Gearbox lube revisited

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siai47
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After reviewing Mr. Mik's posts about gearbox lubes he tried, I thought I would take a look in the gearbox on my Vectrix. My gearbox is fairly quiet and I actually test drove all the Vectrix's the dealer had in inventory to get the quietest one (turned out to be the demo). Upon disassembly, with 500 miles on the odometer, I was suprised to find the gears in very good condition. Unlike Mr. Mik's Vectrux, the planet gears were clean with no pitting on the tooth faces. Also, there must have been a design change in the ring gear as it is different in my Vectrix from the gear in Mr. Mik's. Where Mr. Mik's Vectrux has a gear with "tabs or tangs" on the outer diameter of the Ring gear, there are none on the gear in my Vectrix. The outer diameter of my ring gear is smooth and therefore much thicker in section then Mr. Mik's. This would lead to a gear that could be held to a better tolerance during manufacturing and would maintain a more constant shape when heated in operation. When I withdrew the factory oil I was only able to remove 60 ml. I used a large syringe with ml graduations on it and got every drop. Mr. Mik said he thought the fill was 80 ml so on refill I split the difference and put in 70 ml. As to the oil---I was not so interested in noise, but in range and every little bit helps. I found a extremely low viscosity oil (about the viscosity of diesel fuel) designed for the GM-EV1 gearbox. The EV1 gearbox was splash lubricated with a mixture of spur and planetary gears, handled over 100 hp with motor speeds up to 10,000 rpm---so I am going to trust it in the Vectrix. The bottle says: *For electric Vehicles *Reduces viscous drag *Increases vehicle range (what more could one ask for). It was GM Part # 12371288 but is no longer available. Lucky me I had several pints of it left over from the old EV1 days. The new oil doesn't seem to change the noise of the gearbox with the exception of a slight "rattle" from the gears between drive and coast loading. I wish I had a current meter mounted so I could see if was any change in load at various speed with this oil. I am going to run it 500 additional miles and see whats going on at that point. I am also going to cut a set of helical gears to replace the spur gears this fall---then the Vectrix will be stealth!

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Mik
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

I hope it works out for you!

Good that you have nice laws about warranty conditions in the USA. Violating one part will not void the whole warranty.

I thought about using veggie oil, just to make a point...maybe "Extra Virgin Olive Oil"...
Does anyone know what that would do in a gear box? Make mayonnaise, maybe?

Now that the gear box noise in the Vectux has improved I might well try out thinner stuff.
Using thicker lubricants did not improve the noise levels, anyway, but the gear box got hotter.

Mr. Mik

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siai47
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

I think you would have to throw a couple of eggs in with the "Extra Virgin Olive Oil" to make mayonnaise. However, your range may vary. If I could figure out how to send you a pint of the oil I am using (the GM EV1 stuff) I would do it--a pint will fill it several times!

PJD
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

What gear lubricant was originally specified for the Vectrix?

Mik
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

PJD wrote:

What gear lubricant was originally specified for the Vectrix?

All secret stuff! It's supposed to last for the life of the scooter.

It did look very black from all the gear surface wear.

Mr. Mik

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Vectrixuser
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

Hi Mik,
Thanks for the video clip, I forwarded that to the Vectrix Dealer and he sent it to the Vectrix people today.
I will let you what they will say as soon as I hear anything back.

Mik
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

I have added this page to the Vectrix Collaborative Handbook, please try to stay on topic!

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volts76
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

80cc/80ml (2.71 oz) of NEW Castrol Optigear Synthetic X gear oil.

Mik
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

volts76 wrote:

80cc/80ml (2.71 oz) of NEW Castrol Optigear Synthetic X gear oil.

But which one? It matters what the "X" stands for, I think!

http://www.castrol.com/liveassets/bp_internet/castrol/castrol_advantage/STAGING/local_assets/downloads/o/ECR_Optigear_Synthetic_...

Which X:

X 150 X 220 X 320 X 460 ????

Or do you choose according to temperature?

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Mik
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

Mik wrote:

Which X:

X 150 X 220 X 320 X 460 ????

Or do you choose according to temperature?

Still wondering....

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Magendanz
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

Yes, it definitely seems strange that they don't specify the viscosity in the service manual. Googling "Castrol Optigear Synthetic X", it seems that this stuff is primarily used for wind turbine reduction gears. Not surprisingly, my local auto supply shop had no clue where to obtain it, and I can't find it (in any viscocities) available for purchase online.

Since Vectrix went through the effort to issue a Technical Service Bulletin (NBTB0813, dated 09 OCT 08) specifically titled "ADDING OIL TO A REPLACEMENT GEARBOX IN THE FIELD", I'm guessing that there is a need to replace this gear oil periodically. Does anyone know where to find it?

berndoz
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

I am about to change the gear oil but can't get the speced Castrol Optigear Synthetic X (not X 220 or 320)in under 20l
So, I wonder if any one has found an acceptable equivalent for the original ?

A fellow EV mechanic suggested any synthetic gear oil with an (R)X 80 or (VM)X 80 code. As I don't have a clue about oils other than the olive variety any hele is appreciated.

Bernd

berndoz
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

not hele but HELP

oobflyer
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

I couldn't find the specified gear oil either - I used gear oil (synthetic) recommended by the local auto parts store.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1ID3qUTYBU

Aircon
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

oobflyer wrote:

I couldn't find the specified gear oil either - I used gear oil (synthetic) recommended by the local auto parts store.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1ID3qUTYBU

That was brilliant...thanks!

Mik
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

The Vectux gearbox appears to cope well with the Castor oil - must be around 10000km by now. Have not opened the gearbox in a while, it might look bad in there....but sounds normal...

This would not work well in cold locations, but here the gearbox never gets below 10degC.

Mik

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DJP
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

I have used castor oil (R40) for about 8k miles 30C to 0C, seems ok.

mikemitbike
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

Hi,

I took gear-oil for Scooters (Vespa, etc.) from my motorcycleshop. They come with 0,125l per package.
Specification: SAE 75w-90/API GL-5.
I changed the oil spring 2011 and put some aditive like "lubriloy" to the oil. Made more than 8000km
with it, gear runs smooth, no leakings, gear is a bit more silent .

Greetings Mike

ofx210p
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

mikemitbike wrote:

Hi,

I took gear-oil for Scooters (Vespa, etc.) from my motorcycleshop. They come with 0,125l per package.
Specification: SAE 75w-90/API GL-5.
I changed the oil spring 2011 and put some aditive like "lubriloy" to the oil. Made more than 8000km
with it, gear runs smooth, no leakings, gear is a bit more silent .

Greetings Mike

Working on that basis I really like the sound of this....
(we dont have ebay in NZ but Trademe is essentially the same thing)
Shockproof Gear oil
or
Lighter Shockproof oil

The heavy is quite interesting as the 'fling' on it should be the same as the Scooter oil 75w-90 but its film thickness should work in to its advantage to prevent the oil being 'squeezed' out from the flat faces of the gears.

Here is Redline.com's comments on their light shockproof oil
Lightweight ShockProof® Film thickness greater than an SAE 75W140, yet low fluid friction like 80W gear oil or 30W motor oil

Obviously your thoughts and opinions are welcomed here.

Personally i'd love to use something like Slick50 gearbox treatment but FUD stops me.

Anderson
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

I bought the 2nd one "lighter shockproof oil" wich is the Redline product #58504 called Superlight skockproof gear oil. I thought that was closest to siai47's recomendation for a oil that had viscocity of diesel fuel (Redline's discription of the above oil is; "Film thickness greater than an SAE 75W90, yet low fluid friction like ATF"). I haven't tried it out yet.

ofx210p
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

Anderson wrote:

I haven't tried it out yet.

Damn i was trying to avoid being the guinea pig...

I have to say that i like the heavy one where it has the viscosity of 75w-90 but film thickness of 75w-240 in that it will stick well and will still flow.

Hmmm decisions decisions..... I've been married to long to make decisions for myself !

Anderson
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

ofx210p wrote:
Anderson wrote:

I haven't tried it out yet.

I have to say that i like the heavy one where it has the viscosity of 75w-90 but film thickness of 75w-240 in that it will stick well and will still flow.

When I was young I felt the same way and oiled an expensive watch movement with 3 in one oil but what I've learned since then is to follow the advise of the experts that I'm not one of.

One other thing I didn't think of before is siai47 in an earlier post here recomended 5-20 or 0-20 synthetic motor oil wich is a much lower viscocity than #58404 ( Lightweight ShockProof gear oil ), that is described here as an equivelent viscocity to 30W motor oil. So if you like siai47 gear oil recomendations I would get #58504 ( Superlight skockproof gear oil ) that I think he would have recomended.

ofx210p
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Re: Gearbox lube revisited

Today i took my gearbox apart and changed the oil to the Redline Lightweight Shockproof gear oil.

This gearbox is 27,000km old. Quite noisy so i assumed it would be fairly messy inside and to be honest it wasn't. However a couple of things were noticable. Firstly i think there are two variations of gearboxes out there. This one had protruding gear teeth like previous ones mentioned elsewhere but my other one is different.

For reasons i'll come to shortly i'll get some photos of the differences .

The Gearbox is remarkably easy to take apart now that i've split two of them. There is nothing complex and if anyone is considering doing it - dont hesitate.

If you work really slow - 2 hrs tops with tea breaks for looking at the bits as they come apart and mulling over things.

Redline shockproof oil looks like baby poo yellow... lol but certainly looks similar viscosity to what came out.

Put back together and sadly noise completely the same as before but might have been slightly smoother (although there is a high probability that it was placebo effect)

The 950cc container will be good for 10 fills of the gearbox for $46 NZD dollars so i won't mind splitting it down again.

One thing i forgot to check was the rear gearbox to motor bolts. So at somepoint soon i'll probably whip it apart and check them.

Cheers

Chris

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