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I'd like to use a non-factory gearbox oil (Amsoil) in my 124 Spider gearbox. Anyone have experience using a gearbox oil that is different from the factory-recommended MOPAR oil? Also, I have no idea where the gearbox oil fill port is located in the engine bay. Is it difficult to access? Please advise; thanks!
 

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Yep been tracking on redline fluid mixed with shockproof redline . But more gooey but in strictly tracking and so far so good .
 

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Here is a DIY tutorial thread from the DIY subforum. You'll find threads about gear oil in the lubes and fluids subforum. Follow the advice and you'll be in good shape.


Steve.
 

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I’ve been using the Amsoil Synchromesh in the trans and Severe Gear in the differential for 20k miles and wouldn’t use anything else.
 

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The 124 Spider has the Mazda C635 6spd, identical to the one used in the Miata NC generation a few years ago. After long experimentation with a variety of gear oils (Redline, Amsoil, Royal Purple, etc.), a lot of NC owners settled on a Ford formulation made in Germany by Motul -- Motorcraft XT-M5-QS. It can be obtained from any Ford dealership. In most cases, Motorcraft XT-M5-QS solves the one big issue with many C635's: somewhat rough shifting from first to second and less frequently from second to third, especially when cold. Understand that this Motorcraft formulation was developed during the period when Ford owned a significant portion of Mazda stock, and Ford and Mazda had developmental and technical partnerships in each other's products, including the Miata NC. (You can, for example, see the "FoMoCo" logo on the Miata NC's oil dipstick.)

You can find an encyclopedic thread on Motorcraft XT-M5-QS - stretching out through 11 years - here on miata.net . (https://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=270393)
 

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...a lot of NC owners settled on a Ford formulation made in Germany by Motul -- Motorcraft XT-M5-QS....
I’ve been running this for 18 months and just over 10,000 miles. It’s worked well for me. Seems particularly good at smoothing out the baulky behavior when the tranny is cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here is a DIY tutorial thread from the DIY subforum. You'll find threads about gear oil in the lubes and fluids subforum. Follow the advice and you'll be in good shape.


Steve.
Thanks, SteveT, for your help, and especially for attaching the tutorial!
- Pubnico
 

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Thanks, SteveT, for your help, and especially for attaching the tutorial!
- Pubnico
You're welcome. For solid info, reach out to XtremeRevolution, he's found all over that thread, and he's an Amsoil dealer so he can give good advice.

Steve.
 

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I just did this on my '18 Lusso this past weekend, at about 4K miles. I used the Ford Synthetic gearbox oil. Seems to be making a difference, though the various Miata threads all say it takes a while for full effect. I got it from Amazon at $64 for 3qts with Prime next-day delivery. Not cheap, but cheaper than the magic unicorn tears that my BMW requires. :)

The less than delightful shift action was one of my only two gripes about the car. Now if there was only an easy way to add 2" of length to the cabin, my car would be perfection...

-Kevin
 

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I just did this on my '18 Lusso this past weekend, at about 4K miles. I used the Ford Synthetic gearbox oil. Seems to be making a difference, though the various Miata threads all say it takes a while for full effect. I got it from Amazon at $64 for 3qts with Prime next-day delivery. Not cheap, but cheaper than the magic unicorn tears that my BMW requires. :)

The less than delightful shift action was one of my only two gripes about the car. Now if there was only an easy way to add 2" of length to the cabin, my car would be perfection...

-Kevin
Give it a thousand miles or so and you will love it. Drove my Spider the past 2 days in sunny, 44 degree Michigan winter weather and it shifted great, even when cold. Pricey, but great stuff.
 

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Give it a thousand miles or so and you will love it. Drove my Spider the past 2 days in sunny, 44 degree Michigan winter weather and it shifted great, even when cold. Pricey, but great stuff.
What part of Michigan? And how did your tires work at that temperature?

Maybe I've seen your car. White/Saddle sounds nice. I saw a red Spider on Square Lake Road earlier in the week that I took as sort of an omen.

I am thinking of asking the dealer to swap transmission fluids at delivery. Or maybe best to break in the gearbox before making the change?
 

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What part of Michigan? And how did your tires work at that temperature?

Maybe I've seen your car. White/Saddle sounds nice. I saw a red Spider on Square Lake Road earlier in the week that I took as sort of an omen.

I am thinking of asking the dealer to swap transmission fluids at delivery. Or maybe best to break in the gearbox before making the change?
Chip - I’m in Roch Hills around Oakland University.
Tires are fine, but I always wait until temps are 42 or more. There’s a red Spider running around my neighborhood that is driven year round (with winter tires).
I changed my tranny & diff fluid a little after 2K miles.
Are you getting yours from Golling? Very active Fiat club in Detroit - road rallys, color tours, autocross, etc...
 

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Chip - I’m in Roch Hills around Oakland University.
Tires are fine, but I always wait until temps are 42 or more. There’s a red Spider running around my neighborhood that is driven year round (with winter tires).
I changed my tranny & diff fluid a little after 2K miles.
Are you getting yours from Golling? Very active Fiat club in Detroit - road rallys, color tours, autocross, etc...
So you're near the "hive" (what I call FCA's tech center, because there are always FIATs and Alfas in the vicinity).

Yes, Golling. They have a car on order that interests me but no delivery date estimate. I have winter tires for my Giulia, so won't also fit them to the Spider.

Did you change the fluid yourself or have the dealer do it? I think this is the first time I've heard about differential fluid. Did that help as much as the transmission fluid? I'm hoping not to have to address the turn signal fluid. :)

I would enjoy autocrossing in the Spider. I received an M1 Concourse lapping session as a gift but have never used it because I don't have a helmet and don't want to trash the Giulia's tires (it's a lease).
 

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I put the Ford unicorn tears in mine yesterday. Only 30 miles since but seems smoother. The 1-2shift was always my least favorite thing on the Spider. Still can’t figure why Mazda, who’s built sportscars for 3decades or more, hasn’t figured out how to make a smooth shifting trans😏
 

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Just a follow up. The Ford unicorn tears really work👍. Today I managed to break the rear end loose on a 1/2 shift, something I was never able to do before do to the way it shifted. Highly recommend to those who have a stick.
 

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The 124 Spider has the Mazda C635 6spd, identical to the one used in the Miata NC generation a few years ago. After long experimentation with a variety of gear oils (Redline, Amsoil, Royal Purple, etc.), a lot of NC owners settled on a Ford formulation made in Germany by Motul -- Motorcraft XT-M5-QS. It can be obtained from any Ford dealership. In most cases, Motorcraft XT-M5-QS solves the one big issue with many C635's: somewhat rough shifting from first to second and less frequently from second to third, especially when cold. Understand that this Motorcraft formulation was developed during the period when Ford owned a significant portion of Mazda stock, and Ford and Mazda had developmental and technical partnerships in each other's products, including the Miata NC. (You can, for example, see the "FoMoCo" logo on the Miata NC's oil dipstick.)

You can find an encyclopedic thread on Motorcraft XT-M5-QS - stretching out through 11 years - here on miata.net . (Motorcraft Full Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid)
I know this is going to come across as a bit self-serving, but be careful how you present information based on what was given 11 years ago. Lubricants (including those made by OEMs) reformulate regularly, and suppliers change without notice.
 

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I just did this on my '18 Lusso this past weekend, at about 4K miles. I used the Ford Synthetic gearbox oil. Seems to be making a difference, though the various Miata threads all say it takes a while for full effect. I got it from Amazon at $64 for 3qts with Prime next-day delivery. Not cheap, but cheaper than the magic unicorn tears that my BMW requires. :)

The less than delightful shift action was one of my only two gripes about the car. Now if there was only an easy way to add 2" of length to the cabin, my car would be perfection...

-Kevin
Fluid does not take a while "for full effect." That's not how lubricants work at all. There might be some initial chemical reaction of friction modifiers as they attach to metal surfaces, but that's typically done after a couple of heat cycles. The only thing that will take a while for "full effect" is viscosity shear; the fluid thinning out in viscosity over time due to stress and heat. Not exaclty behavior you want to rely on.
 

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As for the OP's question, I'm still running the 75W-90 GL-4 MTF from AMSOIL that I used when I wrote the tutorial. I only ever notice stiffness in shifting when I'm driving below 50F for the first minute or so of driving until the transmission warms up a little. The notchy shifting from the OE fluid is gone, as is the occasional inconsistent shifting when particularly hot as the stock fluid thinned out. I would randomly grind into gears during spirited driving on the stock fluid as it would take additional pressure to get into gear. The inconsistent shift feel is ultimately what caused me to switch. I haven't tried Synchromesh yet but may blend the two at some point. Synchromesh is thinner in viscosity and has different friction modifiers, but doens't have quite as many extreme pressure additives as the 75W-90 GL-4 does. Nonetheless, it's used often in heavy duty truck transmission and a ton of Honda transmissions, so I'm not concerned about the EP Additive levels. It seems to be doing well for those that have tried it. I've used both in other applications and they've served me well. I sell about 60-65 fluid changes of each per year, and haven't had any complaints about it yet in any application.

One major advatnage to the 75W-90 GL-4 is that it comes in AMSOIL's easy-pack packaging, which allows for fluid service without a pump, meaning no spills, no clean-up, no mess, and no waste. Dealing with gear oil is unpleasant enough. With this packaging, you simply bend the nozzle, insert into the fill hole, and squeeze the bag. We offer the rear differential oil in the same packaging as well.

76573


 

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I just placed an order with XR for 3qt of Synchromesh and 2qt of 75W-90 Severe Gear rear diff juice (enough for 3 differential changes over the next several years). With luck it might be here by the weekend so I can swap them out.

Steve.
 
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