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Thread: 2002 K1200RS Oil Seal Leaks

  1. #1
    K1200RS Pilot JEBNER's Avatar
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    2002 K1200RS Oil Seal Leaks

    I was just told by my dealer's mechanic that the front engine cover and rear seal both need to be replaced as they are leaking slightly on my 16,000 mile well maintained K1200RS. As this will cost $695 I am looking for some advice on if this is worth paying for. The leaks appear to be miniscule. I am also wondering if this service would be better combined with other future repairs, like a spline lube for instance.

  2. #2
    Blocking the slow lane
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    We've had 7-8 new and old K bikes over the years, and they've all leaked from the timing cover. Only my LT weeped badly enough to need a re-seal. If its not making a big mess, don't worry about it.

    I'm curious how they know the rear seal is leaking. Isn't the weep hole on the bellhousing gone on the 1200 models? I know my LT did not have one....don't remember if the RS did or not. Anyone?
    Jon Diaz
    BMW K75/K12GT
    BMWMOA Ambassador

  3. #3
    K1200RS Pilot JEBNER's Avatar
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    Final Drive Boot

    There's some evidence of leakage inside the final drive boot, which the Clymer manual says is evidence of either the final drive pinion shaft seal or the transmission output shaft seal is leaking. Your opinions are greatly appreciated!

  4. #4
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Check it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by jebner
    I was just told by my dealer's mechanic that the front engine cover and rear seal both need to be replaced as they are leaking slightly on my 16,000 mile well maintained K1200RS. As this will cost $695 I am looking for some advice on if this is worth paying for. The leaks appear to be miniscule. I am also wondering if this service would be better combined with other future repairs, like a spline lube for instance.

    The Klassic K-bike engine has a design problem in the way the front timing chain cover ("front engine cover") straddles the junction where the head and the block come together. You have three different surfaces that have to be sealed and there is often a leak.

    A good mechanic removes the timing change cover, cleans all the surfaces really well, and then seals everything back up with a good silicone sealant. My '03 K12RS was weeping there at about 2,200 miles and my dealer resealed everything this way: I've had no further problems in the next 27,500 miles.

    As for the "real seal" leaking, I would do some more investigation. First off, determine if he's talking about the rear main seal (in front of the clutch drive gear), or rather from the rear output shaft seal in the transmission.

    Rear main seals will leak if you overfill the engine oil - especially if you do a lot of highway riding. I run my oil no higher than half-way between the sight glass dot and the top of the red circle as viewed about 10 minutes after a ride. Hot oil expands and a good measure of "full" is when the oil is hot, but has had some time to drain down. Even right at the dot is fine. An overfull transmission can do the same thing under some conditions.
    Greg Feeler
    BMW MOA Director & Ambassador
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  5. #5
    Blocking the slow lane
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    Quote Originally Posted by jebner
    There's some evidence of leakage inside the final drive boot, which the Clymer manual says is evidence of either the final drive pinion shaft seal or the transmission output shaft seal is leaking. Your opinions are greatly appreciated!
    Its probably the final drive. That's worth getting cleaned up during winter downtime, and make sure they change the Paralever pivot bearings as well.
    Jon Diaz
    BMW K75/K12GT
    BMWMOA Ambassador

  6. #6
    Your Ad Here
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    Quote Originally Posted by jebner
    There's some evidence of leakage inside the final drive boot, which the Clymer manual says is evidence of either the final drive pinion shaft seal or the transmission output shaft seal is leaking. Your opinions are greatly appreciated!
    Seals are a fairly common problem...if you want to be absolutely anal retentive and want to determine it on your own, you can clean everything up and then put in different oil tracer dyes to determine which is leaking.

    My FD seal went at about 15k last winter...shortly after it was replaced, it started coating up again. Second dealer put on metal LT style strap, which stopped the coating problem. Now the transmission output seal is puking down the backside of the trany toward the drain plug at 27k. So long as it is not leaking profusely you can ride through it either the fd seal or the tranny output seal weeps/leaks. Just keep a close eye on the oil levels and put it on your winter fix it list. If I remember correctly, FD seal is about a 2-3 hour job booktime and the output shaft seal is around 8 hours booktime, so $600 range sound about right for the latter.

    As to is it worth paying for...seals can be tough to get right. I would ask how long they will guarantee (miles/months) their seal job replacement will not leak.

  7. #7
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdiaz
    Its probably the final drive. That's worth getting cleaned up during winter downtime, and make sure they change the Paralever pivot bearings as well.

    And while you are getting work on the final drive, you might consider getting the ring gear carrier bearing upgraded to the 17-ball version.
    Greg Feeler
    BMW MOA Director & Ambassador
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

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