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 Old 10-06-2014, 05:16 AM   #1
 
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Default Used Transmission Fluid Question

About a month ago I started getting the annoying 2nd gear grind when the engine was cold. After doing some searching on here, it seems that it is par for the course with these transmissions. I thought a change of fluid may help a little since the car has ~38k on it.
I know the unicorn piss is the go-to pick but I wanted to stick with something to the factory specs for now, 75w-80. Only place I found in town that had any was NAPA and it was Pentosin brand (same stuff Beamers take). I put it in and it really didn't make much of a difference in the shifting that I could tell, maybe a little smoother. I realized this past weekend, after hearing my LSD a lot, that I didn't put any friction modifier in with it so I grabbed some.
I drained the appropriate amount from the tranny and replaced it with the same amount of the mod. I was a little taken aback by the state of the fluid that came out.
It seemed really dark for only being in there a month (~1200 miles).
Is that normal for MTF to be that color?
Should I drain it and fill it with the FoMoCo stuff?
I searched and couldn't find much about the state of used MTF.
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 Old 10-06-2014, 07:55 AM   #2
 
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That looks kind of watery also, has the consistency changed also or just the color?
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 Old 10-06-2014, 08:12 AM   #3
 
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Default Used Transmission Fluid Question

Originally Posted by SparkySparks View Post
That looks kind of watery also, has the consistency changed also or just the color?


The consistency has stayed the same as far as I can tell, just the color. I didn't expect the color change to be that drastic.

I let it sit over night to see if it separates at all. I'll check it when I get home from work this evening to see if I can make out any water.
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 Old 10-06-2014, 10:11 AM   #4
 
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I want to say my factory fill was around the same color (maybe a little darker). I changed mine when I had about 20k on the car. How many miles did you have on the car when you changed it?

From the couple of times I've helped swap a clutch and from when I swapped my factory fill, there is a good amount of fluid that stays on the inside unless you let it drain for a long time. Even then you will still get more out once you remove the trans and let it sit tilted towards the drain.

The manual calls for 2.6 - 2.7 US qt of fluid and I've seen people say they can only get a little less then that back in. Mine took a full 3qt but I let it sit for over an hour draining to get as much of the old stuff out as I could. Most likely you still had close to .5qt which mixed with the new and darkened it up.
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 Old 10-06-2014, 10:29 AM   #5
 
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Whatever the case, that fluid looks too dirty to put back into the car.

I've been through RedLine, Royal Purple, Synchromesh, etc etc etc. My favorite is Neo.
Neo Synthetic Oils and fluids on Sale at Upgrade Motoring
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 Old 10-06-2014, 10:46 AM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by SparkySparks View Post
I want to say my factory fill was around the same color (maybe a little darker). I changed mine when I had about 20k on the car. How many miles did you have on the car when you changed it?

From the couple of times I've helped swap a clutch and from when I swapped my factory fill, there is a good amount of fluid that stays on the inside unless you let it drain for a long time. Even then you will still get more out once you remove the trans and let it sit tilted towards the drain.

The manual calls for 2.6 - 2.7 US qt of fluid and I've seen people say they can only get a little less then that back in. Mine took a full 3qt but I let it sit for over an hour draining to get as much of the old stuff out as I could. Most likely you still had close to .5qt which mixed with the new and darkened it up.
Good to know. My buddy has a lift so the car was completely level when it was changed. We only had enough time to let it drain for about 15 minutes before refilling it. The old fluid was a little darker than that (~35k on it). It would only take about 2.2L when we filled it up so if yours took close to 3qt, then there must have been a substantial amount left in there as you said.
Still temped to get a UOA on it and see what Blackstone finds.
Thank you very much for your advice; I didn't want to see my transmission borked after having the car for two months....

Originally Posted by Natey View Post
Whatever the case, that fluid looks too dirty to put back into the car.

I've been through RedLine, Royal Purple, Synchromesh, etc etc etc. My favorite is Neo.
Neo Synthetic Oils and fluids on Sale at Upgrade Motoring
Thanks for the advice, I'll have to see if I can track some down next time I'm doing a MTF change!
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 Old 10-06-2014, 11:15 AM   #7
 
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I will never understand why people continue to think that just cuz its good in car a it will be good in car b.
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 Old 10-07-2014, 04:57 AM   #8
 
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Checked out the fluid last night. Doesn't look like there is any water in it at all (at least not enough for noticeable separation).
I checked the consistency compared to some of the fluid I had left and it was damn near identical that I could tell.
Only concerning thing is that I noticed maybe 3-4 tiny brass flakes had settled to the bottom.
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 Old 10-07-2014, 06:13 AM   #9
 
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I have 65K+ on the FoMoCo and it's beginning to break down.... If cold fluid is what you are after, steer clear of it, takes a while to warm up... when I say a while, I mean a long ass time. Going to move to Motul soon.
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 Old 10-07-2014, 07:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by stoickiwi View Post
Still temped to get a UOA on it and see what Blackstone finds.
Thank you very much for your advice; I didn't want to see my transmission borked after having the car for two months....
Blackstone suggested intervals of 40-45k miles when I sent in a sample from my MS3. That was the original fill @ 36k miles. I don't remember seeing anyone else getting UOA's of trans fluid.

Originally Posted by stoickiwi View Post
Checked out the fluid last night. Doesn't look like there is any water in it at all (at least not enough for noticeable separation).
I checked the consistency compared to some of the fluid I had left and it was damn near identical that I could tell.
Only concerning thing is that I noticed maybe 3-4 tiny brass flakes had settled to the bottom.
Oil color doesn't have much of anything to do with how dirty it is. A UOA is really the only way to accurately measure how good or bad an oil is doing.
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 Old 10-08-2014, 04:55 AM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by phate View Post
Blackstone suggested intervals of 40-45k miles when I sent in a sample from my MS3. That was the original fill @ 36k miles. I don't remember seeing anyone else getting UOA's of trans fluid.
Good to know; I ordered my kit a few days ago. I'll send them the sample and post the results.
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 Old 10-22-2014, 05:34 AM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by stoickiwi View Post
Good to know; I ordered my kit a few days ago. I'll send them the sample and post the results.
Just got the email from Blackstone last night. According to the UOA, everything looks normal and even appears to confirm suspicions of the used fluid contaminating the new fluid. Fluid is performing well though.

I dunno if the PO had changed the fluid, but if he didn't it would be ~37k miles on which may explain the high iron levels.

Oddly enough, it seems that they are recommending fluid changes every 22k. Or perhaps I am misreading that relatively ambiguous first sentence.
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 Old 10-22-2014, 07:16 AM   #13
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The 22k mile remark just means of all the samples they have, the average mileage of the samples was 22k miles. So, they're comparing your levels to average levels at only 22k miles. I would guess it's the original fluid since most people never think about it.
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