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Redline D4

DISCLAIMER: If anyone out there puts anything other than FACTORY RECOMMENDED FLUID in their engine/transmission/mechanicals, they do so at their own risk. This post is for information only, relating my experience using an unapproved fluid.

Shift-O-Matic... No more "3 year shelf life" fluid... :puke:

The car definitely shifts better. Not good enough to avoid a Tip Chip, but I am encouraged.

TQ lockup under light acceleration in 2nd and 3rd gears:
Before: Painfully slow. It would take what seemed to be seconds and the rpm would drop by 300 or so, while the engine is going "wa-o-wa-o-wa-o". Thought I had a DV problem
After: Not perfect, but acceptable. It just "happens", and the rpm drop is 100.

Throttle-matched downshifts:(I left-foot brake and throttle-match my downshifts)
Before: I hit about 7 out of 10 smooth. The downshift reaction time varied and 3 out of 10 downshifts wouldn't match.
After: Nailing them 100%, without any effort. The downshifts are definitely a bit quicker, but more importantly they are completely consistent.

Upshifts: There's been a definite improvement in the speed and solidity of upshifts. It's taken 3 days of driving to see this. Perhaps the new fluid has cleaned some varnish off the clutch bands, I dunno. If someone put a gun to my head and said "how much improvement" I'd estimate 2/10's of a second.

I changed the fluid, filter, drained the cooler lines (good for about 1/2 pint) and replaced with Redline D4 ATF. Ahhhh, it feels good to have pink fluid in the tranny! It held 6 qts. So that's 3 qts of old stuff left in the tranny. I had done a fluid-only change in July (7 months ago) with the factory recommended fluid. So is the improvement due just to the fact that I changed the fluid, or is it due to the Redline? I dunno - based on the effects of my fluid-only change in July (i.e. no improvement), I'd have to say the Redline has to be a large part of it. Most important is that the Redline had no negative effects. I guess we'll have to see how it holds up long-term, but I see no reason to doubt that this fluid will be far superior to the factory fluid.
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Glad to hear of the initial success with the Redline D4. I am going to start doing drain and fills more consistently so I might consider putting in 3 quarts of Redline at a time.

Sounds like we need someone to organize a group buy on GIAC tip chips. I've wanted one myself.

Matt
 

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I'll be interested in how this works for you long term...

Your comments on TC lockup concern me. In the case where you used to get a 300 rpm drop and now get a 100 rpm drop - that tells me your TC clutch is now slipping at 200 rpm. In specific engineering terms we call this "bad".

Best wishes - Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sharky said:
You SURE Redline will be just fine in there?
No, but somebody here has to try. The VW fluid is crap. 3 year shelf life? Give me a freakin' break... Redline cross-references D4 to the Esso Amber fluid that meets VW specs. Meeting VW specs means the company paid to have it tested. I imagine that Redline's market for ZF Tips is so small that it isn't cost-effective to test it.

l5gcw0b said:
How can you "throttle match"(match revs) when the tranny is never disengaged? To match revs with a manual, you have to depress the clutch and blip the throttle.
'Cause I'm good :) Seriously - it's easy. I've been doing it since I was sixteen driving a '66 Mustang with an automatic, and the Tip makes it a whole lot easier. You just downshift and blip. Smooth as silk.

harrisot said:
Your comments on TC lockup concern me. In the case where you used to get a 300 rpm drop and now get a 100 rpm drop - that tells me your TC clutch is now slipping at 200 rpm. In specific engineering terms we call this "bad".
I don't know how to respond to this, but here's my interpretation of what's been happening:
Under full power and/or at high rpm this has never been an issue. But under gentle acceleration at low rpm (between 2K and 3K - something I do a lot because I drive gentle) the TQ behaved like it couldn't decide whether to lock or stay unlocked. It would be somewhere in "no man's" land for perhaps two full seconds. During this time the engine would go "wa-o-wa-o-wa-o" and would eventually loose 300 rpm. I would say that maybe the TQ was indecisively locking and unlocking and locking and unlocking until it finally decided to lock. Now it just locks, period. No muss, no fuss.

EDIT added to original post:

Upshifts: There's been a definite improvement in the speed and solidity of upshifts. It's taken 3 days of driving to see this. Perhaps the new fluid has cleaned some varnish off the clutch bands, I dunno.
 

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Rusty said:
There's been a definite improvement in the speed and solidity of upshifts. It's taken 3 days of driving to see this. Perhaps the new fluid has cleaned some varnish off the clutch bands, I dunno.
Perhaps.

Or maybe the clutches are so slippy now that the TCM must to firm up the shifts to get a good solid application.

You can put Dextron in an old Chrysler 4 speed, but that doesn't mean its the right fluid.
 

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Naysayer :p :)

Here, I added this edit to the original post. I don't want to get anyone in trouble...

DISCLAIMER: If anyone out there puts anything other than FACTORY RECOMMENDED FLUID in their engine/transmission/mechanicals, they do so at their own risk. This post is for information only, relating my experience using an unapproved fluid.
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Bump - for general info and because at least one interested person has already missed it.
 

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Rusty,

I am planning to do my trannie service soon and I am considering the Redline fluid as well.

I am also considering the need to run some AutoRx through the trannie to clean it, then changing the fluid a second time. While this will double my expenses, I am really concerned about the negative effects done by putting now nearly 90k miles on my original fluid.

Did you give any thought using a cleaner/flush when you planned your service? Any thoughts in hindsite, now that you've dropped the pan and seen the condition of the internals?

Thanks,
 

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Yes, I thought about using AutoRx, but I was really concerned about what it might or might not do to the tranny (yeah, I know, I'm willing to try D4 but not autorx?), even though I've used autorx in the oil. But the main reason I didn't was the total hassle involved. Plus, if I did a-rx and D4, and something happened, I wouldn't know what did it. Spending more money on the VW fluid just so I could use a-rx was not an option for me. I wanted to see what D4 did - NOW! For a patient guy, I can be very impatient sometimes!

I plan on doing a fluid-only change in another 6 months, then a fluid & filter again a year from now. That should flush it out pretty good without risk. Then alternating fluid only/fluid+filter every year.

The condition of the tranny seemed to be very good. The pan was not sludged, the internals were clean & shiny. Only the magnets were totally glopped up. I have 90K on the car, and had 70-something, maybe 79K, back in July when I did the fluid-only change with the factory fluid.
 

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The other thing that makes me hesitate is that the AutoRx info says that it doesn't clean as well in a synthetic oil (as opposed to dyno motor oil). Given the clean internals that you observed and the cleaning action of the OEM fluid that you noticed when you dropped the screws into the collection pan (you must have mentioned it in a different thread) it is probably best to omit the flush.

It certainly simplifies the process and reduces the expense of changing the fluid. And as you said it is one less complicating factor if there are problems later - not that that will ease the pain of liberating $4k from my wallet for a new trannie if there are problems later. :nervous:

Thanks for being the guinea pig - I guess there are 2 now on this board.
 

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I will be the next guinea pig ...thanks for showing us the way
 

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Rusty, why do you want to change your fluid every year (about 20,000 miles for you?)? I change my trans fluid in my Windstar every 21,000, but that just because its their severe duty schedule, it wasn't synthetic (till just recently) and that van is known for trans problems.

I had my Passat 1.8T Tip fluid changed at 60,000 and Blackstone said the contaminates had mostly been there since new and that with a full change, the synthetic should last a long time. I'm planning on going another 60,000 before a change.
 

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I want to change it every year, or even every six months, until I get nearly all the old fluid out. Then I might let it go every two years. I put a lot of miles on this car, both road and track. Just that little bit of extra prep that may keep it a good road&track car for 300K.

The alternative is to do the shade-tree tranny flush (disconnect cooler lines, dump high pressure into a bucket while filling the low pressure line with the engine running), but I just don't want to risk that. Changing the fluid too often is the low-risk, "what the hell, new fluid can't hurt" option, and with the D4 at $8/quart compared to the $12-14 VW fluid, it's a lot easier to swallow the expense.
 

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Rusty, Where did you get your parts for this job? ECS Tuning has the trannie filter and pan gasket as a kit for $30, but I didn't see any other seals. What else is needed?

And the best price that I've found for the Redline is $7.90 a quart with a 10% discount if I buy a case of 12. With no shelf life I will eventually use them. Does that sound right to you?
 

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I got my parts from busdepot.com. With shipping, it was about $30. All I got was the pan gasket and filter.

The drain plug should have been replaced, but I couldn't find the new one that I bought several months ago. VW doesn't sell the drain plug gasket, so you have to buy the whole plug. I've re-used it twice now, and it doesn't leak, but that's a very thin gasket and I don't think it will take much more re-torquing.

The fill plug has a very nice O-ring seal which should not wear out. I don't ever plan on replacing it unless it tears or something. But I do have one, just in case, somewhere... probably with the drain plug that I can't find...

My D4 cost $7.95/qt from a local engine builder. Didn't occur to me to ask for a discount for a case...
 

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I found my Blackstone report. I was high on aluminum, copper and lead, which they said was from the break-in period. They didn't have comparables for the tip, so they used averages from other VW trans.

(If anyone else has had theirs tested by Blackstone, I had alum 49, copper 80 and lead 23. others - iron 166, tin 5, manganese 10, potasium 4. The rest were at or below average.)
 

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Check out this post. http://forums.audiworld.com/a8/msgs/22083.phtml
This guy had his fluid changed at 30,000 and 32,000 and had his trans fluid tested. His numbers were as bad as mine on the second fluid change! (His Alum was much higher and his iron much lower, but otherwise similar.) What does this tell you?
 
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