Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

This section is for technical Q & A
Please try the search function before starting a new thread.
Forum rules
Many subjects will have been discussed before. Please try the search function before starting a new thread.
Check in the Know Your 2 as the information you need may already be there.
Important ! - Please make your topic title as descriptive as possible . titles with just "help" generally dont get as many answers as a title that points to the problem
User avatar

jimi
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 4412
Joined: 17/05/04 1:00
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 17
MR2's Owned: 1
Location: Glenrothes: The Kingdom of Fife
Been thanked: 26 times
Contact:

Re: Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

Post by jimi »

I think more research needs to be done on this, there's a lot of conflicting info out there about GL4/GL5 gear oils, for instance this taken from a the manufacturers description of a 75w90 gear oil
This is a GL-4 and GL-5 Specification synthetic gear oil meaning it is safe for use where yellow metals are present. It contains a buffered sulphur EP additive which helps protect yellow metals found in some gear boxes.
I also find it odd that Mr T would recommend a multi purpose gear oil GL-4 or GL-5 (even for the MK1 gearbox) if GL-5 wasn't suitable.
I've had Castrol Syntrax 75w90 Universal in my MK1 gearbox for well over 10 years (13 to be accurate) never had the slightest problem and the gear changes are as slick as when I got the car, maybe I've been lucky, maybe not, as I said there's a lot of conflicting info and stories out there.


Black is not a colour ! .... Its the absence of colour
Image
User avatar

MR2DI4
Posts: 1345
Joined: 20/04/11 23:18
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 22
MR2's Owned: 1
Real Name: Carl
Location: Tauranga >>> New Zealand

Re: Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

Post by MR2DI4 »

jimi wrote: 17/05/18 1:47
I've had Castrol Syntrax 75w90 Universal in my MK1 gearbox for well over 10 years (13 to be accurate) never had the slightest problem and the gear changes are as slick as when I got the car, maybe I've been lucky, maybe not, as I said there's a lot of conflicting info and stories out there.
Well lucky from the point of view you chose Syntrax like me, but not lucky that that particular oil doesn't eat your gearbox because its not eating mine either.

Its going to be next to impossible to do the research if it takes 8 years to stuff the gearbox, by that time the car is usually bought and sold and nobody will know the service history, what oil was used let alone if the gearbox has been rebuilt or not.

If your worried I suggest just go for a GL-4 and change it every few years because NOT changing it does as much damage as the oil eating it anyway.

The oil should look as clean when it comes out as when it went in, in fact as I have posted before I have REUSED the oil in an older car gearbox. If you store it for 6 month, all the crap settles out and sticks to the bottom of the container so if your pour it off carefully and discard whats in the bottom its still a whole lot better than an oil thats been in a gearbox for 20 years or just use it as a "Flush" to get rid of the non sythetic.
User avatar

jimi
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 4412
Joined: 17/05/04 1:00
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 17
MR2's Owned: 1
Location: Glenrothes: The Kingdom of Fife
Been thanked: 26 times
Contact:

Re: Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

Post by jimi »

Nothing to stop more research on the GL-5 debate being done, the 20mins on the internet I spent was enough to throw up a host of conflicting info/stories, hence why I suggested more research needs to be done.
As for reusing used oil :no: without taking a sample and getting it analysed I wouldn't even consider it and wouldn't suggest anyone else does, apart from anything else for the price and frequency its needs changed it makes no sense not to replace it.
Am I worried? no, if it was going to affect my gearbox I'm fairly sure I would be seeing symptoms by now, am I interested? yes, it would be nice to have more definitive answer to the debate.
Black is not a colour ! .... Its the absence of colour
Image
User avatar

MR2DI4
Posts: 1345
Joined: 20/04/11 23:18
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 22
MR2's Owned: 1
Real Name: Carl
Location: Tauranga >>> New Zealand

Re: Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

Post by MR2DI4 »

Still going to be tough to get anything definitive. How do you know if the oil stuffed the box or that the cause of failure was just plain insufficient oil changes ?

You would have to get the oil analysed and you would also have to ID the source of the synchro's so basically its impossible and no ones going to do it.

The only test is time and owning the same car for like 20 years and then you can state for sure that with the OEM gearbox and an oil like Castrol Syntrax, because thats the ONLY oil thats ever been in it appart from the heavy shifting factory crap I took out of it over 18 years ago that this combination is faultless if changed every 60,000km.

If you have only had the car a few years, your screwed. Change the oil straight away to a GL-4 and cross your fingers.
User avatar

benckj
Posts: 301
Joined: 05/04/06 1:00
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 5
Location: Alexandra, New Zealand
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

Post by benckj »

Tried them all and it’s Redline LWSP for me.

Jim
User avatar

MR2DI4
Posts: 1345
Joined: 20/04/11 23:18
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 22
MR2's Owned: 1
Real Name: Carl
Location: Tauranga >>> New Zealand

Re: Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

Post by MR2DI4 »

benckj wrote: 30/08/20 20:26 Tried them all and it’s Redline LWSP for me.

Jim
I know its getting a bit quiet on here but you just revived a pretty old thread ! :laughing

At the end of the day it probably doesn't matter that much what you use these days, oils are so much better. Obviously the better the oil the less you need to change it and then you go for the "Shifting feel" because that changes pretty dramatically in the MR2 depending on what you use.

The bottom line is that you need to change it and if you do the gearbox will last the life of the car.
User avatar

Voivod
Posts: 107
Joined: 15/02/21 20:41
Years of MR2 Ownership: 0
MR2's Owned: 3
Real Name: Tony Montana
Location: Beith
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

Post by Voivod »

benckj wrote: 30/08/20 20:26 Tried them all and it’s Redline LWSP for me.

Jim
I know is an old tread..but what that mean tried them all? What brands? I've found that E153 is quite fussy to the gear oils in my experience. I can say I try them all but only two qualify.. :laughing
User avatar

benckj
Posts: 301
Joined: 05/04/06 1:00
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 5
Location: Alexandra, New Zealand
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

Post by benckj »

Have used OEM, Castrol syntax, Penrite gear, Reline MT90 and LWSP. I don’t think the E153 is that fussy on oils but some perform better hot/cold and last longer without using additives. As stated above the modern synthetic fluids are so much better now that almost any choice beats the OEM fluid hands down.
User avatar

Voivod
Posts: 107
Joined: 15/02/21 20:41
Years of MR2 Ownership: 0
MR2's Owned: 3
Real Name: Tony Montana
Location: Beith
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

Post by Voivod »

benckj wrote: 06/03/21 7:02 Have used OEM, Castrol syntax, Penrite gear, Reline MT90 and LWSP. I don’t think the E153 is that fussy on oils but some perform better hot/cold and last longer without using additives. As stated above the modern synthetic fluids are so much better now that almost any choice beats the OEM fluid hands down.
I've used OEM too 75w90,Shell Spirax S6 GXME 75W-80 synthetic,Comma LS 80W-90 GL-5,Liqui Moly High Performance Gear Oil GL3+ SAE 75W-80,Comma ATF,and another one from Shell but can't remember the name..it was for the latest HGV :laughing

All the above =disappointing results from my experience.

Then I've tried Toyota the latest gear oil as far as I know..Toyota LV 75W GL-4 which made huge difference and improved the shifting from cold and made gearbox mach lighter. Right now I'm using ATF SP III Hyundai,Kia,Mitsubishi. So far ATF SP III is the best for me in terms of shifting ,hot or cold and make gearbox much lighter.

Thanks for your replay :th:
User avatar

SonicSW20
Posts: 2989
Joined: 29/11/10 19:50
Answers: 1
Years of MR2 Ownership: 10
MR2's Owned: 3
Location: UK
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

Post by SonicSW20 »

Any high quality GL4 of the correct visocsity will perform about the same in a healthy E153.
Rev5 Sonic Shadow
Image
User avatar

Voivod
Posts: 107
Joined: 15/02/21 20:41
Years of MR2 Ownership: 0
MR2's Owned: 3
Real Name: Tony Montana
Location: Beith
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

Post by Voivod »

MR2DI4 wrote: 15/05/18 23:30 Yeah its pretty sad the number of Myths floating about the internet about the MR2 in general. Some idiot posts something and then everyone believes it. Its sometimes a great resource, like YouTube clips on "How to do something", it can save you time and money but in other areas its better to go with your own common sense gained over time.
It would be interesting to see if someone bought brand new gearbox from factory and run exclusively GL-5 gear oil and say done about 60000 miles with recommended change interval then open it up and see if there is any damage or what's ever.
User avatar

MR2DI4
Posts: 1345
Joined: 20/04/11 23:18
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 22
MR2's Owned: 1
Real Name: Carl
Location: Tauranga >>> New Zealand

Re: Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

Post by MR2DI4 »

Probably don't need to open it up, you can tell by the way its shifts if its still any good or not.

Bought my car at 64,000Km in like 1998 and it must have still had the factory oil in it, horrible and very hard to shift.

Immediately changed to Castrol Syntrax and some 23 years later and over 230,000Km its still shifting as good as its ever done so that enough proof for me. Shifting is half the effort and none of the shifter linkage components have ever needed changing, not even the rubber parts.

No need to use any other oil in the gearbox. Its had at least 2 changes and I also made a custom made Neodymium magnet drain plug for it last change so the only thing interesting will be how much stuff is stuck to that.

If you ran Castrol Syntrax from new and changed it at about 60,000Km service intervals, its pretty obvious that the gearbox will outlast the rest of the car.

Don't get me wrong, the MR2 gearbox is not perfect. The shift from 1st to 2nd has never been perfect but its never started "Crunching" or making any noises in the shifting. It gets better hot but very occasionally you need to skip 2nd gear.
User avatar

Voivod
Posts: 107
Joined: 15/02/21 20:41
Years of MR2 Ownership: 0
MR2's Owned: 3
Real Name: Tony Montana
Location: Beith
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

Post by Voivod »

MR2DI4 wrote: 06/03/21 22:36 Don't get me wrong, the MR2 gearbox is not perfect. The shift from 1st to 2nd has never been perfect but its never started "Crunching" or making any noises in the shifting. It gets better hot but very occasionally you need to skip 2nd gear.
No you are spot on...in my experience it's far from perfect! Crunching means that you synchros gone..up shift or down shift.What's most annoying that even with all brand new synchros installed is still notchy gear change with low viscosity gear oils..atf makes difference but still not perfect.

I've got magnet as well in the drain plug but when you open the gearbox you'll find that the magnet near the oil pump is full of swarf.

p.s Again it depends on how you drive..
User avatar

TonyleFrog
Full Member
Full Member
Posts: 5632
Joined: 29/07/06 1:00
Gender: Male
Years of MR2 Ownership: 12
MR2's Owned: 5
Real Name: Three guesses!
Location: Kent
Been thanked: 6 times

Re: Don't use GL-5 oil in MR2 gearboxes

Post by TonyleFrog »

Voivod wrote: 07/03/21 22:09 No you are spot on...in my experience it's far from perfect! Crunching means that you synchros gone..up shift or down shift.
Rev matching and double declutching can help with that. :)
I had to learn that technique early doors. One of my father's cars had a non-synchro box.
Voivod wrote: 07/03/21 22:09 What's most annoying that even with all brand new synchros installed is still notchy gear change with low viscosity gear oils..atf makes difference but still not perfect.
Mine isn't now that they have bedded in.

The process takes a little time as the rest of the internals are normally retained.
If you're not living life on the edge, you're taking up too much room!

HM wrote: TonyleFrog aka "The Fog Penetrator"
Post Reply

Return to “MK2”