Redline 80W Gear Oil with ShockProof® in a GS?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Bearsfatha, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Bearsfatha

    Bearsfatha Pirate on a GS!

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    Hey everybody, I've got a new to me '96 1100GS and I need to service the transmission. Is anyone using Redline V-Twin Transmission Oil with ShockProof® in their GS transmission? I kind of thought it might make it shift better.
    #1
  2. Bearsfatha

    Bearsfatha Pirate on a GS!

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    Here is the reason I am asking. According to Redline The Heavy ShockProof® has a thickness greater than an SAE 75W250, yet low fluid friction like 75W90. I run it in my Harley and it really quietened the the transmission and shifting. Anyway I'm just checking.
    #2
  3. rdwalker

    rdwalker Long timer

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    I'd suggest contacting the very Guru of GS transmissions. You can PM Anton from his ADV profile page or contact him through his website.
    #3
  4. Gimpinator

    Gimpinator Core Dumper

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    I've run it in my '05 R1200GS for the past year. It noticeably improved the neutral gear rattle I'd been experiencing, and shifting is butter smooth.

    So far, so good! :thumb
    #4
  5. Bearsfatha

    Bearsfatha Pirate on a GS!

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    Thanks I appreciate the input. I like the "butter smooth"!
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  6. Dark Helmet

    Dark Helmet Been here awhile

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    I used Redline Shockproof in my 1100 and thought it worked great. Bought a used 1200 GSA w/ 12,000 miles on it in great shape. 2-3k later I have a tranny input seal go bad. Mechanic told me that he doesn't think that the seals on these bikes like synthetics He also implied a "red" synth. I have stayed away from Redline as a result. Then I put BMW BMW 75-140 GL 5 in the gearbox to see if it would quiet gear rattle. Guess what, it's a red Synth. Think I am going back to Redline.
    #6
  7. Bearsfatha

    Bearsfatha Pirate on a GS!

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    Thanks Dark Helmet. I really think I'm gonna go with the Redline I have had great luck with it in my Harley transmission.
    #7
  8. Poway

    Poway SHED (Shit Head)

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    I'm a perfect example of trying to improve on the highly paid BMW's enginer specifications of using 90 wt GL fluid. This recommendation wasn't good enough for me. So I called Redline, and spoke to a nice gent. He informed me his product would be a great fit for my GS. So, I put this "miracle" stuff in my tranny and final drive here's what I experienced:
    A) Smoothed out my trannies shifting
    B) Destroyed my Final drive
    C) Chunks of metal on my tranny's drain plug magnet, (Texas size)

    All on 5000 miles.

    I would never put this stuff in my GS again. In the mine field of life look for the foot prints in front of you. Watch out if you go this route.:eek1

    PS:
    Here's the stuff that cost me dearly. Wish I caught the the lack of a GL rating, this would have saved a lot of pain and $$$.
    http://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?pid=44&pcid=4
    #8
  9. jdbalt

    jdbalt Been here awhile

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    Yikes
    #9
  10. vintagerider

    vintagerider Long timer

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    Bearsfatha, Your 1100 has a 5 speed which calls for GL-5 gear oil. Redline V Twin Transmission fluid with Shock Proof is not GL-5:

    "Same fluid as our unique Heavy ShockProof® Gear Oil"

    per Redline here: http://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?pid=119&pcid=13

    A good place to learn about your 1100 gear box:
    http://www.largiader.com/tech/oiltrans/

    You may have either an M94 or M97. You can identify which from the case numbers which are viewed behind the RS throttle body. Next, pay attention to Anton's description of M97 failure modes, particularly:
    " the input gear rubs against the rear bearing and they wear into each other (there isn't really enough contact area between them)."

    I'll add to that:
    Bearing cover weakens, then gear oil flows in to the grease packed bearing. If the gear oil is not compatible with the grease then it coagulates. Lubrication within the bearing is then lost.

    Can the choice of gear oil make a difference?
    Using an oil which is miscible with the bearing pack may delay total bearing failure (anecdotal). Conventional GL-5 and some synthetics are miscible. Many synthetics are not. If the oil drains brown then bearing grease pack wash out has occurred. As long as the bearing is not starved from coag then many additional miles may still be possible.

    Best advice in the 1100 5 speed is probably to stick with conventional GL-5 in BMW specified weight. If you use a syn then choose one which is fully miscible with the bearing grease pack and one which is GL-5 rated. Sometimes the oil refiner will tell you which base stocks it uses (Group II, III or IV). Generally you should avoid using economy syn gear oil such as Mo 1 75w90, (their V twin 20w50 syn is excellent in the 11xx engine for summer). Store brand syns like Penzoil, Valvoline are usually made from cheap non miscible stocks.

    Seal failure was more common when syns were first introduced. These days seal conditioners are usually added to quality syns.

    Anecdotal: Ted's Beemer shop uses the GL-5 version redline syn, I believe in the 75w90 weight. "seems to work for many." keep in mind that syn formulations change. CRC's Sta-lube Syn-Go OEM was highly miscible at one point, not sure if it still is. Shifting and fuel economy are better with syns but the advantages must be weighed against the risk.

    >>Interesting report from Poway on his "final drive failure"after using a Redline product (which one?). FD bearings have no grease pack. Could be the failure mode there was poor shim or just a crap bearing.

    edit: reply to comments from others:
    "I use (super duper brand syn)" ..."11 years, no leaks, failures ect"

    reply: You have an 1150 not an 1100
    ---
    "I thought this was gonna be easy...
    reply: It is. Just use non-syn in the weight appropriate for ambient. But wait, there's more...

    The Third Choice:
    Bio-Based Gear Lubes (Vegetable Oil) Ultra Lube 10400 GL5 80w90:
    http://www.amazon.com/Ultra-Lube-10...8&qid=1352679543&sr=8-2&keywords=gl5+gear+oil

    "less friction and heat" (less than what, turkey drippings?)
    "virtually odorless"
    "safe for your health" (can we cook with this?)

    Who wants to be the first to run UltaLube veggie GL5?
    #10
  11. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    ^^^

    I use Super Tech 75W-140 GL-5 to which I ad a bit of moly (makes it shockproof). So far after 11 years, I have no leaks or failures and my Getrag gearbox shifts like new (quietly).

    Quality synthetic GL-5 gear oils do not cause seal failure.

    Insist on GL-5 API grade.
    #11
  12. Bearsfatha

    Bearsfatha Pirate on a GS!

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    And I thought this was gonna be easy... OK I'm doing a lot more research. Thanks for the recommendations!
    #12
  13. Beemerlover

    Beemerlover Been here awhile

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    Seems like, with these bikes at least, it might make sense to just use the BMW-labeled lubes sold by the dealers - even though they're ridiculously overpriced. :deal
    #13
  14. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    rattles and noise is the nature of the beast. The motor rattles like a can of marbles on a paint shaker, so does the tranny. It is nothing wrong. use mineral 75W90 and embrace the rattle.

    If you increase the idle speed to 1200 it idles smoother and is a lot quieter. Some prefer that, some don't. I did it for a while on my RS with no lowers. Not a good idea for an RT though.. I have gone back to slower idle for more engine braking and ignore all the noise.

    Rod
    #14
  15. Bill-66

    Bill-66 Hencho in Kansas

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    :huh

    No..just use the recommended grades...ie. GL5..simple enough..

    Def uses a GL5 from Wally World..adds some Moly..several of us use Amsoil Severe Gear..all with no problems and MANY MANY miles...
    #15
  16. vintagerider

    vintagerider Long timer

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    Wish it were that simple. It is no wonder that confusion abounds. 1150, 1100 and 1200 all have different considerations for transmission..

    First off the API designation for GL5 gear oil is very broad. On the 1100, which was op's concern, there is the problem of the gear rubbing on the rear bearing of the input shaft (M97 5 speed). Oil isn't going to correct that but selection of oil that isn't going to coagulate inside the bearing may give quite a few more miles.

    Look at what the Getrag, the manufacturer of the gear box had to say regarding in a 1996 interview with German magazine MO (translation courtesy of Kari Prager)

    1. expressed concern about compatibility of friction modifiers/additives

    MO: How do you regard oil additives?

    SCHAETZLE: Oil additives are always factors which cannot be taken into account when designing and building a transmission. In the best case they don't do any harm... it has not been researched yet how oil additives might react with the new "clean bearings". We therefore rigorously recommend against their use... Special extra-slippery additives can result in big damages.

    my comment: Syns were not in wide use at the time. Many pictures have been posted since showing failed clean bearings with coagulated grease inside

    2. MO: What kind of oil recommendation for the BMW transmission can you give us?

    SCHAETZLE: Oil should be seen as an integral part of the transmission. When designing the transmission the load bearing capability of the oil is part of the calculation. We fill the BMW transmissions with SAE 90 GL 5 gear oil manufactured by Fuchs, a brand mainly found as an OEM supplier.

    SOMMER: SAE 90-Oil should be used throughout the whole year. It is true that in winter the shifting will suffer at first from the thick oil, but it should improve during a very short ride. For those to whom this is disturbing, because they make many short trips, for example, can use 75w90 GL 5 in winter as an alternative. In summer it must be changed back to SAE 90 GL 5.

    comment: note that 75w90 is NOT recommended, just straight SAE 90. To add confusion for the consumer who has always been told that a multi-weight is fine because"it works the same", well that's just not true and Getrag is telling you so.
    -----
    Here is an interesting article that delves in to viscosity among other things. It high-lights the corrosive problems of GL5 use in synco boxes and that is purportedly not a concern with the oilhead box, however one begins to understand that a GL5 can be LS or not LS and that the API GL5 spec is simply too broad. The ideal oil for a gear box is not the same as that for an LS differential yet most lubes sold as GL5's seem to be for LS.
    http://www.widman.biz/uploads/Transaxle_oil.pdf
    -------
    API-SAE-and other specifications:
    API MT-1 : a specification stringent on seal protection and thermal durability not included in GL5 classifucation.

    GL5 plus... ???

    SAE J2360: exceeds all: GL5 + MT-1 + U.S. military spec MIL-PRF-2105E . Also must pass proof of performance through rigorous field testing ( "clean bearing"compatibility not mentioned)
    http://www.lubrizol.com/DrivelineAdditives/AutomotiveGearOil/GL5.html

    Conclusions:
    Clearly Getrag has had concerns regarding "clean bearings" and their compatibility with certain gear oils since their introduction in 1996. Telling us not to use "additives" but only specifying GL5 isn't much help but does raise the flag on syns. GL5 that does not also meet MT-1 will not have superior seal protection.

    There are plenty of photos showing coagulation issues on these bearings. Not many other boxes are built with yak grease packed bearings which are submerged in GL5.

    Anecdotal popularity in the 1150 box does not translate to best choice in the 1100 box.

    Syns are not created equal. None of the classifications or industry wide specifications deal with clean bearing compatibility. It's pretty clear that the labeled viscosity of a syn needs to be much higher than that for a conventional non-syn. 75w140 at a minimum. It is difficult to know what group base stock you are buying. Store brand syns like Mo 1, Catrol, Valvoline are almost always made from cheaper base stocks and are likely to coagulate when they get in the bearing. Better syn refiners list the base stock and additive packages used.

    The ideal 1100 gear box oil (not FD):
    - superior seal protection like MT-1
    - clean bearing compatibility
    - adequate shaft/gear protection
    - ride-ability: ease of shifting, all temperature performance
    - all season (multi-viscosity) (may contradict oem spec)
    - superior thermal protection (our boxes get much hotter than cars)
    - superior anti-corrosion
    - low drag/fuel economy
    Does any one oil exceed in all areas? Probably not.

    Extended drain interval is much less important. Frequent changes in this gear box are the single best preventive maintenance that we can do. This flushes out metal bits and also dust from the trail. Why pay extra for extended drain formulation?

    In many ways the MT-1 classification with it's outstanding seal protection, optimization for non-syncro gear boxes in heavy trucks and buses looks good. Fortunately many GL5 also meet MT-1.

    Riders may have trouble finding a conventional GL5, MT-1, SAE J2360 in SAE 90 weight. Easier to find is 80w90 (remember Getrag says no to 75w90 except for winter or short hops) but this is lighter than recommended. BMW retail stores are selling 80w90 conventional as of this writing. Since the dealer oil must cover many years and models this is likely a compromise 85w145 conv is too heavy. If labeled as "limited slip differential" then the oil may not the best choice for the gear box.

    For final drive use more riders have been leaning toward conventional. I as well as other have noticed brinelling of the bearing after very few miles
    on syn in the FD.This shows up as silvery golden flakes.
    #16
  17. Bill-66

    Bill-66 Hencho in Kansas

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    In my manual..for an '08 GSA (and my old '05 GS) it stated Castrol SAF-XO and Castrol SAF-XJ..these are 75W-90 and 75W-140 weights..?? GL5..

    http://www.castrol.com/castrol/genericarticle.do?categoryId=9014115&contentId=7068181

    So..if that's what BMW recommends..for my bike..I'm happy running it..I'm also happy deviating from that using my own discretion..
    #17
  18. vintagerider

    vintagerider Long timer

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    How is that relevant to an 1100 thread? Or what Getrag said?
    #18
  19. WindSailor

    WindSailor Been here awhile

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    :ear

    Just as an observer - could what Getrag said at that time simply be dated now?

    I'm sure there has been a lot of advancement since then in the current oil products. One reason I wanted to try Red Line was the Ester base stock they use and supposedly it's affinity to metal.

    I quickly scanned the article and what's hard for us 'oil newbies' is the contradictory -assumptions- like:
    • If viscosity is important then this statement concerning selecting the correct viscosity in the article: "If it is too thin it will not provide the hydrodynamic lubrication that is required between gears and in the bearings or bushings.".
    • Making the assumption that today companies are making oil products with different additives that provide those protection levels beyond the normal viscosity properties that were present 10 years ago or so... Shockproof ("Acting like a liquid grease, these unique lubricants contain a suspension of solid microscopic particles as an extreme pressure agent, offering a "best of both worlds" balance of low drag and superior protection for gear teeth"), and maybe moly etc.

    -Edit- I guess a better way to word this would be that today I understand that additives such as moly, or other proprietary additives provide that 'hydrodynamic lubrication' or what I want to call a -barrier- that is more viscosity tolerant than in years past. Or am I wrong in that assumption? Is there a 'test' or rating that would provide a value for this 'hydrodynamic lubrication' property that we should pay attention to?

    Red Line 75W90 GL-5 Gear Oil has these ratings: API GL-5, GL-6, MT-1, MIL-L-2105E, SAE J2360, and Chrysler spec MS-9763

    Now concerning an email I wrote regarding their initial recommendations for Shockproof I got this in response (this is getting out of the op's interests, this is in reference to the 1200 - but still interesting - as all oil threads :D):
    #19
  20. Beemerlover

    Beemerlover Been here awhile

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    I think I'll stick with my statement that it might be simpler to just buy the BMW brand oil that's recommended for a specific bike from a BMW dealer and pay the price and document it. Then if (when) it blows up, maybe they'll be more likely to help out with the repair costs.
    #20