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The Other JC 09-10-2011 06:06 PM

R1200GS Adv oil leak - replace gearbox input seal, install Siebenrock disc
'07 R1200GS Adv oil leak - replace gearbox input seal, install Siebenrock oil resistant friction disk

Following my post about the oil leak, it seems only fitting that I do a post on the fix, bringing together all the links of information that I used to complete the job. I hope this will save someone some time and effort in figuring out if they are up to the job. There is a lot of information in the links that I do not cover in this overview.

So after the initial cussing and swearing, a calm mood settled over me, turning into a secret thrill the more I read that I would have to pull the bike in two and do a clutch and gear seal job. Its been a few years since my last foray into a serious mechanical job, but after reading a few threads I knew I could do the job.
The thrill that I would overcome that barrier between me and 'The BMW'. Stripping a bike down is the best way to overcome that awe of new technology, finding out that they are all just nuts, bolts, tolerances and torques with no magic involved at all.

  • Surfing the interwebs shortly after the clutch slipping event I stumbled across the Siebenrock oil resistant clutch friction disc. This was a good omen.
  • Then I found this thread on UKGSER showing the process of breaking the bike down and replacing the clutch disk.
  • This thread brought up the possibility of having to replace the whole clutch assembly, not something I had considered.
  • This thread showed also showed how to remove the gearbox and other good tips.
  • This post probably saved me a lot of trouble. Although I read the RepROM procedure, I missed the bit about the studs to hold the frame on the engine when the frame is split.
  • And this thread for yet more exposure to the job at hand.

Thank you to all those people who take the time to prepare these writeups, they are invaluable and saved me hundreds of dollars.
Dollars with which to buy new tools :)


I ordered the new clutch disk from Siebenrock in Germany.

Next, make studs for the frame and the gearbox. I figured studs for the gearbox would help in removing and installing the gearbox straight, help to align it with only one set of hands to do the job. I cut the high tensile bolts at the 19th thread loop line for the frame studs, perfect length.

A luxury item, but I figured it would be worth it getting the wiring loom back onto the frame easily - a cable tie gun.

Homemade Oteiker clamp pliers. A $2.50 plier reformed with the help of a grinder and needle files.

Lithium moly grease to add to all my other grease tubs!!.

Honda Moly 60 grease also to add to my collection. This stuff does not seem to be available over the counter in Australia. I was told a special order would be required at a total cost of about $50 for the 3gram tube. I ordered through eBay from the US and got 3x3grams tubes for $50 - $17 of which was postage!!.

Got all the gear, ready for the actual work. Deep breath....the fun begins :eek1

The Other JC 09-10-2011 06:28 PM

R1200GS Adv oil leak - bike split
R1200GS Adv oil leak - bike split

---Split the bike

I was up bright and early for the start. I had this idea that I would have the bike apart by early afternoon. hahaha. Silly me.

I set a very slow pace, carefully photographing the procedure and replacing screws into holes as I went along, rather than trying to remember which went where, going slow to remember how it all went together.

Its also a surprisingly physical job, and I was aching after the first day.
I followed the RepROM procedure most of the way, detouring only where appropriate.

  • I kept the sump crash guard on
  • Remove exhast silencer
  • Next, rear wheel spray guard
  • Undo injection valves, remove Oteiker clamps left and right side where connected to airbox hose, remove left throttle body for access to the frame bolts.
  • Disengage throttle cable divider from air intake box
  • Remove start motor cover. It was a pain to get the starter motor cover out and I would recommend leaving it in place until the bike split when it will be much easier to remove.
  • Undo gear linkage lever. You should still be able to get to the gear lever circlip OK to undo the linkage with the starter motor cover still in place, rather than undoing the bolt and sliding it off the gear change spline. The gear lever linkage is attached to the rear frame, so needs to be unlinked to split the frames.
  • Remove clutch slave cylinder from rear of gearbox. Carefully undo each screw together for an even removal. I read of someone removing the rear spring to get theirs out recently. I just used an extension with a u-joint to get round the spring.
  • At this point the RepROM says remove the rear mudguard. I tried, but it was going to be messy, so I took this threads tack and simply removed the rear rack. Much better option.
  • Remove the rear wiring cluster and loom to the front of the bike, cut all the cables ties on the frame.
  • I do not have ABS so did not need to touch the rear break unit at all.

Start to remove the wiring from the rear of the bike taking photos for later reference

I paid close attention to the wiring and nylon ties for the rebuild, and where the wires came through the frame like the two below middle left - easy to forget this stuff.. as I found out later even with photos!.

Being outside in winter the days are short and I was packing up after stripping the bike ready for the split the following morning.

================================================== =========
Day 2 I awoke to rain. :(. Mid morning I set up a tarp to cover the arse of the bike hanging out the shed. Fortunately it was not windy.

Securing the bike for the split took a bit longer than expected. I am not a great knot tier but eventually had her hanging from the rafters at the handlebars.
Place trolly jack under the bike to take the weight of the front section. I put the trolly jack on some wood to stop it rolling unexpectedly.
Cut the remainder nylon ties and remove the wiring loom off the sides of the bike, making careful note of all the cable ties.

And so the split begins. Remove the first top bolt either side and insert the studs to hold the front frame in place on the engine block - seen here on left side between my fingers after the rear frame was pulled away , cannot remember what I was pointing at here, I think my fingers shifted focus when I took the shot.

Next loosen the frame bolt at the back and bottom of the gearbox, tricky to get to that one. Then the other 4 bolts top and bottom of the frame. Remove the 5 bolts, double check all the wiring is cut loose from ties and fixtures.

Time for the split. Walk round and grab the rear of the bike and pull centimeter by centimeter, checking at each move for any snagging. This was easily accomplished on my own.
After the first tug... the split begins.. At this point I thought I would be able to save myself stripping the drive shaft and so worked to remove the shaft at the gearbox end as I split the frame.

The centrestand will not fold under itself going backwards so you are safe to tug the frame backwards. As the rear frame cleared the front, the front lolled to the side, I re-tie the rope better with a wider reach on the rafters to help stabilize her.

The back comes off at a slight angle to avoid the exhaust scraping on the center stand bracketing.

A few tugs and checks for wiring later and she's well apart. You can easily move the rear around, just pick up at front and move like a wheel barrow - but careful so you don't lose balance!.

A cold and wet day I finished when the bike was apart and hanging securely. It was mid afternoon and the next phase was a bit too long for the rest of the light in the sky to leave at a satisfactory place, plus my body was aching and a long hot soak in the bath was in order!

At his point I assisted the trolley jack with some wood blocks to support the bike.. did not want the trolly jack dropping the bike slowly over the following week. Wrapped her back up in a blanket to keep the wind and damp out, and dropped the sheeting over the front of the shed opening.

wjherrick 09-10-2011 06:58 PM

Truely...I'm eating popcorn...
... as I read your writeup. Great job, well written and I'm waiting for more...keep up the good work!

Bill in OR

The Other JC 09-14-2011 04:13 AM

R1200GS Adv oil leak - seal and Siebenrock install
R1200GS Adv oil leak - seal and Siebenrock

Weekend 2 - Day 3

Another bright early start. Getting the gearbox off was proving to be very difficult. The top left and bottom right would not come away after the bolts were out. I tried all manner of maneuvers including trying heat with a hairdryer, but it would not shift. I did not want to get drastic in case of damaging the housing. I went to see my local BMW store to ask the service guy for advice.
Fortunately one of the mechanics was handy and his words were 'heat, and more heat'. Not entirely convinced, but with this as the only option left, I went and bought a heat gun, applied heat to the stuck areas, and some gentle pressure with a crowbar and off she popped. Crowbar applied against clutch housing and front of gearbox. A heat gun is a hairdryer on double dose steroids.

Once I get the gearbox off it is quickly apparent that the gearbox input shaft seal is the source of the oil with oil seeping around the seal.

Pulled the clutch plates off and sure enough the friction disc was melting onto the clutch plates. See the black smear marks round the pressure plates?, that's clutch meat. The clutch plates were very smooth, no scoring at all after I cleaned off the melted friction disc material. This was looking good that I would not get clutch chatter requiring another couple of weekends to redo the whole clutch.

The old melted friction disc, still with plenty of 'life' in it :(

Spent half the morning cleaning everything, the engine sump area, gearbox, engine output shaft and clutch area.

I was a bit nervous getting the gearbox input shaft seal out, did not want to do damage. Drilling the old seal caused a bit of concern, I seemed to be drilling metal, and I did not expect metal. After a few stops and starts I satisfied myself it was drilling the seal correctly and finally broke through with a sudden jolt.. oops!. Fortunately no damage done. Same for the second hole. Fu#k!! Need to get a brand new drill bit next time!. Insert screws into seal, grab with pliers and gently tap on the pliers, alternating screws, to slowly extract the seal.. WooHooo!!. Out she pops, and no scratches on the aluminium.

No protection required on the input shaft while sliding the seal on, the seal cleared it by a good couple of thou' all round.

I had pre-measured the old seal depth at between 5.1mm and 5.4mm. I made up a drift tool to insert the new seal with a plastic plumbing joiner bit. Seal finally seated at 5.2mm measured.

If the drift tool looks a little lumpy, solution is to turn the tool and tap all round the seal so it all sits at the deepest point of the drift. This plastic was a bitch to cut straight.

Next to rebuild the clutch assembly with the Siebenrock disc.
This is were the gearbox studs came in handy. For centering the friction disc, I slid the gearbox onto the studs I made, input shaft into the friction disk to centre it, then tightened a couple of the bolts on the clutch housing cover to hold the friction disk in place, removed the gearbox, and tightened and torqued all the bolts to 12NM. Engine locking device not required. RepROM states clutch housing is balanced at manufacture.. I take RepROMs word.

Re-apply the gearbox and tighten bolts to 19NM. Attached starter motor, cables, connectors and starter motor cover.

A good place to stop for the day, time to go cycling to loosen up my aching body again.

Day 4.

Start putting all the bits back on, come to put the two halves together while managing the dastardly drive shaft, but rear frame will not line up to the front frame. There is something stopping it connecting and I cannot figure it out. I now realise it was the drive shaft where I did not appreciate it had to pop over the circlip, also I am not sure it hadn't fallen off the the other end during removal.

Wife now wants to drag me out to a surprise (to me!) lunch with friends. I cannot escape this one. I miss the best part of the day for getting the bike back together.

After lunch and the bike is not going to go back together. With darkening sky and no desire to rush this important part of the job and do damage, I pull the bike apart again ready for another day. The drive shaft sticks solid on the gearbox output shaft. Bollocks. I have to pull the shaft halfway out before it finally lets go of the gearbox shaft. Well now I will have to strip the drive shaft end .. next weekend! WHERE DOES THE TIME GO!!??

Seek advice from ADVRider on work required for sorting the drive shaft. Thanks people!


GAP 09-14-2011 04:40 AM

Wonderful report / story! Your sterile F1-like garage space brings back memories of dirt yard rebuilds in my past, long ago. Nice to see people taking on seemingly daunting tasks. Inspirational. Thanks for taking the time to take lots of photos. Nice commentary. Good luck.

fyrfytr 09-14-2011 06:23 PM

I replaced my oil-soaked stock clutch disc with the Siebenrock oil-resistant disc, and so far, so good. I've only put a few thousand miles on it thanks to a perpetually leaky output shaft seal.:bluduh But fingers are crossed that that's fixed now. Good write up so far, keep up the good work.

Marc - Australia 09-14-2011 07:03 PM

Nice one
Love the write up! Thanks Mate!

Looks all pretty scary to me :-)

Take care & best wishes from Brisi!

cardoctor1 09-14-2011 07:18 PM

great report

mtwillyman 09-14-2011 11:50 PM

You sir, are an animal! Nice job mate!

Biathlon 1 09-15-2011 08:35 AM

Inspiring write up
Thanks for sharing, great to see a true do-it-yourself job using ingenuity in a practical setting. Sure it would be great to have a garage with a lift and all sorts of fancy Snap On tools, but hey I know I can't afford those things! Good to see I can tackle this job myself when the time comes. Keep up the great work.

The Other JC 09-16-2011 10:27 PM

Thanks for the feedback
Thanks for the feedback everyone. Glad someones reading it :lol3

Next installment coming soon. The GS had been very compliant so far... ...she was now going to show me who was really boss :rofl

fyrfytr 09-17-2011 05:00 AM

Don't forget to check the slave cylinder!

PARIAH 09-17-2011 05:56 AM

A courageous endeavor, indeed. Well done!

The Other JC 09-23-2011 04:05 AM

So up till now the GS had been very compliant, but now the tables would turn and she would show me how she wanted to be treated.

Pro-tip to those who follow: make life easy, remove the drive shaft at the beginning, completely, at both ends!

It had taken me two weekends to get to this stage of the job. It would take another two weekends to finish the job. As I sit here now and type the story up, I cannot remember why it took that long. I think a combination of late starts, early finishes, and me taking my merry time at every turn. Also not being mentally prepared at having to go through the procedure for re-fitment as per the RepROM. No shortcuts. The next part of the <s>saga</s> story covers 3 more days over 2 weekends. The final day will follow on from that.

Bike minus gearbox side shot.

The Other JC 09-23-2011 05:41 AM

R1200GS Adv - pulling two parts back together
R1200GS Adv - pulling two parts back together

Weekend 3 & 4

After pondering the work to do I am more happy about doing the drive shaft properly. I can examine it and re-grease both end splines as required now.

It also gives a chance to ascertain the pressure required and method of re-attaching the drive shaft at the gearbox end while the drive shaft is out the box!

Also at this point I re-attached the starter motor cover, rather than doing it after the frame was re-connected. Pulling it out when the frame was together was a bitch, getting it back in same would be a nightmare. The frame will slide on OK with the cover in place. However this assumes you just disconnected the gear changer via the circlip and joint, and not unbolted the gear change link from the gear change spline.

Now to bring the frames together, again moving centimeter by centimeter, checking for pinching and clearance after each shove.

Let me take a second to make note of the requirement to brace the front wheel for this part of the job to stop the bike rolling forward when pressure is applied to the rear frame. As seen below, I put a breeze block between the front wheel and garage door after it nearly rolled off the trolley jack on one particular shove - that would have been nasty!!

I attached the drive shaft to the gearbox output shaft, leaving the final circlip push for when the frame is together.

I had a helping hand for the last shove to make the holes for the bolts line up, me lifting and pulling the rear frame, with a friend pushing the frame forward from behind. This time round the frame connects first try. Remove frame studs and insert bolts to hold frame in place while the bottom holes are aligned with more maneuvering.

Next, connect the drive shaft fully at the gearbox, a little bit tricky due to the lack of space, but got there in the end. Much easier with the other end to push on and turn. Just a little leverage with a screw driver to get it over the circlip.

Then spend another hour trying to attach the final drive spline to the drive shaft . Finally doing a dry run with the rubber boot off to get a proper idea of the angle and approach for connection. Hold u-joint at knuckle and correct angle, bring drive up shaft end turning rear wheel and applying gentle pressure, the drive spline almost falls into the drive shaft end. Re-attach rubber boot and repeat and it goes straight on.

Did I mention the rag fell out the oil hole in the final drive while it was hanging, requiring emptying all the oil out to get the correct amount back in. :eek1

Next re-route all the wiring along the frame and apply new cable ties with my new cable tie gun :) - well worth the $23 for the perfect job it does of tightening and cutting the cable ties like a pro.

I get to cable tying the rubber boot on the end of the drive shaft to the gearbox and realise the bottom of the rubber boot is caught inside of the gearbox output flange. There is barely any room to get in and release the boot. :huh

After much messing around I finally had to release the rear spring off the arm!, jack up the arm to release pressure on the rubber, get the heat gun on the rubber to soften it up and try and wedge a screwdriver in to poke the rubber out the flange from the other side between the frame. AHHH!!. This took 2-3 hours with much head scratching and scratched and bruised knuckles. At one point I was considering a frame split again, but re-doing all the work put a damper on that idea, though it might have been quicker in the long run from the outset. I shall not forget this next time though eh!

I finally got the boot released and cable tied. Next drama. :cry

Its at this point I discover I have not routed all the wiring for the right hand cylinder through the frame when I pulled it together, which you can see in the photo two above hanging over the injector body. Bollocks. After a bit of concern I work out the wiring will just about slip through the small space left between the air-box and frame. Fortunately the wires all unplug from the spark plug caps leaving only small end plugs to route through. phew!! - had visions of having to re-split the frame for the wiring re-route!.

Re-apply the spring clip to the gear change link

Wrap her up for the night for the final day of re-assembly tomorrow.:clap

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