 12:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawasaki00 View Post
You are rolling the dice on anything but oem fluid for the diff. I ran the castrol syntrax and mobil 1 with ls additive and both made the diff chatter pretty bad within 500 miles. Went back to the oem fluid and it quit making noise in 50 miles.
Interesting, I will stick to OEM then, as I have no complaints so far from the diff. The dealer replaced the fluid a year ago with the friction modifier additive, as my diff was chattering like mad when turning. Worse comes to worse, a rebuild is not expensive but I will take your advice and stick to OEM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
It isn't but MTL is thicker so before warming up, it is harder to shift. Redline recommends D4 ATF so I stick to that.

Read this article:
http://www.redlineoil.com/news_article.aspx?id=13

It says Mike Miller recommends MTL for older BMWs but newer cars should use D4 ATF.
Thanks! Lets see how MTL behaves for the next 15k miles, at which point I will re-evaluate and perhaps switch to D4.
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      08-19-2013, 12:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K
For the E90/92 M3, Redline actually recommend D4 ATF, not MTL. MTL is thicker than what is needed so before it warms up, it is stiffer. D4 ATF is thinner and is the recommended fluid for 6MT.
Exactly. Always check with the manufacturer on their products before just installing whatever. I have the D4 ATF in mine and love it. Shifts very smooth at all temps and has since I installed the fluid.
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      08-19-2013, 12:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by italyix View Post
Interesting, I will stick to OEM then, as I have no complaints so far from the diff. The dealer replaced the fluid a year ago with the friction modifier additive, as my diff was chattering like mad when turning. Worse comes to worse, a rebuild is not expensive but I will take your advice and stick to OEM.



Thanks! Lets see how MTL behaves for the next 15k miles, at which point I will re-evaluate and perhaps switch to D4.
It sucks paying 130 bucks for 3 bottles of diff fluid but on the bright side it does not have to be changed very often. I went out on a limb and tried some other fluid and it just didnt work for me anyway, I know of some people on here that dont run it and have no issues. Like I said it is a crap shoot.
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      08-19-2013, 12:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kawasaki00 View Post
It sucks paying 130 bucks for 3 bottles of diff fluid but on the bright side it does not have to be changed very often. I went out on a limb and tried some other fluid and it just didnt work for me anyway, I know of some people on here that dont run it and have no issues. Like I said it is a crap shoot.
Differential fluid, I always stick with OEM as the design and the locking mechanism for the LSD is different for every manufacturer and car.

Manual transmission fluid however - there are only a few types that are used so it is fairly safe to find the aftermarket equivalent. Also, most OEM manual transmission fluid is not synthetic so if you want a better fluid, Redline has been my choice.
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      08-19-2013, 01:27 PM   #11
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I used Redline MTL in the manual transmission of my '02 325i sedan. Did the swap at ~50K miles and then again at ~100K.

My brother still has the car and this last year, at ~160K miles, 3rd gear dropped out. Second was there, fourth was there--third was just nonexistent. No grinding just no gear He ended up having to have a donor tranny put in at a cost of about $2300.

Might be anecdotal. Might be just one of those things. However, ask me if I'm gonna be emptying out the OEM fluid on my E90 M3 for possible minor improvements under certain conditions…I don't think so. Definitely not worth the risk. Not for me!
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