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I have a Mercedes w201 190d 2.5diesel with 5 speed manaul transmision and I'm going to change the gearbox and differential oil.
I'm a bit confused what oil do I use.Can someone please help me and tell me which best grade is for transmission and differential oil please?or have a chart that I can follow?
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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Manual Box uses auto transmission fluid (strange but true). I'm using Castrol Dex/Merc, the red stuff. Others are using Redline? I think.
Differential is heavy gear oil for mine 75W85 or 75W90 but this could be differential specific so do no quote me on that one....
 

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89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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I would use this because it seems it would work in both Transmission and differential. I could not find a SAE lube specification from MB.

I would strongly advise against using any 75W90 oil in the manual transmission. Been there done that ......
It completely throws off the syncro and when cold it is impossible to shift in low gears.
I put gear oil in thinking that is what came out. Wrong...

I asked others in these forums and the answer was manual tranmission fluid should be an automatic transmission Dex-III.
I have had that in for the last 3 years. Very happy with the results as I may have mentioned earlier.

But that being said should you try that gearbox oil in your manual transmission do let us know how it turns out, the more data points the better.

- Cheers!
 

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If I'm not mistaken the rear end calls for a GL-5 gear oil, however GL-5 spec oils interfere with syncro engagement and should not be used in a gearbox. So the two oils should not be cross compatible.

In my 201 have Redline MTL in the trans and Mobil1 in the diff.
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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That's it! Thank you PN, I knew it was Redline something, now you remind me.
That's what I will try next time I flush the transmission fluid.

BTW, the little amount of Blue Devil I mixed in (less than 4 ounces) really slowed down the transmission fluid leak. The oil pad I have between the belly pan and the transmission is not so wet any longer. Just an FYI who may have a manual transmission oil leak.....
 

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That is good to hear. I will probably look into whether that same stuff works for rear ends. I know a couple people with seeping diffs making the pumpkin a little wet but not so much to cause a lot of concern. Could help them prolong the need to change the seals if so.
 

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I would strongly advise against using any 75W90 oil in the manual transmission. Been there done that ......
It completely throws off the syncro and when cold it is impossible to shift in low gears.
I put gear oil in thinking that is what came out. Wrong...

I asked others in these forums and the answer was manual tranmission fluid should be an automatic transmission Dex-III.
I have had that in for the last 3 years. Very happy with the results as I may have mentioned earlier.

But that being said should you try that gearbox oil in your manual transmission do let us know how it turns out, the more data points the better.

I am confused on the manual transmission oil in the w201's because I can't find a SAE spec. I use kendal MP (80-90 GL-5) 5 speed manual 915 gear box in my 911 for years with no problems. Is hard to find so that's why I made my recommendation above. Yea the Porsche 5-speed has syncs too.

I can't get my head around putting a thin ATF oil in a 5 speed manual, since I have had good luck with a GL-5 using it in the Porsche 5 speed.

This is what is in the porsche now.....

I will try a GL -5 in the 190e 5 speed and let you know the results.
 

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W201 Moderator
89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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Now I'm confused too. Redine MTL is a 75W80 gearbox oil and PN187 is happy with it.
 

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I'm not sure what the specific viscosity index is of any of these fluids, but ATF is widely accepted to be the correct gear oil for MB manual boxes of the era and Redline MTL is the appropriate Redline fluid used for where ATF is spec'd in a manual gearbox. In my personal car there is no grinding in any gear even with very quick shifts. Same is true for the handful of MB manuals I've used it in other than one which has a worn 3rd gear syncro. In that case it seems to have improved the condition some, but hard to quantify because it's not alway 100% consistent.

1993 owner's manual specs "Mercedes manual transmission fluid" which is a 75W-85 GL-4 gear oil.
 

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89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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What does it say in your manual? Mine says use "Manual transmission Fluid" . Not very helpful.
3 years ago I went to Mercedes Dealership and they had "no clue".

I knew heavy gear oil 75W90 was very bad for my transmission. Never felt like that when the car was new.
Looking at all the paperwork when the dealership changed it 20 years ago, the only clue is that it was a Penzoil brand fuild of some sort.

So we go with word of mouth and recommendation from others.
 

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Part no for "MB manual transmission fluid" is 001 989 8403 09. Probably a fine fluid, but what's currently available won't be the same formulation as was W201 factory fill.

IMO, any of the common recommendations will likely work well and if not the difference would be immediately noticeable in shift quality and/or increased noise unless the issue is that the fluid is corrosive to the metals in the gearbox and slowly takes its toll over time.
 

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89 190E2.6- 5-speed Manual, 95 E320 Sportsline-sold, 2001 E320 4matic Wagon-sold
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MB have used ATF on manual gearboxes since the 1950s.
That is the same advise a got from an older gentleman/W124 forum member who used to work at a dealership many years ago.
He said they used Dextron-3 ATF fluid. I think that is a safe bet. Anything else might also work but that is not what Mercedes used.
 

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My W201 is an automatic so I'm not sure what's recommended for a manual transmission. I would suggest contacting the MB Classic Center to see what they recommend. That's where I go when I need such advise. They've helped me many times over the years with my W201. They're very knowledgeable about our W201s and should be able to answer this question so that W201 owners with manual transmissions in this forum will be able to have this information.
 

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Here's the text of a very interesting white paper that can help folks decide on what they want to use for a manual transmission fill. Explains why there are better alternatives to ATF and why GL-4/GL-5 fluid would be spec'd for a Porsche transaxle and not a MB transmission, which should have been obvious on its face.


Manual Transmission (MT) Lubricants (Updated 6/26/2019)
By MolaKule

Ever since dedicated MT fluids appeared on the scene (such as the GM Synchromesh series of fluid), drivers have seen better shifting due to better synchro engagement and improved shifter-fork movement, attributed to the specialized additive package used in these lubes. Before these fluids were introduced, engine oil’s such as 5W30 or gear lubes such as 75W90’s were specified, depending on design.

Note: This white paper is directed toward light truck and passenger vehicle manual transmissions. We will not be discussing transmission lubricants for Heavy Duty truck transmissions or those transmissions requiring MT-1 rated lubricants.

One of the first of these dedicated MT fluids were the GM Synchromesh series of fluids in the viscosity range of API 5W30 engine oils, or the SAE Gear Oil 80W85 range, or 10.5 [email protected] These fluids were originally targeted for the GM series of synchromesh transmissions. Purported to have been formulated by Texaco, these early MT dedicated GM fluids were partial synthetic fluids that contained a synthetic oil component of alkylated benzene for low temperature operation. The AW component was primarily a reduced level of EP additives with a low level treatment of ZDDP for anti-oxidant purposes. Later, the EP additive was dropped for increased levels of ZDDP as the primary AW additive. Today’s MT fluids contain a multi-functional phosphorus chemistry as the primary AW additive with increased levels of synthetic fluids.

Then along came Pennzoil which introduced “Pennzoil Synchromesh” MTF with a 9.3 [email protected] viscosity. This fluid fulfilled the specifications for both GM and Chrysler manual transmissions as their factory fill. Later, companies such as Amsoil and Redline introduced MTF’s in various viscosities.

These fluids were successful because they introduced a specific friction modifier chemistry that insured smooth synchro engagement and disengagement.

Dedicated or Application Specific MTF’s for Manual Transmission or Transaxle use an additive package containing Anti-Wear (AW) additives, rust and corrosion inhibitors, emulsifiers, and specialized Friction Modifiers, and are generally protection rated at the SAE GL-4 level.

Now GL-4 does not necessarily refer to MTF’s, as there are some gear lubes in the
Market place that are GL-4 rated, but are not MTF’s. GL-4 is an SAE wear protection rating.

There are a few MT fluids GL-5 rated for specific vehicles that have common MT and Differential sumps. One such manufacture, Subaru, has transmissions which shares a common sump and require a MTF which is GL-5 rated.


Manual Transmission fluids use a different Friction Modifier for synchro engagement,
a modifier that is NOT the same Friction Modifier chemistry as used in differential lubes,
engine oils, or hydraulic fluids.

Here, Friction Modifier or Friction Modification does NOT refer to friction reduction.
Here, Friction Modifier refers to a chemical compound that gives rise to a situation
such that the coefficient of friction (COF) varies Dynamically with respect to the
relative speed of parts that mesh and de-mesh during engagement and disengagement of rotating parts.

(For a similar discussion of ATF’s and friction modification, please see: https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/u...TF_and_Friction_Modification#Post1111352 ).


When selecting a replacement fluid for a manual transmission or transaxle, one has to consider the viscosity of the fluid for which the manual transmission or Transaxle was designed. The spectrum of viscosities for light truck and passenger vehicle transmissions now range from 6.0 [email protected] to 75W90 viscosities and therefore a dedicated MTF can be any viscosity from 6.0 cSt with an approximate SAE 70-75W80 grade ( a viscosity or grade similar to ATF’s) to an equivalent SAE 75W90 grade viscosity of approx. 14.5 [email protected]

For example, if your transmission requires a [email protected] fluid, an SAE 75W90 fluid should be used. In some cases, a 75W85 synthetic fluid has been shown to provide better cold weather shifting, while still providing sufficient anti-wear protection and fluid film thickness. In many cases, one has to experiment with fluids of slightly different viscosities to determine which fluid works best in your local climate and specific transmission.

We should also mention that transmission wear can also require a change in viscosity as well. However, no OTC additive or change in viscosity will cure a transmission that has severe wear in its bearings, gear teeth, or synchronizer assemblies.

It is recommended that an examination of clutch engagement and a change in transmission fluid be done before rebuilding a transmission. For the latter, crunching and “notchyness” can be caused by the old fluid having been sheared (loss of viscosity) and the degradation of its additive chemistry.

Many MT manufacturers have introduced fluid specifications for fluids with lower viscosities in the range of [email protected] to [email protected], a viscosity in the same range as ATF fluids. These fluids were specified primarily to increase fuel mileage in order to raise fleet fuel mileage figures.

Some fluid manufactures’ such as Royal Purple and the fluid supplier for GM, have developed MTF fluids in this viscosity range. These fluids are basically ATF fluids with a bump in the AW components.

One manufacturer, Tremec for example, currently specifies Dexron III/Mercon ATF fluids. It is the opinion of this author that the design of this transmission can only use ATF because of cold temperature operation problems. In earlier specifications, they specified higher viscosity MTF’s, while in the latest specification, they specify ATF’s, yet the internals are supposedly the same. My guess is they found that, with their original specs for the higher viscosity fluids, shifting was poor in cold weather, so they dropped the viscosity and at that point in time, the only available fluid with a low viscosity was ATF - which is no longer the case. Now there are new low viscosity fluids on the market with improved additive packages. In terms of the composite materials used in the ring-blocker assembly of these transmissions, the friction modifiers in ATF’s do nothing for synchronizer operation. The shearing of the fluid at the interface is the primary means of dynamic friction modification.

Current MTF’s in the range of 8 cSt to 10 cSt, designed for metal-alloy synchronizer assemblies, have been shown to work in these same transmissions without blocker-ring degradation or excessive wear.

One last comment: MTF specific lubes were developed for manual transmissions and transaxles, and not for differentials or industrial gear boxes, and vice versa. A differential lubricant is not a good choice for MT’s. A dedicated differential fluid of 75W90 with a GL5 rating usually has a higher viscosity than does an MTF in the same advertised grade, and will therefore cause shifting problems in cold weather. In addition, a differential lube does not contain the proper additive package needed for MTF’s, since it contains an Extreme Pressure additive package meant for highly loaded hypoid gearing.

In summary:

1. GL-5 and MT1 rated gear lubes have a higher viscosity than MTF's of the same SAE Gear Oil viscosity range,

2. GL-5 and MT1 rated gear lubes have a different additive package than do MTF's; MTF's contain Anti-Wear additives, GL-5 and MT1 rated gear lubes contain Extreme Pressure (EP) chemistry.

3. GL-5 and MT1 rated gear lubes have a different additive package than do MTF's; MTF's contain specialized Friction Modification chemistry; GL-5 and MT1 rated gear lubes containing LS additives have special Friction Modification chemistry that is different than what is found in MTF's.


Here is an updated list of dedicated GL-4 and a few GL-5 MTL's.

Much confusion over the viscosities (thickness) of MTF fluids is the result of the SAE gear oil charts and its ranges seen at:

Viscosity Charts - Bob is the Oil Guy


NOTE: This list is only a “suggested” list of MTFs. It is not an endorsement of any one fluid, nor is it implied that any one fluid will cure problems in MTs that have design problems or those that have excessive wear.

A. These MTL fluids are closest to a Kinematic Viscosity of 6.X [email protected] (About the same viscosity as a Dexron VI) and SAE 70 or so:

1. Castrol Syntrans FE 75W,
2. BMW (Pentosin) MTF-LT-3,
3. Honda MTII or MTF 2.
4. Ford FML-XT-11-QDC
5. Volvo Manual Transmission Fluid (6.4 cSt) [Recommended for: type M65 5-speed with 6-cyl. engine, M66, MTX75 and MMT6 and of the type M56, M58 and M59 from and including model year 1996. Meets Ford specification WSSM2C200-D2]
6. Redline MT-LV SAE Viscosity Grade 70W/75W Vis [email protected]°C


B. The next higher viscosity MTL would be the 7.0 to 7.6 [email protected] versions (SAE 70W75) (About the same viscosity as the original DexronIII/Merc)

1. Royal Purple's Synchromax
2. Ravenol MTF-2
3. Honda MTF
4. VW part number G052512A2
5. GM Manual Transmission and Transfer Case Fluid
6. BMW (Pentosin MTF 2) MTF-LT-1, 2 ,3
7. Tutelo (Petronus, Italy, Product Code 1402)
8. Pentosin Pro Gear 70W75 (Australia)
9.0 Pentosin FFL-4
10. Redline Power Steering Fluid
11. RAVENOL STF

C. The next higher viscosity MTL group is in the 8.0 cSt to 8.9 cSt Range would be:

1. Castrol Syntrans V FE (8.0cSt)
2. Redline DCTF Dual Clutch Transmission Fluid (8.1 cSt)
3. BG Synchroshift II (8.2 cSt)
4. RAVENOL PSA

Note: C, D and E are often considered popularly as “synchromesh” fluids, even though this description is not entirely correct.


D. The next higher viscosity MTL group in the 9.0 to 9.5 cSt range is (SAE 75W80):

1. Mopar Type MS-9417 MTL 9.0 cSt
2. Valvoline MTF Part Number 811095 9.2 cSt
3. Pennzoil Synchromesh 9.3 cSt
4. RAVENOL PSA 9.5 cSt
5. RAVENOL SSG 9.5 cSt


E. The next group of MTL’s are in the 9.6 to 10.X cSt range (SAE 75W80):

1. Redline MTL 75W80
2. Amsoil MTF (9.7 cSt)
3. GM Synchromesh’s
4. Volvo MTF 645
5. Fuchs TITAN SINTOFLUID SAE 75W-80 synthetic MTF
6. Lodexol (Morris Lubricants) MTF
7. Motylgear 75W-80


F. The next higher viscosity MTL would be a [email protected] and SAE 75W85:

1. Redline MT-85


G. The next higher viscosity MTLs in the 14-15 cSt (SAE 75W90) range would be:

1. Amsoil MTG
2. Redline MT-90
3. Castrol Syntrans Multivehicle 75W-90
4. Castrol Syntrans Transaxle 75w-90
5. Ford XT-75W90-QGT
6. Ford MOTORCRAFT® Full Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid XT-M5-QS
7. ACDelco 10-4059 GL-4 75W-90 Manual Transmission Fluid
8. RAVENOL TSG SAE 75W-90
9. LiquiMoly 75W-90 GL4
 

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OK, so based on this ATF, may not be the best choice for wear.
It is interesting that Penzoil Syncromesh is mentioned in the article. I assume that was put in my transmission by the dealership back in the late 90's (as the paperwork says "Penzoil" for the MT fluid replacement)

It is also interesting that Chrysler recommended the Penzoil and their transmissions were made by Mercedes at some point in time.

But this is all sounding akin to which beer it the best? Too many choices, wish there was a straight up recommendation for just one type/brand for mild California weather.

Thanks for the article PN.

- Cheers!
 

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I agree that too much freedom of choice can often lead to paralysis, but I don't think it's too difficult of a decision (wasn't for me) and I don't know how controversy formed around a topic that appeared to had reached consensus. The unequivocal fact is that craft beer sucks.

At least it's cheap and easy to change gearbox oil should you make the wrong decision. For me, I'd hands down go with Red Line MT-LV if I was looking at a fluid change. With advancements in lubrication technology matching viscosity grade to your local climate is less of a concern than it was in the past.
 
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