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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So after my last post, finally I got around to it - took of the guard plate from under, cleaned up with old oil crud, and too it for a short ride.
After I got back took some pictures, see below. The leak is on the rear side, drain plus and filter are relatively clean and dry. Leak is somewhere on the rear edge. Looks very similar to fpmlt's pictures ...... :( :( Does this mean a clutch job for mine as well? or is it something different (hopefully something simple and inexpensive ??)
So how long can I still ride it or do I need to do this ASAP?
I guess I'll wait for BleuBeeMr's detailed write up.
Anyone in So Cal looking to do a Tech day and want a specimen? ;)

Just out of curiosity, what causes the leak, and why does it need a clutch replace? I have seen some more posts on it, and in most cases the mileage is around 50K or so?

Thank you for your help, this is a great forum.
 

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Your main engine seal is right behind your dry clutch. When that starts to leak it contaminates your clutch. It is best to replace all your seals while fixing that one as you are already there. Figure a good 2 plus day job if you do it your self as you have to almost tear the bike down to the bare bolts.
 

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An engine oil seal leak can leak out quite a bit of oil, over a pretty long time before damaging the clutch. If the O-ring is leaking, a little oil can sneak by the large nut, and get into the clutch.

A transmission input shaft oil seal leak, or the infamous slave cylinder leak will take out the clutch in very short order, long before any outside evidence of the leak is apparent.

The reason is that when the engine oil seal leaks, oil gets onto the front side of the clutch drive plate, and is slung out to the inside of the clutch housing, where it drains down around the sides of the housing to the bottom. It is not easy for it to get into the clutch assembly at all.

If transmission input shaft seals or clutch slave cylinder leak, the fluid is channeled right into the center of the clutch assembly, and will contaminate the clutch immediately.

So, if your clutch is showing no signs of slipping in 4th or 5th gear on full throttle acceleration, then the clutch is still OK. If you are seeing oil at the bottom of the clutch housing, and no clutch slippage is evident, then it is most likely the engine oil seal or O-ring, which needs to be addressed but probably has not affected the clutch yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
dshealey said:
An engine oil seal leak can leak out quite a bit of oil, over a pretty long time before damaging the clutch. If the O-ring is leaking, a little oil can sneak by the large nut, and get into the clutch.

A transmission input shaft oil seal leak, or the infamous slave cylinder leak will take out the clutch in very short order, long before any outside evidence of the leak is apparent.

The reason is that when the engine oil seal leaks, oil gets onto the front side of the clutch drive plate, and is slung out to the inside of the clutch housing, where it drains down around the sides of the housing to the bottom. It is not easy for it to get into the clutch assembly at all.

If transmission input shaft seals or clutch slave cylinder leak, the fluid is channeled right into the center of the clutch assembly, and will contaminate the clutch immediately.

So, if your clutch is showing no signs of slipping in 4th or 5th gear on full throttle acceleration, then the clutch is still OK. If you are seeing oil at the bottom of the clutch housing, and no clutch slippage is evident, then it is most likely the engine oil seal or O-ring, which needs to be addressed but probably has not affected the clutch yet.
Thanks for the quick response guys.
dshealey: Just attached the pictures. the oil is at the bottom of the housing and there is no clutch slippage. So I should be ok for a while?
If I am just changing the O ring, how would I know for sure that I need to or dont need to change the clutch? (No slippage)
 

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You could drill a hole into the clutch housing, see what amount of oil leaks out, some of us have done that as a preventative measure. if there is oil in the housing, it is just a matter of time before your clutch goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, that kind of makes sense. Is the hole just to check if there is oil in the clutch or to drain the oil if there is any, and save the clutch?
Drilling a hole does not create any side effects? Can someone post the instructions?
Much obliged.....
 

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vinpub said:
Thanks, that kind of makes sense. Is the hole just to check if there is oil in the clutch or to drain the oil if there is any, and save the clutch?
Drilling a hole does not create any side effects? Can someone post the instructions?
Much obliged.....
You have to remove the transmission and clutch assembly to replace the seal and O-ring, so you would just inspect the clutch for any fluid contamination during this process. If you can accellerate full throttle in 4th or 5th gear through 4,500-5,000 with no clutch slipping, then your clutch is fine.

It is also a possibility that you have an oil pan leak, since the finned area in the picture is the bottom of that.

As others have said, drill a small hole in the bottom of the clutch housing, clean everything up, and watch for any oil coming out of that hole. If it does, and your clutch is not slipping, then it is almost certainly the rear engine O-ring or seal.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
DShealey: Thanks a lot for that little hope that it may be the oil pan .... :)
I will probably be doing the oil soon so I will check again after that.

Next I guess is the weep hole, since the bike seems to do fine accelerating in 4th or 5th.

I had checked the video earlier but didn't quite understand what and why, now I know better. The video is excellent (now that I know what it is). Thanks for the info all of you.

I can probably handle oil changes etc, but I am not sure if I can do the weep hole by myself. Besides experience and confidence I am also short on tools (after looking at the video I know I am!). I'll take it to the dealer only as a last option though. I would like to work on it if I can, it sure looked like a lot of fun getting into the guts. I'll just have to find someone down here in SO Cal who can help. There are some folks advertising on Craigslist as BMW mechanics, so that could be an option too. But they may not want you hanging around for such a long job. Will see. So search is on..

PS: DShealey, saw that you are in TN, hopefully you are doing ok with all the floods.
 

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Does anyone have a picture of where they drilled the hole in the clutch housing? I would like to do that but would like to see where others have put it.

Thanks,

Sean
 

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Sean,
I asked the same thing on my original post about my leak, but got no answers. I just watched the videos on weep holes, but this particular one doesn't seem to be a part of those videos.
I'm on my way to the shop now, thinking that I just might drill a hole right were my drop of oil is, and see what happens. Heck, I can always plug it back up later when I remove it, so hopefully no harm done.

And I would love to hear the story behind your "name". What baggers exactly do you poke, and why?

Frank
 

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You can safely drill a "drip" hole any where between the joint and an inch or two forward of the joint. (or right in the middle of the shinny part in the second picture). It is like a conventional bell housing. I drilled mine right at the joint and no leakage (but clutch was slipping). I even put a pipe cleaner in the hole and got nothing. Mine was a slow leak that wetted the clutch slightly and caused it to wear out early (50K).
 

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ipokebadgers said:
Does anyone have a picture of where they drilled the hole in the clutch housing? I would like to do that but would like to see where others have put it.
Thanks,
Sean
Guys,
Here are a few pictures of where I drilled the hole on my clutch housing and the clutch slave cylinder....note the depth measurement of how far I drilled the hole from the outside in. In case you're considering ordering the parts, I am also including the parts list I used for my experience. I ordered my slave cylinder and a 12/24 maintenance kit from Beemer Boneyard.

I would strongly recommend cutting a tin can (soup can or soda can) down, bend it so it fits the curve/radius of the slave cylinder so you can protect the walls from your drill bit. Use a good (new) high quality 5/32" (I believe that's the size we used) metal drill bit on you power drill and TAKE YOUR TIME when drilling.

dshealy hit the mark on the loss of power at in 4-5 gears....mine went form 4K down VERY quickly and within 30 miles the power drop was noticeable at 3K RPM....very dangerous if I had to roll-on the throttle to avoid something.

If you are going to do the job yourself, it will take all of two days and cost you ~$700. I would also recommend you buy (unless you already have one) Clymer's Manual ....I read, researched, and referenced it every step of the way! If you take it to the dealer, they quoted me 11-13 hours at a cost of ~$2K-2.3K. I plunged in and volunteered my bike for a Tech Session which cfell hosted in his man cave at his palace! This is definitely a job you want to attack with the use of a bike lift. Sure, it can be done on the ground, but the lift will save your knees, back, and prevent you from getting up and down countless times....just roll around on your roller chair and have the tools close by and the efficiencies go up exponentially (Thanks Chann!)!!

I have absolutely no experience on bike or car maintenance beyond the basics.....given the price for the dealer to do the job, it was an easy decision for me and I learned all along the way!

My best advise is the following:
1. Research the whole process and get organized (tools, parts, shop) before you start. The only tools I purchased was a torque wrench, seal puller, and metric sockets & wrenches....others came to the tech session with their tools that were of great use and cfell has the man cave I wish I could have!
2. Use the Forum as a reference....I found tons of info here and used the PM to contact those I felt would be able to steer me straight.
3. I used Bentonville BMW for my parts....they were great!
4. TAKE YOUR TIME......no need to rush to failure and finding out you missed something or did something wrong after you get it all back together.

I am working on a document with pictures that should help others do this process and provide it in a stepwise procedure.....I may have it finished by next week.

Good luck and I'm sorry you're experiencing this problem.
Take care,
:bmw:
 

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Kenny, I am sorry to say that all those picture look hauntingly familiar! :rolleyes:
 

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hopefully something simple and inexpensive ??
Really?

:) :( :histerica ;) :cool: :dance: :abduct: :sun: :v: :snork :wow: :bowdown: :feedtroll :b2topic: :troll: :rant: :compute: :lol8: :deal: :kaboom:

And finally....:wtf:

Sorry, but surprised from this group that no one took the opportunity....

now seriously....no really.... We've all been where you are, If you have the time and the inclination take on the job. I am sure that the members here will help and I would be surprised if someone in SoCal would lend a hand (Did I hear free beer?). BMW's can be like a woman ya know... :bmw:
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Re: Another Oil Leak w/ Pictures Drilling Clutch Housing

So after all the expert advise on site, I am going to drill a hole in the clutch housing and see if any more oil comes out. Here are the pictures showing where I think a hole will make the most sense. ( After looking through BlauBeeMr's picture. The casing does not look very thick)
Location A, close enough to the area where the leak is seen, is the first choice. If someone objects then I am thinking location B will be the next choice. (BlauBeeMr's picture seems to indicate location A). I just dont want to dmage anything inside.
So here are some silly questions, before I put the drill to it...
Does location A, before the little ridge, make sense? Or should it be beyond the ridge at location B?
Drilling the hole should be fairly easy, I don't have to take anything off right (just raise the bike enough for the drill to get underneath)?
Any precautions I need to take before I put the drill to it? (Size, BlauBeeMr suggests 5/32")
Thank you all for your help. This is really great information and a confidence builder.
 

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"A" is closer to the main seal so it will show flow if thats where the leak is. Just don't use a lot of pressure and shove the drill up into the clutch housing when it goes through the case.
 

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Re: Another Oil Leak w/ Pictures Drilling Clutch Housing

Drill it in the area B. You want the drain hole in the lowest spot to keep any leaked oil from pooling in the low spots.

You do not need a very big hole, I would use about 1/8", certainly no larger than 3/16". The hole needs to be large enough to allow any oil to drain out, large enough to prevent plugging by any oil/clutch dust, but not so large to easily allow outside debris in. Remember, this is mainly a hole to allow you to see when a leak is beginning, not something to drain much oil out of.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Re: Another Oil Leak w/ Pictures Drilling Clutch Housing

dshealey said:
Drill it in the area B. You want the drain hole in the lowest spot to keep any leaked oil from pooling in the low spots.

You do not need a very big hole, I would use about 1/8", certainly no larger than 3/16". The hole needs to be large enough to allow any oil to drain out, large enough to prevent plugging by any oil/clutch dust, but not so large to easily allow outside debris in. Remember, this is mainly a hole to allow you to see when a leak is beginning, not something to drain much oil out of.
jzeiler and dshealey: Thank you for a quick response and the explanation.
dshealey, thanks for the explanation, makes sense about the location and drill size. I was thinking may be bigger is better, for draining the oil. Thanks for setting it right.
I know I should always check here before doing anything.....
 
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