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Discussion Starter #1
It seems like the day for new LT owners. I brought my 2001 home in February in a snowstorm. Have only gotten to ride her recently. What a BIKE! :) I'm just getting used the weight, but when she's upright, you gotta love her. I have one question that I have not seen a good thread to address. I really cannot see through the sight glass to check the oil. At first, the oil was completely black (I don't think the owner changed the oil as frequently as he claimed). I changed it once with filter, ran it for 300 miles, and changed it :mad: again. I watched as I filled it with oil, couldn't see the level come up. Started it, and watched after shutdown, can't see the level. Nothing I have tried works, all I see is darkness. Anything anyone can offer? :(
 

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The oil in the LT turns black almost instantly. How much oil did you put in? On the '01, it should be 3.7 quarts (with filter), to the top of the sight glass.

Fire up the engine, while it's on the center stand; you should see the oil drop to about middle of glass. Use a flashlight.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I put the 3.7 qts in the first change with filter. 3.5 in without a filter change on the second. I grabbed my maxi-flashlight, not the little one in the bike. No use. It's like the glass is blackened over. It never changes color.
 

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The sight glass on my 2000 K1200LT is pretty black too. Had a hell of a time seeing anything. What I found is on the side stand if I shine the flash on it and I just push on the handlebar to shift the bike just a little I can just see a level on the side just outside the red ring. Pushing on the handle bar makes the bike rock just enough so I can see the level move up and down. Otherwise I can't see it. Also on the side stand I believe the level should be half way in the sight glass. On the center stand the level should be near the top and impossible for me to see.

The oil in the LT turns black almost instantly. How much oil did you put in?
Is this true about the oil turning black on LT's ? I thought mine turned black so fast because the PO didn't change oil and or filter enough and thought I might need to run some engine flush through her...
 

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Yep! The LT has a way of turning oil black in a hurry, so the color is not really going to tell you much. However, it is always a good idea to change out fluids on any vehicle that is new to you so that you have a good baseline for future oil changes!

John
BigH501 said:
The sight glass on my 2000 K1200LT is pretty black too. Had a hell of a time seeing anything. What I found is on the side stand if I shine the flash on it and I just push on the handlebar to shift the bike just a little I can just see a level on the side just outside the red ring. Pushing on the handle bar makes the bike rock just enough so I can see the level move up and down. Otherwise I can't see it. Also on the side stand I believe the level should be half way in the sight glass. On the center stand the level should be near the top and impossible for me to see.



Is this true about the oil turning black on LT's ? I thought mine turned black so fast because the PO didn't change oil and or filter enough and thought I might need to run some engine flush through her...
 

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AlaskaFish said:
You may need to replace your sight glass. See the last post in this thread for some basic instructions:
http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38015&highlight=sight+glass

There may be directions in the HOW as well.

HTH,

John
It is not necessary to avoid puncturing the metal backing, as most remove the sight glass by driving a screwdriver through the metal backing and prying it out.

A better way to get through the plastic front is to use a soldering iron to melt a hole in it. Breaking it can cause small pieces of plastic to go through one of the holes in the metal backing and into the crankcase.

Also, putting a little oil on the outside makes it much easier to drive the new one in. This should be done ONLY on the 4 cyl engines though, NOT the 2 cylinder boxer engines. The reason is that the boxer pistons both move in or out at the same time, creating large pressure pulses in the crankcase, which has blown out the sight glass on many occasions. The 4 cylinder "Brick" engines do not create those pressure pulses, so blowing out the sight glass on them is not an issue.
 

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Didn't someone post a long time ago that they cleaned the sight glass by removing the oil filter and blasting some carb cleaner or brake cleaner in the direction of the sight glass. I've never needed to clean the sight glass on my 2000 but I seem to remember someone reporting success with that technique.

New oil turns dark quickly if there is sludge in the engine. The cleaner the engine, the longer the new oil stays clean. I don't know why the LT would be any different from any other internal combusion engine in this regard.
 

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I would think that pulling the bottom plate would maybe allow you to access the inside of the sight glass to clean it by bending some 1/8 or 1/4 tubing and attaching a gun cleaning patch.
 

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CharlieVT said:
Didn't someone post a long time ago that they cleaned the sight glass by removing the oil filter and blasting some carb cleaner or brake cleaner in the direction of the sight glass. I've never needed to clean the sight glass on my 2000 but I seem to remember someone reporting success with that technique.

New oil turns dark quickly if there is sludge in the engine. The cleaner the engine, the longer the new oil stays clean. I don't know why the LT would be any different from any other internal combusion engine in this regard.
That was me. I cleaned my sight glass once by using spray Carb Cleaner with a couple of the little tubes taped together. Looking up through the filter removal plate you can see the holes in the metal back of the sight glass, stick the "straw" into the holes and squirt cleaner inside. It will clean the glass with a few squirts through top and bottom holes.

Let the engine sit for a few minutes before putting the filter plate back on to allow all the cleaner to evaporate before refilling with oil.

I also removed the sight glass once for replacement by using a long rod through the filter hole and knocking it out from the inside.

However, now I just recommend replacing the sight glass when it gets too cloudy, by removing it from the outside. Easy enough to do, not worth the effort to remove or clean it from the inside. The replacement is only about $8 (or was the last time I bought one)
 

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deanwoolsey said:
I would think that pulling the bottom plate would maybe allow you to access the inside of the sight glass to clean it by bending some 1/8 or 1/4 tubing and attaching a gun cleaning patch.
Won't work, because there is a shiny metal back plate behind the clear plastic, with small holes around the sides to allow oil to enter and exit. There is about 1/8" between the plastic and metal to give you a "mirror" effect when checking the oil level.
 

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I too strugle to see the oil level on my 2003. What wouldn't I give for a simple "dip stick"?
About the only time I se anything is when the engine is running and I see bubbles in the sight glass.
 

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Just park it on the center stand after a good ride with the engine still running. Look at the sight glass to see what it looks like EMPTY. If it is dark then replace it. Otherwise notice how it looks, then shut off the engine and watch it fill back up. Notice how it looks then. If you ever look at it again and it looks like it did empty then add oil. Otherwise ride it until it does look empty. Most of the time when you can't see anything it is because it is slightly over full.
 

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I ran a half bottle of CD2 detergent cleaner in the engine for about 100 miles before a oil change. It cleaned the site glass and everything else inside the engine.

I did it per suggestion on this site to keep the starter sprag clutch clean, works well.

Mickey
 

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I also have trouble seeing the oil level even after an oil change when I know I have done everything correctly. I finally just figured if it's not smoking and not leaking don't worry. Just change at what ever interval you prefer!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all of the suggestions. This really is the greatest forum on the planet. I feel compelled to pass on my "drop" story as it seems everyone does it. As I said in my original post, I brought this baby home in a snowstorm, fretting the whole way about it falling out of the trailer. Got her home safe and carefully slid it out of the trailer and into my garage, onto the stand. Whew! Safe and sound, but all full of salt and snow. I decided to clean it, but it was now in the front of my garage. Needed to get it to the back where the heater is. Popped her off the center stand, foot slipped, and...PLOP. :mad: SHe went to sleep right there in the garage, 10 minutes and no riding minutes after geting it home. The only solice I had was this forum and reading all of the stories from everyone about how they have dropped theirs. :histerica Many made me laugh and forget how stupid I felt. Thanks for sharing! ;)
 

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I just did it for the 5th time, all three, and on the oil this is what I do.

I go very slow (like you have a choice) when I see it in the site glass as I fill it. I fill right too, but not over, the top Red circle and this makes a bubble, you pretty much have to get eye level to fill it like this. I start it, watch it go dry, run it to temp, shut it off and watch it fill. So far mine has never used a drop, or moved off that mark.

Others say dump the 4 quarts in and ride it but I am a bit nuts about specified fluid amounts, so 3.7 is what I use.
 
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