Lotus Elan

5 Speed Box: Whirring in 5th after Redline oil change

PostPost by: JonB » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:17 pm

And that’s another reason why I haven’t been in a rush to try a different oil - the recommendation of highly respected forum participants like Rohan who really uses his cars.
Late 1972 Elan Plus 2S 130/5 - UK - Unit 50/1115L
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:20 pm

Back when I had the Esprit I changed to MT90 in the gearbox (no idea what the PO put in before) and the improvement in shifting was quite noticeable. Good stuff.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:27 pm

Regardless of whether Redline MTL actually is or is not a contributor to the noise you are experiencing deductive reasoning would suggest that the next logical step would be to change out the oil to see if there is any change in the character of the noise you experiencing. That would be the scientific approach not based on any opinions. You noticed the change in sound after having undertaken only two activities: 1) Changed the oil. 2) Changed the gearstick arrangement. You've already done a fair amount of work around 2). If it were me I would be doing a bit more work around 1) seeing that that possibility has not yet been eliminated.

Now for the opinion only bit. Redline may work fine in a transmission in good unworn condition but the same oil may not be so good in a transmission that has already seen considerable use. Redline may perform well under racing conditions but this does not necessarily translate that it performs well under real world driving conditions. Many, many issues often show up under real world driving conditions that don't show up on a dyno (OEM experience here!). Experience with one oil in one type of gearbox with one type of driver does not necessarily translate. A particular oil brand/type may perform well over "X" number of kilometers but without a standardised benchmark for comparison it's not really useful information because the standardised benchmark may have performed just as well if not better. Remember these gearboxes were designed well before high tech oils were ever developed. They may be able to utilise some of the advantages but then again they may not.

I note that Redline is not a supplier to any OEMs. Whilst that does not necessarily mean there's a problem at the same time it does not provide (for me at least) the same assurance as some other branded products.
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PostPost by: derek uk » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:17 am

OEM's use a big brand name because they have done the tests to the required standard and can buy in quantity at a very reasonable price, i.e cheap. Companies like Redline also do the tests and their oil is just as good if not better. They can add some slightly more expensive additives and charge more. They wouldn't have capacity to supply the major motor manufacturers and they would also have to sell it to them at a loss.
Redline 10-50 High Performance Synth 5 US quarts/4.73L RRP £85.38. OEM's might be willing to pay a quarter to a third of that. I say "might".
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:47 am

Naturally, a forum is going to present much opinion, and so I chose Redline based on a sort of general consensus.

@2cams70: Your point is clearly made and I do get it. As I said, I do intend to try a different oil when I next have it on stands. As I have just completed months of engine gearbox diff and propshaft work not to mention rewiring the nose cone with relays, engine bay refresh and fitting a new dashboard, I’m perhaps understandably reluctant to put the car back on stands just yet. That notwithstanding, do you have a recommendation for an alternative gear oil? A product made by Comma has been suggested so far.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:28 pm

JonB wrote:That notwithstanding, do you have a recommendation for an alternative gear oil? A product made by Comma has been suggested so far.


People must be having religious experiences with oils judging by the amount of passion that occurs whenever the subject is raised. Let's hope they are using the lubricants in their cars rather than for other unmentionable purposes!

My religion is an Australian brand called "Penrite". This is not because I have any evidence to support that they are the best but rather because I've been sucked in by their marketing, their prices are reasonable and I have not had any bad experiences with any of their products (the more I think about it the more it does sound like some kind of religion!!)

A very good economical product I've used in the past for manual transmissions is Castrol VMX80. It's a mineral product with exactly the same viscosity as that originally specified but with some extra additives to assist shift quality. I see Fuchs also offer quite a number of transmission fluids but I've not tried them myself. Fuchs are an OEM supplier to motor vehicle manufacturers but their products seem more tailored toward modern vehicles so I'm not sure how well they suit ancient vehicles. Syncho ring materials and design parameters have changed a lot in 50 years. My company used to use Castrol for OEM but has now changed to Fuchs.

The availability of a lot of the lubricants is region specific. I'm not sure where you are located and the availability may depend on this. I don't think it essential to use anything particularly high tech in a 50 year old transmission design for road use. ("high tech" being separate issues to "quality" and "meeting or exceeding the specification")
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:13 am

I guess I have two religions when it comes to oil Penrite and Redline and one philosophy which is use the most suitable modern "real" synthetic oil you can find. A real synthetic oil is one made with group 4 or group 5 base stocks not group 3 ( as a result of a US court case) which can be claimed to be synthetic but is not really. Groups 1, 2 and 3 are just progressively more highly refined mineral oil it is only group 4 and 5 which are true synthetic oils. Most cheap "synthetic" oils are group 3 base stock

It used to be Mobil and Redline but in recent times as Penrite introduced more group 4 and group 5 synthetic oil based lubricants I have moved from Mobil to them for engine oils. Plus Penrite are a big historic racing sponsor in Australia so I like to support them when I can. I have stuck with the more expensive Redline products for diff and gearbox oils as these are changed much less often and I am looking for diffs and gear boxes to last for the life of my cars without major rebuilds if possible which is what Redline has given me so far over the last 30+ years and I dont think I will have time to carry out back to back tests with an alternative over the next 30+ years :lol:

For example the life of my Landcruiser front diff in mainly city use like mine is expected to be around 150000 kms due to wear on the spider gears.I am now at 430000 kms and counting while running it on Redline with twice the change interval as standard. The cost of the Redline gear oils may be twice as much but the group 5 polyolester base stock is much more heat resistant and lasts longer so I change at twice the normal interval so the oil cost is the same and wear performance better. Extending the life of gear oils is practical if the do not suffer deterioration due to heat like group 5 polyolester oils as the oil does not get contaminated with combustion products like engine oils do. Extended change intervals in engine oils due to the use of synthetics is not a good idea unless contamination levels are tightly controlled which is not possible in old carburettor cars but it is more possible in modern fuel injected close tolerance engines made these days which is why you see it more in new cars service intervals these days.

Forgot to mention the Golf R32 of my son and my Esprit that also have used Redline gear lubes for extended periods with improved gear changes and no other noise or problems

cheers
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