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Transmission & finale drive oil ?


Nate9k9

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This is a "cut & paste from the BMW service CD:

 

Transmission: Brand name hypoid-gear lubricant SAE 90 API GL 5

 

Final Drive: Castrol SAF-XO

 

Many folks have used 70W90 or 90W140 in the final drive. Both seem to work fine. I live in the southwest desert so went with the 90W140 synthetic and have had no problems.

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Don_Eilenberger

While people have used 90W140 in the final drive - if you're under warranty you may want to stick with something that meets the BMW specifications.

 

SAF-XO is supposed to be available at Land Rover dealers, apparently they use it in their vehicles. That's about the only place it's available in the US. It spec's out to a 75W-90 GL5 lubricant if you search it on the web. Here is the Castrol spec sheet for it: http://www.ge39.com/files/SAF_XO_SAF_XJ_B1174_96.pdf

 

There has been some speculation that rear-drive failures are higher with people using the higher viscosity oil (90W-140). No data - but I'm sticking with what BMW specified (actually using BMW 75W-90 Synthetic for it..) to avoid any warranty quibbles. There are SIB's (Service Information Bulletins) floating around on the web from BMW that specify the use of this oil in the rear drive for the 600 mile change.

 

The BMW synthetics are also good in the transmission, and again - strictly for warranty reasons (no quibbles if I had a warranty claim - and YES - I know all about Moss-Magnuson) I buy and use BMW lubricants.

 

When the bike is out of warranty I'll probably go back to using Valvoline Synthetics.

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While people have used 90W140 in the final drive - if you're under warranty you may want to stick with something that meets the BMW specifications.

 

I checked with my BMW dealer in Tucson and they recommend the 90-140 for this area so I don't expect any warranty issues. This has always been a topic of spirited debate.

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Don_Eilenberger

John, as long as the dealer put that recommendation in writing, or you always have the bike serviced by them, it should be fine.

 

Without it in writing - if you get into a debate with BMW, they can easily deny warranty coverage.

 

Just sayin'.. I do what BMW says and use BMW parts when under warranty. What I do out of warranty is my business, but during the warranty period, I don't want any "issues" if I have a warranty claim. I might win - but I'd be mighty pissed if I had to fight them.

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Don, no it is not in writing and I do all the service myself but I do what makes technical sense, not contract sense and will take my chances.

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Dick_at_Lake_Tahoe_NV

I took my chances with BMW, and lost the Warranty on my Engine. First question was, do you use Auto Oil or Motorcycle Oil. Mobil 1 15-50 meets their requirement of API SF or better and is an excellent Oil--It makes perfect sense to me, but take it from me, you better not use Auto Oil if you want to keep your warranty. Also, I understand from my dealer that if you install a K&N Airfilter, that will be cause for BMW to void your warranty. Those of us that understand this, like Don, are just trying to save you unnecessary pain when BMW does not accept your explanation, "I do what makes technical sense". Unfortunatly,for those of us who do our own maintenance, BMW sets the rules for what makes sense.

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You're right that Castrol SAF-XO is not available at BMW bike dealers in the U.S., though it is here in Canada. That said, BMW USA sells a BMW-branded 75W90 synthetic for the final drive. From a 2005 BMW USA Tech Service Bulletin on R12GS final drives: "...BMW Super Synthetic Gear oil 75W90, P/N 07 51 0 394 082." You should check to see if this is still current.

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A few days before the BMWST DVD event, at 15K miles I pulled both wheels for tire replacement and decided to drain final (the term "finale" makes me nervous! :grin: ) drive gear oil and grease the rear splines. So as I drop off my wheels at the BMW dealer, I ask the service mgr what viscosity they are currently installing and why (I had in hand copy of 6K service invoice the performed which clearly stated 90W-140. He replied same viscosity as before, which they interpret as "the minimum acceptable" for this application. With warranty concerns in mind, I ask him what would he use if it was his bike and he replied the same and so I did. This practice seems to be a common theme here in SoCal.

 

Jeff

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You're right that Castrol SAF-XO is not available at BMW bike dealers in the U.S., though it is here in Canada. That said, BMW USA sells a BMW-branded 75W90 synthetic for the final drive. From a 2005 BMW USA Tech Service Bulletin on R12GS final drives: "...BMW Super Synthetic Gear oil 75W90, P/N 07 51 0 394 082." You should check to see if this is still current.

I just had the final drive on my '06 R1200RT serviced at my dealer last week and this is exactly what they used and said it was per BMW.

 

 

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This practice seems to be a common theme here in SoCal.

 

Jeff

 

Hi Jeff, that's an interesting comment from your dealer. In 2007, my FD failed on the way to California. It was replaced in Salt Lake, and when I arrived in LA I had the FD fluid replaced at Brown's. They used 75W90, which is the viscosity specified by BMW. I've done a fair bit of research on this, given my FD failure, and I'd be willing to bet that your dealer could not show you anywhere in writing where BMW specifies anything but 75W90 synthetic for hexhead final drives.

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I think the BMW Dealers think it is OK, to use what ever oil they think is fit. I do not think that any of these mechanics, service writers, service managers or parts peoples give a rats a** about what BMW ( the people that designed, engineered and built these bikes). Like for example, you must replace the nut that holds the bolt for the stabilizer arm, but the dealers do not even stock this part, even though they should replace it if the change the rear drive oil at the 600 mile service. Are the really changing this oil, or is it just make believe.

I would like to know where every one thinks they know better then the people that made the thing.

Let's just ride, and not re engineer it.

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As a long time FJR owner I remember reading on the FJR site how the heavier oil foamed up, particularly in hot weather actually causing leaks from the increased pressure. I initially thought it would be better to use the heavier oil but since reading that I stick with the recommendation which is 75-90 for both bikes.(R12S)

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