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Thread: 2003 K1200GT - Final Drive oil change

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Bolingbrook, IL

    2003 K1200GT - Final Drive oil change

    Any suggestions welcome.

    I torqued the FD plugs to 32 instead of 23Nm. Oops. I loosened them and torqued them to 23Nm. I wonder if I need to replace the aluminum washers. I have an extra set.

    FD oil was a bit low when started. Visible but not at the top of the filler drain. I didn't find much other than metal fuzz on drain plug. Oil dirtier than I expected. Picture below.

    Washers purchased from Boneyard. Nice company. Oil from the auto store. I listened (possibly too much) about using synthetic 70-140 gear oil and it impacting seals. Personally I prefer the synthetic stuff but I used the 80-90w gear oil for now. Nice to have a base line on maintenance. Let me know if I picked wrong for Midwest climate, under 1500 miles per year usage.

    I have these specs for the 2003 K1200GT:

    Final Drive filler plug 6mm hex Allen torqued 23 Nm aluminum seal ring I have seen specs as no ring seal though. Mine had a ring on it from BMW dealer
    Final Drive drain plug 19mm nut socket torqued 23Nm aluminum seal ring

    I had to wait on the transmission change. Was next to do this evening, but I couldn't find a 14mm Allen bit socket in my tool box. 10mm the highest. Hey, maybe in the BMW tool kit...nope. HomeDepo..nope, Lowes..nope...Sears Hardware...nope. Ebay, yep.

    Transmission filler plug 8mm Allen seal ring torque at 23 Nm
    Transmission drain plug 14 mm Allen no seal ring 55 Nm. Multiple bog and YouTube videos reference this at 55Nm. Seems too high.

    Thanks for your suggestions.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Registered User GTRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Nibley, UT USA
    That oil actually looks good, so don’t worry about the color. If the plug held when re-torqued to the correct value and you are not getting any leaks, then just leave the crush washer alone and change it at next gear oil change.

    80w-90 GL5 hypoid gear lube is good, either dino or synth; you were wise to stay in spec and avoid heavier oil. Any high-quality hypoid gear oil in the correct 80-90 viscosity and meeting the GL-5 spec will work, but many of us prefer the Castrol stuff. It’s now been re-labeled as “limited-slip differential lube” but it’s the same stuff, and O’Reilly Auto Parts and other FLAPS usually have it on the shelf.

    And yes, the trans drain on your model bike uses no crush washer and gets torqued to what seems like a high value (I am away from garage so didn’t cross-check the value you listed) so just make sure to always use a torque wrench for tightening. As for the tool, a conventional hex-bit socket is sometimes a bit clumsy to get up to the drain plugs. I bought a set of conventional L-shaped hex-bit wrenches from Harbor freight and used a chop saw to cut off the short leg and leave a long, straight bit which I can then turn with a socket or wrench.

    1983 R80ST ó 1984 R80 G/S-PD ó 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C ó 2010 K1300GT ó 2018 R1200GS
    BMWMOA#52184, AMA#271542, IBA#138

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Bolingbrook, IL
    Thank you for the confirmation. I will stick with the oil I selected. Harbor Freight had a 14mm hex socket in half inch. I will finish the transmission change after it warms up some. Ice / snow storm up here. I wonder if I can convert this GT bike into a snowmobile? Spiked rear wheel and dual sled fork.

  4. #4

    Final Drive oil level

    You mentioned the final drive oil was a little low when you removed it. Since this bike is new to you it might be a good idea to check the front seal on the FD for leaks. Itís easy to do. There are two zip ties or a really cool hose clamp and a zip tie holding the rubber bellows boot connecting the FD to the swing arm. Cut the forward zip tie or if you are lucky, loosen the hose clamp which connects the boot to the Swing arm (I think this hose clamp is still available from BMW). Slip the boot rearward. If several ounces of oil comes out the forward seal may need replacing. I guess oil could come down the swing arm tunnel from the transmissionís rear seal. Iíve had five of this type of Paralever-equipped bikes, with a total of 290,000 miles on them, and never have seen a transmission leak. Nonetheless, if oil is present, look as far up the tunnel as possible. My five were bone dry upstream even when the FD seal was leaking.

    A slow leak is no big deal, you just have to determine the rate. To get a baseline check it at 500, 1,000 and 5,000 miles. After this check if there is no or very little change to the amount leaked you can just check the level at the fill port between changes. I would see about a two-teaspoons of oil every 40,000 miles on my slow leakers. I did not replace the seal at this leak-rate. But if you do want to/need to replace the seal, BMW special tools are required. If you want to do it yourself, you might be able to borrow the tools from a shop.

    Iíve removed and replaced or reinstalled everything from the rear wheel to the intermediate housing (bell housing in automotive-speak) on two Paralever models: K1 and R1100RS. In reading the K1200GT FD Remove and Replace procedures in Clymerís manual, the procedure looks very similar to what I have done.

    You mentioned you had no 14mm Allen wrench. Harbor Freight sells 3/8ís Drive Allen sockets but Iíve found the vertical-clearance to be to be too tight between the plug and frame to get this or any right angle Allen wrench into the plug without more disassembly. So I made a low-profile wrench. I attached a photo of the wrench. If the attachment failed, the tool is made of a 14mm Allen hammered into a 9/16 box wrench. I then cut the Allen to the depth of the drain plugís female Allen; about 1/4Ē. It will fit in a tight space with enough vertical clearance to at least break/tighten the plug. The rest is done with fingers.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Bolingbrook, IL
    I finished the Transmission gear oil change and the Final Drive oil change. Harbor Freight had the 14mm in a kit. Worked out well. I have a Craftsman Nm digital torque wrench 3/8 drive that with a 1/2 to 3/8 drive adaptor, worked great. Gear oil sure smells up the garage, though.

    In the end pretty easy once tools acquired and correct oil located. I kept notes for future.

    My thanks for confirming the dirty oil was not too bad. The boot was empty of oil, so I think my seals are ok. Very comforting for me to do a refresh of fluids. ABS brakes, oil, clutch, motor oil, tran and FD.

    This 2003 K1200GT bike is a dream.

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