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Mechanical Maintenance (Oil, Fluids, Break-In, Servicing) Everything related to the mechanical maintenance of the FR-S and BRZ


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Old 11-23-2020, 03:24 PM   #1
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Difficult 1st gear and almost grinds 2nd, oil problem?

2017 BRZ 90,000km
I just purchased the car and replaced most fluids.
Subaru dealer doesn't carry stock tranny fluid and told me they just use castrol.
So I went and got castrol synthetic 75-90 for both tranny and diff.
The tranny was notchy like metal clanging to metal on shifts. I have no idea why but I drained and swtiched to Redline MT-90 (and kept the castrol in the diff).

Problem:
With redline MT-90 (all shifts are good except) getting into AND out of 1st gear is very notchy when car is cold (6-12ºCelsius weather). And often times I cannot get it into 1st unless I use a bit of force, then it will go in with 2 small clicks.
Once car/fluid warms up 1st gear is problem free, but still not as smooth as a Honda transmission (civic) for whatever it's worth.

2nd problem:
2nd gear sometimes almost grinds. Meaning it doesn't but the shifter vibrates (low frequency)+ (a slight clunky noise) before going in (reference: grind= high frequency vibration + noise).

My thoughts:

I am clueless why there's 1st gear shift issues, but on my bro's S2000 and my previous 944 Porsche I experienced same issues shifting into 1st gear.
2nd gear issue synchros problem - since it's not a new car anymore.
Warranty is still valid, can it be used?
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Old 11-23-2020, 04:51 PM   #2
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Trans only.

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Old 11-23-2020, 11:07 PM   #3
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Might not be the best idea, but maybe try double-clutching into 2nd until the MTF is in operating temp (I've noticed when the engine coolant temp is at least at the first line), shifting becomes smoother. Also, don't shift into first unless you're completely stopped.
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Old 11-24-2020, 10:20 AM   #4
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I used to own a Honda as well and I find that Subaru transmissions aren't quite as slick. My 2nd gear is notchy almost every time in cold weather unless I've driven it for 20min and the car is brand new. If you want to try a lighter weight oil, I previously used Redline MTL (75w80) in my Honda which worked well in freezing temperatures. The Pentosin MTF mentioned above (also a 75w80) seems to be highly regarded as well.

Personally, I'm going to try Ford Motorcraft MTF (XT-M5-QS) which is still a GL-4 and 75w90 oil that Subaru calls for.
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Old 11-24-2020, 12:45 PM   #5
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Ive been running Pentosin MTF2 in my car for 25,000+ miles and have had no issues. Yes, its expensive at about $25 a qt. There is a thread somewhere in the lower levels of this forum going through why it works in our Aisin transmissions. Hyundai uses it in theirs for the Genesis. And BMW puts it in their M cars. The thinner 80 vs 90 weight helps in the cold, but it can also do well during Florida summers. Ive lived in both with the car. No grinding, no notchiness, no hard push into first. Sometimes into reverse, but put it in 3rd before reverse and its fine.
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Old 11-24-2020, 01:24 PM   #6
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https://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65140

https://www.ft86club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16604
^^ This is a 35 pg thread on mostly Pentosin and similar oils.
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Old 11-24-2020, 02:08 PM   #7
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I've struggled with these issues on stock fluid and I've finally found decent solutions.

1st gear: Pause for 1-2 seconds with the clutch pressed in before moving the gear lever. This allows for the input shaft on the transmission to stop spinning(and match the wheels which are also not spinning).

1st to 2nd shift: Maintain a constant RPM for 1-2 seconds before pressing in the clutch. Not sure why this works, but it does. Basically keep the accelerator pedal steady.

These transmissions perform very badly when cold, but the above tricks make it tolerable until it warms up.

Last edited by AT-JeffT; 11-24-2020 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by AT-JeffT View Post
I've struggled with these issues on stock fluid and I've finally found decent solutions.

1st gear: Pause for 1-2 seconds with the clutch pressed in. This allows for the input shaft on the transmission to stop spinning(and match the wheels which are also not spinning).

1st to 2nd shift: Maintain a constant RPM for 1-2 seconds before pressing in the clutch. Not sure why this works, but it does. Basically keep the accelerator pedal steady.

These transmissions perform very badly when cold, but the above tricks make it tolerable until it warms up.
This ^
There is no magic bullet fluid to change it. You will get used to it.
The big thing is that unlike the Honda or other FWD trannies your shifter is directly hooked up to the gear change lever. FWD use a bunch of lever, cables and linkages which all have a little give that absorbs the "notchy" feel people get. That little resistance is just an indicator of a close tolerance tranny and although it feels weird at first you soon learn the tricks.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:27 PM   #9
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I had the same issue with MT-90 due to it being relatively thick at low temps. Switched to Motul Gear 300 which has a higher viscosity index and is thinner when cold, very noticeable improvement in my case. I don't live in Canada, however.
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Old 11-26-2020, 04:09 PM   #10
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Someone on here once had a tip for cold driving that was counter to my intuition in that the first to second shift should be done quickly and esepcially all in one motion with no pause. Not saying jam it in there but once i took that advice i had zero problems with the 1-2 shift. If its hard getting into first definitely try double clutching when you're stationary (without the rev match) that usually makes it go in easy for me.

Only thing i do is just roll through all the gears in neutral before i set off a few times.
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:52 PM   #11
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Only thing i do is just roll through all the gears in neutral before i set off a few times.
This helped my cold notchiness a lot.

For OP's reference, I'm also in BC with a 2017 BRZ (73k kms) and am currently running Motul Gear 300 in my transmission and diff (changed at ~30k). I still occasionally have to "force" my shift into first before the car is fully warmed up, but after that all my upshifts and downshifts (with proper revmatching) are very smooth.
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Old 11-28-2020, 12:05 AM   #12
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OP here.
Thank you everyone for helping me out. It's a lot of mixed information since everyone has different geographics and model year etc.

I put in some Pentosin MTF2 (super expensive btw) today and went for a short test drive..... I am very happy. 1st gear had only hints of notchy-ness (is that a word?). The difference was felt just pulling out of the driveway. For the most part my problem is 80%? solved. I'll update once I get more mileage.

Now help me understand why Pentosin MTF2 75w-80 is better in cold temp than Redline's mt-90 75w-90 when both have the same winter weight... (Maybe I should had used this for my (RIP) 944 S2 with the near same issues; and got used to it as I thought the car was just "old". )
Anyway, which part of the data sheet should I be looking at to check this cold affected nuance?
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Old 11-28-2020, 08:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippee View Post
OP here.
Thank you everyone for helping me out. It's a lot of mixed information since everyone has different geographics and model year etc.

I put in some Pentosin MTF2 (super expensive btw) today and went for a short test drive..... I am very happy. 1st gear had only hints of notchy-ness (is that a word?). The difference was felt just pulling out of the driveway. For the most part my problem is 80%? solved. I'll update once I get more mileage.

Now help me understand why Pentosin MTF2 75w-80 is better in cold temp than Redline's mt-90 75w-90 when both have the same winter weight... (Maybe I should had used this for my (RIP) 944 S2 with the near same issues; and got used to it as I thought the car was just "old". )
Anyway, which part of the data sheet should I be looking at to check this cold affected nuance?
Engine and transmission oil grades are specified by min/max values for that specific grade. As long as the oil falls within the range then it is assigned that particular SAE grade. This is why you might hear of people saying one oil is thinner and another oil is thicker even when comparing different oils of the same grade.

Basically, what you want to be looking for when comparing cold viscosity ratings is the Kinematic Viscosity @ 40*C. The units are either listed as cSt or mm^2/s. The higher the number, the more viscous or thicker the fluid.

You can see in the following chart how big of a range 75W gear oil is by referencing "cSt @ 40*C" range on the left with and "SAE Gear" in blue.

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Old 11-28-2020, 09:41 AM   #14
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swapped to the bmw mtf-2 75w-80.



i don't have to wait on the transmission oil to heat up to use 2nd. in a word...HUGE improvement in drive-ability, runs quieter and less syncro rattle.
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