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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you may remember this thread a while back:

http://rav4world.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1244&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

I was wondering if any others had problems with the notchy 1-2 shift on their Ravs.

Well, I can completely and honestly say I have solved this problem!

Having worked in the automotive transmission industry for 8 years now, I was plenty familiar with running ATF in a manual trans BUT being that its my own vehicle, I didn't want to void my warranty.

After doing loads of research, I decided to change my tranny oil to Red Line Synthetic D4 ATF. Why the D4 line? It's an ATF (so it's thin when cold) but still has GL-4 Gear Lube properties.

I changed it about 6,000km (4K miles) ago and can honestly say without a doubt that it made a HUGE difference.

Best $40 I've ever spent.

Time to change, approx 40 minutes.
 

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That is a good report on getting a problem fixed.

As you might know some manual trannys specify ATF. For example my 6-spd (Borg-Warner T-56) tranny in my Camaro specifies Dextron III ATF. I eventually switched to Mobile1 synth ATF for the reasons you mentioned above.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, in all my other vehicles I've always ran ATF in my MTs.

This was the first vehicle I purchased brand new, so I did not want to void my warranty.

Prior to that I had 2 Mustangs w/T5s, a Jeep Cherokee with an Aisin Warner AX-15 and a Merkur XR4Ti with a German RUG, all of which I ran with ATF.

My dilemma for this vehicle was finding an ATF that had GL-4 properties to meet my warranty. After getting the go ahead from the service manager at my local dealership I made the change.

What a difference!
 
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Mine is definately notchy in 2nd, even in first a bit. Will changing this void warranty?
I only have 4,000 Km on it, would chnaging now be bad? I really hate that feeling....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Depends on the dealership.

Voice the complain to them, tell them you have heard of this fix, get them a copy of the oil properties from the Red Line website & discuss it with the service manager.

OR

Just change it & if the tranny does fail, which I SERIOUSLY doubt it ever will, change it back to gear oil just prior to taking it in.
 

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I do not know about other cars and their requirements and I think this is not a right to do so. At least for the RAV4.

Redline do have the right oil for the 5-speed transmission which is the MT-90. It’s your car, you make the call. I think I don’t need a magnifier to read out the bottle print “ATF”.

And for warranty, again, is not what you say but how you say it.

Lubricant designed for special purpose and application. IMO the oem gear oil was lacking the ability to make the syncro to match properly on the first and second gears. I mentioned that on my other post that different oil will act differently. We just need to keep trying. If you think you solve the problem then you are welcome to take it to Toyota for proves and show your Redline ATF does work for magic, somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Cal_Rav:

I'm not trying to give any company any more credit than it deserves.

Like I stated, I've worked in the transmission industry for 8 years and can tell you that many MTs run ATF from the factory AND that I have done this change before on other vehicles with ZERO side effects. For example, my 1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L had an AX-15. The recommended lube for that tranny is 75W90 gear oil. I switched to ATF & the shifting improved 10 fold.

If I didn't have some sort of confidence in making this change, I certainly wouldn't take that chance on my own vehicle.

Personally, I couldn't care less if someone else chooses to make this change or not.

I did my research, made the change and am quite happy about it. I used to dread shifting into second, now it's a breeze.

For the whole $40 it costs, how about you make the trip down to Mopac pick up 4 bottles (you'll need 3.5 or so) and try it for yourself.

Then come back & tell us your thoughts.

If you're unhappy or concerned it may cause damage later on, then switch back.
 
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i had this problem with my old mazda 626 1994 manual and just put quaker state synchromesh syntectic oil (designed for manual transmission!) , so i'll think i'll put the same in the rav4 next summer
 
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I made the change to Red Line D4 ATF and was night and day.
No more having to work to get into second gear, like having a new
transmission. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It's not that...it's that it's the only ATF that has gear lube properties..

Update: I'm now over the 30K mile mark, been nothing but great since making the switch, even towing my 1800lb boat.
 

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PROBLEM

Howdy.
Does the RAV use 75w-90 gear oil for is 5 speed ?
If so going to a much thinner fluid would yield easier shifting, but perhaps not protect the gears as well ?

75w-90 has a viscosity of around 18cSt at 100c about a 50 weight motor oil.
the redline D4 has 7.5cSt at 100c........about a 20 weight motor oil.

the redline fluid is much thinner , than what toyota is requiring .,

So of course shifting will seem better, but if you plan to keep the car for many years , the 75w-90 might give better gear/syncro life. ?

Why not buy a synthetic 75w-90 gear oil ?
just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, my choices are either:

a) Replace the 2nd Gear Synchro when it finally wears out

or

b) Run the risk the oil is too thin & *might* breakdown

I'll take my chances with the latter, simply because the former is guaranteed to happen if I don't address it, where as, the latter is simply speculation.

We're not talking about a 1 TON truck pulling a 15,000lb 5th wheel here.

This is the same fluid used & recommended by GM for the C5 & C6 Corvettes. I'm pretty sure they're subjected to a whole lot more abuse than my little Rav4 will ever see...
 

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didn't GM back spec syncromesh for ALL its manual trannies.........,

just a question ?, I had a 95 cavalier , that used dex3, but was backspeced to use the syncromesh 20weight fluid ?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Could have been, I wouldn't know off the top of my head...

My point is that all the manufacturers call for all these different specs, but cars, trucks, etc have been using gear oil, atf, conventionals, synthetic, everything under the sun for decades.

I mean, look at Fords F-Super Duty Series, the ZF 5 & 6 speeds both use synthetic Mercon V oil...and we're talking heavy pullers there.

Anyone who blames a transmission failure on oil alone is out to lunch.

Can neglect & heat cause a failure, sure.

Can changing oil weights under normal driving conditions? Unlikely.

I know for a fact that my trans shifts 10x better with the D4 in it & I also know for a fact that leaving gear oil in it would have lead to 2nd gear synchro failure.

Will I be preaching the same story after a summer of pulling my boat? Only time will tell...
 

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Your redline D4, will shear down being used in a manual trans case with multiple gear teeth, its almost like a differential only with much more gears......, but working for a trans garage you already know this.....

Your 20weight will shear to a 15 or 10 weight.......,
75w-90 is meant to handle all the pressures those grears will be dishing out......., also being a 50weight, when it shears down to a 40 or 30, you still have more then enough gear tooth protection......

And as far as syncros go , those are a wear item..........., no matter what you use they will wear down, and need replacing........

why not use a full syn 75w-90 , which is what toyota specs for the manual trans on the RAV ?

would you use a 10weight in your engine ??????, prob not, why........it doen not offer enough fluid protection on moving parts, which is one of the main purposes of oil.

I have no doubt your trans is shifting great, heck you are using a 20weight syn fluid, any trans would act like this....., but the RAV trans was not designed to use this. Your Ford super duty's manual's were designed to use a 20 weight merconV.

I feel sorry for the person that buys your used RAV, that tranny will beat down the oil, and those gears and syncros will shear down much faster.......:), Its basic fluid dynamics......., a 20weight gear oil can not protect like a 50 weight can......., a 20weight has no safty buffer should the fluid shear down. And it will..!

For a guy that works for a tranny shop, all you are doing is saying that other OEM's use it....., THEY were designed from the factory TO use that fluid......., not the RAV.
 

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Why not use redline MTL, that product is almost a 30weight, ans is designed to use in a 5 speed trans case where the OEM specs 75w-90 gear oil.

The D4's primary purpose is for Auto tranny's, they go on to say it can be used in a 5 speed manual where, the OEM has spec'd DEX3 or Mercon fluid., Toyota does not spec this.

In the long run you will do more damage to the RAV's trans with this fluid, especially when you start towing.
 
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