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Tranny Fluid - Syncromesh - yes, ANOTHER one...

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Old 06-02-2017, 01:24 PM   #1
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Default Tranny Fluid - Syncromesh - yes, ANOTHER one...

Hey all,

So I did do some searching but did not find exactly what I was looking for.

Have a 2001 T-56 that has been built by Rockland Standard for road race application. Just had it refreshed here locally with carbon syncro rings.

Called TICK, they said plain jane Dex III.

Builder here said Dex III with some multi gear concentrate.

Called Rockland, they said Syncromesh.

From what I read, it sounds like the biggest issue with syncromesh is the paper rings in stock trannys, causing it to slip.

Could anyone chime in specifically to this point or direct me the correct thread? Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-02-2017, 01:30 PM   #2
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If Rockland built the tranny and advises Syncromesh...use it.

With that said I think DEX 3 would be fine

Carbon blocker rings don't have the issues paper ones had with synthetics

Redline D4 would be another option if running synthetic
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Old 06-03-2017, 01:35 PM   #3
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Only about a million threads on the issue, go with dexIII unless specified specifically by builder
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:25 AM   #4
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http://tcase.rsgear.com/articles/2000_08.pdf

That link on the RSG web site says to use ATF in all T56's. I've been through all the pertinent articles on that site and they all point to using ATF. Interesting that they told Monopoly19 to use Synchromesh. Maybe the website needs updating?

From the research I've done, I'd go with either Redline D4 ATF or Amsoil ATF ATD on carbon blockers. Mobil 1 ATF gets a lot of looks too but notchiness continues to come up as a potential issue with some users. All of those synthetic ATF's tend to have similar add packs, which are much stouter than conventional Dex 3 ATF's yet a long ways from a synchromesh. Tremec recommends Dex 3 ATF or Mobil 1 ATF...if only because those are the only ones they've ever tested. The synchromesh is no doubt better for gear wear with all the additional anti-wear additives it has. The ATF is probably better for improved synchro life/shifting....possibly better for splash lubrication of bearings. Lots to read on this topic....and no one good answer for every application. Seems to me that synchro's or bearings lead to more T56 failures than anything else....not gear wear. I'd want the best fluid to optimize synchro + bearing life, especially when tracking the car.

Pennz or GM synchromeshes run in the 9.2 cSt at 100c viscosity range....considerably higher than the 7.3-7.6 ATF's. Royal Purple Synchromax is another ATF in that range. Not a fan of RP SM as I've read enough stories on user issues to steer clear....yet you'll probably find 90% of all users reported no issues at all with many loving it. You'd be hard-pressed to find ANYONE that said conventional Dex 3 ATF ruined their transmission. I use that....the GM approved lube for manual transmissions (GM #88861800). The GM stuff is likely similar to most ATF's with some additional amount of anti-wear additives and friction modifiers. Understand that like all conventional ATF's, this stuff will shear down from 7.4 to 5.8 or less in under 10,000 miles....a lot sooner if you track or drive hard all the time. Not a problem for me as I change it out every 4K miles/4 years. And since I don't track, I don't need the improved high temp performance that a synthetic ATF would provide.

https://ls1tech.com/forums/manual-tr...56-others.html....a summary of my research.

Too bad there's not an option to buy an ATF viscosity with a Synchromesh type add package. Some boutique oil blenders were making products like that a few years ago.

Last edited by Firebrian; 06-07-2017 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:53 AM   #5
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How do you know, paper vs carbon. It's a built core I never asked the builder

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Old 06-07-2017, 12:10 PM   #6
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How do you know, paper vs carbon. It's a built core I never asked the builder]
contact the builder and ask what kind of blocker rings they put in. Likely carbon. If so synthetic ATF would work (Redline D4)

With that said DEX 3 is perfectly fine
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Old 06-07-2017, 04:31 PM   #7
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I can't imagine that anyone rebuilding a Tremec today would put in the old style (pre-2001) paper lined friction rings. I don't know for sure, but why would they even be making them any longer?
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Old 06-08-2017, 04:22 PM   #8
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I ran Mobile 1 synthetic ATF for over six years and 50,000+ miles in my 99 Trans Am ' s stock T56 with the paper synchronizers - no issues. The transmission shifted better with the Mobile 1 synthetic ATF than the Dextron 3.

I ran Synchromesh manual transmission fluid for over four years and 50,000+ miles in my 99 Trans Am ' s stock T56 with the paper synchronizers - no issues. The transmission shifted better than with the Mobile 1 synthetic ATF or Dextron 3.

Early GM Transmissions used Synchromesh and it's an excellent manual transmission fluid.

TA was upgraded to a RPM Level 6 T56 Magnum and uses Royal Purple's Synchromesh. This is pretty fantastic as well. The only issue the old T56 has with 155,000 + miles was the pilot bearing failed. The synchronizers are still good.

In my experience Dextron 3 is the worse driving/shifting fluid but it's commonly available. Probably, the most important thing to do is change the fluid regularly and bleed the hydraulic's.
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Old 06-08-2017, 05:06 PM   #9
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Thanks for those inputs 99 Black Bird T/A. Always helps to have real world experiences. Forum member DailyDriver who also owned a 1999 T56 from new tried multiple fluids as you did. They preferred the RedLine D4 and Red Line MTL....mixing them at times. They also tried Amsoil MTL, Pennz Synchromesh, M1 ATF, Ravenol MTF-2, and regular Dex3....all those for shorter periods. The only fluid they had a problem with was the Synchromax which wasn't at all compatible with their paper blockers...and dumped 2 hrs after trying it. Their T56 is still on original synchronizers at 180K miles. A plug for the RedLine products, which I've never tried. Mixing some ATF with a more protective MTL "might" give the best of both worlds. National Award winning racer Sam Strano has supposedly used Redline D4 to most of those 200K miles on his stock and original 1999 T56. I'd be interested in knowing what % mixtures that DailyDriver used. In reading the Corvette blogs, they seem to favor the Amsoil ATF ATD for their T56's.

I've reviewed hundreds or possibly thousands of reader's posts from various T5/T45/T56 blogs over the past 5 years. My conclusion that any fluid except regular old conventional Dex3 can hinder your shifting. There's no shortage of complaints against M1 ATF, RL D4, Synchromeshes, Amsoil ATF's, and RP Synchromax. I'd say those ran about 90% pro and 10% con. So the majority is happy with all those fluids, even on paper blockers. It's probably also true that most owners of T56's didn't get to see the long term effects of changing fluids (ie 20K-50K miles) before the vehicle was sold. While the regular ATF from the factory is considered a life time fill, that makes little sense for a non-synthetic that will likely shear down from 7.3 to 5.0 cSt (-40%) in approx 8K miles on a T56....and fall out of the range of a Dex 3. The synthetics will show minimal to no shear (0 to -3% for synthetics and approx -20% for syn blends).

Last edited by Firebrian; 06-09-2017 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 06-18-2017, 02:39 PM   #10
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FWIW I have used Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF in my T56 since the first change interval as spec'd in the factory manual in my '96 Z28. 185K miles and a couple changes later and it still shifts fine other than maybe some wear on the third gear syncro teeth <- I blame that more on the stock shifter than the fluid. And also on operator error as I miss the 2-3 upshift clutch timing from time to time (release the clutch pedal before I get it all the way into gear = grind). I wonder if there might be a better choice but I have not had a real reason to chase it.


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Old 06-20-2017, 02:51 PM   #11
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Any experience with AMSoil Torquedrive?
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:03 AM   #12
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I'm running amsoil synchromesh and it's shifting much better than the mobile 1 ATF I was running after the rebuild.
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:24 AM   #13
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just use dex 3 , change it out more often if your nervous .
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Old 06-28-2017, 05:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackandgold View Post
I'm running amsoil synchromesh and it's shifting much better than the mobile 1 ATF I was running after the rebuild.
Thanks. I'm running RP synchromax right now, but I'm tempted to try out the AMSoil Torquedrive. But I'll likely want a while. I find RP is somewhat sensitive to trans temperature. Shifts smoother as the trans is warmer. When the car is fully warmed up its great.
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:06 PM   #15
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Trans specs in sig. Carbon blockers, plastic parts replaced with bronze. Billet keys. All stage 2 stuff from Tick. I run synchromesh in mine. Have about 35K on it. Maybe 2-3min of sluggish shifting in cold weather (40ish-F) but goes away when warm. Some extra gear noise (whirring, nothing eating itself) once warmed up. Other than these, no issues to speak of. I don't really consider these issues. Just quirks of my choice of transmission lube. If the builder specs it, run it.
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Old 07-22-2017, 08:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramairetransam View Post
just use dex 3 , change it out more often if your nervous .
I switched to Mobil 1 recently and while the car shifts better now I believe it was all because the old fluid had gone bad. The old stuff valvoline conventional dexmerc had zero smell to it and the new stuff had a definite stink

I've read a few forums and threads on the subject and the consensus seems to be the aftermarket dexmerc stuff is not as potent of a mixture as original spec dexron 3.

So my advice is to change your fluid once a year before you go out and put hard abuse on the trans. Next change I'll try dealer a.c. Delco mercon 3
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