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Lubing "what?" after clutch replacement


Brycelyoung

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Hey y'all. So I'm in the middle of a full clutch replacement on my '98 R1100R. I was wondering if anyone could give me advice as to what and where to lube as I put everything back together? Is there a special type of grease or anti-seize needed? It looks like there's some sort of lube in a few different places on either side of the transmission, the final drive, swingarm, push rod, etc. I can't tell if this is grease or anti-seize, or something else?? I've typically used anti-seize mainly for threaded parts, put the lube looks kind of silvery like anti-seize. Anyhow, I wouldn't be surprised if different goop is used on different parts. Sorry this is kind of a vague question, I'll try to restate:

As I put everything back together after replacing the clutch, what parts do I want to make sure to lube (/coat) and with what should I lube them? Thanks, please ask clarifying questions if necessary!

 

-Bryce

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Hello Bryce. I just completed my first tranny replacement on my '95 R1100RS and being the perfectionist I am, did a lot of research on this very subject. I ended up using Staburags NBU 30 PTM on all driveline splines, and regular wheel bearing grease on the swingarm pivot bearings. Staburags is very expensive but an amazing product as I'll explain below. And since I don't plan on seeing the input shaft on my transmission any time soon, why scrimp? To save money, there are sellers on eBay that buy Staburags in bulk and sell smaller quantities for less. Like any grease, Staburags has a shelf life (5 years I think) so I communicated with seller 'peanut8500' for example and he said his 'supply' was very fresh. I ended up however buying a new tube of it from the dealer because I needed it fast.

 

My choice of grease started with an understanding of what causes spline failure. Lots of discussion there, but I trust the opinion that there is a problem in the design of the drivetrain in that a slight misalignment of the transmission input shaft WRT the clutch introduces stress on the splines and that the proper lubrication reduces this stress. This exact nature of this mechanical action is more anecdotal theory than documented science, but the goal seems to be to prevent extreme metal-on-metal stress as these metal parts move slightly under pressure with respect to each other. The grease used here must be resilient, that is, it must stay put.

 

The different grease options are as follows:

 

- Regular bearing grease: Fine for wheel bearings where there is a reservoir of available grease in the bearing retainers, but this material will be pushed out of the way on shaft splines, leaving nothing. Also, bearing grease is less sticky, and has a tendency to fling off the splines, potentially contaminating and ruining the clutch.

 

- Moly grease: A better option than bearing grease because of the Moly content. More expensive than bearing grease. Many people swear by Honda Moly M77 (in lieu of the now defunct M60 product) The idea here is that once the petroleum grease is pushed out of the way, the moly content remains on the splines to provide the needed lubrication. This would probably work fine, although some have mentioned the grease dries out too quickly.

 

- Mixed greases: Some people play chemist and mix greases to accomplish all purposes. Such as 50% Wurth SIG 3000 (lithium base) and 50% Honda Moly, or Guard Dog Moly GD525 either by itself or mixed with other greases. But I have read discussion that not all greases are compatible with each other and not being a chemist, I avoided this.

 

- Antisieze: Permatex Antisieze for example is technically a lubricant, but not intended for working environments. It is resilient and corrosion preventing, but not a good as other products for lubricating moving parts under stress. I would avoid using this for shaft splines.

 

- Staburags NBU 30 PTM: Staburags is a grease containing barium complex soap compounds. These compounds seem to bond to the metal surfaces once the petroleum substrate is gone. I've read that the newer ‘Slik50’ formulations use barium soaps also. Staburags is a very sticky, thick, waterproof grease that is unlikely to fling off. But even so, use sparingly. Chris Harris' YouTube videos demonstrate exactly how much to use and how to apply. Also, I have tested Staburags in other applications and seen its coating properties first hand. For example, I have a door latch that was very hard to shut. I smeared a tiny amount of Staburags on the strike plate, and then completely wiped off all the visible grease. The latch continues to shut with zero effort as if it were gooped up with regular grease. Very nice.

 

In summary, I have a feeling that all of these products would work as long as you reapply at appropriate intervals. Your choice should be based on resiliency, water/corrosion resistance, and thickness/'stickiness' (clutches are expensive!). Getting access to an input shaft spline is not a 5-minute job, so use whatever you think is best.

 

In order, I would chose the following (with approximate prices):

1) Staburags NBU 30 PTM ($30-$50)

2) Guard Dog GD525 ($20)

3) Honda Moly M77 ($20)

4) A generic thick 'assembly grease' with lithium or moly ($10)

5) Regular wheel bearing grease ($4)

 

Good luck!

 

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