C5 and SM gearbox fluid
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Thread: C5 and SM gearbox fluid

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    Fellow Frogger! deesse's Avatar
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    Default C5 and SM gearbox fluid

    I am going to change the transmission fluid in my 2003 2l petrol auto (AL4) gearbox. Yes yes I know there has been much discussion about it but I have tried searching this site and getting nowhere fast (can anyone explain how search works, or why it doesn't work, I type in AL4 and there is nothing, I type in AL4 gearbox and there is heaps but little relating to the AL4, it just doesn't seem helpful). So failing that I will add to the discussion.

    So what fluid do I use. Penrite? Esso? Dexron?

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    Also my SM has a crunch (synchro) when changing from 1st to second over 4500rpm. I have read here somewhere that a Nulon product can improve the action of a DS 5 speed. Would this help the SM? If so what is the product.

    I am going to get Elliot the travelling mechanic to drop in and do both but I want to get the product myself.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Tony

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    I'm about to do the same on my 2003 Auto Petrol C5. Using Penrite ATF FS full synthetic (spoke to technician at Penrite, also vouched for by some other forum members, you can also use ATF MHP which is cheaper but semi-synthetic). See post from thread New Citroen Owner - Gearbox and timing belt advice

    found procedure here with images for DIY job, seems straight forward Please re-post C5 AL4 transmission refilling guide

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    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    I believe that VMX80 plus Nulon G70 would benefit your SM.
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    Cheers Gerry

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    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Nulon G70 seems to do the trick as it's like butter between gears in the SM at high revs. I have it in the ID, too.
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    1000+ Posts bluey504's Avatar
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    Tony I'd try the VMX80 or similar but only as a full synthetic. The synthetic oils seem to be a touch more 'slippery', so less likely to graunch. Nulon G70 is 'slippery' in an additive package....change oil and as required add the Nulon to improve the change. Having the SM complain at 4500 RPM plus points to possibly other issues, not sure what as my knowledge is limited regarding Maserati transaxle/DS gearbox thingo's goes.
    I have had problems in the past with Mazda Rotary gearboxes 'hanging' onto gears ie not completely dis-engaging when rushed. This is due to several factors; gummy deposits on the brass synchro rings, bent synchro bits and worn linkages. First to second is used every time you take off and nominally at a sedate pace, pole position does have it's benefits.
    Many neglect the gearbox/transaxle/diff oil change at their peril. Check the drained oil for colour, odour and debris. OK a bit Over The Top forensic/crime scene but it all helps solve a mystery and possibly prevent "a death in the family".
    An Old Rally driver mate of mine quite clearly stated, "Oil is cheaper than bearings, pads are cheaper than rotor's and if you whinge about fuel and tyre costs then get out of the sport."
    Brendan.
    p.s. More than Happy to check the SM pre/post service, actually anytime really.....
    of my
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    Fellow Frogger! deesse's Avatar
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    Thanks guys,

    I will get some of this Nulon stuff and see how I go.
    As to the tranny fluid for the C5 is the Esso stuff as originally in the gearbox really no longer available? There is also someone saying the Penrite BMV is the stuff to use. I don't want to put the wrong oil in so any clarification would be great.

    cheers Tony

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    Quote Originally Posted by deesse View Post
    Thanks guys,

    I will get some of this Nulon stuff and see how I go.
    As to the tranny fluid for the C5 is the Esso stuff as originally in the gearbox really no longer available? There is also someone saying the Penrite BMV is the stuff to use. I don't want to put the wrong oil in so any clarification would be great.
    cheers Tony
    Hi Tony,
    The bl**dy AL4 auto oil. We should have a sticky on this for sure The search function seems to be AWOL.

    The original oil LT71141 is no longer being commonlly imported into Australia. It is a very ordinary type of oil so no great loss really. I bought 20 liters when it was available from Mobil locally at a good price, but am now down to one change left. There is a place which was flogging it at some large price and was on AF a while back. Go back through the posts if you wish to find it. But expect "sticker shock".

    There are alternatives from all the major oil companies. They have all moved to a full synthetic universal type of oil which generally are recommended for your(our) transmission (and other older types), instead of the the original spec oil types. These oils are better than the originals IMHO. Also much cheaper and easy to get at your local shop . That's a WIN WIN WIN in my book.

    Look at the web sites for the brands you want, eg Penrite, Mobil, Nulon etc and look at the recommendation given there. Peugeot and Citroen used identical transmissions. Other manufacturers also used the old style oil but now use newer oils in their current recommendations. Do not pay much much more for the old style oil.

    There is an easier way to change the oil and get the amount correct if there is no obvious signs of leaks. Drain the oil into a tray and measure the amount. I put it into a 4/5 liter plastic oil container with a transparent strip up the side. Mark the level and discard the old oil, then fill the container to the marked level with your new oil. Put this amount into the transmission. Voila, exactly the same amount as it had before No need to play with the engine running and heating up etc. Not so easy to do at home up on ramps etc Leave it to drain for a while(hours) to get more out for a better change. Do it again after a thousand Ks if the oil looks very dirty.
    Cheers Jaahn
    Last edited by jaahn; 24th November 2013 at 09:54 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deesse View Post
    Thanks guys,

    I will get some of this Nulon stuff and see how I go.
    As to the tranny fluid for the C5 is the Esso stuff as originally in the gearbox really no longer available? There is also someone saying the Penrite BMV is the stuff to use. I don't want to put the wrong oil in so any clarification would be great.

    cheers Tony
    Hi Tony

    Just to clarify jerrypro's post, the recipe for older gearboxes recommended by AlanS was to drain the old oil, and refill with Castrol VMX80 + a tube of Nulon G70 (teflon). The VMX80 gearbox oil is very good at improving smoothness of changes, especially when cold.

    Part 2 of Alan's system was to change the oil again fairly soon after the first change (assuming it hasn't been done recently), and refill with the same brew. The first change will loosen up a certain amount of crud, which you naturally want to get rid of .

    I have certainly noticed the difference in smoothness of gearchanges (in a Landcruiser as well as Citroens).

    Cheers

    Alec
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    Fellow Frogger! deesse's Avatar
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    What about the diff, it does have a bit of a whine. Should I do that too, with the Nulon? Is that also the Castrol VMX80.

    cheers Tony

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    1000+ Posts bluey504's Avatar
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    Which Citroen has the diff whine? Looking up the Penrite lube selector the C5 runs a combined transaxle in the AL4 format. For the SM there is nothing and the Maserati section doesn't offer a Merak choice.

    Brendan.

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    Fellow Frogger! deesse's Avatar
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    Sorry Brendan, it's the SM

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    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    The SM has its diff running in the same oil as the gearbox ( unless it is an auto ).
    So treating the gearbox with G70 also treats the diff!
    Cheers Gerry

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    1000+ Posts bluey504's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information Gerry, I'm storing all this away.....so one day when I get my SM I can care and nurture it properly. Then I awaken, look at the bank account and start softly sobbing.

    Hopefully for Tony's sake a drain and refill addresses the problem. Hint; drain the transaxle oil through a sieve and wrap a plastic bag around a strong magnet and give it an oily swim. A bit/lot rugged approach to oil contamination analysis but it's cheap and quick.

    Brendan.

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    Fellow Frogger! deesse's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, its going to be easy now
    cheers Tony

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    You can still buy LT71141 in Sydney. Jason Hantos picked up a drum recently.

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    Fellow Frogger! deesse's Avatar
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    Well I bought the stuff, called Elliot the travelling french mechanic and did both transmissions at the same time.

    C5 - drained out just under 4 litres of fluid and replaced with the penrite ATF FS. The old fluid didn't look too bad and certainly didn't smell burnt. Result - hardly noticeable improvement. Having said that the aim of the exercise was to get another ten years out of it rather than make it work better. What is the thought on changing it again fairly soon given that the fluid that was replaced was OK.

    SM - drained about 2.5 litres from the gearbox and replaced with Castrol VMX80 and 125ml of nulon G70. The result is noticeable and the shifts smoother. Also the syncro seems less inclined to graunch on 1st to 2nd change. I have only taken it for a short run so we'll see in the longer term.

    So was it worth it? If the C5 can get to 200,000 kms after another 10 years then I will be happy. As to the SM, I love to lavish it with attention and prolong any expensive repairs. So yes.

    cheers Tony

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    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deesse View Post
    SM - drained about 2.5 litres from the gearbox and replaced with Castrol VMX80 and 125ml of nulon G70. The result is noticeable and the shifts smoother. Also the syncro seems less inclined to graunch on 1st to 2nd change. I have only taken it for a short run so we'll see in the longer term.




    cheers Tony
    Just as we told you it would! Glad you have done the right thing by your car!
    Cheers Gerry

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    1000+ Posts Greg C's Avatar
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    On the AL4 do oil changes every 20k or two years. Actually that goes for any transmission in my book
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    Quote Originally Posted by deesse View Post
    Well I bought the stuff, called Elliot the travelling french mechanic and did both transmissions at the same time.

    C5 - drained out just under 4 litres of fluid and replaced with the penrite ATF FS. The old fluid didn't look too bad and certainly didn't smell burnt. Result - hardly noticeable improvement. Having said that the aim of the exercise was to get another ten years out of it rather than make it work better. What is the thought on changing it again fairly soon given that the fluid that was replaced was OK.

    SM - drained about 2.5 litres from the gearbox and replaced with Castrol VMX80 and 125ml of nulon G70. The result is noticeable and the shifts smoother. Also the syncro seems less inclined to graunch on 1st to 2nd change. I have only taken it for a short run so we'll see in the longer term.

    So was it worth it? If the C5 can get to 200,000 kms after another 10 years then I will be happy. As to the SM, I love to lavish it with attention and prolong any expensive repairs. So yes.

    cheers Tony
    Hi Tony,
    The C5 oil change ! If the oil looked OK then forget the rapid change and do one in a year, say, then perhaps at 20000 or two years as Greg suggests.
    I would suggest that there is a vast difference between what is needed for a manual box and an auto. An occasional change in a manual is OK but the oil does get an easy life.

    However an auto has a much more difficult and dirty life, actually generating wear particles every change from the friction surfaces and operating very hot by design. The oil "coolers" act as oil heaters most of the time to maintain the minimum temperature required. OK in snowy Europe, not so good in sunny Aussie. How any manufacturer could suggest nil maintainance is OK beggers belief Just a marketing plot to get the punters in
    jaahn
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    Fellow Frogger! deesse's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your advice men. I will change again at next service due in 6000 k's. Better pina pic of a C5 too.

    cheers Tony

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    Fellow Frogger! deesse's Avatar
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    Hi folks,

    Posting a report on gearboxes since fluid change.

    The C5 is changing smoothly, maybe a little better than before. However it has developed a nasty habit. On forcing a change from 3rd to 2nd either with the foot or lever it makes a nasty clunk. This happens only when you are giving it the boot to overtake, get up a hill etc. It didn't happen before I changed the fluid. Any suggestions as to a cure would be appreciated. The only thing I can think of is if the fluid level is too high/low.

    The SM is shifting nicely and any crunching I experience on fast changes at reasonably high revs I put down to the fact that I need a new clutch.

    cheers Tony

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    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deesse View Post
    Hi folks,

    Posting a report on gearboxes since fluid change.


    The SM is shifting nicely and any crunching I experience on fast changes at reasonably high revs I put down to the fact that I need a new clutch.

    cheers Tony
    Its a Citroen Box not a Ferrari! No Citroen box I have ever come across likes fast snap changes. Do the right thing and pause a moment in neutral before completing the change. Kinder to the synchros and still fast enough to be sporty!
    Cheers Gerry

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    Ashtray Polisher donat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerrypro View Post
    Its a Citroen Box not a Ferrari! No Citroen box I have ever come across likes fast snap changes. Do the right thing and pause a moment in neutral before completing the change. Kinder to the synchros and still fast enough to be sporty!
    That's how I drive the SM - a wee pause between 2nd & 3rd especially if you're creeping around the 90km/h mark and looking to push it further
    1972 SM
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  24. #24
    Fellow Frogger! deesse's Avatar
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    I'm talking about the quick shift between first and second whilst dragging off the young hoons. Not really, but that said the SM enjoys being wound out in first as it feels like quite a high ratio and will get you up to 70 at 6500. It is when changing into second that the youngsters zip past. A blip on the throttle between changes alleviates the crunch but that takes at least 0.06 of a second and by then they are past. damn.

    I would really like to know about the C5 though.

    cheers Tony
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  25. #25
    UFO
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    Quote Originally Posted by deesse View Post
    A blip on the throttle between changes alleviates the crunch but that takes at least 0.06 of a second and by then they are past. damn.

    cheers Tony
    Yes, but they're not driving an SM. LOSERS!
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