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Thread: Valve cover bolt torque

  1. #1

    Valve cover bolt torque

    I just purchased an oil/air cooled 2013 R1200GS with 5000 miles on it. After a couple thousand miles of riding I noticed some oil film around one of the valve cover bolts. Does anyone know the correct torque of those bolts? I am getting a manual for it but want to check the torque quick before I run it some more.

  2. #2
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    Do not torque those bolts! They are shoulder bolts and they should be tightened only enough until they just stop turning due to the shoulder contacting the engine. Leaky valve covers are almost always due to dirt trapped in the grooves of the valve cover gasket. Just take off the valve cover and pull the gasket out and give it and the mating surface a good cleaning. Over tightening of the bolts will cause them to snap off!
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  3. #3
    Registered User Dann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishbmw View Post
    I just purchased an oil/air cooled 2013 R1200GS with 5000 miles on it. After a couple thousand miles of riding I noticed some oil film around one of the valve cover bolts. Does anyone know the correct torque of those bolts? I am getting a manual for it but want to check the torque quick before I run it some more.
    The BMW manual says 10 Nm for the Cylinder head cover to cylinder head
    Daniel
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    2019 R1250RT - 2007 R1200RT (186,000 km) - IBA # 56396

  4. #4
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Related topic from Wetheads forum, basically the same fastener:

    https://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread...er-Bolt-Torque
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  5. #5
    Registered User bigjohn72's Avatar
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    I have always just used a torx driver to tighten those bolts up, NEVER a ratchet wrench. I have broke one of those bolts with a ratchet wrench in the past, and was surprised at how easy it was to do it. Getting out the threaded part of the bolt was not a fun couple hours...
    Big John in Arkansas
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  6. #6
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dann View Post
    The BMW manual says 10 Nm for the Cylinder head cover to cylinder head
    But the real point is, there is no leak that’s going to be fixed by tightening these screws.

    This is not an application where torque creates a screw distortion that helps resist loosening. Here the “lock washer” effect is created by the flex in the gasket. These screws bottom and further tightening only leads to breaking them. There are rubber seals on the screws that should be in new condition.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S

  7. #7
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    This applies to all oil/hex/cam heads:

    Hand tighten until you feel the shoulder bottom. STOP.
    The rubber doughnut compression will prevent any loosening.
    If there is a leak or weep check gasket positioning or replace.

    This is my procedure and have never had an issue in 20+ years.
    I have seen far too many stripped threads on bikes that come in.
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    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    This applies to all oil/hex/cam heads:

    .
    Also K bikes with the Brick engine.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  9. #9
    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    This applies to all oil/hex/cam heads:

    Hand tighten until you feel the shoulder bottom. STOP.
    The rubber doughnut compression will prevent any loosening.
    If there is a leak or weep check gasket positioning or replace.

    This is my procedure and have never had an issue in 20+ years.
    I have seen far too many stripped threads on bikes that come in.
    And Wetheads and Shiftheads.

    Jim
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    But the real point is, there is no leak that’s going to be fixed by tightening these screws.

    This is not an application where torque creates a screw distortion that helps resist loosening. Here the “lock washer” effect is created by the flex in the gasket. These screws bottom and further tightening only leads to breaking them. There are rubber seals on the screws that should be in new condition.


    But one could still double check the bolt torque for 10nm. Maybe one of the bolts has come loose.

  11. #11
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxscycle View Post
    But one could still double check the bolt torque for 10nm. Maybe one of the bolts has come loose.
    I still would not use a torque wrench for this application. If you want to check the bolt, back it off a turn or two, then re-tighten, stopping the instant you feel the shoulder touch. Once the shoulder touches, no further amount of tightening will increase pressure on the gaskets, and the compression of the gaskets creates enough tension on the bolt that it will not loosen. There is a real risk of snapping the bolt or stripping the threads in the head.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

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