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Old 07-24-2015, 06:10 PM
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mwsxj1100j mwsxj1100j is offline
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Question Bel-Ray Big Twin Tranny oil

The riding season in Milwaukee is getting to it's peak but, who knows? The air show is in town and that maybe something to check out since last year the lake caused a fog out. I was going through my August issue of Cycle World and Bel-Ray has a new tranny oil that says it can smooth out clunky transmissions. It is a 85-140, I know owners manual calls for the middle gear to use a 80-90 oil I was wondering if this oil might help smooth some things out? I know the transmission gets lubed by the engine oil, hence switching to 20-50 in the case which has smoothed the shifting quite a bit, but could this be beneficial to use in the middle gear? Also it is colored red for easy leak detection. Although I am sure it smells like $#!+ like all gear oils. Any thoughts?

mwsxj1100j

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Old 07-24-2015, 06:26 PM
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TopCatGr58 TopCatGr58 is offline
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Hey there,

Okay, just looked up their GEAR OIL products on their web site. I'm not that familiar with "Big Twins" but I'm thinking that their transmissions are separate from their engine/crankcase...and the clutch is DRY...sitting on the outside with that big ole belt transferring power to the transmission sitting behind the block. SO...they can bathe their gears in heavy gear oils...whereas ours are lubed by our engine oil and we have wet clutches.

Here's the links to a couple of their hypoid/gear oils:
Regular stuff yet it shows 85-140 viscosity range??
http://www.belray.com/bel-ray-gear-s...ypoid-gear-oil

Their SYNTHETIC Hypoid Gear oils 75-90 and 75-140 ranges.
http://www.belray.com/bel-ray-gear-s...oid-gear-oil-1

They would be fine for the middle/Final drives...at least the 75-140 Synth,
I think the 85-140 would be too thick in the regular hypoid...but I don't know for sure....just that our Hypoid range is supposed to be 80-90w for standard type.

Others on here with more MECH knowledge will probably chime in as to whether their standard hypoid in the 85-140 range would be okay???

T.C.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:35 PM
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3Phase 3Phase is offline
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Either one might work but they're a little thick for cold weather. How many of us will it take to crowd you off the shelf to check for sea leopards?

The dino lube is GL4/GL5 so it's supposed to be safe for yellow metals like synchronizers that Yamaha didn't use in our bikes.

The synthetic is only listed for GL5 but again there are no yellow metals to make any trouble.

.
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1982 XJ1100J: "Baby" SS Brakes, '850 FD, ACCT
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Old 07-25-2015, 05:41 PM
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Bel Ray

I used Bel Ray gear saver (petroleum) in a Harley transmission. It cam highly recommended by most mechanics. Worked well for over 200,000 miles with regular changes, and still going good. It is good stuff. I believe it would lube the middle gear well, but I doubt it would smooth out the drive train much. If you try it, let us know how it works for you.

Oil is of 2 important types - Clean oil or Dirty oil. Even Dirty oil is better than no oil. If the middle gear gets dry, the bearing can seize, causing the drive shaft to stop.
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:04 PM
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Well... As per the owners manual... If 90w gear oil is good down to 41 deg F, and has no upper limit, then 85w-140 should have no problem running down to freezing and give unlimited upper limit, as 80w gear oil has been run well below 32 deg F.

If there is an issue with 85w-140 performing as proposed, then are we running too thin of an oil with 75w-140? This is in the same vein as running a 5w-40 oil in the XS1100. Most guys would scream it's too thin, although it will perform like a 40w for protection purposes (20w-40 was the recommended oil as we know), but shift quality will probably be poor however no I'll effects on the engine should be experienced. Key word is "should", as I have never run 5w-40 in my XS, but have run it (5w-40 Rotella Synthetic) in most every other bike I have owned at one time or another. With a 2500 mile oil change interval for the XS1100, shear should not be a huge issue.

My point with this pot-stirring is I wouldn't have an issue running 85w-140 Dino gear oil for year round riding down to around freezing, based on my own extrapolation. I choose to run 75w-140 Synthetic in the middle drive because I feel it is the best for all potential riding I could ever encounter. I run 75w-90 in the FD.

FWIW, when I changed my MD/FD oil before the Colorado Rally last summer, I had about 5000 miles since the last MD/FD oil change, and the oil was as clear golden in color as the new oil going in.
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:45 AM
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Having owned a couple vintage HDs...i can tell you, in a big twin HD the tranny in seperate from everything else, the clutch is in the primary chain housing and requires lube compatable with wet clutches. The train of thought amongst the HD crowd was to use 25% lucas oil treatment in the tranny and the engine, which are seperate, no additives in the primary. I should qualify this by saying I'm not familiar with the more modern HD set ups....
My take is, Bel Ray would be fine in a middle gear but probably not neccesary, would not help the transmission shifting. Just my .02
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:44 AM
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Yeah, the "might be a little thick in cold weather" was tongue-in-cheek.

Either oil would work fine, the pour point for a 80W-whatever gear oil is somewhere south of -10 F (-23 C) with the synthetic closer -40 F (-40 C) and needs pictures if not a ride video.

.
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1982 XJ1100J: "Baby" SS Brakes, '850 FD, ACCT
1980 XS1100G: "Columbo" SS Brakes, '850 FD, ACCT
1979 XS1100SF: "Bush" W.I.P.
2018 Heritage Softail Classic 117 FLHCS SE: "Nanuk"
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  #8  
Old 07-26-2015, 10:02 PM
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Thanks Scoot!
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