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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 07-01-2005, 11:25 PM   #1
SSR330Ci
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Manual Trans Oil Change - Gear Oil or ATF?

My 2001 330Ci is getting notchy when shifting into 3rd, the synchro is probably getting worn. I'm planning to change the transmission oil to see if this helps.

The transmission sticker says use BMW MTF-LT1. Some Internet forum articles say to use gear oil (Royal Purple Synthetic), others say to use Redline D4 ATF. Which one is correct?
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Old 07-02-2005, 12:44 AM   #2
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both are fine to use. However, some people have detected leaks using the Redline, and premature degradation with the fluid (going sour after 15k-ish miles).
I've always used the LT-1, while it isn't cheap by any means.
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Old 07-05-2005, 09:30 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KP
both are fine to use. However, some people have detected leaks using the Redline, and premature degradation with the fluid (going sour after 15k-ish miles).
I've always used the LT-1, while it isn't cheap by any means.
I changed the oil on Sunday with Royal Purple Sychromax, the notchy shifting is gone. This is good stuff!

The previous owner swapped the factory oil with Redline about 15k miles ago, hmmm.

Thanks
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Old 07-05-2005, 09:33 AM   #4
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I use the royal purple also, that smoothness only last a few weeks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSR330Ci
I changed the oil on Sunday with Royal Purple Sychromax, the notchy shifting is gone. This is good stuff!

The previous owner swapped the factory oil with Redline about 15k miles ago, hmmm.

Thanks
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Old 07-05-2005, 12:33 PM   #5
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If the royal purple loses the smoothness that fast, then what should we use when replacing this fluid? I'm not looking to race my car at this point, just want it to stop notching from first to second so bad when cold and from second to third just about all the time. Would the MTF-LT2 be a better solution? Thanks.

Last edited by spewny; 07-05-2005 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 07-05-2005, 01:07 PM   #6
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I Put AMZoil ATF in it. BMW needs Dexron III so get ATF that has it and Amzoil ATF has great results at low temps compare to others.

I had the cold problem and now it is gone with the AMZoil ATF, the notchy feeling is a bit better.

My car is also a 2001 325Ci and only has 46000km and you should of seen the grade and colour of the tranny and diff fluids....OMG...I would change them both every 50000Km or every 2 years...it is a must.

Oh, and I put RP Max Gear 75W90 in the diff and it made the biggest improvement in the feel of shift and gear transition.
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Old 07-06-2005, 11:20 AM   #7
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I guess you believe what you want to believe. I've had D4 in mine for 30K. No leaks. Getting ready to change it again.
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Old 07-06-2005, 11:23 AM   #8
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I was wondering about this myself and looked in the owners manual. It stated that this is lifetime fluid and does not need replacing??? Is this incorrect?
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e46lvr
I was wondering about this myself and looked in the owners manual. It stated that this is lifetime fluid and does not need replacing??? Is this incorrect?
there is no such thing.
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Old 07-06-2005, 02:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spewny
If the royal purple loses the smoothness that fast, then what should we use when replacing this fluid? I'm not looking to race my car at this point, just want it to stop notching from first to second so bad when cold and from second to third just about all the time. Would the MTF-LT2 be a better solution? Thanks.
MTF-LT2 is probably the best solution but cost is an issue. I hear it is only available from BMW in 5 liter containers that cost $100. I'd rather replace the oil yearly with Royal Purple.
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Old 07-06-2005, 03:28 PM   #11
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Gear 75/90 or close..Royal Purple Preferred

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSR330Ci
My 2001 330Ci is getting notchy when shifting into 3rd, the synchro is probably getting worn. I'm planning to change the transmission oil to see if this helps.

The transmission sticker says use BMW MTF-LT1. Some Internet forum articles say to use gear oil (Royal Purple Synthetic), others say to use Redline D4 ATF. Which one is correct?
Gear 75/90 or close..Royal Purple Preferred

I am a big RP fan from their early days. My 2001 330Ci was all notchy, especially when cold. I put in Royal Purple and the shifting has been perfect ever since...do the change ASAP...don't let BMW's stupid oil change intervals screw you...none in the case of the manual

Mike
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Old 07-06-2005, 03:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mike931
Gear 75/90 or close..Royal Purple Preferred

I am a big RP fan from their early days. My 2001 330Ci was all notchy, especially when cold. I put in Royal Purple and the shifting has been perfect ever since...do the change ASAP...don't let BMW's stupid oil change intervals screw you...none in the case of the manual

Mike
I also have 10,000 miles on my Max Gear 75/90 and it is still perfect. I would only change it now for the fun of it...
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Old 07-06-2005, 07:32 PM   #13
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I also have 10,000 miles on my Max Gear 75/90 and it is still perfect. I would only change it now for the fun of it...
My understanding is MTF-LT1/2 used in E46 manual transmissions is similar to ATF. RP Syncromax is the equivalent of ATF, Max Gear is gear oil (see http://www.synerlec.com/ and http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_rp_tranny_fluid.shtml).
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Old 07-07-2005, 12:17 AM   #14
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It doesn't loose all the smoothness, it is still much better than the stock oil IMO, but the absolute silkiness you experience in the first few weeks wears off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by spewny
If the royal purple loses the smoothness that fast, then what should we use when replacing this fluid? I'm not looking to race my car at this point, just want it to stop notching from first to second so bad when cold and from second to third just about all the time. Would the MTF-LT2 be a better solution? Thanks.
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Old 07-07-2005, 01:01 AM   #15
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Were can I purchase Royal Purple and what kind should I get, also how hard is it to change my own tranny fluid?

thanxs
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Old 07-07-2005, 04:37 AM   #16
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life time tranny fluid.. ha, the fulid might still be okay when BMW asks you to change the transmission. haha
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Old 07-07-2005, 07:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by M3WannaBEE
Were can I purchase Royal Purple and what kind should I get, also how hard is it to change my own tranny fluid?

thanxs
RP's web site can help you find a local dealer, see http://www.synerlec.com/dealers/dealers.html

The only place I've consistently found RP is at the NAPA auto parts warehouse, it has a retail parts counter. The local NAPA stores get their parts from this warehouse.

Changing the tranny oil is easy if you have the right tools, see http://m3.madrussian.net/diy_rp_tranny_fluid.shtml
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Old 08-30-2005, 10:12 PM   #18
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How about mobil 1

has anyone tried putting Mobil 1 syn Gear oil in their transmissions?
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Old 08-31-2005, 11:23 AM   #19
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Mike Miller, writer of the "Tech Talk" column in the BMWnsCCA mag "Roundel," has an article on this very subject in this month's issue. He recommends either Redline D4ATF OR Redline MTL (manual tranny lube).

I used MTL in my E30's tranny and had no problems. I currently am running Redline D4ATF in my '01 330Ci (currently undergoing major body repairs!!). The shifting is smoother than the OEM stuff and the smoothness lasts. I change it once a year, in the spring.
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Old 08-31-2005, 01:06 PM   #20
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You think the syncro's will be okay w/this fluid? I heard using ATF can affect the syncro's in the long term....
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