First... Thanks to Cani Lupine and everyone who contributed to this thread!
I just did this job...so I'll add a few tips for anyone who may have never done a manual transmission fluid change before. I'm also adding pics...because posts can never have enough pics!
To give you a visual representation of what a manual transmission fluid change is, here's a simple drawing below. A manual transmission is a sealed unit that's only partially full of oil. There's a drain plug at the bottom of the transmission case that allows the fluid to drain out. There's also a fill plug about half-way up the side of the case. This is where you add fluid to the transmission. The transmission fluid level is "full" when the fluid level reaches the fill hole...
You need a special funnel to get the fluid into the fill hole. There's no clearance to get a traditional funnel in that hole or a bottle of fluid between the transmission and radiator. You're going to need a funnel with a small opening...and a piece of flexible tubing connected to the end of the funnel. This one from Walmart looks good and it's less than $5 (suggested in post #11)...
I made my own funnel because I already had the pieces on hand. Here's what I used. The clear tubing can be purchased by the foot at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. for less than $2...
Drain and Fill Plugs
It took me a couple of minutes to find the drain and fill plugs using the pics in the first post. I think it was because the plugs are the same color as the transmission case...and you really need to be up close to the trans to see what you are doing. I painted both plugs red before I reinstalled them so I could show you exactly where they are on the transmission. If you've never done this before, you might be confused.
Here is a photo of the transmission looking at it from underneath on the driver's side of the car.
The lower one is the drain plug and the upper is the fill plug...
If that photo still doesn't make complete sense to you, notice that the drain plug is a few inches directly below where the driver's side half-shaft goes into the side of the transmission...
As discussed in other posts, both plugs are identical 24mm bolts with solid aluminum washers that can be re-used...they are not crush washers like on the oil pan drain plug. If you see a bolt that's not 24mm on the transmission case, then it's NOT the drain or fill plug so don't mess with it! I remember someone posting in another thread that they loosened a transmission bolt that was not one of the plugs.
When you remove the drain plug, have a full-size drain pan in place! The transmission fluid will come shooting out of the drain hole several inches just like when you are changing your oil. For some reason I was expecting it to come out more slowly like heavy gear oil. As a result, it looks like the Exxon Valdez ran aground on my garage floor. Unless you are doing this job when it's really cold, the fluid is not thick.
Filling the fluid
Place the end of the funnel tubing into the fill hole. Here's what this looks like from below...
And here's what it looks like from above...
Note: There are a couple of clips built into the radiator fan motor which are perfect for holding the funnel/tubing in place! It's strange but handy because you don't need to hold onto the funnel while adding the oil.
Pour the first quart in. Then pour 1/2 of the second quart in. Now slow down and continue to add smaller amounts of the remaining fluid while watching the fill hole. At some point fluid will start running out of the fill hole. When this happens, the transmission fluid level is full. Remove the tubing from the hole and reinstall the drain plug. I think I had maybe 1/2 cup of fluid left over...so even if you spill some you'll have more than enough to do this job.
When I drained my transmission, close to 2 quarts of fluid came out by my estimation. Before I drained it, I removed the fill plug and stuck my finger in the hole to see if I could detect the fluid level. I couldn't get any fluid on my finger when I tried. So my transmission wasn't completely filled to the bottom of the fill hole like you would expect.
When I refilled it, I was able to get about 80% of the second bottle added before fluid started running out of the fill hole. So the stated capacity (1.7 quarts) is pretty close to the amount of fluid you'll add if you just fill it until it runs out of the fill hole.
I used Redline MTL 75W80 like many others have. It seems to be working well. I would say I got a slight amount of shift improvement after the change.
I saved a sample of my gear oil which I am sending to Blackstone Labs for analysis. I'll post the results when they come in.
Last edited by Top_Fuel; 10-16-2019 at 03:31 AM.
View my fuel log 2015 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 51.7 mpg (US) ... 22.0 km/L ... 4.5 L/100 km ... 62.1 mpg (Imp)