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Steering Box Oil


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I've been trying to dial in my steering the last couple of weeks. Finally popped off the red cap on my steering box - I can see shiny oil looking up at me, but when I put a screwdriver in there to measure depth, the oil is about 3/4" below the top of the box. 

 

1) Is this correct?

 

2) If I should add oil, is it best to somehow drain the oil that's in there, or should I simply top it off?

 

3) If I do top it off, is Castrol 80w-90 Hypoid the preferred oil? 

 

I'm not noticing any obvious signs of leaks (although obviously that oil went somewhere). 

Edited by malagalaga
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There is a vent hole on the cap and a bit of oil could leak out there as the oil splashes round on bouncy roads.  I too had noticed it was not full to the top and topped up.  A couple of weeks later I noticed oil seepage around the cap area.

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  • 1 month later...

I know a little bit about lubrication and I know the extreme pressure additives is GL5 can cause bronze synchronizer corrosion. This is a concern for the gearbox, but I'm not aware of any bronze in either the differential or the steering box. Another issue with GL5 is that it may cause hard shifting as it's often too slippery for the synchronizers to work well. GL5 is meant specifically for the sliding contact of hypoid gears. You may know something I don't and so I ask out of sincere concert for my BMW.

Thanks,

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I know a little bit about lubrication and I know the extreme pressure additives is GL5 can cause bronze synchronizer corrosion. This is a concern for the gearbox, but I'm not aware of any bronze in either the differential or the steering box. Another issue with GL5 is that it may cause hard shifting as it's often too slippery for the synchronizers to work well. GL5 is meant specifically for the sliding contact of hypoid gears. You may know something I don't and so I ask out of sincere concert for my BMW.

Thanks,

 

Aside from eating brass GL5-rated oil can also go through plastic.  A good chunk of 2002 steering boxes have plastic bearing bearing cages.  Now consider that this plastic is already 40 years old, not a good combo.  In the steering box Hypoid GL-4 is a must, and in the thickest type you can find (which is commonly 80w-90).

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Aside from eating brass GL5-rated oil can also go through plastic.  A good chunk of 2002 steering boxes have plastic bearing bearing cages.  Now consider that this plastic is already 40 years old, not a good combo.  In the steering box Hypoid GL-4 is a must, and in the thickest type you can find (which is commonly 80w-90).

+1 for Andrew's response.  The 74 steering box that I pulled from my 69 has plastic bearing cages. 

IMG_8898_zps713302f1.jpg

 

If you tear down the steering box you will find a brass/bronze upper bushing in the cap and another one in the main housing.

IMG_8943_zpsf8416b09.jpg

If you can remove the steering box from the subframe, I'd highly recommend removing the top to access the inner portion of the box.  

IMG_8890_zpsc287e4fc.jpg

Edited by jgerock
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The Blue BMW repair manual calls for a "Branded 90 wt hypoid gear oil".  The Haynes manual calls for Castrol Hypoid 90 EP (Extreme Pressure)  Those oils are in fact GL5 gear oils.  Some brands describe themselves as "hypoid" instead, a term which is synonymous with EP. GL-5 is a formal API standard for this type of oil (comparable to MIL-L-2105B/C/D).  GL4 goes in the tranny only......this is what I have been led to believe during these many years of ownership. 

Earl

74 02Lux

02 M Roadster

72 Volvo 1800ES

Edited by Emyers
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The Blue BMW repair manual calls for a "Branded 90 wt hypoid gear oil".  The Haynes manual calls for Castrol Hypoid 90 EP (Extreme Pressure)  Those oils are in fact GL5 gear oils.  Some brands describe themselves as "hypoid" instead, a term which is synonymous with EP. GL-5 is a formal API standard for this type of oil (comparable to MIL-L-2105B/C/D).  GL4 goes in the tranny only......this is what I have been led to believe during these many years of ownership. 

Earl

74 02Lux

02 M Roadster

72 Volvo 1800ES

 

 

How can it recomend it for our cars when it wasent even on the market yet?? (right?) and it eats like a zombie! Buler?? Buler??

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The Blue BMW repair manual calls for a "Branded 90 wt hypoid gear oil".  The Haynes manual calls for Castrol Hypoid 90 EP (Extreme Pressure)  Those oils are in fact GL5 gear oils.  Some brands describe themselves as "hypoid" instead, a term which is synonymous with EP. GL-5 is a formal API standard for this type of oil (comparable to MIL-L-2105B/C/D).  GL4 goes in the tranny only......this is what I have been led to believe during these many years of ownership. 

Earl

74 02Lux

02 M Roadster

72 Volvo 1800ES

GL4 is HP

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