09-28-2005, 05:39 PM
FF #1 Most Wanted
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Seattle, WA
What I Drive: 2012 GTI, 2014 Forester XT
FF Reputation: 12
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (7
Originally posted by qweesy
Update - January 2003
The shift feel in my 2000 Focus had become less positive than when I originally replaced the OEM fluid. Sometimes I would think I would be in-gear whereas in fact I hadn't quite slotted the lever home and when lifting the clutch the lever hwould pop out back into neutral. While researching what to do, I found that Ford had issued a service bulletin advising their service departments that a new synthetic gear oil was available from Ford and was to be used in all MTX-75 applications from that point forward. The new oil has a part number of XT-M5-QS and is priced (at my local dealer, anyway) at an outrageous $15/quart. Still, if it does the job, it shouldn't ever need replacing.
Initial impressions after replacing the Redline D4 with the Ford oil was that the shifts were much more positive. I'll update this web page with more long-term information in a few months. Update - April 2003. Wow, what a difference the Ford oil makes. If you are running the OEM tranny oil on a 2000 or 2001 Focus or you've replaced the OEM oil with something else, give the new Ford fluid a try ASAP. The shifts are now much more positive and I haven't had a single missed shift since I started using the Ford oil.
The gearshift on the MTX-75 manual transmission fitted to my 2000 Focus ZX3 has been somewhat notchy ever since it was new. The action did improve slightly as the mileage increased, but it was never particularly smooth. I have previously had good results with Redline's products on my MR2, so I figured I'd try the appropriate Redline synthetic fluid on the Focus.
While my MR2 required a fairly conventional manual transmission oil, the Focus owners' manual specifies a MERCON ATF (automatic transmission fluid) for the MTX-75 manual transmission fitted to the Zetec-E engine. The appropriate replacement fluid from Redline is named “D4 ATF”. This is a fully synthetic fluid that meets Dexron II, Dexron III, Mercon and Mercon V specifications. I used this fluid on my Focus and it made a big difference in the quality of the shift action. Almost all of the notchiness is gone, even when the car is cold, and the engagement of each gear is now much more positive. The occasional problem I had when trying to select third gear have completely disappeared. In short, I highly recommend this modification!
You probably won't find Redline's products in your local auto parts store. I ordered mine over the Web from Performance Products and Supply. Their service was great and I'd recommend them. If you order through them on their web site you can enter the dealer code ‘675421’ to obtain an extra 10% discount. The total cost for my order after shipping was $23.54 for three quarts. Thanks to PP&S for offering this discount.
I have a US-spec 2000 Focus ZX3. This car has a 2.0 Zetec-E engine and the MTX-75 manual transmission. These directions may be applicable to other vehicles fitted with the same transmission, but please confirm this before trying it on your vehicle. Note in particular that the IB5 transmission fitted to the base Focus with the SPI engine requires a different fluid.
· Two or three quarts of gear oil. Note that two quarts was enough for my Focus, but the specified dry capacity is 2.1 quarts, so it is possible you will need the extra 0.1 quart. It is unlikely, however, since it is almost impossible to drain every single drop of the old fluid out of the transmission, but if you like to err on the safe side, order three quarts. If you are buying it locally you can always return the spare quart if it is unopened.
· 8mm allen wrench for the fill and drain plugs.
· At least two feet of clear plastic tubing, the largest diameter you can get that is no larger than about 15mm outside diameter (otherwise it won't fit into the fill hole).
· A funnel that you can tape to the plastic tubing. Alternatively you can go the high-tech route and buy a funnel with integrated tube. Just make sure the end of the tube is no more than 15mm in diameter.
· Oil drain pan with enough capacity for up to 2.1 quarts of the old oil.
A word of caution: make sure you start this procedure with the engine cold, unless you like the feel of hot transmission oil burning your hands.
1. Firstly, you need to make sure that you can get the transmission fill plug off before you remove the drain plug. If you remove the drain plug only to later find that the fill plug won't budge you'll be stuck with a Focus with no transmission oil. So the fill plug comes first. The fill plug is located on the front side of the transmission casing and is quite obvious if you look under the front bumper. See Photo 1. Use the 8mm allen wrench to break it loose.
2. Assuming the fill plug came out without a problem, you now need to remove the drain plug and drain out the old transmission fluid. Jack up the front of the car only if it is necessary (it almost certainly will be), since you'll need it level when you refill the transmission later. Position your drain pan under the drain plug and remove the plug with the same 8mm allen wrench you used for the fill plug. The drain plug is somewhat hidden between some strengthening ribs on the transmission casing, but you should see it if you look towards the back of the transmission, near the rear engine mount. See Photo 2 for the exact location.
3. Wait for the old oil to stop dripping out of the tranmission. I left it for at least an hour at this point.
4. Clean up any spilled oil and find the drain plug that probably fell into the drain pan. Clean around the drain hole and replace the drain plug. The official torque figure for the drain plug is 33 lb-ft, but I have no idea how anyone could use a torque wrench on the plug, since it is tucked in between the ribs on the transmission casing. Make sure it is tight, but don't overdo it.
5. If you had to jack the rear of the car up in order to drain the old oil, you now need to lower it back down, since it is important for the car to be level for the fill procedure.
6. If you are using a funnel-and-plastic-tube device to fill the transmission, tape the tube to the end of the funnel using duct tape or similar. It doesn't need to look pretty, just as long as it doesn't leak for a few minutes. See Photo 3 for my finely engineered example. The red stuff half-way down the tube in this photo is some of the Redline D4 ATF - I took this photo after I had completed the fluid change.
7. Drop the end of the plastic tube down through the engine compartment by the air intake, just in front of the battery. If you look under the car you should see it appear somewhere in the region of the transmission. Grab the end of the tube and insert it into the fill hole. I managed to insert about five or six inches of the tube until I hit anything inside the transmission.
7. Slowly pour two quarts of Redline D4 ATF into the funnel. See Photo 4. Check periodically that the end of the tube hasn't fallen out of the fill hole and that you're not just funnelling the fluid onto the floor...
8. After you've poured two quarts into the tranmission, remove the tube from the fill hole and try to gauge how far below the hole the fluid level is. This is why it is important to have the car level at this point. The fluid should be between 0 and 5mm below the fill hole (5mm is about ¼ of an inch). If you can't judge the level you can just keep on filling the tranmission until the fluid starts to drip out of the fill hole. It should take no more than 2.1 quarts though. If you find you need to add more than this amount you probably do not have the car level. Do not add too much fluid!
8. Remove the plastic tube and replace the fill plug. Torque to 33 lb-ft.
9. Clean up and go for a drive. Check periodically after installation that there are no leaks and that neither plug is working its way loose. Enjoy the nice improvement in shift feel.
Where are these photo's you keep referencing ?