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TomR1200
09-30-2007, 01:39 PM
Hello,

I'm surprised to find that my new bike's Riders Manual does not seem to list the correct viscosity for the R1200R final drive. They've really dumbed these down.

BMWON in July stated that I need SAE 75W-140 synthetic. Can someone with a shop manual on CD confirm this, please?

Thanks, Tom Marincic

Tom K.
09-30-2007, 03:41 PM
While I haven't seen the shop manual, Bob's BMW used synth 75W140 when I had the FD fluid changed in my '06RT.

SNC1923
09-30-2007, 08:27 PM
Amidst all the controversy surrounding final drives and their "lifetime" lubrication, I changed mine at 5,000 miles and I put 75/140 in it.

Subsequent to that, according to a local dealter, BMW NA says to use their 75/90 final drive fluid and to change it once at 600 miles.

I can't vouch for the accuracy of this info, but it did come from one dealer. You might check with yours.

cjack
09-30-2007, 10:07 PM
The last bulletin from BMW stated to change it once at 600 miles and fill it with BMW synth 75W90. No further changes necessary.

PGlaves
09-30-2007, 11:29 PM
I got some bad information and wrote that 75w140 should be used. This is wrong according to the latest information I have found.

Use 75w90 synthetic.

I apologize for the wrong information.

TomR1200
10-01-2007, 12:00 AM
OK, I see there's some controversy on the latest advice. My dilemma is compounded by the fact that I bought a "demo" bike with 1600 miles on it. The dealer assured me that the 600 mile service was performed by them, but I've seen no paperwork, so I'll have to call and see what fluid they used, or if the FD was changed at all.

Thanks for the replies, Tom

BigAdv
10-01-2007, 12:30 AM
hi found the data sheet on the fd fluid but cannot seem to post the link. so the official spec.ed fluid is Castrol SAF-XO part # TYK500010 SAE 75W-90 API GL5.

This is a full synthetic gear oil that was originally developed for heavy truck rear ends. also spec.ed for use in all BMW rear ends (cars, suv's and bikes) using an open non-locking differential.

It is different then normal castrol 75W-90 synthetic gear oil rated at GL5. cant find out what is diff. but judging by the price, suspect hi moly content. (it costs 4 times as much as "normal" synth. gear oil)

cjack
10-01-2007, 01:12 AM
hi found the data sheet on the fd fluid but cannot seem to post the link. so the official spec.ed fluid is Castrol SAF-XO part # TYK500010 SAE 75W-90 API GL5.

This is a full synthetic gear oil that was originally developed for heavy truck rear ends. also spec.ed for use in all BMW rear ends (cars, suv's and bikes) using an open non-locking differential.

It is different then normal castrol 75W-90 synthetic gear oil rated at GL5. cant find out what is diff. but judging by the price, suspect hi moly content. (it costs 4 times as much as "normal" synth. gear oil)

As best as I can figure out it is an "extended drain interval" gear oil. I have seen the initial fills in new bikes looking all the way from a slightly greenish yellow clear to a very blackish looking almost opaque. In years past, I have seen gear oil in new trans and FD right out of the parts depot with the blackish look and also with the clearish look. Maybe they use different suppliers or maybe they send parts from the production line sometimes and other times the parts are meant for inventory.
When the Castrol SAF-XO spec first came to light a couple of years ago, I asked the BMW car side for a case of it and they said it only could be obtained in a 55 gal drum. Then later they said it was not marketed in this country. I don't believe any of it, but it may be true. I wasn't able to get any and quit trying.
I think the synth BMWNA stuff, 75W90, is just fine. Made by Spectrol and is said to be an "extended drain interval" as well.

deilenberger
10-01-2007, 12:57 PM
hi found the data sheet on the fd fluid but cannot seem to post the link. so the official spec.ed fluid is Castrol SAF-XO part # TYK500010 SAE 75W-90 API GL5.

This is a full synthetic gear oil that was originally developed for heavy truck rear ends. also spec.ed for use in all BMW rear ends (cars, suv's and bikes) using an open non-locking differential.

It is different then normal castrol 75W-90 synthetic gear oil rated at GL5. cant find out what is diff. but judging by the price, suspect hi moly content. (it costs 4 times as much as "normal" synth. gear oil)I may know someday - I ordered some from the UK.. if it ever gets here (been quite a while now..)

mtboulder
10-02-2007, 07:41 PM
My dealer told me to use 80W/90 dino BMW gear oil in the FD for my R1200RT. Of course this was incorrect advice but I used it and it's been fine. I'll switch to the 75W/90 BMW gear oil this winter. I couldnt' find this listed on the BMW shop manual CD but I did find it listed under realoem.com for my bike and year.

PATTENG
10-03-2007, 12:46 AM
Well now I am really confused. Where did the 75w/90 syn oil requirement come from? I look at A&S, and the only BMW brand gear oils they sell are GL5 80w/90 dino and BMW Super Synthetic gear oil 75w140???
Gary
04 R1150RT

cjack
10-03-2007, 12:59 AM
My dealer told me to use 80W/90 dino BMW gear oil in the FD for my R1200RT. Of course this was incorrect advice but I used it and it's been fine. I'll switch to the 75W/90 BMW gear oil this winter. I couldnt' find this listed on the BMW shop manual CD but I did find it listed under realoem.com for my bike and year.

I think the specification for synth is mainly for the long drain interval requirement.

cjack
10-03-2007, 01:02 AM
Well now I am really confused. Where did the 75w/90 syn oil requirement come from? I look at A&S, and the only BMW brand gear oils they sell are GL5 80w/90 dino and BMW Super Synthetic gear oil 75w140???
Gary
04 R1150RT

The 75W140 was replaced by the synth 75W90. At least that is what the latest bulletin calls for...the 75W90. There also was some indication that the 140 was discontinued. I don't know if they (BMWNA) still market it or not.

burnszilla
10-03-2007, 01:51 AM
I changed mine at 600 and at 11,000 with Redline synthetic 75W90. Both changes had about the same amount of metal flakes in them. I think you'd be stupid not to change it more than once; perhaps every 12,000 miles.

cjack
10-03-2007, 02:01 AM
I changed mine at 600 and at 11,000 with Redline synthetic 75W90. Both changes had about the same amount of metal flakes in them. I think you'd be stupid not to change it more than once; perhaps every 12,000 miles.

Ok I guess. I didn't have any flakes at all in three K12S bikes at about 11K the only change. I did have a 16th of an inch of metal dust on the magnets.

burnszilla
10-03-2007, 05:17 AM
Ok I guess. I didn't have any flakes at all in three K12S bikes at about 11K the only change. I did have a 16th of an inch of metal dust on the magnets.
I guess mine was metal dust then. Very fine.

PATTENG
10-03-2007, 01:45 PM
So I called my BMW dealer this morning to sort this out, they carry BMW gear oil 80W90 and 75W140 synthetic, and they recommend the Super Syn 75W140 for the tranny and FD in my 04RT. Will we ever figure out what the real deal is?
Gap

jimvonbaden
10-04-2007, 07:21 PM
I use 75W140 in summer, and 75W90 in winter, both full synthetic.

I'm not sure it really maters if you change it regularly, and I also believe every 12K is a good rule of thumb.

Jim :brow

PGlaves
10-04-2007, 09:47 PM
So I called my BMW dealer this morning to sort this out, they carry BMW gear oil 80W90 and 75W140 synthetic, and they recommend the Super Syn 75W140 for the tranny and FD in my 04RT. Will we ever figure out what the real deal is?
Gap

Yes. BMW issued a bulletin/instructions for changing the fluid in the 2007 models at 600 miles. Ask your dealer to see that bulletin and then ask the dealer to use the viscosity stated in that bulletin. Don't ask what they "prefer." Ask what BMW told them to use.

mtboulder
10-05-2007, 07:58 PM
Here is the link on realoem.com that lists the BMW 75w-90 for what's worth.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=0388&mospid=48423&btnr=33_1224&hg=33&fg=05

GSWayne
10-08-2007, 11:38 PM
When they changed the recommended viscosity for the final drive did they also change the recommended viscosity of the transmission to 75W90 from 75W140?

cjack
10-09-2007, 01:14 AM
When they changed the recommended viscosity for the final drive did they also change the recommended viscosity of the transmission to 75W90 from 75W140?

There was no mention of the transmission oil. The official BMWAG spec is SAE 90 APL GL 5.
BMWNA sells 80W90 dino, 75W90 synth and 75W140 synth under a new part number from the old 75W140. I don't know if it is a different product than the old part number.
I read once that thinner oil is a better coolant. That could be a good thing to consider if it is true.

soffiler
10-09-2007, 11:50 AM
Data point: when I had the leaky outer seal on my '05 GS final drive repaired under warranty, the dealer (Max BMW in NH - whom I consider a very reputable, by-the-book sort of dealer) put in 75W-140. That was on Sept 6, 2007.

GSWayne
10-09-2007, 09:25 PM
The reason I was asking about 75W140 is because that is what Irv Seaver, the BMW dealer in Orange County sold me for the final drive and transmission a few months ago. So now I am wondering whether I should use it for the transmission, the FD or both or neither. :dunno

cjack
10-09-2007, 10:13 PM
The reason I was asking about 75W140 is because that is what Irv Seaver, the BMW dealer in Orange County sold me for the final drive and transmission a few months ago. So now I am wondering whether I should use it for the transmission, the FD or both or neither. :dunno

I guess I would use what BMW says for the new FD. As far as the trans, I don't think I ever heard or experienced any issues with too heavy an oil issue...or many trans issues in general. There is a circulatory system in a BMW trans...at least there used to be, where the oil is pumped thru the shafts by the gears running. That would make me want to run the thinner, but adequate weight at least in the winter time. But I never had any issues with the K100RSes running 75W140 for at least 60K each or more.

gulfcoastbeemer
10-10-2007, 02:13 PM
I am totally confused!!! HELP!!!

Oddly, my BMW dealer doesn't stock BMW 75W90 gear oil or Castrol SAF-XO. They do stock BMW 75W140 synthetic gear oil.

I asked my BMW parts guy what they use in their service department for final drive oil in a R1200RT, and he answered, "Regular gear oil -- something in a 55-gallon drum".

If the BMW REP-ROM specifies Castrol SAF-XO, yet BMW NA markets both BMW 75W90 Super Synthetic gear oil and BMW 75W140 Super Synthetic gear oil -- what are we supposed to use?

And, what is so wrong with using BMW 75W140 super synthetic gear oil in the final drive -- why does it even exist?

If BMW 75W140 synthetic gear oil should NOT be used in the final drive, where should it be used? Apparently not the gear box, as the BMW REP-ROM indicates, Brand name hypoid-gear lubricant SAE 90 API GL 5.

What the heck is BMW 75W140 synthetic gear oil for, if not the final drive?

The back-label of "Synthetic BMW Gear Oil SAE 75W140 Super Synthetic" reads exactly as follows:

Super Synthetic Engine Oil / SAE 75W140
ÔÇó Recommended for all BMW motorcycles after 1970
ÔÇó Field Tested by BMW NA.
ÔÇó High-performance synthetic provides high load-carrying characteristics, minimum foaming, and exceptional resistance to thermal degradation and oil consumption.
ÔÇó Exclusive chemistry reduces internal friction and enhances power output under extreme conditions
BMW SAE 75W140
Synthetic Gear Oil

Sold by BMW of North America, LLC, Woodriff Lake, NJ 07675. Formulated, Blended and packaged exclusively for BMW of North America by Spectro Oils of America.

Is BMW Gear Oil SAE 75W140 Super Synthetic an acceptable alternative gear oil to BMW Gear Oil SAE 75W90 Super Synthetic in certain applications?

soffiler
10-10-2007, 03:21 PM
...I asked my BMW parts guy what they use in their service department for final drive oil in a R1200RT, and he answered, "Regular gear oil -- something in a 55-gallon drum".

BMW recommends synthetic oil in the FD. What the parts guy told you is incorrect. Either he is mistaken (he's a parts guy commenting on practices in the service dep't) or, if he's right, the dealership is not following BMW recommendations. You might try asking the service department...



... The back-label of "Synthetic BMW Gear Oil SAE 75W140 Super Synthetic" reads exactly as follows:

Super Synthetic Engine Oil / SAE 75W140
ÔÇó Recommended for all BMW motorcycles after 1970
ÔÇó Field Tested by BMW NA.
ÔÇó High-performance synthetic provides high load-carrying characteristics, minimum foaming, and exceptional resistance to thermal degradation and oil consumption.
ÔÇó Exclusive chemistry reduces internal friction and enhances power output under extreme conditions
BMW SAE 75W140
Synthetic Gear Oil


Does it REALLY say "engine" ???


... Is BMW Gear Oil SAE 75W140 Super Synthetic an acceptable alternative gear oil to BMW Gear Oil SAE 75W90 Super Synthetic in certain applications?

What part of "recommended for all BMW motorcycles after 1970" isn't clear enough?

As I commented in an earlier post, I have BMW 75W140 in my FD right now. It was put there by Max BMW, a very reputable dealer, about a month ago.

Multi-viscosity gear oil designations work like motor oil - the first number is the viscosity when cold, so 75W140 has the same viscosity as a straight 75 gear oil when cold. That is relatively thin, and I suspect it helps with flow at cold temperatures. The other number is the viscosity when hot, so 75W140 has the same viscosity when hot as a straight 140 oil when hot. That's pretty thick, and here, I suspect it helps in the following manner: oil is distributed around the FD by sticking to the gear teeth and being carried around. Too thin, and it gets flung off, and may not reach the places it needs to reach.

cjack
10-10-2007, 03:22 PM
I am totally confused!!! HELP!!!

Oddly, my BMW dealer doesn't stock BMW 75W90 gear oil or Castrol SAF-XO. They do stock BMW 75W140 synthetic gear oil.

I asked my BMW parts guy what they use in their service department for final drive oil in a R1200RT, and he answered, "Regular gear oil -- something in a 55-gallon drum".

If the BMW REP-ROM specifies Castrol SAF-XO, yet BMW NA markets both BMW 75W90 Super Synthetic gear oil and BMW 75W140 Super Synthetic gear oil -- what are we supposed to use?

And, what is so wrong with using BMW 75W140 super synthetic gear oil in the final drive -- why does it even exist?

If BMW 75W140 synthetic gear oil should NOT be used in the final drive, where should it be used? Apparently not the gear box, as the BMW REP-ROM indicates, Brand name hypoid-gear lubricant SAE 90 API GL 5.

What the heck is BMW 75W140 synthetic gear oil for, if not the final drive?

The back-label of "Synthetic BMW Gear Oil SAE 75W140 Super Synthetic" reads exactly as follows:

Super Synthetic Engine Oil / SAE 75W140
ÔÇó Recommended for all BMW motorcycles after 1970
ÔÇó Field Tested by BMW NA.
ÔÇó High-performance synthetic provides high load-carrying characteristics, minimum foaming, and exceptional resistance to thermal degradation and oil consumption.
ÔÇó Exclusive chemistry reduces internal friction and enhances power output under extreme conditions
BMW SAE 75W140
Synthetic Gear Oil

Sold by BMW of North America, LLC, Woodriff Lake, NJ 07675. Formulated, Blended and packaged exclusively for BMW of North America by Spectro Oils of America.

Is BMW Gear Oil SAE 75W140 Super Synthetic an acceptable alternative gear oil to BMW Gear Oil SAE 75W90 Super Synthetic in certain applications?

I would use the 75W90 synth that the BMW bulletin says to use in the new final drives...the K2x and K4x bikes. As far as the trans goes and the fd in the older bikes, AND maybe even the new fd in those new bikes, I guess you could use the 140, but it is probably not necessary.

PGlaves
10-10-2007, 05:43 PM
I would use the 75W90 synth that the BMW bulletin says to use in the new final drives...the K2x and K4x bikes. As far as the trans goes and the fd in the older bikes, AND maybe even the new fd in those new bikes, I guess you could use the 140, but it is probably not necessary.

I would NOT use 75w140 in any BMW final drive. BMW specs allow it in transmissions but 90 wt or 80w90 wt or 75w90 wt is spec'd for final drives in every maintenance manual I have found.

gulfcoastbeemer
10-10-2007, 09:28 PM
Does it REALLY say "engine" ???



What part of "recommended for all BMW motorcycles after 1970" isn't clear enough?

As I commented in an earlier post, I have BMW 75W140 in my FD right now. It was put there by Max BMW, a very reputable dealer, about a month ago.

Thanks for the reply.

YES, it does say engine in that one place on the back-side label; however, it is clearly marked gear oil everywhere else.

I can take a picture of the front and back of the BMW product if there is any serious doubt about that. I should have made a comment about the word engine in the original post. All, I can figure is it's a result of pretty careless proof-reading on the part of BMW NA. Figures.

It appears we have two groups of people -- equally confident, and equally divided as to whether it's BMW 75W90 or 75W140 Super Synthetic Gear Oil that should be used in the final drive.

As far as the "manual" is concerned, I now have about as much confidence in it as the back-side label of the BMW Gear Oil. The $125 BMW REP-ROM specifies Castrol SAF-XO, which is a 75W90 gear oil that does not have fiction modifiers. Good luck finding it anywhere in the United States. And, who knows if that is what is currently recommended in light of much publicized final drive issues.

When I purchased my wife's '05 R1200RT the final drive was sealed for life -- maintenance free. When I purchased my '07 R1200RT the final drive was sealed for life -- maintenance free; but BMW NA issued a tech bulletin shortly after I bought it, and recommended a 600 mile drain and refill. Who knows what the real deal is presently.

I have spoken the BMW NA on other issues and have come the conclusion they are just about worthless. Each time I have asked them a question, they have dodged the issue and have asked me to consult with my dealer. Well, my dealer is a multi-brand dealer with a 55-gallon drum of generic gear oil.

PGlaves
10-11-2007, 01:14 AM
The recommended for BMW motorcycles language on the 75w140 bottle applies to transmissions. It even says so in the repair manuals.

But the repair manuals do not say so for final drives.

It's your bike - use what you wish. I prefer to use the grade and viscosity specified by BMW as stated in the repair manuals and owner's manuals.

gulfcoastbeemer
10-11-2007, 12:05 PM
The recommended for BMW motorcycles language on the 75w140 bottle applies to transmissions. It even says so in the repair manuals.

But the repair manuals do not say so for final drives.

It's your bike - use what you wish. I prefer to use the grade and viscosity specified by BMW as stated in the repair manuals and owner's manuals.

Have you actually read the the bottle -- that is, Gear Oil BMW 75W140 Super Synthetic?

This bottle does NOT mention transmission or final drive. It labeled GEAR OIL -- without any further clarification.

I don't know whose "repair manual" you are citing; but the BMW REP-ROM repair manual clearly states:

Final Drive: Castrol SAF-XO
Gear Box: Brand Name hypoid-gear lubricant SAE 90 API GL 5

As you can see the, BMW Repair Manual (REP-ROM) does NOT recommend BMW Gear Oil 75W140 in either application. So this seems to beg the question: is BMW NA marketing an oil that has no known application, or is there is some BMW service bulletin or BMW publication that clarifies where this GEAR OIL should be used.

The BMW Rider's Manual (US Model) R1200RT 3rd Edition: Rear-wheel drive design; Shaft drive with bevel gears (no mention of lubricant type).

Please share with us what BMW publication you are citing, and quote it.

PGlaves
10-11-2007, 01:13 PM
Yes - I have read the gear oil bottles for all three types of BMW branded gear oil.

The 75w140 synthetic says it is suitable for all post 1970 BMW motorcycles - without reference to transmissions or final drives.

The 80w90 says that it is suitable for use in transmissions AND final drives for 1970 and later BMW motorcycles.

The 75w90 synthetic also specifically references both transmissions AND final drives on post 1970 motorcycles.

I do happen to think that the language that is used on the 75w140 bottle is misleading. I am sure the differences in the language on the 80w90 and 75w90 bottles making reference specifically to transmissions and final drives was no accident. I also suspect that the vague language on the 75w140 where "motorcycles" were mentioned but final drives were not mentioned was also no accident.

In any event - the repair manuals and little owner's manuals for each model published by BMW do specify the correct lubricant to use in the transmission and final drive; to wit for the old style Oilhead and K bike drives:

Transmission: 90 wt GL5 gear oil if over 42 degrees F; 80 wt GL5 gear oil if under 42 degrees F; 80w90 wt GL5 gear oil OR 75W140 GL5 gear oil are acceptable substitutes.

Final Drive: 90 wt GL5 gear oil if over 42 degrees F; 80 wt GL5 gear oil if under 42 degrees F; 80w90 wt GL5 gear is an acceptable substitute.

I have previously stated publicly and written in the Owners News (July, 2007) that it is my carefully considered personal opinion that the use of improper viscosity gear oil which is thicker than specification is a contributing factor in the rather sudden increase in final drive failures which occurred time coincident with the introduction of the BMW branded 75w140 gear oil on the dealership shelves, and its widespread out-of-spec use by dealers and owners.

I have been chided and yelled at by a few dealers for that position but not one has yet been able to provide me documentation or a reference to documentation from BMW that says that anything heavier than 80w90 is acceptable in final drives. A couple of people did write that the "bottle says its OK", but given the specific language about final drives on the 80w90 and 75w90 bottles I don't believe the vague reference to "motorcycles" on the 75w140 bottle trumps the language in repair manuals or owner's manuals.

As for which documents: for the new sealed drives, the document is the bulletin issued by BMW pertaining to the oil change at the 600 miles service. it says 75w90. The 75w90 oil is also shown on the repair parts listing.

As for the older style final drives, what I wrote above is what it says in my R1100RS, R1150R, R1100S, K1100LT, and K75 owners manuals and my R1100RS/GS Repair Manual and my R1150RT and R1100S Repair Manual CDs.

But - as I wrote earlier - its your bike. Use what you want. I prefer to use gear oil which meets the viscosity specifications published by BMW.

PGlaves
10-11-2007, 01:50 PM
One more thought on the topic.

Since several dealers have only been able to show me specifications for final drive lubricant of 90 wt, 80 wt, 80w90 wt, or 75w90 wt. gear oil - maybe the owners on this forum can find additional specifications for one or more specific models. I've looked at over a dozen repair manuals but haven't looked at them all.

So: if you have a little book (Owner's or Rider's Manual) or a Repair Manual published by BMW for a post 1970 BMW motorcycle that specifies a FINAL DRIVE GEAR OIL THICKER THAN 90 WT please post that information here.

I don't think we need every reference to "yes - it says 90 wt" but certainly if it says anything heavier than 90 wt it would be instructive.

Please be specific - model, year, which manual, date of manual, etc.

Thanks

gulfcoastbeemer
10-11-2007, 03:25 PM
I just had a telephone conversation with BMW North America Customer Relations in Woodcliff Lake, NJ regarding what gear oil was to be used in my wife's '05 R1200RT and my '07 R1200RT. The BMW NA representative was very attentive to my concern and seemed very knowledgeable on the issue of final drive lubricant.

He referenced internal discussions that BMW Customer Relations had recently had with technical representatives within BMW regarding this very issue. This was not his first call on this issue. This Customer Relations representative felt he was up to speed on the issue and was familiar with all currently available information regarding final drive lubricant.

The BMW NA Customer Relations representative clearly stated that either BMW Gear Oil product -- 75W90 or 75W140 Super Synthetic was recommended in my final drive. He did state that ultimately individual BMW dealers might have a preference based on other considerations as to which might be used-- he didn't elaborate, perhaps climate or season of the year, who knows. But, in any event, he was very clear that BMW had formulated 75W140 Super Synthetic for use in the final drive of my particular model/year BMW motorcycles, and under no circumstance was it harmful to the final drive of these vehicles.

If anyone else want to have a go at it, the telephone number for BMW NA is 1-800-831-1117.

PGlaves
10-11-2007, 05:10 PM
I'm glad BMW tech reps and service reps now have the Hexhead and New K bike drive lube figured out.

They originally said there was a lifetime fill from the factory. Then they said change it at 600 miles. When I asked what to fill it with at 600 miles they said 75w140 synthetic. That's what I wrote in my July article. Then they issued the bulletin which said 75w90 and showed 75w90 on the parts fiche.

Now they say verbally either is acceptable. I'll accept that. I feel better because that means my article in July wasn't wrong.

Since the bulletin says 75w90 and that's what they show on the fiche, I would personally still use the 75w90 but Customer Service says either is OK, so that's OK by me.

I still would like to see any BMW documentation (if it exists) as to heavier than 90 wt oil in the Oilhead and old K bike final drives.

If any body has such in an owner's or repair manual that specs heavier than 90 wt. please let me know.

marcopolo
10-11-2007, 08:00 PM
FWIW, when my independent BMW Master tech changed the FD oil in my '06 R12RT in November 2006, he used "SAF-XO Synth F/D Oil". I know it was Castrol from looking at the bottle (after he told me the price, I wanted to check it out). He said that that's what BMW specified.

In July 2007, my final drive failed on a long trip and was replaced (under warranty) in Salt Lake City. A week later, I had the FD oil changed in my new final drive at Brown Motor Works, the BMW dealer in Pomona, California. They used "Super Synth 75/90", P/N 07510394082.

soffiler
10-12-2007, 01:23 AM
So: if you have a little book (Owner's or Rider's Manual) or a Repair Manual published by BMW for a post 1970 BMW motorcycle that specifies a FINAL DRIVE GEAR OIL THICKER THAN 90 WT please post that information here.

Please be specific - model, year, which manual, date of manual, etc.


Well, this isn't precisely what Paul is asking, but since this is the Hexhead forum, it seems pertinent to list what the hexhead's Rider's Manual says about the final drive lubricant:

nothing. zero, zip, zilch, the bubble.

More specifically, under "Fuels and Lubricants" on pp. 167-168, the only mention of gear oil is with respect to the transmission, and it calls for Castrol SAF-XO. No surprise there. Nor is there any surprise that they ignore the final drive lubricant, since back then everyone was still under the impression that it was a lifetime lubricant from the factory.

The Haynes Manual "BMW R1200 Twins '04-'06" (copyright Haynes Publishing 2007) likewise ignores the final drive lubricant. For the transmission it calls out "API grade GL-5 SAE 90"

This is an '05 R1200GS built 12/04; can't find any date on the Rider's Manual.

progress49
10-12-2007, 05:55 AM
One more thought on the topic.


So: if you have a little book (Owner's or Rider's Manual) or a Repair Manual published by BMW for a post 1970 BMW motorcycle that specifies a FINAL DRIVE GEAR OIL THICKER THAN 90 WT please post that information here.


Please be specific - model, year, which manual, date of manual, etc.

Thanks

R1200ST, 2007, purchased 7/07, owners manual, 3rd edition 6/2006.

This little book says absolutely nothing about lubricant specs for either the FD or the tranny, it only mentions engine oil. I was surprised at the omission and double checked, nothing.:dunno

Following the most recent BMW bulletin makes as much sense to me as anything else here.

cjack
10-12-2007, 01:55 PM
R1200ST, 2007, purchased 7/07, owners manual, 3rd edition 6/2006.

This little book says absolutely nothing about lubricant specs for either the FD or the tranny, it only mentions engine oil. I was surprised at the omission and double checked, nothing.:dunno

Following the most recent BMW bulletin makes as much sense to me as anything else here.

This kind of issue is the most frustrating. So far the bulletin is the way to go, but it says nothing about the bikes earlier than '07. One report on this forum said that BMWNA's advice on the phone was to change all the new FD bikes fluid no matter what year with the new synth 75W90. Many dealers probably don't know that, whether it is advisable or not. Is this person at BMWNA knowledgeable? Then dealers also make their own policy to use one FD oil or another and periodic changes or not as their experience or lack of it directs. The underlying cause of all this confusion is a total lack of guidance from BMW on the issue and the cause of that is probably worry about opening themselves up to warranty fluid changes and litigation.
Except for Death Valley in the summertime, I think I'll stay with the 75W90 synth.

GSWayne
10-14-2007, 10:56 PM
The 75W90 synthetic seems hard to find from the the Internet BMW dealers like Max's, Hammersley, A+S, Chicago and Sierra BMW. Anybody know of a source?
The 75W140 seems more common.

PGlaves
10-15-2007, 12:40 AM
The 75W90 synthetic seems hard to find from the the Internet BMW dealers like Max's, Hammersley, A+S, Chicago and Sierra BMW. Anybody know of a source?
The 75W140 seems more common.

Engle Motors in Kansas City has it. Gina's BMW in Iowa City has it. Any BMW dealer can get it - and per the bulletin ought to be using it. Unless they have a better idea.

cjack
10-15-2007, 01:27 AM
The 75W90 synthetic seems hard to find from the the Internet BMW dealers like Max's, Hammersley, A+S, Chicago and Sierra BMW. Anybody know of a source?
The 75W140 seems more common.

Twin City BMW, in Savoy IL has it. They don't have any 140 at the moment.
217-356-0399
BTW they are having an open house next Sat Oct 20.

TomR1200
10-17-2007, 12:46 AM
Everyone seems to be saying "the bulletin" requires 75-90 synth. I was at the dealer today, and he dug out the bulletin that requires changing the FD fluid at 600 miles for '07 bikes, and guess what? It doesn't mention viscosity. I read both pages. Is there a different bulletin everyone is talking about? Could someone post a copy of it?

TomR1200
10-17-2007, 12:50 AM
Yes. BMW issued a bulletin/instructions for changing the fluid in the 2007 models at 600 miles. Ask your dealer to see that bulletin and then ask the dealer to use the viscosity stated in that bulletin. Don't ask what they "prefer." Ask what BMW told them to use.

Paul, I just read that bulletin today, and there is no mention of viscosity anywhere on it. Were there two dealing with the same subject?

Tom

PGlaves
10-17-2007, 01:49 AM
Paul, I just read that bulletin today, and there is no mention of viscosity anywhere on it. Were there two dealing with the same subject?

Tom

It is my understanding - and there is so much confusion from the various dealers - that the specific Castrol product is a 75w90 synthetic oil. It is also my understanding that the Castrol product mentioned is European (Castrol is owned by BP) and not what comes in the BMW bottles in North America.

But - I've been told so many different versions by different folks I ought to give up. I don't have a new style drive. I use dino oil. I would use 75w90 synthetic from the BMW bottle in a new drive if I had a bike with a new style drive, assuming my dealership happened to be one that actually carried the stuff. Amsoil fans can use Amsoil. Mobil 1 fans can use Mobil 1. The thicker-is-better folks can use 75w140.

cjack
10-17-2007, 04:13 AM
Paul, I just read that bulletin today, and there is no mention of viscosity anywhere on it. Were there two dealing with the same subject?

Tom

No. There was only one bulletin. I just reread it. I apologize for saying it did recommend viscosity. Castrol 75W90 synth was the viscosity that BMW specified for the "lifetime fill" and I must have thought later that I had read it in the bulletin as well.
Sorry for my mistake.
It is my understanding though that synth 75W90 is the recommended viscosity from the latest repair manuals for those drives. I did read that. Just checked again.

TomR1200
10-17-2007, 11:59 AM
Thanks for the replies,

Just to muddy the waters further, I gave the dealer the part number for the BMW synth 75W-90, and it wasn't in their normal parts system. The service department guy went to the parts department, and they found it in the BMW master parts catalog ("etka?") as a Europe-only part. They said they could special order it, and it would take 2 weeks. The only BMW synthetic gear oil that this large, famous BMW-only east coast dealership had ever seen was the 75W-140.

Paul, I like your summation of the situation. I'll probably keep using BMW 75W-140 in my transmission, because it shifts nicely with it. I'll switch to RedLine 75W-90NS in the final drive "someday", but now that I've had the initial FD service, I don't feel it's an urgent matter.

I don't want to start one of those dorky synthetic oil threads full of laymen discussing esoterica that no one fully understands, but there's an interesting comparison here (http://www.redlineoil.com/pdf/5.pdf) that shows the properties of RedLine brand 75W-90NS and 75W-140NS. They have similar pour points, but by 40 degrees C the -140 has nearly twice the viscosity of the -90. I like this more than the data sheet for the Castrol SAF-XO here (http://129.35.64.91/bpglis/lubtds.nsf/technicaldata/F1CA2F1C585B3DF380256C4E005B8174?OpenDocument) because it's an apples-to-apples comparison of two varieties from the same manufacturer.

But, I think I agree with Paul that we all have opinions and can use whatever we want in our bikes, and I prefer to use something close to what the engineers specified. BMW specifies Castrol but sells rebranded Golden Spectro, so I think I won't be too far off if I use RedLine 75W-90NS.

Cheers, Tom

AntonLargiader
10-17-2007, 12:48 PM
Just to muddy the waters further, I gave the dealer the part number for the BMW synth 75W-90, and it wasn't in their normal parts system. The service department guy went to the parts department, and they found it in the BMW master parts catalog ("etka?") as a Europe-only part. They said they could special order it, and it would take 2 weeks. The only BMW synthetic gear oil that this large, famous BMW-only east coast dealership had ever seen was the 75W-140.
That's nuts. The BMW 75W90 Synth is readily available. I buy it by the case, and I live in the same state as you do. The "Sold by BMW of North America" wording on the label convinces me that it isn't specially ordered. Are you sure the dealer wasn't trying to get you SAF-XO?

TomR1200
10-17-2007, 01:40 PM
Anton,

I gave him the part number from the RealOem page that was linked earlier in this thread here (http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=0388&mospid=48423&btnr=33_1224&hg=33&fg=05): 33117695240. I also overheard the conversation with the parts rep, who stated "BMW doesn't make a 75W-90 synthetic." None of the three service writers had ever seen a bottle either. I went to look at the lubricants and cleaners on display in the showroom, and there was no 75W-90 of any kind. The only gear oils I recall seeing were BMW 80W-90 Dino and BMW 75W-140 Synthetic.

I was in no position to argue the point, since I had already made a fool of myself by stating that the service bulletin for 600-mile final drive service specified 75W-90, when in fact it does not.

BTW, I was in a neighboring state. (wink)

Cheers, Tom

cjack
10-17-2007, 02:25 PM
Anton,

I gave him the part number from the RealOem page that was linked earlier in this thread here (http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=0388&mospid=48423&btnr=33_1224&hg=33&fg=05): 33117695240. I also overheard the conversation with the parts rep, who stated "BMW doesn't make a 75W-90 synthetic." None of the three service writers had ever seen a bottle either. I went to look at the lubricants and cleaners on display in the showroom, and there was no 75W-90 of any kind. The only gear oils I recall seeing were BMW 80W-90 Dino and BMW 75W-140 Synthetic.

I was in no position to argue the point, since I had already made a fool of myself by stating that the service bulletin for 600-mile final drive service specified 75W-90, when in fact it does not.

BTW, I was in a neighboring state. (wink)

Cheers, Tom

BMWNA's synth 75W90 is part #07 51 0 394 082. They have 2148 of these bottles at the parts depots at BMWNA. The parts fiche has part #s for fluids, greases, and glues, but with few exceptions, they do not import any of these into the USA.

soffiler
10-17-2007, 02:37 PM
So is it possible to confirm as fact that 33117695240 is Castrol SAF-XO?

The_Veg
10-17-2007, 03:37 PM
Hmmmmmm
I bought some maintenance-supplies for the GS, and the parts-guy handed my a bottle of gear-oil and said it was for the final drive...just looked in the garage and it is BMW (made by Spectro according to the small-print) full-synth 75W140. TO be honest, I hadn't looked very closely at the label before, even when I changed the oil in the drive. This oil is red in colour and has slightly sulfury-odour, but not as strongly as old-fashioned hypoid-oil.
I've read all this discussion with curiosity, but I am not worried.

PGlaves
10-17-2007, 05:01 PM
Hmmmmmm
I bought some maintenance-supplies for the GS, and the parts-guy handed my a bottle of gear-oil and said it was for the final drive...just looked in the garage and it is BMW (made by Spectro according to the small-print) full-synth 75W140. TO be honest, I hadn't looked very closely at the label before, even when I changed the oil in the drive. This oil is red in colour and has slightly sulfury-odour, but not as strongly as old-fashioned hypoid-oil.
I've read all this discussion with curiosity, but I am not worried.

Yeah! See why I give up! BMWNA has not supplied coherent information to their dealership network. They sell a 75w90 synthetic half the dealers never heard of. They send out a service bulletin referencing a barely available European oil.

Among the dozen or so staffers in "motorcycles" in New Jersey nobody seems to know anything about maintaining current models, and everything about gray paint, white paint, and garment racks. They aren't HD and it won't work.

Meanshile, final drives fail - even the new design which should have cured any problems with the old design.

What a debacle. It really is no wonder I personally know a couple of dozen formerly faithful BMW riders who have bailed as fast as they could to other brands.

marcopolo
10-17-2007, 10:27 PM
So is it possible to confirm as fact that 33117695240 is Castrol SAF-XO?


Don't know, but if you punch that p/n into Max BMW's online parts fiche, you get the following description: "QT 75W90 SYN GEAR OIL GL5". The price is $16.80

This is the p/n and description on my July 07 invoice from Brown Motor Works when they changed my FD fluid.

Obviously this stuff's available; whether it's Castrol I don't know as I didn't see the container. As I mentioned in an earlier post, when my local independent tech changed my FD fluid last fall he definitely used Castrol, as I examined the bottle it came from.

I got this description from a Castrol UK price list: "SAF-XO 1 litre 75w/90 synthetic gear oil. BMW approved 17.99".

TomR1200
10-18-2007, 10:21 PM
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/fiche/MainDiagrams.asp?mospid=49569

Cheers, Tom

GSWayne
10-18-2007, 10:46 PM
I did order some of the 75W90 from Max's yesterday with the . . . 082 part number and they had it in stock.

TomR1200
10-18-2007, 11:10 PM
I did order some of the 75W90 from Max's yesterday with the . . . 082 part number and they had it in stock.

Yeah, I did the same thing 15 minutes ago. That's the part number for the North America/Spectro/BMW brand 75W-90 gear oil. We were wondering if the other part number, which begins with "33...", would correspond to Castrol SAF-XO, which is the factory fill according to the BMW service manual CD.

Cheers, Tom

BernieEcht
10-19-2007, 01:46 AM
Maybe we should order it from Germany. I am sure there is a similar oil available in this country. And I am sure that if BMW sells there 75W90 for these bikes, it should satisfy the requirements.

cjack
10-19-2007, 02:38 AM
Yeah, I did the same thing 15 minutes ago. That's the part number for the North America/Spectro/BMW brand 75W-90 gear oil. We were wondering if the other part number, which begins with "33...", would correspond to Castrol SAF-XO, which is the factory fill according to the BMW service manual CD.

Cheers, Tom

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.

deilenberger
10-19-2007, 04:24 AM
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.

TomR1200
10-19-2007, 11:54 AM
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

soffiler
10-19-2007, 02:59 PM
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/fiche/MainDiagrams.asp?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).

marcopolo
10-19-2007, 03:13 PM
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).

TomR1200
10-19-2007, 04:56 PM
...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

soffiler
10-19-2007, 05:46 PM
...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.

Motorwerk
10-19-2007, 10:23 PM
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:



...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,...

swall
10-19-2007, 10:43 PM
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.

73986
10-19-2007, 11:19 PM
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....:beer

soffiler
10-20-2007, 12:20 PM
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.

dwf
10-20-2007, 12:31 PM
Just amazing a major vehicle manufacturer can not tell you what lubricant to use with any degree of certainty.



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.

marcopolo
10-20-2007, 01:58 PM
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.

dwf
10-20-2007, 02:05 PM
What is the BMW labeled 75W140 for?


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.

deilenberger
10-20-2007, 02:22 PM
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..

PGlaves
10-20-2007, 02:35 PM
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.

deilenberger
10-20-2007, 02:36 PM
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.This has become the BMW Internet fire-storm of the year IMHO.

People are asking dealers what to use - and - in some cases probably parts department people. The dealers tend to use what they have in stock and parts guys like to sell what they have in stock. They don't want to dissapoint you.

Apparently some dealers don't have GL5-80W in stock (or GL5 75W-90) - so they grab the bottle they DO have in stock and say "use this.."

The specifications for the Castrol oil SAF-XO which is specified is an API GL5 75W-90 extreme pressure lubricant: http://129.35.64.91/bpglis/lubtds.nsf/technicaldata/F1CA2F1C585B3DF380256C4E005B8174?OpenDocument

And: http://www.opieoils.co.uk/performance_lubricants/pdf/castrol/CastrolSAFXO.pdf

There are a lot of GF5 fluids available that meet that specification, including the GL5 75W-90 synthetic that BMW sells in the US.

It really shouldn't be a problem. If your bike was refilled with the 75W-140 oil - change it and then forgeddaboutit. If you really like to be super careful - have the oil changed at 12k intervals. That will be overkill - but if it makes you sleep better at night - the overkill is worth it.

In this case - BMW-AG has said what to use. BMW-NA hasn't made a real statement, and dealers are apparently telling people lots of different things. That IS frustrating - but going back to the primary source (AG) - there really shouldn't be a question on what oil to use.

deilenberger
10-20-2007, 02:44 PM
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.

Snippage of the quoted letter..

Tom - I agree entirely.

The reference to "limited slip" oils (I have to use these in my BMW M3..) is to oils that have friction modifiers added to them. Limited slip differentials use clutches to keep power transfer uniform between the two axles (a greatly simplified explanation.. but bear with me..) - and if normal GL5 is used - the clutches make noise when turning corners. Our rear drives don't have two axles and don't have any clutches in them. They don't need limited slip oil.

Regular GL5 oil doesn't have the friction modifiers - and is what BMW has specified by specifying the Castrol SAF-XO oil.

As Paul Glaves has pointed out - there is a viscosity range also specified - and there may be problems if a different (in this case - a higher VI range) oil is selected. I don't see the problem with this - but apparently a lot of people are confused.

dwf
10-20-2007, 02:46 PM
Thanks Paul. I have read enough that I'm going with the 75W90 in my 1200 Adventure (once I figure out how often to change it:).

I think a big part of the confusion comes from the different opinions of the dealers. My local dealer says "use either one but BMW recommends 75W90--we use the 75W90 on the 600 mile change for new bikes". I also posed the question to the well respected Iron Horse BMW in Tucson and this is their exact response:

"BMW recommends 75-140 or 75-90 we use 75-140 BMW super syn. oil syn. oil is the important part for the final drive

You can use 80-90 standard oil in the trans or syn. it does not matter.

John"



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.

deilenberger
10-20-2007, 03:02 PM
Thanks Paul. I have read enough that I'm going with the 75W90 in my 1200 Adventure (once I figure out how often to change it:).

I think a big part of the confusion comes from the different opinions of the dealers. My local dealer says "use either one but BMW recommends 75W90--we use the 75W90 on the 600 mile change for new bikes". I also posed the question to the well respected Iron Horse BMW in Tucson and this is their exact response:

"BMW recommends 75-140 or 75-90 we use 75-140 BMW super syn. oil syn. oil is the important part for the final drive

You can use 80-90 standard oil in the trans or syn. it does not matter.

John"John - do us a favor. Ask Iron Horse to produce something in writing from BMW telling them they can use the 75W-140 oil.

I'm willing to bet they can't. :D

The dealers have "opinions" - the factory has a specification. I'll go with the manufacturers specification over a dealer opinion every time.

deilenberger
10-20-2007, 03:09 PM
Just a FWIW - I went back and looked up my service invoice for my 600 mile service. It lists 07-51-0-394-082 75W90 GL5 - which if punched into Max BMW's part lookup - http://www.maxbmwmotorcycles.com/fiche/searchbypartnumber.asp?PARTNUMBER=07510394082 - ie: QT 75W90 SYN GEAR OIL GL5

PGlaves
10-20-2007, 03:31 PM
Just a FWIW - I went back and looked up my service invoice for my 600 mile service. It lists 07-51-0-394-082 75W90 GL5 - which if punched into Max BMW's part lookup - http://www.maxbmwmotorcycles.com/fiche/searchbypartnumber.asp?PARTNUMBER=07510394082 - ie: QT 75W90 SYN GEAR OIL GL5

And unless I have the long list of conflicting dealer quotes mixed up - Max's is one of the ones that said BMW didn't have a 75w90 synthetic oil.

ssls6
10-20-2007, 04:34 PM
Just another FWIW, I monitor the temperature of my final drive after rides and log it. On average, the FD on my R1200GSA runs 30C over ambient while the transmission runs 80C over ambient.

PGlaves
10-20-2007, 05:52 PM
Just another FWIW, I monitor the temperature of my final drive after rides and log it. On average, the FD on my R1200GSA runs 30C over ambient while the transmission runs 80C over ambient.

Which makes it appear perfectly sensible for BMW to specify that a 75w140 GL5 gear oil is OK in a transmission and to not say the same thing for a final drive.

Which is what I have been trying to say and failing miserably at for about a year now.

marcopolo
10-20-2007, 06:15 PM
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..

My independent BMW Master tech used it for my FD fluid change in November 2006. Off the top of my head I don't know where he got it. I couldn't find it on Castrol Canada's website.

ssls6
10-20-2007, 07:01 PM
Which makes it appear perfectly sensible for BMW to specify that a 75w140 GL5 gear oil is OK in a transmission and to not say the same thing for a final drive.

Which is what I have been trying to say and failing miserably at for about a year now.

I don't think most people understand how big a factor temperature is in the viscosity of an oil. I've run into folks that believe a 75w-140 gets thicker when it gets hot.

GSWayne
10-20-2007, 09:29 PM
What I think the summary is:

RepRom recommends Castrol SAF-XO for the final drive which nobody seems to have or know a BMW number for

Hammersley fiche does not show a lubricant on their final drive drawing

Max's and Real OEM fiches show 33117695240 part number for 75W90 oil and nobody seems to have any

07 51 0 394 082 is the part number for a BMW 75W90 oil that is available and has been what at least some dealers are putting in final drives

Some dealers recommend and use 75W140 oil with no written documentation from BMW to support the use of that for final drives.

BMW says to change the FD oil once at 600 miles for 07 models to flush out some contamination that is a result of the manufacturing process but does not recommend changing it at all for 05 or 06 models (but lots of people are changing it anyway, but not based on any real data, because nobody has done an oil analysis showing the lubricant is failing)

BMW final drives may be failing at a relatively high rate, but nobody knows what the rate is or what the actual failure mode is.

PGlaves
10-20-2007, 09:49 PM
What I think the summary is:

RepRom recommends Castrol SAF-XO for the final drive which nobody seems to have or know a BMW number for

Hammersley fiche does not show a lubricant on their final drive drawing

Max's and Real OEM fiches show 33117695240 part number for 75W90 oil and nobody seems to have any

07 51 0 394 082 is the part number for a BMW 75W90 oil that is available and has been what at least some dealers are putting in final drives

Some dealers recommend and use 75W140 oil with no written documentation from BMW to support the use of that for final drives.

BMW says to change the FD oil once at 600 miles for 07 models to flush out some contamination that is a result of the manufacturing process but does not recommend changing it at all for 05 or 06 models (but lots of people are changing it anyway, but not based on any real data, because nobody has done an oil analysis showing the lubricant is failing)

BMW final drives may be failing at a relatively high rate, but nobody knows what the rate is or what the actual failure mode is.

Pretty good summary.

But, actually the failure mode of the old style drives is pretty well known. Failure of the crownwheel deep grooved ball bearing. The failure starts when small flakes of the hardened surface fracture off the race. Damage to the balls is next. This can sometimes be detected by finding the small siver flakes on the drain plug magnet. With continued use, further damage to the races follows. If allowed to continue, a ball jams; the seperator cage collapses; which is followed almost immediately by wobble and leakage.

What is not firmly established is the cause of the initial fracturing of the hardened race surface. I have my opinion. Others have theirs.

soffiler
10-21-2007, 02:06 PM
And unless I have the long list of conflicting dealer quotes mixed up - Max's is one of the ones that said BMW didn't have a 75w90 synthetic oil.


Max is certainly the dealer that put 75W-140 into my final drive when my outer seal was recently replaced under warranty. I personally haven't queried Max about their knowledge of the existance of 75W-90 full syn, however.

GSWayne
10-21-2007, 03:58 PM
According to the confirmation Max's sent me when I ordered my oil, they had 3 quarts of 75W90 synthetic oil on 10/17/07. It has the ... 082 part number.

marcopolo
10-22-2007, 01:05 AM
I had the FD on my 2006 RT replaced under warranty in July. I was on a long road trip at the time, so a friend of mine e-mailed me the wording of a BMW US service bulletin relating to the exact type of failure I experienced. I am copying it below. Note that in this bulletin, BMW US "highly recommend using BMW Super Synthetic Gear oil. 75W 90, P/N 07 51 0 394 082".

Here is the bulletin:

BMWMotorrad
USA
Service Information Bulletin
Subject: Bearing play at the rear wheel drive
Model:
Details:
Aftersales
Solution:
Dealer Operation/
General Manager
Sales-
Motorcycles
Sales -
Used Motorcycles
Business Manager
(F&I)
Service Parts & Accessories Administration
Date: February 2005
Bulletin #33 001 05 (011)
Source: 33 74/2004
BMW Motorrad USA Service and Technical
Contact: Respective Aftersales Business Consultant
R 1200 GS
1: In the rear drive of the R 1200 GS the ring gear is supported by two types of bearings:
one floating bearing and one fixed bearing without preload. Inherent in this design
is a small amount of bearing play at the rear wheel. With all components manufactured
and assembled to stated tolerances it is possible that play in these bearings can be felt
and measured at the rear wheel. This type of bearing play has no effect on motorcycle
handling or on the durability of the bearings.
2: There is a possibility of play developing between the splined wheel flange (P/N 33 17
7 668 659) and the axle tube of some motorcycles manufactured prior to 08/2004, US
VIN# ZL 76187.
1: In the event of a customer complaint, an inspection and measurement of rear wheel
bearing play is to be performed as described below. With cold components the total
play (back and forth travel) allowable at the wheel rim edge is 1mm(maximum). Refer to
the R 1200 GS Repair Manual CD for measuring procedures as well as temperature definition
of "cold components". Replace the entire rear-wheel drive assembly if the play
exceeds specifications.
2: If the complaint is "bearing play at the rear wheel" you must first check that the
splined flange is secure before performing the measurement noted in point #1. When
rocking the rear wheel back and forth, you must first make sure there is no movement
between the wheel flange, the rear wheel and the axle tube.
If play is noticeable between these components you must replace the entire rear wheel
drive assembly (complete with flange). Replacing the splined wheel flange only will not
solve the situation, because in all probability the splines on the axle tube will have suffered
some degree of wear as well. If you are in doubt, you are requested to contact your
respective Aftersales Business Consultant.
Warranty: Covered under the terms of the New Motorcycle Limited Warranty.
Important Note: Screw 1 is a drain
plug for repair-related oil changes; it is
not for checking the oil level. When filling
the rear drive assembly with oil,
pour in the defined quantity (0.25 l for
initial fill, or 0.23 l for oil changes)
through the bore for the ABS sensor.
We highly recommend using BMW
Super Synthetic Gear oil. 75W 90, P/N
07 51 0 394 082

PGlaves
10-22-2007, 02:20 AM
Bingo! We have a winner.

Everybody whose dealer told them BMW doesn't have a 75w90 synthetic oil should ask them if they ever saw Bulletin #33 001 05 (011).

gulfcoastbeemer
10-22-2007, 11:25 AM
Bingo! We have a winner.

Everybody whose dealer told them BMW doesn't have a 75w90 synthetic oil should ask them if they ever saw Bulletin #33 001 05 (011).

Is this, and other bulletins to which you refer, publicly available anywhere? If not, how is it that you have access to them? Are you a BWM dealer mechanic?

The total lack of official documentation on this topic that is available to owners is frustrating. Forget the Owner's Manual -- its useless in this regard.

Even when one buys the $125 offical BMW REP-ROM Manual, the final drive lubricant specified is Castrol SAF-XO -- a product that BMW NA does not market, and is not readily available in the US; however, BMW NA does market Super Synthetic Gear Oil, in either 75W90 or 75W140, that has NO OFFICIALLY DOCUMENTED APPLICATION in any BMW motorcycle based on any documentation that BMW makes available to owners.

gulfcoastbeemer
10-22-2007, 01:43 PM
...I'll switch to RedLine 75W-90NS in the final drive "someday", ...there's an interesting comparison here (http://www.redlineoil.com/pdf/5.pdf) that shows the properties of RedLine brand 75W-90NS and 75W-140NS. They have similar pour points, but by 40 degrees C the -140 has nearly twice the viscosity of the -90. I like this more than the data sheet for the Castrol SAF-XO here (http://129.35.64.91/bpglis/lubtds.nsf/technicaldata/F1CA2F1C585B3DF380256C4E005B8174?OpenDocument) because it's an apples-to-apples comparison of two varieties from the same manufacturer.

In this Amsoil Gear Oil White Paper (http://www.synthetic-oil-tech.com/Gear%20Lube%20White%20Paper.pdf), Redline 75W90 was found to be best in one test, "out of spec" in another test, and totally failed other tests.

http://www.synthetic-oil-tech.com/Gear%20Lube%20White%20Paper.pdf

cjack
10-22-2007, 02:04 PM
Bingo! We have a winner.

Everybody whose dealer told them BMW doesn't have a 75w90 synthetic oil should ask them if they ever saw Bulletin #33 001 05 (011).

I remember that bulletin and my dealer had one of those loose spline FDs. I didn't remember the reference to the gear oil, but that must have been where I read it. Instead, I thought that I read the gear oil recommendation in the FD oil change bulletin.
That "White Paper" test looks pretty good for the Amsoil synth. I wonder about the "long drain" (long time between drain and refill...lifetime?) spec for the Castrol SAF-XO. Just what makes a oil long drain? Which one of those tests would indicate a long drain oil?

PGlaves
10-22-2007, 02:37 PM
Is this, and other bulletins to which you refer, publicly available anywhere? If not, how is it that you have access to them? Are you a BWM dealer mechanic?

The total lack of official documentation on this topic that is available to owners is frustrating. Forget the Owner's Manual -- its useless in this regard.

Even when one buys the $125 offical BMW REP-ROM Manual, the final drive lubricant specified is Castrol SAF-XO -- a product that BMW NA does not market, and is not readily available in the US; however, BMW NA does market Super Synthetic Gear Oil, in either 75W90 or 75W140, that has NO OFFICIALLY DOCUMENTED APPLICATION in any BMW motorcycle based on any documentation that BMW makes available to owners.

BMW usually publishes pretty thorough specifications for everything. What makes the new style final drives a bit odd is that at the time the bikes came out - books published - manuals written - the wisdom was that the units were lubricated for life. Thus, more or less a void in information as to what they used at the factory.

Then they changed their minds about the new style final drives and needed to tell their dealers what to do about it. They do that with service bulletins. Some dealers file them neatly in 3 ring binder books. Some seemingly don't open the mail, or they throw them in a drawer. Or the service manager files them but doesn't pass the info on to the techs who actually do the work.

It is not unusual for BMW to specify European products for which BMW USA needs to find equivalents. Welcome to the global economy. When BMW publishes a spec for 75w90 wt. GL5 rated gear oil, equivalents are easy to find. When they say Castrol SAF-XO by name somebody has to figure out specifically what that is. It is in fact a GL5 rated 75w90 wt synthetic gear oil. Nothing more - nothing less.

As for the public availability of service bulletins: BMW doesn't generally distribute them except to dealers, their tech reps, etc. They are considered proprietary. If you ask, however, many dealers will provide bulletin information to you. If I patronized a dealer that wouldn't share authoritative information as to how I should take care of my bike I'd find another dealer. But I never walk into a dealership in attack dog mode either.

For the new model final drives there are at least two bulletins. One issued to address what to do when play is detected in the final drive, and to explain what normal play is. And one to address the changing of gear oil at 600 miles.

The one addressing the change of gear oil specifies Castrol SAF-XO. The one from 2005 about play recommends the use of the BMW synthetic 75w90 GL5 rated Gear Oil packaged for and distributed by BMW Motorrad USA.

Since both of these bulletins reference GL5 rated 75w90 wt oil - one only by name, and the other by grade and weight - there really is no doubt what BMW intends to be used in these final drives - GL5 rated 75w90 Synthetic Gear Oil - except in the misinformation apparently put out by Customer Service rep's and some dealers who didn't do their homework.

Which is why I've been pleading for folks to see it in writing. Unfortunate, but true. The "opinions" of some dealers, just like some list posters, some of the time, just can't be relied upon to be correct.

For my columns in the ON I try very hard to get it right or not print it, but I've been wrong a time or two, too.

glurkus
10-22-2007, 02:38 PM
I just had my 600 service done at my dealer on my 07 RT and they did not change the final drive oil. I just contacted BMW NA and they were totally useless. The rep said that they don't have access to service bulletins and I should contact my dealer. I'm going to give them a call as soon as they open.

soffiler
10-22-2007, 02:39 PM
In this Amsoil Gear Oil White Paper (http://www.synthetic-oil-tech.com/Gear%20Lube%20White%20Paper.pdf), Redline 75W90 was found to be best in one test, "out of spec" in another test, and totally failed other tests.

http://www.synthetic-oil-tech.com/Gear%20Lube%20White%20Paper.pdf

Interesting reading! It certainly looks pretty legit, but the cynic in me wants to point out that the author of the report (Amsoil) is hardly unbiased. Agreed, we are told that the performance tests were conducted by an independent (but unnamed)laboratory, but does this ensure that Amsoil didn't provide "doctored" samples? Physical tests were conducted by Amsoil in-house. I am only jumping to Red Line's defense because of the potentials for bias and distortion in this kind of report.

The two tests where Red Line falls out of spec. are low-temperature viscosity, and foaming. Failure at -40C is not relevant to MY motorcycle riding habits. Admittedly, foaming is of much greater concern. However, of the 14 oils tested, I count 8 that failed this test. Can it be that the foaming test does not accurately reflect real-world conditions?

I note the Red Line stands head and shoulders above the rest in the Falex Extreme Pressure test. That test might be one of the most relevant (along with the 4-ball wear tests) of all the tests conducted.

And finally, the numerical summary uses a flawed methodolgy to assign scores. Simply assigning an integer rank to the results of each test greatly distorts the outcomes. Case in point is the 4-ball wear test. The very best score (.423mm) is only about 22% different from the very worst score (.516mm) yet the worst performer is assigned a summary rank that is 1400% worse.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the Amsoil gear lubricant; but these highly technical and offical-looking test reports remind me of the kind of data routinely published by the K&N Filter company. They just overwhelm non-technical type people with data that looks so official that it must be.

glurkus
10-22-2007, 03:24 PM
I contacted my dealer and the service manager insists that they changed my final drive oil. I said that it wasn't on the invoice. He said that it was on the mechanic's check off sheet. He said that they put in GL5 75/90 and because its in barrels that sometimes the mechanic dosn't write on the invoice that they added the oil. I'm hoping at this point he's being honest with me.

PGlaves
10-22-2007, 03:29 PM
I contacted my dealer and the service manager insists that they changed my final drive oil. I said that it wasn't on the invoice. He said that it was on the mechanic's check off sheet. He said that they put in GL5 75/90 and because its in barrels that sometimes the mechanic dosn't write on the invoice that they added the oil. I'm hoping at this point he's being honest with me.

Holy Batman, Batman. Now they have the 75w90 synthetic stuff in barrels!

soffiler
10-22-2007, 03:39 PM
Holy Batman, Batman. Now they have the 75w90 synthetic stuff in barrels!


Translation for glurkus:

If they actually did change your FD oil, and used the stuff in the barrel, they did not use the lubricant recommended by BMW. As far as any of us know, the synthetic lubricant doesn't come in barrels. Thus, apparently, they used conventional gear oil.

TomR1200
10-22-2007, 10:00 PM
In this Amsoil Gear Oil White Paper (http://www.synthetic-oil-tech.com/Gear%20Lube%20White%20Paper.pdf), Redline 75W90 was found to be best in one test, "out of spec" in another test, and totally failed other tests.

http://www.synthetic-oil-tech.com/Gear%20Lube%20White%20Paper.pdf

Yes, but in this other study, conducted by RedLine, Redline Oil was found to counteract the effects of aging in humans, and Amsoil was found to consist entirely of bat urine: www.nonotreally.com (http://www.nonotreally.com)

blast54
10-22-2007, 10:57 PM
I think this latest bulletin is going to wrap things up for me before I wear out the drain/not drain plug :D

Bought the bike in August with 3K , 4K miles later and after draining the original ( 2005) oil ( which seemed to have moly.....Sorry Don, this was before the post about getting a sample of factory to see if it really IS moly), I am now on my 4th oil change !!

Replaced first time with 75-90 syn, then 80-90 dino with Gear Guard (moly additive), then onto BMW 75-140 syn and now back to 75-90 synthetic.

Only problem now is that the 75-90 synthetic I have in there is Spectro Golden.
It is red but it is a GL-5, Synthetic gear oil which I am comfortable with.

Each change of oil was done after following the posts here and a couple of follow up emails to/from people that I trust. ( Just goes to show how much the opinions have changed in a few short months)

Bill Kenney
Foster,RI
05 R1200RT
05 Vstrom

Great news.....I can change oil in differential in 1/2 hour now, not counting the 1/2 hour I let it sit and drain :D

TomR1200
10-23-2007, 12:17 AM
Translation for glurkus:

If they actually did change your FD oil, and used the stuff in the barrel, they did not use the lubricant recommended by BMW. As far as any of us know, the synthetic lubricant doesn't come in barrels. Thus, apparently, they used conventional gear oil.

At $17 a quart, that barrel would be worth $3740.

TomR1200
10-23-2007, 12:20 AM
Only problem now is that the 75-90 synthetic I have in there is Spectro Golden. It is red but it is a GL-5, Synthetic gear oil which I am comfortable with.

Congrats, BMW oil is rebranded Spectro.

TomR1200
10-23-2007, 12:24 AM
Everybody whose dealer told them BMW doesn't have a 75w90 synthetic oil should ask them if they ever saw Bulletin #33 001 05 (011).

I just did that, Paul. I emailed the General Manager of the dealership and requested they drain and refill my FD for free with the correct lubricant. I'll post a synopsis of his reply.

Thanks to everyone that kept this line of inquiry open. I think we really succeeded in shining a little light in a very dark place.

Cheers, Tom

PGlaves
10-23-2007, 12:38 AM
I just did that, Paul. I emailed the General Manager of the dealership and requested they drain and refill my FD for free with the correct lubricant. I'll post a synopsis of his reply.

Thanks to everyone that kept this line of inquiry open. I think we really succeeded in shining a little light in a very dark place.

Cheers, Tom

I've tried to stay on this topic, and have been sometimes argumentative in the process, because I'm the one who got, and published bad information in the ON in July - referenced in the very first post in this thread. Thanks to cjack and marcopolo for the specifics of both the bulletins we now have identified, we now know something sensible to suggest to our dealers. I had read, but not copied both those bulletins at one time, but I am now in very south west Texas, 1000 miles from my dealer's reference books.

BernieEcht
10-23-2007, 01:38 AM
Paul, which is the right way to go about to find out what your dealer put into the rear drive. Would you just ask him and believe what he says or just change it your self and trust your own work?
And what would you recommend as an interval to change this oil, after the 600 mile service. I know BMW says it is good for life. How many miles/month is life?

PGlaves
10-23-2007, 01:54 AM
Paul, which is the right way to go about to find out what your dealer put into the rear drive. Would you just ask him and believe what he says or just change it your self and trust your own work?
And what would you recommend as an interval to change this oil, after the 600 mile service. I know BMW says it is good for life. How many miles/month is life?

I have contributed to some confusion by not being very very careful how I differentiate between the older style Oilhead (and traditional K bike) drives and the new style Hexhead and new K drives.

For the new style drives I have become convinced that unless you talk directly to the tech that did it you may not get a very good answer. To be safe, one time at least, I would change it myself so that I knew that 75w90 synthetic was in the drive. That is what I would do because then there would be no uncertainty. And if I had it changed I would have it done by a dealer I could trust to know what to use and to use what I asked to be used.

Change frequency is a funny issue. I personally don't believe in "lifetime" lubrication unless the system is totally sealed from all contaminants. And even environmental moisture condensing inside a cooling final drive is a contaminant. I would worry less here in the Chihuahuan desert than I would in coastal Florida or other humid environment - but I still would be concerned. If you are in an area that regularly gets dew in the morning you are at risk for moisture condensing in your final drive (and transmission and engine).

I don't believe that in normal service the final drives get hot enough to boil off moisture like an engine does. So the only way to get it out is to drain it out. For that reason, and just because they think it is a good idea, some dealers change oil in the new style final drives at 12,000 mile intervals. For many folks that is about a year's worth of travels.

I agree with those dealers. I think those are reasonable intervals. If I owned a bike with a new style drive I would change the oil at least once a year, or every 12,000 miles, whichever came first.

BernieEcht
10-23-2007, 01:58 AM
Thanks Paul, that is what I have been thinking also.

DSBMW1
10-29-2007, 02:42 PM
Use 75/90 that is what BMW recomends.

cjack
10-31-2007, 03:55 PM
That photo tells me that the final drive was still wearing in and sloughing off gearset material after whenever the oil was last changed. And in addition to the moisture I wrote about above, getting that debris out by draining the oil is also critical to bearing life.

I do not believe in "lifetime" lubrication unless you expect a very short lifetime. My apologies to BMW for not believing them.

One thing I noticed about our new FDs is that they do not breathe. So no vent may help minimize the moisture issue.

Does Voni know that the gear oil in her final drive is now red?

lawman101
11-01-2007, 01:40 PM
I'm new to this DB so I'm sure what I've learned is probably old news to you guys but FWIW..I began hearing about final drive problems not too long after I bought my 05 RT..I changed the final drive oil with Royal Purple 75w-140 at 14,000 miles..The old oil was horrible..It was very black and stunk worse than than I do when working the hogs..The plug was covered with a thick black gunk..I later began to hear that it may be good idea to grease the spline with Honda moly grease when changing the final drive oil so once again I changed it at 19,000 miles and greased the spline..I later learned that 75w- 140 should probably not be used in the final drive so at 23,000 miles I replaced it again with Mobil 1 75w-90..The oil that came out this time looked just like it did when I put it in..No stink...no gunk...no nothing..just clean oil with no bad smell...So, here's my question...Is Mobil 1 75w -90 synthetic okay or do I need to change it a fourth time?:banghead

deilenberger
11-01-2007, 01:59 PM
Is Mobil 1 75w -90 synthetic okay or do I need to change it a fourth time?:bangheadSince it's a GL-5, that meets the viscosity range BMW wants - it more than likely is just fine.

cjack
11-01-2007, 02:35 PM
I'm new to this DB so I'm sure what I've learned is probably old news to you guys but FWIW..I began hearing about final drive problems not too long after I bought my 05 RT..I changed the final drive oil with Royal Purple 75w-140 at 14,000 miles..The old oil was horrible..It was very black and stunk worse than than I do when working the hogs..The plug was covered with a thick black gunk..I later began to hear that it may be good idea to grease the spline with Honda moly grease when changing the final drive oil so once again I changed it at 19,000 miles and greased the spline..I later learned that 75w- 140 should probably not be used in the final drive so at 23,000 miles I replaced it again with Mobil 1 75w-90..The oil that came out this time looked just like it did when I put it in..No stink...no gunk...no nothing..just clean oil with no bad smell...So, here's my question...Is Mobil 1 75w -90 synthetic okay or do I need to change it a fourth time?:banghead

I'm sure Mobil 1 is just fine. BTW stink is good for gear oil. If the oil stays free of moisture, I think that the most good you do changing it is greasing the splines. Also, BMW has a magnetic drain plug now to replace the early ones without a magnet.

gulfcoastbeemer
11-20-2007, 12:12 AM
FYI, the last time I bought BMW Super Synthetic 75W140 Gear Oil it was a LIGHT HONEY in color.

When I stopped by the shop today, the same BMW Quart bottle of Super Synthetic 75W140 Gear Oil contains an oil that is a bright CHERRY RED in color. The label still indicates Spectro Oil is the supplier.

So why the color change -- to reveal oil seal failures more easily?

soffiler
11-20-2007, 01:35 AM
FYI, the last time I bought BMW Super Synthetic 75W140 Gear Oil it was a LIGHT HONEY in color.

When I stopped by the shop today, the same BMW Quart bottle of Super Synthetic 75W140 Gear Oil contains an oil that is a bright CHERRY RED in color. The label still indicates Spectro Oil is the supplier.

So why the color change -- to reveal oil seal failures more easily?


WILD GUESS - maybe Spectro isn't an oil manufacturer but just a packager. And they're using a different supplier now. ??

cjack
11-20-2007, 05:40 PM
FYI, the last time I bought BMW Super Synthetic 75W140 Gear Oil it was a LIGHT HONEY in color.

When I stopped by the shop today, the same BMW Quart bottle of Super Synthetic 75W140 Gear Oil contains an oil that is a bright CHERRY RED in color. The label still indicates Spectro Oil is the supplier.

So why the color change -- to reveal oil seal failures more easily?

I think those are two different oils. BMWNA used to market a 75W140 last year and before which was synthetic gear oil and was honey colored. Then this year they came out with a new "Full" synthetic gear oil 75W140 (red) which has a completely different part number. They also had a closeout deal on the older part number. I don't remember seeing the "Made by Spectro" on any of the previous synthetic BMW oil products, gear or engine. I do remember seeing "Made by Spectro" on all the dino oils though for some years. So I assumed that Spectrol just started making all the synthetic oils for BMW. And why it's red. And all different part numbers. I could be wrong, but.

ctyankee
12-27-2007, 02:49 AM
Used Castrol synthetic 75-90 in my final drive change. I have an '05 and didnt get to it until over 12000 miles. Changed it and MAN - the old fluid was gnarly! I saved it for posterity!

kreinke
12-27-2007, 03:02 AM
My BMW dealer, who is also an Amsoil dealer, give me Amsoil 80-w-90 gear lube. They say it's better than the BME stuff. I have a deal where I just tell them I need do do an oil change on the Roadster and they send me a UPS box with the amounts of oil I'll need along with all the crush washers, filters, etc.

ANDYVH
12-27-2007, 03:43 AM
Since Paul is one here that has actually worked on everything we talk about, and since his bikes all exceed 200,000 miles in service, I tend to believe his recommndations probably more than anyone else's.

My 94 R1100RS now has a mere 126,000 miles on it, serviced by my own hands over the past 13 years. I have always used Castrol Synthetic 75W90, API GL5 gear lube in my tranny and final drive, with no problems from either one (aside from the problematic original 94 spec tranny). For your info, I did some searching on the API classifications and found this. I don't know the source, but it is interesting none the less.

API classification subdivides all transmission oils into 6 classes:
API GL-1 - oils for light conditions. They will consist of base oils without additives. Sometimes they contain small amounts of antioxidizing additives, corrosion inhibitors, depresants and antifoam additives. API GL-1 oils design for spiral-bevel, worm gears and manual transmissions without synchronizers of trucks and farming machines.
API GL-2 - oils for moderate conditions. They contain antiwear additives. They design for worm gears of vehicles. The oils recommend to lubrication of transmissions of tractors and farming machines.
API GL-3 - oils for moderate conditions. The oils are containing up to 2.7 % antiwear additives. They design for lubricating bevel and other gears of trucks. Not recommended for hypoid gears.
API GL-4 - oils for operating in different conditions - from light to heavy. They contain 4.0 % of effective antiscuffing additives. The oils are designs for bevel and hypoid gears which have small displacement of axles, for gearboxes of trucks, for units of axles. These oils are recommended for non-synchronized gearboxes of US trucks, tractors and buses, for main and other gears of all vehicles. Now these oils are the basis for the synchronized gearboxes, especially in Europe.
API GL-5 - oils for the most loaded gears, working in severe conditions. They contains up to 6.5 % effective antiscuffing additives. The general applications of oils this class - the hypoid gears having significant displacement of axes. They recommended as universal oils to all other units of mechanical transmission (except gearboxes). The oils which have special approval of vehicle manufacturers can be used for synchronized manual gearboxes only. API GL-5 oils can be used for limited slip differentials if they correspond to requirements of specification MIL-L-2105D or ZF TE-ML-05. In this case the designation of class will be another, for example API GL-5+ or API GL-5 LS
API GL-6 - These oils for the most loaded gears working in very heavy conditions (high speeds of sliding and significant shock loadings). They contain up to 10 % high performance antiscuffing additives. They're designed for hypoid gears with significant displacement of axles. Now class API GL-6 is not applied any more as it is considered, that class API GL-5 well enough meets the most severe requirements.

As almost all Transmission Oils have S-P compounds (antiwear or antiscuffing additives) they affect on parts of transmission units from yellow metals. This affect is some problem at use the transmission oils in different applications. Often we can see the results of misusing these oils. For solution problem were advise the antiwear and antiscuffing additive from inorganic borate compounds which no affect on yellow metals. The overall level of these additives meet API GL-5 but as these additives not attack yellow metals the performances such oil are meet API GL-1. The use of inorganic borate compounds allows recommend such oils for all applications - from API GL-1 to API GL-5. It looks like Universal Transmission Oil.

feds27
05-14-2008, 11:34 PM
I picked up my bike from it's 600 mile service last week and the service invoice states they used BMW 80W140 for the final drive. They also used BMW 10W50 for the engine. Odd that they used grades I hadn't heard discussed here before.

soffiler
05-15-2008, 01:31 PM
I picked up my bike from it's 600 mile service last week and the service invoice states they used BMW 80W140 for the final drive. They also used BMW 10W50 for the engine. Odd that they used grades I hadn't heard discussed here before.

BMW Accessories catalog lists 10W-50 motor oil (p/n 07510412041) but I would first consult my Rider's Manual to determine what the proper viscosity is for your bike and your ambient temperatures before I condone or condemn 10W-50.

I cannot locate a BMW-branded 80W140 gear oil. Synthetic is available in 75W90 and 75W140; consensus appears to be 75W90 is correct for hexhead final drives. There is an 80W90 non-synth gear lube but the hexhead recommends synth. Does your invoice list a BMW part no. for this 80W140?

feds27
05-15-2008, 01:59 PM
The invoice doesn't state anything specific for the part numbers other than "10W50B" and "SYN1/2 QT 80W140B". The descriptions are "BMW 10W50 Motor Oil" and "1/2 QT 80W140". This service was performed by the dealer where I purchased the bike.

I spoke with the shop foreman about the 10W50 and he said they have NEVER seen an engine failure due to engine oil grade. Oils are much better than they were 20 years ago. The 10W50 oil will allow me to use the same oil all year round without the need to switch to 10W40 in the winter. I tend to agree with him.

I had asked about using 75W140 vs. 75W90 when I dropped off the bike. They said they haven't notice a correlation between fluid grade and failures. They only use the synthetic in the final drives and transmissions which they service. They said the 75W140/final drive issue is mostly internet hype. It could be those with failures had bad seals, bad FD's, or didn't perform 600 mile service where the FD fluid gets changed.

Anyway, I just wanted to share the info on these two other grades that are being used by the dealers.

soffiler
05-15-2008, 03:14 PM
The invoice doesn't state anything specific for the part numbers other than "10W50B" and "SYN1/2 QT 80W140B". The descriptions are "BMW 10W50 Motor Oil" and "1/2 QT 80W140". This service was performed by the dealer where I purchased the bike.

I spoke with the shop foreman about the 10W50 and he said they have NEVER seen an engine failure due to engine oil grade. Oils are much better than they were 20 years ago. The 10W50 oil will allow me to use the same oil all year round without the need to switch to 10W40 in the winter. I tend to agree with him.

I had asked about using 75W140 vs. 75W90 when I dropped off the bike. They said they haven't notice a correlation between fluid grade and failures. They only use the synthetic in the final drives and transmissions which they service. They said the 75W140/final drive issue is mostly internet hype. It could be those with failures had bad seals, bad FD's, or didn't perform 600 mile service where the FD fluid gets changed.

BMW catalog generically lists the 10W-50 as an all-season replacement for 10W-40 and 20W-50. I would always tend to follow the Rider's Manual over anecdotal/verbal advice from a dealer, if they conflict. When the dealer has a service bulletin that supercedes the Rider's Manual, obviously that's a different story.

It appears based on the description that your dealer is using a synthetic, non-BMW-branded gear lube of 80W-140 viscosity. I hope it meets the GL-5 requirement. Take your dealer's advice at your own peril. "We haven't seen any failures" is anecdotal evidence. BMW recommends synthetic 75W-90, period.

Regarding internet hype: what are you doing here right now if you've decided to place your trust in someone who dismisses the info as internet hype? Furthermore, we've heard from the likes of Paul Glaves on this subject, and if you're going to lump him into that category, well...

feds27
05-15-2008, 04:17 PM
BMW catalog generically lists the 10W-50 as an all-season replacement for 10W-40 and 20W-50. I would always tend to follow the Rider's Manual over anecdotal/verbal advice from a dealer, if they conflict. When the dealer has a service bulletin that supercedes the Rider's Manual, obviously that's a different story.

It appears based on the description that your dealer is using a synthetic, non-BMW-branded gear lube of 80W-140 viscosity. I hope it meets the GL-5 requirement. Take your dealer's advice at your own peril. "We haven't seen any failures" is anecdotal evidence. BMW recommends synthetic 75W-90, period.

Regarding internet hype: what are you doing here right now if you've decided to place your trust in someone who dismisses the info as internet hype? Furthermore, we've heard from the likes of Paul Glaves on this subject, and if you're going to lump him into that category, well...

It's obvious you need to work on your reading comprehension. I'm not sure why you're flaming me for what the dealer said about internet hype.

soffiler
05-15-2008, 05:20 PM
It's obvious you need to work on your reading comprehension. I'm not sure why you're flaming me for what the dealer said about internet hype.

Let's take another look at this. Your dealer said it, then you reported it here. Is there something wrong with me addressing the issue of whether it's hype or not?

Furthermore, where do YOU stand? Do you trust your dealer? Do you therefore believe the 75W/140 issue is, indeed, just hype (Internet or otherwise)? Do you believe that your dealer's comments are anything more than anecdotal? Do you think it's okay to plug in an 80W/140 where a 75W/90 is the recommended viscosity? If so, why?


I had asked about using 75W140 vs. 75W90 when I dropped off the bike. They said they haven't notice a correlation between fluid grade and failures.

This is what I consider anecdotal, unless someone can show me that the dealer has made some reasonably scientific attempt to establish said correlation, with some statistical significance.


They said the 75W140/final drive issue is mostly internet hype. It could be those with failures had bad seals, bad FD's, or didn't perform 600 mile service where the FD fluid gets changed.

Yep, it could be any or some combination of the above. And yet it could also be true that 75W/140, with markedly different viscosity parameters, is the wrong lubricant for this drive. I find it offensive that this idea is dismissed as internet hype, and you're the one who reported that, so I guess you're the target of the flames. Sorry about that. We (the BMW enthusiast public) don't have much in the way of facts. We do have at least one fact: the recommended viscosity is 75W/90.

cjack
05-15-2008, 06:34 PM
And yet it could also be true that 75W/140, with markedly different viscosity parameters, is the wrong lubricant for this drive. I find it offensive that this idea is dismissed as internet hype, and you're the one who reported that, so I guess you're the target of the flames. Sorry about that. We (the BMW enthusiast public) don't have much in the way of facts. We do have at least one fact: the recommended viscosity is 75W/90.

I find it odd that dealers deviate from the BMW specifications given for the drive, but they do.
Then, also, I don't think that using 90 or 140 would definitely hurt the drive under normal use. It must be that in a sealed drive or with cooling in mind, drives such as the 1200s have now, the 75W90 is the better choice. Have no data, but I would use it since BMW took the effort to specify it.
I also think that it is most likely failures are probably due to quality issues with bearings and bearing cages, and maybe as undetected fluid loss...say when you are riding thru the night on a 1000 mile day for example. When the drive goes, how to tell that the oil left in the dark before or after the drive failed. Just a wild unsubstantiated guess...

feds27
05-15-2008, 06:59 PM
Let's take another look at this. Your dealer said it, then you reported it here. Is there something wrong with me addressing the issue of whether it's hype or not?
Although you took issue with the dealer's comments, you directed your comments at me. Completely unnecessary in a forum where the main goal is to share information and help each other.


Furthermore, where do YOU stand?....
I think it's obvious I was trying to share the fact that 2 other viscosities are being used by BMW dealer(s). To date I haven't seen these viscosities discussed much, if at all, on this forum. I didn't offer my opinion in the original post other than I tend to agree that a good 10W50 oil would be preferable/convenient. It could very well be the case that a good 10W50 oil was not available when the manual was printed. I have to check if the 10W50 BMW oil is SG rated.

I ride my bike year round so I prefer switching to thinner 10W40 oil in the winter to help cold cranking and lubrication during startup. The problem with 10W40 is that when Spring hits, if I don't have an opportunity to switch the oil out to 20W50 or I misjudge the weather, I could be running too thin a viscosity oil. I have had on occasion weekend trips where I'd head out in colder temperatures and then return in much warmer temps. In the cases where I still had 10W40 in my bike, I was worrying if I was causing unnecessary wear.

Regarding the 80W140, I'm not sure how to feel about it, that's why I posted the info. There are alot of variables in determining the root cause of the FD failures. Type of riding (offroad, street, aggressive, 2-up), rider+gear weight, was the owner good about maintenance, manufacture date (issues with quality control), model of bike, climate, service intervals (BMW now requires changing FD fluid at 600miles), and of course type of hypoid oil used. I don't think there is one oil for all situations.


I find it offensive that this idea is dismissed as internet hype, and you're the one who reported that, so I guess you're the target of the flames. Sorry about that.
At least you acknowledged your response was to "kill the messenger". Apology accepted.

soffiler
05-15-2008, 07:05 PM
I find it odd that dealers deviate from the BMW specifications given for the drive, but they do.
Then, also, I don't think that using 90 or 140 would definitely hurt the drive under normal use. It must be that in a sealed drive or with cooling in mind, drives such as the 1200s have now, the 75W90 is the better choice. Have no data, but I would use it since BMW took the effort to specify it.
I also think that it is most likely failures are probably due to quality issues with bearings and bearing cages, and maybe as undetected fluid loss...say when you are riding thru the night on a 1000 mile day for example. When the drive goes, how to tell that the oil left in the dark before or after the drive failed. Just a wild unsubstantiated guess...


100% agree.

No reason to think 75W/140 will definitely hurt the drive. But it ain't the rear axle of a '57 Chevy, that would probably run if you stuffed it full of banana peels. This appears, to me, to be a really good place to be studious with the mfg recommendation.

Regarding undetected fluid loss, I can speak as one of the lucky ones who experienced an outer seal failure on a short trip. I am certain it wasn't leaking at the start (because I'd just cleaned the bike upon return from a 3200-mile trip, and observed pretty much every surface of the bike upclose and personal) and 70 miles later the right sidewall of my rear tire was substantially streaked with oil. I conclude based on my sample size of 1 that this seal can fail rapidly and if it happened on a long trip, it may not be noticed for hundreds of miles, which could potentially leak a fatal amount of lube.

soffiler
05-15-2008, 07:12 PM
...I don't think there is one oil for all situations...


I know you're talking about final drives there, but you DO seem to think there's one ENGINE oil for all situations (10W50). Why not FD's?

feds27
05-15-2008, 07:59 PM
I know you're talking about final drives there, but you DO seem to think there's one ENGINE oil for all situations (10W50). Why not FD's?

Not really. I tend to think 10W50 fits my situation. If I lived in a hotter climate year round, I would use 20W50 no doubt. And if I raced my bike I might actually use a single grade oil like some people do. There are +/-'s for each so it's about compromise. I'm sure 10W50 has some comprise (typically shortened life due to viscosity modifiers wearing out). I change my oil regularly so it shouldn't be a problem but I would like to see a test that compares the BMW 10W50 to the BMW 20W50.

Any ideas as to who would provides BMW with 10W50 and 80W140? Valvoline, Castrol or Spectro?

feds27
05-15-2008, 08:02 PM
I've sent my 10W40 and 20W50 to Blackstone for testing in the past for my R1100S. I guess I can send the 10W50 for testing but it wouldn't be an exact comparison given different bikes.

soffiler
05-15-2008, 08:12 PM
Any ideas as to who would provides BMW with 10W50 and 80W140? Valvoline, Castrol or Spectro?

I've yet to see evidence that the 80W/140 is BMW branded.

gulfcoastbeemer
05-15-2008, 08:52 PM
I find it odd that dealers deviate from the BMW specifications given for the drive, but they do.
Then, also, I don't think that using 90 or 140 would definitely hurt the drive under normal use. It must be that in a sealed drive or with cooling in mind, drives such as the 1200s have now, the 75W90 is the better choice. Have no data, but I would use it since BMW took the effort to specify it.

Actually, the original gear oil specified by BMW was Castrol SAF-XO. SAE90

When I inquired of BMW NA regarding final drive oil they stated "either BMW Super Synthetic 75W90 or BMW Super Synthetic 75W140 is RECOMMENDED" -- (their exact words (http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=20714&page=3#post_message_247465)).

At this point I'm convinced the gear oil issue is a total red herring.

It's not so much the oil, as it is the oil change interval, the design of the FD, and its component materials.

ANDYVH
05-15-2008, 08:59 PM
All I know is what works on my 94 R1100RS, now at over 128,000 miles. I have always used Castrol Synthetic GL5 75W90 gear oil in my final drive. In all those miles I have probably changed the FD fluid maybe five times. No problems, no leaks, no bearing issues, no noise/whine. I have done a lot of rain riding in those years/miles. I know what works for me.

gulfcoastbeemer
05-15-2008, 09:32 PM
No problems, no leaks, no bearing issues, no noise/whine.

...and, different final drive. [oilhead/hexhead]

cjack
05-15-2008, 09:50 PM
I've yet to see evidence that the 80W/140 is BMW branded.

Red Line makes some.

TomR1200
05-15-2008, 09:57 PM
The 10W50 oil will allow me to use the same oil all year round without the need to switch to 10W40 in the winter.

Just some food for thought; my R12R manual says 20W-50 is good down to 32F. Do you ride in colder weather than that? I go out at 35F and warmer myself, but the first start of the day is from a heated garage, so I'm not terribly worried about 20W-50 for my particular style of winter riding. Yes, I'm sure 10W-40 would be better. Maybe my boxer engine will only last 199,000 miles instead of 200,000.

Bear in mind that 20 weight base stock in a 20W-50 only needs an additive package that gets it to perform like a hot 50 weight oil (2.5 times more viscous, corrected for temperature) whereas a 10W-50 needs to get 5 times "thicker" to behave like a hot 50 weight oil. IMO, if you're going to use something with such a robust additive package, you might want to consider more frequent change intervals.

soffiler
05-16-2008, 12:05 PM
Actually, the original gear oil specified by BMW was Castrol SAF-XO. SAE90

Yes, the specified product is a European Castrol SAF-XO. NO, it is not SAE90. It is synthetic 75W/90 GL-5, as we've been discussing for, oh, 150 posts or so.

soffiler
05-16-2008, 12:12 PM
Red Line makes some.

Yes, Jack, but, is it sold in BMW-branded packaging? That's the issue I was addressing. feds27 asked "Any ideas as to who would provides BMW with 10W50 and 80W140? Valvoline, Castrol or Spectro?" and my response wondered whether ANYBODY is providing BMW with 80W/140. In other words, I think that dealer is using something else, maybe Red Line (not that there's anything inherently wrong with Red Line). I don't see any 80W/140 anywhere in the BMW system (but my info is limited to the BMW catalogs and fiche on the Max BMW site).

soffiler
05-16-2008, 12:37 PM
Bear in mind that 20 weight base stock in a 20W-50 only needs an additive package that gets it to perform like a hot 50 weight oil (2.5 times more viscous, corrected for temperature) whereas a 10W-50 needs to get 5 times "thicker" to behave like a hot 50 weight oil. IMO, if you're going to use something with such a robust additive package, you might want to consider more frequent change intervals.


SAE viscosity scale isn't linear as your post suggests, but nonetheless you're making a solid point. 20W-50 uses 20W base stock and needs less viscosity modifier to hit the SAE 50 spec when hot, versus a 10W base stock, which needs a lot more viscosity modifier to hit SAE 50 hot. Conventional oil wisdom says viscosity modifiers aren't lubricants, so the less of it, the better. I do not disagree with that philosophy.

I am checking my Rider's Manual right now ('05 GS). It calls for 20W-50 down to -10C (+14F). I personally don't ride when it's that cold, so 20W-50 works for me. Actually there's a lot of information on that page. Three straight weights, five specific multi-weights, and two more which provide some wiggle room:

SAE 10W-X Special Oils (X>=40) for temp down to -20C (-4F) and unlimited on the high end

SAE 5W-X Special Oils (X>=40) showing the widest possible range, literally unlimited on the high and low end

IF the R12S uses the same specification (I do not know the fact here) then feds27's BMW-branded 10W-50 is covered by that "Special Oils" category all the way down to four below zero fahrenheit. Brrrrr. Again, the 20W-50 is a better choice for me, all the way down to 14F.

cjack
05-16-2008, 12:48 PM
Yes, Jack, but, is it sold in BMW-branded packaging? That's the issue I was addressing. feds27 asked "Any ideas as to who would provides BMW with 10W50 and 80W140? Valvoline, Castrol or Spectro?" and my response wondered whether ANYBODY is providing BMW with 80W/140. In other words, I think that dealer is using something else, maybe Red Line (not that there's anything inherently wrong with Red Line). I don't see any 80W/140 anywhere in the BMW system (but my info is limited to the BMW catalogs and fiche on the Max BMW site).

No. I was just guessing that the dealer has some non BMW oils for sale, so I went looking on the internet for brands of 80W140 and found Redline.
BMW has not had and does not have any 80W140 on the motorcycle side. I do not know about the car side. They generally carry Castrol there since BMWAG has a deal with Castrol...as you can plainly see from your owner's book.
BMW Motorad does have dino 10W50 motor oil though. As well as 10W40 and 20W50. The synths are 10W40, and 15W50. All made by Spectro as far as I know. For gear oils, they have 80W90 dino, 75W90 synth, and 75W140 synth. Both synths are new last year and again I think they are all made by Spectro.

feds27
05-16-2008, 01:37 PM
I looked up the oil specs for the R12S and from what you've posted it matches the R12GS. Note that 14F is the lower LIMIT for 20W50, it doesn't necessarily mean it cold cranks or performs well at that lower limit. I don't think it's performance is linear as you suggested above. 10W40 without a doubt cold cranks much better than 20W50 at temperatures below 50F than does 20W50, and I definitely ride in that temperature range below 50F. I store my bike in a public garage that is just as cold/hot as outside temps. I have noticed a huge difference in cranking when using 10W40. There's a reason why BMW recommends different grade oils and why their range of performance overlap each other.

I would think that using 20W50 in colder weather would put more stress on the: starter, oil pump, battery, and possibly won't flow as well to lubricate all of the parts that it needs to until it warms up. Although the manual says it's safe to run 20W50 at its lower limit, why stress the bike? <= this is just my opinion. I'm not telling anyone what they should or shouldn't do. The dealer used 10W50 and that's how I became aware the grade was available. A sample to Blackstone will tell me how it performed over 3k. If it performs well then I'll keep using it.

Regarding the 75w90 and 75w140 debate. I would think that both perform similar at cold temperatures but as the FD warms up and gets to operating temperature the 75w140 gets much thicker. There is some debate as to whether thicker is better for transmissions and FDs. Some have commented on how thicker causes missed shifts in the tranny, and some have commented on how thicker doesn't allow the FD to flow oil into key areas.

soffiler
05-16-2008, 02:03 PM
I looked up the oil specs for the R12S and from what you've posted it matches the R12GS. Note that 14F is the lower LIMIT for 20W50, it doesn't necessarily mean it cold cranks or performs well at that lower limit. I don't think it's performance is linear as you suggested above.

What did I suggest? I don't understand what you mean by that.


I would think that using 20W50 in colder weather would put more stress on the: starter, oil pump, battery, and possibly won't flow as well to lubricate all of the parts that it needs to until it warms up.

All true in theory, and the most important practical consideration in my opinion is the latter - flow when cold. In my own personal case, I tend to limit my riding to above 30F, so I've got at least a 16F "buffer window" to BMW's absolute lower limit of 14F.


Regarding the 75w90 and 75w140 debate. I would think that both perform similar at cold temperatures but as the FD warms up and gets to operating temperature the 75w140 gets much thicker.

This might be considered a nitpick but I think I detect a misconception in this statement. It doesn't get thicker, it thins to a lesser degree. The 75W spec is the "Winter" aka cold viscosity, measured at 0F. The spec without the W is the hot spec, measured at 210F. Hot 140 is substantially THINNER than cold 75 despite being numerically higher.

Interesting point implied here: how hot does an FD get? Not as hot as the transmission by a long shot, considering the tranny is connected via very good thermal paths to the hot engine, and the FD is not. Where 140 might be an improvement in the transmission, it's pretty thick for the cooler-running FD.

feds27
05-16-2008, 02:19 PM
SAE viscosity scale isn't linear as your post suggests,

I was trying to say I agree that it's not linear, as you suggested.

feds27
05-16-2008, 02:22 PM
I was trying to say I agree that it's not linear, as you suggested.

I read it again and that still wasn't clear. What I'm trying to say is that you suggested it's not linear and I agree. That should clear it up.

soffiler
05-16-2008, 03:24 PM
I read it again and that still wasn't clear. What I'm trying to say is that you suggested it's not linear and I agree. That should clear it up.

Whoops, sorry for the miscommunication, and thanks for clearing that up. In short, you agree with my assertion, the SAE viscosity scale isn't linear. That's OK; I still think the point TR250Tom makes is correct, even though his illustration isn't perfect.

feds27
05-16-2008, 03:37 PM
Interesting point implied here: how hot does an FD get? Not as hot as the transmission by a long shot, considering the tranny is connected via very good thermal paths to the hot engine, and the FD is not. Where 140 might be an improvement in the transmission, it's pretty thick for the cooler-running FD.

Yep good point. Operating temps for the tranny and FD are different. The FD definitely runs much cooler than the tranny.

I understood that 75w140 would function like a 75 weight oil at cold temperature and like 140 weight oil at operating temperature. If operating temperature is lower for a FD, does that mean 75w140 might function more like a 90 weight oil in the FD at FD operating temps? This is what I'm not entirely clear on.

feds27
05-16-2008, 03:49 PM
I couldn't find charts for Spectro but I did find for Valvoline GL-5 Hypoid oil.

They show the viscosities at different temps.

http://www.valvoline.com/products/HDSYNGO.pdf



Added another chart with comparisons:

http://www.redlineoil.com/pdf/5.pdf

gulfcoastbeemer
05-16-2008, 04:28 PM
Yes, the specified product is a European Castrol SAF-XO. NO, it is not SAE90. It is synthetic 75W/90 GL-5, as we've been discussing for, oh, 150 posts or so.

I'm glad someone is keeping track of all this. A thousand pardons...


Castrol SAF-XO is a full synthetic SAE 75W-90 final drive lubricant suitable for use in most passenger car and light commercial vehicle final drive without limited slip differentials. The excellent cold flow properties offer superior protection at start up and help to reduce torque loss and improve driveline efficiency. BMW approval for rear axles without a limited slip differential. API GL5 (GL6 obsolete), ZF TE-ML 05.

Other than having no oil at all, I rather doubt there is a single, documented case of any particular oil causing the failure of a final drive.

There hasn't been an oil manufactured that can overcome a design failure.

The absolute worst that could be said of running BMW Super Synthetic Gear Oil 75W140 verses 75W90 is BMW Super Synthetic Gear Oil 75W140 might not "reduce torque loss and improve driveline efficiency" to the same degree BMW Super Synthetic Gear Oil 75W90 might.

I smell a red herring.

soffiler
05-16-2008, 06:46 PM
I couldn't find charts for Spectro but I did find for Valvoline GL-5 Hypoid oil.

They show the viscosities at different temps.

http://www.valvoline.com/products/HDSYNGO.pdf

Added another chart with comparisons:

http://www.redlineoil.com/pdf/5.pdf

Very interesting. Both charts have entries for 75W-90 and 80W-140. Viscosities given in centiStokes (cSt).

Valvoline at 100C: the 80W-140 is roughly twice as thick as the 75W-90 (30.6 vs 16.6).
Valvoline at 40C: the 80W-140 is more than twice as thick as the 75W-90 (284 vs 122)
Redline at 100C: the 80W-140 significantly thicker than 75W-90 (26 vs 16.4)
Redline at 40C: the 80W-140 is twice as thick as the 75W-90 (231 vs 115)

The FD does warm up; as a guess it's somewhere above 40C but not close to 100C. I think the message from Valvoline and Redline is pretty clear: the 80W-140 when warm is significantly thicker than 75W-90.

Will thicker oil cause an FD failure? I don't want to conjecture. BMW wants 75W-90 in there. Enough said.

feds27
05-16-2008, 08:06 PM
Yep, which brings up the question that others have posted - why are dealers deviating from 75W90?

While checking for recommended final drive viscosity in my manual I double checked the oil table. Guess what I found when I flipped the page.....

Permissible viscosity classes:
SAE 5W >= 30
SAE 10W 40
SAE 15W >= 40
SAE 20W >= 40
SAE 5W >= 50

and on the back side of the page.....

SAE 10W >=50

FYI for those jumping in mid-thread my bike is a R1200S.

BeemerMike
05-16-2008, 08:14 PM
Yep, which brings up the question that others have posted - why are dealers deviating from 75W90?

While checking for recommended final drive viscosity in my manual I double checked the oil table. Guess what I found when I flipped the page.....

Permissible viscosity classes:
SAE 5W >= 30
SAE 10W 40
SAE 15W >= 40
SAE 20W >= 40
SAE 5W >= 50

and on the back side of the page.....

SAE 10W >=50

FYI for those jumping in mid-thread my bike is a R1200S.

Uh, not sure what you are saying. The 75w-90 is gear lubricant (FD and transmission), while the "permissible viscosity classes" are engine motor oil. What is the connection between the two? :confused:

soffiler
05-16-2008, 09:04 PM
Yep, which brings up the question that others have posted - why are dealers deviating from 75W90?

Exactly the question I've been trying to get you to ask yourself since you posted that your dealer used 80W-140!

tbryant
05-16-2008, 10:14 PM
The oil doesn't literally thicken, it only behaves as if it did. Have you ever seen the oil when it's hot? More like water. Following that logic, you wouldn't change the oil when it's hot...if it's thinner when cold.

soffiler
05-17-2008, 12:18 AM
The oil doesn't literally thicken, it only behaves as if it did. Have you ever seen the oil when it's hot? More like water. Following that logic, you wouldn't change the oil when it's hot...if it's thinner when cold.

Yes. That was covered:

http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showpost.php?p=328506&postcount=156

TomR1200
05-17-2008, 02:06 PM
Interesting discussion!

I thought perhaps I had misread the lower temp limit for 20W-50 oil based on some of the discussion above, so I just reread my owner's manual (2007 R12R). 20W-50 oil is in fact only recommended down to 32F in my bike, not 14F like the 2005 R12GS and the later R12S. I wonder what the 2007 or 2008 manual for the R12GS recommends?

Cheers, Tom

TomR1200
05-17-2008, 02:40 PM
Conventional oil wisdom says viscosity modifiers aren't lubricants, so the less of it, the better. I do not disagree with that philosophy.



Steve, I agree with what you said, but my primary objection to "wide spectrum" multiviscosity oils is that all modifiers break down as the oil cycles and ages. You start out with 10W-50, for example, then it slowly goes out of spec. After 6000 miles, perhaps you have 10W-40? Who knows? In theory, if you ran the oil long enough to exhaust the friction modifiers, you would be running straight 10W. How long is too long for any particular grade? A wide-spectrum oil, which by definition depends more upon its additive package to deliver its advertised performance, seems more vulnerable to falling out of specification as those additives inevitably degrade.

Anyone who is still reading at this point is one of the people who cares enough about his or her oil so that they are in no danger of leaving it unchanged for 10,000 miles. But there are some good charts on RedLine's site that discuss oil falling out of spec, and that's really what I was driving at with my criticism of using 10W-50 in an air-cooled engine over 6000 mile drain intervals.

feds27
05-19-2008, 01:42 AM
Uh, not sure what you are saying. The 75w-90 is gear lubricant (FD and transmission), while the "permissible viscosity classes" are engine motor oil. What is the connection between the two? :confused:

You jumped in mid conversation. Read a few posts back. When I posted about 80W140 I also mentioned my dealer used 10W50. I was just confirming for the skeptics that 10W50 was in my rider manual.

soffiler
05-19-2008, 02:05 PM
... I wonder what the 2007 or 2008 manual for the R12GS recommends?

I have a good friend with an '07 GS-Adv. I have asked him to check. Will report back.

BeemerMike
05-19-2008, 05:12 PM
You jumped in mid conversation. Read a few posts back. When I posted about 80W140 I also mentioned my dealer used 10W50. I was just confirming for the skeptics that 10W50 was in my rider manual.

No, I didn't jump in mid conversation. When you said "oil table" immediately after discussing final drive viscosity in the same sentence, you meant ENGINE oil table! Sorry I missed your intent (or was unable to read your mind). ;)

BTW, your engine oil viscosity table must look very different from the ones for my three BMW bikes. Mine do not not use specifications such as "15W >= 40", they just have a table with all the approved grades (e.g., 20w-50) and the temperature range for each. Must be something new for hexheads.

cjack
05-19-2008, 06:02 PM
No, I didn't jump in mid conversation. When you said "oil table" immediately after discussing final drive viscosity in the same sentence, you meant ENGINE oil table! Sorry I missed your intent (or was unable to read your mind). ;)

BTW, your engine oil viscosity table must look very different from the ones for my three BMW bikes. Mine do not not use specifications such as "15W >= 40", they just have a table with all the approved grades (e.g., 20w-50) and the temperature range for each. Must be something new for hexheads.

The new '08 GS book has 20W50 listed as the engine oil, but then has a bunch of hieroglyphics about permissible grades versus temperature.
As far as the gear oil, I cannot find any reference in the owner's book on type and viscosity. It may be in there somewhere, but if so, they really dropped the ball on making it available...table of contents...index...no joy.
The repair data does however list the SAF-XO Castrol as the desired gear oil without mentioning the viscosity. Then go to the Internet and find out that Castrol states that it is synthetic oil and suitable when needing 75W90, 80W90, or 90. And that BMW recommends changing it (cars here) in the rear axle every two years.

soffiler
05-20-2008, 12:59 PM
I have a good friend with an '07 GS-Adv. I have asked him to check. Will report back.


The '07 GS-Adv Rider's Manual states both 15W / X and 20W / X are good down to 0C (32F). This is a definite change over the '05 GS Rider's Manual which allows 20W / 50 down to -10C (+14F).

BeemerMike
05-20-2008, 01:55 PM
The repair data does however list the SAF-XO Castrol as the desired gear oil without mentioning the viscosity. Then go to the Internet and find out that Castrol states that it is synthetic oil and suitable when needing 75W90, 80W90, or 90. And that BMW recommends changing it (cars here) in the rear axle every two years.

Interesting. Although Castrol's product information indicates that BMW recommends changing the "rear axle" (differential?) oil every two years, BMW's stated maintenance requirements for their U.S. cars is that the manual transmissions and the rear differentials have "lifetime fills" and do not require changing the gear oil. The new cars do not have engine oil dipsticks any more. You rely on the engine oil level sensor to monitor your oil level (does that give anyone pause?). And I think the differentials no longer have drain plugs (if you want to change the gear oil you have to suck it out through the fill hole). I'll think I'll be keeping my 2001 Z3 3.0i for awhile. ;)

Of course, no one really believes the "lifetime fill" BS (at least those who plan to keep their cars longer than the 4-year "free maintenance" period). I wonder what the European maintenance requirements are for transmission/differential oil changes?

charleshickman
05-21-2008, 02:37 AM
The new cars do not have engine oil dipsticks any more. You rely on the engine oil level sensor to monitor your oil level (does that give anyone pause?).

I have an '06 325i. I bought it about 3 months ago, used with 21k miles. I always check the oil of any used car I even test drive. Freaked out is closer than taking pause. I hope the oil level sensor is made of unobtianium.

I'm changing the final drive lube in my '06 gs every 12k miles, whether it needs it or not.

Thanks for the tip on the rear differential on my car.

marcopolo
05-24-2008, 09:18 PM
The invoice doesn't state anything specific for the part numbers other than "10W50B" and "SYN1/2 QT 80W140B". The descriptions are "BMW 10W50 Motor Oil" and "1/2 QT 80W140". This service was performed by the dealer where I purchased the bike.

I spoke with the shop foreman about the 10W50 and he said they have NEVER seen an engine failure due to engine oil grade. Oils are much better than they were 20 years ago. The 10W50 oil will allow me to use the same oil all year round without the need to switch to 10W40 in the winter. I tend to agree with him.

I had asked about using 75W140 vs. 75W90 when I dropped off the bike. They said they haven't notice a correlation between fluid grade and failures. They only use the synthetic in the final drives and transmissions which they service. They said the 75W140/final drive issue is mostly internet hype. It could be those with failures had bad seals, bad FD's, or didn't perform 600 mile service where the FD fluid gets changed.

Anyway, I just wanted to share the info on these two other grades that are being used by the dealers.


Ask your dealer to show you where -- in writing -- BMW recommends 75W140 for a hexhead final drive. I think you'll find they can't do that because BMW specifies Castrol SAF-XO, which is a synthetic 75W90 GL-5 gear oil. Since this product is not available at BMW bike dealers in the US, BMW USA sells a BMW-branded 75W90 synthetic. You'll find the SAF-XO specified in the repair manual and the parts fiche. I'd ask your dealer why they don't stock and use the lubricant BMW specifies. How much trust do you put in a dealer who can't even supply the lubricant recommended by the manufacturer? Who do you trust more on this issue, the company that built your bike, or the local yokel at your dealer? I love the dealer's logic (such a s it is) about failures and fluids. Now that makes me laugh.

dougnord
05-20-2009, 08:35 PM
I almost didn't buy another BMW this time around because of the issue of final drive faiure. Many I know in this community have a similar opinion. In the 70's I wanted a BMW motorcycle but couldn't afford one. Now I have my third and I want to do things right from the beginning.

I've spent the last several hours trying to learn more about this lubrication issue. Over the years I've read everything Paul Glaves and others have written about the FD issues in ON. I've discussed the problem with a very good local independent BMW shop, and poured over old reciepts to see what dealers had done with earlier bikes.

Now I have a new '09 Adventure, it's the newest bike I've ever had, and I want to do everything right from day one, so to speak. I've been a fan of Mobil 1 products in the past, but in talking with the service manager at my local dealership I was told to use a 75W-90 GL-5 synthetic lube in the final drive, but it needed to be suitable for NON-LIMITED SLIP rear ends. The newer Mobil 1 Gear Lube bottles are labeled LS. There are lots of 75W-90 GL-5 synthetic gear lubes out there, but finding one suitable for non-limit slip applications is a little tougher.

And while I believe my local service manager to be on the ball, it seems from reading this forum that many dealerships around the country don't know what they're talking about with respect to this issue.

So I finally decided to call BMW NA at 800-831-1117 and ask them. They MUST know, right? Well, the guy I talked to suggested I could also use 75W-140 in a synthetic lube and even 80W-90 in a non-synthetic! He didn't have anything in his database regarding a non-limited slip lube. So here we go again!

I suppose what I'll do for now, at least as long as I have a warranty (and I've heard BMW now will honor claims for the final drives for five years intead of three, I don't know any mileage figures, can anybody confirm that?) is use the BMW 75W-90 Synthetic Gear Lube (Spectro) at $23.25 qt. (ouch!) I already changed it at 600 and 3,000 miles, and I'll probably change it every 6,000 as well. That and check the temp. of the FD with my hand every four or five tankfulls. It will start getting hot to the touch long before it leaves me stranded along the road somewhere.

It would be nice if we could get a clear answer from BMW. It would be nicer if they would acknowlege the problems they've had with their final drives, issue a recall and get the bad ones replaced, and get confidence in their products back. The people that are reading this forum are the people that are trying to do the right thing by properly maintaining their bikes. My local service manager implied these final drive issues were caused by people that were letting their FD's go dry by leaking through the outer seal and said he'd never even seen an actual final drive failure. Hmmm.

cjack
05-20-2009, 09:20 PM
Ask your dealer to show you where -- in writing -- BMW recommends 75W140 for a hexhead final drive. I think you'll find they can't do that because BMW specifies Castrol SAF-XO, which is a synthetic 75W90 GL-5 gear oil. Since this product is not available at BMW bike dealers in the US, BMW USA sells a BMW-branded 75W90 synthetic. You'll find the SAF-XO specified in the repair manual and the parts fiche. I'd ask your dealer why they don't stock and use the lubricant BMW specifies. How much trust do you put in a dealer who can't even supply the lubricant recommended by the manufacturer? Who do you trust more on this issue, the company that built your bike, or the local yokel at your dealer? I love the dealer's logic (such a s it is) about failures and fluids. Now that makes me laugh.

My dealer has tried to get the SAF-XO and was told that you can't get it in this country...and another time that you had to buy a drum of it. So they stock the Spectro, BMW branded, long drain synth 75W90. And also stock the Amsoil synth 75W90 which costs about $12/qt or so. I would think that Mobil LS synth 75W90 is just fine for the bevel as well. I don't see how the small amount of friction modifier in it would affect anything.
BTW, the proper fill quantity now has been changed to 200ml from dry or 180ml on a refill.

deilenberger
05-21-2009, 03:10 AM
My dealer has tried to get the SAF-XO and was told that you can't get it in this country...and another time that you had to buy a drum of it. So they stock the Spectro, BMW branded, long drain synth 75W90. And also stock the Amsoil synth 75W90 which costs about $12/qt or so. I would think that Mobil LS synth 75W90 is just fine for the bevel as well. I don't see how the small amount of friction modifier in it would affect anything.
BTW, the proper fill quantity now has been changed to 200ml from dry or 180ml on a refill.Jack - you might check at LandRover dealers. I believe I've heard they use it in their gearboxes or differentials. And from what I heard it was fairly cheapish ($10/liter sort of price.)