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Thread: What´s going on underneath the cylinder?

  1. #1
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    What´s going on underneath the cylinder?

    Howdy! My first post here and it is about my first BMW motorcycle. Have been riding since the early 90´s but mostly japanese sportbikes and also raced 250 twostrokes for two seasons in the swedish nationals. So I got this ´96 R 1100 RS a few weeks back and it´s just sitting in the garage at the moment since we´ve got at least two more months of snow and winter here (Stockholm).

    My question is this: what do you think is going on underneath the left hand side cylinder? Look at that dirt/oil. Should I be worried? A worn gasket? Which one? The engine sounds fine on idle. I would sure appreciate your expert knowledge in this matter since I haven´t had time to make any Beemer friends here yet.
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    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Oil level sight glass weeping. They have been known to come out.

    Check this: https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...t=Sight+glassi
    Kevin Huddy
    The Outpost, Silver City, Montana

  3. #3
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    If you decide to replace the sight glass, this seems to be the part number from the MAX BMW parts fiche: 11 11 8 523 906. It's a $42 part at MAX.

    If you then Googled that part number, you'll see a few references, some of which will take you to some assistance in replacing it yourself. As always, YMMV.
    John Gamel - BMW MOA Consumer Liaison
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    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Välkommen till forumet!

    At the bottom left you will see View Tag Cloud..... have a click on that and as you enter sight into the box you will see lots of info choices.
    Hopefully that is all it is.
    Good luck.
    Gary
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    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    In that area you have a sight glass (known to leak and pop out !). You also have a oil pressure sender unit (also known to sometimes leak) and you have the base of the cylinder seal and head gasket. If the heads were not re-torqued at 600 miles as per BMW spec then a leaky head gasket is the typical result. You also have the front engine cover which are also known to leak.

    So... First of all find out exactly what is actually leaking. Oil migrates everywhere on a hot aluminum engine. Do this by thoroughly cleaning ALL the oil and crap off of there. Then spray the cheapest aerosol deodorant you can buy all over the area. Get the crappy powdery kind. It works best. Or just baby powder... but spraying works better. Then go ride the bike for a while and see were the weeping oil starts to show up in the powder. This tell tale will show you where the leak(s) is or are.

    If your sight glass rubber is hardened up and you see even the slightest trace of oil around it replace it immediately. If it pops out and you do not shut the engine off as fast as an indy car pit crew... your engine will be toast in very short order.

    But basically, find out where the problem actually is before you start buying parts.
    Last edited by happy wanderer; 01-26-2017 at 11:42 PM. Reason: Spelling errors ...
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

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    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by happy wanderer View Post
    But basically, find out where the problem actually is before you start buying parts.
    ^^^ What he said! ^^^
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
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    R 1100 RS sight glass

    I have a 1994 1100RS and the sight glass blew out on me I had started bike rolling it out of garage right next to my wife's brand new ford Taurus sho glass came out hit something and a fair size area of car, garage and me instantly covered with oil. Found old glass thought about reinstalling decided not that cheap went to dealer about 40 miles away to get new glass found out it was about $40 as stated above thought about putting old glass in again came to same conclusion not that cheap bitched about price dealer said go ahead put old one back in would be happy to sell me another bike later. Seems like it would be a pain to remove but putting it in piece of cake get socket that just fits in space tap it in I was kind of annoyed that new one did not have center dot just high low circle for some reason still have old one apparently to cheap to throw it away

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    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    ^^^ What he said! ^^^
    Yeah, the key here is clean up the entire area then determine where the leak originates.

    Also make sure to clean the area above the cylinder. There is a cam chain tensioner located at the top of the left cylinder. There's a hex head and a crush washer holding that part in place. It could be weeping from there instead of the sight glass.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

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    Quote Originally Posted by happy wanderer View Post
    In that area you have a sight glass (known to leak and pop out !). You also have a oil pressure sender unit (also known to sometimes leak) and you have the base of the cylinder seal and head gasket. If the heads were not re-torqued at 600 miles as per BMW spec then a leaky head gasket is the typical result. You also have the front engine cover which are also known to leak.

    So... First of all find out exactly what is actually leaking. Oil migrate everywhere on a hot aluminum engine. Do this by thoroughly cleaing ALL the oil and crap off of there. Then spray the cheapest aerosol deodorant you can buy all over the area. Get the crappy powdery kind. It works best. Or just baby powder... but spraying works better. Then go ride the bike for a while and see were the weeping oil starts to show up in the powder. This tell tale will show you where the leak(s) is or are.

    If your sight glass rubber is hardened up and you see even the slightest trace of oil around it replace it immediately. If it pops out and you do not shut the engine off as fast as an indy car pit crew... your engine will be toast in very short order.

    But basically, find out where the problem actually is before you start buying parts.
    Wow, thank´s for great info happy wanderer!


    Quote Originally Posted by m_stock10506 View Post
    There is a cam chain tensioner located at the top of the left cylinder. There's a hex head and a crush washer holding that part in place. It could be weeping from there instead of the sight glass.
    Will do!

  10. #10
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    So from this picture alone it´s not possible to say anything about the source of the leak? And the sightglass – does it look worn?
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  11. #11
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by klosse View Post
    So from this picture alone it´s not possible to say anything about the source of the leak? And the sightglass – does it look worn?
    Well, it appears that the sight glass could very well be the issue however, as stated previously, you would do well to eliminate other sources. The way to tell if the sight glass is "worn" is if it leaks oil.

    Follow HW's detailed instructions and identify the problem area.

  12. #12
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Without thoroughly cleaning as already suggested it's very hard to tell.

    Could be:
    Front cover to engine case (check the bolts around the perimeter - I've tightened a couple bikes now and stopped the leak)
    Front crank seal
    Sight glass
    Oil pressure sender (notorious for leaking at the swaged flange)
    Cylinder base to engine case
    Head gasket
    Chain tensioner (doubtful as it is located downstream)

    The air rushing over the engine will push oil everywhere. The pictures you posted indicate the weeping has going for quite a while.
    What does the other side look like?
    '
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  13. #13
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    "Aged" is a better term than "worn." The original sight glasses are plastic and you can imagine how plastic ages with simply environmental exposure but also in this case lots of heat/cool cycles.

    The new replacements are glass.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    What does the other side look like?
    Haven´t had a chance to look yet. I´ll be the dirt off soon and then have a look at the other side. I wonder: where would you order a new sight glass? Would I have to visit my local BMW-dealer? Can hardly find any on the webb.


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    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
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    See post 3

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