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Bel-Ray Specialty Lubricants: Tech Notes, Vol 3, Issue 11

November, 2012


Whisky Galore
New Partnership Already Reaping Benefits

A little less than a year ago a world famous whisky distiller and bottler decided they were going to look at the way they lubricated their bottling facility in the outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland. They had long used European lubricant brands to facilitate this important plant function, and at that point in time had no reason to change their ideas on the matter. Their current agreement with their existing lubricant supplier was due for renewal in the not too distant future and like countless other global companies in these times of financial austerity, they decided it would be a good opportunity to look at the entire fiscal outlay of their lubrication process. With this in mind, they decided to look at what other viable options there might be out there in the market. One of the key factors of this exercise was to reassure themselves that they were getting the very best quality products and service coupled with the best value for their money.

The company’s courtesy and good business ethics were extended to the existing lube supplier, and an invitation was made for them to present their case of continued supply. Purchase cost, cost in use, component failure due to lubrication, service and overall value for money were all taken into consideration. It was then the turn of competitor companies to make their presentation and tender to the company’s senior engineering management team. Many companies made their presentation of how and why they should be chosen for the job of custodian of the plant’s lubrication. Then through the process of elimination it was whittled down to three potential suppliers. In the final three was Bel-Ray Company, which later proved to be victorious through this final decision process! The final decision was made on several key factors, which has allowed the company’s bottling lines to continue operating smoothly through the transition from old to new!

Because of Bel-Ray’s vast portfolio of NSF H1 approved No-Tox Food Grade products the bottling plant was able to ensure the entire plant was now a complete Food-Safe Lubricants site! The further technological advances in the No-Tox range have also allowed them to reduce their stock inventory of lubricants by offering specifically designed lubes for multiple application functionality. These two points alone have been able to address potential auditing issues and misuse matters on site. Furthermore, Bel-Ray conducted a point by point lubrication survey of the plant, which took into account frequency of use, volume expectations in use and as already mentioned food-safe alternative recommendations.

Direct compatibility with the existing products also played a key factor in Bel-Ray securing the business, being able to offer a seamless transition from one brand to another without costly drainage and flushing of gearboxes and cleaning procedures which could have hampered vital production.

Bel-Ray has been able to demonstrate from the very start of their tenure the cost savings they can and will continue to make for the bottling facility. From up-front lower purchasing costs, Bel-Ray has been able to provide the bottling plant with the superior performing food-safe products the company demands, without being left financially drained! This facilitated the engineering management team in estimating their entire lubricant usage and more importantly their lubricant costs for the year, which in turn has allowed them to focus their budget in other critical areas of the plant.

Bel-Ray Molylube SF 100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant

Top selling Bel-Ray Mining Product for 2012

Mining open gear applications are extreme in the aspect of load, environment and contamination. Bel-Ray Molylube SF 100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant is used in mines around the world providing excellent lubrication and extending the life of gear sets on draglines and shovels used in all types of mining and quarrying operations.

Due to the varying environmental conditions in which mining machines operate, Bel-Ray Molylube SF 100 is offered in eight different grades ranging from Sub-Arctic to Extra Heavy. To provide the correct viscosity that can be pumped in extremely cold environments, the Sub-Arctic is formulated with solvent and has a useful temperature range of -45 to +10°C (-45 to +50°F). Once the product is pumped and sprayed on the gears the solvent evaporates and leaves the Bel-Ray Molylube SF-100. It has exceptional 4-Ball EP performance. After the solvent evaporates, the 4-Ball Weld Load is >800 kg or 1760 lbs. Bel-Ray Molylube SF 100 plates-out on the gear teeth and eliminates metalto-metal contact, greatly extending the life of the gear sets.

Where the environment is much warmer the three solvent-free grades Medium, Heavy and Extra Heavy are used. These non-solvent grades are formulated with heavy semi-synthetic base oils with viscosities of 1860 cSt, 3675 cSt and 5175 cSt respectivly at 40°C. The heavy base oils combined with the Molylube solids provide exceptional film strength, which completely separates the gear teeth, eliminating wear and reducing operating temperatures.

When open gears are operated in moderately colder environments, Bel-Ray Molylube SF 100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant Low Temp can be used. This product does not contain solvent and has a useful temperature range of > -18°C (0°F).

Best practice in applying open gear lubricant is to apply a small amount often, giving the open gear lubricant time to adhere to the gears and plate-out. Applying too much after longer time spans has a washing effect on the open gear teeth and actually washes the protective film away.

Here is a picture of a poorly lubricated open gear set. Even though the competitor’s open gear lubricant was applied heavily, the gear surface is not plated and has exposed metal indicating extreme wear taking place.

This is the same machine after switching to Bel-Ray Molylube SF 100 Semi-Synthetic Open Gear Lubricant and reducing the amount applied by 25 to 40%. You can see the SF 100 plating out on the gear surfaces protecting them from contact with the mating gears. The amount applied will be monitored until the optimum amount of Bel-Ray Molylube SF 100 is applied to produce a plated gear surface that will withstand the pressures of the gear interface.

Bel-Ray Company has been providing the mining industry with performance products for 60 years and can help your operation achieve the protection your equipment needs.

Check out all of the Bel-Ray Performance Products on our website at Contact your Bel-Ray Sales Representative to help solve your lubrication problems.

Winter Storage Recommendations

It’s that time of the year again, snow will be falling soon and in certain parts of the country motorcycle enthusiasts will be tucking their 2-wheeled babies away for the winter. Bel-Ray is going to give you some helpful Do-It-Yourself information and tips on winter storage and maintenance.

Step One. Find a safe and secure location for your motorcycle. Ideally a climate-controlled facility would be best. However, not everyone has access to those locations. Pick a spot in your garage, shed, carport, etc. that is safe, in a low foot traffic area and away from any debris that could cause damage. If possible try to choose a location away from windows, because direct sunlight can fade paint, plastic parts and possibly cause cracks. Leaving your motorcycle in direct light will also raise and lower the storage area temperature which may lead to the development of condensation and moisture. A good alternative is to use a motorcycle cover specially designed with breathable mildew-resistant material that offers protection from ultraviolet rays. Bel-Ray’s solution to this is to use Bel-Ray 6 in 1. It will protect the plastic and paint from fading, will protect all metal surfaces from rust or corrosion, and will dissipate water. Bel-Ray 6 in 1 is safe to use on all surfaces of your motorcycle. Using a clean cloth, spray a small amount of Bel-Ray 6 in 1 onto the cloth and then wipe the Bel-Ray 6 in 1 onto all plastic and metal pieces or parts of your motorcycle.

Step Two. When storing your motorcycle for any length of time, it is a good idea to add a fuel stabilizer. It is suggested to fill your gas tank to the recommended level and add fuel stabilizer as directed. Once the fuel stabilizer is added, it is a good idea to carefully shake/rock the motorcycle which in turn will create a better mixing of the gas and fuel stabilizer. At this point turn your motorcycle on, start and run your motorcycle at idle up to operating temperature. Doing so will condition and protect your motorcycle’s fuel system—in both carbureted and fuel injected motorcycles—from “gumming” and will protect against clogged carburetor fuel jets and any sticking of fuel injectors.

Step Three. Change the oil. The engine was brought up to operating temperature in Step Two. With the engine still warm, it is the ideal time to now change the oil because it will drain faster and more completely. When changing the oil, change the filter too. Adding fresh oil will remove foreign objects and any build-up of any deposits. Remember to use a winter grade oil. Bel-Ray EXS Synthetic Ester 4T Engine Oil 5W-40 (99150) is our most popular for winter storage. You ask why? Because, just like in cars, a colder winter grade oil will allow your bike to start easier in cold weather. Bel-Ray EXS Synthetic Ester 4T Engine Oil 5W-40 (W stands for WINTER) will protect your motorcycle and flow through your engine at -30°F and it offers the best protection and help with initial start-up and running of your motorcycle on that early spring morning. NOTE: it is also not uncommon to use the same oil—Bel-Ray EXS Synthetic Ester 4T Engine Oil 5W-40— to lubricate your cylinder walls and rings for the duration of storage. Put just a teaspoon down each of your spark plug holes.

Step Four. Service all fluids. If the brake or clutch (if applicable) fluids haven’t been changed in the last two years or 11,000 miles (18,000 km), do it now. The fluids used in these systems are “hygroscopic” which means that they absorb moisture. Contaminated fluid will cause corrosion inside the systems which may cause problems when the motorcycle is used next spring. Be sure to use the correct fluids and note the warnings and instructions in the service manual. If you don’t have the experience to service these systems, contact your dealer, he will be happy to assist you in both of these applications for the brake and clutch system fluids. Either Bel-Ray Super Dot 4 (99480) or Bel-Ray Silicone Dot 5 (99450) brake fluids can be used. Bel-Ray Super Dot 4 and Bel-Ray Silicone Dot 5 will meet or exceed any recommended or standard products for this application.

If your motorcycle is liquid cooled, generally the coolant must be changed every two years or 15,000 miles (24,000 km). Make sure that the engine is cool enough to touch before draining the system. After draining the system fill your cooling system back up with a 50/50 coolant/antifreeze mixture if recommended. We recommend Bel-Ray Moto Chill Racing Coolant (99410). Bel-Ray Moto Chill Racing Coolant has a boiling point of +267°F as well as a -36°F freezing point that offers protection from freezing for those cold winter nights during storage. Bel-Ray Moto Chill Racing Coolant is pre-mixed ready to use, non-toxic, biodegradable, and can be used for topping off a cooling system. Moto Chill Racing Coolant will mix with any other coolants that are already in the system. It will ensure a clean system for the next two years or 15,000 miles (24,000 km)

Other tips Bel-Ray would like to share for winter storage:

  Clean your drive chain and then lube with Bel-Ray Blue Tac Chain Lube (99060) which will ensure your chain will stay free of any rust, binding of the chain or kinks in the chain throughout the duration of the storage time. Bel-Ray BLUE TAC sprays on with a tint of blue, so you can see where the lube is being applied. Bel-Ray Blue Tac will dry clear. With a 15 minute stand time, Blue Tac is guaranteed to not fling off. This was tested up to 200 mph at Bel-Ray.
  Tire pressures - fill to the maximum psi, this will prevent the creating of flat spots on the tires.
  Disconnect the negative battery cable lead and wrap with electrical tape. This will ensure there isn’t any unwanted loss of voltage during the storage months. Add a battery tender to the battery to ensure the battery will stay charged and ready for next season. Keeping your battery charged also prevents shortening the life of the battery through sulfanization which kills batteries.

Last but not least, if you have any questions regarding what viscosity oil to use or the capacity of oil your engine holds, Bel-Ray invites you to use the Bel-Ray Lubricant Advisor found at All you need to do is select a category and know the make, model and type of unit you’re looking up. Bel-Ray will tell you the rest.

A little preventative maintenance now will make next spring’s first ride a pleasant experience.