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Thread: New Member and Question

  1. #1

    New Member and Question RE 78 R80/7

    Hello Everyone,

    Im Peter from DC and new to this form and new to BMW's. I have a lot of experience with 70's era hondas but, unfortunately, not a lot of that knowledge has carried over to the '78 R80/7 I recently acquired. I got it from a friend and it used to belong to his dad, who I think was the original owner. Anyway, he didn't have the heart to sell it after his dad died and gave it to me on the condition I wouldn't sell it without talkiing to him. He made some minor modifications to it, but mostly cosmetic. I recently changed the oil and put a new battery in it and it has been running well. However, this morning when I started it up something started leaking from a small hole on the left side of the engine just in front of the oil filler hole. It's clear so I'm pretty sure it's no motor oil. It smells a bit like gas, but I'd be surprised if gas made it into that part of the engine since the heads and carbs are well below that hole. Any thoughts or suggestions are very much appreciated.

    Peter
    '78 R80/7
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    Last edited by ppetersan; 11-02-2019 at 07:01 PM. Reason: Add bike in title

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Welcome, Peter! That R80/7 should be a nice ride for a long time to come.

    That hole is a drain for the starter cavity that is on top of the engine. If it's gas, you should be able to see dripping from the underside of the tank. But frankly, I don't see how gas dripping on the top of the cover is going to get inside it.

    Strange that it's a clear fluid...seems like the only thing it can be is engine oil. There is a top cover that is held on by an allen bolt on each side. Probably best to remove the tank and remove the clam shell covers for the air filter. There's a long bolt going through the left cover that screws into the right cover. The right cover is fixed in place with a nut that is accessed from the inside. The right cover will have a black hose going through it...this is the drain for the oil mist that comes out the engine breather. This black hose is a biyotch to work with...I'd leave it in position for now.

    Once the cover is off, you should see the source of the fluid. If something has happened to the engine breather system, it could be spewing oil all around. You'll need to figure out what it is.

    If you can get in there, take some pics and let us have a look as well.

    In a closer look at your picture, I guess I can see the clear sheen on the side of the engine, so maybe it is gas...somehow. Recheck for a gas leak and go from there.
    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
    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    Welcome, Peter! That R80/7 should be a nice ride for a long time to come.

    That hole is a drain for the starter cavity that is on top of the engine. If it's gas, you should be able to see dripping from the underside of the tank. But frankly, I don't see how gas dripping on the top of the cover is going to get inside it.
    It has been a while so correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't that model have a fuel hose that crosses over connecting the fuel lines on both sides of the engine. If so, wouldn't fuel leaking from that line drain out the whole in question. Fuel from that line is my guess.
    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
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  4. #4
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    It has been a while so correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't that model have a fuel hose that crosses over connecting the fuel lines on both sides of the engine. If so, wouldn't fuel leaking from that line drain out the whole in question. Fuel from that line is my guess.
    That fuel is line is over the transmission...very removed from the hole in question. Gas would leak to the ground from the filter before getting to the starter cavity. You can see the back end of the starter nose...that black thing. So, fuel would have to get up that high to get into the cavity. Now if the OP's bike has some crazy routing of the fuel line, like up and over the top of the engine, that could be a problem.
    Fuel Line Crossover.jpg
    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 toooldtocare's Avatar
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    Iím with Curt, oil from breather. Bet if you remove the starter cover you will find an oily mess. It looks like oil is also running down the side from the seam of the cover to the engine.

    Wayne

  6. #6
    Registered User ebeeby's Avatar
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    what is the oil level on the dipstick when read after screwing the dipstick all the way in?
    1973 R75/5

  7. #7
    Airmarshal-IL James.A's Avatar
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    This could be something to investigate further. I think that since gasoline evaporates quickly, there would not be a sheen on the motor casting. What I have found over the years is that the motor's oil level will settle in somewhere between the full and add marks when checked by dropping the dipstick in the hole but not screwing it in. For years I tried to keep the oil level at the full mark, but the motor would shed oil until somewhere around half way to add.
    1973 R75/5

  8. #8
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    Breather or hose from breather most likely. The OP seems to have disappeared, but in about ten minutes he / she could look under the starter motor cover and see what was going on. Not much else it could be. Should be a quick fix.

  9. #9
    Thank you all for your input. Now that I think more about it, I just replaced the oil and filter a couple weeks ago and probably less than 30 miles ago. It does make sense that the oil would still be very clean - i.e., nearly clear. I wont be able to remove tank and look into it until next weekend, but I will snap some pictures and let you all know what I find out.

    Thank you again for your quick input and interest.

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