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BSA gearbox oil question.. #781011 08/09/19 1:42 pm
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Morgan aka Admin Online Happy OP
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Hi, read in my BSA A65 instructions book that Transmission/gearbox uses EP90 or Hypoy
I asked Morris oil in England what gearbox oil should I use in BSA A65 1970 and Triumph Bonneville 1971?
I asked them because Morris oil is available for me to buy here in Sweden
Morris answer is
Quote
For the gearbox we would recommend using our EP80W-90 in the BSA and our Golden Film AG90
in the Triumph, once again these offer the correct level of protection and contaminates control for your gearboxes,


I wonder why did they advice different oils for these bikes? EP80W-90 is API GL5 and Golden Film AG90 is GL1.
He also said
Quote
the EP 80W-90 contains EP additives whereas the AG90 doesn’t, the AG90 is compatible with gearbox which contain
Phosphorus bronze bearings whereas the EP80W-90 is not compatible with such metals,

I have not been working ever with a A65 gearbox believe it or not It's been pre-units. So my conclusion is that A65 does not contain
Phosphorus bronze bearings while the Triumph T120 1971 does? Is this right???

It also seems they have a Lodexol 80W-90 API GL4 Gear Oil which also is mineral oil.
Actually I just got an answer from Morris right now saying that the Lodexol 80W-90 GL4 would be suitable for Phosphorus bronze bushes too
So maybe I should use Lodexol 80W-90 GL4 in the A65 1970/71? and maybe in my A10 andd Gold Stars too? What do you think?

If you have the answers please reply!!!

enclosing info regarding above oil below.
Quote
Product Information:
Golden Film AG Gear Oils
Safe with phosphor-bronze
Description
Golden Film AG Gear Oils are a range of mineral oil based lubricants, formulated without
extreme pressure (EP) additives. These oils have good natural film strength, anti-foam
performance and long term stability.
Applications
Golden Film AG Gear Oils are suitable for use in equipment where the manufacturer specifies a
non-EP lubricant. Applications include: manual gearboxes (e.g. Eaton/Fuller, Volvo), axles,
worm gear drives (e.g. GKN), oil lubricated bearings, reduction gears/hubs, chains, steering
boxes, king-pins, etc.
Additionally, Golden Film AG Gear Oils are safe for use in transmissions that contain phosphorbronze
components. This makes them ideal for classic and vintage cars, motorcycles, tractors,
traction engines and commercial vehicles.
Performance Level
API GL1
Physical Characteristics
SAE 90 140 250
Density at 15oC 0.899 0.900 0.925
Viscosity at 100oC, cSt. 18.4 28.9 44.0
Viscosity at 40oC. cSt. 205 422 950
Viscosity Index 95 95 95
Flash Point (Open) oC 270 280 290
Pour Point, oC -15 -10 -10
Figures based on average production values.

Quote
Product Information:
EP AUTOMOTIVE GEAR OILS
EP80W-90, EP85W-140
Description
EP Gear Oils are mineral oil based lubricants formulated for use in a wide range of automotive, plant,
agricultural and industrial transmission systems. These grades have a high level of extreme pressure
(EP) additive that provides effective gear protection over a range of temperatures and shock load
conditions. EP Gear oils also protect components from rust and corrosion.
Application
EP Gear Oils are designed for use in a wide variety of applications, including: manual gearboxes,
transaxles, transfer boxes, PTO boxes, reduction hubs/gear, differentials (including hypoid designs),
axles, planetary and epicyclic drives, shaft drives, sprocket drives, track drives, track rollers, track idlers,
hoist/winch gearboxes, steering boxes, oil lubricated bearings, swivel housings, swing gearboxes,
slewing rings/gears, etc.
Performance Level
EP80W-90 ZF TE-ML 05A/12E/16B/17B/19B/21A (Approval Number ZF000275)
API GL5
EP85W-140 ZF TE-ML 05A/12E/16D/21A (Approval Number ZF001670)
API GL5
Physical Characteristics
SAE Classification 80W-90 85W-140
Density at 15.6 oC 0.890 0.900
Viscosity @ 100 oC, cSt. 13.7 25.8
Viscosity @ 40 oC, cSt. 130.0 338.5
Viscosity Index 101 100
Flash Point (Closed) oC 183 187
Pour Point, oC -30 -21
Figures based on average production values.

Quote
Product Information:
LODEXOL 80W-90 AUTOMOTIVE GEAR OIL
Description
Lodexol 80W-90 is a mineral oil based gear lubricant designed for use in a variety of automotive, plant, agricultural and industrial transmission systems. Lodexol 80W-90 is formulated with extreme pressure additives (EP) that provides effective component protection under normal work loads and shock load conditions. The oil is stable at high temperatures and is treated with additives to prevent rust, corrosion and foam formation.
Applications
Lodexol 80W-90 Gear Oil is designed for use in a wide variety of applications, including: manual gearboxes, transaxles, transfer boxes, axles, steering boxes, swivel pin housings, reduction hubs, oil lubricated bearings, power take-offs, hoist/winch gearboxes, slew gearboxes, chain drives, track drives, track rollers and idlers, etc.
Performance Level
API GL4
MAN 341 E-1
MAN 341 Z-2
MB 235.1
ZF TE-ML 02B, 16A, 17A, 19A
Physical Characteristics
Density @ 15.6 oC 0.890
Viscosity @ 100 oC, cSt. 14.05
Viscosity [email protected] 40 oC, cSt. 129.80
Viscosity Index 106
Flash Point (Closed) oC 176
Pour Point, oC -30

Last edited by Morgan aka Admin; 08/09/19 3:42 pm.

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Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781022 08/09/19 4:24 pm
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The problem is we have no idea what the actual extreme pressure addative really is.
back in the day it was sulphur and that attacked all copper based alloys.
However with the introduction of the synchromesh gear box, addatives had to be changed because the syncro cones were mostly brass and brass powder pressings to boot.
Also remember that the viscosity ratings of gear oils is a different scale to that of engine oils, gear oils being nearly double engine oils.

Back in the 60's when high sulphur oils were still around the advice was always to look for a "syncro safe" geat oil for use in a box with brass / bronze bushes.

Now days I think only very heavy machinery oils & tractor oils contain sulphur.


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Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781048 08/09/19 10:50 pm
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I was sponsored by the morris importer when i raced an a65, i used their gl5 g'box oil and their r30 engine oil.
Their products are bloody good. I never bothered to get involved with the chemistry etc. but never had a lubrication
related failure with their products.

Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781083 08/10/19 8:08 am
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Hi, BSA gears have "bronze" bushings inside the gears similar to Triumphs. I verify from the makers the oil is safe for brass/bronze type metals. The corrosion problem is real if you use the wrong oil. I don't know that the weight makes that much difference. Straight old 90w is very hard to come by these days. Not sold here.

I find in my '73 Tiger the modern synthetics or the thinner oils tend to make shifting into gear at a stand still a little worse as there is very little drag in transmission to slow the turning shafts as fast as the old oils did. I found the modern lubricants are giving much longer gear life from what I saw at the car dealership I worked in.

I'm using Staylube 75-80w gear lube. Seems to go into gear much better than the synthetics. States on bottle safe for yellow metals.
Don


1973 Tiger 750
Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781087 08/10/19 9:32 am
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Glacier Industrial Bearings reconfirmed to me recently that sulphur containing oils are only an issue with their Copper/Lead bronze bearings where the oil goes above 100C/212F. The comment was originally in their Engineering Design Handbook that is no longer available hence why I asked for reconfirmation.

Pre Unit gearboxes will run cooler than unit gearboxes.

Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: TR7RVMan] #781094 08/10/19 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by TR7RVMan
...Straight old 90w is very hard to come by these days. Not sold here.


Hi Don,

I found some SAE 90W mineral gear oil API GL1 at NAPA.
House brand 65-201.


1970 T120R
Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781120 08/10/19 7:17 pm
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Royal Purple says their gear oil is GL4 and GL5 compatible and safe for soft yellow metals. They are the only manufacture I've seen that states theirs is yellow metal compatible. I use their 75w/90 synthetic in all of my bikes. All shift smoothly though the BSA has a bit of a clunk going into and out of first. I've rebuilt the box and all new clutch components and still there.


1978 Bonneville T140E
1974 Trident
1970 BSA Thunderbolt
1971 Norton Commando
1972 Norton Commando
1973 Norton Commando
1974 Norton Commando
2018 Kawasaki Z900RS


Everything will be alright in the end. If its not alright, its not the end.
Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: htown] #781136 08/10/19 10:32 pm
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Penrite also make a couple of 75/90 gears oils that they claim are compatible with yellow metals. Specs claim API GL4.

Last edited by Tiger Shark; 08/10/19 10:36 pm.
Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781161 08/11/19 5:53 am
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You mean I can't just use Valvoline synthetic in every bike I own?


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781170 08/11/19 9:12 am
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I’m a bit concerned that Morris first said A65 should use their 80w/90 GL5 and next contact said don’t due to the yellow metal. They should really address it on their tach data sheet.


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Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781253 08/12/19 7:09 am
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Morris are excellent at making oil but not experts at knowing what our gearboxes are made of 50+. Years after they were made. They are probably pulling from some historic data which may or may not have been correct or incomplete with information.

I suppose the question is that you have a gearbox with ball and needle roller bearings, the gears are fitted with bushes (of what ever type) from that they might be able to help better.

But like many people I’m running EP80-90, never had a problem.


beerchug
Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781255 08/12/19 7:52 am
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Allan are you the ep80w/90 gl5?


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Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781257 08/12/19 8:01 am
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As mentioned a while back.
nearly all modrn car & light truck boxes run power pressed synchro cones so just about every gearbox oil is copper safe and has been for for 40+ years.
Back in the 60's & 70's we used to check the lable for the words "Syncro safe" but once all the oil were "syncro safe" there was no point in continuing to do this because it was no longer a selling criteria.

Also you need to remember there were the SR400 BSA's the Morrini powered mini bike BSA's ( Brigand, Beaver & the mopeds Trackers ) so the chance he was reading data for one of these bikes is quite high.
Now days most people will asl me "what model Honda is that " and then say they have never heard of a Honda Beesaand ask what size it is.


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Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781261 08/12/19 10:02 am
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I have used whatever type of EP90 was available at the time since 1979, never had any bush damage. Gearbox casing temps never exceed 55 degrees when I have checked.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
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Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781290 08/12/19 5:45 pm
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4 vintage Brits and a 1976 airhead all on Red Line gear oil with shock proof for yrs. 10+. Valvoline VR-1 in the engines. Older HD primary oil. All shift and work just fine. No clutch issues on the Brits. Plus all oils easy to get locally.

Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781292 08/12/19 6:13 pm
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I've always used standard 75W90 or similar viscosity gear oil from car parts suppliers and never had a problem. As far as I understand it, the issue with yellow metal corrosion was first identified in the late 50's and 60's when new extreme pressure (EP) gear oil formulations containing active sulphur were being introduced. These days the issue is well understood and most if not all gear oils will work fine in our bikes as an inactive form of sulfur or other additives are used and yellow metal corrosion is not a problem.


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1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781322 08/12/19 11:27 pm
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As long as this question has been around there have been conflicting opinions about gear oils for gearboxes with bronze thrust washers and bushings.

Some think any old oil is just fine ("never had any problems"), while others, myself included, believe that the additive packages of GL-5, which include higher levels of sulphur, make GL-5 oils potentially harmful to bronze components.

IF companies say their GL-5 product is safe (some explicitly say their GL-5 products are NOT recommended for gear boxes with bronze), it's generally because they've reduced (but not eliminated) the active sulphur (eats yellow metals) and added more inactive sulphur, which is less harmful while still providing the slippery protective coating and added protection of active sulphur.

Even GL-4 products contain sulfur, but probably not as much as GL-5. For example, here is the manufacturer's description of Red Line GL-4 MT-90:

"Red Line (50304) MT-90 75W-90 GL-4 manual Transmission and Transaxle Lubricant - 1 Quart
Less slippery low sulfur formula compatible with brass synchronizers".

I tried that Red Line product in 2018 and found gear changes were less smooth. Perhaps because, as Don (TR7RVMan) pointed out in another thread (link below):
"[Redline] seems very slippery & for sure allowed gears to rotate longer & more freely with clutch pulled at stand still. I didn't like that at all. But maybe the gears would last much longer?"

This year I switched to a Ravenol product:

"RAVENOL Multipurpose Gear Oil SAE 80W-90 GL-4 is an EP (extreme pressure) gear oil for manual transmissions, transfer cases, steering gears, and axle drives under standard conditions. RAVENOL Multipurpose Gear Oil SAE 80W-90 GL-4 contains highly refined base oils that are paired with a balanced additive combination. These ensure a high load carrying capacity, wear protection, and oxidation stability are all guaranteed. Due to a superior viscosity-temperature behavior, low pour points, and the elimination of foam formation, the oil can be used in a wide variety of operating conditions."

"Technical Characteristics and Features:
Very good adhesion and pressure resistant lubricating film, even under high loads
Excellent oxidation stability
Optimal viscosity-temperature properties
Provides an anti-wear effect
Good air release characteristics with no foaming
Neutral to metals and sealants used in transmissions and differentials"

During the little riding I've done this summer I found a smoother feel to the gearbox.

As a side note, the bottles that Ravenol comes in feature a 2-section telescoping tube that makes filling the gearbox easy with absolutely no mess.

To each their own, but I'm always going to look for a GL-4 product that says explicitly that it's ok for all gearbox metals.

For other opinions and recommendations see this other BritBike thread: http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbt...endly-gear-oil-recommendation#Post735646

Also, I'm going to conclude a 15-month long 'experiment' with gear oils and bronze parts (www.hermit.cc/tmc/bb/2018/wtd_6/index.htm) during the next couple of weeks. I don't expect there to be any dramatic results, but if there are i will post them to the forum.


Bruce Miller
aka The Hermit
The Bonnie Ref: https://www.hermit.cc/tmc/om/manual.htm
Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781324 08/12/19 11:41 pm
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The only bronze bushes in the a65 box are the sleeve pinion and inner on layshaft 1st.
There are no bronze thrusts as with triumph etc. Even the selector forks are steel.
You could run the box on any ep90 oil for years without getting any degradation.
Lots of racers used R40 in their boxes, that way you only had to buy one oil type.

That funny lube company mentioned above should do a product named 'Leakproof' rather than 'Shockproof' eh?
They would do great sales with britbike owners..........

Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781350 08/13/19 6:27 am
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Originally Posted by Morgan aka Admin
Allan are you the ep80w/90 gl5?


I’m not sure what it is Morgan. I’m more fussy with the motor oil but on the box I use what ever EP80-90 I can get my hands on. When I was working in garages I bought a gallon of the stuff from the parts supplier. Of a male I can’t remember, if that isn’t to hand I have some Castrol of the same grade - not sure what spec. Either way I always feel they are slicker still if I add some Lucas oil additive, I think it’s about 20% for a gearbox. Helps it to shift quieter and stops/quietens that clunk I get occasionally when putting in to first from neutral.


beerchug
Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: NickL] #781361 08/13/19 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by NickL
The only bronze bushes in the a65 box are the sleeve pinion and inner on layshaft 1st.
There are no bronze thrusts as with triumph etc. Even the selector forks are steel.
You could run the box on any ep90 oil for years without getting any degradation.
Lots of racers used R40 in their boxes, that way you only had to buy one oil type.

That funny lube company mentioned above should do a product named 'Leakproof' rather than 'Shockproof' eh?
They would do great sales with britbike owners..........


What, Not ATF in the boxes.
That was fairly common down here, but the extra horses gained from less viscous drag was paid for in tooth wear.


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Trevor
Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781367 08/13/19 11:49 am
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A quick look in the 71 manual .
BSA Recommends the following for the A65 gearbox.
Castrol "Hypoy"
Mobil GX 90
Shell, Spirax EP90
BP, Gear oil EP 90
Esso Gear oil GX 90/ 140
Texaco Multi gear 90 EP
Duckhams hypoid 90.
Filtrate, gearbox EP90

AFAIK Hypoid and EP mean the same thing.
Anyone notice a common trend here.
Apart from the 90 /140 Esso outlier, they are all EP 90 gear oils.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781381 08/13/19 3:11 pm
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Google definition of Hypoid

“a bevel wheel with teeth engaging with a spiral pinion mounted at right angles to the wheel's axis, used to connect non-intersecting shafts in vehicle transmissions and other mechanisms.”

As I read it, it’s a direct reference to a rear differential for example. EP is Extreme Pressure


beerchug
Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Morgan aka Admin] #781613 08/16/19 2:57 am
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Hi Morgan.

WOOHOOO and ADOT!

Currently using Motul Motlygear Synthetic 75W90 in all my A65 gearboxes. I called and asked. Yellow metal safe.
I had a input shaft ball bearing bearing go bad in the Thunderbolt with the Valvolene Semisynthetic. But i was putting serious miles on the bike at the time. When Valvolene quit making the stuff I found the Motlygear. So far no problems with the Motlygear.

Valvolene VR-1 20W50 in the motors. God bless Valvolene.

Amsoil V-Twin Primary Synthetic in the Primary. 500,000 Harley guys can't be wrong. I haven't adjusted a chain since I started using this stuff. Its a straight 50W. They have a 20W50 also, which I have not tried. I was just in the 63 Star 650 this evening working on the clutch. Iv'e got about 3000 miles on the primary. It has triplex chain with a link in it. Still felt snug like new.

Last edited by Semper Gumby; 08/16/19 3:07 am.

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Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: Semper Gumby] #781640 08/16/19 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Semper Gumby

Amsoil V-Twin Primary Synthetic in the Primary. 500,000 Harley guys can't be wrong. I haven't adjusted a chain since I started using this stuff. Its a straight 50W. They have a 20W50 also, which I have not tried. I was just in the 63 Star 650 this evening working on the clutch. Iv'e got about 3000 miles on the primary. It has triplex chain with a link in it. Still felt snug like new.

I've wondered about using HD Sportster Primary oil in a A65, either in the primary or the gearbox (Sportsters used the same for both). Sportster wet clutches are quite different from BSA unit twins, but the transmission is similar.

Re: BSA gearbox oil question.. [Re: MarcB] #781664 08/16/19 6:59 pm
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Originally Posted by MarcB
I've wondered about using HD Sportster Primary oil in a A65, either in the primary or the gearbox (Sportsters used the same for both). Sportster wet clutches are quite different from BSA unit twins, but the transmission is similar.


Hi Marc

Don't know about that stuff. I don't even know who makes the HD brand oils.

Caveat emptor.

Last edited by Semper Gumby; 08/16/19 7:09 pm.

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