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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone used the Motion Pro Mini Bleeder? I just saw it advertised on the back page of my June 2012 MCN magazine and it looks like a speed bleeder for those of use who don't really want or need speed bleeders. Not sure this is much easier than using the bleeder bag, but it looks like it might make things a touch quicker when working alone. Not sure it would fit into the confines around the LT ABS unit though.

Does anyone know if a clamp is available to replace the tie wrap on the rear (small) end of the final drive boot. Mine weeps oil and makes a mess on the FD. I would like to find a clamp like that on the front of the boot to see if it would seal a little better.

I looked at the fiche at Bob's and the diagram shows two options for the front clamp (item #13): one appears to be the metal strap and the other a plastic strap. However, it appears that only the plastic strap is available for the rear (small) end of the boot (item #11).

Does anyone know if a metal strap of the appropriate size is available for the small end of the boot?
 

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Wrencher Extraordinaire
2005 K1200LT
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Looks like it would be a nice tool if it came in 10 and 11 and 7 mm sizes as that is what you need for the LT. I still think the bag and hose is the best way. Hook it up and open the bleeder and then pump away. Simple one man operation.

On the FD boot there should be NO oil leaking out of that dust boot. It is designed to keep dust out not hold leaking oil. There is no groove for the rear end of the boot to seal into.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
jzeiler said:
Looks like it would be a nice tool if it came in 10 and 11 and 7 mm sizes as that is what you need for the LT. I still think the bag and hose is the best way. Hook it up and open the bleeder and then pump away. Simple one man operation.

On the FD boot there should be NO oil leaking out of that dust boot. It is designed to keep dust out not hold leaking oil. There is no groove for the rear end of the boot to seal into.
You do need to hold the speed bleeder up high, but I agree it is pretty easy to use other than being a little slow to empty it out for re-use.

Yes, I realize the FD should not leak, but it does. A $21,000 motorcycle shouldn't leak at all, but I've only had two vehicles that leaked more than my LT. A 1971 Beetle and a 1979 Chevette, and both had 50,000 miles before the leaks got as bad as my LT is at 27,000 miles.

My LT is leaking oil from at least two places and possibly three. I am losing oil under the "bell housing" so either the rear main is leaking or the front transmission seal is leaking. And the leak at the FD boot means either the pinion seal is leaking or the output seal on the tranny is leaking. I just checked the transmission and FD oil levels and the tranny appears to not have dropped at all in 2,000 miles so I am not sure it is leaking. The FD also appears to have not dropped much, but it is harder to tell as the level was 10mm or so below the fill hole (see below) at the start so a slight drop is harder to see. The tranny started to slowly leak out the fill oil so its level is right where it was when I changed oil 2K miles ago. The engine loses a quart every 5K miles or so, but I have no idea where the oil is going. Could be a combination of leakage and some burning.

I am a long-time fan of synthetic oils, having used Delvac/Mobil 1 oils since 1977 or so. However, both leaks on my LT started after the dealer put in synthetic oils at the 12,000 mile service. After consulting with Tom Cutter, I went back to Castrol dino oils and filled the FD with only 220 cc rather than the 250 or so called out in the BMW manual. He said that he has had many leaks go away after making these two changes. I only have 2,000 miles since making the switch, but the leaks still persist. I think they may be slowing somewhat, but have not gone away by any stretch.

I was hoping to clamp the boot better so I could keep the oil inside and just release it every 500 miles or so by loosening the clamp. That way my LT wouldn't look like an AMF Harley all of the time!!

You'd think for the price BMW charges, they could make bikes that don't puke gas (QDs) and oils, but apparently not.

I may pull the FD for a pre-emptive rebuild next winter, but really don't want to do that now just as the riding season is commencing.
 

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Voyager said:
You do need to hold the speed bleeder up high, but I agree it is pretty easy to use other than being a little slow to empty it out for re-use.

Yes, I realize the FD should not leak, but it does. A $21,000 motorcycle shouldn't leak at all, but I've only had two vehicles that leaked more than my LT. A 1971 Beetle and a 1979 Chevette, and both had 50,000 miles before the leaks got as bad as my LT is at 27,000 miles.

My LT is leaking oil from at least two places and possibly three. I am losing oil under the "bell housing" so either the rear main is leaking or the front transmission seal is leaking. And the leak at the FD boot means either the pinion seal is leaking or the output seal on the tranny is leaking. I just checked the transmission and FD oil levels and the tranny appears to not have dropped at all in 2,000 miles so I am not sure it is leaking. The FD also appears to have not dropped much, but it is harder to tell as the level was 10mm or so below the fill hole (see below) at the start so a slight drop is harder to see. The tranny started to slowly leak out the fill oil so its level is right where it was when I changed oil 2K miles ago. The engine loses a quart every 5K miles or so, but I have no idea where the oil is going. Could be a combination of leakage and some burning.

I am a long-time fan of synthetic oils, having used Delvac/Mobil 1 oils since 1977 or so. However, both leaks on my LT started after the dealer put in synthetic oils at the 12,000 mile service. After consulting with Tom Cutter, I went back to Castrol dino oils and filled the FD with only 220 cc rather than the 250 or so called out in the BMW manual. He said that he has had many leaks go away after making these two changes. I only have 2,000 miles since making the switch, but the leaks still persist. I think they may be slowing somewhat, but have not gone away by any stretch.

I was hoping to clamp the boot better so I could keep the oil inside and just release it every 500 miles or so by loosening the clamp. That way my LT wouldn't look like an AMF Harley all of the time!!

You'd think for the price BMW charges, they could make bikes that don't puke gas (QDs) and oils, but apparently not.

I may pull the FD for a pre-emptive rebuild next winter, but really don't want to do that now just as the riding season is commencing.
Hello Matt,

Taking your bikes issues one at a time I'd like to offer my perspective:
  1. Rear drive leak at the flex boot: Are you sure the leak is at the rear drive and not the rear trans seal? This seal can be a bit of a problem DAMHIK. You can get a look up the swing fork tube (aka swingarm) and see if the oil is running and slinging down to the lower point where you are finding the accumulation. Replacing the rear trans seal requires the removal of the fork tube and driveline, however you allude to a bigger problem with the second leak.
  2. The leak out of the intermediate case (aka bell housing) between the transmission and case is either the rear main seal, main shaft O-ring or front transmission seal (input shaft) or a combination of all. The repair for this requires the removal of the transmission.
  3. The oil consumption is likely the leakage you are experiencing unless there is some other damage caused to the piston rings, thus I think the issue is mainly a rear main seal.
  4. Dino versus Synth oils regarding the leakage... Well people argue this point and I'm yet to read a qualified study that makes an argument proving anything one way or the other.
  5. When the seals on your BMW are installed correctly and the proper fluid levels are observed you will have many miles of trouble free service.
  6. Pulling the final drive and rebuilding it seems extreme to me, but if it makes you feel more secure out on the road then it is a priceless expense. Just make sure you are rebuilding the entire drive with a new pinion seal if that is what is needed. My only experience with a leaking pinion seal was one that someone overfilled the drive. After thoroughly cleaning the drive, fork tube and boot then putting drive fluid in only up to the bottom of the "landing" at the bottom of the threaded hole the drive is still leak free 40k later. I have over 170k on my second drive and have no issues with it thus far.
I'm obviously not telling you anything new here. Good luck getting your bike in shape and enjoy the ride when you do. All bikes have their quirky maintenance issues and we just have to fix them.
 

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Voyager said:
You do need to hold the speed bleeder up high, but I agree it is pretty easy to use other than being a little slow to empty it out for re-use.
I use the bags over and over until they are too ugly to look at. :D I use a spring clamp and keep the bag and hose higher that the bleed screw. As John stated the bag is all that is needed since once the fluid is in the tube air will not creep back when releasing the brake lever. I also use John's procedure (video's) for doing the job with one exception; I quit using the ABS pump and just use pedal/lever pressure. It takes a little more time but I'm able to keep the air out of the ABS unit a bit better (for me anyway).

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
ErnieA said:
Hello Matt,

Taking your bikes issues one at a time I'd like to offer my perspective:
  1. Rear drive leak at the flex boot: Are you sure the leak is at the rear drive and not the rear trans seal? This seal can be a bit of a problem DAMHIK. You can get a look up the swing fork tube (aka swingarm) and see if the oil is running and slinging down to the lower point where you are finding the accumulation. Replacing the rear trans seal requires the removal of the fork tube and driveline, however you allude to a bigger problem with the second leak.
  2. The leak out of the intermediate case (aka bell housing) between the transmission and case is either the rear main seal, main shaft O-ring or front transmission seal (input shaft) or a combination of all. The repair for this requires the removal of the transmission.
  3. The oil consumption is likely the leakage you are experiencing unless there is some other damage caused to the piston rings, thus I think the issue is mainly a rear main seal.
  4. Dino versus Synth oils regarding the leakage... Well people argue this point and I'm yet to read a qualified study that makes an argument proving anything one way or the other.
  5. When the seals on your BMW are installed correctly and the proper fluid levels are observed you will have many miles of trouble free service.
  6. Pulling the final drive and rebuilding it seems extreme to me, but if it makes you feel more secure out on the road then it is a priceless expense. Just make sure you are rebuilding the entire drive with a new pinion seal if that is what is needed. My only experience with ha leaking pinion seal was one that someone overfilled the drive. After thoroughly cleaning the drive, fork tube and boot then putting drive fluid in only up to the bottom of the "landing" at the bottom of the threaded hole the drive is still leak free 40k later. I have over 170k on my second drive and have no issues with it thus far.
I'm obviously not telling you anything new here. Good luck getting your bike in shape and enjoy the ride when you do. All bikes have their quirky maintenance issues and we just have to fix them.
No, I am not sure where the leak is as I stated in my post. It could be from either place. I am leaning towards the pinion seal only because I am more confident that the transmission oil level hasn't changed than I am that the FD level hasn't changed. Then again, a little oil can look like a lot when it is a slow leak so it is hard to be sure.

Yes, I realize that replacing any of the transmission seals is a pain and the rear main seal is even more of a pain! I won't replace any until something forces it such as slipping clutch.

All of my seals are factory installed seals, so if they were installed incorrectly it was done by BMW. I have not had any seals replaced since buying the bike new. It is only 5 years old with 27,000 miles so it really shouldn't be leaking at so many places.

Yes, all bikes have maintenance issues, but none of my three former Kawasakis had anywhere near the issues my LT has had thus far. I think BMW has more than its share of issues as compared to the Japanese brands. That is unfortunate, but has certainly been my experience thus far.

The LT is a fantastic riding machine, there is simply no question about it. I just wish that BMW had quality control systems commensurate with the riding performance of its machines!
 
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