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Old 12-03-2000, 03:12 PM   #1
Daios
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Post Atf

Ok, I was wondering what ATF to use. I'm all confussed. I think my fluid is running kinda low now. (It takes a while until it shifts). I also installed a AT oil cooler. So which ATF should I get? Any perticular name brand? Type? I read dexron II or III? And what about draining it? Should I do it and how would I do it or should I just top it off w/ more ATF? Thanks.

-Daios
MY BRP SeDan 4EAT
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Old 12-03-2000, 03:30 PM   #2
P.K. Motorsports
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This is actually a hotly debated topic, do a search to see why. In terms of how good it is, synthetic ATF is right down there with child molesters in some people's opinion, others think it's a desirable upgrade.

Synthetic lubricants usually work better than conventional lubricants under some circumstances, but that doesn't mean your auto will like them. It might require a certain cool and hot viscocity to shift correctly, which might or might not be provided by the synthetic lubricant, "provided" meaning not too thick, not too thin, and the right viscocity spread between cold and hot. Notice there are a lot of "mights" there, since different people seem to have differing experience with the same ATF. It might also develop leaks with a synthetic, since the molecules seem to slip past seals and gaskets more easily.

I did a friend's Altima with standard Dexron II/III Valvoline ATF and it shifted great. I did another friend's Civic with Durablend ATF (about 15% synthetic) and it worked great as well. I'd advise to try full synthetic only with the understanding that it might not perform well and you'll have to drain it and start over after one test drive, thus wasting some of your money.
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Old 12-03-2000, 06:44 PM   #3
Daios
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I did a search... i'm still confussed so thats y i asked. should I drain the fluid myself? I know I won't get all of it out, but I hear u don't drain all of it anyways. Anyone else that could help me?
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Old 12-03-2000, 06:58 PM   #4
Joe Hogan
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The Redline ATF has treating me well to date. However, you will need to have a complete fluid change by a shop that has a machine to flush your tranny with new fluid. If you just change the filter and drain the pan you will not get much fluid out.

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Old 12-03-2000, 06:58 PM   #5
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Check your owners manual, use what they recomend. I worked on a 98 forester w/an auto at work this was a treat because I work for a Lincoln Mercury dealer, but it was a used car, I could have sworn that there was gear oil in the auto..gl4 or gl5 I think. It definatly was not red atf of any sort.

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Old 12-03-2000, 08:37 PM   #6
Daios
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Dangit so how much would it be to bring it to a shop n replace my fluid to Redline ATF? Also is Redline synthetic? Maybe I should just top it off w/ some regular dexron II ATF unless someone recommends i shouldn't. Well the service guy at my subaru dealer said just refill it w/ any ol' dexron II fluid. Doesn't matter as long as its dexron II. (This was in Subaru of Santa Cruz in california which is suposed to have "the best" service) btw they did have great service. Anyways so how much would it be to bring it to a shop n flush Redline ATF in and where? and is Redline synthetic? I heard this redline stuff is good. Oh yea I'm abt 15,000 miles on the odo and i'm running low on atf.

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Old 12-05-2000, 06:48 PM   #7
Daios
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Question

anyone?!?
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Old 12-05-2000, 07:01 PM   #8
P.K. Motorsports
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I don't think you will have much luck getting a shop to do that for a reasonable price. How about this: If you buy the fluid I'll help you drain it and refill it, just bring your car up to Berkeley this weekend.

You can get the fluid at Vic Hubbard's in Hayward. Check your owner's manual as to how much the transmission holds.
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Old 12-05-2000, 07:44 PM   #9
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Daios,

I would recommend going with a good synthetic and spending the money to go to a good transmission shop and have the fluid all drained out with one of the new transmission flushing machines. Why? Heat is the number one enemy of an automatic transmission. No dino oil can even come close to a synthetic when it comes to thermal breakdown and burn temperature.

I have a lot of experience with this as I did a lot of towing with a large boat. If you are planning on modifing your car for higher performance or tend to drive it hard, going with synthetic ATF is one of the cheapest forms of insurance for your automatic.

By going to synthetic you can also probably double your fluid change interval and that will save some money. It is common practice among people that tow large fifth-wheel trailers to switch to synthetic ATF and then just do regular oil analysis on the ATF and not even change the fluid. That is how much better a synthethic ATF is over dino ATF. My Ford truck had a service interval of 21,000 on the ATF. I switched to synthetic and doubled my service interval and the fluid was always clean and very red - this with with a lot of towing too!

As far a expense, it is not really that bad. I did my own because my truck had a drain plug in the torque converter and I was able to get all the old ATF out. My buddy took his truck in and they charged him about $100.00 to do his with the machine which involves hooking into the oil cooler return lines and running the engine to pump all the old fluid out and the new ATF in. The $100 was for a 3/4 ton Ford truck with an E4OD automatic with a 17 quart capacity. Your Suby should be less! I have used both Amsoil and Mobil 1 synthetic ATF and they are both great products.

Just my $0.02

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Old 12-05-2000, 07:52 PM   #10
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Daios,

Oops I almost forgot . . . You mentioned that you installed an ATF oil cooler. That was also very wise. It also probably explains why your transmission is low on fluid. After you installed the cooler, it also had to fill with fluid and you basically increased the capacity of your system. It would be perfectly safe to top it off with the correct fluid. Just make sure you top it off only when the transmission is hot and the fluid has fully expanded so you don't accidently overfill the tranny. ATF expands a lot! I also recommend Redline ATF. It is synthetic also and will provide great service life. As far as the synthetics working in your car - don't worry about it. All of them are manufactured to meet the very requirements your Subaru needs.

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Old 12-05-2000, 10:29 PM   #11
Daios
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Wow thanks 4 all the info! one quick question though: What kind of ATF is in my suby now?!? I haven't changed it yet so I have no idea. I might want to top it off for now and change it maybe nxt month or so. I don't want to mix up the ATF like dexron II w/ III. bad?

P.K. - Thank 4 the offer but I dunno if I can make it this weekend and how much all the fluid will be. Where else can I buy Redline ATF and for how much? I dont' know where Vic Hubbard is. Maybe schedule another time so u can help me, is that ok?

-Daios
MY BRP SeDan 4EAT
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Old 12-05-2000, 11:09 PM   #12
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Daios,

Your suby can use either Dexron II or Dexron III according to the owners manual. As far as mixing them I don't think there would be a problem adding a little of either to bring the tranny up to the proper level. I am usually more concerned about mixing brands than mixing Dexron II or III.

The transmission capacity is 9.8 U.S. quarts which is probably total capacity (with torque converter) and not what would come out of it if you just drained the pan and refilled.

Here are some links:
http://www.mobil.com/mobil1_racing/a...atf/index.html
http://www.redlineoil.com/products.htm
http://www.amsoil.com/products/atf.html

all of the manufacturers AFT products are Dexron II/Dexron III/Mercon compatible and will work well in your Subaru.

The Redline site also has dealer information.

I prefer Mobil 1 because you can find it in most autoparts stores. I like the idea that if I need a little I can find it easily and quickly.

Punk

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Old 12-06-2000, 10:03 PM   #13
P.K. Motorsports
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The Redline will run you about $8 a quart. Vic Hubbard's is at 411 West A St. in Hayward. You can top off with any standard Dexron ATF. Just let me know...
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Old 12-07-2000, 01:17 AM   #14
Daios
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$8/qt for redline dang! Looks like that would have to wait... maybe i'll just get mobil 1. I went looking around n its everywhere. around ~$5/qt. Well thanks 4 all the info n the links punk (that sounds mean callin u that, oh well) I'll check out Vic Hubbard later n see what they got. Thanks again.

-Daios
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Old 12-13-2000, 02:12 AM   #15
Daios
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Oh yea... umm where is the filler? All it shows in the manual is the dipstick.

-Daios
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Old 12-13-2000, 04:28 AM   #16
Kevin Thomas
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I've used Redline, then regular OEM tranny fluid, and then Mobile 1 ATF. I've noticed no difference in them. Now I have another brand put in by a shop.
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Old 12-13-2000, 07:21 PM   #17
richeich
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Daios, the filter is inside the transmission. You would have to remove the pan to get access to it.

Kevin, do you run an ATF temperature gauge? When I had my SVX, and learned about their tranny problems due to heat, I installed a temp gauge to monitor it. I had read Amsoil's claim of 20 to 50 degrees lower temperatures and wanted to verify it. In normal conditions, it didn't make any difference, when it was operating in it's normal temperature range. Over a hill that's part of my normal route home from work, however, it did lower the temperature spike by 20 degrees. With regular ATF, it would spike at 210, with the synthetic ATF it spiked at 190. And that's a relatively small hill. So, in normal operation I don't think that you will notice a difference, definitely not one you will feel. But if you are in hilly/mountanous terrain, or do some hard driving or racing, you will be doing your tranny a favor by using a high quality synthetic ATF. (I did this experiment before becoming an Amsoil dealer, and actually signed up for it afterwards just so I could get it cheaper). Please don't take this as an Amsoil ad, take it as an endorsement for synthetic fluids in general. I don't mean to use the 'A' word so much, it just so happens that's what I use and have experience with, so that's what I can comment on.

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Old 12-13-2000, 08:46 PM   #18
Daios
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nonono... not the filter, where do u refill the tranny w/ more ATF? its not in the manual.
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Old 12-14-2000, 03:27 AM   #19
richeich
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D'oh! You did say filler, didn't you? If you need to add ATF, you get a funnel that will reach the dipstick (a long skinny one), and add it through the dipstick.

If you have a tranny place (or jiffy lube) do it, they hook their machine to the cooling lines and pump the fluid in that way. That removes all the old stuff and puts new fluid throughout.

Good luck,

Rich
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Old 12-15-2000, 05:05 AM   #20
Kevin Thomas
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richeich,

No! I don't have an AT Temp Gauge. I need one but I don't know where to place the gauge. Im kinda running out of space. I plan on picking one up as soon as I can figure out where to put it. Right now though, Im using 'Level 10' synthetic oil and a Hayden tranny cooler. I am hoping they help but my tranny is already damaged (At least from looking at the metal shavings that was on the filter magnet). At least the tranny running cooler will prolong the failure, if one is to happen.
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Old 12-15-2000, 06:36 AM   #21
richeich
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Yeah, I've read your account here and Eric's account over on the Yahoo SVX club. You guys sound like you had a good time! He was very impressed with your car. With the Level Ten work and their synthetic, you should be in good shape.

Rich
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Old 12-17-2000, 09:57 PM   #22
P.K. Motorsports
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Daios - assume you were busy this weekend, are you still interested in swapping the tranny oil? I think I have enough ATE Superblue to do one more set of brakes too, if you're interested. I'm busy on Christmas but if next weekend is as beautiful as this one, it would be a shame to waste it not working on cars .
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