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TR2/3/3A Strange Transmission Issue

Daves1957TR-3

Senior Member
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The issue is getting oil into the transmission! Let me explain...

When I started in on the car last August I had an over enthusiastic helper who drained the trans without me asking him to! So when we went to put oil back in it...I found out that the filler is on the top under the hump! I didn't know about the access port, so in a temporary measure, I put 1.5 pts of oil in thru the drain with a hose and funnel and did the old quickly-remove-the-hose-and-put-the-plug-back. This worked OK but I knew I would have to eventually replace it since all I had was GL-5 and that's bad for syncros.

So fast forward a bunch of months. I found out about the access port, but I also discovered I have a synchronized first gear! That means the trans has been swapped! This makes sense since it appears it had OD at one time from the hole in the dash for the switch. So I looked at the access port in the top (after pulling up the carpet - urrrrgh!) and no filler. Looking at the left side of the trans I found where the filler plug should be - but it's covered with either a weld, JB Weld, or putty - can't tell until I can see it up close. I assume someone bungered up the plug and did this as a hack repair - niiiice!

So, any suggestions? I guess I could repeat my earlier method. Or I could take a look at the hacked filler hole but I am afraid of opening Pandora's Box.

Lastly, good oil to use? I was thinking the Pennzoil Synchromesh, but some have said it's a bit on the thin side. Maybe Sta-Lube 85W90 GL4? Or RedLine MT90?

Cheers, Dave
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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I'm a fan of MT90.

One solution to your plug issue might be to cut a port into the top cover. I used a TR3 casting that already had a dipstick, but others have successfully modified a later cover for a dipstick. Or there might be enough meat there for a pipe plug if you don't want to use a dipstick.

You'd still have to pull the tunnel and top cover, but that's a lot easier than pulling the box.
 

TR-3rg

Senior Member
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Hi Dave,
Welcome, I am up the road in Baltimore. I agree MT -90 works well, but I cannot find a local source in the Baltimore / DC area. I have been using Amsoil 75-90 Manual Transmission & Transaxle Gear Lube, because I can get it locally. I have used both, and they both shift great. Amsoil has a much better retail network in the area. You can always mail order.

Good Luck, Roy
 

CJD

Yoda
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Wish I could have just discovered a 1st synchro! I would pop the tunnel, see what you have going and fix the box right...even if the box had to come out to do it. But that's me. Pulling the tranny takes just over an hour in the TR3.
 

mallard

Luke Skywalker
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I got a good complete top cover with dipstick I would let go for a fair price, PM me if interested.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Don't forget, though, the forks and shafts are somewhat different between 3 and 4 synchro (and the dipstick was only on early 3 synchro). No big deal to swap forks and shafts, but it won't just bolt up and getting the interlock back in correctly can be a challenge.
 

TFB

Jedi Knight
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I'm a fan of MT90.

One solution to your plug issue might be to cut a port into the top cover. I used a TR3 casting that already had a dipstick, but others have successfully modified a later cover for a dipstick. Or there might be enough meat there for a pipe plug if you don't want to use a dipstick.

You'd still have to pull the tunnel and top cover, but that's a lot easier than pulling the box.

A temporary method might be to drill and tap a 1/8 pipe plug in the drain plug or install a 1/2(I think) by 1/8 bushing with 1/8 plug ,then use the type of cheap pump that comes with boat outdrive oil that has a 1/8 fitting.Pump in the right amount and get the plug in quick,just like on a boat.
Toim
 
OP
D

Daves1957TR-3

Senior Member
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I got a good complete top cover with dipstick I would let go for a fair price, PM me if interested.

Don't forget, though, the forks and shafts are somewhat different between 3 and 4 synchro (and the dipstick was only on early 3 synchro). No big deal to swap forks and shafts, but it won't just bolt up and getting the interlock back in correctly can be a challenge.

So to put in an old top isn't just a straight swap, have to do forks and shafts as well? It's starting to sound like the guy who started out changing a kitchen faucet that ended up redoing all the cabinets. Been there.

A temporary method might be to drill and tap a 1/8 pipe plug in the drain plug or install a 1/2(I think) by 1/8 bushing with 1/8 plug ,then use the type of cheap pump that comes with boat outdrive oil that has a 1/8 fitting.Pump in the right amount and get the plug in quick,just like on a boat.
Toim

That actually sounds like a good idea. I had found a rubber fuel line that was just the right OD to tightly fit into the drain opening but your method is less MacGuyverish.
 

CJD

Yoda
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The "other" issue with putting the dipstick in the newer cars is you will not be able to pull the dipstick out to check/fill unless you add the large access hole into to your tunnel to do so.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Hi Dave,
Welcome, I am up the road in Baltimore. I agree MT -90 works well, but I cannot find a local source in the Baltimore / DC area.
It's readily available at speed shops in my area, but they charge half again the price on Amazon. Once I found out how well it works, I ordered a case.
 
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