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Thread: oil sight glass

  1. #1
    lowrider
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    oil sight glass

    I found this picture of what someone did to secure the sight glass on a oilhead engine in a plane he was building.
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    #102475
    1997 R1100RT

  2. #2
    Registered User sirmanley's Avatar
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    Maybe a little over kill, but cool nun the less.
    Sir Manley, of the Britches that squeak

    1996 R1100R, the mighty Dragon Slayer
    1975 R60/6, Cafe 60

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by DSBMW1 View Post
    Maybe a little over kill, but cool nun the less.
    It is maybe overkill on a motorcycle - where if it pops out all you do is fry the engine.

    Up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane - such a failure might be a tad more serious, or even on the ground if it's your house the plane hits.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane - such a failure might be a tad more serious, or even on the ground if it's your house the plane hits.
    No kidding. Wouldn't do it on a motorcycle, but in an airplane... I imagine it takes a very long time to hit the ground... or at least it probably feels like a long time.

    "If only I'd secured the sight glaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssssss..."

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  5. #5
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    I found this picture of what someone did to secure the sight glass on a oilhead engine in a plane he was building.
    I thought about doing something similar years ago after reading posts of them popping out. Instead I just carry a small Nalgene jar with a spare sight glass and a few quick-disconnect O-rings.

    It shouldn't really pop out, but at least I won't be waiting for one if it does.

  6. #6
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiba13 View Post
    Wouldn't do it on a motorcycle, but in an airplane... I imagine it takes a very long time to hit the ground... or at least it probably feels like a long time.
    Only in Hollywood do planes go totally out of control when an engine quits...remember the 2nd Indiana Jones movie.

    When the engine quits, its a glider. How do you think we land?

  7. #7
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    I thought about doing something similar years ago after reading posts of them popping out. Instead I just carry a small Nalgene jar with a spare sight glass and a few quick-disconnect O-rings.

    It shouldn't really pop out, but at least I won't be waiting for one if it does.
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  8. #8

    Questions about sightglasses

    So if the sightglass is in good condition, why would it pop out? All I can think of is high crankcase pressure.
    How likely is that?

    And if it does pop out, why wouldn't the new one pop out as well?

    And, how long have you got before all the oil is gone and the motor gets wrecked?

    Believe it or not, this sightglass thing bothers me more than FD failures or all the other 'issues' the boxers have.

    Mike Marr
    1978 Yamaha XS750 (Needs rings), 1996 BMW R1100RS, 2004 Honda CRF230F

  9. #9
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_marr View Post
    And if it does pop out, why wouldn't the new one pop out as well?
    Because its new.

    I have no idea why any of them would pop out unless they are pushed out from the inside due to pressure or if they are so old and dried out to no longer create a good fit.

    Beats the hell out of me why I never have any issues with my BMWs, but I do believe in being prepared.

  10. #10
    You stupid, fix it! r11rs94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_marr View Post
    So if the sightglass is in good condition, why would it pop out? All I can think of is high crankcase pressure.
    How likely is that?

    And if it does pop out, why wouldn't the new one pop out as well?

    And, how long have you got before all the oil is gone and the motor gets wrecked?

    Believe it or not, this sightglass thing bothers me more than FD failures or all the other 'issues' the boxers have.

    Mine came out several years and 50,000 miles ago on my R-11-RS. It had approx 30,000 miles at the time. I don't know why. I went approx.1/4 mile (top of my street and back) before all of the oil was out. Left a nice trail on my street and left boot / pant leg. Found the old sight glass and it looked ok, but did not reuse it. I ordered a new one and installed. Goes in very easily. No problems sence on either of my oilheads. I thinking of getting a spare now as I getting older and wiser. Older anyways.
    The thing about traveling is, you never want it to end and you can't wait to get home.
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  11. #11
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    It seems that a friction fit plastic and rubber object will degrade over time and numerous heat / cooling cycles. I don't have a hard time understanding this concept. I do have a hard time understanding why bmw can't understand this and redesign the item to prevent blowouts. Losing your oil can lead to a full failure of your engine as has already been documented on this forum.

    I'm planning on replacing it as a matter of course on my bike in the next year. I figure a routine replacement on the basis of every 20k to 30k miles or every 5 years whichever applies will reduce the probability of it self detaching on the road. Damn DAMN stupid situation to have to do that but it's cheaper than an engine rebuild

    That was something I never ever had to be concerned with on my old airheads. Using a dipstick to check the oil was pretty darn easy and functional. The glass is not an improvement IMO. Pretty is not always a step forward if it requires more maintenance or contributes to expensive equipment failures.
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  12. #12
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor31 View Post
    It seems that a friction fit plastic and rubber object will degrade over time and numerous heat / cooling cycles.
    I could be wrong, but I believe the oil sight glass does have an internal metal frame...much like an oil seal.

    Is it the whole thing that pops out or just the see-through lens?

  13. #13
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor31 View Post
    That was something I never ever had to be concerned with on my old airheads. Using a dipstick to check the oil was pretty darn easy and functional. The glass is not an improvement IMO.
    There is nothing like "simple and functional", but I guess the folks too lazy to uncrew a dipstick are to blame for so-called progress.

  14. #14
    You stupid, fix it! r11rs94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    I could be wrong, but I believe the oil sight glass does have an internal metal frame...much like an oil seal.

    Is it the whole thing that pops out or just the see-through lens?
    Its just the see through lens with a rubber o-ring around it. Bring back the dipstick...
    The thing about traveling is, you never want it to end and you can't wait to get home.
    I answer to Roy, Chief, or Sarg.
    04 R-1150-RT current bike. 94 R-1100-RS74,383, Sold, 78 R-80/7, K.I.A by a D.U.I
    www.OceanStateBMWriders.com

  15. #15
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r11rs94 View Post
    Its just the see through lens with a rubber o-ring around it.
    Rubber O-ring?

    The spare oil sight glass that I have looks more like an oil seal with a glass window....so does the one in my oilheads.

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