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Bevel box oil concern. #617523
16/02/20 12:42 AM
16/02/20 12:42 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 297
Wisconsin
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Does sludge form in the bottom of the bevel box? I change my own bevel box oil. I’ve noticed every time less oil seems to drain out than I put in making me wonder if some of the oil turns to a greasy sludge layered in the bottom of the bevel box. If this is true than every time new oil is placed in the bevel box by the recommended technique then less and less of the recommended 300 cc is replaced back into the bevel box causing less oil to be available to circulate and protect the gears.

Does anybody know if this really happens? If so, what can we use to flush out any accumulated sludge from the bottom of the bevel box before replacing with new oil?

I seem to remember someone in this forum talked about flushing out the bevel box a few years ago.

Appreciate your thoughts.


2015 M3W, Morgan Aero Racing Stage 1, Garage 56 Stage 2, sport black, saddle tan, jeweled SS dash.
Re: Bevel box oil concern. [Re: Sportster] #617524
16/02/20 01:15 AM
16/02/20 01:15 AM
Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 278
SW Iowa, U.S.A.
Bitsobrits Offline
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I had my bevel box (BB) open recently to machine threads for a remote filler on the top side. There was no sludge at all.

I bought my machine used, and changed the BB oil immediately for some gear oil I had in the shop, 75w-90, I think. At that time the oil in the box was fairly thick and black as many describe, so I let it drain overnight. I ran it with the thinner gear oil for a couple of hundred miles, then changed it out hot for the RedLine shockproof oil (75w-250?). I had done two fill/drains (about 1500 miles total) with this oil when I removed the bevel box for cleaning, inspection, and machining. It was super clean inside. it rally helps to have the tail of the machine low for draining (there is a cavity at the front of the BB that won't fully drain if the machine is level), then back to level for filling.

Leaks in the BB are pretty easy to spot, as there are only the two shaft seals and the breather to leak. Given the internal design of the BB, the side mounted breather really shouldn't leak at all. Have you removed the lower tunnel panel or interior driveshaft cover to inspect the BB for leaks? I have found that my BB only weeps a very small amount at the shaft seals, though some have reported massive leaks at the input shaft seal due to it coming unseated.

So I don't think sludge is your culprit. BBs and differentials should never create sludge unless there is water/dirt ingress or the gears are grinding themselves into oblivion, the former being not all likely and the latter something you would notice. It's not like an engine where combustion blow by contaminates the engine oil over time.

Perhaps on the next change you could actually measure the drained oil amount. 300cc in a drain pan doesn't look like much.


Steve
2012 M3W #458
SW Iowa

Re: Bevel box oil concern. [Re: Bitsobrits] #617525
16/02/20 01:25 AM
16/02/20 01:25 AM
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Wisconsin
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Outstanding answer, Steve!

That ‘s definitive proof my concern of sludge forming is unfounded.

I haven’t noticed any obvious leaks in the area of the bevel box. I did remove the interior shaft tunnel cover once when my M3W was newer but not the bottom middle panel. My complaint is only subjective. I haven’t measured anything. You’re right what drains in the pan doesn’t look like much. Maybe that’s where I’m being fooled.

Good suggestion about draining the bevel box oil with the rear of the M3W in a more dependent position.

Thanks, Steve.

Last edited by Sportster; 16/02/20 01:33 AM.

2015 M3W, Morgan Aero Racing Stage 1, Garage 56 Stage 2, sport black, saddle tan, jeweled SS dash.
Re: Bevel box oil concern. [Re: Sportster] #617569
16/02/20 11:50 AM
16/02/20 11:50 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 985
Leicestershire, UK
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Leicestershire, UK
I'm not sure how old your car is but MMC issued this technical note some time ago:
Between November 2012 and 9th September 2013 an additive was combined to the bevel box oil on all M3W’s. This additive has been found to bond with the oil and forms clumps within the box. This can result in the gears not getting sufficient lubricant when required. It is essential that vehicles produced between the two dates above have the bevel box oil changed. We recommend turning the rear wheel while filling the bevel box with oil to flush any debris through the system (obviously as we recommend this is done at first service 1000 miles or 3 months whichever is first. All affected vehicles should now have passed through their dealer and the oil changed).


Andy
Re: Bevel box oil concern. [Re: Bunny] #617570
16/02/20 11:54 AM
16/02/20 11:54 AM
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Wisconsin
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2015.

Thanks Andy.


2015 M3W, Morgan Aero Racing Stage 1, Garage 56 Stage 2, sport black, saddle tan, jeweled SS dash.
Re: Bevel box oil concern. [Re: Sportster] #617613
16/02/20 03:22 PM
16/02/20 03:22 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,566
Aberdeenshire
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Aberdeenshire
There is a thread about removing the BB oil additive. The consensus was to flush with diesel fuel. My car was affected so I drained the oil/gunge, refilled with diesel, turned the wheel several times to distribute ,drained refill with diesel. Drain refill with proper oil run engine for a short time with wheel off the ground. Drain & refill with oil.

Re: Bevel box oil concern. [Re: Sportster] #617655
16/02/20 06:16 PM
16/02/20 06:16 PM
Joined: May 2012
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Gods own county! Oop north
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Gods own county! Oop north
Mine had the dreaded black sludge in from new in 2013.

I flushed it out with first diesel twice, then cheap 20/50 engine oil another twice before it all came out.

Now when I change the oil it comes out almost the same colour as it went in.

All the flushing was done with the car up in the air and running in 3rd gear.

Re: Bevel box oil concern. [Re: Dab of oppo] #617710
17/02/20 03:58 AM
17/02/20 03:58 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 297
Wisconsin
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Interesting. My bevel box oil comes out pretty dark, almost black.


2015 M3W, Morgan Aero Racing Stage 1, Garage 56 Stage 2, sport black, saddle tan, jeweled SS dash.
Re: Bevel box oil concern. [Re: Sportster] #617712
17/02/20 05:34 AM
17/02/20 05:34 AM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,942
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450 ml classic castrol EP 140

Re: Bevel box oil concern. [Re: Dab of oppo] #617755
17/02/20 11:57 AM
17/02/20 11:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 985
Leicestershire, UK
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Leicestershire, UK
Originally Posted by Dab of oppo
Now when I change the oil it comes out almost the same colour as it went in.
Same here. In fact it makes me question whether we need to change the oil as frequently as most of us do. After all, many differentials only require new oil after 30-50K miles and surely the BB is doing a similar job. Are we just being a bit paranoid?


Andy
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