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      07-28-2014, 08:41 AM   #1
MightyMouseTech
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Redline Transmission Fluid (D4 vs MTL)

So, I really did not like the factory MTF-LT-5 that came with my car (2013 135i MT), seemed way too thick at cold temps, and not sure if it is a synthetic. I found the trans especially notchy going from 1st to 2nd. Flushed it with the factory MTF-LT-5 at about 5000 km, and no difference.

Switched out the stock trans mounts for the much firmer M3 ones. Made the shifting a little better, but also increased the noise from what I am assuming is the dual mass flywheel. Sounds like a bad bearing noise that goes away when I step on the clutch pedal.

Switched out the MTF-LT-5 for Redline D4 ATF as per the Redline website fluid selector. This helped the shifting somewhat, especially when below freezing. Good to get a real synthetic in there.

But I still was not that happy with it, felt much thinner than the stock fluid when hot, and the shifting did not feel smooth, like it was gritty.

So, I tried using Redline MTL. Wow, what a difference!!! Finally feels like it should, and I have only changed it once so far, will have to flush it again to get out all of the D4.

Transmission now feels very slick when changing gears. Even my wife commented on how much better it feels. Will see how it feels when the temp drops below freezing.

Still have the bearing type noise when trans is hot and sitting idling, really not sure if this is normal or not, anybody else get this noise?

Long story short, I highly recommend the MTL for the N55's manual tranny. Same tranny as the 1M as well.

Hope this is the final fluid choice, getting tired of changing it, at 25k and have flushed it 5 times now.

Last edited by MightyMouseTech; 07-28-2014 at 08:49 AM.
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      07-28-2014, 10:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
So, I tried using Redline MTL. Wow, what a difference!!! Finally feels like it should, and I have only changed it once so far...
+1. I switched to Redline MTL last year. I noticed a difference immediately and am planning on sticking with it.
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      07-28-2014, 01:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback guys!

Ive been running RL D4 but find that the smooth shifting doesnt last long. Ive changed the D4 fluid twice since spring 2014 because I track my 135i a lot, shifting was getting notchier, and I need fast precise and smooth shifts.

The CDV delete and E46/M3 trans mounts have also helped in this area.

Sounds like Redline MTL fluid is going to be better for my use case than D4.

Im also using a Dimple magnetic Drain plug for both my transmission and engine. See link here -->
http://www.drainplugmagnets.com/bmwautomobiles.php

Last edited by dcaron9999; 08-14-2014 at 06:25 PM.
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      07-28-2014, 02:38 PM   #4
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Awesome thanks for the feedback. I've been wondering about the Redline MTL. Have the D4 now, and will switch to the MTL at 60k (or before if I get bored I guess).
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      07-28-2014, 04:37 PM   #5
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I use MTL in my 128i manual. It's a different gear box but I like the results in it too.
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      08-12-2014, 06:57 PM   #6
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Hey guys, I'm in the process of ordering my diff and tranny fluids from Redline but can't seem to decide on which transmission fluid to use.

So far for the diff fluid I'm down to 2 quarts of this:

http://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?product=57904

And this is where it gets tricky..

The choice between Redline ATF-D4 and Redline MTL.

I was on the verge of ordering 3 quarts of this:

http://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?pid=45&pcid=7

From what I'm told ATF-D4 is a lot thinner than MTL, so it can go through the valve body and hold pressure. MTL is thicker so it can grab onto your synchros and keep your gears better lubricated. However, I'm also told that MTL is for use in Diffs. It is a VERY thick fluid. Although Redline states you can use it in the manual BMW trans... Apparently they first recommend ATF D4, then D6 and then MTL...

Just looking for some insight here! Thanks
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      08-12-2014, 07:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post

Still have the bearing type noise when trans is hot and sitting idling, really not sure if this is normal or not, anybody else get this noise?
^^This noise goes away when you press down on the clutch pedal right? That noise is normal. These cars make some wierd noises that are "normal".



Quote:
Hope this is the final fluid choice, getting tired of changing it, at 25k and have flushed it 5 times now.
Man, and here I thought I was crazy with changing my trans/diff oils! lol

The BEST oil is FRESH oil!


@MightyMouseTech Maybe I should change out my Redline ATF D4 to Redline MTL for use in my manual trans. You really like it better than the D4 ?
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      08-12-2014, 07:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
^^This noise goes away when you press down on the clutch pedal right? That noise is normal. These cars make some wierd noises that are "normal".
Man, and here I thought I was crazy with changing my trans/diff oils! lol

The BEST oil is FRESH oil!

@MightyMouseTech Maybe I should change out my Redline ATF D4 to Redline MTL for use in my manual trans. You really like it better than the D4 ?
I like the MTL a lot more than the D4. Even my wife made a comment on how much better it felt, and I did not tell her that I had changed the fluid.

And yes, the noise goes away when I step on the clutch. Exactly as if there is a bad bearing in the transmission.
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      08-12-2014, 07:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DurimOne54 View Post
From what I'm told ATF-D4 is a lot thinner than MTL, so it can go through the valve body and hold pressure. MTL is thicker so it can grab onto your synchros and keep your gears better lubricated. However, I'm also told that MTL is for use in Diffs. It is a VERY thick fluid. Although Redline states you can use it in the manual BMW trans... Apparently they first recommend ATF D4, then D6 and then MTL...
Valve body? Is your car a manual? All the lubrication in a manual is from the oil just splashing around, there are no valve bodies or anything pressurized like in an automatic.
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      08-12-2014, 07:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MightyMouseTech View Post
I like the MTL a lot more than the D4. Even my wife made a comment on how much better it felt, and I did not tell her that I had changed the fluid.
Ok, cool. Looks like I gotta try this MTL oil. I just hope its not too think for winter use.


Quote:
And yes, the noise goes away when I step on the clutch. Exactly as if there is a bad bearing in the transmission.
Yea... that is the dual mass flywheel - doing it's thing. Totally normal.

When I switch off the engine I always depress the clutch - so I don't hear that clatter as the engine stops rotating.

Just like that scraping type sound as the engine idles(AC compressor?) and the D.I. ticking noise at idle and wastegate noises. These car make some weird noises.... but at WOT I could care less.
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      08-12-2014, 08:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
Ok, cool. Looks like I gotta try this MTL oil. I just hope its not too think for winter use.
I thought thinner oil was worse for the winter?
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      08-13-2014, 01:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DurimOne54 View Post
I thought thinner oil was worse for the winter?
Noop. The thinner oil flows better when cold. D6 is thinner than D4, and MTL is the thickest.
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      08-13-2014, 07:56 AM   #13
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I am hoping the same about using it in the winter. Will see when it hits -30 C here this winter.
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      09-11-2014, 12:03 PM   #14
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You should check the Mazda forums. They are always flushing out the old and pouring in the new - usually Redline MTL. I bet this makes Redline happy, but the Mazda folks less so.

Frankly, whatever improvements that are observed are mostly imagined!
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      09-16-2014, 10:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Jose View Post
You should check the Mazda forums. They are always flushing out the old and pouring in the new - usually Redline MTL. I bet this makes Redline happy, but the Mazda folks less so.

Frankly, whatever improvements that are observed are mostly imagined!
Well, my wife noticed it immediately, and she had no idea I had done anything. So, yes, I would say there is a noticeable difference.
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      09-16-2014, 01:41 PM   #16
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Put some synchromesh in there and you'd be amazed.
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      09-16-2014, 02:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Put some synchromesh in there and you'd be amazed.
HA! Would you believe that is Honda's official go to fluid when customers are having syncro issues? We actually stock it here at Acura. But you have to use the "friction modified" version, not simple to find unless you have the part number.
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      09-16-2014, 02:18 PM   #18
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There is only one synchromesh, and it's made by Pennzoil, because they hold the patent to the fluid. Any dealer bottled stuff is rebadged/branded stuff, made by Pennzoil. RP makes 'synchromax' which is a fairly good attempt at copying it, but doesn't have the longevity of the Pennzoil stuff and turns to a watery mess after about 50k miles.

Point being, you can use synchromesh anywhere ATF or dinosaur oil (10-30, etc) is specified for a manual gearbox.
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      09-16-2014, 02:31 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DietTab
There is only one synchromesh, and it's made by Pennzoil, because they hold the patent to the fluid. Any dealer bottled stuff is rebadged/branded stuff, made by Pennzoil. RP makes 'synchromax' which is a fairly good attempt at copying it, but doesn't have the longevity of the Pennzoil stuff and turns to a watery mess after about 50k miles.

Point being, you can use synchromesh anywhere ATF or dinosaur oil (10-30, etc) is specified for a manual gearbox.
Actually, it is a GM product.

GM sells both a regular and a friction modified version. The friction modified version is what Honda tells us to use in cars with slow syncros.

Last edited by MightyMouseTech; 09-16-2014 at 02:40 PM.
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      09-16-2014, 02:32 PM   #20
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Pic of fluid.
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      09-16-2014, 03:02 PM   #21
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Guess what the first three words on GM's website are, regarding the fluid. "Pennzoil Synchromesh Fluid"

There is only one synchromesh fluid, GM does not produce a synchromesh fluid. There is no 'friction modified' fluid. It's just a bottle of additive mixed in and labeled as such. The more you know.
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      09-16-2014, 03:17 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DietTab View Post
Guess what the first three words on GM's website are, regarding the fluid. "Pennzoil Synchromesh Fluid"

There is only one synchromesh fluid, GM does not produce a synchromesh fluid. There is no 'friction modified' fluid. It's just a bottle of additive mixed in and labeled as such. The more you know.
That's fine. Whatever the additive is, it works and what makes the difference. GM sells two different versions. We got the non friction modified version from the dealer once by accident, made no improvement to the way the cars shifted. We had to special order this fluid as none of the dealers carry it in stock. Amazing the difference it makes. Never thought to try it in the 1er. Although, too bad it is not a synthetic base oil.
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