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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have owned my 1994 MR2 Turbo for about 3 months now. The odometer reads 147,037 miles, but the engine was rebuilt with a “short block” 27,000 miles ago. I have about a couple of hundred pages of documented maintenance records and it shows the short block replacement. The performance of the engine is great. Compression test is excellent. The timing belt and water pump were changes only 3,000 miles ago. I see no documentation indicating that the transaxle oil has ever been changed or any work was ever done on the transaxle. This leads me to believe that the oil is probably the original (28 year old) oil. There are no leaks of any kind on this car.

Anyway, I was wondering about the wisdom of changing the transaxle oil (E153 transmission w/ LSD) in a gearbox that has that 147,000 miles and is 28 years old.

Anyone have any advice? I am afraid of doing more harm than good. I don’t want to create any seal leaks, slipping problems with the LSD or other problems. I am torn between “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and improving shift smoothness, drivability and longevity. Shifting right now is OK without any grinding at all, but I have felt smoother and easier shifting in other FWD cars.

The E153 has a Limited Slip Differential (documented). So does anyone know whether there is a special oil or oil additive required because of the LSD?

If I were to do this, I was thinking of using synthetic oil like Redline or Amsoil that is GL-4. Any suggestions are welcome.

I had used Redline MT-90 in my 1994 Mazda MX6 for 25 years. So, I do have experience in how to do this job. The MT-90 worked well and was a definite improvement over stock oil.
Any advice, experience or wisdom anyone can provide is greatly appreciated.
 

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I had a bad grind going from 4-3. Now it's just a mild one. Still. Should do it again and see if it refreshes any more.

Tips? That fill plug on the top is hard to get to, a PITA.
MT90 is what I put in and it did help a lot

Do it, change it out. I changed with about 140k on mine. Zero issues with seals etc
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have owned my 1994 MR2 Turbo for about 3 months now. The odometer reads 147,037 miles, but the engine was rebuilt with a “short block” 27,000 miles ago. I have about a couple of hundred pages of documented maintenance records and it shows the short block replacement. The performance of the engine is great. Compression test is excellent. The timing belt and water pump were changes only 3,000 miles ago. I see no documentation indicating that the transaxle oil has ever been changed or any work was ever done on the transaxle. This leads me to believe that the oil is probably the original (28 year old) oil. There are no leaks of any kind on this car.

Anyway, I was wondering about the wisdom of changing the transaxle oil (E153 transmission w/ LSD) in a gearbox that has that 147,000 miles and is 28 years old.

Anyone have any advice? I am afraid of doing more harm than good. I don’t want to create any seal leaks, slipping problems with the LSD or other problems. I am torn between “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and improving shift smoothness, drivability and longevity. Shifting right now is OK without any grinding at all, but I have felt smoother and easier shifting in other FWD cars.

The E153 has a Limited Slip Differential (documented). So does anyone know whether there is a special oil or oil additive required because of the LSD?

If I were to do this, I was thinking of using synthetic oil like Redline or Amsoil that is GL-4. Any suggestions are welcome.

I had used Redline MT-90 in my 1994 Mazda MX6 for 25 years. So, I do have experience in how to do this job. The MT-90 worked well and was a definite improvement over stock oil.
Any advice, experience or wisdom anyone can provide is greatly appreciated.
Thanks for all the replies.
Questions:
1. I have seen on youtube that the drain plug, fill plug and plug on top of transaxle are 24 mm. Is this correct?
2. I have read that someone filled their transaxle through the hole where the reverse light switch goes. Anyone know if this is actually possible? I have had to replace that switch when I bought the car and it is much easier to get to.

Thanks again,
 

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It would be a safe bet that the trans fluid was drained and changed when the motor was rebuilt. Nothing wrong with treating the vehicle with a just in case fluid change.
 

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1) Do not use the reverse light switch hole to fill. The correct procedure is to fill through the fill hole until oil runs out of that hole (when the car is LEVEL). With the car on jackstands or a lift, and the smaller engine undercover removed it is easy to access.
2) Remove the fill plug FIRST in case there are any issues. They can be very tight. Be careful not to round it off.
3) Use some clear vinyl tubing and small funnel so you can pour from above (patients is required), or get one of those trans oil pump setups that allow you to pump the oil in.
 

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Yes, it's wise to change it.

I was negligent in changing mine for over 7 years - just slipped my damn mind is all. I put in some fresh oil a few months ago; the old stuff was thick green goo when it came out - pretty nasty, I was ashamed. Shifting is smoother and grinds have been reduced at least 50% now.
 

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I agree with the above advise with changing trans oil and using fill hole with clear tube as described above. Like others I used Redline LWSP on a 98GT which only had 64kms on the clock when I bought in Japan. Its best to replace fluid BEFORE you start having mechanical issues rather than waiting until AFTER and finding that the damage is done. For info I tried MT90 in other MR2's and found it helped for a year or so but eventually wore out. LWSP lasted much longer and does a better job IMO.

Jimb
 

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1) Do not use the reverse light switch hole to fill. The correct procedure is to fill through the fill hole until oil runs out of that hole (when the car is LEVEL). With the car on jackstands or a lift, and the smaller engine undercover removed it is easy to access.
2) Remove the fill plug FIRST in case there are any issues. They can be very tight. Be careful not to round it off.
3) Use some clear vinyl tubing and small funnel so you can pour from above (patients is required), or get one of those trans oil pump setups that allow you to pump the oil in.
Remove the fill level plug then fill through the top its way easier. I use the vent hole
 

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I checked my previous bills, that's correct - that's what was in there, thanks. It was a dull dark green sludge, definitely game over for that stuff.
Think you might look at the possibility water has seeped into trans. I've had LWSP in mine for nearly 8 years and its looks like the day I put it in. Not many km's but car lives outside and I've done numerous track sessions. LWSP is generally 'smurf' blue colour. I think the Superlight weight may be green
 

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hm last time I used it, the LWSP was bright blue. In fact if you do a search here on the forum and elsewhere you'll see that others refer to it as "smurf blood." Smurfs, as everyone knows, are blue, not green. On the other hand, superlight shockproof is greenish. The bottle labels also reflect this. Some people swear by using a 50/50 mix of MT-90 and LWSP. I've never tried this, always used either one, or the other. The E153 is the first box where I've resorted to LWSP, always been satisfied with mt-90 before, although some people feel Amsoil GL-4 gives superior lubrication at cold temperature. I wouldn't know anything about that, it never gets below 65F here.

Liquid Bottle Fluid Ingredient Drink
Liquid Tire Automotive tire Fluid Bottle
 

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I went with MT90, any benefit of using Shockproof if there is some grinding?
Again, I think I'll add this to my list of things to do. Only been in for three (?) years, but if I can change it and get smoother downshifts from 4th to 3rd then it's well worth it. Currently it takes lots of revving or low rpms to change smoothly.
I rev-match many downshifts, but that one still grinds
It's very annoying on track
 

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As I stated above the MT90 is a decent improvement over stock fluid but it wears out. LWSP on the other hand works better and doesn't degrade. Some will report that it is not suitable for the E153 but many of us have used it for numerous years and miliage without any issues. Time for you to make the switch.
 

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There has been a lot written about this on this forum and elsewhere. Some people say that LWSP reduces grinding. Others say it damages syncros and gear teeth. I would wager that if you do a meta-analysis of all the comments it comes out inconclusive.


You can also go to the redline website and read their suggested uses of their various gear oils.
 
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