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tC Tech and DIY Info for the Scion tC

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Old 05-20-2006, 01:00 AM   #1
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Default Transmission Flush (Manual, Redline MT-90)

And yes im posting this is "Engine & Drivetrain" instead of "Maintainence" since most users who would be interested in this swap are most likely doing it for the added performance benefit. Also, this is tC specific so it seems to be a better fit here. Mods, move as you see fit but IMO, it should be in this section.

The tC trans is interesting since the "fill" plug is parallell to the ground and quite low on the car making filling very tricky. The best way around this is to use one of the other plugs on the tranny that just so happen to be on top of the case within easy reach. The reason I am starting the DIY with this step is that you want to make sure you can get fluid back into the trans BEFORE you drain it. Nothing is worse than draining the fluid only realizing you have just stranded yourself since you cant get any fluid back in. The easiet place to refill the tranny from is through the reverse sensor on the top of the trans case located here:

Click the image to open in full size.

You will need a 1&1/16" socket and a 10" extension in order to get this out easily. I also found that removing the bracket located nearby made getting to everything a lot easier:

Click the image to open in full size.

You can see how much more room there is with the bracket and wiring moved away:

Click the image to open in full size.

Remove the plug and loosen the sensor but dont remove it completely yet. Go ahead and snug it back down for the time being. This step is just to make sure you will be able to refill the tranny with fluid.

Now comes time to drain the old fluid. I made the mistake of removing the reverse sensor first which let air flow easily into the tranny form above and was greeted with thick smelly and slimy trans fluid gushing out from the drain plug. By leaving the fill plugs closed, the fluid will come out much slower saving you many many paper towels and gallons of Simple Green. Im not kidding, this stuff REALLY makes a mess.

Unsrew and remove the drain plug circled in green to get the stock fluid out and into a drain pan:

Click the image to open in full size.

After your fluid has drained, reinstall and tighten the drain plug.

While you are under the car, go ahead and remove the "fill" plug circled in red in the picture from above. We will be filling the fluid from the top of the car but by having the fill plug out, we can guarantee we wont be overfilling the trans. When fluid starts coming out of the fill plug, you know you are good to go.

Go back to the top of the car and remove the reverse sensor and put it somewhere safe. Use a long funnel and fill the tranny with the new fluid. I used just under 3 full bottles of Redline MT90 before I had fluid come out of the "fill" plug.

Click the image to open in full size.

After the tranny is full of new synthetic fluid goodness, tighten everything back up and make sure your reverse sensor is plugged in. If not, your reverse lights wont come when you are in reverse.

As always, be sure to us jack stands when working under the car. Also I am not responsible if you screw your car up. Im happy to answer any questions so fire away

I felt the car ran smoother and was much easier to shift and get into gear. In combination with synthetic motor oil the car simply runs better and feels smoother in any circumstance. Definitely a must do for any tC, but especially one that is being driven hard and being pushed to eek out as much power as possible.
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Old 05-20-2006, 03:44 AM   #2
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I really like this one!!!! Saves me some $$$$, but how many miles am I able to drive without changing fluid?
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:28 PM   #3
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MODS!! sticky on this please :D Great Info The_Instigator, thanks!!
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:35 PM   #4
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great post. what type of synthetic fluids do you use? both for oil and tranny?
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Old 05-20-2006, 09:49 PM   #5
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Old 05-20-2006, 10:22 PM   #6
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Thanks! I needed this!
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Old 05-20-2006, 10:58 PM   #7
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yup, very good info! ...i just copied and saved it on my computer.
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:07 PM   #8
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this almost the same for the auto? or a little bit different
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: DIY: tC 5 Speed trans fluid change -Redline MT-90-

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Instigator
And yes im posting this is "Engine & Drivetrain" instead of "Maintainence" since most users who would be interested in this swap are most likely doing it for the added performance benefit. Also, this is tC specific so it seems to be a better fit here. Mods, move as you see fit but IMO, it should be in this section.
I agree. Other Mods please keep this here. Changing fluid can be consider'd a Drivetrain mod, if the newer oil performs better.
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Old 05-21-2006, 01:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2_much_tc
great post. what type of synthetic fluids do you use? both for oil and tranny?
Mobil 1 full synthetic 5w30 for the engine and Redline MT90 for the trans. Everybody has their favorites but this combo is tried and true.
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Old 05-21-2006, 06:23 PM   #11
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You are the man, Instigtor.
Thanks for this write up with pics.
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:16 AM   #12
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so is this switch worth it? How many miles is the dealer lube rated at?
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Old 05-22-2006, 12:21 AM   #13
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Check the manual for recommended fluid change intervals. The point of the change is for the improved performance really though. Gear shifts are smoother and the car just drives better with it. It really is noticeable after the fluid is changed to the synthetic.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:32 AM   #14
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Did you notice that sometimes it was near impossible to shift into 1st before the oil change?

Sometimes, it's near impossible to get the gear to engage without running the shifter through all the gears before putting it into 1st. I hope, and assume that switching to MT-90 or MTL will get rid of this?
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:40 AM   #15
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There are still times that I have to run through the gears to align the synchros, but for the most part it is easier to get into 1st and reverse (along with every other gear) most of the time.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:52 AM   #16
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That's a little disapointing but I guess there's not much that can cure that problem except for better synchros.

Anyways, there's something that's a little unclear to me. You said not to drain the tranny before filling it up. Do you mean to get the fill hole ready before draining the tranny? If I understand correctly, one must loosen the reverse sensor and then drain the tranny and then fill it up again.

Can you make sure this is right? Gear oil is a new thing to me.

Thanks for helping us out!
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:22 AM   #17
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You do drain the tranny first, but the reason I said to leave the top plug closed is to keep the fluid from gushing out of the drain plug. By having the reverse sensor out when draining, the fluid can escape much faster since air can come in through the top. If only the drain plug is opened the fluid will drain much slower and therefore not make a hug mess like ended up doing.

Also, the purpose of removing the reverse sensor first is to make sure you will be able to get fluid back into the case. As I said initially, you dont want to drain the fluid and then find out you cant get fluid back into the transmission leaving you stranded.

Its still a basic drain and refill but with some extra steps to make for a cleaner more fool-proof install.
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:23 AM   #18
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yes! you rock! finally a diy!

by the way, does our tranny have a filter?
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:28 AM   #19
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Thanks! I did a lot of searching before I finally did it to make sure I was doing it right. Its not at all a difficult process but its nice to have an exact set of steps to follow to make sure its being sone right.
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:42 AM   #20
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thanks erik!
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Old 05-22-2006, 04:42 AM
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