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Pennzoil Synchromesh ->Review

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DSM Wiseman
Jan 13, 2003
glorious Galt, California
After putting in a B&M shifter last week, and being very happy with it, I decided it was time to get some transaxle fluid. Reading the reviews everywhere I could find them, it seemed the choices came down to Redline, B&G, and GM Synchromesh..... and GM's apparent cheap twin, Pennzoil/Quaker State Synchromesh.
I got three quarts (manual says capy is 2.4 quarts) and put them in the car. Initially, I was a little concerned because the shifting didn't seem to change in the slightest, and during moderate cornering I could hear a muffled thudding. After two days of this, I decided to break down and take the bottles out of the hatch area and put the stuff in the gearbox.
Very little to the operation, filler plug and drain plug are both out in the open once the car's jacked up. The filler plug on my 2G says "OIL", which is a little suspicious as I use that stuff in the crankcase, too. Oh, the VFAQ for the 1G mentions removing the filler plug first, but he sounds a bit confused as to why- well, part of it is that it sucks to drain the transmission case and _then_ find out the filler plug is irretrievably seized or cross-threaded.
When I got the lube, I also got a filler spout that screws on the bottles. It has about a 2' hose on it; if I had a 4' hose I could have left the intake snorkle on and done it all past it (this is on a turbo). Because I like to stop and play "what's that thing, where's that go to?" while working on a car, the job managed to take an hour. I'd taken it for a five-mile drive before starting to warm the old oil up a bit. The Synchromesh isn't terribly thick, just slightly thinner than what came out (probably the original oil) and quite a bit thicker than engine oil. But nothing like Hypoid differential grease. I'd say half as thick as Hypoid, and three times as thick as engine oil.
Got the job done, buttoned everything up, and did a test-run. Right off the start, the "effort" to get the B&M at 35% into first gear was reduced. I've wasted my time double-clutching my downshifts, so 2nd gear grind has never been an issue with my cars, but even rolling through the neighborhood toward the freeway it _felt_ like there was less drag in the transmission: I suspect this is a manifestation of the "wax makes cars faster" phenomenon. I'll see if my gas mileage goes up any. Shifting _is_ smoother, and sliding into first at a stop is easier.
I got the Pennzoil Synchromesh off the shelf at the Autozone two blocks away, cost was $6.50 a quart. Good deal all the way around.:talon:
Good review, need to pick some of this or the equivelant up myself soon. Would you say you're as pleased as some of the guys that have reviewed the BG or GM stuff?
I'd think so- it's not magic, and I've not tried the BG, but this has the same part number on the bottle as the GM, and says it's a direct replacement:

Note that it's _not_ the GL-S spec that Chrysler calls for, but neither is anything I found other than the lubes from Chrysler and Mitsubishi. However, I've also not found reports of this (nor BG or Redline) causing toubles. And, for the cost especially, there's hardly a reason to not try it just as an experiment.
i went from mobil1 tranny fluid to gm syncromesh, and it was amazing. it went from being very hard to shift when it was cold and grinding 2nd and just being notchy, to silky smooth even when it was like 30 degrees out and no grind to 2nd anymore......very awesome
Yes, I'm still pleased with it. And when I get back into the 2G after exercising the 1G, the B&M shifter is always better than I remembered.
Very good review. :thumb: Also, you say that it is about three times as thick as motor oil. Well the GM Syncromesh that I put in the car before was VERY THIN. Almost water like. Why would this that you use be so much thicker then the GM Syncromesh that I used? Does this Pennzoil/Quaker State contain a sort of "paraffin" or wax like their oils are said to contain? You don't want your transmission to gum up like people have experienced with their oil products.
Here is a link to the Penzoil Syncromesh oil. Key is, from what I have reviewed, is our trannys have Brass (yellow metal) syncro's. Normal gear oil, oxidizes these and wears them out sooner. So that is why, you need to use an oil specified for "yellow metal", as brass alloys are commoning called.

I bought my 91 Laser, n/t, with a rebuilt replacement 5 speed already installed by the previous owner. He had the normal characteristic, "sticky second". Well the 5 speed only had about 800 miles on it when I bought the car, and second was not a smooth shift when car was cold. I changed the fluid to the Penzoil, since I could not find Redline (Advance Auto parts said they were considering carrying Redline products, but I have not checked back). I purchased the Penziol from Autozone.

So far so good. Tranny has about 7K miles on it now, since the change, and it is very smooth, but then, it is summer too, so we will see. Anyway, here is the link! :thumb:
I resently did the same and replaced my, probably original, trasnmission fluid with pennzoil syncromesh and the difference was noticable as soon as i backed out. much easier and less noise.. for $6 a quart here in Indiana. It's got my vote.

But then, my transfercase didn't have any oil it in and it's about to go. not to mention my ACT street disc is about to have a spring fall out. :barf: i'm excited can't you tell?

back on the subject, check your fluid religiously... and switch to the syncromesh for an instant improvement in the tranny.
Anyone have experience with Pennzoil 75w-90 GL-4 ?

I got a lot of them laying around but cant decide if I want this in my new tranny. May be just use it for the brake in period and dump it after 500miles?
Is syncromesh that much better for our transmission? or would any GL-4 base gear oil be just as good?
what trans oil were you running before the switch and how long had that fluid been in your trans ?

Unfortunately, in this case you almost certainly would have noticed an improvement regardless of the fluid you used.

doodie said:
So hows the Synchromesh working after a while? still good?

I have only replaced the fluid in my 1g once, and it deffinetly helped. It used to grind going into 2nd gear, now it doesn't, unless I let out the clutch too soon. As far as shifting goes, like normal when its colder out, it's a little tougher to shift with(stick). I don't hear any grinding or whining, and everything seems to be good. I would deffinetly do this again when it comes time, especially since it was $4.99 at autozone. :thumb:
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