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Changing manual transmission fluid

Bruce Bartlow

Late apex everything
1,435
821
Sacramento, CA
Vehicle Model
SI
Body Style
Coupe
Care to start a new thread with your previous oil analysis scans? I'd be interested to see your results with various brands. Did you use the same brand of filter with all of the changes, or?

A splendid idea my good man! My older research is generally too specialized... reports focusing on soot and TBN (for factory equipment) that don't apply to most here. I will, however, do something along those lines with a 2012 SI, if you're willing to wait a bit.

It's worth mentioning that my personal interest is in analyzing the physical properties of new oil, especially as it relates to extreme pressure. For example, there is a standard wear test called the "four ball wear test", often done in accordance with strict lab conditions as outlined by ASTM 4172d. I remember looking at the difference between Amsoil's wear scar versus Mobil 1's wear scar a few years back. The test clearly showed Mobil 1 allowing 3 times more wear than Amsoil did, which obviously had significant implications for engine wear -- at least those engines subject to extreme pressure. That's why I was so impressed recently with Mobil 1's EP (Extended Performance) version... because it was neck and neck with Amsoil. It might have come in second place but it was a close second.

Yesterday I bought some of that Mobil 1 EP (at WalMart, no less, $26.97 for the 5 qt container) as well as the new Pennzoil Platinum for the purpose of testing them in my new SI over the next year. I am also interested in adding Pennzoil Ultra (which couldn't be found) and LubriMoly to my inventory for testing. Both of the Pennzoil products have been advertised heavily of late, saying they're much better than other synthetics at controlling deposit formation. We'll see about that. In any event, let's test those new oils against my tried and true Amsoil and the regular Mobil 1. And perhaps others will be interested in submitting their own oil for analysis. Anything that helps us "vtec the snot" out of our engines (according to one spirited driver among us) and still have those engines outlast a Toyota would be a good thing.

One popular lab is: www.blackstone-labs.com
 

mclovin_FG4

Well-Known Member
421
194
Bump back to life on account of webby linking it. I'm relatively new to K series motors (this is my first one) but in my old B series I always bought GM synchromesh (from a GM dealer) does anybody know if this is not good for the K series Tranny?
 

Bruce Bartlow

Late apex everything
1,435
821
Sacramento, CA
Vehicle Model
SI
Body Style
Coupe
Formula for a happy K series transmission: Fresh Honda MTF at 15k miles, or every other oil change. Its not hard to change, and the fluid is about $6/qt

Amsoil may reduce "notchyness" but so does a fresh fill of Honda MTF.

I've got a good theory that the Amsoil will not protect the bearings in your transmission as well as the Honda MTF.

I ran amsoil exclusively for about 60k miles (honda mtf -> amsoil->amsoil) at about 20k intervals. Tranmission got progressively louder over time. Rebuilt at 80k and EVERY bearing in the transmission was toast. Done. On the verge of falling apart. There was abnormally high amounts of metal "sludge" in the case. No other parts (synchros, gears) showed abnormal wear. My theory and the mechanics theory was that the amsoil can not protect as well as Honda MTF.

Caveat Emptor, Amsoil may not be your best bet.

TLDR: Fresh MTF feels good because its fresh MTF, regardless of brand. Stick with Honda because it is formulated to protect our finicky transmissions.

OP: you can't over fill your transmission, it will spill out of the fill bolt. Full is to the top of the fill bolt.
___________________________________
WARNING WARNING!!! Re-read mikey's entire post. I'm a HUGE Amsoil fan (normally) but I am having the same experience with Amsoil Synchromesh MTF.

Here's the scoop: After running Amsoil MTF for just 4000 miles I became concerned about the shifting characteristics of my nice new 2012 limited slip. Somehow the tranny already felt compromised. So I pulled the Amsoil fluid and sent a sample to Oil Analyzers Inc, a firm that gets a lot of business from Amsoil customers. Another sample will go to Blackstone. First, I was shocked at what the sample looked like. Black, and almost watery.... like engine oil that had broken down.. bad. You see, tranny fluid should remain relatively clear (amber colored) because there is no combustion process to contaminate it. But in this case it looked like diesel oil after just 4,000 miles. Can't wait for the lab results to confirm it.

So the Honda fluid is back in... and I will test that after roughly 5000 - 6000 miles, i.e., after returning from the Dragon meet. In any event, I have a strong feeling that MTF's will need to be changed MUCH more often, regardless of brand.
 

mikey6p

Members Only
499
420
Lakewood, CA
Vehicle Model
Civic Si
Body Style
Sidan
THANK YOU Bruce!

I have been extremely curious to see a Blackstone on Amsoil in the new Si transmissions. I really didn't want to do it myself because I did not want to jeopardize the investment I had made into transmission overhaul.

Every time I have changed to Honda MTF it has come out either clear or slightly amber. When I had used Amsoil back in the day, I had the same outcome as you, it came out VERY thin and dark.

I am still hypothesizing that the Si transmission does not like Amsoil.

To have a somewhat fair comparison, I will dump my current fill of Honda MTF at 4000 miles and send it to Blackstone. My car is an '08, but it should be a somewhat fair comparison of the two MTF's
 

07TLX

Supporting Member
VIP Member
4,436
1,596
Somewhere in SEPA
Vehicle Model
Pontiac
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G8 GT
Try Redline gear oil for the transmission.... Running it for almost 100k miles and no issues and my blackstone analysis has been spot on clean except for once.....but my input shaft bearing was toast at 138,000 miles...
 

Bruce Bartlow

Late apex everything
1,435
821
Sacramento, CA
Vehicle Model
SI
Body Style
Coupe
Hey Mikey, Can't thank you enough for posting your MTF concerns. I still haven't heard back from Oil Analyzers on the sample I sent them. But as I said, they are somewhat tied to Amsoil. If my sample was bad, as I believe it was, there are serious implications for Amsoil. That's why I saved part of my sample for Blackstone... not knowing if Amsoil would come clean.

But thanks again.... you saved my transmission from a premature death. I owe ya!

_____________________________


THANK YOU Bruce!

I have been extremely curious to see a Blackstone on Amsoil in the new Si transmissions. I really didn't want to do it myself because I did not want to jeopardize the investment I had made into transmission overhaul.

Every time I have changed to Honda MTF it has come out either clear or slightly amber. When I had used Amsoil back in the day, I had the same outcome as you, it came out VERY thin and dark.

I am still hypothesizing that the Si transmission does not like Amsoil.

To have a somewhat fair comparison, I will dump my current fill of Honda MTF at 4000 miles and send it to Blackstone. My car is an '08, but it should be a somewhat fair comparison of the two MTF's
________________________
 

Bruce Bartlow

Late apex everything
1,435
821
Sacramento, CA
Vehicle Model
SI
Body Style
Coupe
Thanks for the Redline recco. Will definitely give them a try and share the lab results.


Try Redline gear oil for the transmission.... Running it for almost 100k miles and no issues and my blackstone analysis has been spot on clean except for once.....but my input shaft bearing was toast at 138,000 miles...
 

Bruce Bartlow

Late apex everything
1,435
821
Sacramento, CA
Vehicle Model
SI
Body Style
Coupe
Hey Mikey, Can't thank you enough for posting your MTF concerns. I still haven't heard back from Oil Analyzers on the sample I sent them. But as I said, they are somewhat tied to Amsoil. If my sample was bad, as I believe it was, there are serious implications for Amsoil. That's why I saved part of my sample for Blackstone... not knowing if Amsoil would come clean.

But thanks again.... you saved my transmission from a premature death. I owe ya!

_____________________________



________________________
Here is my Amsoil MTF Analysis. Only 4000 miles were on this fluid... but already "critical" (that means bad) levels of aluminum. This is compelling evidence that Amsoil's MTF is not well designed for the limited slip.
 

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