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FAQ: The manual gearbox

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V160/161 Manual Gearbox FAQ


What oil should I put into my MANUAL 6-SPEED Gearbox?

The oil from the factory was a Dextron II ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid). This is the standard you are looking for. Just ATF will not do!

Primary choice is V160 oil. It is Toyota part no. 08885-01306. However this is in limited supply/discontinued. It was about £40 for 2L's.

Alternative options:

Esso Dextron D21065 - R34 Skyline has same box and uses this, however this too is in short supply

BMW oil called MTF-LT-1 or LT-2 - Feedback required from testers

Castrol Transmax Z - Feedback required from testers

Royal Purple SynchroMax - Feedback required from testers

Mobil ATF 220 - Feedback required from testers


So how much oil do I need?

You'll require 1.5L to fill the gearbox. Recommend you get at least 2L's in stock.


I've heard of some expensive gearbox breaks due to oil, can you elaborate?

Using oil such as Redline Shockproof MTL(ATF) or other such oil with "Rubber Additives" (which are designed to lubricate the seals) will destroy the oil seals in the gearbox, by overswelling them and forcing them to disfigure.


I bought some gearbox fluid and it's a bit thicker than the oil that came out...will this harm the box?

Using the wrong weight/type of fluid can lead to many issues. Increased wear on moving parts is the most obvious. But as a driver you'll notice it becomes quite tricky to change gears! 1st and 2nd will highlight the issue most. You'll find getting you V160/161 into first when cold much harder.

A good oil will see the gearbox changes remain positive throughout your ownership.


Ok, so how do I change the oil?

This is best done on a 4-post ramp, or over a pit because you need good access and the car needs to be flat.

Undo the inspection cap with a hex key on the ?passenger? side of the gearbox.

If the car is hot from a run then some oil may come out, but it reality none should come out if the car is level.

Now undo the gearbox drain cap underneath the gearbox and drain the oil into a container (V160 oil is light red colour...and so at this point you should know if the right stuff was in it)

Stick the drain plug back in and re-fill with V160 oil to the inspection hole...this is easiest to achieve with one of those large oil syringe pumps as you cannot directly pour from the can into the fill/inspection hole.

Once full replace the inspection cap.


See also:

Gear Ratios





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Edited by Alex
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