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Going to change the oil in the '15 here in a couple days. On my '12, I used to fill the oil filter before I screwed it onto the bike, which was easy peasy on the oil/air cooled boxer, since the filter screwed into the bottom of the engine block. But, on this new-fangled, water cooled beast, the filter is screwed into the side of the block, which tells me I'd be spilling oil out of the filter as I screw it in.

What's the collective wisdom of the board - should I just throw the filter on there dry (aside from lubing the rubber ring, of course), fill it a little bit as to not spill, something else?
 

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For starters, use some aluminum foil. Shape it so it goes under the filter area and over your exhaust and O2 sensor. You should be able to form it so the oil will funnel over the exhaust and into your waste oil container.

Personally, I do fill my filter first. I would say about 80% full. Give it a few minutes to soak in. Then I'm able to put it on with a couple tablespoons of spillage. But it goes right onto the foil.
 

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Do what you can to fill maybe not completely. I'm a bad boy and just oil the gasket and put it on. :rolleyes:
 

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If it screws on horizontally, it was not designed to be filled prior to installation. I would bet the dealer doesn't bother to try and fill, even partially on a service. DIY, you probably ran the bike to get it warm so the engine is well lubricated and the pump is primed so personally, I would not bother.
 

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Going to change the oil in the '15 here in a couple days. On my '12, I used to fill the oil filter before I screwed it onto the bike, which was easy peasy on the oil/air cooled boxer, since the filter screwed into the bottom of the engine block. But, on this new-fangled, water cooled beast, the filter is screwed into the side of the block, which tells me I'd be spilling oil out of the filter as I screw it in.

What's the collective wisdom of the board - should I just throw the filter on there dry (aside from lubing the rubber ring, of course), fill it a little bit as to not spill, something else?
If you understood why you used to prefill the filter, then you will also prefill your filter in this case as well!!! :) Yeah, it is not as easy to get a new filled filter into position with the horizontal positioning for the wethead, but it is very doable. The first time that I did it, I didn't spill a drop, but I have to admit to spilling a little on every subsequent times. My motor-coordination isn't too good as I age!!! No big deal. Very little spilled, and since you have to place something on your pipe to protect it from dripping oil when you remove the filter, you just leave that in place for when you get the new filled filter in place. Quite frankly, lately I hadn't even bother to try to protect the pipe at all. Any oil that dripped on it gets wiped away as soon as it happened, and when I am all done, I just spray the area of the pipe with brake cleaning fluid, and then wipe the whole area down and let it dry off completely before starting the bike up. Never had any burnt oil smell coming from there at all, and so the procedure works very well, at least for me!
 

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If it screws on horizontally, it was not designed to be filled prior to installation. I would bet the dealer doesn't bother to try and fill, even partially on a service. DIY, you probably ran the bike to get it warm so the engine is well lubricated and the pump is primed so personally, I would not bother.
Understanding WHY one prefill any oil filter at all is important! ;)
 

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Understanding WHY one prefill any oil filter at all is important! ;)
I'm very new to the BMW but since the repair/maintenance instructions do not recommend pre-filling the filter it does make me wonder if there is any tangible benefit.
 
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Understanding WHY one prefill any oil filter at all is important! ;)
Yes, you would prefill the filter to allow oil to circulate and lubricate a dry engine quickly, especially in larger truck engines that may have one or more filters that hold .5 to one gallon each so the engine may run for a time with no oil circulation. The filters in cars and motorcycles are so small in comparison and the pump volumes are high enough that this run time is very short, in the the matter of a few seconds. If you ran and warmed your engine to allow better/faster drainage of the old oil, the engine is well lubricated with the residual oil on the surfaces so any delay in the matter of a few seconds of reaching oil pressure is probably negligent. Do I fill my LT filter before installing it? Yes I do as it is installed vertically and relatively easy to do without losing any significant quantity of $10+ a quart of new oil. It also helps me get all the initial oil in at one time without having to add more to bring it back up to compensate for what is now in a dry filter. On these engines, is it necessary? The bebefit is probably not easily measurable if at all and the engine has not been sitting for 6 months. If it has not been run in a significant amount of time, all bets are off so get what you can in the filter and even shoot some in the cylinders. Crank it some with the plugs disconnected to get oil flowing. Lots of tricks for a dry engine. If you just ran it before draining, probably no measurable benefit for those few seconds.
 

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The other thing that is different today is the synthetic oil and the additive package, dry cranking isn’t what it use to be. I was at a car show where they sold raffle tickets on how long a clapped out Dodge Omnie engine drained of oil would run. My ticket was around 4 minutes and I thought there wasn’t a chance I could win, the engine ran about twice that long.
 

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Yes, you would prefill the filter to allow oil to circulate and lubricate a dry engine quickly, especially in larger truck engines that may have one or more filters that hold .5 to one gallon each so the engine may run for a time with no oil circulation. The filters in cars and motorcycles are so small in comparison and the pump volumes are high enough that this run time is very short, in the the matter of a few seconds. If you ran and warmed your engine to allow better/faster drainage of the old oil, the engine is well lubricated with the residual oil on the surfaces so any delay in the matter of a few seconds of reaching oil pressure is probably negligent. Do I fill my LT filter before installing it? Yes I do as it is installed vertically and relatively easy to do without losing any significant quantity of $10+ a quart of new oil. It also helps me get all the initial oil in at one time without having to add more to bring it back up to compensate for what is now in a dry filter. On these engines, is it necessary? The bebefit is probably not easily measurable if at all and the engine has not been sitting for 6 months. If it has not been run in a significant amount of time, all bets are off so get what you can in the filter and even shoot some in the cylinders. Crank it some with the plugs disconnected to get oil flowing. Lots of tricks for a dry engine. If you just ran it before draining, probably no measurable benefit for those few seconds.
I suspect that's what many people think as being the reason why one prefill oil filter, but that isn't quite it. OTOH, I do agree that if one did NOT prefill the oil filter, nothing is likely to be damaged either, but prefilling does give some assurance of damage prevention.

I am going for a nice long ride on my RT in a very short while, and so I don't have the time to get into the reasons why I always prefill my oil filters, and that goes back to every single vehicles that I have ever worked on, since the very early '60s. I will respond again tomorrow, and funny enough, the reasons are the same as to why I never gets involved in any of the oil threads, since I find them to be quite comical!!! ;) So, until tomorrow . . . . .
 

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On the other hand pre filling the filter does ensure a small dose of unfiltered oil will be passed into the engine, granted it is new oil but unfiltered just the same. Just sayn'
 

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On the other hand pre filling the filter does ensure a small dose of unfiltered oil will be passed into the engine, granted it is new oil but unfiltered just the same. Just sayn'
This comment is puzzling. What would your oil filter remove from new oil that the manufacturer can't? As I understand it, the filter is to remove byproducts of the internal combustion process. Unless you are filling your oil in a dusty environment or haven't wiped around the filler plug, it's unlikely your new oil will have any contaminants in it, and if it does, well, you might want to buy better oil, not that you'd know anyway. Also, the oil is probably picked up in the sump and distributed to the lubricated parts before it hits the filter, so that's going to be "unfiltered new oil" after an oil change as well. (I glanced at the parts fiche, but didn't research the entire oil flow, so I could be completely wrong about this.)

This post is probably splitting microscopic hairs about things that are totally irrelevant to an oil change or filling the filter.
 

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First off, OMG... you started and OIL THREAD... for shame!!! (even though it is about draining)

+1 for putting foil over your pipe. Not sure what BMW was thinking on this design. The oil comes flying out right on the pipe.
Don't waste your time filling the filter. Your are just going to spill it all over the garage floor anyway... The oil blasts into the filter so fast it just doesn't matter. Synthetic oil we'll take care of that one seconds of no oil flow. No need to worry.
 

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First off, OMG... you started and OIL THREAD... for shame!!! (even though it is about draining)
This would only qualify as an oil thread if you start dinking about what type of oil is best for pre-filling your filter. 🤣
 
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On the other hand pre filling the filter does ensure a small dose of unfiltered oil will be passed into the engine, granted it is new oil but unfiltered just the same. Just sayn'
Just an FYI, John, none of my prior dry-sump bikes of the yonder years had any oil filter in the circuit at all, except for a wire-mesh strainer somewhere at the outlet of the oil tank, and they have never had any issues even in the extreme conditions of racing! :)
 

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I will watch this to learn the error of my ways, but I don't.
 

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Yes, you would prefill the filter to allow oil to circulate and lubricate a dry engine quickly, especially in larger truck engines that may have one or more filters that hold .5 to one gallon each so the engine may run for a time with no oil circulation. The filters in cars and motorcycles are so small in comparison and the pump volumes are high enough that this run time is very short, in the the matter of a few seconds. If you ran and warmed your engine to allow better/faster drainage of the old oil, the engine is well lubricated with the residual oil on the surfaces so any delay in the matter of a few seconds of reaching oil pressure is probably negligent. Do I fill my LT filter before installing it? Yes I do as it is installed vertically and relatively easy to do without losing any significant quantity of $10+ a quart of new oil. It also helps me get all the initial oil in at one time without having to add more to bring it back up to compensate for what is now in a dry filter. On these engines, is it necessary? The bebefit is probably not easily measurable if at all and the engine has not been sitting for 6 months. If it has not been run in a significant amount of time, all bets are off so get what you can in the filter and even shoot some in the cylinders. Crank it some with the plugs disconnected to get oil flowing. Lots of tricks for a dry engine. If you just ran it before draining, probably no measurable benefit for those few seconds.
OK, I'm back! First, please don't think that I am picking on you, specifically! I thought that Tom (oldspice) might have responded, but he kept silent. :)

Anyway, you said that "you would prefill the filter to allow oil to circulate and lubricate a dry engine quickly", but even though it sounds very logical, but that is not the reason, as I will explain! The reason why you should pre-fill your new oil filter is to allow the oil circuit of the engine to come up to operating pressure ASAP! You may think that is the same as what you stated, but it's not. Two things that you should note, which is that I am taking the very literal meaning of the word lubricate to mean the action of reducing the friction between two rubbing surfaces that are in physical contact with one another. The other thing is that one should understand what impact, or how important the oil pressure has on the operation of a typical engine. Engine oil performs TWO main functions in the engine. Most people will think of one right away, which is to provide lubrication. However, you will be surprised to find that, as I will show, lubrication is a very minor function, while acting as a heat-transfer fluid, to cool down and remove heat from the various hot-spots is the main function of the engine oil. Let's start by looking at the guts of a typical 4-strokes gasoline engine.

There are two components of the engine that I consider to be the heart of the engine, and that is the piston and the crankshaft. Specifically, the piston rings for the piston, and the bearings (mains and "big-end" bearings"). Any single one of those component fails, and the engine will cease to run. So, keep them well lubricated, you say, but no, not so fast! Do they need lubricating at all (keep in mind the above definition)? Let's start with the main and big-end bearings. I am sure that many of you are quite familiar with the construction of those bearings, and at a glance may think that they acts like a "bushed-bearing" where the pins rides in contact with the bearing shell, and lubricated by a thin film of oil. If you had thought that, then you would have been very wrong! Those bearings are not bushed-bearings, but they are journal- bearings. What's the difference? Let me explain:

Bushed Bearing - can be either linear (acts as guide) or rotational. The construction is usually consist of hardened steel shaft, in very close contact with soft bearing shell, and lubricated by a very thin film of oil or grease. Because the two components of the bearing are in physical contact, and that the bearing material is quite soft (usually bronze), bushed-bearings are only suitable for light loads. Used that in something like the big-end bearing, and it will destroy itself fairly quickly, especially with the pulse load that it will have to bear, every time that the cylinder fires. Imagine rapid hammering!

Journal Bearing - only for rotational applications. In appearance, it will look, to the lay person, as being the same as the bushed bearing. However, if you inspect it closely you will find that the clearance between the hardened shaft and the bearing shell is at least 10x of what you would find for a bushed bearing of the same size! The reason is that, for a journal bearing, when it is operational, there are NO PHYSICAL CONTACTS between the shaft and bearing shell! The shaft is actually suspended in a film of pressurized oil that is pumped into the large gap between the shaft and bearing shell. Typically, in automotive engine application, the bearing material is babitt or "white metal", which is a lot softer than steel but very much harder than something like bronze that is typically used for bushed bearings. The magnitude of the oil pressure is very important in that higher oil pressure is required for the bearing to carry higher load, otherwise you will get the undesireable contact which will announce itslef by knocking sound. BTW, this is why, if you step into the cockpit of a race car, or street high-performance car, or hotrods, you will find that an oil pressure gauge to be an important part of the instrument cluster.

As you can see from the above, the engine oil serves only as an incompressible fluid within a journal bearing, and it's lubricating property is quite irrelevant. Now, let's continue to look at the big end bearing. Pressurized oil is pumped into the bearing via drilled oil passageway through the middle of the crank-pin. The ends of the bearing is wide open, and so oil flow out of both ends under pressure, creating twin fans of oil spray. Those, together with the rotating crank, will deliver a large amount of oil into the inside of the cylinder wall as well as the inside of the piston to provide the much needed continuous cooling. Without that cooling, you will have catastrophic failure as the piston expands rapidly from the high heat from the combustion chamber, and seize the engine!

OK, so far we haven't seen any needs for lubrication property of our engine oil, but how about the piston rings that are continuously and rapidly scraping down the side of the cylinder, with very high pressure (load) behind it? Well, if you take a look at the piston, you will find that, typically, there will be 3 rings on it. The top 2 (nearest the combustion chamber) are compression rings, and their purpose is to seal and maintain compression. The 3rd ring? That is called an "oil scraper" ring, and its sole function is to scrape ALL of the oil off the cylinder wall, to prevent any oil from leaking through and being exposed to the very high temperature near the combustion chamber, leaving residue that may collect around the compression rings, especially in the grooves, and jamming them up! So, no lubricating oil here either! Surely, these rings needs lubricating, or they would wear away to nothing rather quickly! They are lubricated! You will find that piston rings are made of machined grey cast iron. Grey cast iron is a metal that has flakes of free graphite dispersed in a matrix of iron, and I am sure that you are aware of the lubricating property of graphite, especially under very high heat.

So, where in the engine do one find the needs for lubrication? For most engine, I can see the needs where the cams rubs on the cam-follower, whether that is a push-rod or the valve-stem for overhead valves. The timing chain rollers have bushed bearings inside the rollers. In the wethead bikes, where the transmission shares the engine oil, the gears do need lubrication, since the meshing surfaces of the gear teeth do rub a little bit, but under high loads.

An aside - the above is why I find oil threads to be quite comical! Those so-called experts focus so much on the tree (oil's lubricating properties) that they fail to see the forest (the engine, and what it needs).

Another note is that, the above explanation is the reason why, if you were unfortunate enough to have the oil pressure warning light come up, while driving or riding your vehicle, then you need to pull over immediately and stop the engine. Failing to do so, and the pressure drop is severe, then you will first hear very loud knocking from the engine, as the bearing pins slams into the bearing shell, and not too long after the engine will seize up, which can be quite exciting if you were in gear and still moving! In all the years, I have never had it happen to me, but I have seen enough of the end result where the piston literally melts and welded itself to the cylinder.
 

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OMG Pad, that was way more than I ever wanted to know. Thanks.:)
 
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I agree with John in that is way more than I need to know but always willing to learn and I do not feel picked upon as discussion and participation is all part of the collective wisdom.

Can I get away with saying that today's oil does have a vital role in preventing surface contact and damage while oil pressure is coming up and that roll would actually be lubrication and that they do a pretty good job even if you didn't fill the filter at least for the few seconds it takes?

I still feel that filling a small horizontal filter would do little more than make a mess for the benefit you might get if you had just run the engine, and knowing this, I would make sure I had just run the engine to make sure the system still had fresh ( old ) surface oil present to " lubricate" while pressure was building on the first restart.
 

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If the manufacturer doesn't specify filling an filter when replacing, it is not necessary.
I owned an auto shop for 36 years. We did thousands upon thousands of oil changes. Had many long term customers driving vehicles with well over 100K miles, sometimes a great deal more. We never once had a lubrication related engine issue on any vehicle that was serviced on schedule.
 
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