Timing Cover Oil Leak - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 28 Old Sep 25th, 2016, 9:00 pm Thread Starter
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Timing Cover Oil Leak

I have a '99 LT with 36k miles. I purchased it just this last May. I have an oil leak on the bottom of the timing case cover right at the seam. It drips a few drops of oil every day. It drips from the 2nd and 3rd allen head bolts in from the left edge of the cover. I've wiped it off several times and this is where the leak re-appears.

The BMW parts diagram blow-ups do not show any kind of gasket for the timing case cover. Is there one? Is there a lot of oil circulating under the cover when the engine is running? If not, could it be coming from the sprocket shaft? That's #7 in the diagram on the left.

It looks like a bit of a job to get that cover off. I think it requires removing the radiators.

The leak is not originating from the oil pump/water/pump area.

Any suggestions on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Bruce H, in Cincinnati
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Last edited by brassman96; Sep 25th, 2016 at 9:25 pm.
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post #2 of 28 Old Sep 25th, 2016, 9:49 pm
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

sounds like your front crank seal is leaking. And yep, you'd have to remove the radiators, the tank, and the right crank case cover. Carefully driving in a new seal, I had to use an appropriately sized giant socket. Couldn't tell you what size socket but someone here probably will.

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post #3 of 28 Old Sep 25th, 2016, 11:05 pm
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

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Originally Posted by want2tour View Post
sounds like your front crank seal is leaking. And yep, you'd have to remove the radiators, the tank, and the right crank case cover. Carefully driving in a new seal, I had to use an appropriately sized giant socket. Couldn't tell you what size socket but someone here probably will.
I have not had the timing cover off yet to see how that seal interfaces and with what but it also could just be a cover leak. There is most definitely oil behind the cover and what you are describing to me sounds like the cover ls leaking. That is sealed with sealer and no gasket. I assume you have put a torque wrench on the cover bolts to make sure none of them are lose if you can get to them.

Gordon
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post #4 of 28 Old Sep 25th, 2016, 11:54 pm
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

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I have not had the timing cover off yet to see how that seal interfaces and with what but it also could just be a cover leak. There is most definitely oil behind the cover and what you are describing to me sounds like the cover ls leaking. That is sealed with sealer and no gasket. I assume you have put a torque wrench on the cover bolts to make sure none of them are lose if you can get to them.
Yeah, that is a wet area, so it does make more sense than what I just posted. But if you get in there for the cover seal, it makes sense to replace the guide rails and thruster. They're due at 36k.

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post #5 of 28 Old Sep 26th, 2016, 8:09 am
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

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Yeah, that is a wet area, so it does make more sense than what I just posted. But if you get in there for the cover seal, it makes sense to replace the guide rails and thruster. They're due at 36k.
Yeah, I am one of those types of people, if I am in there and it doesn't cost a fortune, just do it and not worry about it for awhile.

Gordon
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post #6 of 28 Old Sep 26th, 2016, 11:20 am Thread Starter
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

Thank you all for your suggestions. That makes sense to me. I'll do the guide rails and thruster too while I'm at it and give a short report when I'm done. Yes, the book does say to do those at 36K. I missed that. Thanks!!

I had great results with Permatex One Minute Black RTV gasket compund fixing a stubborn oil leak on the tranny pan of my Town and Country. No waiting for cure, just torque and go. Perfect for situations where it can re-wet itself quickly and wash away your RTV while you are waiting for it to cure! I will use that on the LT. It comes in a little pressurized bottle. Got it at Advance Auto.

Can you re-use the seal under the right side crank cover?

Thanks again for your help gentlemen. This is a valuable forum.
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post #7 of 28 Old Sep 26th, 2016, 11:27 am
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

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Originally Posted by brassman96 View Post
Thank you all for your suggestions. That makes sense to me. I'll do the guide rails and thruster too while I'm at it and give a short report when I'm done. Yes, the book does say to do those at 36K. I missed that. Thanks!!

I had great results with Permatex One Minute Black RTV gasket compund fixing a stubborn oil leak on the tranny pan of my Town and Country. No waiting for cure, just torque and go. Perfect for situations where it can re-wet itself quickly and wash away your RTV while you are waiting for it to cure! I will use that on the LT. It comes in a little pressurized bottle. Got it at Advance Auto.

Can you re-use the seal under the right side crank cover?

Thanks again for your help gentlemen. This is a valuable forum.
You can reuse the left and right cover gaskets

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post #8 of 28 Old Sep 27th, 2016, 11:48 am Thread Starter
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

Would you know if the timing chain has to come off to replace the chain tensioning rail lining and chain guide rail? It looks like it does need to come off from studying the shop manual, but the manual only describes installation, not the replacement of the wear items.

The shop manual says I need BMW Tool No. 11 3 700 ($123.00) which is a cam alignment jig, which I assume keeps the cams from turning when the timing chain is off.

Has anyone replaced these wear parts and be able to offer a few tips?

Thanks so much.
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post #9 of 28 Old Sep 27th, 2016, 11:55 am
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

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Originally Posted by brassman96 View Post
I have an oil leak on the bottom of the timing case cover right at the seam. It drips a few drops of oil every day. It drips from the 2nd and 3rd allen head bolts in from the left edge of the cover.
Same situation on my 1200GT... same engine. The leak originated at the point where the cylinder head gasket meets the timing chain cover (see pics). With the cover off I cleaned the area thoroughly and applied JB Weld to the void caused by the head gasket and using a razor blade leveled the epoxy.

Applied RTV to the timing chain cover flange... no gasket. No leaks for several years now...
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post #10 of 28 Old Sep 27th, 2016, 12:09 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

It appears that my leak is on the left lower side of the cover so I don't think I need the JB Weld, but I will look at that void when re-assembling. Careful prep and cleaning and then some RTV should do the trick, but I need a little help on the procedure for replacing the chain tensioner wear items which I will replace while I am in there.
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post #11 of 28 Old Sep 27th, 2016, 12:40 pm
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

You said three bolts in from the lower left... that's where the head gasket meets the TC cover.
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post #12 of 28 Old Sep 27th, 2016, 12:50 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

The bike's left? I don't see anything there but the timing cover. Hmm
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post #13 of 28 Old Sep 27th, 2016, 1:05 pm
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

Try this. Of course, the procedure doesn't tell you to use several zipties on the chain/sprocket to maintain the sprocket position.
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post #14 of 28 Old Sep 27th, 2016, 5:18 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

What publication is that from? Very cool.

It tells you to remove the cam chain sprockets and the chain. Are you saying that you've done this procedure with the sprockets and chain left in the bike?

Thanks want2tour.
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post #15 of 28 Old Sep 27th, 2016, 5:40 pm
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

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Originally Posted by brassman96 View Post
What publication is that from? Very cool.

It tells you to remove the cam chain sprockets and the chain. Are you saying that you've done this procedure with the sprockets and chain left in the bike?

Thanks want2tour.
if memory serves i think i had to remove them. Pretty sure i had to remove as the instructions state. Getting hard to remember. Only done it once before. Maybe someone here will chime in or you could PM jzeiler. He'll know.

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post #16 of 28 Old Sep 27th, 2016, 5:46 pm
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

JZ will know for sure but I think you can just tie wrap the chain at the crank so it can't move and also to the two sprockets and then take them off the cams as you would for a bucket swap but I haven't had to do this yet.

Gordon
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1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
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post #17 of 28 Old Sep 27th, 2016, 6:01 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

Just found this post on the i-bmw forum at Timing chain guide replacement - I-BMW.com

"Probably old thread this but thought i'd share some observations.
I did replace the tensioner guide (liner) as required on 60 000 km. Could not see any noticeable wear on the liner. The second time I did it after riding 80 000 km more. This time I could see wear on the liner = time to change it for me.

Not to big a job actually but everything takes time. The spare liner part comes as a kit in does not cost al that much. Put Cyl #1 on TDC with all marks in place (triangles on cam gears, pin on OT mark on camshaft). Strap the chain fast on the cam gears so it won't change position. Fairly straight forward."
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So it looks like one can replace the wear items that come in the BMW liner kit (which I already knew about and have ordered) without removing the chain and sprockets. I will give that a try first. They also do not mention removing the crankcase cover. That would save a lot of time.
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post #18 of 28 Old Sep 27th, 2016, 8:39 pm
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

Most of us never had the need to replace the chain guide at the "recommended" interval. If performing maintenance on high mileage then go ahead.
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post #19 of 28 Old Sep 27th, 2016, 9:05 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

That is just what I am gathering from all my reading. Thank you for more confirmation. I will just reseal the timing cover for now and inspect the chain guide and rail in a few more years. It only has 36k on it and I don't ride all that much. Maybe 5K a year. Hopefully I will ride more in years to come!

I just ordered the Clymer Repair Manual for the LT. It looks very helpful too. Is that what a lot of you all use? I have the BMW shop manual for the '99 LT and Paul Sayegh's Repair DVD's. I have read that the Clymer Manual is more detailed and helpful than the official shop manual. Thanks again all for your input folks. Sorry if I've been a PITA with all my questions. I'm still learning.

I try to search old posts first before asking but this topic doesn't appear to have been covered much on this site. I see more timing chain and cover related articles on the i-BMW K1200RS forum and I think it is the same engine for the most part.

Cheers.
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post #20 of 28 Old Sep 27th, 2016, 10:02 pm
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

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That is just what I am gathering from all my reading. Thank you for more confirmation. I will just reseal the timing cover for now and inspect the chain guide and rail in a few more years. It only has 36k on it and I don't ride all that much. Maybe 5K a year. Hopefully I will ride more in years to come!

I just ordered the Clymer Repair Manual for the LT. It looks very helpful too. Is that what a lot of you all use? I have the BMW shop manual for the '99 LT and Paul Sayegh's Repair DVD's. I have read that the Clymer Manual is more detailed and helpful than the official shop manual. Thanks again all for your input folks. Sorry if I've been a PITA with all my questions. I'm still learning.

I try to search old posts first before asking but this topic doesn't appear to have been covered much on this site. I see more timing chain and cover related articles on the i-BMW K1200RS forum and I think it is the same engine for the most part.

Cheers.
Clymer is a good book to have and most of us probably do along with the other resources you mentioned. Just check some of the tables depending on the revision of the printing. Some of the tables in my book listed a proper NM torque but the Ft Lb number for a few was incorrect. I think that particular error was corrected in a later printing though. Just do the math, cross check and make sure you don't snap off bolts. Don't worry about the questions, we love them and the knowledge base here for the LT is huge so ask away if a search doesn't return what you need to know.

Welcome to the forum Bruce.
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post #21 of 28 Old Sep 28th, 2016, 12:27 am
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

here's another great resource for maintenance videos on the KLT
https://www.illinoisbmwriders.com/

And welcome to the herd

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post #22 of 28 Old Sep 28th, 2016, 7:53 am Thread Starter
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

Thanks for making me feel welcome gents! That's awful nice of you. And thanks bmwcoolk for the torque setting "heads up."

I have watched some of illinoisbmwrider's videos but I forgot to mention them. They're very informative too. I've already watched the one on installing Spiegler Brake lines since I will be doing that as part of this 36k job. One of my rear brake lines just popped and started leaking recently so the timing is perfect. Fortunately it occurred while on a short ride close to home. The price tag for the new brake lines was an "ouch" though.

When I removed my front tire recently I noticed a lot of oil encrusted dirt and dust on the inside of the mudflap. It is hard to tell where it came from but I am suspecting the right caliper, which looked a little dirty. Can the seals in the caliper go bad as soon as 36k? What else could leak up there? I don't have all the service records but I am suspecting that the brake fluid was not flushed regularly and the bike is 17 years old now. I have the BMW caliper piston and seal kit on order just to be sure. That was an hit too at $105.00. Man, this thing is starting to get spendy. Hopefully it won't require any more expensive parts for a while.
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post #23 of 28 Old Sep 28th, 2016, 8:10 am
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

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Thanks for making me feel welcome gents! That's awful nice of you. And thanks bmwcoolk for the torque setting "heads up."

I have watched some of illinoisbmwrider's videos but I forgot to mention them. They're very informative too. I've already watched the one on installing Spiegler Brake lines since I will be doing that as part of this 36k job. One of my rear brake lines just popped and started leaking recently so the timing is perfect. Fortunately it occurred while on a short ride close to home. The price tag for the new brake lines was an "ouch" though.

When I removed my front tire recently I noticed a lot of oil encrusted dirt and dust on the inside of the mudflap. It is hard to tell where it came from but I am suspecting the right caliper, which looked a little dirty. Can the seals in the caliper go bad as soon as 36k? What else could leak up there? I don't have all the service records but I am suspecting that the brake fluid was not flushed regularly and the bike is 17 years old now. I have the BMW caliper piston and seal kit on order just to be sure. That was an hit too at $105.00. Man, this thing is starting to get spendy. Hopefully it won't require any more expensive parts for a while.
It isn't just the 36K miles, it is the 17 years but I have not heard of any reports of calipers leaking so much as the brake lines just giving out. It won't hurt to rebuild them but then again, it is $105. Give them a good look over for sure.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
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post #24 of 28 Old Sep 28th, 2016, 8:52 am Thread Starter
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

I've heard of the steering dampener leaking and the front shock and I don't think that mine are. Do the forks themselves ever leak? I saw some crud on the right fork tube too. I cleaned everything up so I can't post any pictures.

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post #25 of 28 Old Sep 28th, 2016, 9:56 am
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

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I've heard of the steering dampener leaking and the front shock and I don't think that mine are. Do the forks themselves ever leak? I saw some crud on the right fork tube too. I cleaned everything up so I can't post any pictures.
The steering damper can leak but the forks don't really do anything but hold the front wheel. They have a quantity of transmission fluid or the like inside and if not over filled, they shouldn't leak as the fluid is only for lubrication, not damping. It is possible for them to leak though if the top seal has deteriorated.

Right fork is also where the junction block for the break lines crossover connection is.

Gordon
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1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
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post #26 of 28 Old Sep 28th, 2016, 10:05 am Thread Starter
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

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The steering damper can leak but the forks don't really do anything but hold the front wheel. They have a quantity of transmission fluid or the like inside and if not over filled, they shouldn't leak as the fluid is only for lubrication, not damping. It is possible for them to leak though if the top seal has deteriorated.

Right fork is also where the junction block for the break lines crossover connection is.
Thank you Gordon, I will do some more sleuthing after she's all back together and I am actually "working" those items.

Bruce Haag
Cincinnati, OH
1999 BMW K1200 LTC Basalt Grey Metallic
2008 Vespa GTS 250ie Black

"Loved that bike.....sold it"
2007 Yamaha 400 Majesty
2002 BMW K1200LTE Mauve Pearl
1998 Honda ST1100 red
1996 Honda PC800 Pacific Coast red
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1980's Vespas P200E, P125X, 100 Sport (had a Vespa dealership)
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post #27 of 28 Old Sep 28th, 2016, 12:12 pm
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

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I've heard of the steering dampener leaking and the front shock and I don't think that mine are. Do the forks themselves ever leak? I saw some crud on the right fork tube too. I cleaned everything up so I can't post any pictures.
If you ever do need to do the fork seals, here's a source that only costs about $12 and change.
2FASTMOTO Fork Seal Kit BMW K1200 R1100 R1150 R1200 K 1200 R 1100 1150 New | eBay

Also, there are fuel, internal fuel lines and air filter sources that save you big bucks as well. At NAPA, the right fuel filter is a #3032.
And here is a link to a cheaper air filter source. https://www.nationalfleetparts.com/c.../?q=c-2243%2F1

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post #28 of 28 Old Sep 29th, 2016, 7:09 pm
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Re: Timing Cover Oil Leak

The forks will leak and it will put crap all over the lowers. Not an emergency to fix as it is just sliding tube lubrication no shock function. Fairly easy to do, and do both even if only one is leaking. Find an aftermarket kit cheaper (and better) than the BMW parts they are out there.
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