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    Thread: Fluid capacity of 020 transmission

    1. 11-10-2009 08:51 PM #1
      I'm wondering if anyone knows the fluid capacity of the 020 manual transmission. I would like to change out the fluid in my 1998 Jetta and need to know how many bottles to purchase. Already checked the Bentley manual, but there is no specification listed.

      Thanks!


    2. Member Broke's Avatar
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      11-11-2009 10:41 AM #2
      Quote, originally posted by 98wolfie »
      I'm wondering if anyone knows the fluid capacity of the 020 manual transmission. I would like to change out the fluid in my 1998 Jetta and need to know how many bottles to purchase. Already checked the Bentley manual, but there is no specification listed.

      Thanks!

      The spec is in the front of the book, section 2 I think.

      Anyway, 2.0L or 2.1 US Qt. will fill a dry trans. They never fully drain though, so you won't fit in the full 2 liters, follow the procedure in the Bentley to fill it. Fill it to level with the side filler plug hole, then if it is an older (pre-1987) trans, add 0.5L into the speedo hole, and if it is not a pre-1987 trans, it is done when it is filled up to the side filler hole.

      020 trans info pages - www.BrokeVW.com
      NEW 0.7619 5th gears for the 020
      NEW 020 reverse gears
      '86 GTI 8V 2.0L -'88 Scirocco 16V - '10 F150 4x4

    3. 11-11-2009 09:23 PM #3
      just out of curiosity, whats the idea behind the pre-1987 getting the extra 0.5l? if that's the case,then what is the point o the side check hole? I have an acn model 020 in my 98 golf (manufactured 1985) and 2 litres on the dot has been working out fine, BUT i don't want to shred my 5th gear. Any more oil however, and i leak it out of the input shaft (and on my clutch!)

    4. Member Broke's Avatar
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      11-11-2009 10:23 PM #4
      Quote, originally posted by harmankardon35 »
      just out of curiosity, whats the idea behind the pre-1987 getting the extra 0.5l?

      VW moved the hole up 7mm in 1987 on the side of the trans..

      Quote, originally posted by harmankardon35 »
      if that's the case,then what is the point o the side check hole?

      It isn't a check hole, it is a filler hole to put the fluid in.

      Quote, originally posted by harmankardon35 »
      I have an acn model 020 in my 98 golf (manufactured 1985) and 2 litres on the dot has been working out fine, BUT i don't want to shred my 5th gear.

      If you fill it up until it is level with the side filler hole, then there isn't 2.0L of fluid in it.

      When they made the trans, as I understand it, they took the 4 speed 020 and added another gear and the end housing with the filler plug on the end. This was mounted into the VW car in the early 80's, using a MK1 vehicle, MK1 mounts, and MK1 engine angle.

      The trans being bolted to the engine will move if you tilt the engine at a different angle.

      I assume they put the 5 speed onto the MK1, filled it with oil, made it so the side filler plug is level, and that is how it is done on the Scirocco and Cabriolet cars using MK1 mounts and MK1 chassis'.

      With the MK2, the engine tilt changed 2 degrees, tipping the 5th gear end of the trans down a little more in comparison to the MK1 mounting. This means the oil is now OVER the filler plug when properly filled, by 7mm.

      For MK2/3 mounting, the procedure is changed because of this 2* of tilt... you fill it up until it is level with the side filler hole. That will be 1.5L of fluid (into a bone dry trans), then you add 0.5L of fluid into the speedo, this will make the total 2.0L as before.

      In 1987, the side filler hole was moved up 7mm, so the procedure is normal again, and the oil is at the right level once again when at the bottom of the side filler hole.

      This means, if all that above is correct, that when sticking a 1987+ trans into a MK1 car, if you fill it to the bottom of the modified side filler hole, it will have about 2.5L of fluid in it.

      Quote, originally posted by harmankardon35 »
      Any more oil however, and i leak it out of the input shaft (and on my clutch!)

      The seals shouldn't leak, even if the trans is absolutely filled to the top with fluid... it would heat up, expand, and puke out of the vent location on the trans, not through the seals.

      In fact, the higher the internal pressure is, the tighter and oil seal will seal against the shaft. The amount of exposed lip subject to the pressure that would cause the seal to open and leak is less surface area than the portion of the lip that is exposed to the pressure that would cause it to want to get smaller, and thus seal tighter on the shaft, so as internal pressures build, the seal lip should want to shrink and tighten on the shaft.

      If the seals are bad, this won't work, and they will leak. A plugged trans can also force leaks out of worn seals, causing new leaks.

      The vent location is in the same area on all trans, near the clutch cable. If you have a small tube sticking out of the trans behind the clutch cable, usually with a loose-fitting black plastic cap on it, then that is the vent tube. Use a wire to poke into it to make sure it is clear.

      The other location is in the 27mm selector cap under the clutch cable mounting location on the trans. The vent is a channel cut into the threads of the selector cap, at the 12:00 position. These clog more easily.

      If you don't have the tube style vent, check the cap for gunk plugging the integral vent channel in the threads of the case where the 27mm cap threads in.

      The tube style vent circled in white:

      The integral style in the threads:

      020 trans info pages - www.BrokeVW.com
      NEW 0.7619 5th gears for the 020
      NEW 020 reverse gears
      '86 GTI 8V 2.0L -'88 Scirocco 16V - '10 F150 4x4

    5. 11-12-2009 03:43 AM #5
      ok, i should have read your website closer. I did not use the side filler hole, I used the speedometer hole and put 2 x 1L bottles of gear oil in there. The leak seems to have stopped, but when I first installed the gearbox i used ATF to temporarily get me to the store to get gear oil, well i had a pretty huge puddle of ATF on my floor the next morning, leaking from the bellhousing. I assumed the worst (cracked bellhousing..rivets etc..) but when i drained the ATF i actually got over 3 litres of oil out of it, just for the sake of keeping oil off my clutch I added 250ml of seal conditioner/sweller and I plan to change out the gear oil again soon (dont want to leave that chemical seal sweller in there too long and destroy all my seals, even though they claim that wont happen it makes me nervous)

    6. Member Michael Cahill's Avatar
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      11-13-2009 07:26 PM #6
      Quote, originally posted by harmankardon35 »
      i used ATF to temporarily get me to the store

      No!

      You might as well had filled the thing with water...


    7. 11-14-2009 02:52 AM #7
      actually, funny thing. It shifted much better with the ATF than it does with the 75w90 gear oil. Not sure of the specific gravity of ATF but now i know why fords and mazda's use it in their gearboxes.....although in the long haul atf is likely too thin, many recommend syncromesh (althout it is probably too thin as well) Ill give a 1 bottle synchromesh and 1 bottle gl-4 gear oil mixture a try, see how it shifts....

    8. Member Michael Cahill's Avatar
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      11-14-2009 04:35 PM #8
      Quote, originally posted by harmankardon35 »
      actually, funny thing. It shifted much better with the ATF than it does with the 75w90 gear oil. Not sure of the specific gravity of ATF but now i know why fords and mazda's use it in their gearboxes.....although in the long haul atf is likely too thin, many recommend syncromesh (althout it is probably too thin as well) Ill give a 1 bottle synchromesh and 1 bottle gl-4 gear oil mixture a try, see how it shifts....

      not sure who told you all this... but you are sadly mistaken...
      No car maker that i know of would ever run automatic transmission fluid, in a manual gearbox...
      and if they did, it wasn't traditional ATF, more likly some sort of hybrid.

      ATF is basically a hydrolic fluid, NOT a manual transmission gear OIL.
      you run that in there for long, and you can say bye-bye to just about every bearing in there.

      I would recommend you drian the pink stuff imediatly...

      Syncromesh is a great oil, and many have had good luck with it, including myself.
      and no, it is not too "thin".
      traditional 75-90w is usually too "thick" for the syncros on older transmissions. In essence, it does its job too well, and doesn't allow the syncronizers any traction, to speed up/slow down the gears, therefore leading to grinding gears.




      Modified by Michael Cahill at 12:40 PM 11-14-2009


    9. 11-14-2009 06:35 PM #9
      sorry you're the one mistaken...my 99 ford zx2 specifically required mercon ATF in the manual gearbox (that was the factory fill, I changed it when i got it and filled it with dex/merc ATF..drove over 100,000 miles before I sold it, and it still shifted fine).. I have heard of many manual transmissions requiring ATF from BMW to Mitsubishi.....ATF is actually gl-4 compliant oil, but with a weak EP additive package. It also keeps things clean.

      just doing a search on these forums most people seem to to think synchromesh is overall too thin for the 020 box, but many have better syncro performance. this is why i may try a gear oil/syncromesh mix


      Modified by harmankardon35 at 2:38 PM 11-14-2009


    10. Member Michael Cahill's Avatar
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      11-14-2009 07:37 PM #10
      Well it seems we are both mistaken.

      upon doing some more research, it appears some manufactures do use ATF in their boxes.
      BUT, you are still wrong in the fact that it should be used in your 020.

      as it is not recomended by the manufacturer, and there are repeated threads where people have put atf in their 020's only to have big problems.

      its low viscocity would make the syncros work much better, and lead to "smoother" shifts, but what they dont realize, is that its lubricating properties are much lower than what is needed in that type of transmission, therefore leading to much faster wear.

      ATF is GL-4 compliant, but its viscocity is much too light to be used in a manual transmission. (unless it is desigend to run with it.)
      If you think syncromesh is too thin, why on earth would you want to run ATF?

      Broke, can you back me up?



      Modified by Michael Cahill at 3:44 PM 11-14-2009


    11. 11-14-2009 08:28 PM #11
      well, you yourself quoted what i said, and that was that i temporarily used it to get to the store and get some gear oil (10 minute drive each way)...after that I filled it with some gear oil. Although i baught some hybrid gl4/gl5 which is still not the best for these transmissions (yellow metals). Ive heard synchromesh is too thin, so i want to try a mixture....

    12. Member Michael Cahill's Avatar
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      11-14-2009 08:47 PM #12
      I was simply pointing out that ATF is not to be used in an 020.
      or in just about any manual gear box out there, for that matter.
      and was making it very clear, so that people dont read this thread, and start filling their trannys with ATF...

      Quote, originally posted by harmankardon35 »
      Ive heard synchromesh is too thin, so i want to try a mixture....

      heard from somebody, and actual data, are too very different things...

      but if you want to trust somebodys word... there are way more threads praising syncromesh than contemplating its "thinness".


      Modified by Michael Cahill at 4:50 PM 11-14-2009


    13. Member Broke's Avatar
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      11-14-2009 09:53 PM #13
      Like a pigeon that eats gravel to aid in digestion, I have found that 2 tablespoons of medium grade play sand added into the trans aids in providing 'traction' to the sync rings to match speeds more efficiently. Kind of like using sand under your tires in the winter to get more grip.

      Nah... I never make oil suggestions, other than to stay in the 75-90 weight range, and to stick with GL4 rated oil/fluid. I use both terms, I'm bad for that.

      I don't make brand suggestions... I find that one trans might prefer one brand and not another, while another trans is fine with anything... it really is quite random, and I think comes down to the wear of the parts, but as long as it meets the specs from VW, I don't think it would cause any problems.

      If it is out of the spec from VW, and ATF would be I think, then I wouldn't suggest it.
      For running to the store, if I had NO other way to get there, I might try it, but I wouldn't leave it in there.

      Some trans use it, the bearing design and preload allows for it, but for the 020, I wouldn't suggest it until I knew more about the specs of it, and other properties not listed, like shear and tensile strength of the oil itself and so on, which does need to be taken into consideration to compare them.

      020 trans info pages - www.BrokeVW.com
      NEW 0.7619 5th gears for the 020
      NEW 020 reverse gears
      '86 GTI 8V 2.0L -'88 Scirocco 16V - '10 F150 4x4

    14. 11-15-2009 01:37 AM #14
      just doing some research, it looks like dexron/mercon ATF and syncromesh are quite alike in terms of additives and oil weight. Both are much thinner than the 75w90 required in the 020. I also said I only used ATF to drive to pick up some gear oil, and drained it out shortly after. I did this because I have owned several cars that specifically required ATF in their manual gearbox, so i figured what's the harm using it for a 10 minute drive? I was right, it worked fine. I NEVER recommended ATF, just stated that i used it temporarily and it worked out fine....I stand by my 50/50 mix of gear oil and syncromesh... best of both worlds...


    15. Member Michael Cahill's Avatar
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      11-15-2009 01:44 AM #15
      ^^ you just wont quit will you...

      I already acknowledged everything you said in my last post.
      can we just let this go now.

      I stand by my, use whatever the hell ya want, but i use syncromesh.


    16. 11-15-2009 02:00 AM #16
      beat it douche bag i get the last word!!!

      i kid i kid


    17. Member Michael Cahill's Avatar
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      11-15-2009 02:06 AM #17
      Quote, originally posted by harmankardon35 »
      beat it douche bag i get the last word!!!

      I thought you were serious for a second


    18. Member Broke's Avatar
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      11-15-2009 09:14 AM #18
      You guys need to step up to real speed enhacing tricks.... that oil... parasitic loss.

      Take a bearing, drown it in brake cleaner, so it is SPOTLESS and sterile nearly. Totally oil and debris free.
      Spin it, and see how long it takes to stop spinning.

      Now, add a few drops of oil to the rollers or balls.
      Spin it with your fingers again... and notice how soon it stops spinning.

      Oil slows bearings down.

      You wanna' go fast? Drain the oil. It'll allow the bearings to spin more quickly without as much parasitic loss.

      On an unrelated note, please think of me if you have any need for trans parts or trans rebuild work.

      I feel like the owner of a glass company paying the kids with the BB guns to drum up a little business

      "Hell yeah, no oil, a little sand... works AWESOME. By the way... I rebuild trans and sell bearings. Just in case."

      020 trans info pages - www.BrokeVW.com
      NEW 0.7619 5th gears for the 020
      NEW 020 reverse gears
      '86 GTI 8V 2.0L -'88 Scirocco 16V - '10 F150 4x4

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      11-15-2009 02:04 PM #19
      ^^ Advertising?...

    20. 11-18-2009 09:55 PM #20
      so to revive this thread, what about all these dual gl-4 / gl-5 gear oils? I found some for cheap, and it says it meets gl-4 and gl-5. It doesn't have that smell of sulphur like most other gear oils have (and i assume its the sulphur that's hard on the brass syncro's) its 75w90. Would you use it? (i ask because it seems gl-4 specific oil is quite hard to find around here)

    21. Member Michael Cahill's Avatar
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      11-18-2009 09:59 PM #21
      I haven't done much research on the "dual" oils.
      but GL-5 is a no no, for 020's, so stay away from it.

      GL-4 is actually pretty easy to find in my opinion.
      do some searching here on the vortex, and you'll find lots of "discussions" about different oils that are good to use.


    22. 03-14-2010 03:31 AM #22
      Quote, originally posted by harmankardon35 »
      so to revive this thread, what about all these dual gl-4 / gl-5 gear oils? I found some for cheap, and it says it meets gl-4 and gl-5. It doesn't have that smell of sulphur like most other gear oils have (and i assume its the sulphur that's hard on the brass syncro's) its 75w90. Would you use it? (i ask because it seems gl-4 specific oil is quite hard to find around here)

      As long as it is GL-4 rated, it is perfect to use, even if it says GL-5, too.

      Dual rated oils are using ep additives other than sulphur/phosphorous, Delo 80w-90 with borate EP is an example. Borate additives are not corrosive to bronze or brass.


      Modified by chickenfriend at 1:32 AM 3-14-2010


    23. 03-16-2010 01:30 AM #23
      Wonder how I managed to get 3 liters into the 91 8v gti trans... must have a leak. With the mk3 you can park on an angle, with the 5th gear pointed down (green cap), at a 20-30% angle and just fill it from the speedo hole.
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      10-22-2012 04:30 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Broke View Post
      Quote, originally posted by harmankardon35 »
      just out of curiosity, whats the idea behind the pre-1987 getting the extra 0.5l?

      VW moved the hole up 7mm in 1987 on the side of the trans..

      Quote, originally posted by harmankardon35 »
      if that's the case,then what is the point o the side check hole?

      It isn't a check hole, it is a filler hole to put the fluid in.

      Quote, originally posted by harmankardon35 »
      I have an acn model 020 in my 98 golf (manufactured 1985) and 2 litres on the dot has been working out fine, BUT i don't want to shred my 5th gear.

      If you fill it up until it is level with the side filler hole, then there isn't 2.0L of fluid in it.

      When they made the trans, as I understand it, they took the 4 speed 020 and added another gear and the end housing with the filler plug on the end. This was mounted into the VW car in the early 80's, using a MK1 vehicle, MK1 mounts, and MK1 engine angle.

      The trans being bolted to the engine will move if you tilt the engine at a different angle.

      I assume they put the 5 speed onto the MK1, filled it with oil, made it so the side filler plug is level, and that is how it is done on the Scirocco and Cabriolet cars using MK1 mounts and MK1 chassis'.

      With the MK2, the engine tilt changed 2 degrees, tipping the 5th gear end of the trans down a little more in comparison to the MK1 mounting. This means the oil is now OVER the filler plug when properly filled, by 7mm.

      For MK2/3 mounting, the procedure is changed because of this 2* of tilt... you fill it up until it is level with the side filler hole. That will be 1.5L of fluid (into a bone dry trans), then you add 0.5L of fluid into the speedo, this will make the total 2.0L as before.

      In 1987, the side filler hole was moved up 7mm, so the procedure is normal again, and the oil is at the right level once again when at the bottom of the side filler hole.

      This means, if all that above is correct, that when sticking a 1987+ trans into a MK1 car, if you fill it to the bottom of the modified side filler hole, it will have about 2.5L of fluid in it.

      Quote, originally posted by harmankardon35 »
      Any more oil however, and i leak it out of the input shaft (and on my clutch!)

      The seals shouldn't leak, even if the trans is absolutely filled to the top with fluid... it would heat up, expand, and puke out of the vent location on the trans, not through the seals.

      In fact, the higher the internal pressure is, the tighter and oil seal will seal against the shaft. The amount of exposed lip subject to the pressure that would cause the seal to open and leak is less surface area than the portion of the lip that is exposed to the pressure that would cause it to want to get smaller, and thus seal tighter on the shaft, so as internal pressures build, the seal lip should want to shrink and tighten on the shaft.

      If the seals are bad, this won't work, and they will leak. A plugged trans can also force leaks out of worn seals, causing new leaks.

      The vent location is in the same area on all trans, near the clutch cable. If you have a small tube sticking out of the trans behind the clutch cable, usually with a loose-fitting black plastic cap on it, then that is the vent tube. Use a wire to poke into it to make sure it is clear.

      The other location is in the 27mm selector cap under the clutch cable mounting location on the trans. The vent is a channel cut into the threads of the selector cap, at the 12:00 position. These clog more easily.

      If you don't have the tube style vent, check the cap for gunk plugging the integral vent channel in the threads of the case where the 27mm cap threads in.

      The tube style vent circled in white:


      The integral style in the threads:

      Red circle = side 17mm fill plug
      yellow circle = speedo hole
      red square = '020' stamp
      white circle = vent tube
      blue circle = timing check hole
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