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Thread: Pictorial: Oil Sight Glass Replacement

  1. #1
    Registered Voter JWHITE518's Avatar
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    Pictorial: Oil Sight Glass Replacement

    I have a 96 R1100RS with 95k miles on it. I noticed some muck on the fins underneath my sight glass, and thought it may have been starting to weep. So I decided to replace the glass before it got worse.




    After draining the oil, I drilled a hole in the window large enough to fit a nail.




    I inserted the nail and tried to pry the old sight glass out.




    It didn't come out easily, and instead the window broke more.




    Not a problem. I took a needle nose pliers and pulled the old seal out.




    Here's the empty hole.




    Old sight glass with busted glass.




    New sight glass. Instead of a red dot in the center, there's a clear dot.




    I put the new glass into the opening as far as it would go by hand.




    A 1.25" socket fits perfectly as a drift. My rubber mallet came in handy too.




    The finished project.




    The new glass didn't go in as far as the old one, and didn't seat exactly flush with the surrounding engine case, as the old one did. I put this off to it being a new part number.
    Jerry White
    96 R1100RS

  2. #2
    Eaganj346
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    Nice pictorial on the repair job. As long as it doesn't leak the new part number item must be okay.



    John
    #137405

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    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwhite518 View Post
    It didn't come out easily, and instead the window broke more.

    After reading the odd post complaining about them "falling out", one has to wonder how that is even possible unless:

    • the oil sight glass bore in the engine casing is out of spec and was oversized right from the factory,
    • the original oil sight glass was too small (out of spec) during installation at the factory,
    • there was a pressure build-up within the engine block for some reason.

  4. #4
    Registered User k100lt's Avatar
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    Jerry:
    The seal might not be seated all the way in the bore due to the socket contacting the engine case surface. Try a socket with the open end against the seal flange only. A socket that has a diameter slightly smaller than the oil sight glass bore in the engine case works best. You can also attach an extension to the socket to make it easier to tap with your mallet. If it doesn't go in any further then the seal is gone as far as it is going to go. Good luck..
    David
    1989 K100LT

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    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    It might also be because the rubber gasket shrank due to age and repeated heat cycles reducing the friction fit.
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    Registered User breyfogle's Avatar
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    Useful pictorial. One suggestion would be to use a screw instead of a nail to grab and pull the sight glass out.
    '89 K75S Original Owner
    '94 (Beta) R11RS, ( RIP 12-5-2010 courtesy of blind left turning cage driver ) ....

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    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor31 View Post
    It might also be because the rubber gasket shrank due to age and repeated heat cycles reducing the friction fit.
    That's what I think happens. The rubber gets too brittle and can't keep a grip. When you start to see weepage, that's an indication that the seal isn't as tight as it once was, I think.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  8. #8
    RK Ryder
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBasa View Post
    That's what I think happens. The rubber gets too brittle and can't keep a grip. When you start to see weepage, that's an indication that the seal isn't as tight as it once was, I think.
    Would some type of chemical placed on the rubber seal help prevent future shrinking/hardening?
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
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    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    Would some type of chemical placed on the rubber seal help prevent future shrinking/hardening?
    I don't know. I think the problem area, if you want to consider it as such, is out of reach, where the sight glass contacts the case.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

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    Do you need to put a thin coat of oil on the rubber like on the seal of an oil filter before installing or just tap it in dry?

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    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by breyfogle View Post
    Useful pictorial. One suggestion would be to use a screw instead of a nail to grab and pull the sight glass out.
    On another similar thread, I remember reading that a soldering iron was used to poke a hole through the sight glass...no shavings in this manner as might be caused by drilling.

    Better still, just remove all of the plastic sight glass with the soldering iron and then just pop the seal itself as you would any other seal; with a screwdriver pivoting against an appropriately sized block of wood which also protects the finish you are pivoting against.

  12. #12
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    Would some type of chemical placed on the rubber seal help prevent future shrinking/hardening?
    If it has gone that far, I'd just replace it. The seal on the sight glass should be good for years...you'd think (some other seals in the engine run hotter). Furthermore, the oil sight glass can easily be replaced in minutes during any oil change.

    Sealants (not that you implied "sealants" are to be used) aren't used on seals or O-rings.

    I wouldn't use oil either to "mount" the sight glass; maybe a soapy water solution. Are there any lubes out there that evaporate in a short time?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pirana View Post
    Do you need to put a thin coat of oil on the rubber like on the seal of an oil filter before installing or just tap it in dry?

    I believe the official service manual says tap it in dry. Then again, the official service doesnt tell you to have the piston at TDC for a valve adjustment either.
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  14. #14
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    sight glass

    The sight glass goes in dry. You don't have to drain the oil to do this. You can just lean the bike to the right a little. Also - don't worry too much about getting plastic shards down in the engine - the sight glass will retain any junk that might get inside the plastic. A screw stuck into the hole you drilled really well to get the plug out.

  15. #15
    Rob Mayes RJM2096's Avatar
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    Oil Fill Cap

    This seems similar to removing the oil fill cap frame. It is held in with the pressure of an O-Ring. It had to pop out. I spayed it with silicon spray when re-installing.
    Rob Mayes
    www.cyclecranks.com | 2000 BMW R1100RT (Current) | 2000 HD DynaWide Glide (Current)
    1985 Honda Magna V-65 | 1970 Norton Commando | 1966 Triumph Chopper | 1962 Honda 125 Sport

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