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Discussion Starter #1
I ordered Castrol Syntrans to replace my transmission fluid and I received Castrol Syntrax. Is this the same stuff or do I need to return it for Syntrans?
Thanks
 

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The Castrol syntrans 75W/90 transaxle is the one that replaced TAF-X.
 

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From what I've seen I would say return the Syntrax and get the Syntrans.

Per the Castrol website Syntrax is an API GL5 oil for differentials, not transmissions/transaxles. The GL5 rating makes Syntrax unsuitable to use in gearboxes that have synchros, like the Esprit, due to different friction characteristics and ingredients that will deteriorate the soft metal synchros.

Syntrans is GL4, which is suitable for the synchros. With that said there are 2 different varieties, Syntrans Multivehicle and Syntrans Transaxle. Castrol seems to go out of their way to confuse the issue for their product users.

I don't know about the Syntrans Multivehicle but, as stated above, Syntrans Transaxle is the correct replacement for the TAF-X originally specified by Lotus. So I would stick with that one.

The problem is Syntrans Transaxle seems to be hard to find, which may be why some "helpful" warehouse clerk substituted the Syntrax. I would be curious to know if your supplier can actually deliver the Syntrans Transaxle.
 

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I had to get mine shipped in from the U.K. didnt take long at all. 1 week I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmmm interesting....
I ordered the Syntrans from JAE, which is who shipped the Syntrax.
I just got off the phone with Jay at JAE and he said that it was absolutely fine to use and they got it from Lotus.
So what’s a chap to do???
 

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I don't claim to be an expert in this area but from what I've read I don't think it's worth taking a chance with the GL5 stuff. It may be that with limited miles run on most Esprit's it's not a huge issue, and there may be other factors I'm not aware of, but I figure why chance it?

Curiously the Castrol website says GL5 Syntrax is good for the Esprit transaxle. WTF??!?! The attached is a long read but it might throw some light on the debate.

My understanding is that others have had success with Redline MT-90 75w-90 so that is what I plan to try next.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Looks like getting some Syntrans shipped from the UK may be difficult and/or take quite a while. I also saw that there were different versions of Syntrans! Syntrans FE manual transmission fluid, Syntrans Multivehicle gear oil and Syntrans Transaxle. So now I'm super confused! LOL
I just wanted to try to get the gearbox as smooth and buttery as a V8 gearbox could get. I didn't think it would be so difficult.
JAE now say not to use it if I'm worried, but apparently there are a few punters out there that have bought it from them.
SO.......what's the best stuff I CAN GET MY HANDS ON to use? LOL
As always, much appreciate the help :)
 

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If Syntrans 75/90 TRANSAXLE oil is proving difficult to get (which is surprising) then my second choice is Redline MT-90 (NOTE: MT-90 NOT Redline MTL). I was previously advised that Syntrax is not a suitable alternative to the Syntrans GL4.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK, back to the Redline MT-90 it is then. I'll ship the Syntrax back. Seems little point in playing Russian roulette with the gearbox.
Thanks all
 

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The Castrol Syntrans Transaxle is what Lotus approved for their versions of UN1.
I've used it for 7 years and no probs what so ever. Not the other versions mentioned. Only the Castrol Syntrans Transaxle.
I change it ever year. No metal powder or bits in it. And no brass either.

My gearbox haven't been apart and is smooth and nice. And it doesn't have "syncroed" reverse, and it still shifts smooth and free into reverse. Milage 123.000 kilometers. 330 Hp and 415Nm to compare.

I am now collecting parts to build a super UN1 with all upgrades available, and then some, and I will use the same Castrol Syntrans Transaxle.
Taf-x is very hard to get, not the present day Castrol Syntrans Transaxle. I can get as many Liter boxes as I want in many shops and also online. Next day delivery.
(I am in Denmark).
I called Castrol UK, and had a talk with them on these oils, and they said Castrol Syntrans Transaxle. Not the other versions.
I cannot speak for Redline oils.
Just my two-cents.

Cheers,
Redfox.
 

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I am now collecting parts to build a super UN1 with all upgrades available, and then some, and I will use the same Castrol Syntrans Transaxle.

Taf-x is very hard to get, not the present day Castrol Syntrans Transaxle. I can get as many Liter boxes as I want in many shops and also online. Next day delivery.
(I am in Denmark).
I called Castrol UK, and had a talk with them on these oils, and they said Castrol Syntrans Transaxle. Not the other versions.
I cannot speak for Redline oils.
Just my two-cents.

Cheers,
Redfox.
Nice. Looking forward to see/hear about the UN1 build, pics, process, lessons-learned, etc (y)(y).

When I bought my car the PO included the EMCO trans upgrade kit (one-piece input shaft, etc) plus 2 synchros, still in the wrapper which he never got around to installing. Don't know if I will either but it's definitely on my "maybe someday" list.

What is your online source for Syntrans Transaxle? Checked the Amazon UK site recently and they were out of stock with no projected replenishment date :confused:.
 

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Is there no reseller of Castrol products in the US?
Castrol is wide available in this region. This seller have it in stock, though in Denmark.

However, AMSOIL Synthetic Manual Transmission & Transaxle Gear Lube 75W-90 should meet the specification for this transmission.
 

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Tha oil which you refer to, is not the one I am speaking about. You mention the Castro Syntrans FE. I am talking about the Castrol Syntrans Transaxle.

For example here:

Kind regards,
Redfox
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the replies.
Castrol make finding out about their different products very confusing and difficult!


However, the Syntrax is not the same as Syntrans Transaxle, or Syntrans FE.
In fact both of those products are different from the Syntrans I was searching for. It is unavailable in the US and the usual suspects on Amazon in the UK are all out of stock.
Hence, going back to the Redline MT-90 which I've used the last couple of years.
Adam
 

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The mech/shop in MA (Lotus/Aston Martin) that serviced the '91 I just bought used Shell Spirax S5 ATE Transaxle Oil in the spec'd 75w-90 when they last did a gearbox flush in late 2018.
 

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After I read your post, I looked in my garage and I have 5 Liter Castrol Syntrans Transaxle. Specifically.
I tried to order 3 more Liter (an oil shift in the Esprit), and they are available, and I'll get 3 more Liters tomorrow.
As I am in Denmark, it's a little silly to order here and ship to you. But you can do that if need be. Just follow the link and use google translator, or write here, and I'll guide you through. Or if that doesn't work, I'll order it and ship directly to you. But I would say that it must be available in the US somewhere as a first move.

Speaking of Shell oils, I've been using their engine oil in another car for a couple of times and still am, and without being scientific about it, I don't like their oils. It appears that the hydraulic valve adjustment is clacking on this oil and not when I sue similar fully synthetic Castrol Suppercar oil with Ti additive, that I used to in that car (not the Esprit). They seem to get hotter, clean less and last less. They don't seem to have the same effective lifespan, so won't buy again, after I use up the remaining two 4L bottles. I change engine oil every 5000 km's regardless, and wouldn't trust it for propper lubrificationa nd oil film strengh for say 15.000 kms. It is their 5W40 mix I use on that other car. Note: it's the fully synthetic Shell engine oil I am talking about.
Cannot say anything about the transmission oils.
Personally, I'd steer clear of them.

Cheers,
Redfox.
 

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Thanks for all the replies.
Castrol make finding out about their different products very confusing and difficult!


However, the Syntrax is not the same as Syntrans Transaxle, or Syntrans FE.
In fact both of those products are different from the Syntrans I was searching for. It is unavailable in the US and the usual suspects on Amazon in the UK are all out of stock.
Hence, going back to the Redline MT-90 which I've used the last couple of years.
Adam
Wow, do they ever o_O:rolleyes:.

Very disappointing that the Castrol USA web site actually recommends Syntrax for the Esprit (see link below), while the Castrol UK representative in conversation specified Syntrans Transaxle, and which of course seems to be the right answer.


Talk about inconsistent :mad:.

It appears that since Castrol doesn't sell Syntrans Transaxle in the USA they just recommend whatever is expedient based on what they've chosen to market in a particular country, not what's best for the vehicle/customer.

Unless I'm missing something here I plan to avoid Castrol products in the future.
 

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The issue with the other oils mentioned is the GL-4 and GL-5 compatibility with softer metals such as brass synchro rings. GL-5 fluids typically contain sulfur or phosphorous which the UN1 doesn't like, that being said Royal purple also offer 75W-90 Synthetic transmission oil which is advertised as 'backwards compatible' with GL-4 specs as it does not contain the above mentioned chemicals. I had the RP 75/90 installed in the transaxle of my M100 and it was fine, but i have never had it installed in an Esprit. If Syntrans is getting more and more difficult to find then hopefully Lotus will come out with another recommendation for a suitable alternative as they did when TAF-X became obsolete.
 

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I will call Castrol Denmark and Castrol UK and ask about the future availability of Castrol Syntrans Transaxle.
And report back here.
Cheers,
Redfox
 
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