Rear drive lube choices - BMW Luxury Touring Community
View Poll Results: What rear drive lube are you using?
synthetic - no failure 80 64.00%
dino 90 wgt as recommended - no failure 27 21.60%
synthetic with failure 15 12.00%
dino with failure 3 2.40%
Voters: 125. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 86 Old Jul 11th, 2007, 7:30 am Thread Starter
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Rear drive lube choices

Just wondering. With all the talk about lubes and with the final drive issues, what oil are you running in the rear drives of your bikes? My service rep at Carolina BMW said that syn 75W-140 would be fine. However, this guy in the BMW magazine is saying that "non-spec" lubes are the culprit. I have seen where some folks have disputed this in another thread.

I want the best for my LT, so I thought a nice syn 75W-140 would be perfect. However, if someone can convince me otherwise, I'll be glad to change it back to dino 90 wgt. Same goes for the tranny. I would love for someone at BMW to address this issue to at least MINIMIZE the chance for failure.

A guy here at work was saying that with syns, they are so thin, you can dip a spoon in syn lube and then fling it off easily. His theory is that if it flings off a spoon so easily, then how is going to protect the trans. I'm not sure I would buy that, but I can see his point.

C'mon all you smart guys; let's see if there is any correlation between lubes and failures.

Thanks
Randy
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post #2 of 86 Old Jul 11th, 2007, 7:44 am
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I read that article as well. I know that Paul Glaves knows his stuff so he may have a point. He also says that there are several possible problems and the oil may be the biggest. I don't believe that that 75-140 synthetic or dino would be a problem. I am not an expert in any way so I have nothing but my gut feeling about that and I could be wrong. Personally I would stick with what the book says-at least until something like this poll shows something better. Truthfully I think it is just a quality issue with the bearing or possibly the assembly.
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post #3 of 86 Old Jul 11th, 2007, 7:49 am Thread Starter
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I haven't read the article, not a member of the group. Would like to see it, though. I have seen references to it in the last couple days. Would just like to do what is best for my LT. I tend to agree with you on the mechanical issue, instead of a lube choice.

Randy
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post #4 of 86 Old Jul 11th, 2007, 8:32 am
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Randy,

My owners manual is specific to the use of 80 or 90 GL5 lube on the FD, dependent on ambient temperature. Ask your friendly service advisor to put in writing their suggestion to use 70w140. And, should you have a problem, will they or BMW honor your warranty!

Before you question the work that Paul Glaves has put into his findings, you might try to get a copy of the article and read it! No one that I know of has had any better ideas. Just maybe, this has more merit than 'current wisdom' understands.

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post #5 of 86 Old Jul 11th, 2007, 8:42 am
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I think if you read through this mass of woe

http://www.bmwlt.net/ubbthreads/show...b=5&o=0&fpart=

you will see that failures run the full spectrum of lube types. I personally feel it is a design that is under-engineered for the application. Since it's right on the edge, any marginal tolerance in component, assembly, or combination of the two puts that drive at risk. It's a crap shoot who gets what, but if the design itself is hanging on the edge of the bell curve, some are gonna fall off.

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post #6 of 86 Old Jul 11th, 2007, 8:54 am Thread Starter
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I would tend to agree, from what all I have read since beginning my research into the LT. The bike is so heavy to start with, that the design is probably not up to the stresses that can be put on it.

Randy
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post #7 of 86 Old Jul 11th, 2007, 10:30 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sofitel505
I think if you read through this mass of woe

http://www.bmwlt.net/ubbthreads/show...b=5&o=0&fpart=

you will see that failures run the full spectrum of lube types. I personally feel it is a design that is under-engineered for the application. Since it's right on the edge, any marginal tolerance in component, assembly, or combination of the two puts that drive at risk. It's a crap shoot who gets what, but if the design itself is hanging on the edge of the bell curve, some are gonna fall off.
Read more carefully, most people in the survey are listing just dino or synthetic NOT Weight! That is the issue currently at hand. Some don't know what is in there, very few list the proper weight.

I am NOT suggesting that the LT FD is as robust as it should be. I am saying that possibly, just possibly the weight of the oil and the fact that it is a Ball Bearing unit could make a difference!

But, you can stick your head in sand if you want or take some advice from one of the most informed BMW techs in the country! Your choice, I've made mine.

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post #8 of 86 Old Jul 11th, 2007, 11:06 am Thread Starter
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It would have been pretty tough to set up a survey with all the possible weights. I did the best I could.

I'm not sticking my head in the sand, I don;t think, nor is anyone else. I am simply trying to figure out if there is a correlation between syn or dino and the FD failures. And what others think. I happen to respect my service advisor too, so I also listen when he speaks. Kinda like when your parents had differing opinions - who do you trust? I don;t know the man writing the article, nor have I read it. Would like to, but am not a member of any BMW groups. No plans to be, either. However I do like any and all tech articles.

BMW, OTOH, isn't saying a word, except to express their sincerest apologies for their parts failures. So I feel like we're trying to figure out what's best or whatever. I'm not saying either is best. I made a decision based on what I've read here and bought synthetic. Also with the blessing of my service rep.

I really feel that last statement is inflammatory. It wasn't directed at me, but hit me right between the eyes with the suggestion that we're ignoring the problem.
I don;t know that this guy is any better than the one I use. They may both be telling what they feel is best, but there is also a lot of folks on here that can help discuss it and possibly figure something out.

Randy
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post #9 of 86 Old Jul 11th, 2007, 12:34 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JATownsend
Read more carefully, most people in the survey are listing just dino or synthetic NOT Weight! That is the issue currently at hand. Some don't know what is in there, very few list the proper weight.

I am NOT suggesting that the LT FD is as robust as it should be. I am saying that possibly, just possibly the weight of the oil and the fact that it is a Ball Bearing unit could make a difference!

But, you can stick your head in sand if you want or take some advice from one of the most informed BMW techs in the country! Your choice, I've made mine.
A couple of points here. While it's true that BMW specifies 90W dino for the final drive, that's also what they specify for the transmission as well. One could surmise that the recommendation for 90W oil in the manual is the minimum recommendation.

BMW sells their own brand of 75W-140 "Super Synth" synthetic gear oil for motorcycles. Every BMW dealer parts counter that I've seen stocks it. Almost everybody agrees that the transmission shifts better with synth. Do you reckon BMW's own gear oil is the wrong thing to use on their bikes? I don't. And remember, BMW makes no distinction between gear oil specs for their rear drives versus transmissions. Same spec for both. I would venture to say that the majority of folks that check "synth" are talking about BMW synth. I know I am.

Anyway, I have 106K miles on final drive, and 100K of those miles are using BMW synth. Should I switch to straight 90W dino, or keep my head in the sand?

-joel
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post #10 of 86 Old Jul 11th, 2007, 3:27 pm
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Just a thought Averill. The '99-on service CD lists just the 90 wt GL5 for the FD. IIRC. No other grade mentioned. However the '05-on CD lists both this AND 75-140 wt GL5. Depends which part of the CD you look at. Confused me at first, tried to get an answer from many service reps, but most just said they use 80-90 in the FD, same as the transmission. No one would say one over the other, even after showing them the CD ref. My thoughts go like this. Our FD's run damm hot, about 140 f (see some of the earlier threads) seems around average. (It concerned me to the point of buying a fluke IR temp senser, also great when heating up alloy etc. I, like you, also tow a Quantum, but know I remain within the load specks of the LT with proper hitch weight. I just figured that at this temp the CD listed 75-140 would do a better job. Never been one to short change myself, and I would really like an answer, but it seems ellusive. Cheers Hilton

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post #11 of 86 Old Jul 11th, 2007, 4:55 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdog
...BMW sells their own brand of 75W-140 "Super Synth" synthetic gear oil for motorcycles. Every BMW dealer parts counter that I've seen stocks it. Almost everybody agrees that the transmission shifts better with synth. Do you reckon BMW's own gear oil is the wrong thing to use on their bikes? I don't. And remember, BMW makes no distinction between gear oil specs for their rear drives versus transmissions. Same spec for both. I would venture to say that the majority of folks that check "synth" are talking about BMW synth. I know I am.

Anyway, I have 106K miles on final drive, and 100K of those miles are using BMW synth. Should I switch to straight 90W dino, or keep my head in the sand?

-joel
Have you read Paul's article?

Ball bearing Final Drive bearings are certainly NOT the same a transmission gears. That is the point Glaves was making. I too run 75W-140 "Super Synth" in my LT's transmission...

But, what's THAT got to do with ball bearing Final Drives?

If I were you I'd do whatever I feel strongly about. But, at 106K are you complaining, questioning or just bragging!

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post #12 of 86 Old Jul 11th, 2007, 5:10 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilton
Just a thought Averill. The '99-on service CD lists just the 90 wt GL5 for the FD. IIRC. No other grade mentioned. However the '05-on CD lists both this AND 75-140 wt GL5. Depends which part of the CD you look at. Confused me at first... Cheers Hilton
Hi Hilton,

Man, that is interesting.

But, I have read (in posts from Europe on this site) that your dealers consider the final drive to be a wear item that should be replaced periodically. So, I wonder if ALL '05 LT's service manuals AND owners' manuals say 75-140 is okay or is that just on your side of the pond?

Further, the LT is on its...3rd iteration bearing, or so we believe. Perhaps BMW has redesigned the latest version to be robust enough (or so they think) to deal with the heavier lube. I don't know. But, I'm about to send an email out and see what kind of reply comes back.

I appreciate the 'New' information! Ta, Averill

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post #13 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 7:53 am Thread Starter
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I would be interested to hear about any response you get on the email you are sending. I'm still wondering, pondering what to do. I will keep the syn in the trans - it shifts so smoothly. I'm debating changing the FD to 90 wgt pretty strongly, just to satisfy BMW's suggestion. Hopefully can find a copy of the mag article soon.

Randy
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post #14 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 8:38 am
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I hope this thread continues with more people voting. It certainly looks like the dino is the way to go with no failures. However, not enough have responded to make it a valid study. Come on guys vote.
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post #15 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 8:45 am Thread Starter
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Yeah, I would hope so too. And a couple of the more trusted LT resources (David Shealey, where are you?) haven't chimed in yet. I figure if we can post up every couple days to keep it bumped near the top, folks will see it and we can get some more info about the issue.

I'm not locked in to teh syn or any other oil, for that matter. I just want what would seem to be the best for it. I'll change it tomorrow, if someone can give me proof that one is better than the other. I'll probably go to a 90 wgt shortly anyway, since that is the recommended oil for the FD. Just want to hear from others and see what folks think and are experiencing.

Randy
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post #16 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 2:13 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JATownsend
Have you read Paul's article?
No, have you? All I've seen is the single quote, repeated in many places. What does the article say? Got link?

Quote:
Ball bearing Final Drive bearings are certainly NOT the same a transmission gears. That is the point Glaves was making.
Slow down there, fella. Transmissions have both gears and ball bearings, just like final drives. The final drive crown bearing just happens to be a big bearing. Now why that particular bearing can't handle a multi-grade synthetic oil would be beyond me. But again, I didn't read the article. So please enlighten us.
Quote:
I too run 75W-140 "Super Synth" in my LT's transmission...

But, what's THAT got to do with ball bearing Final Drives?
My point was that BMW makes no distinction in the oil they recommend between the final drive and the transmission. There's some conjecture that the reason that BMW doesn't mention anything about synth in the LT's manuals is because those manual sections were written before synth was available -- probably for some older bike models and copied and recopied. Hilton mentions that the newer manuals do mention synth. So there you go.
Quote:
If I were you I'd do whatever I feel strongly about. But, at 106K are you complaining, questioning or just bragging!
The only thing I feel strongly about is some out-of-context hearsay that's flying around the internet and has everybody in a panic. I merely mentioned my mileage to illustrate that running synth in your final drive is decidedly NOT going to kill it. If there's actual FACT why we should switch to 90W single weight oil besides "something I read on the internet", let's hear it.

Regards,
-joel
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post #17 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 3:02 pm Thread Starter
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By gosh, I think you are saying exactly what I'm thinking. I would agree about the manuals not being "current". I.e. at the time of original printing, 90 wgt was THE best. In my world, a multi vis synth should be even better.

I have no idea what is in the final drive, other than some gears and a ball bearing of some sort, either 17 or 19 ball, apparently.

What weight synth are you using?

Randy
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post #18 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 4:10 pm
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The survey, so far, shows that 28% of those using synthetic have failed. 0% using dino have failed. Very interesting.
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post #19 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 5:10 pm
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Man, if 140W is so bad, my drive should have blown to bits by now. I've been using the Redline Shockproof Heavy (rated at 75W/250) in mine since it was replaced 26000 miles ago. I did so at the advice of the service tech at the dealer who did the warrantee replacement. I change the stuff at every oil/filter change and never more than a speck of grey paste on the magnet. This drive has now outlasted the OEM unit using the BMW synth. Go figure?

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post #20 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 5:53 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEhrler
I hope this thread continues with more people voting. It certainly looks like the dino is the way to go with no failures. However, not enough have responded to make it a valid study. Come on guys vote.
The only thing the poll has indicated so far is that the vast majority of us are running synth these days in our rear drives.

There are something like a hundred failed drive reports in the survey here.
The majority of them are using dino. This totally flies in the face of what folks are claiming that Paul Graves is claiming.

Of course I don't know what he's really claiming since I haven't read the article. If he's made some sort of proclamation that 90W dino is what's required by some sort of technical analysis, then why hasn't BMW Motorrad issued a service bulletin on it? If his claim is based on empirical data, then perhaps he hasn't looked at the data collected on this site.

I think folks forget that this site is the largest public repository for technical information on the LT. It far exceeds the experience of any single person. I repeat, we've collected many, many reports of blown drives that have had nothing but dino in them. We've collected an equal amount of blown drive data from folks running synth. There is NO conclusive evidence one way or another. It's all there, folks. Read it and draw your own conclusions.

BTW Randy, I'm running BMW Synth, 75W140.

-joel
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post #21 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 6:56 pm
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Originally Posted by kdog
.
There are something like a hundred failed drive reports in the survey here.
The majority of them are using dino. This totally flies in the face of what folks are claiming that Paul Graves is claiming.
The statement above using the data sited is simply false. Counting those that knew what gear oil they were using, the numbers are as follows:

Dino - 29 failures
Synthetic - 82 failures.
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post #22 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 7:25 pm
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Fair enough. I probably shouldn't have said the majority without counting them. I based that on a random sampling and it seemed like most of them to me.

However, my point stands. You cannot derive a conclusive trend from the data. Most of us run synth, and that would explain the higher number. There are enough failures with dino to state with high certainty that it's not the oil that's causing the problem.

-joel
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post #23 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 7:35 pm
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I agree. The survey you sited only looked at the oil used in drives that failed. It did not address those using dino/synthetic that have not had a problem. I think the survey that started this thread has value because it asks this question. I hope that we can get a large number of owners responding to this survey. If we do, there can be a valid answer to the question. Does synthetic cause more failures than dino.
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post #24 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 7:35 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdog
Fair enough. I probably shouldn't have said the majority without counting them. I based that on a random sampling and it seemed like most of them to me.

However, my point stands. You cannot derive a conclusive trend from the data. Most of us run synth, and that would explain the higher number. There are enough failures with dino to state with high certainty that it's not the oil that's causing the problem.

-joel

Agreed. One thing is for certain. If this failure rate was associated with an automotive drivetrain issue that causes wheels to wobble and blows oil all over the brakes without mandatory factory recall............ well it would be on Nightline or 20/20.

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post #25 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 7:53 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEhrler
The statement above using the data sited is simply false. Counting those that knew what gear oil they were using, the numbers are as follows:

Dino - 29 failures
Synthetic - 82 failures.
BTW, your statement is false as well. I count over 40 dinos, which would be closer to half. I attributed the "unknowns" or "Dealer Serviced" remarks as dino. Why? Because the dealers put in standard 90W by default.

Folks that put synth on the survey are either folks who do their own services, or are paying their dealer extra to put in synth. So these people know for a fact they're running synth. If you don't know what's in your bike, you're most likely running dino.

And I didn't count folks who switch back and forth, or changed oil somewhere in the middle of the life of the drive.

-joel
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post #26 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 7:59 pm
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I like synthetic, but when it comes to things spinning at high rpm's without pressure return, I like thick. I'm a fan of Lucas products as well. I'll just tell you what I used to run in the big trucks differentials with millions of miles and no problems. While I use synthetic motor oil with 20 % lucas synthetic stabalizer I use petroleum products in the rear ends with 50% Lucas heavy duty oil stabalizer. Next time you go into a truck stop or auto parts, spin the gears in the display at the check out and you'll see why.
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post #27 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 10:00 pm
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Originally Posted by kdog
BTW, your statement is false as well. I count over 40 dinos, which would be closer to half. I attributed the "unknowns" or "Dealer Serviced" remarks as dino. Why? Because the dealers put in standard 90W by default.

Folks that put synth on the survey are either folks who do their own services, or are paying their dealer extra to put in synth. So these people know for a fact they're running synth. If you don't know what's in your bike, you're most likely running dino.

And I didn't count folks who switch back and forth, or changed oil somewhere in the middle of the life of the drive.

-joel
I didn't count anyone that didn't know what oil they were using. You decided that they were using dino based on your bias, not the facts. I don't intend to get into a pissing contest with you over who's statement is true and who's is false. You stated that the majority were using dino. You now admit that the dino failures were only half of the synthetic failures. That's close enough for me. Regardless, this study only looks at the failures. What about the non-failures. How many owners are using dino vs. how many are using synthetics. If you know that number, then relate the percentage of failures using both oils. Now, you can determine if it's oil related or bearing material related. Until you can do this, the argument is pointless.
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post #28 of 86 Old Jul 13th, 2007, 11:44 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEhrler
Now, you can determine if it's oil related or bearing material related. Until you can do this, the argument is pointless.
You don't seem to grasp my argument, so your opinion on whether it's pointless is pointless.

Regards,
-joel
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post #29 of 86 Old Jul 14th, 2007, 12:23 am
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I personally don't see the value of this thread since it is a small sample albiet not random of LT owners. Regardless of all the conjecture and arguing that is going on, I don't see this as constructive but destructive.

You can use whatever you want since you are footing the bill for whatever happens. I personally will stick with spec..

No disrespect meant to anyone here. Let's turn this around into something more constructive please.
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post #30 of 86 Old Jul 14th, 2007, 6:40 am
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The survey in this thread is actually showing an interesting trend. There were a total of 53 that responded. Of those 53, 18.9% are using dino and 81.1% are using synthetic. 21% of those using synthetic experienced failures while 0% of those using dino had a failure. If this trend continues I'll switch back to dino.
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post #31 of 86 Old Jul 14th, 2007, 7:41 am
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It is an interesting thread, but I am not sure it has alot of value. The questions fail to ask how many miles are on these bikes, with and without failures, and what year the bikes are of the people responding.
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post #32 of 86 Old Jul 14th, 2007, 7:57 am
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That's true. However, the previous survey only looked at the failures. How many have not had a failure? If they have not had a failure, is it related to the oil used as stated in the BMWON article? Granted this survey does not look at mileage or model year and could also be flawed for that reason. However, if the numbers in this survey continue with this same trend, I'm switching back to dino.
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post #33 of 86 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 4:39 pm
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Ok to satisfy both Spectrums I have 75-90 and Synthetic in the FD & Transmission....

Royal Purple 75-90 ......................

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post #34 of 86 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 7:18 pm
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Just got back from the MOA rally in Wis. I went to the seminar put on by Glaves. He spent about a half hour on the FD topic. I'll try to paraphrase:
1. All the service documents from operator manuals to service manuals states that only 80 or 90 weight gear lube (depending on ambient temp) is authorized for use in the FD. 80W90 is an acceptable substitute. Also look for compliance with the GL-5 specs on the container.
2. Nowhere has he been able to find any reference to substituting syn 75W140 for the dyno lube. If anyone can show him where BMW has authorized it he will take a look at it and probably change his tune.
3. The syn is an acceptable substitute in the tranny.
4. The beginning of FD failures in the R and K bikes began with the intro of the BMW syn lube back in 1996(?)
5. He's pissed some dealers off with his opinions but he says they can't back up what they say with documentation from BMW and he can.
6. The problem is also related to the quality of the bearings. BMW went to a different supplier and used the 17 ball bearing as an interim substitute until they could get the problem with the other supplier fixed. They're now back with the original supplier and the 19 ball bearing.
7. If you have the syn in the fd now, get it out and go to what the manuals recommend.
8. He adds Dow Corning Moly additive (also known as Gear Guard) at a 3-5% ratio to the FD dyno lube.
9. The NEW LT's manuals specify the use of the syn. At first BMW said not to change the FD fluid at all. Then they said go ahead and do it at the 600mile check and then every 12K after that. But the new FD's have a different bearing system in them.
10. The oil viscosity is the most importent aspect of the fluid used.

He also mentioned the shimming situation when changing the large bearing. Wasn't too concerned with it as long as the only bearing being changed is the 17/19 ball bearing. As long as the bearing is the correct one and is seated properly you could get away with using the same shims as long as they weren't buggered up at all.

If someone else was there and heard different or would like to add to this please chime in. Anyway that's about as much as I can reliably remember. If there's questions from the gallery it might cause me to remember more but I believe this is the gist of it.

Matt
95 Honda Magna (sold)
97 R1100RT (sold)
00 LTc, Canyon Red "Tarkus" (sold)
01 F650GS (wifey's, sold)
01 Ducati S4 Monster "LittleOne"
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post #35 of 86 Old Jul 15th, 2007, 9:13 pm
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So far this survey is proving him right. It's a simple survey. What gear oil are you using and have you had a failure with that oil. No failures with dino so far. I hope more will vote.
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post #36 of 86 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 8:04 am Thread Starter
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Wow, ya'll got busy with this over the weekend. Glad to see it. Considering the results of the suvey, I am considering strongly, to switching back to the dino 90wgt. as easy as it is to change, I am thinking it would be prudent to change it at every oil change, to keep it fresh and clean as possible.

I know my survey is flawed, but it was my survey and my interest. I appreciate the discussion it has generated and hope that all in all, it stay positive. No sense getting heated up over this debate. But rather to work towards a "positive learning experience". [Been watching Austin Powers movies. be sure to do the little quote things with your fingers....lol] I would love to know definitively that oil does not cause FD failures, but I don;t think we'll ever know definitively what causes them and I doubt BMW will be of any help. It's a shame they won;t step up on this subject and that they leave it to the service techs and us to deal with.

Once again, thanks for the responses and thanks for all the information contained here. It's a great community.

Randy
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post #37 of 86 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 8:13 am Thread Starter
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Here is a link I got on BMWXplor: http://www.guarddogmoly.com/about-moly.shtml

the person posting says he uses 10% moly added to 75w-140 synth, which sorta goes along with Glaves' theory posted here.

Randy
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post #38 of 86 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 8:58 am
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Interesting thread

I know most K1200 owners are following this thread and at 30,000+ miles I've thought about switching to synthetic for my rear drive. I try to keep it simple and have only used what the local dealer recomends, feeling that they would back me if there was a problem.

Be careful with the way you try to interpret the numbers as there are many ways to make it go the way you wish. I just feel that the BMW engineers know best and have put more hours into determining fluids than any one rider. I may be naive, but my 2002 has been mostly trouble free and I have made very limited mods. Be interesting to see the relationship of trouble to tinkering? Impossible to determine, but I bet there is a relationship to it. Maybe anecdotal though!

Dano
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post #39 of 86 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 9:11 am Thread Starter
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Yes, I trust my dealer also, but that tech rep said something different that the manual. So one of my thoughts is that with the information contained here, plus the BMW manual, if I do have any issues, it might be easier to negotiate if I have been using the manual recommended lubricants.

At least for now. I'm hoping to not have any FD issues.

Randy
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post #40 of 86 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 10:17 am
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Some better than others

Obviously, there is a difference between dealers. Hopefully I won't learn the hard way, but so far the advise and assistance I have received is all that would ask for. Bought the bike with 1,000 miles on it from the dealer and follow their recommendation. They seem eager for me to try the new bikes and always have one ready for a test drive, but I'm not ready to trade.

Too many good deals on this site!

Dano
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post #41 of 86 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 11:53 am
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I have been using a 75W90 blended synthetic and changing it around every 4000 miles. I guess I don't quite understand why a 90 wt synthetic or blended synthetic would be worse that regularly dino. Anyone want to weigh in on this?
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post #42 of 86 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 12:18 pm
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The numbers responding have increased but the results have stayed about the same. With 65 responding:

78.4% Use synthetic
21.6% Use dino

Of those using synthetic 21.6% have had failures
Of those using dino 0% have had failures.
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post #43 of 86 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 12:35 pm Thread Starter
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Something is confusing about your post. May want to check what you meant to say, or maybe I'm reading it incorrectly.

Randy
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post #44 of 86 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 12:36 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEhrler
The numbers responding have increased but the results have stayed about the same. With 65 responding:

78.4% Use synthetic
21.6% Use dino

Of those using synthetic 21.6% have had failures
Of those using dino 0% have had failures.
Sorry recorded the wrong numbers. The following is the corrected numbers:

78.4% Use Synthetic
21.6% Use Dino

19.6% of those using synthetic have had failures
0% of those using dino had failures.
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post #45 of 86 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 12:39 pm Thread Starter
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The more I look at my own survey, the more flaws I see with it. Of course, we can only guess at the accuracy of results. And how many folks are/aren't responding.

Guess that's why I make signs instead of scientific polling....

Randy
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post #46 of 86 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 1:19 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rando
The more I look at my own survey, the more flaws I see with it. Of course, we can only guess at the accuracy of results. And how many folks are/aren't responding.

Guess that's why I make signs instead of scientific polling....

Randy
I think it's a great survey. It asks the questions; what gear lube do you use and have you had a failure. It takes out the mileage and years but it that would average out if enough responded. It also take out the argument of what's the best brand. It's simple and easy to answer and interpret the results. I hope more respond to increase it's validity.
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post #47 of 86 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 2:32 pm
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Thanks for posting your notes, Matt! Very interesting. There are a number of troubling things in that list. But this comment really sticks out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
He also mentioned the shimming situation when changing the large bearing. Wasn't too concerned with it as long as the only bearing being changed is the 17/19 ball bearing. As long as the bearing is the correct one and is seated properly you could get away with using the same shims as long as they weren't buggered up at all.
Am I the only one who sees any irony here? Here we have a drive that FAILED, and the recommendation is to TRUST the setup that failed?? David Shealey and a few other smart folks have analyzed failed drives and were of the opinion that most of the problems with the drive are due to improper bearing installation or setup of the drive at the factory.

We are seeing many multiple failures on the same drives with replaced bearings. There are two on the front page of the LT forum right now.

http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25377
http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25305

In fact, Cookie's drive has failed three times. There are other reports of multiple failures in the failed drive survey in the archives.

Doesn't it seem like a good idea to go through any failed drive with a fine-toothed-comb to look for reasons why it failed in the first place? I think common sense dictates that these folks aren't so unlucky as to be getting multiple defective bearings. Especially in the cases where the replaced bearing is only going a few thousand miles.

I realize that Paul Glaves has a huge amount of credibility in the BMW riding community. However, I'm really confused by these recent quotes of his.

Regards,
-joel

Last edited by kdog; Jul 16th, 2007 at 2:44 pm.
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post #48 of 86 Old Jul 16th, 2007, 7:41 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdog
No, have you? All I've seen is the single quote, repeated in many places. What does the article say? Got link?


Slow down there, fella. Transmissions have both gears and ball bearings, just like final drives. The final drive crown bearing just happens to be a big bearing. Now why that particular bearing can't handle a multi-grade synthetic oil would be beyond me. But again, I didn't read the article. So please enlighten us.
My point was that BMW makes no distinction in the oil they recommend between the final drive and the transmission. There's some conjecture that the reason that BMW doesn't mention anything about synth in the LT's manuals is because those manual sections were written before synth was available -- probably for some older bike models and copied and recopied. Hilton mentions that the newer manuals do mention synth. So there you go.
The only thing I feel strongly about is some out-of-context hearsay that's flying around the internet and has everybody in a panic. I merely mentioned my mileage to illustrate that running synth in your final drive is decidedly NOT going to kill it. If there's actual FACT why we should switch to 90W single weight oil besides "something I read on the internet", let's hear it.

Regards,
-joel
Remember, don't shoot the messenger. I'm just relaying what Paul Glaves said. (And yes, I have read his article that started this mess. He's very consistent in what he writes and says.)

The difference between the oil requirements of the FD and Transmission is the abuse the FD takes from the pounding from the road. Every bump you feel from the road (potholes, expansion joints, speed bumps, rumble strips) in your butt has been muted from the spring/shock, frame, and seat. The FD has nothing to mute the shocks. The tranny has the spring/shock and drive train to mute the shocks to it. That is why the heavier lube is spec'd in the FD. Also, BMW has written that the syn is an acceptable replacement in the tranny but not the FD.

In the new ('05 and later I believe) LTs BMW has specified syn in the FD. But the bearings are different. But that's the only LTs that are approved to run syn in the FD. (Also, as an aside- BMW introduced the 75w140 syn gear lube in 96 or 97 or earlier if I recollect right)

The actual FACT that 80/90/80W90 gear lube should be used is that those grades are the ONLY ones mentioned in the operators manuals, service manuals, and service bulletins published by BMW. Glaves has found NO mention from BMW authorizing the use of syn in the FD of LTs prior to 2005.

He sort of finished the discussion by saying that if you have syn in your final drive you should get it out right away. But, if you're convinced that syn is the way to go- fine. Just don't piss and moan (my paraphrase) too much when you FD goes south.

RE: shimming the FD. The question was asked- The FD in this guys RT failed. His dealership replaced the ball bearing and used the same shims. Should he be concerned?

Glaves said that if the 17/19 ball bearing was the ONLY bearing replaced AND the shims showed no damage or wear then it should be OK. The shims he was talking about have no bearing on the mesh of the pinion and crown gear, just the mating of the case halves. He said the tolerances of the bearing dimensions (specifically the width, are so tight and well controlled (?) my paraphrase) that if the bearing is properly seated all should be well.

Oh, and KDOG, I'm not picking on you, but your post contains the gist of most of the other posts/replies.

HTH. If my memory's jogged any further or if I can clarify something better I'll post again, but this is it for now.

Matt
95 Honda Magna (sold)
97 R1100RT (sold)
00 LTc, Canyon Red "Tarkus" (sold)
01 F650GS (wifey's, sold)
01 Ducati S4 Monster "LittleOne"
04 R1150RT (turned to scrap)
99 R1100RT Tundra Green
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post #49 of 86 Old Jul 17th, 2007, 8:34 am
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"In the new ('05 and later I believe) LTs BMW has specified syn in the FD. But the bearings are different. But that's the only LTs that are approved to run syn in the FD. (Also, as an aside- BMW introduced the 75w140 syn gear lube in 96 or 97 or earlier if I recollect right)".

The manual on my "05" LT specifies only the dino oil in a GL5 grade. Nothing is mentioned about the use of synthetic.
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post #50 of 86 Old Jul 17th, 2007, 9:02 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt
Remember, don't shoot the messenger.
I wouldn't shoot him. Heck, I had him over for dinner.

No, really. Thanks for all info. This is the first substantial rationale that explains his comments. Dunno if I believe it all, but it does explain quite a bit.

Replacing the final drive bearing without reshimming still bugs me though. If the housing isn't properly shimmed, isn't that going to put excessive pressure on the bearing? I still think it's just plain nuts to trust the setup of a failed drive. Why else does he think all these replaced bearings are failing again?

Thanks again for your post.
-joel
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