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3 speed auto trans -- words to the wise
Due to some recent converstaions off-list with some owners of 3 speed auto
trans cars, I thought I'd bring this reminder up.
These cars have tranny problems because of the final drive. Due to the way
the final drive was sealed the gear lube "goes away". It appears that Team
Door Handle was part of the design team and access to the final was considered
unnecessary. No drain plug is built into the housing. There is a single
opening that can be used for pumping old stuff out and putting new stuff in.
But it order to gain access you must remove a three-bolt mounting bracket.
Audi declared that the problem has been resolved by the use of synthetic
lubricant in the final drive. Either someone forgot to put the synthetic in
the final drive of our 1988 5KS (Audi says this recall was done, but there is
no evidence) or else the sysn lube is no better than the other. We're having
the bearings replaced in the final drive and the tranny rebuilt at the moment.
(BTW, the f.d. gears were OK. Bearings were going down and the housing was
cracked from the stress. Plus the converter was cooked from the heat and the
first/reverse clutch pack was toasted.)
So, those of us who have 3 speed trannies that do not want to go through the
pain/expense of the replacement will need to disregaurd Audi's "infinite
wisdom" and change the final drive lube on a scheduled basis. I think we're
going to go with Red Line and a 25K change frequency. Just for good measure
we'll change the trans filter/ fluid at the same time. We'll let you know in
about 100K miles if that works.