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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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new to vws. A few 020 trans questions

Hello all, new to the forum and vws in general. I have a couple questions regarding my 020 (correct me if im wrong) manual trans in my 97 gti.

The trans grinds in 3rd and 1st on quicker shifts (I suspect worn synchros). plus the reverse gear is chipped. the cost of a rebuild seems way out of my price range. What would be the best decision, for me to swap it for a used tranny, or tackle rebuilding myself...? I am mechanically inclined so I know I am atleast capable of doing it. Check out my Intro post for background on my mechanical experience.

Basically, just looking at long term options for the tranny. the main reason I bought the vehicle was to have a sporty/ yet practical car with a manual. I will not keep the vehicle in the long run without addressing the tranny issues.

In the mean time, I've replaced the MT fluid. The old stuff was black. Replaced it with a 50/50 mix of penzoil synchromesh, and royal purple max gear 75w140. I've heard good reviews on the synchromesh, and it helping with weak synchros in these transmissions. I read many instances of people running straight synchromesh for tens of thousands of miles with no issues. However, It is only gl3 rated and is a bit thinner than the recommended gear oil. Hence the mix with gl4 royal purple with the heavy 75w140 rating. Since then, the trans shifts much smoother, and is less likely to grind in 3rd and 1st. I suspect this could just be the new clean fluid, and not the fact it is synchromesh.

What do you guys think about the mix with synchromesh (gl3 rated and approx 75w) and royal purple max gear (gl4 and 75w140)? Is there another synchromesh fluid you recommend in the correct gl4 75w90 rating?

Lastly, I've noticed on cold mornings the synchros appear to function better before the tranny is heated up. Grinding in shifts to 3rd are almost non existant. Would this be due to the MT fluid having a higher viscosity when cold? would changing to a thicker fluid help with the grinding/synchros? I've heard transmission fluid viscosity can have an effect on synchro performance...

Any help, comments, or advice is appreciated!!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Also, I live in SC. Temps year round range from about 20 at the coldest to over 100 in the summers. So Temps are on the warmer range of things (if this helps in choosing oil weights). I'd say 95% of driving is between 45 and 100 Fahrenheit
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-18-2016, 05:14 PM
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If I were you I'd change the fluid again to Redline MT-90: Redline MT-90 Synthetic Transmission Oil. 1 Quart bottle.

Instead of a rebuild, if you decide you need it, it would probably be more practical to find a low mileage transmission on eBay or at a junkyard and swap it in.
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