ESM 002R Silver 17×8.5 / 17×8.5 Scion FR-S on Eibach Sportline Springs

A few weeks back we had this Scion FR-S, the DriftDR in the shop for a service that’s critical to every Scion FR-S, Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ on the road for the car’s longevity. We’ve told you before about how to fix the Notchy Shifter in the Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86, and this car is in for the very service that the fix entails. This is something we recommend for every FR-S, Toyota 86 and BRZ on the road, not because of some bs nonsense the guy at Jiffylube might tell you, but because the cars honestly and truly need this done like a Rattlesnakebite victim needs antivenom.

Scion FR-S Drift DR Shifter (3)

If you like shifting and enjoy a properly functional diff, don’t overlook changing your differential oil and transmission gear oil.

Scion FR-S Drift DR (12)

Under the hood, we found the car had been equipped with a Grimmspeed Intake for Scion FR-S to help the FA20 breathe better, but really we just wanted to take a photo of an airbox we hadn’t seen before.

Scion FR-S Drift DR (15)

We do like that this is a sealed airbox style intake and utilizes the factory cool air ductwork for a colder incoming aircharge.

Scion FR-S Drift DR (19)

Into the air we go!

Scion FR-S Drift DR (11)

Under the car we found a GReddy Supreme Exhaust for Scion FR-S, which sounded pretty good, but that’s not really what we’re here to see. Just behind the muffler can, where the system kinks to one side is the car’s rear differential, and we need to access the round drain plug you can just barely see here.
Scion FR-S Drift DR (9)

Some of the symptoms that indicate you’ll need to change your transmission oil and differential oil: Notchy, weird, difficult shifting – whatever word you’d use for “not normal operation”. This is a problem for ALL Scion FR-S, ALL Toyota 86 and ALL Subaru BRZs and has persisted through the entire production run, from the first 2012s to the fresh off the truck 2016s– doesn’t matter if you just took delivery five seconds ago and are just backing the thing off the trailer or if you’ve been on the road for years.

Here are the specific symptoms that mean your gear oil needs attention:
*First gear is clunky
*2nd feels notchy
*3rd may be difficult, especially when shifting below 3000rpm.

Fortunately the cure for the problem is both easy and pretty inexpensive.


Simply changing the differential and transmission oil will do wonders for both making shifting smoother as well as extending the life of your transmission.

We recommend using Motul 300 Gear oil for differential and transmission oil changes, as we’ve put together in this convenient differential oil change kit for Scion FR-S, Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ. Why Motul? Motul is an extremely high grade, fully synthetic oil specifically engineered for the demanding conditions of keeping race engines and gearsets lubricated.

You might be wondering “well what proof do you have the oil in the transmission and differential is the problem?” Well, just take a look at the next few photos and see for yourself.

Scion FR-S Drift DR (6)

Here’s the differential drain plug being removed.

Scion FR-S Drift DR (2)

OH MY GOD, EW. Look at how hairy that SOB is with metal shavings. It’s not pretty.

Scion FR-S Drift DR (1)

It smells like a dead whale in the shop every time we change gear oil–it’s foul smelling stuff, so it’s probably best you let us change it for you rather than choke on the smell in your own garage.

Scion FR-S Drift DR Shifter (2)
Scion FR-S Drift DR Shifter (4)
Scion FR-S Drift DR Shifter (6) ESM 002R Silver 17×8.5 / 17×8.5 Scion FR-S on Eibach Sportline Springs

Scion FR-S Drift DR Shifter (1)With the Motul in the transmission, the gearshifts already feel much smoother.

ESM 002R Silver 17×8.5 / 17×8.5 Scion FR-S on Eibach Sportline Springs

Here’s what you’ll need to do it yourself:

Tools Required
10mm Hex Key socket
10mm Socket
Torque Wrench
Fluid transfer pump if not using Motul Gear 300
Bucket or oil drain pan to catch used oil
Clean-Up Rags

Parts needed
API GL-3 or better rated fluid for the transmission (2.2L) (like Motul Gear 300 Diff & Gear Oil)
API GL-5 fluid for the differential 1.3L (like Motul Gear 300 Diff & Gear Oil)
Rear Differential Drain Crush Washer
Rear Differential Fill Crush Washer
2 Crush Washers for transmission

Here’s an excerpt from your Owner’s Manual, courtesy of FT86Club that outlines the capacities and the procedure to be factory correct.



Scion FR-S Drift DR Shifter (7)

ESM 002R Silver 17×8.5 / 17×8.5 Scion FR-S on Eibach Sportline Springs

Don’t feel like doing it yourself, or beyond your comfort level?

If you need to have your Scion FR-S Transmission Oil Changed or need your BRZ Differential Oil Changed or both for your Toyota 86, we can do that for you here if you’re in Southern California, come by our install shop, Mod Auto, where our experienced, professional staff can change your transmission and rear differential oil change for you – call us 714-582-3330 to make an appointment or click here to use our online Appointment System. Visit or email Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86 specialists at ModBargains or call us at 714-582-3330 x8004 to get more information.

Story by Nicholas Gregson

Want to read more? Check out a few of our other FR-S/BRZ/Toyota 86 related posts:
Quick Snap: Scion FR-S on Forgestar F14s
April ’14 COTM: Shutter’s Scion FR-S
Scion FR-S Gets Upgraded with Carbon Fiber Aero Parts
13 Great Exterior Mods For Scion FR-S & Subaru BRZ
6 Mods To Get The Most Out Of Your Scion FR-S / Subaru BR-Z
Quick Snap: Scion FR-S on Klutch SL5 Wheels at Sundown
Product Spotlight: Scion FR-S/BR-Z Duck Bill Style Trunk Spoiler
Full Blown Scion FR-S Turbo Kit Now Available for Installation at ModBargains
Scion FR-S GReddy High Performance Intake: Installed Photos

Quick Snap: Subaru BRZ Gets ST Coilovers & Enkei RPF1 Wheels
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