ATF for Road Racing/Track days in GT86

Messages
494
Location
Washington DC area
So I know the first question you guys are going to ask and that's why race an auto trans? The answer is because I originally bought it as a daily driver and my right shoulder is arthritic, so the paddle shifters come in handy.

Now on to the problem: I just hit 36k miles and about 15 track days, and my transmission started shifting funny, making the car rev to red line (and the spark/fuel cut). After talking to a few mechanics and doing some research, the cooling on this trans is inadequate and it generates a TON of heat. So my next mod is going to be a trans cooler, but in the meantime I need to get this fluid changed out stat.

I think this car provides ATF temp via OBD but my current scanner doesn't read it, so an upgrade in that regard is also in the pipeline.

Having said that, I've done a little research:
BrandTypePrice/qtPrice/16qtVis 40Vis 100VI
RedlineD6$13$104316.3163
ToyotaWS$8.45$67.60235.5??
AISINWS$6.50$52.0034.887.332
AMSOILSignature ATF038.57.5
AMSOILSignature ATL (low viscosity)030.86.3
ValvolineMaxlife Multi-Vehicle$7$56285.9163
MotulATF VI$9$7230.56.1
CastrolTransmax Full Synthetic Multi-vehicle$11$8830.25.9161
MobilMulti-Vehicle ATF$9$7234.17.42192
PentosinATF 44$10.20$81.6037.37.3165


I'm inclined to go with a little higher viscosity for the racing application and so it is more viscous at higher temperatures.

What does the crowd of tribologists on BITOG say?
 
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Messages
1,809
Location
South Carolina
Throwing another option in the mix from one of the site sponsors, @High Performance Lubricants "Green" ATF would be a good fit. This trans fluid is used by several racing teams including World of Outlaws and the Street Outlaws guys so it's designed to hold up very well to heat.

Adding an additional/secondary trans cooler would also be good for you.


HPL Blue and Green ATF Specs.jpg
 
Messages
287
Location
Australia
Amsoil LV if you can keep temps under 180 with the trans cooler, otherwise the standard Amsoil. Put a fan on the trans cooler as well. The amsoil test they did with the taxi's is compelling.
 

Lumberg

Thread starter
Messages
494
Location
Washington DC area
Thanks guys, I should have been clear, a trans cooler is definitely in my future.

Since I needed to get this fluid swapped out ASAP and I saw a lot of good things about Valvoline Maxlife Synthetic Multi-Vehicle and I could source a few gallons of that same day, I'm going to flush with that, start monitoring my trans fluid temps, and install a cooler. Next flush/refill might be with the green or Amsoil.
 
Messages
11,572
Location
USA
A transmission cooler and more frequent fluid changes will probably be sufficient. I've heard good things about RL D6, though.

Nothing wrong with Maxlife, either. Any synthetic should be fine.
 
Messages
302
Location
Los Angeles
Synthetic is a must. I would not use Toyota WS, as is not fully syn - but if you're concerned about warranty maybe the AISIN WS because its full syn.
 
Messages
14,736
Location
Central NY
I don't know if reading via OBD2 is the best bet. I'd add a port and oil temp sensor and extra gauge if you're really concerned about overheating the trans. I've had a few vehicle that "report" the trans temp via OBDII but it's just the coolant temperature.

I am one of those people who installs the trans cooler AFTER the radiator cooler. No point in heating the fluid back up to 230F when you're beating on it!
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,908
Location
Iowegia - USA
I'm inclined to go with a little higher viscosity for the racing application and so it is more viscous at higher temperatures.

What does the crowd of tribologists on BITOG say?
Amsoil ATL or Redline D6 should be the best bet in terms of starting viscosity verses viscosity retention as those fluids contain the newer high stability additive packages. There is no guarantee any of the 7.X cSt to the 10 cSt fluids will not shear down to below 4.5 cSt under racing conditions.

For racing you want the lowest viscosity fluid available commensurate with the proper friction modification.

As with any oils when racing, fluid changes after racing are a necessity.
 
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Messages
12,365
Location
Colorado Springs
Motul ATF VI or Redline D6. I would believe you can go notch thicker so Motul Multi ATF or Redline D4.
Larger coolant radiator.
Do you have an engine oil cooler? if not, install. It will make the work of the coolant radiator easier and the coolant radiator will cool off AT better.
But, the transmission cooler has to be installed too.
 
Messages
9,748
Location
Ontario, Canada
I'd look for a GT86 specific forum with people that track these cars. I suspect the main answer will be get a manual, but there should be some info on keeping the automatics alive. Perhaps there is some tuning available as well, to keep them cooler and alive longer. One would think these just lock up the torque converter after first gear and go but they make heat somehow.
 
Messages
1,472
Location
Indiana
A PAO based fluid like Allison TES-295 will keep your oxidation at a minimum, but the secondary issue is what temps are the elastomers in the transmission (clutch piston seals, etc) rated for. So more cooling is definitely a good thing.
 
Messages
2,380
Location
Paradise of Florida
Are you monitoring ATF temps? level?

If level is low, the damage is done, especially if the ATF temps at track were high.

Amsoil ATL, Redline D6, HPL Green, Torco LoVis... are a good start. Don't expect ATF to fix a race-worn transmission.

Consider the Sonnax/Ratiotek/Transgo upgrades to address VB wear/leaks/concerns.

I would control temps better vs playing with viscosity. Sump increase or cooler is a must if the ATF temp gauge calls for it.

And, increase the sump capacity by a pint+ with a remotely mounted oil/atf filter.
 
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