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View Full Version : Upgrading to "Redline".....is it worth it?


DJ9
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 12:24:25 AM
I been talking to a few people and am considering changing out my BMW differential and transmission fluid for Redline or Royal Purple(?). Supposively this will help the notchy stock shift feel that these MT M3's come with. I know I know, a SSK will help as well, which I'm also currently looking into. I was just wondering if any of you guys had any first hand experience in doing this or any feedback at all...is it worth doing, side effects etc?

Peace!!

Divexxtreme
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 12:28:20 AM
I'd recommend Royal Purple (RP) over Redline. I'm sure they're both good...but I've heard/read a lot more good about RP than Redline. I'm currently running it in my M5's transmission.

DJ9
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 12:32:53 AM
I'd recommend Royal Purple (RP) over Redline. I'm sure they're both good...but I've heard/read a lot more good about RP than Redline. I'm currently running it in my M5's transmission.


Ya, i 've heard RP was very good as well, for some reason though they are always from M5 guys. Scott, is there a reason why you haven't done this to your M3....

SpecialK
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 12:34:59 AM
I'm getting mine changed based on the SB on Wednesday. I'll ask what they are using if someone here doesn't already know.

Divexxtreme
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 02:13:04 AM
Well it's because I wanted keep my warranty (M5's warranty is almost expired), but that's not an issue at this point. My car is so moded that not a lot of the drivetrain/engine is still covered under warranty. I'll probably be switching to RP soon in the M3.

DJ9
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 02:28:19 AM
Well it's because I wanted keep my warranty (M5's warranty is almost expired), but that's not an issue at this point. My car is so moded that not a lot of the drivetrain/engine is still covered under warranty. I'll probably be switching to RP soon in the M3.


I understand that BMW jumps at the chance to blame any problems to after market mods, etc..... But, i thought RP or Redline would actually be an improvement and not cause issues in comparison to standard BMW fluids. I'm considering doing this b/c i believe it's suggested if you install an SSK which I want to get for my MT.

So what are the possible side effects that can go wrong with simply changing fluids? Should I not do this then?

ArtM3
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 02:40:58 AM
It's not really an upgrade, it needs done anyways, so you might as well spend a couple of $ more and get the best you can. It's extremely important protection, it's part of Inspection II, which happens ~every 40 to 50K miles, which seems like too much to me, I do it every 30K.

DJ9
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 02:49:09 AM
It's not really an upgrade, it needs done anyways, so you might as well spend a couple of $ more and get the best you can. It's extremely important protection, it's part of Inspection II, which happens ~every 40 to 50K miles, which seems like too much to me, I do it every 30K.



So has the dealer tried to give you any crap about warranty issues? I dont really even see how they would know unless they performed Inspection II, or you had a problem... I'm just trying to figure out how a higher quality fluid would give adverse results to an M.

Also, i had my 1200 mile inspection about 2 months ago, so think they put the new LT2 spec transmission fluid in my car which is supposed to be good as well. This is why i'm wondering if changing to RP or redline is that much better.

Art, are you using RP or Redline?

Divexxtreme
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 02:52:10 AM
The higher quality fluid definitely won't cause adverse effects..but I was worried about them using the aftermarket fluid as an excuse to refuse coverage if something did happen to go wrong....regardless of the actual reason. I'll be switching shortly however.

ArtM3
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 02:58:52 AM
So has the dealer tried to give you any crap about warranty issues? I dont really even see how they would know unless they performed Inspection II, or you had a problem... I'm just trying to figure out how a higher quality fluid would give adverse results to an M.

Also, i had my 1200 mile inspection about 2 months ago, so think they put the new LT2 spec transmission fluid in my car which is supposed to be good as well. This is why i'm wondering if changing to RP or redline is that much better.

Art, are you using RP or Redline?

My car's out of warranty.

I'm using Redline MTL in the tranny, and the BMW stuff in the diff because I could not find a substitute with the same rating...this is the oem diff fluid..Castrol SAF-XJ Synthetic Axle Fluid · SAE 75W-140 they don't sell it in the US, but can get it in Germany & Austrailia

I'm switching to Redline 75W-140 or Mobil 1, which ever is easier to get next change.

Considering the warranty act, forget the name right now...
you're better off using their fluids while it's free, they can possibly hassle you, but the law says if it's not free, you can use an equivilent, rated product, oil, fluids, filters, etc., and it does not void your warranty.

M3-peat
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 03:13:26 AM
I switched out the tranny fluid to RP about three weeks ago and there is a definite improvement but is also not a cure all. I'd say it's about 40% less notchy(more so in the morning) although the notchiness is still there just to a much lesser degree. The ex-race mechanic I got it changed through suggested I not change the diff fluid as the BMW diff is very particular about which fluid it uses and could be detrimental.
As far as the warranty being affected, the mechanic I used knew no one having a warranty issue especially since it's more of an upgrade, not a lateral move. I also spoke with a BMW mechanic over in Naples, FL while autox my car who also said, b/c it's more of an upgrade, BMW couldn't find fault with it and actually he recommended it.
I also changed out the brake fluid to ATE Super Blue which has a higher DOT rating than the factory stuff so BMW can't knock you for that if you go that route as well.
hope this helps

:beer:

DJ9
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 04:27:41 AM
I switched out the tranny fluid to RP about three weeks ago and there is a definite improvement but is also not a cure all. I'd say it's about 40% less notchy(more so in the morning) although the notchiness is still there just to a much lesser degree. The ex-race mechanic I got it changed through suggested I not change the diff fluid as the BMW diff is very particular about which fluid it uses and could be detrimental.
As far as the warranty being affected, the mechanic I used knew no one having a warranty issue especially since it's more of an upgrade, not a lateral move. I also spoke with a BMW mechanic over in Naples, FL while autox my car who also said, b/c it's more of an upgrade, BMW couldn't find fault with it and actually he recommended it.
I also changed out the brake fluid to ATE Super Blue which has a higher DOT rating than the factory stuff so BMW can't knock you for that if you go that route as well.
hope this helps

:beer:

Thanks for all the input fellas....feedback on this board is pricelss....lol :beer:

From what i've read, etc...I think my safest bet when I get my SSK installed is to "just" change the transmission fluid with some RP, and leave the diff fluid as is. I'm on this whole drivability thing right now...I'll get to the power mods soon enough.

I guess i'll be calling RP tomorrow to order some unless anyone has any good leads as to a vendor on our board :nixweiss:

glenspeed
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 03:23:23 PM
I'm using Redline MTL in the tranny,

I wrote into Roundel and Mike Miller the resident tech guru specifically told me to use Redline D4 ATF, yes ATF. I have '02 M3 FYI

Fastdog911
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 04:48:48 PM
There is the bill that was spoken about...
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/warranty.htm#Magnuson-Moss

ArtM3
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 05:06:04 PM
I wrote into Roundel and Mike Miller the resident tech guru specifically told me to use Redline D4 ATF, yes ATF. I have '02 M3 FYI

BMW specifically says NOT to use ATF in transmissions not spec'ed for it, although some are, the M3 is not.

Redline recommends the MTL for the e46 M3, although my e36M3 took the D4 ATF.

Now, I can't immagine the ATF hurting anything, it is GL5 rated, the same as the MTL. :nixweiss:

glenspeed
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 05:10:57 PM
BMW specifically says NOT to use ATF in transmissions not spec'ed for it, although some are, the M3 is not.

Redline recommends the MTL for the e46 M3, although my e36M3 took the D4 ATF.

Now, I can't immagine the ATF hurting anything, it is GL5 rated, the same as the MTL. :nixweiss:

Can you point me to where BMW says that? I will bring it up with Mike Miller then...I would think he knows his stuff, he writes the tech section for Roundel...

sullyz
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 05:35:28 PM
I put RP in the tranny quite a while back... just before my first track day in the M3. I thought at the time that it made things a little smoother, but it wasn't until recently that I became sure of it. When the M went in for inspection 2 they changed the fluid... obviously back to the BMW spec fluid. Now it's very notchy and even difficult to shift on cold mornings. It's been in there for over a month now because I haven't taken it to my buddies house to change it yet (he has a lift, so it's super easy)... but I'm definitely going to go back to the RP.

Redline is great as well... I run it in my 93 Z28 in the motor, tranny and diff. and it's the only oil that made a noticeable difference in my valvetrain noise. Nearly 200K miles on that old girl and she's still running strong as ever.

DJ9
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 07:45:07 PM
Art - RP makes tranny fluid for our cars. 75W-140. I have in the M5.


Hey Scott..I know you're one of the most well informed guys here....do you know the answer to the whether our cars take MTL or ATF transmission fluid?

Divexxtreme
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 08:25:32 PM
The Getrag needs MTF. I am currently using Royal Purple Syncrhomax in the M5. It's MUCH smoother than it was with the OEM fluid.

http://www.royalpurple.com/prodsa/scmax.html

Also, in one of my above posts that I wrote in respone to a post by Art, I mean to say "diff" fluid, not "tranny" fluid. I deleted the post.

Anyway, RP makes 75W-140 diff fluid for our cars. It's called "Max-Gear".
I personally would reccomend it over Redline, only because Redline is not API approved to meet GL-5 spec, as required by BMW. Redline only "recommends" their product for applications that require GL5....a play on words. I would not trust it to remain stable for extended street use.

ArtM3
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 08:28:43 PM
Can you point me to where BMW says that? I will bring it up with Mike Miller then...I would think he knows his stuff, he writes the tech section for Roundel...

I read it all the time, and form my own opinions....

BMW specifies LTF-1 gear oil (IRRC it's made by Exxon) for the e46 M3, not ATF, that they recommend for other transmissions. It's on my BMW TIS, and they are very specific about not mixing the 2 types.

The trannies usually have a sticker on them, that says to use ATF, my e36 did, my e46 does not.

I'm running Redline MTL, do what your comfortable with...

ArtM3
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 08:40:57 PM
.....
Anyway, RP makes 75W-140 diff fluid for our cars. It's called "Max-Gear".
I personally would reccomend it over Redline, only because Redline is not API approved to meet GL-5 spec, as required by BMW. Redline only "recommends" their product for applications that require GL5....a play on words. I would not trust it to remain stable for extended street use.

Per their website, the 75W 140NS meets API GL5+ service requirements, but the regular 75W140 does not, good to know. What I'd really like is for one of our German or Australia located members to hook us up with the Castrol sjx 75w140 that BMW uses! LOL Mobil 1 makes the stuff too, I'll check into the "purple".

glenspeed
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 08:44:34 PM
Per their website, the 75W 140NS meets API GL5+ service requirements, but the regular 75W140 does not, good to know. What I'd really like is for one of our German or Australia located members to hook us up with the Castrol sjx 75w140 that BMW uses! LOL Mobil 1 makes the stuff too, I'll check into the "purple".

so I assume you are going with the 75W140NS...

I wonder what the differences in feel in the shifting would be between the D4 ATF and MTL??

Divexxtreme
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 08:46:15 PM
Right, but you definitely don't want to use the 75W-140NS in our cars. It's not for cars with LSD's.

Go with the Purple, bro. It's so good it makes the other stuff look like Vaseline.:D

Per their website, the 75W 140NS meets API GL5+ service requirements, but the regular 75W140 does not, good to know.

ArtM3
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 08:50:38 PM
Right, but you definitely don't want to use the 75W-140NS in our cars. It's not for cars with LSD's.

Go with the Purple, bro. It's oo good it makes the other stuff look like Vaseline.:D


oh yea, I would never put the NS stuff in, it would chew the diff up!

glenspeed
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 08:50:49 PM
Right, but you definitely don't want to use the 75W-140NS in our cars. It's not for cars with LSD's.

Go with the Purple, bro. It's oo good it makes the other stuff look like Vaseline.:D

but we are talking transmission fluid in this case, not differential fluid...

ArtM3
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 08:51:59 PM
oh yea, I would never put the NS stuff in, it would chew the diff up!

I'm due for a change I'm gonna order the 'purple' for the tranny & diff

ArtM3
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 08:53:07 PM
but we are talking transmission fluid in this case, not differential fluid...

tranny MTL or ATF
diff 75W140 only

we're mixing them up

I looked at Redlines website they do recommend MTL and the ATF D4 for all BMW transmissions >98 so I guess it doesn't matter... :nixweiss:

Divexxtreme
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 08:54:44 PM
Right, what I'm currently running in the M5:

Tranny - Royal Purple "Synchromax" MTF

Diff - Royal Purple 75W-140 "Max-Gear" oil

glenspeed
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 09:00:34 PM
tranny MTL or ATF
diff 75W140 only

we're mixing them up

I looked at Redlines website they do recommend MTL and the ATF D4 for all BMW transmissions >98 so I guess it doesn't matter... :nixweiss:

....and Mike Miller of Roundel recommends ATF D4!

Divexxtreme
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 09:04:39 PM
Mike can do what he wants. I'll stick to "manual" transmission fluid in my "manual" transmission car. :beer:

glenspeed
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 09:10:27 PM
Mike can do what he wants. I'll stick to "manual" transmission fluid in my "manual" transmission car. :beer:

yah, I also wonder why ATF is recommended over MTL for MTL cars...but then you have stickers on alot of the MTL transmissions that recommend ATF...so now I'm really confused... :banghead:

ArtM3
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 09:10:37 PM
Mike can do what he wants. I'll stick to "manual" transmission fluid in my "manual" transmission car. :beer:

where did you order the stuff? mail order?

you can't get it from them

Divexxtreme
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 09:13:07 PM
Here's a few sites for you:

www.rpmoil.com

http://www.jcwhitney.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=5878&catalogId=10101&storeId=10101&langId=-1&TID=8014524

http://www.hrpworld.com/index.cfm?form_cat_id=518&action=category

DJ9
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 09:50:54 PM
Back to transmission fluid. I just called my dealer and asked them what they put into my car when I had my 1200 mile inspection done. They checked and said they put in the "MT" LT2 fluid, which is supposively only sold in Germany.
Then I came accross the"madrussians" write up on RP and he mentions that 2004 M's on, came with this LT2 fluid which is supposed to be comparable to RP. Whatever, think i'll go with the MT Royal Purple anyways....can't hurt.

ArtM3
Fri, Jan-21-2005, 11:28:07 PM
this is what BMW sez...

tranny:
MTF LT1 83 229 408 942 (5 liter)
superceded by MTF LT2 83 220 390 031 ( 5 liter)
this LT1 is Esso/Exxon MTF-LT-1 (takes 1.75 liter), not sure about the LT2

diff:
searching ?????
this is Castrol SAF-XA 75W140 (takes 1.1 liter)


Castrol Australia, why can't we just buy the stuff? look the 10W60 is sold too!

http://www.castrol.com/castrol/multipleproductsection.do?categoryId=9000143&contentId=7000524

the Redline is only recommended for the tranny's >98 with the Yellow label, I bet those are ATF labels.

please add or correct as necessary

DJ9
Sat, Jan-22-2005, 05:43:48 AM
From Redline Tech Manual:

"In transmissions which recommend Dexron
or Mercon fluids we recommend our D4 ATF which is
very similar to the MTL, being a GL-4 Gear Oil also. The
D4 ATF will provide better low-temperature shiftability,
and the MTL would provide better wear protection for
racing use. Red Line MTL may be used in transmissions which
recommend 75W, 80W, or 85W GL-4 gear oils, or SAE
30 or 5W/10W30 motor oils."

Can someone translate this for us slow people and does this shed any light into if D4 ATF or MTL transmission oil is to be used for our M's?

nydog
Sun, Jan-23-2005, 10:22:37 PM
"The
D4 ATF will provide better low-temperature shiftability"


i believe that is the reason mike recommends the ATF

Divexxtreme
Sun, Jan-23-2005, 11:35:58 PM
Better than what? Their own MTF's or other brand's MTF's? I can't fathom why there would even be such a thing as MTF if ATF is always the better choice. Sounds like an automotive wives-tale to me.

STALKER
Sun, Jan-23-2005, 11:39:44 PM
Well after reading this thread I am going to get some RP MTF. I noticed that on Turnermotorsport site that they said to use ATF redline on cars after a certain production date.

ArtM3
Mon, Jan-24-2005, 12:16:43 AM
this is the oem diff stuff, anything that meets this spec is OK:
Castrol SAF-XA
Full synthetic rear axle, SAE 75W-140, API GL6. Engineered to provide protection under extreme operating temperatures, it is our prime recommendation for rear axles used in competition, severe duty and long drain applications. Suitable for both limited and non-limited slip rear axles.

gearbox:
sent an email to Peter Tillman/BMW project leader at Getrag and asked him, I'll post his response, if I get one.

could find nothing on Esso/Exxon/Mobil websites, they are all connected together, and refer you to Mobil. Are they ONE company?

DJ9
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 08:40:12 PM
How do you post PDF files?

I just downloaded the Manual and Automatic Transmission guide from BMWTIS.com which states based on your M3 model year, what transmission and Diff oils they recommend based on the color labels indicated on the car.

It's a little confusing for me at least. If anyone's interested in viewing these let me know, and tell me how to post this stuff. :banghead:

ArtM3
Tue, Jan-25-2005, 10:48:31 PM
How do you post PDF files?

I just downloaded the Manual and Automatic Transmission guide from BMWTIS.com which states based on your M3 model year, what transmission and Diff oils they recommend based on the color labels indicated on the car.

It's a little confusing for me at least. If anyone's interested in viewing these let me know, and tell me how to post this stuff. :banghead:

I want it please...I'll PM you with my email.... :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

glenspeed
Wed, Jan-26-2005, 03:07:29 AM
I wouldn't mind a copy as well. PM'd you my email.

glenspeed
Thu, Jan-27-2005, 06:08:11 AM
ok reading the Manual Transmission TIS let's answer some questions:

1) is there a label next to the filler plug or on the transmission bell housing? if a yellow label with the letters "MTF-LT-1" go to 2) if a green label and it says "Special Oil" go to 3) if a orange label and it says "ATF Oil!" go to 4)
if no label go to 5)

2) no oil change required for entire service life of the transmission or filled with lifetime oil in event of a repair. After 2004 may be filled with MTF-LT-2 which has same properties as MTF-LT-1 and can be mixed or substituted.

3) using synthetic transmission fluid Mobil SHC 630
in low ambient temperatures can use:
a) single grade HD mineral oils SAE40, 30, 20
b) ATF oils

4) ATF Dexron II or Dexron III formulation on any of the following:
a) dual mass flywheel
b) direct drive 5th gear as of 9/90
c) six-speeds
also says manual transmissions with ATF have 17mm external hex plugs in the filler and drain openings as well as the orange label

5) can use all mineral based oils SAE80 with specifications MIL-L-2105 or API GL-4

So given the information from the TIS IF our cars fall under 3) or 4) ATF can be used or even required! The Redline D4 ATF from the specs meets GL-4, Dexron II and III.

hdsr09
Thu, Jan-27-2005, 09:03:05 AM
I am going to change the trans fluid in the Getrag trans in my '02 M3, so should I use Royal Purple Synchromax fluid in it or should I use Royal Purple MTF fluid? What would be the best fluid to protect my trans internals and provide smoother shifts?


The Getrag needs MTF. I am currently using Royal Purple Syncrhomax in the M5. It's MUCH smoother than it was with the OEM fluid.

http://www.royalpurple.com/prodsa/scmax.html

Also, in one of my above posts that I wrote in respone to a post by Art, I mean to say "diff" fluid, not "tranny" fluid. I deleted the post.

Anyway, RP makes 75W-140 diff fluid for our cars. It's called "Max-Gear".
I personally would reccomend it over Redline, only because Redline is not API approved to meet GL-5 spec, as required by BMW. Redline only "recommends" their product for applications that require GL5....a play on words. I would not trust it to remain stable for extended street use.

Divexxtreme
Thu, Jan-27-2005, 01:04:17 PM
The Synchromax is for your transmission, so you should use that one. The Max-Gear is only for your differential.

ArtM3
Thu, Jan-27-2005, 01:06:46 PM
ok reading the Manual Transmission TIS let's answer some questions:

1) is there a label next to the filler plug or on the transmission bell housing?
...if a yellow label with the letters "MTF-LT-1" go to 2)

2) no oil change required for entire service life of the transmission or filled with lifetime oil in event of a repair. After 2004 may be filled with MTF-LT-2 which has same properties as MTF-LT-1 and can be mixed or substituted.

So given the information from the TIS IF our cars fall under 3) or 4) ATF can be used or even required! The Redline D4 ATF from the specs meets GL-4, Dexron II and III.

Our cars have MTF LT 1 labels (2), in addition the M cars require a change every Inspection II per BMW's service checklist. I would not use ATF, but it's an individual decision...

ArtM3
Thu, Jan-27-2005, 01:13:31 PM
The Synchromax is for your transmission, so you should use that one. The Max-Gear is only for your differential.

hey, after reviewing Redline's website, the 75w140 (not NS) is GL5+ rated...since BMW calls for Castrol 75w140 GL6 either should work...

glenspeed
Thu, Jan-27-2005, 04:11:58 PM
Our cars have MTF LT 1 labels (2), in addition the M cars require a change every Inspection II per BMW's service checklist. I would not use ATF, but it's an individual decision...

so technically speaking we shouldn't even change the MTL with other MTL except for LT-1 or LT-2 (whatever that means).

anyone know what the LT-1, LT-2 refer to? I couldn't find a reference for that spec anywhere.

ArtM3
Thu, Jan-27-2005, 04:20:08 PM
so technically speaking we shouldn't even change the MTL with other MTL except for LT-1 or LT-2 (whatever that means).

anyone know what the LT-1, LT-2 refer to? I couldn't find a reference for that spec anywhere.


tranny, oem:
MTF LT1 83 229 408 942 (5 liter)
superceded by MTF LT2 83 220 390 031 ( 5 liter)
LT1 is really Esso/Exxon MTF-LT-1 (takes 1.75 liter)
LT2 is really Castrol MTF-LT-2

neither can be purchased in the States

I'm going with the Redline MTL or the Purple Syncrhomax.
I've been running the MTL for >30k with no issues...

DJ9
Thu, Jan-27-2005, 05:50:13 PM
tranny, oem:
MTF LT1 83 229 408 942 (5 liter)
superceded by MTF LT2 83 220 390 031 ( 5 liter)
LT1 is really Esso/Exxon MTF-LT-1 (takes 1.75 liter)
LT2 is really Castrol MTF-LT-2

neither can be purchased in the States

I'm going with the Redline MTL or the Purple Syncrhomax.
I've been running the MTL for >30k with no issues...


In trying to figure out this whole MTF LT 1 or 2, I checked my 1200 mile inspection write up and found that they put in LT1 in my car a few months ago. Called the part dept at a few dealers in my area and had them type in the part number for LT2. Well, it's definitely there, but the product that it defaults to under the LT2 fluid, happens to be the LT 1 part number. So even though LT1 was superceded by LT2; I think you're right in saying that LT2 is not available in the US as of yet. Also, both dealers had these in stock and ready for purchase, but as of now, whether it is Lt1 or 2 part #'s, it's the same product here in th US. Such a simple thing to find out has become a pain.....If we new what exactly LT1 or 2 is composed of, we could match the specs and get a higher quality product.

glenspeed
Thu, Jan-27-2005, 11:35:22 PM
In trying to figure out this whole MTF LT 1 or 2, I checked my 1200 mile inspection write up and found that they put in LT1 in my car a few months ago. Called the part dept at a few dealers in my area and had them type in the part number for LT2. Well, it's definitely there, but the product that it defaults to under the LT2 fluid, happens to be the LT 1 part number. So even though LT1 was superceded by LT2; I think you're right in saying that LT2 is not available in the US as of yet. Also, both dealers had these in stock and ready for purchase, but as of now, whether it is Lt1 or 2 part #'s, it's the same product here in th US. Such a simple thing to find out has become a pain.....If we new what exactly LT1 or 2 is composed of, we could match the specs and get a higher quality product.


I got the same infor, from what I gathered from other forums. LT-2 is newer because BMW changed suppliers. Apparently it is only available in Europe and not US (haven't checked Canada yet), but is interchangeable with LT-1. Bottom line, they should be the same for our purposes except for the manufacturer.

glenspeed
Thu, Feb-17-2005, 03:36:19 PM
Ok, I think I've got this thing cleared up now. Talked to Mike Miller of Roundel and got more into this debate and for me (YMMV) MTF is the way to go.

He says both D4 ATF and MTF are good, but MTF seems to be the preference of most rebuilders and knowledgeable technicians in MT cars. The reason he suggest using D4 ATF is it probably provides even easier shifting (relative to MTF) when the transmission is cold.

He states "Some people treat the shifter like it was baseball bat, whereas we should be treating it like it was a Faberge Egg – regardless of temperature. That is why we have manual gearboxes filled with automatic transmission fluid – because it shifts better when cold and we can’t trust all drivers to treat the gearbox right."

Here are excerpts from his article he sent me. Of course there are no warranties implied or given and YMMV. These statements are, of course his opinions and you can make your own conclusions.

I'm going with MTF...




What Red Line Oil Recommends

Red Line Oil (www.redlineoil.com) recommends different products depending on the BMW gearbox in question, which depends a great deal on the model year BMW in question. For older gearboxes, Red Line Oil recommends MTL, for newer gearboxes, they recommend their D4 ATF product. Where is the cutoff? That is the $64,000 question to which no one has a definitive answer. This is where it gets complicated, but unduly so. Let me explain…

In the old days, Red Line Oil advised that BMW manual gearboxes have either a green label, a red label or no label from the factory. For green label cars, Red Line recommends their MT90 manual transmission lubricant. Red label cars get D4ATF. No label cars get Red Line MTL.

Today, however, BMW gearboxes have no label and Red Line recommends D4 ATF. Also, those labels tended to fall off.

Cold Shifting Concerns

BMW uses an ATF product in their modern manual gearboxes. The reason for this is probably that ATF has nice cold weather shifting qualities, and probably cuts down on customer complaints about “hard shifting when cold.” But it is normal to have to shift gently when a gearbox is cold.

ATF is great when you’re a synchronizer, because it is a friction enhancer that helps synchronizers do their job. ATF also flows nicely when it is cold. However, when you’re a bearing, ATF isn’t exactly the ideal lubricant, especially at very high temperatures. In fact, most ATF is a terrible bearing lubricant.

I note that Red Line MTL also has excellent cold weather shifting and flow qualities.

Red Line Oil also espouses the cold weather shifting qualities of their D4 ATF product, a synthetic Dexron III product. They have admitted to me that their D4 ATF recommendation is also a nod toward BMW’s warranty.

Another factor, though, is that while any manual gearbox with any lubricant requires a deft hand until it warms up, not all drivers can be trusted to employ that deft hand, so D4 ATF becomes the universal recommendation.

What the Pros Use

Legendary BMW gearbox rebuilder Jim Blanton has been putting these units together for over thirty years, and he will use only Red Line MTL – in fact, he fills each rebuilt gearbox with MTL before shipping it.

Jim Rowe of Metric Mechanic is also a legendary BMW gearbox rebuilder; he uses only Red Line MTL just like Blanton.

Brett Anderson of Koala Motorsport is perhaps one of the best BMW technicians and drivetrain rebuilders in the U.S., and he uses only Red Line MTL.

As a humble but hardened do-it-yourselfer and car writer, I have used MTL extensively, and have had nothing but extraordinary long-term experience with this fine product. I have also used D4 ATF in manual gearboxes. Performance-wise, I can’t tell the difference. But I don’t have long-term experience with D4 ATF. My personal feeling is I’d rather use MTL.

My Wife Can’t Shift; I Have An Automatic. Can I Change the “Lifetime Fill” to Red Line D4 ATF?

This subject merits its own article. E-mail Tech Talk if you want to read it.

What About the BMW Warranty?

As for the BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty, in my opinion and experience, it is highly unlikely that you will experience any manual gearbox failure within the warranty period. It is even more unlikely that any such failure would be lubrication-related regardless of which product you use – BMW factory fill, Red Line D4 ATF, or Red Line MTL.

If a dealership can plausibly deny any warranty claim, chances are they will do so; they have a “warranty index” to protect. If you do experience an internal manual gearbox failure and the dealer discovers non-factory-fill lubricant, they may deny the claim regardless of what product you used – D4 ATF or MTL. I believe it would then be incumbent upon BMW to prove that the lubricant you used caused the failure in question, which, as a practical matter, would be a very tall order even in the unlikely event it were true.

Anticipating your next question, yes, Red Line D4 ATF looks a lot like BMW’s factory fill ATF.

Conclusion

Fill your gearbox with whatever you want. If you want to know what I use, it is Red Line MTL, except for those few “green label” cars, in which I do use MT-90 – which I believe is the Getrag 280 in the E28 and E34 M5.

However, at the same time we have to recognize that cooler ambient temperatures require any manual gearbox to be treated with deference until it warms up. Car manufacturers, technicians, and lubricant manufacturers cannot depend on every driver to do that. Some people treat the shifter like it was baseball bat, whereas we should be treating it like it was a Faberge Egg – regardless of temperature. That is why we have manual gearboxes filled with automatic transmission fluid – because it shifts better when cold and we can’t trust all drivers to treat the gearbox right.

Of course, I’m obliged to say that no warranties are given or implied. You’re reading my opinion, and regardless of how well founded it may be or how many professional BMW technicians may agree with me, “your mileage may vary.”

(c) 2003 Mike Miller

glenspeed
Thu, Feb-17-2005, 07:41:10 PM
Now I guess the choice would be between Royal Purple MTF or Redline MTF???? :banghead:

STALKER
Thu, Feb-17-2005, 07:51:55 PM
Well I just got some RP MTF so it better be good stuff. I got the idea from this thread.

glenspeed
Thu, Feb-17-2005, 08:11:23 PM
Well I just got some RP MTF so it better be good stuff. I got the idea from this thread.

when and where are you going to change the fluid?

STALKER
Thu, Feb-17-2005, 08:13:37 PM
I bought the fluid from a member here and Im gonna get it done when I get back, when the Brembos, Pullies, and SSK go on.

glenspeed
Thu, Feb-17-2005, 08:20:12 PM
I bought the fluid from a member here and Im gonna get it done when I get back, when the Brembos, Pullies, and SSK go on.

which shop?

DJ9
Thu, Feb-17-2005, 09:54:25 PM
which shop?


Glen, great info.... Just for the record I eventually gave in and tried out for the hell of it the Redline D4 ATF and found that it was substantially smoother than the LT1 MTF. I then eventually tracked down the new LT2 and threw that in there instead. LT2 MTF feels significantly smoother than the LT1 MTF, brand change or not; and slightly more friction than the Redline D4 ATF, even though it was the ATF and not the MTF oil. So for the time being, I'm going to stick to the LT2....but if I feel the need to change my transmission oil after i install my SSK; I will stick to MTF based on all the information gathered. :thumbsup:

ArtM3
Thu, Feb-17-2005, 09:57:10 PM
Glen, great info.... Just for the record I eventually gave in and tried out for the hell of it the Redline D4 ATF and found that it was substantially smoother than the LT1 MTF. I then eventually tracked down the new LT2 and threw that in there instead. LT2 MTF feels significantly smoother than the LT1 MTF, brand change or not; and slightly more friction than the Redline D4 ATF, even though it was the ATF and not the MTF. So for the time being, I'm going to stick to the LT2....but if I feel the need to change my transmission oil after i install my SSK; I will stick to MTF based on all the information gathered. :thumbsup:

where'd you get the LT2, dealer? how much and how was it packaged...thnx...

STALKER
Thu, Feb-17-2005, 09:58:47 PM
which shop?
Mantis Racing or Engineered, but most likely Mantis.

DJ9
Thu, Feb-17-2005, 10:14:23 PM
where'd you get the LT2, dealer? how much and how was it packaged...thnx...


If you would like to purchase it, Crevier can get it for you no problem. I actually located it through Crevier and spoke with my dealers Service Manager. The dealer purchased it and completed the oil change under warranty...i.e "Customer Complaint." I verified the LT2 MTF part # and LT2 MTF label from the part dept prior to the techs performing the oil change. I believe the price will come out to around $85, if you pay for it on your own, as you will need to purchase 3 qrts(LT2 comes in cylinder bottles as opposed to the 5 gallon gas can looking jug for Lt1).

glenspeed
Thu, Feb-17-2005, 10:58:47 PM
That's good to know that the LT-2 was smoother, but could it have been because the fluid was brand new? Any difference in cold shifting ability versus the old fluid?

DJ9
Thu, Feb-17-2005, 11:42:11 PM
That's good to know that the LT-2 was smoother, but could it have been because the fluid was brand new? Any difference in cold shifting ability versus the old fluid?

Well my the LT1 was put in during my 1200 mile inspection; and I only have 3,900 miles on my car right now, so the LT1 was brand new.

The cold shifting ability is significantly better. For example when i would start my car in the morning and go into 1st or 2nd gear, LT1 was like chopping wood, LT2 really can't notice the notchiness that much, and Redline was very smooth. I'm sure the same would apply with Royal Purple as well.

glenspeed
Thu, Feb-17-2005, 11:56:35 PM
Well my the LT1 was put in during my 1200 mile inspection; and I only have 3,900 miles on my car right now, so the LT1 was brand new.

The cold shifting ability is significantly better. For example when i would start my car in the morning and go into 1st or 2nd gear, LT1 was like chopping wood, LT2 really can't notice the notchiness that much, and Redline was very smooth. I'm sure the same would apply with Royal Purple as well.

I was thinking that given your car is so new, how much of the decrease in notchiness you experienced would be associated with going past the break in period and getting properly worked in, and how much of that was because of LT2 change? My car never changed notchiness from new, but I haven't changed the fluid yet either except during the first inspection like you. Going to order the Redline MTF soon...

DJ9
Fri, Feb-18-2005, 12:12:33 AM
I was thinking that given your car is so new, how much of the decrease in notchiness you experienced would be associated with going past the break in period and getting properly worked in, and how much of that was because of LT2 change? My car never changed notchiness from new, but I haven't changed the fluid yet either except during the first inspection like you. Going to order the Redline MTF soon...

Oh sorry glen, let me clarify. The notchiness remained constant from my 1200 mile inspection up until when i changed to redline and LT2; so i think it's safe to say that the change in notchiness is attributed to the type of oil. I had my inspection done and transmission oil, etc, etc changed at 1200 miles. At about 3,000 miles i started this thread and "then" tested out Redline ATF and BMW LT2 MTF at about 3,200 miles. Enjoy the new transmission fluid, you'll notice a significant difference right off the bat. :thumbsup:

glenspeed
Fri, Feb-18-2005, 12:25:52 AM
Oh sorry glen, let me clarify. The notchiness remained constant from my 1200 mile inspection up until when i changed to redline and LT2; so i think it's safe to say that the change in notchiness is attributed to the type of oil. I had my inspection done and transmission oil, etc, etc changed at 1200 miles. At about 3,000 miles i started this thread and "then" tested out Redline ATF and BMW LT2 MTF at about 3,200 miles. Enjoy the new transmission fluid, you'll notice a significant difference right off the bat. :thumbsup:

Great! That info makes me fully confident now of the decision to change the fluid! Giddy up...

STALKER
Fri, Feb-18-2005, 12:47:51 AM
Glen, just out of curiosity, why did you want to know where im gonna get it done? Can we do this ourselfs?

glenspeed
Fri, Feb-18-2005, 02:58:14 PM
Glen, just out of curiosity, why did you want to know where im gonna get it done? Can we do this ourselfs?

I don't know who I would bring it to...if we can do it ourselves let's do it. I can't imagine it would be difficult??

AudiOn19s
Fri, Feb-18-2005, 03:02:11 PM
The second day I owned my M3 I swapped out Redline D4ATF and 75W90 into my car as it's just habit on anything that I buy. the procedure is easy enough to do yourself in less than 2 hours...as a matter of fact more like 1 hour if you're on the ball.

After reading this I might try MTL next time around...I tend to swap fluids out every 15k miles or so just for peace of mind...or maybe I just get bored and want something to do on the car???

Andy

glenspeed
Fri, Feb-18-2005, 03:13:31 PM
The second day I owned my M3 I swapped out Redline D4ATF and 75W90 into my car as it's just habit on anything that I buy. the procedure is easy enough to do yourself in less than 2 hours...as a matter of fact more like 1 hour if you're on the ball.

After reading this I might try MTL next time around...I tend to swap fluids out every 15k miles or so just for peace of mind...or maybe I just get bored and want something to do on the car???

Andy

What's the procedure for the fluid change? I have access to an oil extractor, does that make it easier?

ArtM3
Fri, Feb-18-2005, 03:32:48 PM
The second day I owned my M3 I swapped out Redline D4ATF and 75W90 into my car as it's just habit on anything that I buy. the procedure is easy enough to do yourself in less than 2 hours...as a matter of fact more like 1 hour if you're on the ball.

After reading this I might try MTL next time around...I tend to swap fluids out every 15k miles or so just for peace of mind...or maybe I just get bored and want something to do on the car???

Andy

you may want to consider using the 75W140 redline, that way they can't void the diff warranty because it is the same weight, API spec, etc....

AudiOn19s
Fri, Feb-18-2005, 03:35:00 PM
Thanks art...again next time around I might change both of them.

Glen : good old drain pan is all you need...BUT for the rear diff you need a 14mm Allen Key tool...I searched at all of the local tool stores and ended up purchasing one from the local snap-on guy because none of the retail locations had it.

ArtM3
Fri, Feb-18-2005, 03:35:21 PM
What's the procedure for the fluid change? I have access to an oil extractor, does that make it easier?


the diff & tranny each have 2 plugs: bottom drain, top/side fill, open the top first (vent and make sure you can fill!), then open bottom to drain...

after drain, replace plug & use new washers, if req, and then with a hand pump, fill to overflow, allow overflow to almost stop, wipe off, and insert plug...

glenspeed
Sat, Feb-19-2005, 05:56:50 AM
the diff & tranny each have 2 plugs: bottom drain, top/side fill, open the top first (vent and make sure you can fill!), then open bottom to drain...

after drain, replace plug & use new washers, if req, and then with a hand pump, fill to overflow, allow overflow to almost stop, wipe off, and insert plug...

thanks Art.

hdsr09
Wed, May-11-2005, 03:14:14 AM
Haha! Reviving an old post...

Anyway, Why do normal E46 3-Series cars use 75W90 rear diff fluid, and E46 M3's use 75W140 rear diff fluid? This confuses me...


BTW, My E46 M3 has 63,500 miles on it, and I just changed my "lifetime" OEM BMW Tranny & Rear Diff fluids to Royal Purple Synchromax & Royal Purple 75W140 Max gear oils respectively... I must say my tranny feels like it shifts significantly smoother... As far as my rear diff, I don't notice a difference or hear any bad noises coming from it, so I guess that is a good thing... :agree:

Divexxtreme
Wed, May-11-2005, 03:23:21 AM
Haha! Reviving an old post...

Anyway, Why do normal E46 3-Series cars use 75W90 rear diff fluid, and E46 M3's use 75W140 rear diff fluid? This confuses me...


The M3 has a LSD. 75W140 is for LSD diffs.

Fastdog911
Thu, May-12-2005, 03:23:11 AM
Before I get going on rear end fluid change this it looks like I need a 14mm Allen Key.. besides the fluid do I need a new washer for the bottom drain plug? Any tips to make it easier? Any other special tools needed.. rather find out now vs. later..

rneily
Thu, May-12-2005, 04:39:39 PM
I'd like to order some Lt2 for my car from Crevier. Anyone in Atlanta like to go in halves on a 5q bottle and share it?