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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks, have just bought a 1999 1.8 Zetec with 5 speed manual transmission & 166,000mls showing. Dealer serviced all it's life & no defects (so far!).
As may be expected, given the mileage, there is a fair bit of transmission whine, most noticeable in the cruise under gentle power.
Does anyone recommend gear oil additives to quieten it down a bit or will this just cause baulk ring probs etc. within the box?
A new clutch was dealer fitted 2yrs ago, so I guess the oil isn't too old.
Any thoughts? Cheers.
 

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you do not need to change the oil in the transmission to change the clutch. The synthetic manual trans oil is horrendously expensive. I would bet money it's NEVER been changed. Change it and you have a good chance the whine will go away.
 

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The fluid is drained from the trans when the clutch is changed so yes, your fluid should only be 2 yrs old. But you should check and make sure that there is fluid in there, as it could have leaked out past an axle seal or something or even worse they forgot to fill it up. We had a local member with no fliud in his trans and it worked fine, but it did tear up the bearings.
 

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Yes, if getting louder lately check the level, often an indicator the level has dropped.
 

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Not all the fluid comes out of the trans when the axles are pulled, and the last person to do the clutch may have just reused what did come out. Terrible practice but weren't we just talking in another thread about crappy mechanic shortcuts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks folks. The fluid level is good & what I had on my finger looked clean & felt smooth.
There doesn't seem to be any bearing slop or noise to speak of, in fact the box seems to be in remarkable shape considering it's travelled the equivalent of six times around the planet. The only problem is 'worn' gear whine in the cruise; lift off & all goes quiet, same on the overrun. In the old days I'd bung in a squirt of Molyslip to 'plate' the gear teeth & on my previous 6N VW Polo I used 'Slick 50' to great effect, but on a modern (to me!) box using synthetic oils, I thought it best to ask first. Will PTFE damage the box? Ta.
 

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Do you have any shifter slop? Does the shifter stay centered when it's in neutral? Or is it to one side or the other?

Do you have a short throw shifter installed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi, it's a standard shifter that stays central etc. Works pretty well for a remote shift too, no vibes or noises when 'loaded' in any direction in any gear, or indeed neutral. Like I say, she drives very well & everything seems to be well adjusted (unlike the new owner!).
The whine isn't loud, but as the rest of the car is so quiet, it's just irritatingly 'there'.
 

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you can't feel the condition of the fluid with your finger. By the time you would see dirt/metal/whatever in the transmission fluid the transmission would be on it's last legs and sounding like an old threshing machine.

Your only option to try to make the whine go away (other than replacing the transmission) is to change the fluid. It may not work. But it sounds like you already priced fluid and are looking for an excuse NOT to change the fluid. Since there's always lots of excuses out there to NOT do the maintenance you SHOULD do to a car, it is understandable your thinking this way. After all, making excuses for not doing recommended maintenance is a good start to owning a new-to-you used car, right? I mean, you know for a fact that the used car dealer (or private seller) that sold you the car is a paragon of virtue and told you the absolute truth that the service history was followed, right? Aren't all used car dealers the most reputable people out there!!!???

So, given that, my recommendation is to NOT change the fluid and just live with the whine. But of course you will feel guilty for not doing what you know you should do, so here are some additional excuses you can use to make yourself feel like your doing the right thing:

1) You will only shorten the transmission life by maybe about 50K miles and this is a throwaway car anyway.

2) The transmission is already hashed so I'll just drive it until it does then fix it.

3) The steel that the transmission is manufactured out of is tough - it can survive with worn fluid, it won't hurt it.

4) I'm such a gentle driver that I'll make the car last a lot longer.


If you REALLY want the BEST advice for handling a used car that you just bought, the safest thing to assume is that ALL fluids should be changed, that NONE of the service history was done, ALL belts including the timing belt (if it has one) are on their last legs.

Just because you might have got it at a new car dealer mean NOTHING. Plenty of people have been taken by that old con game. A used car dealer only buys cars that are RUNNING and only puts a handful of miles on them before they sell them again - chances that a car on it's last legs will conk out when a used car dealer has possession of it are next to nothing - and used car warranties have so many exclusions in the fine print that they are practically worthless. And private sellers NEVER get rid of cars that are running perfect!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi, thankyou for your, er, input. A few little facts I feel I should point out.
1) This 'throwaway' car has been known to me since it was new, it was issued to my neighbour by his company, from whom he bought it after 3yrs for his wife to use. Since then it has been kept in meticulous condition & regularly serviced by the local Ford dealer, a family run firm, who in turn have had an enviable reputation since they opened in 1937.
My neighbour offered me the car 2 weeks ago & I snapped his hand off!

2)Yesterday I called in at a transmission repair shop to ask their opinion & was told that this model has the type 'A' gearbox that requires HP SAE 75W90 gear oil. They agreed it was in fine condition for it's age & mileage, suggesting (like you) I change the oil anyway (as I have some) along with a dose of Molyslip to quieten the gears down. Job done.

3) As a retired aircraft engineer with 35yrs experience myself, one thing I always drilled into my men was 'If you don't know - ask'. As I had little knowledge of this transmission, e.g. bearing type & metalurgy, syncromesh baulk ring type & metalurgy etc. I considered it wise to consult someone who did before making any decisions.
The other thing I learned was 'be wary of advice given by people who make erroneous suppositions & go off on some pontificating rant about everyone else's ability to judge.'
In England we have a saying, R.T.F.Q. (read the question!). Thanks everyone.
 

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Did the whine go away AFTER you changed the oil?

Did you use the Ford-supplied recommended synthetic transmission oil or did you use aftermarket 75W90 gear oil plus Molyslip? If you didn't use the Ford-supplied oil it would be nice of you to post how long it lasts.

I have nothing against aftermarket fluids but I know that automakers consider fluids a profit center and have redesigned vehicle components to take fluids with patented additive packages so they can be the sole-supplier of the fluid - and the aftermarket has unfortunately responded in many cases by simply claiming their existing fluid works in the new application (see Amsoil) It is always useful to get data from someone who uses a non-manufacturer supplied fluid in a vehicle.

As for going on a pontificating rant - my first reply DID NOT come with a rant, so clearly I "read the question" <eyeroll>

I consider it perfectly legitimate to go on a rant about people who come to a forum, ask for advice, are given the same advice by 3 people, then proceed to explain how the advice must be wrong. If you don't like the advice given please don't attempt to disprove it before taking it. Either take it and report back whether it worked or not or don't take it and pay a shop to take a crack at it.

But, I guess you will consider THIS post a rant also - and thus disregard it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hello,
My question was regarding the use of friction reducing additives in this box.
Your advice was to refill my box with the wrong 'horrendously expensive' oil!
The next two guys suggested I check the level & any indicators of previous leakage;
so I did.
The next chap asked if the shifter was out of register etc. or non standard;
so I checked (a possible constant thrust loading on the selectors is a good point), all O.K.

Inbetween all this is your speculation, supposition & duff info. You sir, are a prat.

I'm more than happy to report back to the forum on my findings using the 75W90/Moly combo, so far, however, I've only done about 5yds so it's difficult to say. Cheers.
 

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I don't know why I bother but here goes:
YOU said at the first post you had a 1.8L Zetec.

The only manual that bolts to the Zetec is the MTX-75. It is a very tough little transmission.

The Single overhead cam engine - which is NOT a Zetec - bolts to the 1B5 transmission.

There are (to my knowledge) 1.8L SPI engines - in Europe as well as 1.8L Zetecs. In the US there is often confusion because there's a 2.0L SPI and a 2.0L Zetec and many people say "I have a 2.0L Focus" assuming we know what they mean. Which then usually we have to ask "which engine"

You said Zetec so I trusted that you know the correct engine.

The 1B5 trans is an older design released in 1976 and can take standard gear oil. Here is a thread discussing that:

http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=220580

As you can see in that thread - some dealers are still using the Ford synthetic manual transmission oil for the 1B5 and it is apparently working. One recommendation was for Mercon V which is quite wrong. OK whatever. Obviously there is some confusion there with regards to which transmission is in use.

But the MTX-75 is a newer design - released in 1992 - and (at least today) the fill recommended by Ford is their synthetic manual transmission fluid XT-M5-QS

In my personal opinion Ford most likely used synthetic oil to prolong the life of the trans so they would not get warranty claims.

But in my own experience with the MTX-75 when I last did a clutch in my wife's car I COMPLETELY emptied the trans (when it is out of the car it can be rocked every which way to get all the last drops out of it) and refilled with the XT-M5-QS fluid - and the transmission was A LOT quieter. It also shifted much more positively, we had a 2nd-gear "pop-out" problem that disappeared, and I'm sure it was kinder to animals and plants. In short, I'm a believer.

If you want to use gear oil with an additive in this trans - it's your car. You can do what you want. Please report back and let us know how it goes on the long and the short haul.
 

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Time to chill out on this subject.

Oil choice threads get too heated regularly, and if there's one thing I learned from my first car (Triumph) what's avail./recommended in the UK is different than what's avail./recommended here in the U.S.. The correct brake fluid depending on model/year was more important then (even more so with a Citroen later) but the principle still holds to this day.

Without knowing the exact trans. & UK recommendations I can't address the subject at hand, and that's the important point here. We have enough argument over what's "right" or useable as an option here without extending that to a unit & fluid specs. we might not be as conversant with.

'Nuff said?

Cheers
 

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Since the OP has not posted back either confirming or denying what kind of engine and transmission he has in his vehicle, he likely is no longer interested anyway. My follow-up post was mainly to cover anyone else with the same question who did a search.

I really must continue to emphasize what Ford says - if you do a search on "Ford 01-15-7" you can bring up a couple links to that TSB - here are 2:

http://www.v8sho.com/SHO/TSB01157ATFUsageChart.htm
http://www.thedieselstop.com/faq/9497faq/tsb/tsb/files/011507.pdf?

That TSB is not restricted to North America since it lists the 86 Festiva which wasn't sold in North America. (and was widely sold outside of North America) Many other names on that were sold outside of North America as well. I think it's pretty safe to say it applies to the UK.

Ford recommends XT-M5-QS for BOTH the MTX75 -and- the 1B5 in that TSB. Their spec on it is WSD-M2C200-C according to that TSB So in other words they recommend either WSD-M2C200-C or XT-M5-QS - because they are exactly the same fluid!

Outside of US the fluid is sometimes sold as WSD-M2C200-C and marked 75W90 because it exceeds 75W90 specs and Ford wants to have people use it in place of 75W90. But Ford is definitely not saying people should use 75W90 in place of WSD-M2C200-C/XT-M5-QS

Since I have 2 Focuses with these transmissions and I did a clutch in one last year, and I'm a cheapskate who goes nuts when he has to pay $40USD a quart for what looks like some dumb oil, you must understand I spent quite a lot of time researching this. Particularly since Ford offers practically no information on why it's a better fluid. Like hell was I going to pay that kind of money for plain old gear oil with a fancy label on it.

And what I found was quite simply that the fluid IS plain old 75W90 gear oil - but it has an additive package. That is the key difference.

Chrysler did -exactly the same thing- with their ATF+4 automatic transmission fluid. It's plain old hydraulic transmission fluid - but it also has a patented additive package.

It's clear that Chrysler designed their transmissions to take expensive custom fluids only available to them to make a pile of money, and it' clear that Ford decided to get into that action also and do the same thing with the MTX-75.

As you have said oil threads tend to get heated, but this isn't a motor oil thread. And as far as -this particular- issue, it really doesn't get heated - at least, not on the forums like bobistheoilguy.com which is probably the king of places to find heated threads about motor oil - since if you start searching around there, you won't find anyone recommending against XT-M5-QS. The opposite, in fact.

Testimonial after testimonial on many forums supports XT-M5-QS / WSD-M2C200-C over gear oil + an additive package like MolySlip.

If I hadn't read all of that I would have never bought it.

I'm sorry the OP was insulted, but I will repeat what I said earlier - it's always useful to get data from someone who uses a non-manufacturer supplied fluid in a vehicle. I hope he posts a followup.
 

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............would just be adding to the fire
 

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It's not all that easy to research what's avail. & used in another country, the '99 Focus 1.8 in the UK apparently uses an iB5 transmission with it's available 1.8 zetec.

Ford has the WSD spec 75/90 trans fluid avail there, the Ford WSD spec in Castrol is actually marked 75W GL-4 in that market & they also sell a 75/90 GL-4 for Ford & other brands using that trans. and others with a matching spec (there's a royalty involved in using the WSD spec marking I've seen referenced - note patent comments)

Other brands (MG, rover for example) also use the Ford/Getrag iB5, that's one area where I find the Castrol synthetic 75/90 Gl-4 mentioned as a typical fluid. BTW, in those fitments the transmissions ARE marked "Ford" just as we see Ford marked items in Mazdas.

It's always safe to recommend Factory patent/licensed fluids, I do so myself. Once you get outside of that there are many options proven to work, but IMHO it's a LOT more important to know just what you're buying & avoid confusion that can lead to using a product that is NOT appropriate. Mineral oil 75/90 gear oils are an example of this that many here have campaigned against using, as people often see 75/90 and figure it'll work (hey, it's gear oil - right?).

The OP had actually asked about the use of Moly/PTFE additives to help extend the life of an aging transmission. Beyond commenting that the Factory fill works quite well by itself, the rest of the discussion is rather "Off Topic".
 

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PTFE is a waste of time as Dupont themselves (the inventors) say of use of it in mechanical devices. It sacrifices itself to reduce friction and quickly shears into unuseable nothing. Moly is better or go to level GL5 and get the friction reducer right in the product.

Past that, once trans wears enough to let gears fall out of dead flat plane they will whine and may well be little you can do about it other than damp noise a bit with thicker fluid. Things DO wear out. Once helical gears get worn they then ride to deflect load onto the edges and the whine can then be worse than straight cut gears.
 
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