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      07-08-2021, 04:16 PM   #1
SunUpTopDown3
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Ford Motorcraft XT-M5-QS Trans fluid??

Has anyone used this full syn fluid in their Z4M ZF gearbox? Its Getrag developed I hear and Ford recommends this fluid for their cars with the ZF 6speed, not sure its the same ZF6 as ours (Z4Ms).

So I come with a Miata background as well as Bimmers. Ford's Motorcraft Full Syn XT-M5-QS Trans fluid is extremely popular in the Miata community. Used in all gen miata from 1990 to present with night and day type results. I have experienced this personally with two of my Miatas, it truly is unicorn tears for the Miata gearbox. I've heard S2K owners catching on to this and seeing same great results.

So I've had an Z4M for a while now and have been running RP Synchromesh like many with good results. But I WANT BETTER! So I've been researching to no avail on using Ford's Fluid. Seems like nobody has discussed it... I really want to try but I'm worried something catastrophic might happen with the synchros etc. I might be onto something amazing but not sure.

Again, has anyone tried?
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      07-09-2021, 06:59 AM   #2
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I also have a Miata with the Ford unicorn tears and wondered the same thing when I did the fluid in my Z4M. I ended up going with the Royal Purple on my Z4MC and am happy with it. I'd be very interested to hear if anyone has tried the Motorcraft though. It should be fine with our transmissions, it's 75W-90 with a GL-4 rating.
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      07-12-2021, 11:49 AM   #3
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Hey we could be onto to something here! I'm guessing ppl are subbed to this thread. Only one way to find out. True it is 75W-90 GL-4 so it shouldn't hurt.

And so I begin my science experiment to prove my hypothesis. TO BE CONTINUED...
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      07-20-2021, 06:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunUpTopDown3 View Post
Hey we could be onto to something here! I'm guessing ppl are subbed to this thread. Only one way to find out. True it is 75W-90 GL-4 so it shouldn't hurt.

And so I begin my science experiment to prove my hypothesis. TO BE CONTINUED...
Interested to hear your results. Getting due for a transmission fluid change myself.
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      07-20-2021, 03:31 PM   #5
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I used to have an Miata and that Ford transmission fluid definitely improved the shifting, especially when cold. Made it smoother and reduced chance of gears being locked out at low temps. That said the transmission fluid in my car was probably years old and had tens of thousand of miles on it. Had no record of it being changed before.

I thought the stock fluid for the Z4M was BMW MTF LT-2 75W80 GL-4. That would make the Ford fluid at 75W90 slightly thicker. I think many people have run BMW LT-3 or Redline MT-90 without issue and those are both 75W90. Some people do complain of poor cold-weather characteristics with 75W90 in BMW manual transmission though.

The RP Synchromesh, meanwhile, is significantly thinner than factory spec. I'm changing the fluid on my Z4M soon and am planning on getting Redline MTL 75W80 GL-4 to keep the original weight. I know some people track their cars with RP SM but I already have some 2nd gear issues and am still worried a lower weight fluid won't provide full lubrication or hold up to abuse.
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      07-22-2021, 11:20 AM   #6
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Ordered the Ford motorcraft XT-M5-QS trans fluid. Planning on filling it in the next month or so. Will keep updated. Really hoping this will de-throne the RP SM fluid as it currently is the best option, it feels good over stock to me but still not the best.
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      07-22-2021, 09:21 PM   #7
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Why not just use the BMW MTF LT-2? It is very good stuff, can be had cheaply and has actually cleaned up the shifting on a couple of gearboxes where Redline caused issues.

As I have 4 BMWs that use this stuff, I just get it in the 5L jugs.

I drank the Redline Kool-Aid and had it in 2 different cars, and E30 M3 and a E90 330i. It caused crunchy shifting in both. After a couple cycles of fill, run 2k and flushes in both gearboxes, they shifted much better. E30 sees a lot of track use. I have already put the MTF LT-2 in my Z4M which will become a track car.

Note that the MTF LT-2 is the proper fluid for the Z4M according to the sticker on the gearbox.

Unless the Ford stuff is considerably cheaper (my cost at load dealer is ~$10/L for the BMW stuff), I don't see any real reason to use it, but I doubt that it will cause any issues, although I thought that it was particularly viscous for some reason.
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      08-22-2021, 08:50 PM   #8
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Cars built on 03/2007 and later spec MTF-3 (blue sticker) which is the thinnest BMW fluid. You could try that.
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      10-04-2021, 02:45 PM   #9
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Anything ever happen with this? Undergoing an engine out ordeal on my M and picked up some RP Synchromesh after being unhappy with a 50/50 mix of Redline D4 and Redline MTL (made a good difference, but, second gear is still crunchy) and I am curious about this Ford fluid.
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      10-05-2021, 08:04 AM   #10
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Curious here as well. Former owner of my car put Redline ATF in it, per Redline's recommendation; I don't like the way it shifts even after it's warmed up. I've had several other manual BMW 6-speeds, all of which shift much better. I was thinking of going Royal Purple but I assume that my other cars had BMW oil in them, so I'm on the fence.
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      12-15-2021, 01:39 PM   #11
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Finally getting some traction on this little experiment project after some delay. Ford trans fluid is ordered from amazon and should be here Friday. Hoping to pump it in shorty after.
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      05-06-2022, 06:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunUpTopDown3 View Post
Finally getting some traction on this little experiment project after some delay. Ford trans fluid is ordered from amazon and should be here Friday. Hoping to pump it in shorty after.
Any results on this?
Looking to do a drain and refill on my GS6.
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      05-31-2022, 04:15 PM   #13
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Finally got around to changing it out Memorial Day.

Specimen: 2007 Z4M Roadster, ~33,000 miles. Backroad driver and 2 track days.
Mods: Remus Muffler, AFE midpipe, CDV Delete
Eng oil: LM 10W60
Diff fluid: Redline 75W140
Trans Fluid: OE to Ford Motorcraft XT-M5-QS ~1.8qts
Price: Ford Motorcraft XT-M5-QS Full Syn ~$25-$30 a quart

Got specimen jacked up level and steady, OE trans fluid coming out had a gray-ish tint to it as expected, nothing crazy.

Pumped in 1.8 quarts of Motorcraft full syn fluid, golden/amber color, no strong odors.

Initial drive impressions: With stock shifter/knob. All synchros engage slightly faster. Shift to 1 from stop is easier. 1-2 is slightly smoother (still notchy). 2-3, 3-4, 4-5 & 5-6 are smooth as they always has been. The synchros sync up slightly faster, when delay shifting or downshifting without rev matching (not as good as RP Synchromax, though). Rev-matched shifts are perfect for me (depends on how good you are at them).

Conclusion: I have filled RP Synchromax on my other higher mileage Z4M and I really liked it. Significant difference in synchro engagement. I was not disappointed upon initial drive, I liked the way it performed. However, I still like RP SM. For me still the champion, as it already is amongst our community. This Motorcraft fluid is better than OE fluid for sure, I'll have to drive it more and test it out on upcoming track day for further updates. I feel it will perform just fine. Last track day I had one instance of 3rd and 4th gear grind (maybe clutch not depressed enough or released prematurely).

I was expecting a night and day difference with this fluid like all the Miata maniacs rave about, but, I've come to realize Miata factory fluid is just crappy, changing it to a good quality fluid like Motorcraft results in significant positive change.

Updates to follow. Would recommend the Motorcraft fluid if anyone wants to try
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      05-31-2022, 04:39 PM   #14
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Well, I went with the synchro max and what a world of difference to the OEM fluid I put in 6 years ago.
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