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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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I hate digging up old threads, but as I am the OP, I guess I'll let it slide :hi:

I'm finally getting around to changing out the manual transmission fluid and can't find the capacity ANYWHERE. Even the owner's manual doesn't list the capacity as it says it's a "Lifetime Fluid." I know I just need to fill it until it slowly drips out of the fill hole (being level of course), but for purchasing purposes, how much does it take?

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I'm beginning to feel some "notchy-ness" in my 1st and second gear, so I'm going to replace the fluid next week. I've heard of people using Royal Purple and saying it is a bad choice, so I'm looking to use the tried-and-true Redline fluids.

Here is my question. Some people recommend the MT-90 (along with pelicanparts.com) while I read a lot of places that say the 75W90 GL-5 Gear Oil is correct. The Redline application guide recommends D4 ATF and doesn't even list the MT-90! :facepalm:

What have you guys had success with?

Edit: 2004 E46 325CI coupe M54 5-speed manual
 

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I put D4-ATF in mine 20k miles ago and have had no issues. Now that I'm not using "lifetime" fluid, I plan on changing it every 30k miles.

Solidjake is adamantly against using ATF, and I respect his opinion, but I've had no issues.


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Discussion Starter #7
I know people like putting ATF in manuals, but I don't think I could bring myself to do it.

Ok mt-90 it is!

Here are 2 more qestions for you guys:
I've read that it is detrimental to fill up the transmission, then drive it around, and then fill it up some more (always just to the fill hole). Every DIY I find doesn't say anything about it. Do you guys just fill and go or take her around the block a few times?

I'll probably change out the rear diff fluid at the same time. Is that redline 75w90 a good fluid to use?
 

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Not that MT-90/MTL is good or bad - I've never used it in the E46; but, in this case, ATF is jut a label. Read the application guide on Redline's website. They specifically state that D4 works in your car (as many of us on here can attest to). My point is, don't decide not to use D4 since they called it an ATF. Decide this based on your needs.

Luke
 

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75w90 is ideal to use in the diff... In some applications, you will need the friction modifier required for some LSD's.

In regards to using D4 or just plain MTL...either will work when recommended. I believe it was ZF that was exploring alternatives to keep their transmissions alive. All the D4 has over the MTL are the additives for the auto clutches....

i've used Redline for about 30 years now, but have slowly converted to Royal Purple. I just like how it "feels". A few years ago, I had two Landies. Both with R380's, one with MTL and the other with Syncromesh, all diff's and the t'fer case were also split down the middle. The additives in the RP, seem to feel a bit "softer"...or smoother feel. The Redline feels harsh...mostly upon first start up, but once it get warm, cant tell the difference. I am now using RP on modern Landy, except for the transmission (those ZF boxes, better give it what it REQUIRES...or BOOM...kiss $9k away).
 

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I put D4-ATF in mine 20k miles ago and have had no issues. Now that I'm not using "lifetime" fluid, I plan on changing it every 30k miles.

Solidjake is adamantly against using ATF, and I respect his opinion, but I've had no issues.


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No idea what you are referring to or talking about
 

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RP doesn't even publish the specs of its fluids. Never buy anything like that. They're all marketing hype. I don't care if it works. I don't support bullshit companies like them.
 

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I'm beginning to feel some "notchy-ness" in my 1st and second gear, so I'm going to replace the fluid next week. I've heard of people using Royal Purple and saying it is a bad choice, so I'm looking to use the tried-and-true Redline fluids.

Here is my question. Some people recommend the MT-90 (along with pelicanparts.com) while I read a lot of places that say the 75W90 GL-5 Gear Oil is correct. The Redline application guide recommends D4 ATF and doesn't even list the MT-90! :facepalm:

What have you guys had success with?

Edit: 2004 E46 325CI coupe M54 5-speed manual
The manual transmission of the E36 takes automatic transmission fluid, not gear oil.

You should do some more homework before you put in 75w90. If the manual of the E46 is the same as that of the E36, then the oil you are thinking of is way too heavy. That's W-A-Y too heavy.
 

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You're gonna regret gear oil when the mercury falls next winter, and all other winters when you have that in your transmission.

ATF, automatic transmission fluid, is light weight and has excellent sheer qualities, gear oil is heavy weight and the sheer qualities are not nearly so critical. When it turns cold outside, the heavy gear oil will turn to goo and your transmission will be all but impossible to get along with.

I do not have an Owner's Manual handy and I do not know that the fluid used in the E36 and the E46 are the same (although if the transmissions are the same then I see no reason to think the fluids would be different), and the E36 specifies ATF (Dexron II) or MTF-LF (manual transmission fluid, long life). If you were going to deviate from Dex II, then use Dex III, or whatever ATF is called for in your model car that is equipped with an automatic transmission.

Your idea to use 75W90 is a bad one, I think.
 

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I've been running Redline D4 for the last 130,000 miles and it works great. I've been considering going with a 60/40 or so mix of D4 and 75W-140NS just to quiet down a bit of gearbox chatter I get at idle with the A/C on since going to the single mass flywheel, but it's not nearly annoying enough to do the fluid change early.
 

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Isn't D4 just a marketing term for Dexron IV? If so, it is automatic transmission fluid.


http://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?pid=51&pcid=9


I'm not gonna weigh into the swamp about whether Redline is good or not, but D4 is ATF. You do not want to mix a heavy gear oil with your ATF, and you absolutely do not want to replace your ATF with gear oil.

The discussion here, that the OP presented, is about putting in 75w90 gear oil in a manual transmission. Grandpa might have done that in his Model T, but you seriously do not want to do this in any modern manual transmission that I know of. There may be a few manual transmissions that want 75w90, but your BMW does not have one.
 

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Dexron IV does not exist. Redline D4 ATF only meets/exceeds Dexron III specs. Their marketing is that it's "one" better.

Deron VI is the next step up from Dexron III. And it's backward's compatible.
 

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Dexron IV does not exist. Redline D4 ATF only meets/exceeds Dexron III specs. Their marketing is that it's "one" better.

Deron VI is the next step up from Dexron III. And it's backward's compatible.
Okay, so Dex 4 does not exist, but D4 is a replacement for Dex II and Dex III, which is the fluid called for in the manual transmission of the 3 Series cars -- and others but we only care about the 3s here.

D4 is ATF, and ATF is the specified manual transmission fluid for the 3 Series. That's the bottom line.
 
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