2011 Subaru MTF

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16,002
Location
NE,Ohio
What can I put in this thing for better low temp feeling. I'm not sure if its the stock fluid thats unimpressive or the transmission but my 11500$ 2007 focus was had amazingly better shift feel than this 2011 "premium" forester Right now it goes from "very tight" to "loose" and colder mornings are coming. any suggestions? Oh and it shares sump with the front diff so it has to be good for Front diff + MT.. some type of GL-5? I've got the initial 5000miles of breakin done so it wouldnt be a total waste of time to change now right?
 

JOD

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3,577
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PNW/WA
I think your best bet is either Supertech Semi-Syn75W90 or Subaru Extra-S. I researched this to death before I did the fluids on my buddy's MT-5, and this was the consensus by a few Subaru guys. The Supertech seems to be one of the few GL-5's which is brass synchro-compatible. I was really happy w/the shifting after switching to the Supertech stuff. I think it was 170K on the factory fill though, so it's not necessarily the best comparison...
 

Rand

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16,002
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NE,Ohio
there seems to be quite a few extra S part numbers.. I think I'll go browse some Subaru forums.. chevydude mtf = manual transmission fluid. subarus require special kind because its also shared with the front diff. Its hard to find stuff that makes both the front diff gears and the synchros happy. Almost all mtf arent gl-5 which you need. most GL-5=bad for MT's.... I guess what I need to know is.. what exactly came factory. Then I will know if changing to extra S or some other subaru fluid will improve it. If not I'll probably get amsoil SVG I guess.
 
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JOD

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3,577
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PNW/WA
I believe the different Extra-S part numbers are just the difference sizes available. At one point there were quart bottles available, but I don't think they're out there now. The best info I could scour from the interwebs: Only the WRX STI's come with Extra-S from the factory. It's a mystery as to the factory fill lube, though some have said it's Valvoline 75W90 conventional. The few reports I've read on Amsoil's SVG 75W90 seemed pretty positive, with 1 or 2 negative. Obviously it's expensive, because it takes a lot of fluid. I'd probably use it in the rear differential, because the quantity required is pretty small. Pretty much all of the reports on the Warren Lube 75W90 were positive (I don't think there I found a single negative report). It's one of the few 75W90 GL-5's w/o any limited slip additives, which is a biggie for this applications. I just drove the Subaru yesterday, w/10K on the fluid, it still feels really good. Obviously that's not much time, so take that FWIW.
 
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2,502
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NJ
My only complaint about Extra-S is its sub-freezing performance. IMO, it doesn't shift much easier than any conventional gear oil. I've been using synthetic gear oils in manual Subaru's since '97 and my favorite gear oil that you can currently buy is Mobil Delvac 75W-90. It does not have Limited Slip additives like the common M1 gear oil. It's hard to find, but I bought mine from Lufteknic. I've been running it for a year and a half now and love it. -Dennis
 
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11,474
Location
Florida, Cape Coral
With such a new vehicle I would first drive another Suby to see if is the same as yours. I would also get on a Subaru forum and see of others with the same MT are complaining about the same thing. While under warranty, I would not mess too much by changing to another non-approved MTF.
 
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1,153
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Washington
Originally Posted By: Eddie
With such a new vehicle I would first drive another Suby to see if is the same as yours. I would also get on a Subaru forum and see of others with the same MT are complaining about the same thing.
Mine is the same way. As the nights are getting colder its becoming much more difficult to shift until the fluid gets a few miles on it, then it shifts great.
 

Rand

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16,002
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NE,Ohio
Originally Posted By: Eddie
With such a new vehicle I would first drive another Suby to see if is the same as yours. I would also get on a Subaru forum and see of others with the same MT are complaining about the same thing. While under warranty, I would not mess too much by changing to another non-approved MTF.
Thanks for the replies guys. Eddie-- No one here mentioned a non approved MTF.. I'll probably try the extra S first .. then amsoil if I'm still not happy. Not a big fan of supertech products in general but I'll also keep that in mind.
 
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5,172
Location
Great White North.. eh
the Subaru 5mt will shift differently than any other fwd slush box you've owned in the past. Nothing new there. I've played a lot with lubes, and currently running Extra S, and have been for 30k now. It's the one I've settled on and provides the best shift experience thus far. Yes shifting is worse in the winter. No surprise there either, my Honda CRV 5 speed shifted terribly in the cold until warmed up. I haven't tried Delvac 75w90, but if Bluesubie says it's good, it's probably really good. Might have to try it after I run through my remaining 10 litres of Extra S... assuming the car lasts that long.
 

Rand

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NE,Ohio
Originally Posted By: webfors
the Subaru 5mt will shift differently than any other fwd slush box you've owned in the past. Nothing new there. I've played a lot with lubes, and currently running Extra S, and have been for 30k now. It's the one I've settled on and provides the best shift experience thus far. Yes shifting is worse in the winter. No surprise there either, my Honda CRV 5 speed shifted terribly in the cold until warmed up. I haven't tried Delvac 75w90, but if Bluesubie says it's good, it's probably really good. Might have to try it after I run through my remaining 10 litres of Extra S... assuming the car lasts that long.
Thanks for the info from another subaru owner. I do realize it will shift differently, Honestly its not HORRID or grinding.. I was just wondering if a fluid would help it. I put the 17$/qt syn ford stuff in the focus and it was amazing even compared to the redline I had in there (which was better than the stock stuff) Of course that car took 2 qts... this car is abit bigger investment so I'd prefer a winner choice the first time. I might try the delvac but I have no source for it.. maybe a truck stop or online perhaps.
 
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Rand

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NE,Ohio
Update: I decided to try the extra-S 75w90 the 3 closest dealers dont stock it and tried to tell me its not required only recommended (I said I had a wrx sti lol) The [censored] was getting thick. So I called brunswick auto mart where I bought the car (its 50miles away) They had it in "bulk" (5gal mini drum) if I brought my own container I took a 5qt oil jug with me and 7.85$ per quart later... Oil was super easy to drain.. came out mostly gray/clear and semi silty. Was some fuzz on the magnet but not terrible. Was pain in the butt to refill I forgot my funnel with tubing was at the shop... The MT dipstick is under some of the engine with a giant wiring harness blocking any direct long funnel access. It shifts differently now. Its not exactly "better" IT does go into gear MUCH easier esp. reverse.. and shifts much better cold. If I had to pick a word to describe the difference it would be "consistent" now that this is done What is up with the rear diff plugs. I had the car off the ground and it still didnt break free? DO I need to torch it for threadlocker or something?
 
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Messages
5,172
Location
Great White North.. eh
"consistent" is a good description of Extra-S. Other syn lubes I've tried seemed to get very 'thin' feeling after highway runs. Extra-S doesn't feel like that... just shifts smooth each time. You'll find the second change of Extra-S even better. FYI, the price you paid was very good. I bought the whole mini drum, hence why I'm sticking with this lube for the next couple of changes (@ 30k miles each). Rear diff plugs were tough to get off my first time. Get a long torque wrench, and don't kill it. Just make it happen grin Good job swapping out the FF on both tranny/diff early. The diff lube is going to come out ugly. You'll be glad you did it.
 

Rand

Thread starter
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16,002
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NE,Ohio
Originally Posted By: webfors
"consistent" is a good description of Extra-S. Other syn lubes I've tried seemed to get very 'thin' feeling after highway runs. Extra-S doesn't feel like that... just shifts smooth each time. You'll find the second change of Extra-S even better. FYI, the price you paid was very good. I bought the whole mini drum, hence why I'm sticking with this lube for the next couple of changes (@ 30k miles each). Rear diff plugs were tough to get off my first time. Get a long torque wrench, and don't kill it. Just make it happen grin Good job swapping out the FF on both tranny/diff early. The diff lube is going to come out ugly. You'll be glad you did it.
I actually didnt get the rear diff changed yet. I had a 25inch breaker bar and couldnt budge it. Tried an impact wrench and it just dinged the plug. I'm going to borrow a propane torch and (quickly)burn them to about 400 degrees to kill any threadlocker. The car has never seen salt and those are some STUCK PLUGS. I'm not exactly highly muscular but I had my leg wedged against the ramp and had decent leverage im guessing 200-300lb of force and it wouldnt break free. The torches are all at the shop so I gave up as it was at the end of a long day off (of work on day off lol) Now I have relative doing poorly in the hospital so I'll get to it next week most likely. I did get 3.2qts out (capacity 3.5qt) I heard anything over 3qt is decent as it doesnt all drain out. I'm expecting the rear diff to drain out putrid.. the first change on every one I've ever done has looked totally bad compared to second change.. no matter the interval.
 
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Rand

Thread starter
Messages
16,002
Location
NE,Ohio
UPDATE: With the colder weather now here.. transmission seems to be getting notchy. I keep grinding 3rd and im not powershifting or anything.. example: I drive the 1/4 mile off my street in 1st and 2nd. first time I try to go into third it grinds even at 2k rpm. If I shift higher at 3-4k(which I hate to do until warmed up) it goes into 3rd easier. Not sure why this fluid seems to be getting worse but I'd say its slightly worse now than the Factory fill.. as I never was grinding gears ever with that. Summit racing is about 10miles from me.. thinking about picking up 3qts of redline 75w90 NS and trying that. link to redline page for that oil. The shifting is still decent warmed up but its fairly bad now for the last week. I was giving it time but it seems to be getting worse. I'm not really worried about the cost.. I'm only out 24$ for the subaru extra S.
 
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3,369
Location
Idaho
Motul Gear 300 is very popular in Subaru circles. Has a viscosity index of 222 and a 100C vis of 15.2 and so would be expected to do well in cold weather.
 
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3,369
Location
Idaho
Originally Posted By: bluesubie
My only complaint about Extra-S is its sub-freezing performance. IMO, it doesn't shift much easier than any conventional gear oil. I've been using synthetic gear oils in manual Subaru's since '97 and my favorite gear oil that you can currently buy is Mobil Delvac 75W-90. It does not have Limited Slip additives like the common M1 gear oil. It's hard to find, but I bought mine from Lufteknic. I've been running it for a year and a half now and love it. -Dennis
The Delvac has a 100C vis of 15.9 and a VI of only 140, which does not seem like a good combo for below freezing temps. I am surprised that you presumably like the winter behavior of this lube.
 
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