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what fluid goes into a manual transmission

Old 01-30-2010, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by the_merv View Post
X2..fix the leak.

I admire how many different answers were in the first post..people just don't know..
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I have enjoyed to watch on T-56 fluids issue. Do search here and there has too many informs.
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by archerandsons View Post
i put scnromesh in my t56 in my old 2004 CTS-V..... in my brother T3650 in 2003 Mustang GT we put half 90w half atf..... both still kickin. cady trans has 20k or so put on it since i sold it if i had to guess. stang has 70k on trans and has same fluid... zero problems. thos are my 2 personal experiances. goin m6 in my ws6 right now so would like to now this also so when i fill trans up after swap from a4
I don't know about all that...people have used synchromesh in T56's with varied success, I still say stick to what it was designed for, which is Dexron III ATF.

As for making your own concoction of ATF and 90W gear oil, that sounds like a bad idea from the start. Not all fluids are compatible, especially those two.
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:35 AM
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I used GM Synchromesh...........smoothed out the shifts, less noise..........
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Old 02-04-2010, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by crw3673 View Post
i'm sorry, i forgot to mention its for a t5 with 89500 miles on it. plus what transmission stop leak do you guys recommend? The gaskets or seals that seperate the transmission from the bellhousing and tailshaft housing, seems always wet to the touch. dropping fluid on the exhaust.
[pennzoil] syncromesh here for the past 4 years and 30k miles, 2002 camaro ss with t56, 51k on the odometer now. The only problem with syncromesh because it's a higher viscosity, is shifting will be a little worse when it's cold out, like 32F and colder, until you drive a few miles and the fluid warms up.

A manual transmission is not compicated at all from a lubrication perspective. It is splash-lubed and nothing more than a meshing gear and bearings, it has no oil pump. The problem is with the synchros which allows you to shift, and the viscosity and frictional characteristics of the lubricant directly affect this.


For a t5, it depends on the year and model car it was in. The t5 has been around for 20+ years and has had a lot of variation to it, going to most likely be either mercon/dexron atf, or gear oil which is not GL-5 75w-90 oil you use in the rear differential. The manual transmission gear oil that is used is/was a GL-4 type which is now obsolete, and also a lot thinner in viscosity (read 70w oil on the SAE gear oil chart, not 90 weight as in 75w-90) which ballparks out around ATF viscosity. If you have an older non-world class that uses gear oil and not atf then the only reasonable fluid out there is gm or pennzoil synchromesh which is now the universal replacement lubricant for all manual transmissions that use a "gear" oil and not ATF. And with bad seals/gaskets i would stay away from anything synthetic, it's going to be thinner, leak easier, and more of your money will be in the fluid outside the trans. ATF will generally leak past any seal or gasket that isn't 100% so i think you would have the best luck not leaking using the syncromesh fluid.

http://www.moderndriveline.com/FAQ.htm#_Toc29404678
http://www.britishv8.org/Articles/Bo...T5-ID-Tags.htm
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:47 PM
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talked to a couple friends. sound like south mississippi people run syncromesh in there t56 around here. every says they use it and so should i. might have 2 days a year under 32degrees so dont matter... i dont driver car in cold weather or rain. just got t56 in tonight and filling her with syncromesh here in lil bit after dinner.

ps.- when u do fill it buy the hand pump that screws onto the top of the bottle!!! dont buy cheap *** siphon cause they dont work worth ****! try to fill a link but no luck sry..
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 1 FMF View Post
. And with bad seals/gaskets i would stay away from anything synthetic, it's going to be thinner, leak easier, and more of your money will be in the fluid outside the trans. ATF will generally leak past any seal or gasket that isn't 100% so i think you would have the best luck not leaking using the syncromesh fluid.
A bad seal or gasket will leak regardless of the type of transmission fluid, synthetic or conventional. The only thing synthetic does is keep things cleaner inside, but as long as the trans has been using ATF, the internals should be spotless anyway.

Synthetic ATF is also not "thinner". Its the same viscosity as regular ATF, since it has to meet the same specifications. A leak is a leak, and a fluid will get past that leak regardless of what type of fluid it is. Similarly to the people who try and slow oil leaks by using thicker (20W-50) oil, it doesn't help.

Borg Warner/Tremec designed the trans to use Dex III ATF, so thats all I reccommend and use.
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Old 02-06-2010, 10:37 AM
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thank you all for your input. it was dexron III. and i use lucas transmission fix. and solve my leak problem
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:49 PM
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1) First repair the leak

2) T5 and T56 use Dexron III

3) GM doesn't make Dex III anymore and the replacement fluid for Dex III is part # 88861800.

This is the official GM bulletin:

#04-07-30-037D: Release of DEXRON-VI Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) - (Nov 21, 2007)

The content of this bulletin does not apply to manual transmissions or transfer cases. Any vehicle that previously required DEXRONŽ-III for a manual transmission or transfer case should now use P/N 88861800.
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Old 02-06-2010, 04:15 PM
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I supervise the drivetrain test lab for the largest agricultural equipment company in the world. Believe me, we beat the crap out of our tractors before we ever release them to the public. We used to use thicker fluid, even 85W120 in drive hubs. Currently we use all Hy-Gard which is basically hydraulic fluid. Not much difference to Dexron ATF. If you are racing more than driving on the street, then something thicker may be warranted. We put 150% more power, or more, through all of our transmissions/axles than the customer. We literally beat the **** out of our own stuff so it is good for the customer. I use Mobil One oil in all of my vehicles and Mobil 1 ATF in my TA. I would highly recommend that. If you are racing and abusing the transmission, change it more often. The new transmissions and engines have tighter clearances and need the thinner fluid to be able to get inbetween the gears to lube the bearings. Synthetic is not thinner, the molecules are smaller, so if you have a leak, it will leak more as the smaller molecules will be able to leak out faster. Any questions, let me know

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Old 02-07-2010, 12:04 AM
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Aside from the leak issues.....my understanding of the differance between synthetics and regular lubricating oils is the fact that syns are more sticky or adhere more to the metal than do regular oils, or even penetrate the surface metal somewhat, giving more protection and do not break down as soon...........thoughts????????
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Old 02-07-2010, 09:27 AM
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Most of the F body T56 do have paper blocking rings (most of the T56 went to carbon blockers in 2001). This is the friction material that speeds up a gear prior to shift. Some synthetic fluid is NOT recommended with the paper blockers (by Tremac) but I have seen paper lined blocking ring transmission use it without any adverse effects. Some say after changing to synthetic, their transmission shifted much better. In my opinion, the fluid hasn't been changed in a while so the results were not the synthetic fluid but the fact that they changed to new fluid that helped shifted better. This issue was debated in Corvette forum a while back and never came to a conclusion.

The bottom line, use the fluid you want, just change it more often.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by crw3673 View Post
what fluid goes into a manual transmission? i am totally clueless and confused. i have tranny leak, so the fluid is low. want to use lucas or bars tranny stop leak, but no one knows for sure including me what fluid goes in the transmission? i have a hayes book, it says dextron II. A mechanic at my work place told me differential oil, like 90w or something? i went to a 10 minute oil change garage, they say the tranny takes regular 10w30 or 10w40 motor oil? i was reading through the forum and some mention dextron III or atf fluid. I am the fourth owner, so the manual is long gone. can someone tell me what tranny oil to use and what tranny stop leak to use. leaking through seals
It would help to mention what year and model car you drive... and what engine you have.
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:41 PM
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I have a 2001 Camaro ss with the T56 and 43k miles. I plan on switching all fluids to Amsoil products. Which of their trans. fluids would you guys recommend on using or has anyone on here used amsoil trans fluid in their car??
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:52 PM
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8 year old post bud. might want to start a new topic
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:47 PM
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[QUOTE=Quincy-SS;19998954]I have a 2001 Camaro ss with the T56 and 43k miles. I plan on switching all fluids to Amsoil products. Which of their trans. fluids would you guys recommend on using or has anyone on here used amsoil trans fluid in their car??[QUOTE]

A lot of guys swear by Amsoil Torque Drive for their T56. I use Mobil1 Synthetic in mine.
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