Thursday, July 24, 2008

Changing transmission oil on my scooter

It is normally recommended that scooter transmission oil be changed at least once a year. Once I hit 6000km - probably more then a typical year's worth of riding - and especially after that long ride to Duluth, it seemed like transmission oil change for my Baron was due.

There are three types of oil you can find in motorcycle and auto stores, besides the cleaning/penetrating types. These are various types of engine, automatic transmission fluid (ATF) and gear oil. While our scoots have "automatic" transmission, the V-belt transmission works quite different from car's AT and what I believe should be used for scooters is the gear oil. This is the stuff that goes into manual transmission boxes and perhaps other machinery. Gear oil is standardized similarly to engine oil, by a range of viscosity. I dug online a little and found suggestions to use 75 to 90 W oils for scooter transmission. This is exactly what I'll be going for.

It is a good time to remind you that I am not in any way offering a professional advice on these pages.

What I found in AutoZone was a cheep and very convenient bottle of 75-90W, exactly what I needed. It cost about $6. The most expensive one from Mobile-1 (with a larger range, up to something like 140W), was about 15$. The bottle is so big it will last a lifetime, I just wanted to use mineral oil. All of these bottles had convenient funnel tip which helps to squirt the oil into the transmission box and set the level correctly.

So there you go - it's meet-the-bottle moment (these are full-resolution images):

Gear oil that I've used for my scooter's transmission
Gear oil bottle for transmission oil change on my scooter - back view
Main points about it are
-It is gear oil
-It is rated 75W-90 (wider range is OK)
-It has a funnel tip

The oil is drained from a drain plug on the bottom of the V-belt box. There's really a small amout of it. I drained mine into a glass jar. This fill screw is on the side of the transmission box. Here's a pic:

Drain and fill location for transmission oin on my Baron scooter
The screws are M6 and so they take a 10mm wrench or hex sockets.

Notice aluminum gaskets on each of these screws. They get smashed a little by the screws and hold the seal to keep the oil in. It is a good practice to replace these sorts of things, but I just put mine back in.

Draining was easy. I drove it around to warm up the oil a little. Then I stalled the scoot (which means turn off the ignition), put it on a center stand and undone the drain screw. Some dark and really thick oil come out. It really looked like it was long due! (Undo the level screw to let the oil flow out easier.) Since it was so viscous, I had to wait upward of 10 minutes as it just kept oozing out. Then I cleaned the drain screw and its gasket in this very stuff (which in fact becomes a great penetrating oil) and put them back in.

Filling is easy with the funnel-tip bottle. The bottle is flexible, and you just squeeze the bottle to force the stuff in and then let whatever is in excess to flow out. I repeated this to make sure the oil filled all the cavities. Once again, it takes a rather long time for it to drip out. The scoot is supposed to be horizontal for this procedure, so I just did my best to kinda lift the front wheel up a little. I am not sure if this was at all necessary. Then I put the level screw with its gasket back in.

The seals. Since there's no level meter (the level is simply at the position of the fill screw), my biggest worry was that it will leak some oil without me noticing. It got the screws tight with a ratchet, but not crazy-tight as to not to crash the gaskets or break the threads. Then I rode a little and parked the scooter overnight with a piece of paper under this area. Nothing came out so I assume I did this correctly. Still, there was a little grime on the level screw later on when I did this picture.

The ride. The scooter did seam a little quieter and smoother, but hey maybe it's just in my head. I have my idle set too low so the scoot sometimes stalls at intersections. It does seem to happen less often now after the change.

30 comments:

Bill G. said...

I bought a 150cc Baron RS today. So far so good. I put about 100km on it today. I noticed a lot of Minneapolis references on this Blog. I live in Richfield and would like to learn more about my Baron, do some riding and talk some shop. If interested, My name is Bill. Call or E-mail at 612-866-0646 / godbewi@go.metrostate.edu

Anonymous said...

I have a Baron 150-R and I love your blog. But, have you ever heard of this. I was scooting down Washington Ave (I'm from Minneapolis) and hit a bump. My scooters engine immedietly stopped running. When I tryed to restart it it wouldn't. This was earlier today and it still won't start! Do you know what is wrong? What should I do? If you have any suggestions please email me!! kleells@gmail.com

YL said...

Oh my. Unless you hit it really bad, I would look for something inoculate first, say a loose electrical connector. Think about these things:

Is there any starting "cranking" sound at all? Are your lights on (turn the key right and see if the brake light works)? Is your kill switch in the center position? Is there a smell of gas coming of the exhaust pipe as you crank the starter? I'd have to know this to even try giving advice. But if it so, I would say look at the engine area, especially on the back right side. There's an ignition line "port" there that has two wires with simple snap-on connectors. These tend to just fall off, and this then behaves just as if you flipped your kill switch.
Other than this, there may have been other stuff that got snapped off. If you like to work on your scoot, I would say take it to a mechanic!

I will post some links to mechanics in TC area soon. I think the nearest one is called BlueCat or something like that.

Justin said...

Gracias my friend! I found your post extremely helpful. I've been wondering where the fill hole was, and without any markings what-so-ever I was perplexed. I too am the owner of a cheap Chinese scooter. I just love it! I'm working on my own blog atm, and am looking forward to helping contribute to the online community of cheap-o-chinese scooter owners!

Cheers

YL said...

Hi there! It is great to hear you found this helpful.

Why not leave a link here when you launch your site? I have to say I am looking for somebody to co-contribute. So if you have something to share, I'll be more than happy to post it here!

Justin said...

I'll let you know when I get it up - I'm working with my hosting company to get the right version of Rails installed atm. But my planned first post will be in the scooter category - with a link back here. Thanks again mate!

Justin Hopkins said...

Ahoy. I had to change my plans for a first post in the scooter category after the insane effort it took to get the blog off the ground. Check out the right column for a link back here.

Feel free to post a comment on my only post and put in your url just to get another link back this way.

Cheers!

Justin Hopkins said...

Ah, it linked my name, so if it wasn't clear - http://justin-hopkins.com

Leslie said...

Thank you so much for these tutorials! Your Baron's engine appears to be almost identical to my Adly TB150, so I was able to use your pictures to find exactly what I needed to change my engine oil and gear oil.

I thank you and Spot thanks you!

getknowledge said...

Hello I like your blog. Can you tell me what the plastic tube is that plugs on top of the transmission fill/level. I think I put the transmission oil in through this tube instead of the fill/level plug.

YL said...

I dunno what that tube really does. My guess always was it follows some sort of oil pressure relief in the gear box. This just a guess however.

Please don't put gear oil through it. But if you are bored enough to do that, please post us with the outcome!

Cheers

Yarko

Justin said...

Wow, It sounds like the damage has already been done...I have to admit I considered the same thing - luckily I found your blog before I got that desperate.

IIN3RDYII said...

I dont drive a baron but a Huawin Eagle 150cc, just like other chinse scooter they are all clones and have the same parts and I was wondering when should I perform the transmission oil change and how? I already changed my motor oil that came with my bike; at 300km and put in the mobile t1 10w 40 a highly recommend it by the way is the same oil you put in racing bikes such as ducatis or bmw and i find my self doing up to 70 or 80 MILES no problem its insane !!!! nd by the way really awesome blog!! will check it out more often!

Justin said...

IIRC I changed my transmission oil for the first time at the same time as the engine oil or shortly after.

YL said...

You only need to change your transmission oil once a year, or every 4000km. You may want to change the oil that came from the manufacturer right away, but most people don't and its OK. The post above may be a little too lengthy but I do show in detail how to change the transmission oil. Check the pictures! Also, I am now trying to start a forum about Chinese scooters here:
http://scooterblog.yarkolts.com/forum/

Yarko

IIN3RDYII said...

Thanks a lot man!! I went downtairs with the laptop and changed the transmission oil with the blog hahaha pretty eassyy!! Thanks a lot !! and I feel like that acceleration has increased a little more which is aewsome!!! the thing i hated was that some scooter dont need gear oil while some others do; thats what confused me at first and oh well !! ill deff check the other blog

AndreaR said...

Bless your scooterin' heart -- I am due to do this (just changed the engine oil and bestow tons of good karma upon you for the photos of how the spring and filter went together, as they shot out before I noticed).
Anyhow, I was at Schucks and we could NOT figure out what to use for the gear oil, since my manual says 10#.

Gil said...

Sweet. Thank you for posting this. I own a JMSTAR Falcon / Baron / Veneto. I wonder why there's so many names for this scooter?! I've gotten past 4000km and have been concerned about changing the transmission oil. The online instructions manual describes how to drain the gear box, but doesn't explain WHERE to insert new oil. As others mentioned, I was so tempted to squeeze fluid down that rubber tube that sticks out at the top! So thanks again. Your blog is deemed very insightful!

Gil said...

Also, thanks for posting a link to the owner's manual. However, if there's anyone out there that would be interested in reading the owner's manual written in plain, proper English, please click here: http://jmstar.com/html/scooter/eagleA2/150t-20A.htm

Gil said...

... Yes, there are typos sprinkled about. But still, it's definitely easier to read!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. thank you for writing it.

Anonymous said...

I have a 05 150cc baron that will not start. I replaced the ignition coil and still will not start. It turns over but will not start. Any suggestions?

javieth said...

The scooter are very useful specially when there are traffic jump. I hater to drive my car in this days. But the scooter is a great alternative, although is necessary to be careful. Actually i visited a beautiful country and approached
costa rica investment opportunities
and i rode an scooter all the time, it was really fantastic.

Anonymous said...

I have a Baron 150. gas gauge doesn't work. Could that be a fuse? Where is the fuse. Also, where is the spark plug Do you have to take the whole thing apart to find the plug?

YL said...

Spark plug is accessible through a square-shaped plastic lid that you can remove with a screwdriver. The find it, look at the front of your seat and start looking down. Right before the foot platform there's a little plastic square, that's the thing.

Did you check out the manual? It is in ridiculous English but could be helpful!

YL

mikhail zotov said...

I have a 50 cc 4 stroke Chinese scooter and ever sense I changed the oil it started going very sluggish. Before it went 40 mph and 50 mph down hill. Now it goes barely 20 mph and 25 downhill if I'm lucky. Any suggestions?

YL said...

Yes, stop riding it and take it to a mechanic! Are you sure the plug was sealed properly? What oil did you use? And why are you posting this question under the transmission oil post? Do you know the difference between the two?

YL

Anonymous said...

Hi. I a about to do this and wondered what oil to use. My manual says 90w but, doesn't specify hypoid or non hypoid. I will use the stuff you say. Thanks I have a chinese 50cc hornet. When I looked at the gear oil it was clear and kind of white. Not honey colored like your stuff. Also for people that fill through the mystery tube, just unscrew the fill bolt and make sure the oil level is full the the bottom of the fill hole. It will pour out when too full. Thanks dude!

mikaljains said...

Congratulations! This is the great things. Thanks to giving the time to share such a nice information.
Kimmer Trans

jim smith said...

I am looking for somebody to co-contribute. So if you have something to share, I'll be more than happy to post it here!
Transmission Hollywood FL