Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum - View Single Post - Getrag gear oil (hopefully the final thread on it)
View Single Post
Old 01-29-2012, 09:57 PM   #1
Focus Enthusiast
Join Date: Jan 2008
Fan#: 52711
Location: Novi, MI, United States
What I Drive: 2003 Screaming Yellow FSVT EAP

Posts: 244
FF Reputation: 1 AliasJerk Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (5)
Getrag gear oil (hopefully the final thread on it)

Allow me to start off in saying, I don't post here much, but since I went through hell trying to find this information I figure putting it into one spot will help someone else at some point when they come to the same question I did. Whenever I get a car, I always do full fluid changes on everything regardless of service history, I got my SVT focus a little over 25K miles ago, and since ford suggests 12,000 miles or 1 year for trans fluid changes, I decided to do some research and a little bit of testing. Given that the Getrag doesn't seem extremely picky to what kind of fluid you put in it (not many reports of catastrophic failure because of fluid choice), I decided to go the route of trial and error in direct relation to the information I had received from other people.

My previous car, was an SVT Contour; and I used to shout from the mountain tops that the choice fluid for it was Royal Purple Syncromax, and I ran it that way for 2 years. So instinct said I should use the same stuff on the SVT Focus, so I did. The car shifted smoothly and I never really thought too far into it.

Recently, I had to do another fluid change, and I decided to add some science to the equation, after reading numerous threads filled with opinions of other SVT Focus owners on FocalJet and Focus Fanatics, I never really got anywhere. Nobody even once mentions the factory gear oil weight specification. Even in the owners manual the only thing it says is "Ford Synthetic Manual transmission fluid" So what does this mean?

XT-M5-QS is the specified lubricant for the MTX-75, it specifically references this in the Standard ZX3 Ford Focus Owners manual, So why does the SVT guide book say "Ford Synthetic Manual transmission fluid." Turns out this was a misprint, Ford never stated what the true weight of the factory gear oil actually is or even a part number in the SVT book; but if you contact a Ford service tech they tell you "XT-M5-QS is the suggested fluid for proper operation of the Getrag MTX-285." As does the Ford service CD (I know people ).

The irritating part is, the bottle and nearly nowhere else states what the actual viscosity rating is for this fluid. I decided this is where I needed to dig deeper, any company that makes fluids is required to release technical data about the fluid to the general public, Motorcraft has a full website on all of the specifics about their fluids, MSDS, as well as application chart, which can be found here. If you will direct your attention to the first paragraph.... "Motorcraft® Full Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid is a premium-quality SAE 75W-90 gear oil recommended by Ford Motor Company meeting warranty requirements. ".

So HERE is our answer, 75w-90. Looks like Amsoil was right all along as far as specification goes, so lets kick the confusion to the curb on this one, any 75w-90 MTL can be used in the Getrag mtx-285 on a factory application. Mystery Solved. (puts on flameproof vest)

But there is ONE more question that comes to play here. because a lot of our members absolutely swear on Royal Purple Syncromax, lets dig deeper into this one... Ford Suggests their MTL for the Getrag, as we have already established their part number for this is XT-M5-QS, if we go to Royal Purple's Cross reference sheet, they say the correct Royal Purple fluid to replace XT-M5-QS is this "Ford Manual Transmissions (XT-M5-QS) --> SAE 10W40" Click here if anybody is interested in reading the website

Woah woah woah, hold on here. So Royal purple is suggesting a 10w-40 motor oil in substitute for a 75w-90 gear oil? I am not an engineer by any means, but how does this make sense? Please chime in if you can shed some light here. That fact aside, based on deductive reasoning, this means Royal Purple themselves do not suggest you use Syncromax with the Getrag, nowhere on the site (that I can find) does it say to use this fluid. If you read the tear sheet on Royal Purple's website about Syncromax it states this; "Synchromax is recommended for manual transmissions that specify an automatic transmission fluid or motor oil." Ford Doesn't specify Auto trans fluid (in fact heavily urges against it) nor do they specify motor oil. Which means that Syncromax in viscosity is more similar to ATF than it is to a standard 75w-90 gear oil.

This raises further questions about Royal Purple Syncromax, what is it? What Viscosity is it? What is the correct application? Does it even work correctly in the Getrag? For this we need to look at another thread started on here which can be found here. The important thing to take away from here is the results of stress testing of various transmission fluids.

----------------Kinematic Viscosity---------Visc
Fluid -----------cSt 100-------cSt 40-------Idx-----------4-ball wear-------Falex
WSD-MC2(XT-M5-QS)15.4-----------76 ---------211--------------?-------------? <---The Ford Stuff

Synt Man Tr------14.7-----------84.5---------151-----------.45------------ ?

Severe gear------16.7-----------109.1--------165------------?----------- 2500

Long Life Gr------16.6------------129.7--------137------------?----------- 2000

Royal Purp
Max Gear---------19.1------------132-----------?-------------?-------------?

Synchromesh -----9.6 -------------47.1 --------194 ----------.40-----------?

Royal Purp
Synchromax -------7.7 ------------35.3 --------196------------?------------?

If we have established that the correct weight of fluid is 75w-90 which technically speaking would be in this chart "max Gear, Severe Gear, and Synt Man Tr" that would mean that Syncromax does considerably worse than the other contestants in this test, which says to me that probably isn't the best choice in our application, nor is it even the correct weight (which by the way Royal Purple doesn't list a weight for Syncromax anywhere on their website), so as mentioned earlier, it seems like Syncromax acts more like an ATF then it does an MTL.

Now, I know I am standing on a soap box with all of the things I am saying here, and every point I have made has come entirely from deductive reasoning, so I may be wrong somewhere. So by all means people, discuss and pick this apart, feedback is always appreciated. But this is what I was able to gather from my research, and I hope that this can be the thread to end all threads about which gear oil you should use in the SVT Getrag.

That all being said *phew* I went with Redline MTL 75w90, and my SVTF shifts like a brand new car, night and day difference going from Syncromax.

AliasJerk is offline  
    Reply With Quote