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Red Line Heavy Shockproof - again


Haagh

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I bought my first BMW – a 1999 R1100RT, 21000 km on the odometer, from a private in September 2006. It was in a tip top condition. Never been ridden in rainy weather and always placed in a warmed-up stock.

Before I bought it, I of course had a “trial run”. As I normally use earplugs, I also had them on at this time, and with wind noise from the original BMW windshield, it was also necessary. Everything seemed to function perfect, and I bought it.

Before I got it, an authorized BMW service center changed motor- and tranny oil, and because of - as they said “it’s not the quietest tranny we have heard, so we recommend Mobil 1 75W/140 + Cerasafe”. As they were “specialists” I accepted it, and afterwards I drove happy home.

Because of my height – 190 cm – I mounted an Aeroflow windshield and had my first drive without earplugs and no wind noise in the helmet– and became somewhat of a “surprise”. There came an indescribable noise up in front of the motor and back the windshield. And when I say noise, I really mean noise - a scraping noise.

The noise from the tranny was (and is still) exactly the same when the clutch is depressed.

Thanks to the contributions here, I have learned that the tranny on this model in some ways is somewhat special, and that the gearshift works better with some preloading. And as the tranny seems to function acceptable, I have in a way been tolerant to the noise, but not quite accepted it.

Reading many of the threads in autumn 2006 here in this forum I decided to change to Red Line Shockproof, and did the change last weekend. The drained tranny oil had been used for 3000 km and was clean (not silvery).

Afterwards I had a ride of 15 km. The reduction of the noise was really distinct and the gearshift still ok.

And happy was I until I saw SWB’s contribution of Fri 11 2007 (Re: Beware non-OEM spec oil!!!) where he described what has happened to his 1100RT, when he changed to Redline Heavy Shockproof in the tranny.

Was this break down a “solitary swallow” or does this happen now or then? A cost of 3.700 Dollars to a new tranny is for a coming retirement not negligible.

Before I make any new driving, I would be pleased to have some comments of what good or bad experiences you have had or still have of using Redline Shockproof 75W/250 in the tranny. I can live with a risk of destruction of the tranny if it is 1:10.000 but not 1:100.

If I afterwards should decide to change to 80/90 Gl 5 gear oil – what product has empirical the best property of noise reduction – if there at all is a difference between the products.

I hope my English is understandable.

Thanks!

 

Kurt

Denmark

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Kurt, personally I wouldn't be too concerned about using about any gear oil you feel comfortable with.. Remember most responses here are just based on a sample of one or two with no testing or long term scientific evaluations..

 

I have been using Red Line Heavy shock proof in all the separate transmission motorcycles I have owned with no problems AT ALL.. Been using it for many years now without any problems..

 

I strain (filter) all my removed gear oil form both the trans & final drive using a fine weave coffee filter & so far nothing has showed any signs of metal particles.. I also run a cloth covered magnet through the oil & nothing there either..

 

That Heavy Shock proof does indeed improve shifting & lower gear sound slightly (subjective evaluation on my part)..

 

I ride all weather (down to below 0°f) so if was going to cause a cold shifting problem it would have showed up by now..

 

I don’t recommend using it in final drive though as it can spit out the vent in cold weather at high speeds (my guess here is it is thick enough when cold to carry up the ring gear & pack up in the vent area then get spit out the vent)..

 

If you look in the archives of this or any other BMW web site I doubt you find many that have a documented problem with that Heavy Shock Proof..

 

Twisty

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Most people who use Redline Shockproof Heavy like it. The only negatives I've heard were from people who don't like "designer" oil in general, i.e. who feel that any GL5 rated oil is about the same. I'm the only one I know of who had a rather decisively bad personal experience with Redline, and I can't swear that the damage wasn't caused by a pre-existing condition, though as I said, the oil coming out before the Redline went in looked clean.

 

Jamie (i.e. KMG_365) has pointed out that BMW certifies viscosities from 90 weight, through 75-140. The factory manual I have just says "Brand name SAE 90 hypoid gear oil, API Class GL5". It says nothing about 75W140, but I've seen 75W140 at dealerships as well.

 

Tom Cutter rebuilt my transmission, and he has a pretty good reputation. I asked if 75W250 was the right way to go. He replied that the "splash effect" is a major part of the way a transmission gets lubricated, that higher viscosity doesn't necessarily equate to better protection. But then, he's just another good mechanic, and we've for more than a few of those guys stalking this forum.

 

I took my spin with Redline, and ended up with problems shortly thereafter. But I'm the exception, not the rule. However, after paying a small fortune (not $3700, but well over $1000) to have my transmission rebuilt over a three month period, and having my bike out of service for now 6 months, I'm not going to take another turn in the lottery. I'm just not that great an engineer that I can tell anyone that a heavier viscosity tranmission oil is going to provide the same level of protection that the BMW engineers planned using SAE 90.

 

I figure that BMW has as much an interest as anyone in providing a smooth-shifting, quiet transmission. If 75W250 Redline oil was the holy grail for Getrag transmissions, I'd expect BMW to be sending every customer a couple of bottles ASAP. BMW still recommends GL-5 HYpoid SAE90, so this time, I'm listening to them.

 

Good luck with your ride!

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SWB, I revisited your original posting on your trans failure so got another look at the failure time disassembly pictures..

 

I’m having a difficult time seeing how Red Line Shock Proof (or any gear oil for that matter) caused only one gear set in the trans to fail.. Assuming you rode the entire 800 miles in that one particular gear (not likely as it is one of the lower gears) that failure mode looks to be either spalling or severe pitting (neither is a common failure function or low quality or incorrect quality gear oil, or an inadequate additive package.. I see very little evidence of surface scoring or plastic flow on the other gear teeth (a sure sign of inadequate lubrication protection).. Spalling or other gross pitting problems are usually a function of poor gear heat treat, overloading of the gear set , corrosion, or continuous hammering on the gear teeth (my guess is the latter if that 2 cylinder bike was lugged around in that gear for extended periods during police usage)

 

The thing that is really difficult to understand is why very little wear on the other gear sets or shift forks? You would think that any gear oil induced failure would be more prevalent on the most used gear sets during that 800 miles of riding.. Usually a lack of GL-5 protection shows up on the helical gears first as that type of gearing needs much more EP protection..

 

On the other hand that was a used police bike & IF it was used as a training vehicle probably spent most of it’s life lugging around in that failed gear position or was continually shifted into & out of that gear set..

 

I have seen a lot of failed transmissions, rear axles, & other gear train devices in my life & that failure you had sure doesn’t look lubrication related..

 

Twisty

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SWB, I revisited your original posting on your trans failure so got another look at the failure time disassembly pictures..

 

I’m having a difficult time seeing how Red Line Shock Proof (or any gear oil for that matter) caused only one gear set in the trans to fail.. Assuming you rode the entire 800 miles in that one particular gear (not likely as it is one of the lower gears) that failure mode looks to be either spalling or severe pitting (neither is a common failure function or low quality or incorrect quality gear oil, or an inadequate additive package.. I see very little evidence of surface scoring or plastic flow on the other gear teeth (a sure sign of inadequate lubrication protection).. Spalling or other gross pitting problems are usually a function of poor gear heat treat, overloading of the gear set , corrosion, or continuous hammering on the gear teeth (my guess is the latter if that 2 cylinder bike was lugged around in that gear for extended periods during police usage)

 

The thing that is really difficult to understand is why very little wear on the other gear sets or shift forks? You would think that any gear oil induced failure would be more prevalent on the most used gear sets during that 800 miles of riding.. Usually a lack of GL-5 protection shows up on the helical gears first as that type of gearing needs much more EP protection..

 

On the other hand that was a used police bike & IF it was used as a training vehicle probably spent most of it’s life lugging around in that failed gear position or was continually shifted into & out of that gear set..

 

I have seen a lot of failed transmissions, rear axles, & other gear train devices in my life & that failure you had sure doesn’t look lubrication related..

 

Twisty

 

It could have been the Tustin PD (Orange County, CA) training bike. The more riders a bike has, the more likely you'll have power train problems (in my experience).

 

Redline Shockproof heavy is not a GL-5 rated oil. I asked Redline about this, and their tech. responded (paraphased) that "GL-5 is an outdated spec; we feel Redline SPH is superior to GL-5 gear oils."

 

Don't know what caused the problem. Bought it at 50K mi, rode it to about 57.2K mi, changed the transmission oil and found nothing significant on the plug. Put RL SPH in the tranny, and then at 57,800 mi, chunks and flakes were coming out on the magnetic plug.

 

POooOf.. anything could have been the cause. Maybe it was just my turn. grin.gif

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SWB, you are correct in that Red Line HD Shock Proof doesn’t carry a GL-5 rating.. Not sure why they never had it rated as it sure works good in extreme pressure applications.. I ran that very gear oil all my high horsepower racing trucks for years & while I did fail more than a few rear drive sets it wasn’t gear oil related.. (Unless twisted off axles or snapped off gear teeth can somehow be blamed on the oil type)

 

On the same note here I’m also not sure why BMW even specs out a GL-5 gear oil for their transmissions.. The GL-5 rating is mainly the EP rating (extreme pressure) & a straight cut gear system doesn’t give a hoot about EP protection.. It’s mainly the final drive with the Hypoid Gears that needs the GL-5 protection.. Most all other motorcycles (even the high horsepower ones) don’t require a GL-5 trans fluid.. Heck most other bike transmissions just use engine oil as the trans lubricant.. Even most modern cars & trucks don’t spec out GL-5 for the manual transmissions & most of those are full of helical gear sets..

 

If your bike was in fact a police training bike I think you have isolated the best reason that particular gear has pitted teeth (2-cylinders + lugging engine + most riding in that gear = a severe tooth surface beating)..

 

Twisty

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Jamie (i.e. KMG_365) has pointed out that BMW certifies viscosities from 90 weight, through 75-140. The factory manual I have just says "Brand name SAE 90 hypoid gear oil, API Class GL5". It says nothing about 75W140, but I've seen 75W140 at dealerships as well.
Just to clarify, I didn't say anything about what BMW certifies (I think that was another poster in that thread, Stan, maybe?), I just posted the "non-scientific" experiences I've had with Red-line in two R1150RT's for over 200,000 miles. wink.gif
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Stan Walker

Just to clarify, I didn't say anything about what BMW certifies (I think that was another poster in that thread, Stan, maybe?)

 

I didn't mind your getting all the credit...... smile.gif

I quoted from the BMW service manual for the R1150RT.

 

Stan

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To Twisty1, SWB and KMG_365 too, thank you for a very fine respond of my questions of using Red Line Heavy Shock proof in the trans.

I have decided to let the RL stay there and enjoy the much quieter driving – and may be - bit by bit cross my fingers.

 

Kurt

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