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  1. #1
    Registered User v-man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Western PA & Palm Coast, FL

    1973 r60/5

    I recently bought a 1973 R60/5 Hack. It is in very good condition but has a few issues I willbe dealing with. The most important are the oil leaks ... slight leaks from left side pushrod tubes but more importantly (see picture below) I have a leak from just above the oil pan in rear of case. The hole is perfectly round and smoothe, no threads. I have talked to BMW dealer and we looked at a /5 he had and there is NO HOLE. I have a buddy in MD with a R75 that has same hole with a grey plug in it! I'm not sure what the hole is here for OR why some have the hole and some do not. I was planning on dropping the pan during cleanup and thought maybe I'll just tap it and thread a bolt into the hole ...

    Anybody know why this hole exists? What's it for and why do some have and others do not have it?

    Thanks for any help, I'm sure I'll be asking plenty of questions in near future!


  2. #2
    That is a weep hole. If oil comes out of there, it is really coming from the rear main seal or the oil pump O-ring, or both. Or, if it smells like gear lube, it might be the transmission input shaft seal. The motor casting forms a sort of shelf right under the transmission. If you were to put a plug in it, the recess of the shelf would eventually fill with whatever oil is accumulating there and then over flow just the same. If you can get low enough to take that picture, you can easily put a finger on the surface above and inboard from that hole. You'll find an accumulation of oily gunk residing there.

  3. #3
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Pismo Beach, CA
    +1 on what James said.

    My '73 R75/5 has the hole.

    It would eventually fill with oil, but rain water would be more likely to fill it sooner.
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden
    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner
    1963 Dnepr

  4. #4
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    San Antonio, TX
    Did only the /5s have this hole? I've never seen anything like this on an Airhead. Isn't that a hole into the sump? I know about the hole in the bell housing that will drain the clutch area, but that drains to the shelf out of which there isn't a hole or just collects there until spilled, wiped out, etc. The shelf is the top part of the engine casting and the top part of the sump.

    This looks like a PO mod to me...correct me if I'm wrong!!
    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!

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    New Hampshire, USA
    +1 I am with 20774 - if the rear main seal or oil pump cover is leaking, the (engine) oil will come out of the bell housing/transmission interface seam and end up on the top shelf just above that hole. That hole appears to go into the sump, and why someone would put that there I dont know - I haven not seen a hole like that on either of my 2 airheads or on numerous others that I have looked at... maybe I do not get around enough...
    BMWs in my garage: 1982 R65LS, 1978 R100/7

  6. #6
    The /5's casting had that hole (the hole in question is not threaded, nor is it supposed to be plugged, and it does not go into the sump.), the /6's and later had a spacer tube and a large gap underneath, as shown:

    As a side-note, these are the two suspect areas for the oil leaking from that hole; the rear main seal and oil pump o-ring.. unless it's the transmission leaking.

    Also, unfortunately, the BMW dealers I have dealt with have been virtually useless in terms of helping me with my airheads. We have to teach ourselves about our bikes these days. Oh, just have James.A teach us (that's what I did!).

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