Page last Modified: May
020 Transmission Gear Oil
This one is pretty easy. My transmission is a 4K close ratio transmission,
and I want to keep it alive. So - before my big roadtrip - I am changing the
Most of you will want to use a nicer kind of gear oil than I did
- such as Redline or Royal Purple. But I am happy with Castrol
80W-90 for my transmission.
You will need the following to do this...
- 17mm inside Socket
- A Drain Pan
- 2.1 Quarts (1.9L) of 80W Gear Oil
- You can buy a jug and share with a VW friend!
- Some kind of cleaner
- Transmission Funnel - the kind with the flexible extension
Special thanks to forum member Southcross for helping me on this
technote. We are doing this to his car (81 Rabbit S) and my car (84
Scirocco 8v) this weekend. My car has a 1.8 8v (JH) with a 4K
transmission and Southcross's car
has a 1.7 8v (EN) with an FF transmission.
Drive your car around a bit to warm up the transmission oil - so it
all runs out quickly. Park and then crack the lug bolts for the
driver's side front wheel - we'll be removing it later.
Jack up the car on the driver's side. Get it really high - as high
as you can. You will see why later in this technote. The point is to
make the car as tilted as possible.
Put a jack stand under the control arm mount so the car doesn't crush
you! Get out the drain pan and get it ready.
The tool you need to take off the drain plug and the fill plug is a
17mm hex thing that sticks out. You should be able to get one at
your local auto parts store for less than six dollars. However - you
can ghetto rig this job - use a 17mm bolt to get them out - an old
lug nut is perfect! Ah the wonders of lazy tools!
So - next is to
get the drain plug out. It is toward the back of the transmission on
the back part where the axles come out (the differential). Clean the
area off of grease and road grime - I used carb cleaner. Get your
oil pan ready, and crack the bolt and loosen it out. BE CAREFUL -
this stuff is hot!
When It's draining - note the color of the oil - it will tell you
the condition of the transmission. Mine was brown and nasty. Southcross's was nice and clearish. So clean in fact - that it
looked like it was the wrong kind of oil. My old Scirocco's
transmission oil was black and metallic - signs of a dying
Remove your driver's side wheel so you can get to the fill plug
on the side of the transmission. Take it out - it's the same size as
the drain plug. Look inside - you can see your gears!! Rig up your
transmission funnel - you can tie it to your strut spring.
When your car is done draining (takes a while) - you can put the
drain plug back on. 17mm. Mine still stuck out a couple of threads
when it was all the way in. Make sure you give the plug a good
cleaning - you don't want any dirt going into the transmission!
Next you have this nice hole to fill the transmission with. The car
is jacked up so much so we can get ALL of the fluid in the hole - no
speedo cable trick for us! Carefully measure out the 2.1 Quarts of
transmission fluid. Some car's filler plugs are too low to fill the
whole capacity in the transmission. Tilting the car with the jack
Now - Fill 'er up!! Goes slow - the oil is thick - be
careful not to spill any. Make sure everything is still clean too.
If you can't get all 2.1 quarts in - you need to jack up the side
of the car a bit more. After you're done - Put the cap back on. Make
sure everything is tight - and put it back together. Put your wheel
back on, let the car down, and torque the lug nuts.
You now have a happy transmission!
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