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Discussion Starter #1
Short story long... before I took off on a 5k, 7 state, 1 province run last month I noticed a lot of grunge on the pan area and signs of oil leakage. Because nothing was dripping and the direction of the spread I figured that I misaligned or slightly skewed the filter cover o-ring. I changed the oil in prep for the trip and off we went. I was getting new tires front and rear in Loveland, CO (GREAT dealership) and asked them to look things over and they said it was great underneath, and I had about 3200-3500 miles on the oil then (don't normally change until 5k). Leaving South Dakota into Wyoming I noticed signs of some oil again at the housing with a small single drip formed. I wiped it off and since we were kind of headed home decided to watch it. The next 4 days I would find some slight spread and a single small drip (who needs a weep hole :p ) and made it home fine. Since I took a bullseye rock to the headlamp (don't put it off and buy that $25 cover off ebay) and broke a mirror in Breckenridge, CO in a pothole tank trap (it was strapped, it broke the pin spring on the front as the back broke loose and twisted the front before letting go) and had all the upper tupperware off to get to the lamp, I decided to remove the lower TW and get a better look. I ran the engine up to temp to change the oil and low and behold, a dip formed at the intermediate housing join after I shut it off. Not being a happy camper, I cleaned it all off again and changed the oil, tightened all to specs, ran the bike up to temp and shut it down to leave it overnight to see how much would form/drip.

Nothing formed.

Now I'm sure I have the beginnings of a main seal leak as it was motor oil leaking, although I am a little miffed as this was done 3 years and 38,000 miles ago by a dealer (hahaha, listen to me... 38k and I'm complaining) but the $65 question is "can fresh oil refresh a seal and prevent it from leaking"? I mean, if my solution for now is to change the oil more often then I am game as I am not keen on doing my first seal replacement without some experienced help close by (bored these days Loren?). I have heard of seal softener, but anyone really had success with this stuff? I hate to pay a dealer to do it (again), but guess I would if I had no other option. I am too emotionally invested in the riding pleasure of this bike to go to anything else, and it would be another BMW if I did, so let me know what you think about seal softeners and such as I try to keep "Mistress" moving along for another 87,000 miles.
 

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Oh David! I have never been quite that far into the innards of one of these things. Never had the gear box off. Sure would be fun though..........


Loren
 

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Dave,
My thoughts for what they are worth...

First, do not put any chemicals into the bike to try to stop the leak. Who knows what it would do to everything else it touches. The stuff usually doesn't work anyway so there is really no upside to the situation only down. Think "Bars Leaks" in the radiator of your car; yuk!

Second, it may not be an emergency repair so wait until the season is done to tear into it or have the work done. As long as it is only weeping let it weep but keep an eye on it. Of course from my perspective of riding the Ultra for the last 40,000 miles, there are a lot of weeps on that bike and there always has been and likely always will be, but I am not trying to be funny. A weep is likely less problematic than adding chemicals to try and stop it. No danger of running out of oil somewhere.

When you get to the end of the riding season it will be time to correct it without watching the good weather pass by.
 

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David,

I replaced my rear main seal early this summer at the first sign of a drop of oil.

Upon inspecting the seal I could not see any reason for the leak other than maybe the 9 year old bike with 60K miles and the elastomer got stiff. Note I normally run synthetic oil and this is very slippery stuff. After the repair I started using dyno oil and will replace every 3,000 instead of the 5,000 for the synthetic. You didn't say what type oil you were running.

A note of caution the longer you run with the rear main leaking the greater the chance of clutch slippage and possibly a greater cost for the clutch plate and clutch housing. My clutch never slipped and it only showed a few thousands wear as I replaced only the seal and the clutch. There was not much oil on the clutch plate since the leaking oil spins off but eventually I can see that is would cause issues.

So when you go after that pesky seal here is what you will encounter!!





Of course this is after I cleaned up all the oil and removed the seal!!

Lots of the oil is caught in the webs of the casting. If I were you I wold drill a hole in the bell housing rather than looking for leaks at the seams!!

Good luck and let us know what type of oil you are running!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Dan, I have always used dino oil since I got the bike, but I know the PO used synth although it has had dino since the last seal... I'll drill the weep hole and plan on a tear down in November if the continued leak isn't too bad.

I have a low milage rear shock (still looking for a decent priced front) with hyperpro springs to install anyways, might as well take it all down at one time!

I'm a bit apprehensive of course, but I'll be a better man for it, I'm sure. I have a SnowBear trailer I bought form Costco, I think I'll do the work with the bike loaded and secured on it in care I run into trouble. ;)

I also plan on doing my first FD disassembly and rebuild this winter... every little thing I do makes me more comfortable with it, I no longer think twice about the tupperware with any/all filter maintenance, plugs, linkage, brakes and electrical mods.

Thank for the motivation!
 
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