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My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission #5373352 03/11/20 11:48 AM
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SR1919 Offline OP
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Subject: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal manual transmission (five speed) after 100K miles

I realize that there has been some sporadic discussions in this great site regarding longitudinal transmissions and specifically the VW 012 transplanted in my FWD 2004 Passat TDI in 2013. The manufacturer specifies part number G-052-911-A2 which, based on my research, is most likely a re re-branded Fuchs Titan Sintofluid SAE 75W-80 (classified as GL-5 for some reason and sometimes I have seen the unofficial label of GL-4+). To be clear and upfront the VW 012 transmission in my Passat does not have "hypoid gear rear axles or limited slip". This is important because some transmission oils from Red Line and Ravenol warn not to be used in "hypoid gears" but you need to be careful to read the entire sentences as it contains words such as 'differentials' or 'rear'. So my personal conclusion is that these exclusions/warnings do not apply to my front wheel drive VW 012 longitudinal transmission.

Back in 2013 I did some research and I concluded that a high quality full synthetic API GL-4 gear lubricant blended to SAE 75W-80 viscosity would be the right fluid for my VW 012 transmission. I originally had the Fuchs Titan Sintofluid SAE 75W-80 but I noticed that the cold shifting was not ideal so after some further research I chose the BG Syncro Shift II with a Viscosity, cSt @ 100°C (212°F) = 7.11. Now after nearly 100,000 miles with this manual transmission fluid I would say that has been successful for the most part. Of course there are always areas of improvements such as, at times, having difficulties to get into first gear and some notchiness going third to fourth. Again there was nothing major to make me change the BG Syncro Shift II earlier than 100K miles.

So now I would like to look at my options to change the oil and of course I can stay with the BG Syncro Shift II which has become a little bit more difficult to source but I have not looked in detailed yet. So based on the above here are the options I am looking at in which I want to maximize the protection of my transmission with the best synthetics and AW/EP additives, for another 100,000 miles at least:

1) BG Syncro Shift II Viscosity, cSt @ 100°C (212°F) = 7.11 Pour point –43°C (–45°F) VI= 153
2) Mix 50/50 Redline Red Line MT-LV (Viscosity, cSt @ 100°C = 6.5; Pour point –76°F VI= 175) + Red Line Lightweight Shockproof (numerical specs unknown link). Note: yesterday I got a reply from Red Line via email recommending Red Line MT-90 (Viscosity, cSt @ 100°C = 15.5) for the VW 012 transmission.
3) Ravenol Transmission Fluid STF Synchromesh: Viscosity, cSt @ 100°C = 6.9 Pour point –60°F VI= 172
4) Pentosin MTF-2: Viscosity cSt @ 100°C = 7.7 Pour point <-76°F VI= 177
5) Pennzoil Synchromesh Fluid: Viscosity cSt @ 100°C = 9.08 Pour point -50°F VI= 208 (this information is from a PDF file that I have saved sometime ago dated March, 2000)

Right now I am discarding the MT-90 recommendation as too thick for colder temperatures. The VI for the Pennzoil one needs to be re-verfied but I do not have more up to date information (anyone?).

For the time being I am inclining to either options 2, 3 or 4 in this order. Cost is similar and not an issue here for obvious reasons. Your thoughts?

Re: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission [Re: SR1919] #5373720 03/11/20 06:40 PM
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you can call Redline + talk to a tech! used their MT90 in my 02J 2001 jetta 200 THOU + now in my 2001 TT 225q 06m i think. manual trannies FOREVER

Re: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission [Re: benjy] #5374284 03/12/20 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by benjy
you can call Redline + talk to a tech! used their MT90 in my 02J 2001 jetta 200 THOU + now in my 2001 TT 225q 06m i think. manual trannies FOREVER


Ok, thanks for the update. So far my own research shows the Red Line MT-90 is struggling in cold weather and by cold I mean something like in the upper 30's or lower 40's shocked

Re: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission [Re: SR1919] #5375704 03/13/20 06:38 PM
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I think I was the first one here to use MTLV and mix it 50/50 with superlight shockproof. About a year ago.

Yes works great! My 02J was filled with Valvoline 75w90 GL5 from the PO and shifting was notchy.

After the MTLV/Superlight shockproof mix it was dramatically better. I can't imagine anything being better than this blend.

The MTLV was hard to find back then, and no online vendor carried both oils except for this place. Great customer service as they were only selling full cases at the time and were willing to sell me individual bottles by request.

https://carshopinc.com/

Re: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission [Re: SR1919] #5375763 03/13/20 07:39 PM
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Couple of points. I cite Jack's Transmission, in Colorado Springs, CO - which is a credible specialist in Mitubishi high performance, and a number of other makes' transmissions. They are located here (their Tech page on oils): https://www.jackstransmissions.com/blogs/pages/oil-recommendations

I also attach a couple of screenprints highlighting a couple of points.

From some of the Forum discussions, a couple of other things:

Pennzoil's Synchromesh uses less synthetic than GM's FM - Friction Modified - Synchromesh... and I do note that they are different 100C viscosities... but the GM product will have less of a viscosity-related cold weather notchiness, relatively speaking.

View MolaKule's most updated White Paper section on manual transmission fluids.

I have another screenprint that indicates, in at least VW's estimation (some considerable years ago) that the choice of lubricant is a balancing act between synchro feel and long-term gear protection. I have a sense that there is some merit in that.

Finally, other talk prevails re the broad listing of 75W-80 SAE grade... covering, actually, a very, very wide range of viscosities that actually meet 75W-80. What I mean, here is that: A considerable range of Brookfield Viscosity (dynamic viscosity) products meet this spec. Generally, for shift-feel, cold, you would want as low a BV product as you can find. Another consideration is the 40C kinematic viscosity (rather than the 100C kinematic viscosity): it has been said that it is somewhat crazy to be talking about the relative viscosities at 100C... when in fact our transmissions never come close to operating that high in temp.

Here are a couple of useful posts:

https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/foru...-of-dedicated-mtf-fluids#Post5372483.... and the three or four posts immediately after it... (Sorry, I can't seem to get it to go to the correct post... see the last picture I posted... that is the correct post).

https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/foru...manual-transmission-gear-oil#Post5360240

Let us know your thoughts...

Jacks Transmissions - Oil Recommendations - 1.jpgJacks Transmissions - Oil Recommendations - 2.jpg1 - Shift Feel vs Oil Quality - What VW Says.JPGCorrect MolaKule Post.jpg
Last edited by Cdn17Sport6MT; 03/13/20 07:49 PM.

Mazda6 GX (Sport in the 'States), 6MT, 2017
Moto Guzzi 850 T5 (Euro version), 1985
Honda Civic Si (EX 2 dr. in the 'States), A/T, 1997
Toyota Camry CE, 5MT, 1999
VW (Type2) Kombi, 4MT, 1979
Re: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission [Re: Cdn17Sport6MT] #5375923 03/13/20 11:44 PM
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That's not true. It's false. Redline doesn't say "NOT to use Shockproof in your trans..."

Redline says:
Quote
Avoid use with pumps, coolers, and filters as unique medium and affinity for metal can cause clogging
Designed for wet sump transmissions and differentials with splash lubrication


Here is the white paper on Shockproof and I don't see anywhere where it says it's not suitable for a transmission. https://www.redlineoil.com/Content/files/tech/ShockProof%20Gear%20Oil%20Tech%20Info.pdf

I don't know about those pictures, but I can say I've used Superlight Shockproof mixed 50/50 with the OEM 02J gear oil in a Malone stage II Golf for almost 40K miles with no issues. I can also say there is a TDI guru who recommends this mix to smooth out notchiness that comes with higher mileage. It works, and is the reason I tried the blend with MTLV.

I can also say that Shockproof is one of the recommendations to protect the synchros in stage III+ 2.0 CR TDI 6 speed manual transmissions with carbon steel synchros which are prone to breaking with CR170 turbochargers.

Re: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission [Re: SR1919] #5375925 03/13/20 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SR1919
Subject: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal manual transmission (five speed) after 100K miles

I realize that there has been some sporadic discussions in this great site regarding longitudinal transmissions and specifically the VW 012 transplanted in my FWD 2004 Passat TDI in 2013. The manufacturer specifies part number G-052-911-A2 which, based on my research, is most likely a re re-branded Fuchs Titan Sintofluid SAE 75W-80 (classified as GL-5 for some reason and sometimes I have seen the unofficial label of GL-4+). To be clear and upfront the VW 012 transmission in my Passat does not have "hypoid gear rear axles or limited slip". This is important because some transmission oils from Red Line and Ravenol warn not to be used in "hypoid gears" but you need to be careful to read the entire sentences as it contains words such as 'differentials' or 'rear'. So my personal conclusion is that these exclusions/warnings do not apply to my front wheel drive VW 012 longitudinal transmission.



I am curious about this non-hypoid gear statement. As the Passat of that era had a north/south engine... and the half-shafts exit laterally (i.e. east /west) out of the transmission to the wheels how is it that there is NOT a hypoid gear involved?

Maybe my mind is befuddled at this hour...


Mazda6 GX (Sport in the 'States), 6MT, 2017
Moto Guzzi 850 T5 (Euro version), 1985
Honda Civic Si (EX 2 dr. in the 'States), A/T, 1997
Toyota Camry CE, 5MT, 1999
VW (Type2) Kombi, 4MT, 1979
Re: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission [Re: CleverUserName] #5375929 03/13/20 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by CleverUserName
That's not true. It's false. Redline doesn't say "NOT to use Shockproof in your trans..."

Redline says:
Quote
Avoid use with pumps, coolers, and filters as unique medium and affinity for metal can cause clogging
Designed for wet sump transmissions and differentials with splash lubrication


Here is the white paper on Shockproof and I don't see anywhere where it says it's not suitable for a transmission. https://www.redlineoil.com/Content/files/tech/ShockProof%20Gear%20Oil%20Tech%20Info.pdf

I don't know about those pictures, but I can say I've used Superlight Shockproof mixed 50/50 with the OEM 02J gear oil in a Malone stage II Golf for almost 40K miles with no issues. I can also say there is a TDI guru who recommends this mix to smooth out notchiness that comes with higher mileage. It works, and is the reason I tried the blend with MTLV.

I can also say that Shockproof is one of the recommendations to protect the synchros in stage III+ 2.0 CR TDI 6 speed manual transmissions with carbon steel synchros which are prone to breaking with CR170 turbochargers.



I am just citing the article that Jack's Transmissions provided in their Tech Section. I can't argue with your success... but Jack's is a pretty credible source, notwithstanding the perhaps unsophisticated name of the Company.

Note that some transaxles, like my Mazda6's, are nominally splash lubrication... but in fact, the means of lubricating the speed-gears on the shafting, is via a trough / oil-funnel system that directs lubricant down the shaft and radially outwards onto the speed-gear journals. I wouldn't, in that case, want to mess with the SAE oil weight recommendation from the Mfr, nor would I want to experiment with lubricant that is waxxy - as the system depends on free-flowing lube inside of the shafting.

Last edited by Cdn17Sport6MT; 03/13/20 11:59 PM.

Mazda6 GX (Sport in the 'States), 6MT, 2017
Moto Guzzi 850 T5 (Euro version), 1985
Honda Civic Si (EX 2 dr. in the 'States), A/T, 1997
Toyota Camry CE, 5MT, 1999
VW (Type2) Kombi, 4MT, 1979
Re: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission [Re: SR1919] #5376876 03/15/20 10:47 AM
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Thanks CleverUserName and Cdn17Sport6MT for your constructive inputs. Just to be sure the discussion is about the VW 012 transmission which is FWD and has hypoid gearing that it is not in the rear.

Let me summarize what I see it so far based on what I have researched on BITOG, TDIClub and other areas:

1) What works in the VW 012 transmission that has hypoid gearing is a stout GL-4 75W-80 rated manual transmission. Some older Fuchs Titan Sintofluid SAE 75W-80 specs show it to be GL-5 but I doubt this is technically not correct. It has to be GL-4 to work in the VW 012 transmissions.

2) Avoid GL-5 rated manual transmission oils

3) Synchromesh type oils have also worked in the VW 012 longitudinal transmission such as:
3a) BG Syncro Shift II (GL-4 rated): source -> my personal experience in my 2004 Passat
3b) Pennzoil Synchromesh Fluid: No API GL designation. Source: see threads like this http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=484402 and others similar (use advanced
search)

4) Feedback on Redline MT-90 has been ok during warm temperatures but not cold

5) I do not doubt the technical expertise of Jack's Transmission, in Colorado Springs, CO when it comes to Mitsubishi transmission fluids, NOT necessarily VWs.

Re: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission [Re: SR1919] #5377318 03/15/20 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SR1919


1) What works in the VW 012 transmission that has hypoid gearing is a stout GL-4 75W-80 rated manual transmission. Some older Fuchs Titan Sintofluid SAE 75W-80 specs show it to be GL-5 but I doubt this is technically not correct. It has to be GL-4 to work in the VW 012 transmissions.




WARNING the Fuchs Titan Sintofluid 75w-80 gear oil IS currently rated as a GL-5 spec fluid DO NOT USE IN THE VW 012 TRANSMISSION!!!

Re: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission [Re: SR1919] #5377321 03/15/20 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SR1919

3b) Pennzoil Synchromesh Fluid: No API GL designation. Source: see threads like this [url=http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?
search)



Pennzoil has rated their Synchromesh fluid as a GL-3 spec. This also is NOT suitable for use in a GL-4 spec application.

Re: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission [Re: SR1919] #5377460 03/15/20 10:23 PM
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Thx, AC1DD; interesting to know that re the Pennzoil Synchromesh. I would not use it for that reason alone, all else being equal.


Mazda6 GX (Sport in the 'States), 6MT, 2017
Moto Guzzi 850 T5 (Euro version), 1985
Honda Civic Si (EX 2 dr. in the 'States), A/T, 1997
Toyota Camry CE, 5MT, 1999
VW (Type2) Kombi, 4MT, 1979
Re: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission [Re: Cdn17Sport6MT] #5377467 03/15/20 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Cdn17Sport6MT
Thx, AC1DD; interesting to know that re the Pennzoil Synchromesh. I would not use it for that reason alone, all else being equal.


The only place you can clearly see this is on the label itself and it is in the fine print on the back of the container.

Unless a vehicle specifically calls for a "synchromesh" fluid in a manual transaxle it should not be used.

Typically most modern day (past thirty years) manual units call for GL-4 gear oil (aka Getriebeöl) ONLY fluids.

It's critical to note that while you want a smooth shifting unit, going too thin with oil weight can cause accelerated wear on the synchros and gears.
If a vehicle manufacturer specifies weights you should actually use products that stay in that general weight category.
Especially important in hot or very warm climates. Less so in very cold or cool climates.

Just 40 years ago or so the typical manual passenger car unit would use 80w GL-4 mineral based fluid and in very cold weather would provide very stiff shifts due to this fluid.
Today there are many excellent all synthetic fluids which even at 80w do a very good job of providing easier shifting in frigid conditions.

Probably not a problem ( in most typical passenger cars) to back spec a full synthetic 75w-80 GL-4 in a car from 40 years ago with no issues or accelerated wear.

Last edited by AC1DD; 03/15/20 10:45 PM.
Re: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission [Re: AC1DD] #5377832 03/16/20 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by AC1DD
Originally Posted by SR1919


1) What works in the VW 012 transmission that has hypoid gearing is a stout GL-4 75W-80 rated manual transmission. Some older Fuchs Titan Sintofluid SAE 75W-80 specs show it to be GL-5 but I doubt this is technically not correct. It has to be GL-4 to work in the VW 012 transmissions.




WARNING the Fuchs Titan Sintofluid 75w-80 gear oil IS currently rated as a GL-5 spec fluid DO NOT USE IN THE VW 012 TRANSMISSION!!!


I checked again and your right Fuchs says that the is GL-5 rated: https://www.fuchs.com/us/en/special/product/product/11144-titan-sintofluid-sae-75w-80/

Now at the same time Fuchs says this same oil is "recommended" for G 052 911 A1/A2 which is the VW OEM part number for manual transmission 012.

From oilspecifications.org:
VW G 052 911
Audi specification for transmissions used with longitudinal engine configurations.
Products meeting this specification are of SAE 75W90 viscosity and also meet API GL-5 criteria.

And looking at Ravenol of America for MTF-2 = VW Manual Transmission Fluid - Ravenol MTF-2 75w80 GL-4: "Fully synthetic VW MTF manual transmission fluid made in Germany! Used in VW 5 speed and 6 speed manual transmissions and meets part number G052911A1 and G052911A2 quality standards. See your owner service manual to confirm."

Ravenol MTF-2 specs match closely Redline MT-LV 70W/75W GL-4 Gear Oil. Since Pentosin MTF-2 has been discontinued I am back to these choices now:

1) BG Syncro Shift II Viscosity, cSt @ 100°C (212°F) = 7.11 Pour point –43°C (–45°F) VI= 153
2) Mix 50/50 Redline Red Line MT-LV (Viscosity, cSt @ 100°C = 6.5; Pour point –76°F VI= 175) + Red Line Lightweight Shockproof (numerical specs unknown link). Note: yesterday I got a reply from Red Line via email recommending Red Line MT-90 (Viscosity, cSt @ 100°C = 15.5) for the VW 012 transmission.
3) Ravenol MTF-2: Viscosity, cSt @ 100°C ~ 7.5 Pour point –60°F VI ~ 159 (per MolaKule post on 02/18/14)

I might have to end up getting the one easier to buy.\ from the three choices above.

Last edited by SR1919; 03/16/20 12:59 PM.
Re: My experience using BG Syncro Shift II in a VW 012 longitudinal transmission [Re: SR1919] #5377924 03/16/20 02:51 PM
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Just as Subie's longitudinally mounted engine / transaxle requires GL-5 transaxle lubricant, why doesn't your vw require this too? It MUST have hypoid gears...?


Mazda6 GX (Sport in the 'States), 6MT, 2017
Moto Guzzi 850 T5 (Euro version), 1985
Honda Civic Si (EX 2 dr. in the 'States), A/T, 1997
Toyota Camry CE, 5MT, 1999
VW (Type2) Kombi, 4MT, 1979
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