Technical Q and A for classic motorcycle maintenance and repair.
Editor’s note: If you’re having trouble with that old Suzuki, BSA or BMW, Keith Fellenstein is your guy. From motorcycle tuning tips to detailed motorcycle engine repair, he can draw from a wealth of experience to help guide you to success. Send questions to: Keith’s Garage, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or send an e-mail with “Keith’s Garage” as the subject.
Q: I am a novice at motorcycle repair, and I own a 32-year-old Honda CX500. Recently the camshaft was damaged, and a friend suggested installing the replacement using engine assembly grease. A search for this product wasn’t very revealing as to its function or purpose. How is it different from, say, motor oil? — David Etler/via email
A: Ordinary engine oil is designed to flow smoothly through the engine, leaving a thin film on moving parts. Engine assembly lube is formulated to stick to parts as they are assembled and stay on those parts until the engine is started. When you start a newly assembled engine, there’s a short amount of time before the oil pump can pressure feed oil through the engine. Parts that are under high pressure, such as cams, can suffer unnecessary wear in the time it takes for oil to be fed to them. Assembly lube makes sure those parts have lubrication in that critical time. MC