View Full Version : manual transmission fluid for an '87 e30

11-17-2005, 04:15 PM
sorry about all of the postings lately, but i'm in a replace/repair mode.

anyway, i went to the dealership to get a bunch of parts and the one thing that the parts guy couldn't help me with was what fluid to put in the manual transmission. he thought that it was castrol dexron III automatic transmission fluid (one of the mechanics told him this), but he wouldn't sell it to me as he wasn't sure.

anyone know what the correct answer is, for sure?


David Hicks
11-17-2005, 04:44 PM
Red Line MTL is what I put in. Anything that'll cool and lube the moving parts will work to varying degrees, but I think most people agree either on the Red Line stuff, or whatever the Swepco equivalent is.

11-17-2005, 06:40 PM
It depends on the trannie. Some take auto trannie fluid and others dont.
Some BMW manual trannies shouldn't use MTL.

11-17-2005, 09:02 PM
For a stock '87? Yep, Red Line MTL will work fine. Get 2 quarts. You'll only need about 1.5 or so.

11-18-2005, 06:51 AM
thanks for the red line tip. is there anywhere local that i can buy it? i don't feel like paying shipping to get the stuff from bavauto or pelican.

thanks again,

11-18-2005, 07:48 AM
I get mine from OG Racing. Their store is in Sterling, VA, website is www.ogracing.com.


11-18-2005, 08:27 AM
Another vote for Redline MTL & O.G.

11-18-2005, 09:31 AM
ok, i went to redline's website and they have a bunch of different products listed. they have the following weights/designations for gear oils listed:


i guessing the winner is the 75W90. is that correct? (i didn't see anything called "MTL" listed on their website)

thanks again,

David Hicks
11-18-2005, 09:38 AM
Jim - MTL is described here -> http://www.redlineoil.com/products_gearlubricants.asp?subcatID=18

You're looking at the gear oil stuff, which typically for diffs.

OwnedbyDuncan, you're right about the ATF. According to TMS, trannies made after 1/95 should use Redline D4 ATF.

11-18-2005, 10:22 AM
doh! thanks for saving me from my own stupidity! ok, maybe ignorance would be the correct word. then again...

11-19-2005, 09:59 AM
The lubes you listed are diff lubes, not tranny lubes.

I run MTL in our E36 M3 and M Roadster. I run BMW LTF2 in the E46 M3.