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Thread: Final Drive Viscosity?

  1. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by TR250Tom View Post
    Paul, I just read that bulletin today, and there is no mention of viscosity anywhere on it. Were there two dealing with the same subject?

    Tom
    It is my understanding - and there is so much confusion from the various dealers - that the specific Castrol product is a 75w90 synthetic oil. It is also my understanding that the Castrol product mentioned is European (Castrol is owned by BP) and not what comes in the BMW bottles in North America.

    But - I've been told so many different versions by different folks I ought to give up. I don't have a new style drive. I use dino oil. I would use 75w90 synthetic from the BMW bottle in a new drive if I had a bike with a new style drive, assuming my dealership happened to be one that actually carried the stuff. Amsoil fans can use Amsoil. Mobil 1 fans can use Mobil 1. The thicker-is-better folks can use 75w140.
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  2. #47
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR250Tom View Post
    Paul, I just read that bulletin today, and there is no mention of viscosity anywhere on it. Were there two dealing with the same subject?

    Tom
    No. There was only one bulletin. I just reread it. I apologize for saying it did recommend viscosity. Castrol 75W90 synth was the viscosity that BMW specified for the "lifetime fill" and I must have thought later that I had read it in the bulletin as well.
    Sorry for my mistake.
    It is my understanding though that synth 75W90 is the recommended viscosity from the latest repair manuals for those drives. I did read that. Just checked again.
    Last edited by cjack; 10-17-2007 at 05:28 AM.
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  3. #48
    Registered User TomR1200's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies,

    Just to muddy the waters further, I gave the dealer the part number for the BMW synth 75W-90, and it wasn't in their normal parts system. The service department guy went to the parts department, and they found it in the BMW master parts catalog ("etka?") as a Europe-only part. They said they could special order it, and it would take 2 weeks. The only BMW synthetic gear oil that this large, famous BMW-only east coast dealership had ever seen was the 75W-140.

    Paul, I like your summation of the situation. I'll probably keep using BMW 75W-140 in my transmission, because it shifts nicely with it. I'll switch to RedLine 75W-90NS in the final drive "someday", but now that I've had the initial FD service, I don't feel it's an urgent matter.

    I don't want to start one of those dorky synthetic oil threads full of laymen discussing esoterica that no one fully understands, but there's an interesting comparison here that shows the properties of RedLine brand 75W-90NS and 75W-140NS. They have similar pour points, but by 40 degrees C the -140 has nearly twice the viscosity of the -90. I like this more than the data sheet for the Castrol SAF-XO here because it's an apples-to-apples comparison of two varieties from the same manufacturer.

    But, I think I agree with Paul that we all have opinions and can use whatever we want in our bikes, and I prefer to use something close to what the engineers specified. BMW specifies Castrol but sells rebranded Golden Spectro, so I think I won't be too far off if I use RedLine 75W-90NS.

    Cheers, Tom

  4. #49
    Registered User AntonLargiader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR250Tom View Post
    Just to muddy the waters further, I gave the dealer the part number for the BMW synth 75W-90, and it wasn't in their normal parts system. The service department guy went to the parts department, and they found it in the BMW master parts catalog ("etka?") as a Europe-only part. They said they could special order it, and it would take 2 weeks. The only BMW synthetic gear oil that this large, famous BMW-only east coast dealership had ever seen was the 75W-140.
    That's nuts. The BMW 75W90 Synth is readily available. I buy it by the case, and I live in the same state as you do. The "Sold by BMW of North America" wording on the label convinces me that it isn't specially ordered. Are you sure the dealer wasn't trying to get you SAF-XO?
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  5. #50
    Registered User TomR1200's Avatar
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    Anton,

    I gave him the part number from the RealOem page that was linked earlier in this thread here: 33117695240. I also overheard the conversation with the parts rep, who stated "BMW doesn't make a 75W-90 synthetic." None of the three service writers had ever seen a bottle either. I went to look at the lubricants and cleaners on display in the showroom, and there was no 75W-90 of any kind. The only gear oils I recall seeing were BMW 80W-90 Dino and BMW 75W-140 Synthetic.

    I was in no position to argue the point, since I had already made a fool of myself by stating that the service bulletin for 600-mile final drive service specified 75W-90, when in fact it does not.

    BTW, I was in a neighboring state. (wink)

    Cheers, Tom
    Last edited by TR250Tom; 10-17-2007 at 01:55 PM.

  6. #51
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR250Tom View Post
    Anton,

    I gave him the part number from the RealOem page that was linked earlier in this thread here: 33117695240. I also overheard the conversation with the parts rep, who stated "BMW doesn't make a 75W-90 synthetic." None of the three service writers had ever seen a bottle either. I went to look at the lubricants and cleaners on display in the showroom, and there was no 75W-90 of any kind. The only gear oils I recall seeing were BMW 80W-90 Dino and BMW 75W-140 Synthetic.

    I was in no position to argue the point, since I had already made a fool of myself by stating that the service bulletin for 600-mile final drive service specified 75W-90, when in fact it does not.

    BTW, I was in a neighboring state. (wink)

    Cheers, Tom
    BMWNA's synth 75W90 is part #07 51 0 394 082. They have 2148 of these bottles at the parts depots at BMWNA. The parts fiche has part #s for fluids, greases, and glues, but with few exceptions, they do not import any of these into the USA.
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  7. #52
    Registered User soffiler's Avatar
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    So is it possible to confirm as fact that 33117695240 is Castrol SAF-XO?
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  8. #53
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Hmmmmmm
    I bought some maintenance-supplies for the GS, and the parts-guy handed my a bottle of gear-oil and said it was for the final drive...just looked in the garage and it is BMW (made by Spectro according to the small-print) full-synth 75W140. TO be honest, I hadn't looked very closely at the label before, even when I changed the oil in the drive. This oil is red in colour and has slightly sulfury-odour, but not as strongly as old-fashioned hypoid-oil.
    I've read all this discussion with curiosity, but I am not worried.
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  9. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    Hmmmmmm
    I bought some maintenance-supplies for the GS, and the parts-guy handed my a bottle of gear-oil and said it was for the final drive...just looked in the garage and it is BMW (made by Spectro according to the small-print) full-synth 75W140. TO be honest, I hadn't looked very closely at the label before, even when I changed the oil in the drive. This oil is red in colour and has slightly sulfury-odour, but not as strongly as old-fashioned hypoid-oil.
    I've read all this discussion with curiosity, but I am not worried.
    Yeah! See why I give up! BMWNA has not supplied coherent information to their dealership network. They sell a 75w90 synthetic half the dealers never heard of. They send out a service bulletin referencing a barely available European oil.

    Among the dozen or so staffers in "motorcycles" in New Jersey nobody seems to know anything about maintaining current models, and everything about gray paint, white paint, and garment racks. They aren't HD and it won't work.

    Meanshile, final drives fail - even the new design which should have cured any problems with the old design.

    What a debacle. It really is no wonder I personally know a couple of dozen formerly faithful BMW riders who have bailed as fast as they could to other brands.
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  10. #55
    Registered User marcopolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soffiler View Post
    So is it possible to confirm as fact that 33117695240 is Castrol SAF-XO?

    Don't know, but if you punch that p/n into Max BMW's online parts fiche, you get the following description: "QT 75W90 SYN GEAR OIL GL5". The price is $16.80

    This is the p/n and description on my July 07 invoice from Brown Motor Works when they changed my FD fluid.

    Obviously this stuff's available; whether it's Castrol I don't know as I didn't see the container. As I mentioned in an earlier post, when my local independent tech changed my FD fluid last fall he definitely used Castrol, as I examined the bottle it came from.

    I got this description from a Castrol UK price list: "SAF-XO 1 litre 75w/90 synthetic gear oil. BMW approved 17.99".
    Mark
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  11. #56
    Registered User TomR1200's Avatar
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    No luck

    I went to order a quart at MaxBMW's web site, but I got "N/A".

    "The Part #33117695240 was not found"

    http://www.maxbmwmotorcycles.com/fic...p?mospid=49569

    Cheers, Tom

  12. #57
    Registered User GSWayne's Avatar
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    I did order some of the 75W90 from Max's yesterday with the . . . 082 part number and they had it in stock.

  13. #58
    Registered User TomR1200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBWayne View Post
    I did order some of the 75W90 from Max's yesterday with the . . . 082 part number and they had it in stock.
    Yeah, I did the same thing 15 minutes ago. That's the part number for the North America/Spectro/BMW brand 75W-90 gear oil. We were wondering if the other part number, which begins with "33...", would correspond to Castrol SAF-XO, which is the factory fill according to the BMW service manual CD.

    Cheers, Tom

  14. #59
    Registered User BernieEcht's Avatar
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    Maybe we should order it from Germany. I am sure there is a similar oil available in this country. And I am sure that if BMW sells there 75W90 for these bikes, it should satisfy the requirements.
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  15. #60
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR250Tom View Post
    Yeah, I did the same thing 15 minutes ago. That's the part number for the North America/Spectro/BMW brand 75W-90 gear oil. We were wondering if the other part number, which begins with "33...", would correspond to Castrol SAF-XO, which is the factory fill according to the BMW service manual CD.

    Cheers, Tom
    BMW has a deal with Castrol so I'm guessing that if they have an oil in the parts fiche, that it would be the elusive Castrol. I don't know what it takes to get some.
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