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Discussion Starter #1
Some say Pennzoil syn. makes a difference in smooth shifting. My 06 GT 5-speed has 61,000 miles and shifts okay, but was thinking of changing oil in tyranny after reading about oil change. Any recommendations and is it really worth a change at this mileage? Cost is $60 at my shop. How much oil is needed in the change?
 

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In regards to trans oil, both in sticks and autos I have always used Valvoline, I have also never had a trans failure in any vehicle I own and typically keep my vehicles for 10+ years, with over 100k on the odometer. In my sticks, those that take ATF fluid, I always change it out every 30k miles.
 

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There are some threads on here about this, Penzoil synthetic was one of the top choices IIRC, try some searches.

I have tried Mobil 1 and Amsoil synthetic ATF's and neither one made much difference; it still shifts very hard when it it cold.
 

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ill be watching this thread as well. my 05 could use new fluid but only because my mind says so. 45000 miles so should be good. ive read about the penzoil, royal purple, motorcraft. waiting for replies on this. my car shifts fine and is really fun to drive, however when I think about this I want whats best for the car and my driving
 

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I went with Pennzoil Synchromesh at 58,000 miles. I'm about to roll over 70k and it's still smoother than it was the day I bought the car. I've heard that RP's Synchromax is bad for our synchros, but I don't know if this is true or not.

The change isn't any harder than changing your engine oil. There's a drain and fill plug that are both turned using a 3/8" drive ratchet (no socket), and you'll use 3.2 quarts. I'd advise this as being one of your first modifications as this really smoothed my TR-3650 up from that Ford MERCON ATF.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Pennzoil

Thank you especially Jlee. Sounds like Pennzoil may be the best solution. Waiting to hear from others. I know Edelbrock offers Zink for new camshaft break-in and those scam oil additives have Zink as an additive for friction reduction. I wonder if this would be a possibility for an addition for the tranny? I think I may be stepping off into never, never land here.
What about just adding Edelbrock Zink to your engine oil? I have seen those friction tests on special oils on friction machines and guess what, shampoo will pass the same test because they have Zink additives in them. Zink seems to work wonders. Any engineers in the crowd?
 

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I put the Royal Purple in my 07 GT at 40k miles-still no problems and shifts great at 110k now.
 

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Will it pass a lubrication test with the additives? Sure. But what about an endurance or reactivity test? Just like cracking an egg in hot leaking radiator can stop the leak. Does it work for a little bit? Yeah, but for long, and the aftermath isn't pretty. You need the proper viscosity fluid that won't chemically react with the components of your transmission or break down with time, heat cycles, and force. I'd only run Tremec recommendations because of this, as they are the engineers that produce the transmission. I've heard of people running synthetic engine oil fine, but I'm sticking to Tremec recommendations. And you'll want mechanical or petroleum engineer to chime in. I'm working on my bachelor's in biomedical engineering, and we barely scratch the surface with oils and fluids.
 

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I called the Tremec tech line directly a couple years ago and they told me they test with and recommend Mobil 1 synthetic auto transmission fluid. That's what I've run in mine for 3 years with no problems.
 

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Ford's official fluid is good. It is Mercon-V.

I would prefer the Mobil-1 Synthetic over that. I understand that Tremec did all of the qualification testing on the TR3650 using this fluid.

The "Pennzoil for Synchromesh Manual Transmissions" is a little thicker and has been getting very good reviews. I prefer/recommend this one and understand that Tremec has said it was fine.

Now, many of the exotic fluids have additives that can attack the synchro ring linings. I am NOT a fan of the Royal Purple stuff for a TR3650. I've torn down way too many TR3650's with synchro rings that were completely shot and the fluid residue was quite purple...

This thread is for a 2005-2010 TR3650, but for a 2001-2004 one should remember to lower the fluid level by 3/4 inch from the fill plug to improve cold 1-2 shifting. The fill plug was lowered beginning in 2005.
 

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The fill plug was lowered beginning in 2005.
I'm not a transmission specialist, but this is the first I've heard the fill plug was lowered. My 2009 Ford shop manual specifically states that the proper level for the 3650 is 1/2 inch below the plug. Do you have information saying that the plug was lowered and it should be filled level with the plug?
 

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. . . My 2009 Ford shop manual specifically states that the proper level for the 3650 is 1/2 inch below the plug. . . .
WTF are these people thinking? Are you supposed to stick your finger in there to feel for the 1/2 inch? Must have been some screw-up somewhere along the way. "Fill it till it overflows" is supposed to be the standard procedure, isn't it?
 

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WTF are these people thinking? Are you supposed to stick your finger in there to feel for the 1/2 inch? Must have been some screw-up somewhere along the way. "Fill it till it overflows" is supposed to be the standard procedure, isn't it?
That was how it was originally intended to be... Fill to the hole.

A little TR3650 history here...

Upon release, the TR3650 was plagued with notchy/clunky 1-2 shifts when cold. they made change after change to the internals attempting to fix this. These changes made the second gear engagement more aggressive by redesigning the second gear, the 1-2 synchro hub and the outer blocker ring for second gear.

There are many posts about installing the "TSB upgrade" kit.

It seems that even with all of these changes the problem was not solved. In the end, they stated to fill the TR3650 to 3.0 Liters of fluid (not Quarts).

The present second gear repair kits include a sticker to go on the transmission stating the 3.0 L fill.

This lowered the fill level stating that the transmissions had too much fluid in them all along.

All of this happened before the 2005 models were released. For 2005 the TR3650 is very different from the previous years. The entire case was redesigned and the lower fill plug was incorporated in that design.

Now, how did I learn this, and where is the documentation? I've looked around and haven't found much at all. I will keep looking.

I got most of this from conversations with Tony at Astro Performance over the years. He was the one that pointed out to me that the 2005 had a lower plug as I recall.

...and guess what! If you put those two tail housings side by side you can see that the fill plug is positioned at a lower spot than on the previous version.

Perhaps I can post pictures later. I have both tail housings sitting around but they aren't handy for a picture at the moment.

Now for a 2009 Ford Shop Manual to make the blanket statement does raise the question. Does that manual differentiate between the two designs? I don't have a service DVD newer than 2001.

None of the shop manuals I've downloaded from Tremec's website show anything about the changes for 2005 and up.

The bottom line is that filling with 3.0L should be correct for both transmission designs.

LOL:
The Pinky Finger makes a pretty good dipstick, but one can fashion something out of a piece of bent wire. Just make it long enough that you can't drop it inside the transmission and lose it like one guy I know did... (It wasn't me...)

I thought there was a TSB that said to fill to 3/4 inch below the fill plug... But I can't seem to find it... Only the reference to the 3.0 L spec.
 

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So you guys are saying the Pennzoil SynchroMesh is better than the Ford Mercon? And this IS a simple driveway job? I thought I read somewhere that the fill hole was a nightmare to get to on these cars... Hmm....
 

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Discussion Starter #17
3650

Great article Roegs. Thanks.
 

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Yes AlloyPony. It's easier than changing engine oil in my opinion. 15-20 minutes, a fluid pumps, 3.2 quarts Pennzoil Synchromesh, a 3/8" drive ratchet with a short extension (no socket), and a drain pan.
 

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Here is some more reading on the TR3650:

TR3650 History
Stan...thanks for sharing the article. I see now why you are thinking that the drain plug was lowered. The two articles seem to conflict on fluid level. For now I'm going to follow the Ford Service Manual that I have for my '09. Please let us know if you find something else.
 
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