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gearbox oil

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gearbox oil
Started at 09:15am on the 24th January, 2018 by Clement
Clement Subject: gearbox oil
Hi All Cast iron Bullet 500 - Albion 4 speed gearbox Is EP90 gear oil a good idea or shall I change to something else? Many thanks Clement
Posted: 09:15am 24th January, 2018
Bullet Whisperer Subject: gearbox oil
Hi Clement, EP90 will be fine, so would 20/50 engine oil, straight 50 engine oil and many others. I use 20/50 for the engine, clutch, gearbox and forks of my road going R.E.'s, with no problems. Regards, Paul.
Posted: 09:39am 24th January, 2018
Tomshayes Subject: gearbox oil
Grease in gearbox surely (with a splash of oil) unless you've fitted sealed bearings? Tom
Posted: 10:17am 24th January, 2018
stinkwheel Subject: gearbox oil
Will EP90 stay in a standard albion 4-speed withoyut leaking out round everything?

I ask for future reference because dealing wth a gearbox full of warm, stinking 00 grease then refilling it again afterwards has to list among the more unpleasant and unbelievably messy bits of motorcycle maintainance I've undertaken.
Posted: 10:23am 24th January, 2018
Bullet Whisperer Subject: gearbox oil
Stinkwheel, the oil should stay in there if the gearbox sprocket seal and kickstart shaft o ring are in good condition - mine don't leak and there are no deviations from standard. Regards, Paul.
Posted: 11:20am 24th January, 2018
Leon Novello Subject: gearbox oil
Grease is fine. If it stinks, it has emulsified from moisture contaminating it or from old age----never been changed until something breaks in there.
Posted: 12:07pm 24th January, 2018
stinkwheel Subject: gearbox oil
In fairness, the grease stinks when it comes out of the can. It just stinks more badly when it comes out of the gearbox.
Posted: 03:12pm 24th January, 2018
Valsp Subject: gearbox oil
Are there any bronze or copper based bushes in the box? Some EP oils can chemically react with these metals, causing premature wear
Posted: 03:35pm 24th January, 2018
Clement Subject: gearbox oil
Flushed grease out long time ago and had no leaks so must have sealed bearings.....
Posted: 06:12pm 24th January, 2018
JTL Subject: gearbox oil
Hi Clement ... no need to run the gearbox with EP90 when you can get ST90. As Valsp mention gearbox oil experts advise not to use Hypoy oil because of premature wear of bronze alloys. ST90 doesn't contain Extreme Pressure additives like the EP90; it's the EP additives that does "the thing" to bronze alloys. But then again, it happens over a long period of time, and my guess is that nobody really experince this first hand. So it's sort of up to you to make the decision: the theoretically best for the gearbox oil (ST90) or a will-do gearbox oil (EP90). It's like the what's-best-for-the-engine oil discussion... good luck Jacob
Posted: 10:30pm 25th January, 2018
p Subject: gearbox oil
EP 90 has similar consistency to mid range engine oil - viscosity is measured differently hence apparent numerical difference - so what you use in the engine should also suit gearbox. I use 15/40 diesel engine oil because I've got a drum of it, same for gearbox, engine and primary chain case.... been okay for 20K miles, so guess it's suitable. Even though it's a detergent oil I find it remains clear and golden long beyond usual change time - so I've extended that to "when I get round to it".Only the gearbox requires occasional topping up as it loses a little, and I've contrived a dip stick to make this easy, only mod is a breather hole in filler cap to prevent any pressure forcing oil out. 350 iron bullet yr 2000.
Posted: 09:27am 26th January, 2018
Clement Subject: gearbox oil - clutch
Thank you all for the replies and suggestions.To keep you posted: EP90 (extreme pressure) as mentioned by some of you, contains phosphorus and sulfur compounds in sufficient levels to be potentially corrosive to yellow metals - so I drained the stuff out.ST90 is not always easy to get so I have simplified things by refilling with 20W50 as suggested (same as engine). The clutch has currently Type F automatic transmission fluid in it (as per suggestion Pete Snidal). I am not happy with it: it seems to slip after starting up but comes right when engine heats up. I am tempted to drain and probably put 10W30 in. Clement
Posted: 08:26am 2nd February, 2018
Leon Novello Subject: gearbox oil
If you don`t like grease, and 90 gear oil is not satisfactory, there is always 140 gear oil; sort of half-way between the two. If the clutch slips with ATF type F, it`s not the fluid, I would be looking at the clutch.
Posted: 08:41am 2nd February, 2018
Rattlebattle Subject: gearbox oil
Millers do an SAE 50 oil specifically for gearboxes that have phozzy bronze bushes. I used it in my pre-unit Tiger 100. Although SAE 50 it has similar viscosity to EP 90. As has been mentioned the ratings for gear oil and engine oil are not the same. Fast postal service direct from Millers if there’s no local supplier.
Posted: 01:48pm 2nd February, 2018
Rattlebattle Subject: gearbox oil
Sorry, that should read Morris, not Millers. I blame early onset senility...
Posted: 01:39pm 3rd February, 2018
Presto Subject: gearbox oil
There is plenty of good informed opinion that says that concern over bronze bushes and the like and modern gearbox and engine oils is misplaced and that no damage or such minimal damage is done as not to be worth worrying about. It is also worth noting that with their straight-cut gears and very low performance levels that these 4 speed gearboxes are subject to very low levels of stress and virtually any decent engine or gear oil will be satisfactory. But of course we will ignore all that and want to put in the ‘best’!
Posted: 04:39pm 5th February, 2018
OldBoy67 Subject: gearbox oil
You are correct Presto. This is from the Jack Gray article on rebuilding a Crusader in the Technical Notes section of this very web site: "For lubricating the gears 20/50 or EP90 works well, although some owners think that EP oils attack the bronze bushes in the gearbox. This question was put directly to Castrol a number of years ago for their opinion and quote the following from their very friendly reply. 'Firstly, the question of EP oils attacking Phosphor Bronze. This, like many myths is founded on a modicum of fact, but certainly doesn't apply today. Early EP oils relied on the excellent, but highly active. load-carrying ability of sulphur and sulphur chlorides. Although these were effective with steel they did attack 'yellow' alloys and so could not be used where bronze was present. However, the advance of technology saw the introduction of more stable EP products (based on sulpho-phosphorized terpenes) which become active only when requiredhen required - i.e. when the gears are under extreme pressure. When the bike is sitting in the shed they will be completely inactive!"
Posted: 03:13pm 6th February, 2018
Presto Subject: gearbox oil
Thanks OldBoy67 - and remember that Jack wrote that article over 50 years ago. What he said about the suitability of 'standard' oils and bronze bearings etc is even more the case now, with the continued development of all oils.
Posted: 03:55pm 6th February, 2018

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