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I thought I better post this as it is extremely worrying to say the least!!!!

I have just been discussing the current gearbox bearing problem with Paul Curran (GSRed, my transmission expert ;)) and we have come to a very worrying conclusion! Please read this and take note as it will effect pretty much every Evo owner out there and especially those who get their car serviced by Ralliart approved dealers (instead of doing it themselves).

Just to recap briefly on the gearbox bearing problem
It seems to be a growing problem with the Evo 4-6 that the gearbox bearings wear out prematurely. I know of at least 4 or 5 people who have had this problem fixed at my local Ralliart approved Mitusbishi dealer so nationwide there must be a lot more. It seems that the bearings wear out from anywhere between 15,000 to 25,000 miles but it has been known to happen earlier. I had put this down to a possible manufacturing fault or poor design (still might be) however something else came to light today when Paul and I were discussing it.

I was checking back through my records and I came across the Ralliart service sheet (the tickbox thing). On it they obviously list the various servicing points (4,500 miles, 9,000 miles etc.) and what they check or change. I was looking for when they change the gearbox oil. I couldn't believe when I saw they only change the gearbox oil at 45,000 miles! YES 45,000 miles! On such a high performance car as the Evo this is absolutely ridiculous! (even to my uneducated mind). Paul couldn't believe the interval either and after we exchanged quite a few expletives he went on to explain he changes his own gearbox oil every 12k miles which to me is entirely sensible. For some reason I thought Ralliart recommended every 18,000 miles but obviously this is not the case, I thought mine had been changed by my dealer but obviously it hadn't as it wasn't scheduled! Paul also said that even Mercedes quote a 35,000 mile gearbox oil change interval for their cars but recommend shorter intervals for sportier driving! I have had a quick check round and some Motorsport outfits change the Evo gearbox oil every 4,500 miles!

I just thought I better let everyone know that the standard interval Ralliart recommended for changing the gearbox oil (and diffs) is entirely inadequate unless, as Paul put it so well, you drive like a complete granny!
We both recommend a 9000 mile or 13,500 mile interval would be more appropriate (18,000 miles seems too much given the bearing problems).
Make sure your Gearbox oil is changed at the intervals we have suggested and you will hopefully never have the bearing problem. If you do trackdays then even consider changing the oil after each event! For the sake of £30 and 10 minutes of your time it is worth it. I did mine recently and you don't even really need to jack the car up, it also improved the gear change quite noticeably!

Just for information Paul, a friend of his that rallies a group N Evo 6 and myself all use Castrol Syntrax Universal (Part Synthetic, meets GL3,4 and amp; 5 specs and is recommended for Japanese gearboxes). Its available from Halfords for £9.99/1 litre, the Evo 4-6 box takes 2.8 litres. I know Redline oils are also recommended by many people on here but any oil you use should be 75W-90 and of good quality make.

I know this is probably old news to people who service their cars themselves or get it done by decent Motorsports outfits but to everybody else who are stuck with Ralliart approved dealerships then you definitely don't want to wait to 45,000 miles to change your gearbox oil!

Thanks for listening and believe me this is important if you don't want early gearbox failure!

Thanks goes to Paul (GSRed) for his help

Discussion Starter · #3 ·

After you changed your gearbox oil, in what condition was the old oil? Did it have any visible signs of deterioration?


Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you can find it in the UK I reccomend you try Motul oil for engine, gearbox and diffs. Its the most popular brand in Japan for perforamnce cars and it is ester based(...the first to add ester to its oils years everybody is begining to copy them)
45k miles 4 gearbox intervals is rediculous

Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi All

I posted a warning about this back in January, my gearbox oil was completely Shot ( brown water ) would be a better description. This I am sure led to my g/box failure, M.A.D. rebuilt the box with all new bits and put in Castrol Syntrax oil. It now has a better/smoother change and no probs so far.

So I reckon it's well worth getting the oil changed more regular than they specify, g/boxes ain't cheap :(

Rgds Kevin A

Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Anyone ever feel the heat of their gearbox after a run??, Too hot to handle!.
As Colin pointed out Gearbox oil as well as engine oil should be changed after any track day. Also everyone knows what kind of treatment their own car gets and they should use their own judgement as to when they change the oil. These gearboxes have alot of strain on them but ARE built to take the power and workload as long as it has good oil condition with no contamination or breakdown. This is where a 45k service interval is crazy for these cars (a Micra has a 35k interval!!).
So anyone who is in doubt as to when their gearbox oil was changed, get it changed now with a good quality oil!
But don't think these cars are too sensitive as the scooby boxes $hit themselves no matter how often you change the oil, which is down to not being up to the job!. Any Rally guy will tell you that the Evo has a bullit-proof gearbox, But they would as they change the oil after every event:D.


p.s So much for your last general posting Colin ;):D

Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nice 1 Col , I spotted that 45 k change interval , decided they had the decimal point in the wrong place and change it every 6k (Redline of course !)
Wasn't aware tho that it was actually suspected of causing premature failure.........gulp :(
Glad I service my own , and just a reminder , any1 in the Brum area or doesn't mind making the journey here , I can service yrs 2 with the attention it deserves.

Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Also please note that the reduced change points also apply to the transfer box oil and the rear diff oil which are also supposedly only changed at 45k miles as well. They probably do not need to be changed as often as the gearbox oil but certainly 45k miles is still too long! 18k miles sounds sensible but the amounts involved are very small (0.62 litres for the Transfer box, not sure on the rear diff but not much) so shorter intervals will not hurt and won't cost much. Make sure you use a suitable GL5 rated Hypoid gear oil if you plan to do it yourself.

I must have missed your posting, have you got a link you can stick on here? What mileage did your gearbox fail and what was the problem?
It just goes to show that the FAQ's will be very worthwhile so people don't miss important info like yours.

In a word yes! My gearbox oil was dirty after 23k miles although viscosity was OK. As I said before for some reason I assumed the oil had been changed but checking back it hadn't been done. Obviously if it is not scheduled to be changed until 45k miles then they probably wouldn't have done it. The gearbox is supposed to be CHECKED at 9000 mile service intervals (according to the Ralliart check sheet) for 'oil level' HOWEVER the WSM also says the oil should not be 'noticeably dirty, and that it has a suitable viscosity' but I wonder if they check for this if its not specifically mentioned on the check list? The fact that the check list says check the 'oil level' and not the condition is a bit suspect! I think instead you should CHANGE the oil at 9000 miles instead of checking it.

Yes we have Motul over here but it is not as widely available as some of the other makes, I think Demon Tweaks stock it, I have also heard it is good. I know Evoboy and some others recommend Redline oils. Does anyone use Millers? I have heard they are good as well. They certainly had a good reputation on the classic car scene if a little expensive. Castrol Syntrax Universal which is suitable is readily available from Halfords and many other motor factors as mentioned before.

Very wise words indeed. Thanks for your input into all of this. Anyone who can convert a 4 wheel drive Evo into a Rear Wheel drive one knows their onions in my book! Also thanks for all your help over the past year or so. If anyone else out there wants to know about Evo transmissions or transmissions in general then Pauls your man!
I thought I wasn't going to post much either :) but this was too important not to, shame it is about a problem with Evo's again :(



Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Of course there is no proof or evidence that premature failure of the bearings or the other parts of the gearbox can be put down to the lack of gearbox oil changes however given the high stresses involved in the box I would say 45k miles for a change interval is stupid and I know you agree.
In theroy the gearbox oil is CHECKED every 9000 miles and therefore if there are signs of deterioration then it should be changed. Would anyone like to put money on whether all garages do this though?
Get them to change it at 9000 miles or do it yourself and you will know its been done (or get someone trusted to do it for you like Evoboy) and hopefully the problems won't appear.

Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have been reading the owners manual that came with my 7 and it makes interesting reading. It states that the transmision oil should be inspected every 12,000 miles and changed at 24K. It also implies that for cars that get severe usage , the oil should be replaced every 12,000.

On the check list, do they suggest checking the gearbox oil? If not, I totally agree that it is plain crazy. If they do recommend checking it, I always believe that should include a look at the condition of the oil. I know we are not petrolium engineers, but I think most people servicing a car should be able to make an inteligent assumtion about the oil condition. Never the less, 45,000 miles is totally crazy. Thanks for pointing it out.

Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The check sheet that Ralliart provide for the E6 (1999 on) says to 'check the gearbox oil level' at 9000 miles and to change it at 45,000 miles. Logically anyone with a bit of sense would check the condition of the oil when they were checking the level. In an ideal world I would expect this to be done but I have never known a main dealer garage (of any manufacturer) to do anything logically (or come to that thoroughly) when servicing cars.
All I can say is that the majority of people I have spoken to about this recommend changing the gearbox oil from 4,500 miles up to a maximum of 12,000 miles intervals and this is for ALL Evo's (1-7) and the 1800GSR. I suggested 9,000 miles as a happy medium. If you do trackdays then change the gearbox oil (and engine oil) after the event.
Suffice to say with people spending upwards of £30k-40k on Evo's then spending an extra £30 every 9,000 miles for piece of mind is nothing. My major concern is with people who don't know any better and are trusting their cars are being serviced responsibly by dealers. Personally I only trust them as far as I can throw 'em and that ain't far ;)

Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Worrying !
That ain't half of it.
Where does it say on the Ralliart service sheet to change the gearbox oil?
45,000 miles is:
33. Replace Timing Belt A and Timing Belt B.
34. Replace Spark plugs.
35. Replace fuel filter.
36. Check secondary air system hoses for leaks.
37. Check crankcase control system/pipes.
38. Check fuel pipes for damage/security.

That's it...
Nowhere does it say to change the gearbox oil.
9,000 miles is:
21. Check gearbox oil level.

About time to do a few phone calls me thinks.
I've got the sheet of the Ralliart Lancer Evo VI Maintenance program if anyone wants a copy.

On all my sheets (Lancer Evo VI 1999 onwards) its item number 39 under 45,000 miles and I quote from the sheet:

39 Replace Gearbox, Transfer and Rear Diff oil.

I have checked the Ralliart Schedule Sheet on Service Evo VI.pdf and it is different to mine (sorry yahoo was down when I went to look at yours but I suspect it is exactly the same as Jerry's). I do not know where your version came from originally but it is not the same one as the 2 different Ralliart approved dealers used with my Evo VI. Your sheet and mine both quote Evo VI 1999 onwards but there are a couple of discepancies between them.
On my sheet the Spark Plugs are replaced at 18,000 miles and not at 45,000 miles as quoted on yours (item 33 on my sheet, item 34 on yours) and item 39 is as mentioned above on mine but is missing from yours. Apart from that and a different layout they have identical content.
Was the sheet you are quoting obtained from a Ralliart approved dealer? If so then there are 2 versions floating about.

Whats all this about changing my name? Why would I do that? The only reason I would change my name is if I had sold my car as Heave Ho 6 without an Evo is a bit pointless ;).
I still stand by what I have said in my other post, I haven't 'returned', nothing has changed. A worrying situation came to light and I thought I would let other Evo owners know. I would do the same again if a similar situation crops up.

Discussion Starter · #16 ·
In both the 5 and 6 manuals the recommended replacement interval for the gearbox oil is is 40,000 km 0r 24,000 miles.
I have undercut this and changed my e6 gearbox oil every 20,000 miles, using Castrol SMX.
If the factory stuff has been left in for long periods I am not surprised that there have been premature failures , since the oil that is put in when it leaves the factory is very thin.

The SMX immediately improved the shifts and the box has now done almost 54,000 miles

Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You guessed correctly, my sheet is the same as the pdf on Jerry Flints site.
Could you post your sheet somewhere, or perhaps email a scan to me please.

Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I guess just as worrying is that it would appear that the check sheet does not agree with the manual. What else doesn't add up?

Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi guys, quick question? How would i know that the bearings are starting to go on the gearbox? Im asking this because i can hear a whinning sound, which gets louder and more high pitched as my speed increases? Good thing my cars goin in for a service in the morning, i tell the garage i want the gearbox oil changed.



Mr Mime,
Are you talking about the Workshop manuals? On what page does it say when to change the oil? I have checked through my Workshop manuals serveral times before and it never mentions service intervals.
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