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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some of you know I picked up a 1 owner '83 900 N/A 5 speed, 8 valves of fury. Everything I've done so far has helped make it run better. Now I'd like to do a gear oil change.

For the life of me I can't find too much info on a trans fluid flush. The repair manual said it is not recommended that you change it and said nothing of the process. Many people I talk to say it makes the car shift/feel better, and should be done. I know it's leaking on this particular car, but instead of topping off I figured I'd just flush and refill. 159xxx miles.

I have 2 questions:

-What's up with the drain plug? Looks like a hole for a socket wrench with some kind of torx bit underneath it? Any special order/advice for removal?

-Where do I refill the fluid? Is there a separate fill hole or is it as easy as pouring into the dip stick port?

Yeah, sounds like very beginner questions, but I've never done any transmission work yet on my Saabs, believe it or not. I'd rather have an idea going into it than winging it and screwing something up...

TIA.

I like pictures, here is the car:


http://www.saablink.net/forum/tsl-members-saab-pics/50342.htm
 

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It should have a dip stick over by the exhaust manifold, I like Synchromesh "Penzoil" brand or 15-40 non detergent diesel all, 10-30 non detergent is an old dealer spec. you can just reseal the diff cover to drain it & fill it through the dip stick tube, if you can't get the plug out to drain. Get a new gasket if you do it that way.
 

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Now I'd like to do a gear oil change.

For the life of me I can't find too much info on a trans fluid flush. The repair manual said it is not recommended that you change it and said nothing of the process. Many people I talk to say it makes the car shift/feel better, and should be done. I know it's leaking on this particular car, but instead of topping off I figured I'd just flush and refill. 159xxx miles.

I have 2 questions:
-What's up with the drain plug? Looks like a hole for a socket wrench with some kind of torx bit underneath it? Any special order/advice for removal?

-Where do I refill the fluid? Is there a separate fill hole or is it as easy as pouring into the dip stick port?
There was a thread on here recently about fluid choices for the gearbox. I think the consensus leaned slightly toward gear oil (maybe 75W90).
Sometimes flushing can 'disturb' things, but a fluid change and checking the plug's magnet for debris should be a good thing.

I think I had one older drain plug that was a huge hex-head. One recently that a 3/8" socket extension fit into. Others I can't think of atm.
Yes, pour the new oil into the dipstick tube...I've never noticed another way.
 

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There is great debate as to the proper lubricant! Personally I use 10w40. As for the drain, it is just what it looks like, put a extention on a 3/8" ratchet and stick it in the hole and crank away! If you have a proper place to work on the car (a cement floor garage) you might get away with just putting the ratchet in the hole. As far as where to fill, c900s have varied through the years having everything from a plate with no place to fill to a filler tube with a dip stick! It is located on the passanger side of the car on the side of the tranny. It is VERY important that you make sure that it doesnt run dry as it also provides lubrication to the rear differential! Older 900s are prone to pinion failure in the first place, no sence adding fuel to the fire!!!
 

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I've only got to add oil to my 1991 Spg's Tranny and I'm finally done with the car. I'm undecided about what I will use too. Looking through past threads, there is such a ridiculous amount of debate on the subject. It seems that any of following are recommended:

Redline MTL
Redline MT-90
Amsoil Manual Synchromesh Transmission Fluid 5W-30
Amsoil Manual Transmission & Transaxle Gear Lube 75W-90
Regular, NON-synthetic motor oils, either 10w-30 or 10w-40
Regular, FULL-synthetic motor oils, 5w-30, 0w-30, etc

I, like most, am stupified over what I will ultimately pick. I'm tempted to just use 10w-30, but I also want the BEST for my newly rebuilt c900 tranny. The car won't be driven in the winter, so I guess cold shifting/driving is not of concern. I've heard great reviews and epic horror stories for most of the list above. What should I use?
 

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Personally, I'm giving Redline MTL a shot in my 85. I don't think what's in there has been changed in years and years, so I imagine just about anything is an improvement...r&p has been whining for about a decade, and 2nd gear has been crunchy when cold for even longer :rolleyes:

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, pour the new oil into the dipstick tube...I've never noticed another way.
That's what I thought, I just didn't want to assume. I know some autos have a separate filler hole, but wasn't sure if manuals did either.

75-90 is only for Auto 3 speed Diffs, Don't use that in your 5 spd.
Roger Dodger, already got my gear oil grade selected.

As for the drain, it is just what it looks like, put a extention on a 3/8" ratchet and stick it in the hole and crank away!
...It is VERY important that you make sure that it doesnt run dry as it also provides lubrication to the rear differential!
Yeah I have a nice huge torque wrench at work which should give me the leverage I need to get the plug undone. Me checking the levels in the first place was what inspired this thread. It wasn't low... but it wasn't full either.

I don't think what's in there has been changed in years and years, so I imagine just about anything is an improvement...:rolleyes:
I'm under the same impression. I have all records going back to purchase and no service like this was performed. It doesn't feel terrible, but I'm sure it could be better. I'm still getting used to where the gears are with out that shifter centering spring too:

-1-35-
2--4-R

:lol:

Thanks for the replies.
 

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What does the side plate look like on the tranny? Does it have a dip stick or is it a flat plate... Not 100% sure what they put on the 83' I think that the plates ARE interchangable!
 

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Redline MTL is my preference and it works well in cold weather just as it does in warm. I've tried a lot of different oils over the years and it's been the best I've personally used. I've had it in every environment between very far below 0 in Edmonton, Alberta during January up to 110+ in Vegas in July/August. I've taken it over passes with heavy loads at 80+ mph and the turbo boosting to the red. I've towed trailers with a gross weigh of nearly 2000lbs with no problems.
 
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