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Thread: Metal in the Oil Filter

  1. #1
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    Metal in the Oil Filter

    PXL_20210714_153842041.jpg Some is magnetic some not..R80 with 10,000 miles on it. Would this be normal, the bike is still breaking in.

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Only 10000 original miles? There shouldn't be any metal in oil filter pleats. My mind goes to timing chain stretch which is chewing up parts of the case it it whips around. I'd clean things up, put in a new filter, and recheck next change.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    #4869 Earned Lifetime mem DennisDarrow's Avatar
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    yes for sure.........Do like Kurt says.................RIDE IT TO 12k AND THEN...............after you RIDE IT.....see what the filter is like.......

    When YOU are in N.W. Georgia, find your way on Hwy 136 outside of Calhoun, to my mountain top. Camp or RV awhile up on top of the hill and find the peace that I do..........God bless

  4. #4
    Flakes are never normal. Any chance you saved the oil and can get it analyzed to see what is in it?
    Shawn Conver
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    2011 R1200RT, 2018 Cummins 2500, 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsconver View Post
    Flakes are never normal. Any chance you saved the oil and can get it analyzed to see what is in it?
    Dumped the oil,but were shiny flakes in bottom of pan. Yes 10,000 original miles,got the bike 5 years ago with 600 miles.Sat in his basement for 22 years. A r80 gs they are out there. Maybe I should pop the front off and inspect?

  6. #6
    Shiny flakes are usually bearing material. Is this the first oil change since you had it? What did previous changes look like?
    Shawn Conver
    K4CTD
    2011 R1200RT, 2018 Cummins 2500, 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee

  7. #7
    Also have you checked valve clearances? Cam lobes could be wearing. Also pulling the valve covers might give you more insight into the metal flakes.
    Shawn Conver
    K4CTD
    2011 R1200RT, 2018 Cummins 2500, 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsconver View Post
    Also have you checked valve clearances? Cam lobes could be wearing. Also pulling the valve covers might give you more insight into the metal flakes.
    Valves are good. Will start by dropping the pan and covers to see what I can see.

  9. #9
    BMWMOA #24809 jhall's Avatar
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    Devil Is In The Details

    Would need an lab oil analysis to determine what the particles are, which may / may not be cause for alarm. I have rebuilt about 25 motors, mostly V8 auto, but the issue is same. It is not uncommon for particles to appear in the filter, especially the first few oil changes. The is why many rebuilders suggest an initial oil change in only a few hundred miles. The particles are usually from parts 'scrubbing in', i.e. rod, main and cam bearings. If you were to totally disassemble your motor now, you'd see there are microscopic surface imperfections in those areas. If mine, I'd finish the current oil filter change, then monitor in the future, which is a good idea anyway.
    BMWMOA #24809

  10. #10
    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    Video

    Not too long ago, there was a video on the web from one of the motorcycle bloggers where they had people send in their oil and I believe filters from their bikes first oil changes, or the break in changes. The article was from the UK and covered all known brands of bikes here in the US as well as some lesser known brands.

    The results were pretty amazing in how much "junk" was found in the oil on some of the cheaper brands of bikes and to a lesser degree the better built bikes.

    Reasons given for some of the stuff in the break in oil were contamination of the assembly line to parts wear in.

    Before I would begin tearing things apart in a panic, I would do another oil change in the 2K range and see what you find. Of course, if a noise or something weird starts happening before that 2K, the bets are off and then I would do a tear down.

    If you had 100K or more miles on the bike, I would worry a bit, even. then, there still may not be reason to worry to a tear down point. My RT went over 100K before the nikasail cylinders needed rebuilt then anther 100K, I have replaced two timing chains and both times I needed them, It was pretty obvious they needed to be done.

    At 240K miles plus, I am still running the original crank. cam, lifters, and push rods. Until they start making a lot of racket or show major metal in the filters or oil, they are not going to come out of the engine.

    A long note and my opinion, a few flakes just wouldn't bother me. Good luck, St.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by STEVENRANKIN View Post
    Not too long ago, there was a video on the web from one of the motorcycle bloggers where they had people send in their oil and I believe filters from their bikes first oil changes, or the break in changes. The article was from the UK and covered all known brands of bikes here in the US as well as some lesser known brands.

    The results were pretty amazing in how much "junk" was found in the oil on some of the cheaper brands of bikes and to a lesser degree the better built bikes.

    Reasons given for some of the stuff in the break in oil were contamination of the assembly line to parts wear in.

    Before I would begin tearing things apart in a panic, I would do another oil change in the 2K range and see what you find. Of course, if a noise or something weird starts happening before that 2K, the bets are off and then I would do a tear down.

    If you had 100K or more miles on the bike, I would worry a bit, even. then, there still may not be reason to worry to a tear down point. My RT went over 100K before the nikasail cylinders needed rebuilt then anther 100K, I have replaced two timing chains and both times I needed them, It was pretty obvious they needed to be done.

    At 240K miles plus, I am still running the original crank. cam, lifters, and push rods. Until they start making a lot of racket or show major metal in the filters or oil, they are not going to come out of the engine.

    A long note and my opinion, a few flakes just wouldn't bother me. Good luck, St.
    I kind feel go another 2k then check also. My 78 with well over 100k showed metal in filter none magnetic first change then nothing , after rod bearings. How would the timing chain get sloppy in 10k ? The steel particles have me a little worried.

  12. #12
    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    Timing chain

    The only thing I would guess to think would happen to the timing chain in 10K miles might be some kind of kink or damage from sitting for 22 years but, that is a real stretch of my imagination. I would think a kink in the chain would have made itself known right upon starting the bike after sitting and in the first few miles of riding.

    Personally, I don't think timing chains stretch but the links wear out and get sloppy and loose over time. The gear teeth wear out and to be honest I can't see that happening in 10K.

    Luckily, the oil pan is not extremely difficult to remove if need be and if you would feel better to check it's bottom for more metal. Just be careful if you do remove it not to over tighten the bolts.

    Again, I wouldn't worry unless I were to see a whole lot more metal in the filter or heard/felt some kind of noise or felt something strange. I have seen heavily abused airheads run for a long time under far worse conditions than you are riding in and they keep going with surprisingly little engine wear. Of course, there are always exceptions to things, maybe you did get a bad lifter or cam at the factory. Again, knowing BMW, I feel that is a stretch as well. Not that it doesn't happen but, I don't recall any major problems in that period except the receding valves and I don't recall anyone having that happen in such a low mileage bike.

    As it is, it is raining so I am boring everyone on the forum again, Good luck, St.

  13. #13
    This becomes a perfect application for a good Dimple magnetic engine oil drain plug.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  14. #14
    Here is a YouTube video that looks at oil from various manufacturers' new bikes. The results were interesting -


  15. #15
    Nick Kennedy
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    Just curious
    How could anything to do with the timing chain get anything into the motor oil?
    Its completely out of the internals of the engine...
    Nick
    1978 R80/7

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