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Thread: Final Drive Viscosity?

  1. #61
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjack View Post
    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.
    Actually - I do. I found a lubricants dealer in the UK who was willing to sell me some - 18 UK Pounds - which is about $36, but it also had a 20 UKP shipping charge - making the total cost something over $70. That seemed too high to me so I bailed on buying it.

    If anyone can put together a group buy - with combined shipping it might be more reasonable to get to the USA.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  2. #62
    Registered User TomR1200's Avatar
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    Castrol SAF-XO

    Don,

    Here's an interesting letter from a Castrol USA rep about Castrol SAF-X, which is their 75W-140 synthetic. I got it from a Toyota MR2 list. It's 9 years old, so take it with a grain of sodium chloride (though if your local BMW dealer sells potassium chloride, you can use that.)

    Personally, I think any 75W-90 synthetic that is NOT designed for limited-slip differentials would be OK, based on what I see in writing in the service manual. I was going to use RedLine 75W-90NS, but I wound up ordering BMW brand (Spectro in North America, not Castrol) 75W-90. This is available at half the USA BMW dealerships, while the other half strenuously deny it exists.

    From: Webmaster CastrolAuto [mailto:webmaster.castrolauto@castrolna.com]

    Sent: Wednesday, November 04, 1998 2:30 PM
    Subject: SAF-XO/SAF-XLS/SAF-X


    Thank you for your inquiries. Castrol SAF-X is an SAE 75W-140 synthetic
    gear
    oil that meets the API GL-5 performance level, Castrol SAF-XO and SAF-XLS
    are
    fully synthetic extreme pressure SAE 75W-90 gear oils that also meet the API
    GL-5. These products are only available in Europe.

    May we recommend a comparable US product , Castrol SYNTEC Full Synthetic
    Gear
    Oil, SAE 75W-90 formula API GL-5 performance level that exceeds the service
    fill requirements of conventional and limited slip differentials and is an
    excellent choice for your Toyota MR2 5 speed based upon your manufacturer's
    recommendations. May we also recommend Castrol Hypoy C 80W-90, Castrol
    Hypoy C
    85W-90, Castrol Hypoy C 85W-140 or Castrol Hypoy C 75W-90, GL-5 performance
    level conventional gear oils.

    As you requested, we have sent via mail gear oil literature for your
    perusal.

    We appreciate your continued interest and patronage. Please let us know if
    we
    can be of further assistance.



    Lee W. Baldwin

  3. #63
    Registered User soffiler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR250Tom View Post
    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
    Tom:

    I also tried to pull it up on Max's system upon reading marcopolo's post a couple days ago. I cut and pasted the ...240 part number and got the "...not found..." message as well. Double-checked the number for accuracy, then quit. Well, I just went in and tried again. Same thing. This time, I also tried it another way. I went in thru the fiche, called up R1200GS, then the "Rear Axle Drive" diagram where you find:

    #17 33117695240 final-drive gear oil (75W-90, 1L) NA 1

    Yup, it's not available. Marcopolo... what gives?

    Edit: more detail. I had the outer seal on my FD start weeping this past August, and it was repaired under warranty by Max BMW (NH store) in early September. I just remembered that I printed off all the fiche info related to the rear drive at that time, under the notion that it might help to have the diagrams on paper in front of me while talking to Ron (service advisor) over the phone. I kept that printout. It agrees with what I posted above. The ...240 oil was listed as NA as far back as mid-August, so this isn't something that changed overnight since marcopolo posted. I am really confused.

    Finally, my service invoice shows:

    "Installed 07 51 0 395 257.1 : (0.1 QT) 75W140 SYN GE Qty: 3"

    Just checked that number and it's good. 1/10 quart, $1.68 each. Remove the .1 from the part number and there it is, one quart for $16.80.

    The mystery thickens. To about 140 weight, I'd say (sorry couldn't help that).
    Last edited by soffiler; 10-19-2007 at 03:26 PM. Reason: add info
    Steve O. - MOA #122171
    '05 R12GS, '76 CB200 (wife's)
    '91 K100RS, '87 Honda CBR1000 Hurricane, '84 Yamaha FJ1100, '85 Honda VF500F, '76 Yamaha RD400, '82 Honda XL500... and more

  4. #64
    Registered User marcopolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soffiler View Post
    Tom:

    I also tried to pull it up on Max's system upon reading marcopolo's post. I cut and pasted the ...240 part number and got the "...not found..." message as well. Thinking maybe Max's system had a glitch, I quit for the time being. Well, I just went in and tried again. Same thing. This time, I tried it another way. I went in thru the fiche, called up R1200GS, then the "Rear Axle Drive" diagram where you find:

    #17 33117695240 final-drive gear oil (75W-90, 1L) NA 1

    Yup, it's not available. Marcopolo... what gives?
    No idea. I found it there (Max's site) a couple of days ago, but I just tried again and got the same "not found" business as others did. I only punched it in originally to see if it would come back with a description, which it did a few days ago. Remember, though, that I got this p/n from my work order at Brown Motor Works (Pomona California). They changed the FD fluid on my R12RT in late July 2007. If you believe their work order, and why wouldn't you, this is the FD fluid they used.

    As an aside, my local independent BMW Master tech didn't seem to have any trouble getting Castrol SAF-XO when he changed my FD fluid in the fall of 2006. He used it because he said that's what BMW specified. I do remember that he charged me $15 for the 230 ml (he actually charged $5 per 100 ml).
    Last edited by marcopolo; 10-19-2007 at 03:31 PM.
    Mark
    2015 R 1200 GS Adventure

  5. #65
    Registered User TomR1200's Avatar
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    ...my local independent BMW Master tech didn't seem to have any trouble getting Castrol SAF-XO when he changed my FD fluid in the fall of 2006. He used it because he said that's what BMW specified.
    You've found a good tech. I'd pay him whatever he asks.

    As a last resort, I called BMW Customer Service. "Casey" put me on hold while he checked with the "tech line", then gave me the same rap; 75W-90 and 75W-140 are both acceptable, but they give the dealer "levity" (sic) to use whichever they deem appropriate for climate, usage, etc. I asked him how my dealer could have made an informed choice when they were unaware that BMW sold and specified 75W-90 for my bike, and he had no answer. I asked him to provide me some tech bulletin or any written reference to back up his claim that 75W-140 was acceptable for use in 2007 R-bike transmissions or final drives, and he said that he couldn't, and that "based on the documentation, (he) would have to support 75W-90." Now will someone tell me WTF that last statement means?

    Sorry to be anal, guys, but I've spent the last 20+ years making my living flying airplanes. Because airplanes tend to hurt people when they malfunction (sound familiar?) the maintenence is supposed to be "by the book." You use the exact lubricant that the manufacturer specified, not whatever your store happens to have on the shelf. You do not reuse expendable components, you do work at the specified intervals, you install fasteners with a torque wrench, etc. I've ridden BMWs for as long as I've been able to afford them, because I thought it was the brand that best accomodated my particular eccentricities. As soon as I opened the Riders Manual and saw that it didn't specify a type or quantity of gear lube for either the tranny or the final drive, I had a bad feeling.

    If I get any more feedback from BMWNA I'll post it, otherwise I'll stop feeding this thread. Thanks to everyone who has read this and refrained from flaming me.

    Cheers, Tom

  6. #66
    Registered User soffiler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TR250Tom View Post
    ...I asked him to provide me some tech bulletin or any written reference to back up his claim that 75W-140 was acceptable for use in 2007 R-bike transmissions or final drives, and he said that he couldn't, and that "based on the documentation, (he) would have to support 75W-90." Now will someone tell me WTF that last statement means?...
    It probably comes from the fact that the parts fiche specifically calls out 75W90.
    Steve O. - MOA #122171
    '05 R12GS, '76 CB200 (wife's)
    '91 K100RS, '87 Honda CBR1000 Hurricane, '84 Yamaha FJ1100, '85 Honda VF500F, '76 Yamaha RD400, '82 Honda XL500... and more

  7. #67
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by soffiler View Post
    It probably comes from the fact that the parts fiche specifically calls out 75W90.
    I would venture to guess this is the part he is questioning:

    Quote Originally Posted by TR250Tom View Post
    ...I asked him to provide me some tech bulletin or any written reference to back up his claim...and he said that he couldn't, and that "based on the documentation,...

  8. #68
    This whole issue has been blown out of proportion. With gear oil/hypoid drive oils, you have two choices. 1---Synthetic vs petroleum based. 2--The viscosity. You decide on #1 based on mfg recommendations. You decide on #2 based on the ambient temperature range the vehicle will be used at. Another factor would be the additive package in the oil. That varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and over time as new test/field data becomes available. You really don't have any basis for a choice here, as you don't know what is in the particular formulation and how it affects your particular vehicle.

  9. #69
    It seems to me that no matter how often or what viscosity goes in our BMWs...there is a very real cause for concern,judging by the performance of rear drive failures of late...I don,t believe there is ever or rarely a problem with the transmission...It has to be the design...All the other rear drives in Hondas...Yamahas etc. just do not give any reasons to be so anal worrying about whose and what oil is used....The bottom line is...our final drives are going to fail...maybe at 10,000 miles maybe 60,000 miles...it is a flaw that we will have to accept....All BMW has to do is admit it has a problem and copy the Japanese or now the English, way of doing things....

  10. #70
    Registered User soffiler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swall View Post
    This whole issue has been blown out of proportion. With gear oil/hypoid drive oils, you have two choices. 1---Synthetic vs petroleum based. 2--The viscosity. You decide on #1 based on mfg recommendations. You decide on #2 based on the ambient temperature range the vehicle will be used at. Another factor would be the additive package in the oil. That varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and over time as new test/field data becomes available. You really don't have any basis for a choice here, as you don't know what is in the particular formulation and how it affects your particular vehicle.
    The issue has evolved from which oil to use, to a frustration with BMW over conflicting and inconsistent information. That frustration is NOT blown out of proportion, in my humble opinion.
    Steve O. - MOA #122171
    '05 R12GS, '76 CB200 (wife's)
    '91 K100RS, '87 Honda CBR1000 Hurricane, '84 Yamaha FJ1100, '85 Honda VF500F, '76 Yamaha RD400, '82 Honda XL500... and more

  11. #71
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    Just amazing a major vehicle manufacturer can not tell you what lubricant to use with any degree of certainty.


    Quote Originally Posted by soffiler View Post
    The issue has evolved from which oil to use, to a frustration with BMW over conflicting and inconsistent information. That frustration is NOT blown out of proportion, in my humble opinion.

  12. #72
    Registered User marcopolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWF View Post
    Just amazing a major vehicle manufacturer can not tell you what lubricant to use with any degree of certainty.
    I think we may be confusing what BMW (the manufacturer) is saying with what a distributor (BMW in the US) is saying. It would seem from all the posts here, and elsewhere, that BMW -- the manufacturer -- is saying consistently in writing (in the parts fiche and in the hexhead repair manuals) to use 75W90 synthetic. BMW US has marketed a 75W140 gear oil, and some dealers have said yeah go ahead and use that too, as has some guy on the phone from BMW US. Why not just use what BMW the manufacturer says, i.e., 75W90 synthetic?

    I've not heard of any dealer here in Canada saying to use anything but 75W90 synthetic (not that I've done an exhaustive survey). It also seems that we here have no trouble getting the Castrol SAF-XO product, unlike in the US.
    Mark
    2015 R 1200 GS Adventure

  13. #73
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    What is the BMW labeled 75W140 for?

    Quote Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
    I think we may be confusing what BMW (the manufacturer) is saying with what a distributor (BMW in the US) is saying. It would seem from all the posts here, and elsewhere, that BMW -- the manufacturer -- is saying consistently in writing (in the parts fiche and in the hexhead repair manuals) to use 75W90 synthetic. BMW US has marketed a 75W140 gear oil, and some dealers have said yeah go ahead and use that too, as has some guy on the phone from BMW US. Why not just use what BMW the manufacturer says, i.e., 75W90 synthetic?

    I've not heard of any dealer here in Canada saying to use anything but 75W90 synthetic (not that I've done an exhaustive survey). It also seems that we here have no trouble getting the Castrol SAF-XO product, unlike in the US.

  14. #74
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
    I think we may be confusing what BMW (the manufacturer) is saying with what a distributor (BMW in the US) is saying. It would seem from all the posts here, and elsewhere, that BMW -- the manufacturer -- is saying consistently in writing (in the parts fiche and in the hexhead repair manuals) to use 75W90 synthetic. BMW US has marketed a 75W140 gear oil, and some dealers have said yeah go ahead and use that too, as has some guy on the phone from BMW US. Why not just use what BMW the manufacturer says, i.e., 75W90 synthetic?

    I've not heard of any dealer here in Canada saying to use anything but 75W90 synthetic (not that I've done an exhaustive survey). It also seems that we here have no trouble getting the Castrol SAF-XO product, unlike in the US.
    Mark, where do you get the SAF-XO in Canada? It would probably be a tad less expensive to get it from Canada than the UK..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  15. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by DWF View Post
    What is the BMW labeled 75W140 for?
    My riders manuals for an R1150R, R1100S, and paper repair manual for an R1100RS/GS say it is OK in TRANSMISSIONS. That is what I wrote in the ON back in July. That is what I have typed here a couple of times too.

    Despite the confusion, and some people insisting that what they do/did is really OK, this is not a complicated topic.

    Nobody yet has produced a written document from BMW stating anything heavier than Xw90 is OK in final drives. Period!!!!

    Once again, use what ever you want. Its your bike. I am on record as stating I think the use of lube that is too thick is a contributing factor to final drive failures. I believed it when I wrote it in July. I believe it even more sitting here today since despite my requests both to dealers and lists nobody can find a specification that says its OK to dump the thick stuff in a final drive.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

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