Small oil leak at final drive - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 5:25 pm Thread Starter
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Question Small oil leak at final drive

I'm a new LT owner 2000 model with 33,000 miles on it. Had it for 2 weeks now and love it. Today while doing my normal pre-flight after work I noticed a small oil leak where the rear break caliper mounts. I cleaned it up and rode home about 25 miles. I checked it upon arrival and it's definitely leaking. I checked the drain plug and it's tight, and the gear oil is full to the fill plug hole. Should I be concerned, or wait till my next sevice and take a good look at all the seals and such.

I have ordered the Clymer manual to help with maintenance.

It's full to the bottom of the threads.

I can't take a pic right now, but I took off the wheel and rotor. It is leaking from the main seal. The drive turns very smooth and has no grinding or wratcheting. I looked at the microfische online, and it looks like there is an o-ring right inside the main seal. is it common for that to leak?

Last edited by DerickO; Oct 12th, 2006 at 6:28 pm. Reason: took off rear wheel and rotor
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post #2 of 9 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 5:43 pm
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Derick,

Welcome to the fold. If you removed the filler plug and re-installed it with out a new crush washer - it will leak. May be what is causing the leak you have. It really depends on where you see it leaking from.

It is not uncommon for the breather to spit out a little oil and the crush washers can leak also. The big deal is the large main seal just behind the wheel but they typically don't leak until a bearing failure takes them out. Just keep a close eye on it and check for roughness when you spin the rear wheel. If it is not smooth don't ride it any further. Get it checked out.

John
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post #3 of 9 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 5:50 pm
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Is it full to the top of the fill hole or the bottom of the threads. If it is full to the top then it is overful and probably leaking from the vent on top of the drive.

The level should only be to the bottom of the threads.

Can you take a picture of where it is leaking?

Kevin

1999 K1200LT, patiently waiting for a new model.
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post #4 of 9 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 6:50 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerickO
I can't take a pic right now, but I took off the wheel and rotor. It is leaking from the main seal. The drive turns very smooth and has no grinding or wratcheting. I looked at the microfische online, and it looks like there is an o-ring right inside the main seal. is it common for that to leak?
Generally, a leak from the 4-5" diameter seal around the wheel bolt flange is officially Not Good. If it's just a weep (staining), as opposed to a leak, it's easy to fix -- a seal replacement. If it's a true leak, and it's come up relatively quickly, then the seal may not be leaking from wear, but (worst case) from being cut by debris from the crown bearing (the big one in the drawing) as the bearing is just beginning to fail.

If you're handy with a wrench, you can pull the crown gear and check the bearing while you're in there to replace the seal. Otherwise, I'd definitely have it checked by the dealer, soon.

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
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post #5 of 9 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 7:10 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick response. I guess I'll be pulling the crown gear after work tomorrow to check everything out. I like to think I'm decent with a wrench I've been working on blackhawks for 10 years, and am currently taking a motorcycle tech coarse.

Hopefully I can put everything back together in the right place
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post #6 of 9 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 7:31 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerickO
Hopefully I can put everything back together in the right place
Hey, if your aircrew trusts you to work on your bird, I figure you can be trusted with your scoot!

When you get to the crown gear bearing, two things to look for: Spalling or surface-fractured balls (and corresponding race indentations), and deforming cage elements. We're not sure which comes first -- ball or cage failure. The failing bearings have rather small stamped-steel ball separator elements which are built-up with rivets. The rivet holes are stress concentration spots, and the separators begin to deform/fracture there. Once they distort enough, they rapidly self-destruct, fragmenting (and usually cutting/shreading the big seal), and permit the balls to gather at one side of the bearing (the source of the big "thump, thump" feeling/noise when the bearing's on its last legs). Obviously, you need to carefully check the condition/shape of these retainers.

Mark Neblett
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Last edited by mneblett; Oct 12th, 2006 at 8:53 pm.
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post #7 of 9 Old Oct 12th, 2006, 8:49 pm
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Please Don't Ride It!!!!!

Had the identical issue with my RT, turned out to be a destroyed rear bearing causing the leak that I thought was coming from the drain plug (the oil was only accumulating there). Once the dealership opened it up, two of the ball bearings were completely GONE, and the connecting metal had curled, shredding the o-ring to the point that it had carved it from flat to 45-degrees. I was mere miles from the rear locking up.

PLEASE don't ride it until you check that bearing.

Pete

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post #8 of 9 Old Oct 13th, 2006, 12:02 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DerickO
I've been working on blackhawks for 10 years, and am currently taking a motorcycle tech coarse.
Sounds like the perfect BMW owner to me.

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post #9 of 9 Old Oct 13th, 2006, 7:23 pm Thread Starter
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Thumbs up OK looks like just the seal

So, I took apart the FD anr cleaned and inspected all the internals. The drain plug had a little Fuzz (small metal shavings) but not any more than I would expect, and nothing big. The bearing looked practicaly brand new, no sign of failing. The gear teeth also looked as if new, almost no wear maks at all. Though the seal did have some funk in the wiper grooves. I cleaned the seal and re-assembled. The bearing is a 19 ball, and I have ordered a new bearing and seal. Just for my own peace of mind. Think I'll keep a close eye on it and if it starts to leak again I'll go ahead and change theme.

Thanks for the help guys
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