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#Scotty's Tranny Cocktail - the Magic Synchro Fix (Maybe not)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:47 pm 
Fifth Gear
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Hmm, I put it in my transmission not too long ago and immediately noticed it was harder to get into reverse especially when just starting the car. Also after I added it, sometimes I can't find 3rd gear, it won't even grind it, and sometimes 3rd gear works like a charm so I know its not another broken shift fork. I'll probably switch out for something else soon.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:05 am 
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A broken shift fork is rarely intermittent...

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:08 am 
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Well I swapped out the transmission oil today, ran it for a while, third and reverse both opened up. It must have gotten gummed up somehow from the cocktail.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:11 am 
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I have piped up in that USC thread. It's good that people are starting to challenge the "formula". A lot of ring-and-pinion failures have been traced back to one of the ingredients of the cocktail.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:01 pm 
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Synchromesh?

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:30 pm 
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More pics
http://www.main.experiencetherave.com/s ... cocktail2/

I don't like how the mix seems to not coat everything. This is out of my Legacy. Note the gear chunk on the drain pan magnet. Odd thing is the trans still seems to run fine. There is definitely more metal goo on the drain pan magnet. So it wouldn't surprise me if there is more wear. However I kind of expect when I upgrade the to the Link, I will probably need to do some tranny work. I couldn't tell you whether the gear piece is a result of the cocktail or not....I kind of don't think so.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:41 am 
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I think the coating may have been different if your drain pan was metal.

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1992 BC Legacy L Sedan AWD 5MT 272,000 - Wish you the best
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2002 SF Forester S Wagon 5MT 215,000 miles - Current winter sleigh
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:39 am 
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Alright, the results for the cocktail analysis are in!

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthr ... st24034428

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1992 BC Legacy L Sedan AWD 5MT 272,000 - Wish you the best
1998 BK Legacy L Wagon 5MT 234,000 miles - RIP
2002 SF Forester S Wagon 5MT 215,000 miles - Current winter sleigh
1986 FC Mazda RX-7 GXL Coupe 5MT 155,000 miles - Summer cruiser


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:37 am 
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Wow, seems that the cocktail is really crappy according to the lab, not that I was going to use it. I'm going to be using Extra-S, there's a lot of people happy with it.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:51 am 
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So final word Extra-S is the way to go?

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:09 am 
Second Gear
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Total mispost, my bad. I meant to look at a previous post and quoted the whole thing.

What I mean to say is yeah, Extra-S is good for the money, but Motul 300 is certainly the best, but might cost you $80 to fill your transmission (Amsoil Severe Gear 75w90 is just a step below Motul 300). Some people have also been happy with Valvoline 75w90 Synthetic and even nonsynthetic, but those aren't commonly used/reported on.

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1992 BC Legacy L Sedan AWD 5MT 272,000 - Wish you the best
1998 BK Legacy L Wagon 5MT 234,000 miles - RIP
2002 SF Forester S Wagon 5MT 215,000 miles - Current winter sleigh
1986 FC Mazda RX-7 GXL Coupe 5MT 155,000 miles - Summer cruiser


Last edited by Soul Shinobi on Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:35 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:12 am 
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Thanks

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:25 pm 
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My Scotty's has been in since the posting date and no issues - I'll be swapping out this spring for preventative maintenance and will let you know how it comes out.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:24 am 
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very nice, thanks



Soul Shinobi wrote:
I am certainly off the cocktail bandwagon now. I've had it for a while, it helped for a little bit, and I still don't get grinds but now the shifting is slow and crunchy. I've had it for over 6,000 miles.

DS1 Motorsports on NASIOC rebuilds gearboxes for a living and has said that the cocktail causes accelerated wear, and that when he gets trannies in that have had it and are below 40 degrees F he has to scoop the yogurt-like cocktail out with a spoon. He recommends the following oils:

-Subaru Extra-S (can only be bought in a 5 gallon tub, but you dealer can order it for themselves and change your fluid)
-Valvoline 75w90 Synthetic (many people have been happy with the nonsynthetic as well)
-Motul Gear 300 (best protection, but pricey)
-Amsoil Severe Gear 75w90

Side note: Also he mentioned not to use Kart Boy shifters, it can cause rear seal leaks, stick with Subaru short shifters.

I've taken the time to compile posts by DS1 on the cocktail for you so you don't have to plow through the 80+ page thread on NASIOC:

DS1 Motorsports wrote:
You should really see what the "cocktail" does to the inside of a trans. :(

I rebuild about 5-6 transmissions a week and can tell you this stuff is bad news to the internals of a 5mt.

If you have a grind while shifting try Subaru Extra-S fluid or Valvoline 75w90 synthetic before anything else.

If neither one of these fixes your issue you probably have a mechanical issue which no fluid is going to fix.
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
Well you can tell pretty easily when you get a trans open by how the fluids will actually separate from the mixture. I usually ask my customers once I see this. The mix's exact % of which fluids is one variable that I see often, usually to the majority of shock proof or syncromesh.

The wear is pretty uniform through these transmissions even though the customers are a wide diversity of enthusiast from Auto-X to Drag and even stock cars. Most of them put it in after reading a variety of threads stating "smoother shifting, eliminates grinds, quieter operation"

The wear is seen on the cone surface of the gear and the matching face of the baulk ring. When these 2 surfaces wear excessively the friction needed to sustain the synchronizing action lessens and you start to get excessive wear on the cone surfaces and the alignment tabs on the out side of the baulk ring due to the slider on the hub now trying to engage the next gear with out it having been spun up to the proper speed to mesh smoothly.

As for the last ditch effort thing you are correct, the most common one of those is the broken 3rd gear double synchronizer. The guys will break it, then try everything possible to fix it without having the trans rebuilt. :lol:

Most of the transmissions I see are for either a blown gear or a syncro issue. I see the same wear on the syncros in both cases when the cocktail was used for a length of time.
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
The shockproof really gels up in cold weather.
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
Average mileage I saw wear with the cocktail was about 3-6k. The way the fluids separate inside the trans I honestly couldn't tell you that any amount of time is safe.
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
I've been a technician for 15+ years now and have worked for Toyota, Honda, and Subaru and currently own my own Subaru shop for the last 5 years.

I've done Honda's for over 10 years and only run Honda MTF or NEO oil in them including my customer's 610whp 00' Si. The difference between Honda and Subaru is Honda uses coated brass baulk rings, Subaru doesn't. This is where synromesh does it's damage. :(

The high sulfur content in syncromesh eats brass (simple chemistry). As the brass erodes from the friction surface of the baulk ring, the load surface becomes smaller and smaller and wears faster and faster till finally failure occurs. :(
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
The combination of fluids is something Subaru says specifically not to do in the 5mt. The syncromesh is bad for the brass baulk rings. The shockproof turns to jello in the cold and separates from the other oils in the cocktail.
Hypo C is old school oil and belongs in my dad's ford 9" rear end :wink: It doesn't hold up very well to high rpm use.
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
The Hypoid-C has a different additive package, it will meet GL-5, but the friction modifiers in it are different than what Subaru uses. As for the Redline shockproof, I've literally had to scoop it out (like pudding) of a 6mt case when it was cold. The trans had been transported in the back of at truck to me the outside temp was about 3deg. F. and even in the time it took me to disassemble the case it was still like pudding. :(
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
syncromesh is formulated for transmissions that use ATF or regular motor oil (GM,Ford,Honda,etc), it doesn't have the lubrication qualities that regular gear lube does. As for the stink, you should see what happens when they burn up :( :lol:
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
I do spend most of my days with my hands stuck in broken 5mt's. The way I gauge the different effects fluids on transmissions is by noting the different wear characteristics on the individual parts and then comparing them to the other boxes I see running the same fluids. I see the same breakdown of the baulk rings in almost every trans I see running the cocktail. It's not a normal wear issue like I see in boxes running normal 75w90 oils. Some wear on these rings is normal and yes the higher the mileage the more wear occurs. The issue in the transmissions I see running the cocktail is the type of wear, it's not the normal even wear on the cones and rings. The wear in the cocktail transmissions always share a tapered wear towards the center of the cone and when I check the cone and baulk ring for straightness they show a taper on the lower and upper sections.

A few Facts for this discussion:

The ingredients of GM Syncromesh:
1) "Severely solvent refined, solvent de-waxed, heavy parafinnic petroleum distillates"
Normal English: This is the "semi-synthetic" base oil. It is likely a GIII hydrocracked mineral oil. This is a better base oil than Honda's MTF, That does not mean it is not a better tranny lube, however.

2) "Benzene, C10-16 alkyl derivatives"
Normal English: Known as Benzenesulfonic acid, It is a surfactant, here used I would imagine to keep parts clean; it may also act as a carrier for the other ingredients.

3) "Methacrylic acid, copolymer of 'methyl' and 'lauryl' esters"
Normal English: Here is used as an ester oil. This is the synthetic part of the formulation, and is chemically representative of esters in general; highest resistance to heat degeneration, high detergency.

4) "Sulfonic acids, petroleum, magnesium salts"
Normal English: These are the friction modifiers - they may also play a part in friction reduction. This is the major issue

5) "Hydrotreated heavy parafinnic petroleum disitillates"
Normal English: Similar to #1, but not as purified - less 'severe'; could be somewhere between a GII and GIII.

6) "Zinc alkyl dithiophosphate"
Normal English: The is the famous ZDP, these compounds represent the best anti-wear technology yet developed.

The differences between GL-4 and GL-5 from the API.

3.2 API GL-4
The designation API GL-4 denotes lubricants intended for
axles with spiral bevel gears operating under moderate to severe
conditions of speed and load or axles with hypoid (see
note)gears operating under moderate speeds and loads.
These oils may be used in selected manual transmission and
transaxle applications where MT-1 lubricants are unsuitable.

3.3 API GL-5
The designation API GL-5 denotes lubricants intended for
gears, particularly hypoid gears, in axles operating
under various combinations of high-speed/shock load and
low-speed/high-torque conditions.

The reason I am in here telling people what I see is because it cost my customers more money to rebuild their transmissions because of the cocktail.
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
Motul makes good stuff but it's pricey. :shock:

I'm testing out the Amsoil right now in my manual.

I like the Valvoline because it's inexpensive and effetive.
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
I thought we had finally put this mess to bed, the cocktail is bad mechanically in your Subaru 5mt and even worse in your 6mt.

The fluids mixed together to create it all have their advantages but when combined they create a lubrication nightmare inside your 5mt.

Myself and Andrewtech probably do more gear boxes combined than any other Subaru performance shop in the country. We don't run this stuff for a reason.

If you do choose to run it just keep in mind that it breaks down faster (aka fluid changes every 7-10k miles) causes excessive wear on baulk rings (aka more expensive rebuilds) and will eventually cause bearing failure because of the viscosity differences in the different fluids.

If you have a grind in your transmission and you are running the proper fluid (75w90w Valvoline, Amsoil, Motul, Subaru Extra-S) then you have a mechanical issue. You need to have it repaired properly. If you continue to drive on it no matter how the fluid "makes it feel" you are just causing more damage.
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
what I'm saying is the cocktail doesn't "fix" anything it just hides the underlying problem till it becomes catastrophic. :(
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
extending the "usable life" of your transmission by using the cocktail will cost you double the normal repair bill on the back side so either way you pay.

There isn't a 4th gear issue, there is a 3rd gear syncro design flaw. The breakage of the center cone in the 3rd gear syncro pushes on the 3-4 hub causing 4th gear not to be able to engage properly. The cocktail doesn't fix anything it just covers up a severe parts failure.
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
There is no fix for the design flaw, unless someone wants to start machining billet steel center cones. :)
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
There is no fix for the flaw in the 3rd gear syncro unless one of our great machinist here on the NASIOC wants to start making billet center rings for them

PPG just replaces the double coned unit with a standard baulk ring to avoid the issue.
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
I have noticed lately (month of June) (about 3 of the 4 boxes disassembled this week) that have had Shock proof in them have had a build up of the pudding I'm used to seeing only in cold weather. :shock:

It gathers on the inside of the out put shaft where the front pinion is housed and in the transfer case section under where 5th gear resides.

I'm going to start keeping a log of the boxes I disassemble to see if I can track specific part failures to certain fluids.
DS1 Motorsports wrote:
The cocktail is band aid over a bullet wound :(


Original cocktail thread:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=920674tirecars

DS1 Motorsports posted on page 57 on.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:08 am 
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Ok.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:19 am 
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Soul Shinobi wrote:
Some people have also been happy with Valvoline 75w90 Synthetic and even nonsynthetic, but those aren't commonly used/reported on.


I tried Valvoline non-synthetic 75W90. My transmission had synchro problems from the previous owner (:x) and the Valvoline didn't help, it was terrible. I can't report on how it would perform with good condition synchros.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:55 am 
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Thanks for the input.

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1992 BC Legacy L Sedan AWD 5MT 272,000 - Wish you the best
1998 BK Legacy L Wagon 5MT 234,000 miles - RIP
2002 SF Forester S Wagon 5MT 215,000 miles - Current winter sleigh
1986 FC Mazda RX-7 GXL Coupe 5MT 155,000 miles - Summer cruiser


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:59 pm 
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I tried the cocktail yesterday... dsidn't change anything for me. 1-3 grind and my tranny still makes alit of noise while drivng. BUT i did find some metal chunks on my drain plug.....

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 Post subject: Re: Scotty's Tranny Cocktail - the Magic Synchro Fix (Maybe
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:36 pm 
Fifth Gear
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 12:26 am
Posts: 2266
Location: USA: Portland, OR (Tigard, ~200ft elevation)
I changed out my USC yesterday and collected a full mason jar's worth of sample to send off to Blackstone to be analyzed when I get my test kit.

The USC went into a "fresh" 50,000km JDM 4.111 trans when I had it swapped in for my busted USDM 5MT. Shifting was amazing at first (I did not have a baseline to compare to with this trans as I started with the USC) and I could indeed downshift to 1st at like 20 - 25mph. This was in 2006. I have probably driven 20,000km or so on the USC and I did notice that the trans was noisier when it was cold out, and also when it is cold my speedo jumps about and makes noise (I have recorded this behavior with my phone camera and will upload it for review). I am not certain if the speedo issue is related and I have not yet taken my car out for a drive to break in the new oil but I will post results here.

For those who are interested, here is what the Uncle Scotty's Cocktail looks like after ~6 years of light usage for about 20,000 km, drained at an ambient temperature of 39 degrees F, after a 20-minute drive up and down the highway to warm the oil up for drainage:

Image

I'll get another photo of it in the morning nice and cold, we'll see if it separates.

I did not have any metal bits that I could notice on my drain plug, so that's a plus. Trans was shifting a bit notchy and crunchy but I was not yet getting any grinds, so hopefully I caught it before the accelerated wear caused too much damage.

BTW - draining was easy thanks to my ghetto-fabulous Subaru Maintenance Dock. The car's even tilted slightly forward to promote trans oil drainage:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Scotty's Tranny Cocktail - the Magic Synchro Fix (Maybe
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:02 pm 
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Is the cocktail brown/red?

Usually it should be blue....or did the camera just not pick it up.

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 Post subject: Re: Scotty's Tranny Cocktail - the Magic Synchro Fix (Maybe
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:03 am 
Fifth Gear
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Location: USA: Portland, OR (Tigard, ~200ft elevation)
brownish / grey if i had to pick a color.... but then again i am a bit color blind. Def not blue though...

Maybe age of fluid?

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91SS 4EAT stock
91SS 5MT awaiting engine rebuild and VF36...
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94SS 5MT4.11+rLSD 289k km: RobTune550,TD05-16g @ 18psi,FMIC,3"TBE,Forester lift


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 Post subject: Re: Scotty's Tranny Cocktail - the Magic Synchro Fix (Maybe
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:35 am 
Second Gear
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Different Redline Shockproofs are different colors.

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1992 BC Legacy L Sedan AWD 5MT 272,000 - Wish you the best
1998 BK Legacy L Wagon 5MT 234,000 miles - RIP
2002 SF Forester S Wagon 5MT 215,000 miles - Current winter sleigh
1986 FC Mazda RX-7 GXL Coupe 5MT 155,000 miles - Summer cruiser


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 Post subject: Re: Scotty's Tranny Cocktail - the Magic Synchro Fix (Maybe
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:41 am 
Fifth Gear
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Posts: 6287
Location: Lakewood, Wa 98439
That Oil changing station is badass...

Anyways, on topic, Does anyone know of a fix for Whining gears? My first gear sounds like its reverse.....

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91 L-TW Wagon with a full Swap -RIP
92 SS Prefaced, GD dash swapped, 22T/205 Hybrid 20 psi - BEAST!
93 SS Bone Stock Gone!
94 TW Bone Stock Gone!
91 SS 4EAT Sold!
98 LGT 4EAT
98 LGT Wagon 4EAT


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 Post subject: Re: Scotty's Tranny Cocktail - the Magic Synchro Fix (Maybe
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:27 am 
Second Gear
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Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Synthetic fluid can help quiet it down a tad, but the only cure is a rebuild. The only synthetics we've determined to work well are: Valvoline 75w90 Synthetic, Motul Gear 300, and Amsoil Severe Gear.

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-Nick
1992 BC Legacy L Sedan AWD 5MT 272,000 - Wish you the best
1998 BK Legacy L Wagon 5MT 234,000 miles - RIP
2002 SF Forester S Wagon 5MT 215,000 miles - Current winter sleigh
1986 FC Mazda RX-7 GXL Coupe 5MT 155,000 miles - Summer cruiser


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