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Old 04-25-2011, 09:42 PM   #1
g r a n t OP
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R1150GS Is this a main seal leak?

Hi.

I have a 2000 R1150GS with 38,000 miles. Since about 25,000 I have been noticing a very sllight amount of graphite colour residue seeping from between the engine case and the clutch/transmission case. This black coloured leak is very dry - almost creeping out between the cases.

I have seen a few other posts with this very similar condition. One post indicated it was a main seal leak.

Tonight, when I got under the bike with a flashlight I also noticed a dark brown oily residue up and under the clutch area. The oxygen sensor sticks into this area from the catalytic converter. This leads me to think this is a different leak all together. The leaking if very slight, but I ultimately want to nip it in the bud before it gets worse.

I am not noticing oil loss more than you might expect; maybe a quarter pint over about 2500 miles of hard, highway riding.
I am not noticing clutch slippage.

In the first pic you can see the oily residue in past the starter.
In pic two Arrow 1 points to the brown oily residue and Arrow 2 points to the black, graphite coloured leak on the case.

Thoughts? Should I be ordering a main seal etc? What about the brownish leak at the bottom?

Thanks in advance!




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g r a n t screwed with this post 04-25-2011 at 09:55 PM
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:37 AM   #2
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The rear main seals rarely leak on Oilheads. You more likely have a clutch slave failure or transmission input shaft seal failure. If you have enough fresh oil to get a drop on your finger smell it. If it is gear oil you will know, that stuff stinks. If there is almost no smell then it is the clutch slave leaking.
The dry residue is usually dust from the clutch.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:55 AM   #3
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Thanks

Hi GeorgeinVA,

Thanks for taking the time to offer your thoughts.
I will take a look at it tonight.

Cheers,

g r a n t
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:34 AM   #4
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You can pull the starter motor very easily (2 bolts) and take a look inside. The view is very limited, but might give you a better idea of what you've got.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:45 AM   #5
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thanks too! that is also on the list tonight!
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:52 AM   #6
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Transmission input seal leak.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:52 AM   #7
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On my 1200 it was the input shaft seal on the tranny. Your description was identical. In reality though it doesn't matter which it is, you still have to do about the same amount of labor to fix either.
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:11 AM   #8
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You might bleed the clutch with some fresh fluid and check the colour of the old. From what I've read Black fluid will indicate a slave on it's way out.

Good luck
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeinVA View Post
The rear main seals rarely leak on Oilheads. You more likely have a clutch slave failure or transmission input shaft seal failure. If you have enough fresh oil to get a drop on your finger smell it. If it is gear oil you will know, that stuff stinks. If there is almost no smell then it is the clutch slave leaking.
The dry residue is usually dust from the clutch.

So let's see - tonight I could have done my almost overdue taxes or go play with the GS. So, let me tell you about the oil.

I crouched down and stuck my finger as far into the underside of the transmission area as I could [At this point I remembered I was long overdue for my annual physical].

The oily residue appeared mostly black but this was due to all the dirt and particulate in the oily film. When I brushed away the particulate I would say the oily film had a slight brownish/gold colour.

Despite remembering my overdue Doctor appointment I sniffed the oil. Certainly did not smell like tranny fluid. To be sure I opened a fresh bottle of BelRay 80W90 hypoidal gear oil. The vintage was uncertain but it was no beaujolais. Anyhow, my finger smelled nothing like the bottle. I am wondering how much the oil will still smell like transmission after sitting on the case exposed to the air for a few weeks. Nevertheless, it did not smell like transmission fluid.

I going to do my taxes and then go back down and inspect the clutch fluid reservoir.

Cheers,

G
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:54 PM   #10
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clutch fluid will darken over time, as it becomes contaminated, this occurs naturally. See if the fluid is low, but you need to know it was full recently. I had a slave leak on me, and bled it out once, not knowing that the slave was failing. The a few months latter the pressure was low once again, well then I knew it was the slave. Had it replaced quickly before the clutch disc was contaminated, trust me you don't want to replace the clutch due to a leaky slave. the labor for the slave isn't too bad, but replacing the clutch.....you'll be hoping BMW dealer had very small fingers, he won't for that!!!

Hope it's not the rear seal or tranny seal.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:57 PM   #11
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Listen to GeorgeinVa.

He knows whereof he speaks!
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:05 PM   #12
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When my 1200 gs started doing this,i called the tech at Gateway.He told me to pull the starter and shine a light and look for anything that looks wet.Said it would be easy to see if there was a lot of oil or just a dusty powdering inside.Mine was the latter.I don't like that it does it,but i don't worry about it anymore.Ed
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Old 04-27-2011, 09:42 AM   #13
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Clutch Master Cylinder

The Dot 4 fluid in the master cylinder is super clean and clear.
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:16 PM   #14
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Pulled as much apart today as I could. Will upload some pics and details soon.
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