Changing manual transmission fluid

Discussion in 'Mechanical Problems & Technical Chat' started by Bruce Bartlow, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. Bruce Bartlow

    Bruce Bartlow Late apex everything

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    _________________________
    Yikes, sounds serious. You won't learn much without a lab report so grab a test kit from Blackstone Labs asap. Then change the MTF while keeping a few ounces for the lab, draining directly from the case into the sample bottle. For now just replace MTF using Honda OEM while waiting on lab results. (Honda will do MTF change as well, AND will capture fluid for the lab test if you explain how. I paid Honda about $50.00 when supplying my own MTF)

    Besides Blackstone Labs, I also like these guys:

    http://www.oaitesting.com
    as they include TBN test for roughly the same price (no $10.00 upcharge like Blackstone) but TBN (total base number) is more of a factor when analyzing motor oil. It shows how much life is left in the fluid to neutralize acids. In any event, Oil Analyzers has a good database and does fine work. Either way it's about $25.00 for the lab work whoever you use. And only that test can tell you if everything is okay... or not. I used Amsoil MTF (not recommended for limited slip) and almost toasted mine. Got lucky.

    Not sure what you mean by the "diff whine". You mean a hi-pitched sound when cruising along in 5th or 6th gear? Humm. Just guessing here but I seem to recall that 6th gear sits low in the case; therefore should get plenty of fluid unless MTF is dangerously low. Very unlikely.
    Anyway, you'd best get on it.

    P.S. If this is a DIY: Not sure what car you have but most take 1.9 qts. MTF. A 3' long clear tube comes in handy (plus 17mm socket and wrench) as it's best to pour from above engine while somebody stays below to keep tube properly inserted. Keep pouring MTF until excess begins to come out of fill hole. Fluid should then be level with bottom of fill bolt, which is perfect. Simple job except for access to drain and fill bolts. Should be a YouTube or something on 9th Civic if you want to tackle it. Good luck!
     
  2. Darkout
    • Supporting Member

    Darkout Supporting Member

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    It's a continuous whine at any speed that increases pitch with vehicle speed. Gear or rpm don't play a difference, sounds like a truck with it's ring and pinion going bad. I'm a mechanic myself so I'll be doing my 3rd MTF change at 20k if I reach that before taking it in. The clutch fork also will start catching and popping after 10 min of driving and warming up, wont do it cold. Can feel the pedal bind up then release as an audible clack and feeling the the clutch fork pop when someone else actuates it and I'm down by the slave. Regardless of spirited driving the the trans doesn't seem right to me so yea topic for another thread. I'll try again with blackstone labs but last time I asked for 2 bottles for engine/trans and was ignored so I wasn't to happy to try again. Probably no big deal and no reason for it so I'll try again.
     
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  3. dpetro1

    dpetro1 Well-Known Member

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    I run 50/50 in my turbo b-series. Never had it tested but the stock tranny is still holding up even with some trips down the 1/4.
     
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  4. XtremeRevolution

    XtremeRevolution Well-Known Member

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    I joined this group after someone had an argument on Facebook and linked it to me. It is curious that AMSOIL is blamed for having high aluminum content, and a decision made on its use, yet the unit mileage was not discussed as a critical factor in those wear levels. In the case of the analysis using the AMSOIL product, the engine reportedly had 4,500 miles at the time of change, meaning the oil was changed with 6,000 miles on the vehicle. Furthermore, aluminum levels trended downward on the second analysis. It would behoove anyone to reconsider the insinuations they make regarding a GL-4 equivalent synchromesh product producing higher wear than an OEM lubricant. Beyond that, nobody has yet discussed where aluminum in a manual transmission even comes from. It is not in bearings or gears. Synchronizer rings are typically made of soft metal alloys and sintered metals (containing brass, bronze, cadmium, or iron), or carbon, but typically not aluminum. One would have to perform an analytical ferrogram to clarify the type of wear that is present, which is beyond the scope of a cheap used oil analysis, but enough is known about the composition of manual transmission components to conclude that the aluminum level does not represent wear.

    So where does aluminum in manual transmissions come from? Housing metal. The reason you are finding it in higher concentrations is likely due to AMSOIL Synchromesh's ester based formulation, which has good solubility characteristics. The reason the wear levels are elevated is because you only had 6,000 miles on the unit when the fluid was changed. Go ahead and get a second analysis report done of the same Honda MTF, and barring any drastic changes in driving habits, your wear levels should continue to trend downward as an exponentially decreasing function.

    This reply was made for the benefit of anyone that may be mislead by this thread in the future, since it is google indexed.

    Sincerely,

    Someone who has interpreted close to 100 oil analysis reports.
     
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  5. PainlessCandy

    PainlessCandy Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that person was me, because with the timing it probably was. I have since done more research and realized I was not necessarily wrong, but I sure wasn't right. I am currently waiting on someone from that same conversation on FB to send me their UOA of their Honda fluid that was BLACK and full of particulate when they changed it at manufacturer recommended intervals before I was going to respond, as they used Amsoil as the replacement and I really wanted to see the two reports back to back before commenting. But I will say that I heard from an Amsoil rep that the reason the Aluminum content is so high the first few times Amsoil is run through our transmissions is that the Amsoil additives bind with the aluminum flakes present in a new transmission and extract it whereas Honda MTF does not and allows it to float in the case, as stated by @XtremeRevolution .

    Clearly, Amsoil makes a fantastic oil, and the question stands as to why it would perform poorly in the 9th gen Si. My defense was that our transmission oil system includes the LSD, and likely that part sharing fluids was the culprit, but after doing more research on oils and their thermodynamic and shearing properties I find it unlikely that a higher quality oil would perform poorer than a medium quality oil unless some very strange materials are being used in our LSD's.

    I would like to see an update on any UOA's on MTF that have been done since this thread started, and I will be updating with the results I see back from my friend I mentioned earlier, not to mention my own UOA's in the future.
     
  6. PainlessCandy

    PainlessCandy Well-Known Member

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    @XtremeRevolution What are your thoughts on this:

     
  7. PainlessCandy

    PainlessCandy Well-Known Member

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    Are you still having this problem? Just curious, as it reminds me of my parent's Ford Windstar growing up. For some dumb reason that minivan had the same problem, a constant whine that went up in pitch as you increased RPM's. It was so audible and annoying that I hated driving it (even though I did my driver's test in that hulking beast of a chassis and scored 100% on maneuverability). It was so loud they took it back 3 times to try and get it fixed, but ended up being told by Ford "that's just how it is." My sister totaled it years ago so we will never know, but it sounds like an identical problem that is difficult to solve. If you find the solution, I'd be very curious to know what it was causing that noise. Ford tried to blame it on the power steering assembly in the end, but we have electric power steering in our Hondas so that couldn't be it. (Side note: My mom bought a brand new CR-V last year, first Honda she has had since before I was born - she loved her Prelude - and I'm super proud of her for getting away from the Ford's my parents owned all through my childhood. And she has the grind on cold start up from the variable valve timing gear not locking just like my Si does.)
     
  8. Darkout
    • Supporting Member

    Darkout Supporting Member

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    The 6th page has a video of the whine when the car was on jack stands. Talking to a buddy at work I think he was correct in saying it might be the LSD as it's a gear style and not clutch packs.
    http://9thcivic.com/forum/threads/civic-manual-trans-issues.13390/page-6

    To keep on topic though I have changed fluid about 5 times since I've owned the car, currently at 25k. Probably a fluke but it seems like some changes respond better than others and what I mean is that the trans feels to shift better after some but like this last change, it's gotten clunky and very "grind/grabby" if that makes sense. Honestly have really toned down the driving to where I'm getting almost 28mpg now from the usual 20-22 hooligan mode so I can't say I'm beating on it much anymore.
     
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  9. JustAnotherSi

    JustAnotherSi New Member

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    Hi all, new member here. I know is being a while but I just wonder if you all came out with a conclusion/suggestion for tranny oil?
    Thank you.
     
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  10. squiggy
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    squiggy Cartographer

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    Stick with OEM.
     
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  11. JustAnotherSi

    JustAnotherSi New Member

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    Alright thanks squiggy
     
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  12. sunofwolf

    sunofwolf Well-Known Member

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    I going to change the tranny fluid, oil change and add magic drain plug, add speed bleeders to calipers and rotate tires-in spring. I was thinking what to run for tranny oil-stock oil!
     
  13. 07TLX
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    07TLX Supporting Member

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    Redline MTL Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid for manual transmission or stock for automatic transmission
     
  14. squiggy
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    squiggy Cartographer

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    At twice the cost of OEM is it really that much better?
     
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  15. 07TLX
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    07TLX Supporting Member

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    5,000 miles of occasional 2nd gear grind and have crappy shift feel or 20,000 miles of smooth shifting
     
  16. ron v
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    ron v The Forum Idiot

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    I was reading another forum bashing this thread. Then I read another forum bashing the thread that was bashing this thread. Then I read another forum of oil guys bashing all these threads. Haha

    now I don’t no who to believe now.
     
  17. webby
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    webby Administrator

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    I would not run amsoil mtf in your car.
     
  18. bootyluvr
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    bootyluvr Supporting Member

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    If Bruce & Squiggy weren't active members and/or only joined to post about bashing Amsoil then I'd think twice about their posts.. but both being around for a while I'd listen to their info more so.
     
  19. squiggy
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    squiggy Cartographer

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    Also, @Bruce Bartlow is quite knowledgeable about lubricants in general.
     
  20. bootyluvr
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    bootyluvr Supporting Member

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    That sounds dirty :giggle: :hiding:
     
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