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Old 08-27-2014, 12:14 PM   #1
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2004, 5-speed. 133,000 miles. Difficult to shift from 1st to 2nd, especially at low speed when cold.
Street use only.

All the 6-speed folks swear by Ford / Motocraft XT-M5-QS, as it contains a proprietary blend of unicorn tears and pixie dust which the syncro bushings apparently like. Is the prevailing opinion also that this is the sweet hotness for the 5 speeds, or does Amsoil have some even awesomer flavor-of-the-month?

Last edited by Joe Perez; 08-27-2014 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:22 PM   #2
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Amsoil will shift like crap until hot, and then it'll shift like unicorn man-butter/gentleman's gravy.

Redline worked ok for most track guys until it gets super hot, then it starts shifting like crap, hence the switch to Amsoil for most track guys.

I know you're not tracking, but that's my expertise on the subject. I'll be doing the Ford/Motocraft when the time comes.
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Amsoil will shift like crap until hot, and then it'll shift like unicorn man-butter/gentleman's gravy.
Really? In the 5-speed? I have bottles of Amsoil 75w90 GL-4 set aside for my 1994 5-speed, I thought it was fine.
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:37 PM   #4
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both amsoil and motorcraft shift about the same for me - and no matter what the stupid 6sp is really notchy and finicky when cold, and then really smooth when warmed up.

I've never had a non-smooth 5sp, all shifted like butter. I'd use amsoil again, esp in a 5sp
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:46 PM   #5
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I've used redline, amsoil and, the autozone special lucas stuff, plus obviously whatever is in it from the factory.

All shifted the same. In both my 94 and 01 5 speeds.
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:47 PM   #6
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Never tried amsoil but had really good results with the motorcraft oil in my 5spd. Really did smooth out the 1-2 shift in my trans.
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:57 PM   #7
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Second 5 speed was full of Redline Shockproof (blue smurf juice) when we pulled it out of the donor, and it shifted just fine. I ran it with Amsoil MTG 75w90 GL4 and it was great hot & cold (keep in mind I live in CA, so our "hots" and "colds" may be on different scales.)

Current 6 speed is also running Amsoil MTG 75w90 GL4. Shifting is glorious both hot and cold.

FWIW I'm convinced Mobil1 GL5 is responsible for the premature death of my 1st 5 speed.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:06 PM   #8
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Ford Unicorn Tears made my already-happy 5-speed happier. I think, though, that an even bigger difference came from filling up the nearly-empty turret while replacing my torn boots when I changed the fluid at 65k miles. If you haven't already, take a look at what's going on in there. It's probably best to have the boots handy already, because chances are they'll be torn.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:08 PM   #9
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it's also probably a good idea to replace the bottom shifter bushing with one from 5X or something.

if yours is worn, it could be mis-aligning and causing the notchiness/etc
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:15 PM   #10
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I thought it was always the 5 speed people who went motorcrap or death, and the 6 speed people fought between a bunch of them with no clear winner. Put the ford motorcrap stuff in.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:19 PM   #11
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nope. a couple years ago the Motorcraft stuff was the beez kneez with us 6sp folks. See my thread about it.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
the stupid 6sp is really notchy and finicky when cold, and then really smooth when warmed up.
I've never quite understood what people mean when they describe shifting as "notchy." Personally, I find that having a discernible tactile delineation between "in gear" and "not in gear" to be a desirable attribute in a shifter

In my case, the transmission simply doesn't like to go into 2'nd gear at all when cold unless I rev-match it. No drama, no grinding, it just won't drop into that gear under certain conditions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCarmel View Post
had really good results with the motorcraft oil in my 5spd. Really did smooth out the 1-2 shift in my trans.
That's what I was looking for. Someone with the exact same problem as me, who solved it by using a certain lubricant.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by RedCarmel View Post
It's probably best to have the boots handy already, because chances are they'll be torn.
Oh, they are, no question about that. I simply assume them to be routine maintenance on any newly-acquired Miata.

I did forget about the fact that the turret needs to be separately lubed on the later gearboxes- thanks for that.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 18psi View Post
it's also probably a good idea to replace the bottom shifter bushing with one from 5X or something.

if yours is worn, it could be mis-aligning and causing the notchiness/etc
This x10. Do not underestimate the power of a simple shifter rebuild.

I know Rosenthal has a super convenient kit where you can get all the OEM bushings in one place so you don't have to hunt things down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
I thought it was always the 5 speed people who went motorcrap or death, and the 6 speed people fought between a bunch of them with no clear winner. Put the ford motorcrap stuff in.
My experience was quite different. The first fluid change I did on my first 5 speed @ 95k smelled like the factory fill. On the advice of m.net I loaded it up with the Motorcraft stuff and it became notchy and retarded where as before it was fine. Then I got stupid and loaded it up with Mobil1 and the rest is history. Again, I'm just one datapoint.

With the price of the Motorcraft vs Amsoil, I'll just keep buying the Amsoil.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:28 PM   #15
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Joe, turret is seperately lubed on all 5 speeds, not just the later ones. Also dont forget a new shifter tip when you do the boots that can also cause a hard to get into gear problem.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I've never quite understood what people mean when they describe shifting as "notchy." Personally, I find that having a discernible tactile delineation between "in gear" and "not in gear" to be a desirable attribute in a shifter
.
There's a difference between a satisfying click, and a rough, almost grind-ey (but not actually grinding) clunk. It doesn't feel good, it doesn't sound good, and I'm guessing its just not good. There's also the "hard to get into the gear" notchi-ness, which is more like extreme tightness when pushing the lever into gear. More than desireable.

Hope that makes sense. In my case, I experience both when cold, though if I am super careful and don't just jam it, it goes in and doens't acually grind or anything. When it warms up, all is perfect-o and feels great, as described by \/

A perfect "shift feel", at least for me, is when you feel a discernible engagement, but its buttery smooth and not too hard to push, and just slides in.

Think of last night

Last edited by 18psi; 08-27-2014 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:52 PM   #17
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So its like, Mosin Nagant 91/30 as opposed to Lee Enfield No1 MKIII?
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:50 PM   #18
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I also had massive improvement from stock lube to Motorcraft when cold. Now shifts the same at all temps. Yeah, it's expensive, but it's not like you use gallons of it.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:50 PM   #19
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I have a theory that trannies vary from the factory (clearances?) and that some lubes work better on some trannies, and other lubes work better on other trannies. I suppose it's a matter of trying what seems to work best for most, to the 2nd most recommended, to the 3rd....
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonC SBB View Post
I have a theory that trannies vary from the factory (clearances?) and that some lubes work better on some trannies, and other lubes work better on other trannies. I suppose it's a matter of trying what seems to work best for most, to the 2nd most recommended, to the 3rd....
probably right on all counts
Quote:
Originally Posted by DNMakinson View Post
I also had massive improvement from stock lube to Motorcraft when cold. Now shifts the same at all temps. Yeah, it's expensive, but it's not like you use gallons of it.
5 or 6?
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