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Time to change it. Drop the fluid from the bottom or suck it out from the top at QuickLube (I'll supply the fluid.) Will it take the same amount of fluid to fill it up either way ? .48 gallons ?
 

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drain from the bottom from two places - ones at the bottom of the tranny and ones at the rear of the diff, fill from the top plug, 2 quarts. You can do this yourself as easy as any oil change. Take your old tranny fluid to a recycle place. Tranny oil and motor can mix together at most recycle places.
Charles
 

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Time to change it. Drop the fluid from the bottom or suck it out from the top at QuickLube (I'll supply the fluid.) Will it take the same amount of fluid to fill it up either way ? .48 gallons ?
Drain it at the bottom plug (there are two, gear box magnetic and diff magnetic), fill through the dip stick hole or back up lights switch with a longer funnel.
1.8Liters
Quicklube will wuickly ruin your car by forgetting to fill it because they are so confused on what to do as they hire...well lets say they are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.
Jason
 

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We are talking manual box/diff aren't we?

For the manual (at least for my 24v but pretty certain for others too) there is a drain hole so, after finding where to refill it, drain it all out.
Refilling is done through the dipstick hole and does take a while. You also need to fashion a long tube with a small spout that can fit in the hole - I used a beer maker's tube, with cut of valve, and stuffed the end of a biro pen into it so could securely locate it in the 'box. Still took around an hour to refill - using semi-synthetic oil (don't remember exact grade off-hand).

Can't say there was a massive difference in gear change slickness after but there was a significant change in my feeling assured I'd done my best for protecting the long liverty of the box. And that says a lot. I find modern Alfas are not unreliable per-se but because of the depreciation, where a £30k car becomes a £2k car, new owners seem to think they can treat them as £2k cars and skimp on good servicing but you can't.

If you want cheap thrills get a small Fiat, such as an X1/9 or a Cinquecento Sporting (1.1) and buzz them around town. If you want a continent crusher get a 164 - although a 1300cc X1/9's seats remain the most comfortable car seats I have ever come across.
 

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Sorry, my info was for a 91-93 model.
Charles
 

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Filling 164 12v/24v 5-speed transmissions with fluid

I speed up the process. Draining out through differential case drain plug located at lowest point will drain whole tranny. You can pull tranny case drain plug to check magnet too for idea of how it is wearing inside but don't need to to drain fluid.

As for filling 12v and 24v 5-speeds there is no need to build a pencil sized funnel tube to fill it through dip stick hole.

On 12v pull fill plug near clutch arm pivot point and on 24v disconnect and remove back up light switch from same hole and fill it much faster and easier.

I use an automatic tranny funnel to fill 5-speed trannys at clutch arm pivot point area.

It takes 2 quarts of fluid. I use Dextron ATF (automatic transmission fluid) as that is specified type.

See picture of 24v tranny to see where back up light switch is located. I fill both 24v and 12v trannys at this port.
 

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Hey, so my instructs were good for the newer models afterall. ;) I just didn't realize the backup switch was moved to the filler plug hole (AKA: shift rod lockout pawl insertion hole, if you are doing a rebuild ;)) on the newer models, interesting, wonder why they decided to move it?
Charles
 

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I speed up the process. Draining out through differential case drain plug located at lowest point will drain whole tranny. You can pull tranny case drain plug to check magnet too for idea of how it is wearing inside but don't need to to drain fluid.

As for filling 12v and 24v 5-speeds there is no need to build a pencil sized funnel tube to fill it through dip stick hole.

On 12v pull fill plug near clutch arm pivot point and on 24v disconnect and remove back up light switch from same hole and fill it much faster and easier.

I use an automatic tranny funnel to fill 5-speed trannys at clutch arm pivot point area.

It takes 2 quarts of fluid. I use Dextron ATF (automatic transmission fluid) as that is specified type.

See picture of 24v tranny to see where back up light switch is located. I fill both 24v and 12v trannys at this port.
Yeah I have to admit that is where I fill mine from too.
 

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Hey, so my instructs were good for the newer models afterall. ;) I just didn't realize the backup switch was moved to the filler plug hole (AKA: shift rod lockout pawl insertion hole, if you are doing a rebuild ;)) on the newer models, interesting, wonder why they decided to move it?
Charles
I think reverse back up light switch moved on 24v because reverse lock out pawl/cable was installed in hole used for reverse switch on 12v models.
 

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My handbook says gear oil

While I had my air filter out, I decided to pull the transmission dipstick for a check. The gearshift is a bit sticky.

This gearbox (in my 164) looks very familiar - it's identical to the one in a 1988 FIAT Croma (2L twincam) that I took apart to replace the input shaft bearing and differential speedo drive gear. Talk about deja vu. Like Alfisto Steve, I discovered the aluminium plug in the front near the clutch fork. I thought it went into the bellhousing, but discovered that it was actually a very good filler (for some reason, the FIAT factory manual said to fill through the dipstick hole...)

The orange sticker on top near clutch cylinder of my 164 says 'C503' which confirms it as the same type. You may be intrigued to know that my 2003 FIAT Stilo Abarth has the same gearbox but with electro-hydraulic actuation of gearshift and clutch (Selespeed)! It has the same dipstick, too. These gearboxes have been around for a long time now haven't they...

Anyway, my 164 has gear oil in it, the type that smells nasty. I checked the handbook (pics attached) and it says to use GL-4 or 80W90 gear oil (hence the EP smell).

The Croma and the Stilo both have gear oil as well.

Should I change the 164 to ATF? Is there a risk to the bearings?

I see five options:

- Generic gear oil (e.g. Valvoline 75W80 semi-synth, with EP)
- FIAT ZC80S (semi-synth gear oil with EP) as specified in the handbook
- Castrol VMX (a rare non-EP "five-speed" gear oil that I use in smaller FIATs, seems similar to FIAT ZC90)
- Engine oil, perhaps with Nulon manual transmission additive
- ATF

So, which?

Thanks,
-Alex
 

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I switched my 164B from gear oil to ATF and started getting leaks so went back to gear oil. I'd say what's ever in it, replace with the same. My 164S had ATF and ran happily on that for 167,000 miles. My 164B seems happy on gear oil.
 

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In your case I would probably follow your owner's manual. However that being said, my 91 164B also came with gear oil from factory when I bought it new and input shaft ball bearing lasted about 130,000. When it went and I replaced it with roller bearing I switched over to ATF and now have about 190,000 miles on tranny.

My USA owner's manual calls for using ATF as does shop manual.

I recently changed a clutch in a rescue project 93 164L which appeared to had had input shaft bearing somewhere in it's 176,000 life as it had roller bearing and a sloppy sealing job around throw bearing sleeve and at the case seams and found gear oil in tranny. Tranny is now somewhat noisy with ATF but I don't know if it was with gear oil or not as car came to me with a failed throw out bearing so I couldn't test drive it first.
 

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I have driven mine with gear oil and with ATF and prefer the ATF (because I have had two different trannys in the car, with the original one back in now). You don't get the hard shift when cold issue, with ATF. The gear oil needs a little warmup time to start shifting nicely especially in the winter but to some degree even on a summer morning. The ATF just makes shifts a bit lighter in action, gear oil a bit heavier in action, no surprise there, really. But use whatever makes you feel most comfortable using.
Charles
 

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I have driven mine with gear oil and with ATF and prefer the ATF (because I have had two different trannys in the car, with the original one back in now). You don't get the hard shift when cold issue, with ATF. The gear oil needs a little warmup time to start shifting nicely especially in the winter but to some degree even on a summer morning. The ATF just makes shifts a bit lighter in action, gear oil a bit heavier in action, no surprise there, really. But use whatever makes you feel most comfortable using.
Charles
Thanks for that - yes, the one thing I hate most is the first few 'crunches' in my Uno Turbo, which has a similar gear oil recommended. The oil that I settled on for that was a 75W gear oil plus the Nulon additive.

I think in the 164 I'm going to try a 'base' of ATF plus the Nulon additive, which I have found to be pretty magic - it's basically a white goo that seems to improve friction for synchromesh and at the same time quieten bearings. It comes in a white-coloured tube clearly labelled 'manual transmissions additive'.

The one thing I don't like is the EP additives in gear oil - not necessary for our FWD transmissions, and back in the days of the 128, they brought undesired effects (eating into phosphor-bronze synchroniser parts). Obviously the newer gearboxes (such as that in the 164) are able to use EP oils satisfactorily, but why bother when there are better additives available (e.g. the Nulon additive I mentioned).

I've just realised that Nulon is Australian (easily available here and well-priced), and probably not known in the US. here's the page. http://www.nulon.co.nz/products.php?productId=g70

It makes a very pertinent comment: "...Many modern gearboxes suffer from poor gear shifting when the gearbox is cold. As a result a number of manufacturers are recommending a lighter grade of oil, and in some cases automatic transmission fluid. These lighter grade oils provide superior gear changing at the expense of reduced life of gears and bearings, because the lower viscosity oil does not have the degree of EP (extreme pressure) protection. Nulon G70, due to its EP characteristics, will greatly improve protection as well as dramatically improve gear changes."

Since I've had success with this additive for several years now, I'm inclined to believe this comment, but the idea of PTFE going into the gearbox is a little concerning, I have to admit. You would have to wonder if the synchromesh efficacy would reduce with all the slippery stuff in there, but I have no negative experiences. Do note also that this additive doesn't have the 'EP smell'.

Alfisto Steve: your bearing replacement experience rings true with me - I've had to change input shaft bearings on three or four FIAT gearboxes now, and I suspect the original bearing (for the C503, a one-off strange size from a French manufacturer, if I remember correctly) is just not as good quality as it should be. It probably doesn't help that it's the smallest diameter bearing in the 'box. So even with the 'thick' gear oil, that bearing still fails! Gives what I call the 'old bus' noise when moving off, most noticeable in 1st and 2nd.

EDIT: Just realised your distances are in miles, 209,000km is a good innings!

Now, how did you size-up a roller bearing replacement? I think it's a combination of imperial-sized ID and metric-sized OD, isn't it? My bearing suppliers were stumped and had to order one from France, identical to original (I judged that another 180,000km would be enough for that FIAT Croma). At about $200 (US$138) it was several times the price of the usual metric bearings used in the smaller FIAT transmissions. In fact the owner of the $500 (US$345) Croma nearly had a heart attack, particularly with my $150 ($104) labour charge on top (not unreasonable I felt, as it included the clutch replacement and a diff swap to fix the broken speedometer drive gear). I did have to take the gearbox apart after all! :rolleyes: Interesting how a part becomes a lot more expensive when it's bought for someone else.

Cheers,
-Alex
 

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New news

So after a few lovely beverages at the Black Raven, the true knowledge is in
Weight is one thing (75W-85, 80W-90) and formulation is another (GL-1, GL-4, GL-5)

GL-1 - Old manual trannys with bronze synchros
GL-4 - Newer trannys
GL-5 - Differentials, not recommended for synchro trannys.

If you need more data, hit Wikipedia or SAE
 

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EP gear oils are only required in hypoid bevel gearsets. These were developed to allow the prop shaft to be lowered relative to the centre of the crown gear in the differential. This allowed the floor of the car to be lowered relative to the axles.

The big drawback of this gearset design is sliding friction between the pinion and crown gear teeth. This requires high film strength oils. Otherwise the shearing action destroys the oil in short order.

The smell used to come from whale oil derivatives found to offer the best film strength. Sulfur compounds are now the source and the pong can be truly off putting. My 1965 Triumph 2000 diff leaked something fierce so I kept EP diff oil in the trunk for the constant topping up required. The whole car stank....

Needless to say no fwd car requires EP oils.

There's a lot of urban myth out there about synchronizer friction. Obviously, the best friction would be provided by bare metal to bare metal. This is impractical as bearings require the opposite as do gear teeth.

ALWAYS use the transmission maker's recommended lubricant. Alternatively, the lubricant maker's recommendation will also be safe.

Transverse gearboxes have relatively low loadings on the lubricants. Engine oil can be used in many. ATF is the most common recommended fluid nowadays, even for gearboxes that used to use engine oil or gear oil. Even gearboxes that used to use gear oil can often be improved by substituting ATF in varying amounts depending on ambient temperatures expected. ATF can give much better performance in very cold conditions.
 

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having perused the thread, I'd also chime in with: Make sure you have loosened the top fill plug(s) to ensure you can actually put fluid in, BEFORE draining the old fluid out. Mine likes the gear oil. I'm using Spirax. ciao, chris
 
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My 91S has smooth shifting yet at 185k miles, using Kendal ATF. It seems happy.
 
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