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#996619 - 09/11/17 03:36 PM Intro and possible oil leak question  
Joined: Jul 2017
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Kendemp Offline
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Kendemp  Offline
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Western Mass
Hello folks. My name is Ken, and I bought a new to me 2003 R1150RT this summer. I have been having fun riding and tinkering with a few things.

Upon purchase, I did a full fluid change; oil & filter, gear box and final drive. I am pretty regular with my oil level checks, and had not noticed any significant change in the oil level over about 1500-1800 miles. A couple of weeks ago, I had the Tupperware off to add a new cam chain tensioner and AF-Xied unit, and noted that the oil level was down to the bottom of the sight glass. I also noticed some oil seepage on the trailing edge of the left side of the engine -- will try to attach photo: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9A9e1ge-n28aHpXdnYyT19xaWc/view?usp=sharing

I topped the oil up, and have ridden about 350+ miles since then, and the level has dropped maybe 1/16th or so.

I did have a tip over a few weeks prior to noticing the low oil. The bike dropped to the left, and left some very minor scratches in the valve cover. It did not seem to leave any serious damage.

So my question: Is it possible that the tip over did some damage that is not apparent? I plan to do a valve adjustment as part of my off-season maintenance, does it seem like replacing the valve cover gasket should shore up any possible leak? I don't think it looks to be coming from the valve cover, but it's tough to see any source at all. It also does not appear to be very wet -- it could be that the seepage is old, maybe even a spill on filling the oil on a prior oil change? It's not dripping onto the body work or the ground.

Thanks in advance

Ken


2003 R1150RT

Location: Western Mass
#996621 - 09/11/17 03:57 PM Re: Intro and possible oil leak question [Re: Kendemp]  
Joined: Jun 2010
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dirtrider Offline
The Oracle
dirtrider  Offline
The Oracle
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Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,196
Ohio
Afternoon Ken

Clean the rear of the cylinder head up then see where the seepage is coming
from (kind of a normal seepage area)

That small seepage isn't your oil consumption problem.

In a LOT of cases on the BMW oil heads the oil usage isn't as bad as it
seems. The BMW 1100/1150 boxer is a very difficult engine to get good
consistent oil level reading on (especially for newer owners).

A good oil level policy is to NEVER add oil to the engine on the first
or second check. Only add oil if 3 checks at different times show it low.

Also try to always check the oil level in the same place at the same angle.

If your engine was running when you tipped it over then you might find some
of that missing oil in the air box bottom (there is drain valve on the left
bottom rear of the air box)-- open that to see what comes out.


Last edited by dirtrider; 09/11/17 03:58 PM.

D.R. ___
Sent from my rotory dial wall phone!
#996629 - 09/11/17 05:31 PM Re: Intro and possible oil leak question [Re: dirtrider]  
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Kendemp Offline
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Kendemp  Offline
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Western Mass
DR

Thank you. That is good to know.

Ken


2003 R1150RT

Location: Western Mass
#996632 - 09/11/17 06:04 PM Re: Intro and possible oil leak question [Re: Kendemp]  
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Michaelr11 Offline
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Michaelr11  Offline
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Posts: 751
Trinity, NC
I will add a couple of things to this.

Have a cup or shop towel ready when you open that air box drain. There could be a lot more than just a couple of drops of oil.
Don't fill oil to the top of the sight glass. As Dirtrider said the oil level check is very variable. If you fill to the top, you might be overfilled and pushing oil into that air box drain area again. Half way or 3/4 is plenty and as long as you see any oil in the window you are okay.
That oil smudge in the photo could be from that just installed cam chain tensioner. After you clean it up, try nudging that bolt just a bit tighter.


Michael Stock, Trinity NC
01 R1100RT, R60/6, R100
#996636 - 09/11/17 06:21 PM Re: Intro and possible oil leak question [Re: Michaelr11]  
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Kendemp Offline
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Kendemp  Offline
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Western Mass
Thanks Michael. I do tend to keep the oil level to the top of the glass, I may well have been overfilled.

The oil smudge was there when I did the cam chain tensioner. I think I got it good and snug -- I hope so anyway, I don't relish getting a wrench back in that space.

Ken


2003 R1150RT

Location: Western Mass
#996640 - 09/11/17 06:41 PM Re: Intro and possible oil leak question [Re: Kendemp]  
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 867
TheOtherLee Offline
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TheOtherLee  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 867
Wilsonville, Oregon, USA
Ken -
Excellent advice has been given, but since you are new to BMW, I might add some points that have worked well for me. I have a 2003 that uses a lot of oil, so I check often.
1) Always warm up fully (5 bars on temp gauge) before oil check - ideally just after a ride.
2) Put bike on a flat surface.
3) Put bike on side stand while you take off your gear to allow oil to drain from the oil cooler.
4) Put bike on center stand and read level.
5) Oil level from top to bottom of sight glass represents 16 oz. I wait until level reads 1/4 and add a measured 8 oz. Next check should read 3/4 full.
This routine has given me consistent readings without over/under filling.

WAG: A common source of oil leaks on the left-hand side is the oil filler cap. If you find this is a source, *here* is a good thread on the subject.

Last edited by TheOtherLee; 09/11/17 06:45 PM.

Channeling farfegnugen since 2011.

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