Author Topic: gearbox oil level  (Read 10091 times)

Offline frankenstein

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gearbox oil level
« on: 15.10. 2008 22:38 »
hi....just an easy question for anybody...how do i know when the gearbox oil is at the right level....how do i change it....and what oil is best !

Online Brian

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Re: gearbox oil level
« Reply #1 on: 15.10. 2008 23:21 »
Frankenstein,

There is a drain plug in the bottom of the gearbox to drain the oil. Drain it when its warm or leave the drain plug out overnight to get out as much of the old oil as possible.

Just behind the kickstart there is a level plug, take this out and take the oval shaped cover off the side. Tip oil in until it just starts to come out the level plug. As to the type of oil, you will probably get a dozen different suggestions but I have always run a standard 80/90 gear oil with no problems.

I would suggest you get yourself a workshop manual of some sort, even a basic one will have this sort of info in it.

Brian.

Offline fido

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Re: gearbox oil level
« Reply #2 on: 16.10. 2008 08:52 »
Frankenstein,



I would suggest you get yourself a workshop manual of some sort, even a basic one will have this sort of info in it.

Brian.

I just looked through the BSA service sheets book and there is no mention of renewing or topping up the gearbox oil  *conf*

Offline frankenstein

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Re: gearbox oil level
« Reply #3 on: 16.10. 2008 14:23 »
thanks brian for the info ... i have just orderd a haynes manual at last..my mate has one..but to be honest i find this forum miles better for information... *smile*...i will take a look at getting that 80/90 gear oil next week !

Offline dpaddock

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Re: gearbox oil level
« Reply #4 on: 16.10. 2008 16:29 »
fido is correct; the OEM Service Sheets make no mention of any oil change except for the engine. I believe BSA was quite remiss in this matter.

For 'BSA Servicing', J.B. Nicholson's 'Modern Motorcycle Mechanics' suggests a gearbox drain and refill at 5000-mile intervals, or "seasonally if there is substantial change in temperature." Engine oil is
recommended.

Face it - gearboxes leak, ingest water and produce metallic debris. Oil is cheap.

Nicholson suggest the same interval for the forks and primary, too. His 700+ page book is encyclopedic and was very much read during and after its four-volume run.
David
'57 Spitfire


Online Brian

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Re: gearbox oil level
« Reply #5 on: 16.10. 2008 22:32 »
Frankenstein, the Haynes manual is as good a place as any to start. By reading the sections and looking at the illustrations you will be able to work out most things.

The manuals do say to use engine oil but I have always used gear oil. Gear oil is made for use with gears plus being heavier (thicker) is doesnt escape quite so easily.

Good luck with it all.  Brian.

Online RichardL

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Re: gearbox oil level
« Reply #6 on: 16.10. 2008 23:25 »
Brian and others,

Does the use of gear oil result in any difference in the feel of shifting or, perhaps, locating neutral?

Richard
Plan on signing up for the world-wide 2020 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDEon September 27, 2020 (if it's not cancelled and we are free to move about by then). Watch website at https://www.gentlemansride.com for details.

Online Brian

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Re: gearbox oil level
« Reply #7 on: 17.10. 2008 01:26 »
Richard, I havent been able to detect any difference between the two oils. I have been using gear oil for about twenty years now and run it in all my bikes including the gearbox of my modern Moto Guzzi.

I probably should add however being in Australia we dont have the extreme cold that some would have, winter in the UK for instance. So for anyone living in the colder places maybe the engine oil would be better.

I found the gear oil didnt seep out around the kickstart and gear shafts quite as easily.

Brian.

Online groily

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Re: gearbox oil level
« Reply #8 on: 17.10. 2008 06:30 »
Good question Richard. I've been using 80/90 in the A for a while and it's less leaky for sure, but I do think neutral can perhaps be harder to find sometimes (cold mornings). I put the thicker stuff in when I had to change the sleeve gear pinion last year, in the faint hope that it might be helpful when running non-matched gears at that end. I'm not claiming the A's clutch is perfect or perfectly adjusted always, but my B31 is running on engine oil, and it IS easier. (But it's also a less worn, lower-stressed 'box and has a longer shift lever . . .). People used often to say that some HP/EP gear oils' additives could eat bronze bushes. Not sure about that not being a chemist, and nothing's been eaten hereabouts that I can detect.
Bill

Offline LJ.

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Re: gearbox oil level
« Reply #9 on: 17.10. 2008 10:41 »
I'm currantly using EP140 in all bikes, boy it is thick! and with some recent cold days it has been noticable too. Between the two A10s I have I could tell which is a tighter box and which is looser. The gear changes on the tighter box have been interesting, easy, smooth, non clunck changes and neutral has been easy to find too. Certainly has been leak free this summer.

Has anyone tried waving one of those telescopic magnets about in the gearbox? you'd be suprised at the amount of swaff you fish out.
Ride Safely Lads! LJ.
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1940 BSA M20 500cc Girder/Rigid- (SOLD)
1947 BSA M21 600cc Girder/Rigid-Green
1949 BSA A7   500cc Girder/Plunger Star Twin-(SOLD)
1953 BSA B33  500cc Teles/Plunger-Maroon
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1961 BSA A10  650cc Golden Flash-Red

Online A10Boy

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Re: gearbox oil level
« Reply #10 on: 17.10. 2008 10:58 »
Does anyone know how to stop the speedo drive leaking, theres no seal and its actually below the level of the oil.
Regards

Andy

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Offline metalflake11

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Re: gearbox oil level
« Reply #11 on: 21.08. 2012 17:51 »
I have always used straight 90's.. I bought the bike in 1979 and am still unfamiliar with the internals of the gearbox to this day! I have re-built the engine four or five times in that period (33 years) but the box is still perfect..........A decent enough road test I would suggest?
England N.W
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Offline muskrat

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Re: gearbox oil level
« Reply #12 on: 21.08. 2012 20:38 »
 G'day metalflake11, dug up an old one there.
                                                             I agree, the BSA box's are great. I raced the cafe for 7 years and now on the road for a few with only yearly oil changes. The '51 had a bent selector due to my heavy right boot, only prob in 30 years. The '64 broke a dog off 3rd/4th. I use 80/90 and add Nulon.
Cheers
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Muskys Plunger A7

Offline metalflake11

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Re: gearbox oil level
« Reply #13 on: 23.08. 2012 22:18 »
Hello Muskrat, Yup,  good solid bit of engineering!
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Offline BSA_54A10

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Re: gearbox oil level
« Reply #14 on: 25.09. 2012 15:40 »
And back to the original question.
Any oil will do.
BSA specified engine oil because gear oils in those days had a lot of sulphur in them which ate out bronze bushes.
Now days most gear box oils contain either less sulphur or passivators to prevent this reaction as most car boxes are synchromesh and syncro cones are generally brass.
So if in doubt ask if the oil is "syncro safe " if the answer is yes then you are in business .
Even better is most modern gear oils also contain addatives to prevent oil seals hardening, a bonus.
Having said that plain old engine oil will do nicely and won't do any damage.
The lighter the oil the less drag in the box the "sharper" the change and the more horsies at the rear wheel.

I have just gone to "liquid grease" in the WM 20 box ( till I do the over due rebuild ) and that has knocked a good 10 mph off the top speed and made the changes really slow
Bike Beesa
Trevor