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Burman gearbox cleaning

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
So far I've taken the outer cover off, and removed about 2 lb of grease. Aberdeen has limited landfill capacity, so I'm reluctant to enter the main chamber...
Has anyone found a method of removing the stuff other than with a shovel? It isn't so much the removal of grease in bulk, with disposable gloves that is relatively painless, but the cleaning of the parts revealed for inspection. Diesel? Or is there some miraculous aerosol, possibly called Acme Greazaway, that turns it into something useful? Or at least readily disposable?
(I spent yesterday checking over the Norton boxes I had - turned out to be four, to my surprise. The Burman has a far better spread of road ratios than any of them. Granted two are Manx boxes (same ratios as an RRT2, memorably described as having a high first gear and three tops) but the Norton road box would give speeds through the gears of 30, 50, 85, and 90 mph. So not exactly close ratio then...)
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Soon after I read these I realised that I'd bought a hot air gun from Lidl for £9.99. "Hot" rather understates the case, it'll lift paint nae bother. And, it transpires, it'll melt grease into a rather more runny substance. Very good for all the finicky gear selection bits, and no danger of setting it all on fire!
Despite my dislike of the substance, I can't argue with its efficacy: the gearbox is like new inside. I may reconsider my plan to change to oil. I've been told that agricultural dealers sell a product called "pourable grease" intended for farm machinery gearboxes, which has the viscosity of an oil/grease mix, but doesn't separate, and this is perfect for Burman boxes. And it is cheap as chips.
 

Hugo Myatt

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Burman box

Tom,

I wonder what other people have experienced? I ran a Burman box with a thick, heavy and very dark grease of unknown origin, which I only discovered later when I pulled it apart. The layshaft bush ran dry and seized. I then had that box and another one modified by a very good engineer (No blame on him. He did a great job) with oil seals on the kickstart shaft, gear change shaft and I think the final output shaft. One box was fitted to the bike and then filled with oil only. The next morning half the oil was on the garage floor. I refilled it and rode a couple of miles and so doing covered the back of the bike in oil. Since then I have filled it with Castrol Spheerol semi fluid grease which seems to seal the box but is liquid where it matters. I admit to putting an egg cup full of oil in occasionally but this seems to leak out straight away. Anyway I have had no further troubles. Your 'pourable grease' sounds interesting.
 
Last edited:

clevtrev

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Tom,

I wonder what other people have experienced? I ran a Burman box with a thick, heavy and very dark grease of unknown origin, which I only discovered later when I pulled it apart. The layshaft bush ran dry and seized. I then had that box and another one modified by a very good engineer (No blame on him. He did a great job) with oil seals on the kickstart shaft, gear change shaft and I think the final output shaft. One box was fitted to the bike and then filled with oil only. The next morning half the oil was on the garage floor. I refilled it and rode a couple of miles and so doing covered the back of the bike in oil. Since then I have filled it with Castrol Spheerol semi fluid grease which seems to seal the box but is liquid where it matters. I admit to putting an egg cup full of oil in occasionally but this seems to leak out straight away. Anyway I have had no further troubles. Your 'pourable grease' sounds interesting.

Well, Spheerol is what Burman reccommended.
 

John Appleton

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Tom and Hugo, Pete and I have used "pourable grease" in the Burman boxes, on three different Comets, for the last 8 years and have experienced no problems whatsoever. What I have found, with modern greases, is that it virtually impossible to mix them with oil and I get bored with stirring the mess long before the mix approaches the viscosity of pouring grease straight out of the bucket.
 
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