The M32 suffers from a number of related lubrication issues. It's a compact (tightly packed) gearbox. The bearing that fails is right by 6th gear, so booting it in 6th puts max torque through it.
Add to this that it relies on its lubrication solely by oil splashing about doesn't help, meaning it is not fully bathed (later gearboxes have a little screw in piece to help improve this).
Here comes the bit about being tightly packed, this means it gets quite hot 100c plus ( nearly 150 when you push it a bit).
This has two major problems:
- The oil thins out as it warms up, it's viscosity and lubricity decrease as it gets hotter
- The oil can denature losing its lubricity even further, so as it ages it gets worse.
The sum of this combination is the bearings are running on little or no lubrication, and as a result fatigue occurs, and the bearings fail.
To resolve this there are several things you can do :
- Change the oil more regularly ( fresh oil maintains its properties), contaminants also increase wear
- Better oil (full synth denatures less), also get more viscous oil (redline mt90 as a reference is 30% more viscous at 80c than standard OEM)
- Change the bearings ( these changed over time, some (not necessarily the newest) seem to be better)
- Treat the bearing (eg freezing makes them harder)
- Keep the box cooler ( oil is more viscous colder, and denatures less), some Poole have ftted oil coolers, the pump also sprays the bearings)
- Some have fitted oil header tanks ( more volume of oil to heat/ disperse heat)
- Fit fins to the gearbox ( the design has changed with more fins on the new M32 showing heating is an issue).
- Drive more conservatively.....nah!
I've changed my oil to MT90, the old oil was contaminated, gear change is slightly smoother too ( not huge amounts, just a little less notchy), reckon ill look to change every 40-50k or so.
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