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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
With 120,000 miles and an unknown maintenance history, I plan to change every fluid. Can anyone offer their experience, concerns, or helpful hints?

2007 Sky base with MANUAL TRANSMISSION
The car will be a joy rider, very rarely pushed hard if ever, so I don't desire unique ultra-high performance fluids.

- 2.4L Engine oil and filter, 5W-30. I am a believer in full synthetic. Takes 5 quarts.

- Coolant: Does the 2.4L have an engine block and/or a radiator drain plug? Fluid spec is DEX-COOL 150,000 miles or 5 years. What are the equivalent brands? Takes 9 quarts.

- Power Steering Fluid: Is there a drain plug in the steering rack? How should this system be drained and filled? Fluid spec is (GM Part No. U.S. 89021184) What are the equivalent brands? Takes roughly how much fluid?

- Manual Transmission: I assume there is a drain plug and fill plug to fill until over-flowing. Fluid spec is: (GM Part No. U.S. 89021806) Is this a gear oil? What are the equivalent brands? Takes 3 quarts.

- Rear Differential: With John WR's help, I determined my Sky Base has "Limited Slip". I assume it has a drain plug and fill plug to fill until over-flowing, just like the transmission. Fluid spec is SAE 75W-90 Synthetic Axle Lubricant, PLUS 4 ounces of Limited-Slip Axle Lubricant Additive (GM Part No. U.S. 1052358) What is this special additive?

- Brakes & Hydraulic Clutch Combo: Is there anything unique to facilitate, drain, or bleed out concerning the hydraulic clutch part of the system? Does the clutch slave cylinder have a bleeder valve? Takes DOT3 fluid.

I had previously cleaned up my windshield washer reservoir. It is perfect.
 

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For the drive axle, look for a G80 in the RPO code list. G80 indicates a limited slip differential.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For the drive axle, look for a G80 in the RPO code list. G80 indicates a limited slip differential.
Ah, I have a "Limited Slip" Differential. Thanks for that tip. I will update my original post to reflect it.

So then, what is the special fluid I have to add into the differential oil referred in the owners manual stated as follows.
"With a complete drain and refill add 4 ounces (118 ml) of Limited-Slip Axle Lubricant Additive (GM Part No. U.S. 1052358)


112848
 

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When I got my Sky I went after many of the same fluids. My recollection is there is no drain plug for the tranny. No drain plug for the ps pump. Brake fluid change is typical. Suck out what you can’t drain or???? Doing the top mounted oil filter is different the first time around. I’d put new rad hoses on with the fluid change. New serpentine belt, too.
 

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Don't forget the power steering pump belt. There are two belts.

We use a gravity feed brake bleeder tool. We changed the brake fluid in at least 10 kappa's last summer during garage day. DOT3 is rated for three years and DOT2 is rated for 2 years life. Water is death on brake fluid.

Did you change the heater hose?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Rob The Elder,

I remember you when I was working on a Solstice GXP a few years back. I greatly appreciated your assistance with tulip door hardware, specifically that little clip with the "D" hole.

I have worked on many brakes on various vehicles where I volunteer for the under-resourced in our community. I hear you about bleeding. With the system closed, I like to open the bleeder valve, then compress the cylinder to force out any jelling of fluid in the caliper, then bleed the main system. I use a pneumatic air-compressor-powered suction kit that works well when working alone.

Yes, I replaced both the power steering and alternator belts. No, I did not replace any coolant or heater hoses.

Colorado Blue Sky, I hope you are wrong about the lack of manual transmission drain and fill plugs. That does not sound right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well.........I am finally changing fluids.

Braking system is now flushed. Unfortunately the master cylinder reservoir is designed such that I can't clean it inside. I wiped out the inlet compartment and let the rest be. The hydraulic clutch works off the same system but is not serviceable.

Today I bought manual transmission oil, differential oil, dif-additive, and Power Steering fluids. My M/T and Dif are drained and ready for new, now researching what contraption to buy for pumping the fluid up into them.

I likely bought too much power steering fluid but not sure how much is needed for flushing that system. I still have to research that process. Does anyone know it or have a link to it?

Here are the fluids I bought at my local dealer.
115528

115529

I got most of this information out of my owners manual, adding the changes in part numbers.
115530
 

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The gm power steering fluid is junk, i'd go with some redline synthetic fluid instead. The stock fluid heats up quickly during a 60 second autocross session, the redline fluid fixes this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi shabby,

I learned long ago to stick with OEM special fluids where possible. At $5.07/bottle, it was also affordable.

But I appreciate your input.

I am running out to buy THIS SUCTION GUN. It seems perfect for forcing M/T and Dif fluid. It's not a continuous flow approach, but I love it's simplicity and ease of cleaning for the next fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Too late. I just returned home with the HARBOR FREIGHT SUCTION GUN. I like it for the following reasons.

  • available and affordable
  • simple design
  • easy to wipe down when changing fluids
  • large diameter hose to easily draw thick gear oil
  • draws over one pint of fluid with one pull
  • Has 5-Star reviews
If you wonder, its the same size as a conventional grease gun.
I will report back with an evaluation after I tried it.
 

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Too late. I just returned home with the HARBOR FREIGHT SUCTION GUN. I like it for the following reasons.

  • available and affordable
  • simple design
  • easy to wipe down when changing fluids
  • large diameter hose to easily draw thick gear oil
  • draws over one pint of fluid with one pull
  • Has 5-Star reviews
If you wonder, its the same size as a conventional grease gun.
I will report back with an evaluation after I tried it.
That is for removing fluids. That is why it’s called a suction gun. This is what you should get, it’s made for filling gear boxes, transfre cases and diffs.
 

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For the power steering fluid it's easier if you just disconnect the return hose from the pump, run the engine, and pour new fluid into the reservoir as you have someone slowly turn the wheel side-to-side.

As above, you'd be better with a gear oil pump to refill the gearbox and the differential.

IIRC, for the Sky with it's "self bleeding" clutch hydraulics, you can exchange the fluid in the reservoir, pump the clutch a dozen times, then exchange it again, etc. to get some fresh fluid down there. It's too bad there is no bleeder valve, because I just did the fluid in the clutch for the Saab because it was acting a little wonky and what came out was n-a-s-t-y black syrup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
For the power steering fluid it's easier if you just disconnect the return hose from the pump, run the engine, and pour new fluid into the reservoir as you have someone slowly turn the wheel side-to-side.

As above, you'd be better with a gear oil pump to refill the gearbox and the differential.

IIRC, for the Sky with it's "self bleeding" clutch hydraulics, you can exchange the fluid in the reservoir, pump the clutch a dozen times, then exchange it again, etc. to get some fresh fluid down there. It's too bad there is no bleeder valve, because I just did the fluid in the clutch for the Saab because it was acting a little wonky and what came out was n-a-s-t-y black syrup.
Thanks for the tip on the power steering. I will try that, first suck out and refill the reservoir, then maintaining the fluid level while doing as you suggest.

About the clutch, I did not realize it circulated the brake fluid. That implies it's no worse than the fluid in the reservoir. I will flush the system a second time when I dress up my brakes, removing, sandblasting, and painting the calipers some day. But that project has dropped low on my priority list given the brakes work right with adequate pad remaining.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Today I took care of the differential, manual transmission, and power steering fluids. That 17oz suction gun from Harbor Freight worked great. One fluid remains, the coolant which I will do later this season. I would do it now but my yard and house are begging for attention. Maybe I will squeak it in on a rainy day, replacing the valve cover gasket too.

I threw on a set of cheap rear brake pads, cleaned up & lubricated the rear caliper slide pins, done to buy some time given the pads had less than 1/8" remaining. The front pads look almost new so now there is no rush to pretty up the brakes. That can easily wait until next year. Also this week I installed new shocks all around.

I am waiting for my two frontal air flow parts to arrive, the large veined air duct and the low-hanging scoop that I am contemplating if I should trim higher to increase ground clearance. I will install them as soon as they get here. In the mean time, I have the temperature displayed.

I got 2 new front fenders coming and my rear bumper needs repainting so the 3 parts will be taken care of sometime this year, or so I hope. The timing on this will be in-part how busy my friend's body shop business is.

I really want to invest a lot more time driving the car instead of working on it. I have documented everything I did, everything I bought, all work done, with cost, dates, and resources, all on an excel spreadsheet. It's kind of depressing that I bought the car for $4700, then considering the cost of getting it home, plating it, titling it, paying IL sales tax, brought the initial purchase to $5,325.00. The car has earned it's name "Money Pit" because since then, I have invested an additional $6,915.25 and I am not done yet. If I ever sell the car, the buyer will get one he#@ of a deal.
 

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Maintenance done now @ 120k mark is never a bad thing here. Yes money will be spent,
time consumed, with the ever present patience factor thrown in- until when can I drive it
with confidence again? You're covering all the bases here- new bench marks for you and
the car history, safety concerns with the brakes, cosmetic concerns when body shop time
is available, suspension concerns with shock replacement for ride comfort & control at this
point for you & the car.

Coolant flush will be important with warmer weather fast approaching. Stop and go traffic,
traffic snarls, road construction delays, old coolant, old thermostat, and another thing not
to over look- is hoses & belts. Rubber degrades over time and usage. I just replaced two
old factory belts, about to replace 2 factory trans cooler lines soon. Big radiator hoses,
heater core lines, A/C compressor belt, rubber elbows, weather-strips, seals and with
parts becoming harder to obtain for us- anything old, from the factory that hasn't been
replaced- is a ticking time bomb waiting to happen on a premagrin cruise like day.

Disabled and me err my car. Part of the owner/operator big picture with any vehicle
we may own with higher mileage. Take care of it- and IT will take care of you...
hopefully not leaving you stranded on the roadside somewhere.. with a broken belt
or leaky hose per se.

Have maybe 3 runs in May with mine planned. Weather is getting better.
Spent 2 full days in the dealers and $1200 bills later- she be running good
like she had a vaccine shot done. Did a shorter test run- then a medium run
in the last few days- all's well so far. Across the state run later in May will be
the test for me and I am at half the mileage of yours is right now. Time to crank
up the Go-Pro again LAC Films back in business.

LAC
 
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