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Redrive lubricant for the Top 80

by Had Robinson

There are two models of the Top 80 redrive.  For older models (before 2004), refer to part B below.  For newer models, refer to part A.

A. Current redrive models

For models manufactured after 2004 (with fill and drain plugs), Miniplane recommends 50 ml (1.5 fl. oz.) of 80W-140 gear oil.  100% synthetic 75W-90 gear oil may also be used.

The redrive is a simple set of helix gears so oil grade and quality is not particularly important.  As Miniplane notes, replace the redrive oil after the first (10) hours of use and yearly thereafter.  Be sure to clean the gunk from off the magnetic tip of the drain plug.

If you do not have a syringe, use this handy way to refill the redrive.  Use a tip extension from a spray can to put down the filler hole.  The small tube will allow air to escape as you slowly pour oil into the funnel.  If you do not use the small tube, oil will go everywhere.  Make a sharp bend in the tube to keep fill oil away from the tip so air can escape from the redrive as you fill it.  Be sure to wrap tape around the tube and secure it to the housing.  You will be very upset if the tube drops down into the gear case (I did this once).  Bend the tube at its end so the oil coming in from the funnel does not cover up the hole.  The cap on the gear oil jug can also be used as a funnel.

Change the redrive oil every year.  Properly taken care of, the clutch and redrive will be trouble free for your flying career.

Those who fly in damp climates must be particularly careful in keeping the oil fresh and occasionally running the engine up so as to keep the metallic surfaces well coated with oil to prevent rust.  Rust in oil is a severe abrasive (iron oxide).

Gear box filling  gear box oil filling

B. Redrive model made prior to 2004

Older models of the redrive use grease rather than oil to lubricate the gears and bearings.  They do not have a fill or drain plug but a single breather tube located just above the clutch housing.  They must be disassembled in order to replace the grease.  See Mark Kubisch's service notes for instructions on how to do this.

Older model Top 80 redrive (before 2004)

older model Top 80 redrive