Dreaded Rear Seal - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 19 Old Nov 17th, 2016, 4:20 pm Thread Starter
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Dreaded Rear Seal

Looks like my 02' has blown a seal. It started almost two weeks ago and hasn't shown any signs of clutch slippage. I called the local dealer to double check the price and they figured around 18 hours for the rear seal, transmission seals, slave cylinder and the 24k maintenance. With parts they figured somewhere around the $2,800 - $3,000 range all said and done. Looks like I'll be working on this in my garage.

I've copied the parts list, how to and weep hole files so I can start rounding up parts and tools. Has anyone who has done this lately have any additions or changes that I should be aware of? Also are there places that rent the specialty tools or a cheaper place to get them than OEM?
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post #2 of 19 Old Nov 17th, 2016, 4:55 pm
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

My 03 had a rear engine seal leak, never enough to drip on the floor. It started over 7 years ago and I planned on waiting until something major needed replacing. As it turns out the bike took care of it in its own way. I never drilled a weep hole and it never leaked enough to add any oil.

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post #3 of 19 Old Nov 17th, 2016, 8:52 pm
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

My 2000LT has had the same look as your picture for the past year. I've experienced no mechanical issues. My advice is to ride her until you experience a problem before performing an expensive major repair. It may be a long time before you need to do the work.

Rob, 2000LT
Navarre, FL
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post #4 of 19 Old Nov 17th, 2016, 10:03 pm
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

Drill the weep hole. If it is the rear seal and not the trans input seal or o-ring, it will drain out behind the clutch and as already mentioned, you could ride for quite some time before you have to actually tear it apart.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
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post #5 of 19 Old Nov 18th, 2016, 12:01 am
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

If you want to work on it, get a Clymers book, send me an email at snipesb at cnw dot com and I'll send you the tools called for in Clymers. You send them back with $15 inside to cover my USPS priority mail to you. I 'll include a viton Oring. Dealers estimate was pretty fair. Takes me 25 hours and I go slow and look at a lot of stuff. Bike is only worth 3500$. But, when it is repaired it is worth 3550$ I know it is your friend so why not fix it! Change anything rubber while in there, also install a new slave cylinder and new seals on the clutch rod (felt) and just about anything else in there that is not a bolt or a nut. Parts will run you at least $500.
Read this:
GregRS's journey into seal territory - I-BMW.com
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post #6 of 19 Old Nov 18th, 2016, 8:06 am Thread Starter
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fun Bobby View Post
My 2000LT has had the same look as your picture for the past year. I've experienced no mechanical issues. My advice is to ride her until you experience a problem before performing an expensive major repair. It may be a long time before you need to do the work.

Rob, 2000LT
Navarre, FL
I was thinking of doing exactly that since I may replace it in another year. My concern is the amount of oil loss and timing. I'm on vacation for most of December so it makes for a convenient time to do the repairs. First things first, assess the oil loss volume.
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post #7 of 19 Old Nov 18th, 2016, 8:10 am Thread Starter
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

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Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
Drill the weep hole. If it is the rear seal and not the trans input seal or o-ring, it will drain out behind the clutch and as already mentioned, you could ride for quite some time before you have to actually tear it apart.
As I mentioned earlier, the biggest concern is the amount of oil loss. I need to check the oil level and see where it stands. If it isn't that bad I may push it off until I decide to trade it off late next year or the beginning of 2018.
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post #8 of 19 Old Nov 18th, 2016, 8:17 am
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

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Originally Posted by St0rm1 View Post
I was thinking of doing exactly that since I may replace it in another year. My concern is the amount of oil loss and timing. I'm on vacation for most of December so it makes for a convenient time to do the repairs. First things first, assess the oil loss volume.
The housing can hold a good bit of oil so identify the type first, likely motor oil as you can tell gear oil by the smell. Then you can monitor what you use/lose if you go that route. Those who have done it already will be here to watch and help as you need it.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #9 of 19 Old Nov 18th, 2016, 8:24 am Thread Starter
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

Quote:
Originally Posted by beech View Post
If you want to work on it, get a Clymers book, send me an email at snipesb at cnw dot com and I'll send you the tools called for in Clymers. You send them back with $15 inside to cover my USPS priority mail to you. I 'll include a viton Oring. Dealers estimate was pretty fair. Takes me 25 hours and I go slow and look at a lot of stuff. Bike is only worth 3500$. But, when it is repaired it is worth 3550$ I know it is your friend so why not fix it! Change anything rubber while in there, also install a new slave cylinder and new seals on the clutch rod (felt) and just about anything else in there that is not a bolt or a nut. Parts will run you at least $500.
Read this:
GregRS's journey into seal territory - I-BMW.com
The funny thing (in a stubbed my toe kind of way) is I traded my Harley for the LT because I was tired of working on it. lol
I don't mind working on the LT because this was semi-expected due to the age and frequency these go out. I felt the dealer was straight with me on hours and cost so it wasn't a big surprise. They even said that I could find another used bike for not much more then the repair. LOL I'll admit I almost rode it in and traded it off but I'm holding off until I can decide on the Indian Roadmaster, Harley Limited or BMW GTL. That and I like the LT, it's a pain to work on but I sure do love riding it. Down side is I don't have a lift table so I'll have to work of a jack lift or figure some other method. Concrete floors sure do seem harder then they used to.

I appreciate the offer and I'll take you up on it as soon as I get all the parts rounded up. I learned a long time ago that the repair manual is the first purchase you make after the bike. I have most of December off for vacation so this will be a good project to keep me from under the wife's foot. She has little feet but dang they hurt when they're on the back of your neck. LOL
Again, I appreciate the offer and I'll reach out as soon as I decide to pull it apart.
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post #10 of 19 Old Nov 18th, 2016, 8:34 am Thread Starter
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
The housing can hold a good bit of oil so identify the type first, likely motor oil as you can tell gear oil by the smell. Then you can monitor what you use/lose if you go that route. Those who have done it already will be here to watch and help as you need it.
I figured it could hold a fair amount of oil in there by the pictures and breakdowns I've seen. The reason the alarm bell went off was I noticed the oil level was below the sight glass yesterday when I went to head to work. I don't put a lot of stock in that since I had left it on the side stand so it wasn't an accurate reading but it hasn't used oil in the time I've had it so it tripped the alarm. I will check it tonight to see where the level is to verify the amount lost or if it was a false alarm. Even if it was I may do the repair just so I don't have to worry about it on any of my trips in the future.
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post #11 of 19 Old Nov 18th, 2016, 9:14 am
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

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Originally Posted by St0rm1 View Post
I figured it could hold a fair amount of oil in there by the pictures and breakdowns I've seen. The reason the alarm bell went off was I noticed the oil level was below the sight glass yesterday when I went to head to work. I don't put a lot of stock in that since I had left it on the side stand so it wasn't an accurate reading but it hasn't used oil in the time I've had it so it tripped the alarm. I will check it tonight to see where the level is to verify the amount lost or if it was a false alarm. Even if it was I may do the repair just so I don't have to worry about it on any of my trips in the future.
I pulled mine apart and did the job, new clutch and all before anything started leaking because I could afford both the cost and the time on a bike I want to keep for several more years. My O-ring was rock hard so I figure it wasn't long before it cracked and then started leaking. Worth it to me for peace of mind.

Gordon
Sugar Hill, GA
2001 K1200LTI Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT Never should have sold it
1974 Yamaha TX 750 Twin. Omni Phase Balanced


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post #12 of 19 Old Nov 18th, 2016, 9:40 am Thread Starter
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

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Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
I pulled mine apart and did the job, new clutch and all before anything started leaking because I could afford both the cost and the time on a bike I want to keep for several more years. My O-ring was rock hard so I figure it wasn't long before it cracked and then started leaking. Worth it to me for peace of mind.
"peace of mind" is worth a lot to me. The Harley I traded in was always having issues (named it Murphy) to the point I questioned what was going to break every time I rode it. I've been happy with the LT even knowing there are potential issues in the future. The rear seal was the bigger of the concerns with the final drive being the next on the list. I have a trip to the Black Hills planned for May/June next year and another trip in '18 so I don't want to get caught on the road with a slipping clutch. ~$700 in parts and a few days labor isn't to steep a price for that peace of mind really. Heck, it's time for the 24k maintenance and a rear shock spring replacement anyway. Now I just need to talk my bank account into it.
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post #13 of 19 Old Nov 18th, 2016, 10:55 am
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

If you want peace of mind, send the final drive to Saddleman for a rebuild while you have it out. A final drive failure will ruin a planned trip and once it starts to go, it happens fairly quick.

Rob, 2000LT
Navarre, FL
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post #14 of 19 Old Nov 18th, 2016, 1:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fun Bobby View Post
If you want peace of mind, send the final drive to Saddleman for a rebuild while you have it out. A final drive failure will ruin a planned trip and once it starts to go, it happens fairly quick.

Rob, 2000LT
Navarre, FL
I was considering that as well. In for a penny, in for a pound kind of thought.
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post #15 of 19 Old Nov 18th, 2016, 5:58 pm
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

FWIW I have a close friend that got an LT three years ago and the seller included the clutch parts as it was leaking oil worse than yours. Did I say THREE years ago? Yes he has put 40 K on the bike and just keeps adding oil between changes. We will tear it down next year when we both retire and fix it as the clutch has never slipped. Also my 05 looked like that once and I cleaned it up and it never came back. Maybe just lucky. I did wear out my clutch pulling a trailer the first time and replaced the disc @40 k. Now I have over 100 K and many trailer trips with no clutch issues.
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post #16 of 19 Old Nov 22nd, 2016, 2:40 pm
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

Just another data point:

In 2011, my rear seal began leaking.

I bought myself a small 12 v Bosch rechargeable drill so I could fit under the bike to drill a weep hole. I actually put together a group buy for Siebenrock oil-proof clutches because I figured I'd need to do this repair when my clutch started to slip.

That was FIVE YEARS and about 60,000 miles ago.

In my case, the bike has never leaked enough in the course of an oil change to require topping up. It still drops about 1.5 -2 ml of oil after every ride, but the stock clutch is still rock solid at full throttle in top gear.

I fix enough things that ain't broke. Why hurry this one? ;-)

g.

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post #17 of 19 Old Nov 22nd, 2016, 10:44 pm
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

Do you use synthetic in the engine! If so try to change back to dyno and see if the leak persists.

That's my story and I am sticking to it. I have owned two LTs and the moment I put synthetic in
my 2002 it sprang a rear main seal leak. I now own a 2009 and use only dino oil and so far no leaking.
There are others who also believe that synthetic has caused issues with the rear main engine seal.

Just my 2 cents . . .
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post #18 of 19 Old Nov 23rd, 2016, 2:07 pm
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmmm90s View Post
Just another data point:

In 2011, my rear seal began leaking.

I bought myself a small 12 v Bosch rechargeable drill so I could fit under the bike to drill a weep hole. I actually put together a group buy for Siebenrock oil-proof clutches because I figured I'd need to do this repair when my clutch started to slip.

That was FIVE YEARS and about 60,000 miles ago.

In my case, the bike has never leaked enough in the course of an oil change to require topping up. It still drops about 1.5 -2 ml of oil after every ride, but the stock clutch is still rock solid at full throttle in top gear.

I fix enough things that ain't broke. Why hurry this one? ;-)
Hmm, I have to add a quart or 2 of oil between oil changes. However, I don't see any oil leaks of consequence. Must be burning it off after it accumulates in the cylinders between rides?

David W

2013 F800GT - sold
2005 K1200LT
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post #19 of 19 Old Nov 24th, 2016, 2:32 pm
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Re: Dreaded Rear Seal

My Y2K had the same looking leak this spring. Seems it just showed up out of no where. I also new that I was about to have a final drive issue as had metal flakes in rear diff since last year. Been riding the big girl for 10yrs with no major issues and had 89k on her when issue showed up. Called BMW dealer for quote and thought about doing myself. After some thinking I put some Blue Devil stop leak in it and drilled the week hole. I also removed the engine shield and cut the bottom of a black anti-frezze jug out and put a rag in it and put the shield back in with the jug in place. You can't even tell jug bottom is there unless you know what your looking far. I have no sign of a leak now and if I did have a drip, the jug would catch it. At 92k I sent the rear diff to Saddleman and I have 95k on it now and my mind is at ease and I not even worried about the leak. I think my leak was more then likely from the rear main seal and the Blue Devil worked its magic.
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