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Thread: 2007 R1200RT transmission output seal DIY?

  1. #1
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    2007 R1200RT transmission output seal DIY?

    How hard is this to DIY? I haven't found any writeups in the archives.
    Of all the maintenance items my "new" R1200RTP needs, this seems like a big one.
    Thanks.

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    Not hard- just be careful not to damage the new one when driving it in. About like any other seal.

    However, also be aware that once in a while a bad seal comes not from time and mileage but from a failing FD.
    Inspect FD for smooth rotation before going for the seal replacment to be sure yours isn't one.

    Seal is a bit over $30 as a part IIRC..

  3. #3
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    Not a hard one...Racer gave good advice, one thing I might add. Check the output shaft for play also while you are in there.
    To learn how there are several threads on "removing transmission" and "clutch replacement" which will get you where you need to go.
    One thing I learned which I will pass on....when installing the new seal, wrap the output shaft with packing tape before sliding the seal on.
    Don't ask me how I know!

    Ken
    IBA #44567
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
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    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Before disassembly of anything - what are the symptoms?

    If your engine oil is overfilled, and the airbox has oil in the bottom of it, it is not uncommon for the oil to run along the top of the transmission and weep down around the accordion boot between the swingarm and the transmission output boss. Dealers have mis-diagnosed this as an output shaft seal (BTDT..)

    Does the oil smell like transmission oil (strong smell..)? If not - it's likely engine oil, and the fix may be as simple as mopping up the inside of the air-filter housing.

    BTW - I can't imagine why it would be necessary to remove the transmission to replace the output shaft seal.. simply removing the swingarm should give easy access to it. Can someone/anyone enlighten me on this? And clutch - that's the other end of the transmission. He did say transmission OUTPUT shaft right?
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

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    This was part of my post-sale diagnosis by the dealer and the only non-maintenance issue they found.
    Form says "RENEW TRANSMISSION OUT SEAL - 2.52 hours" and part is "23127705087 1 SHAFT SEAL"

    Dealer is too busy to repair anyway, so I'm going to just get it home and will figure it out once it's there and report back.
    Thanks guys.

  6. #6
    Registered User natrab's Avatar
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    Looking at the RepROM, it doesn't appear to require removing anything but the swingarm. Then it shows a couple special tools for installing the new seal. If you wrap the shaft with tape, were you able to get the new seal seated without any special tools?

    I too am curious danix how they made that diagnosis without taking off your swingarm and looking at the shaft and seal itself (no way they did that in an inspection). They may have just seen oil coming from the top of the swingarm area and called it that.
    Nate R
    2013 R1200RT 90th - "Tyr" - Purchased 12/13/2013 brand new!
    2007 R1200S - "Sexy Beast"
    2006 R1200RT "Wōden" - 84k - Retired and sold

  7. #7
    IBA #44567 Ken F's Avatar
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    Yes, the Transmission OUTPUT shaft is what he and I were both referring to. I only mentioned the clutch threads because they also explain how to remove the para-lever.

    This can be done without the special tools you mentioned. The seal is driven in to butt up with a shoulder inside the recess. I used socket to drive mine in, using light taps with a small
    hammer. Read up on "phasing" your driveshaft beforehand. An extra set of hands is also helpful when re-installing the driveshaft/para-lever but can be done by yourself.

    I should add that mine is a R1100 not a R1200, but I'm pretty sure the procedure is the same for installing the seal.

    Ken
    IBA #44567
    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
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  8. #8
    Registered User natrab's Avatar
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    I don't think phasing is an issue with the R1200 drive shafts as they don't have any movement along the shaft. Only way they can be out of phase is incorrect initial assembly.
    Nate R
    2013 R1200RT 90th - "Tyr" - Purchased 12/13/2013 brand new!
    2007 R1200S - "Sexy Beast"
    2006 R1200RT "Wōden" - 84k - Retired and sold

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    Any seal is pretty simple, the bigger issue is getting to it and whether it requires any special tools. All you do to replace a seal is pry it out (maybe a screwdriver though sometimes you need to drill some screws into it to get a purchase) then drive in a new one. This seal needs some sort of raised driver to go over the shaft but it can be improvised or purchased as you prefer.

    For any serious work on your bike, the RepROM disc is your best guide. If you plan to keep the bike a while and do your own work it is a must have if for no other reason than it cautions the reader in places where mistakes can be made and calls out all needed steps. Its sections correlate to BMWs parts numbering system so going from the parts fiche to the manual is simple. Though written for pros, it is complete in the sense of covering all the steps, though, because it is written for pros, does not always tell "hows" to the level that Haynes, which is written for DIY types, will. The RepROM assumes the reader has the basic skills of any trained mechanic.

    You will be taking apart a fair amount of the rear of the bike to get at that seal (exhaust, footrests, swingarm) and before I did that I'd be darn sure I didn't need to do anything else while I was in there and that the seal really is leaking- there are a few other sources as has been noted. Parts are cheap when you look at labor that will be used- don't want to redo a job like that because something was missed or waste time on "not needed".

    Especially note Don's comment about smelling the leaking lube.Gear lubes (FD and tranny) contain molybdenum disulfide so have a strong sulfur smell- which engine oil does not. If you can't smell the sulfur, its engine oil from up top as Don notes.

    OTOH, if you're in that far and the input shaft seal also needs work, now would be the time BUT then you get to pull the tranny which means some "splitting", "hoisting" and much more time. That's the kind of thing that's darn slow the first time you do it but would be a lot faster the next time. Its also the point where many DIY types would fold and seek pro help.

    If you are methodical and have a decent tool assortment (or a handy Harbor Freight to add to it- their tools are actually getting reasonably decent especially for the price unlke a decade ago) - you can do the rear tranny seal if you don't want to pay someone else.

    Do remember a good indie shop will typically do this for less than a dealership. Smart owners know all the good help in their local area, not just the closest dealership. Your closest BMW club guys are your best sources if you don't- some good guys don't advertise as they have all the work they need. You can also safely put off a slowly leaking seal for a while- as long as its not so bad to coat your rear tire or empty the tranny of lube (it holds about a qt and runnig it a little low for a while hurts nothing).

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    Thanks racer7, great input as usual. natrab is my new-to-me close to local DIY guy, we haven't met yet but I have a feeling I'm going to learn a lot from him, and he's plugged into who the good independents are.

  11. #11
    Registered User natrab's Avatar
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    I have successfully gotten the bike down to the level to replace the seal. I'm just finishing up re-installing the drive shaft on my friend's bike after having the U-joints repaired after a failure. I haven't taken a really close look at his bike, but I can see the sealing ring and it looks like it can be pried off. From then I guess the plan would be to tape the splines off and slide a new seal down on it, then seat using a large socket or something of the sort.

    We're still not sure this is the problem. We could pull off the swingarm and everything and find the seal working properly.
    Nate R
    2013 R1200RT 90th - "Tyr" - Purchased 12/13/2013 brand new!
    2007 R1200S - "Sexy Beast"
    2006 R1200RT "Wōden" - 84k - Retired and sold

  12. #12
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by natrab View Post
    We're still not sure this is the problem. We could pull off the swingarm and everything and find the seal working properly.
    Before going to that trouble - have you SMELLED the oil?
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  13. #13
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    He hasn't seen the bike yet, this is all speculative.
    I got the bike disassembled yesterday (well, right panel off) and started on some maintenance.
    I can see how they diagnosed the seal, there is clearly some signs of leaking around that rubber boot at the transmission output.
    I forgot to smell it but I will do so later, I definitely know what trans lube smells like having done that service yesterday.

    On the other hand, dealer checked off that high/low beams were operational and I clearly have no low beams. Unless there is some trick to the switches I don't know about, they missed this item, so they could be off on the seal too. They also told me I needed rear brakes yet the form shows brakes checked off as OK.
    I'm quickly learning how to DIY on this model.

    9345704354_5ca27c0d80.jpg
    9342916607_040844bd10.jpg
    Last edited by danix; 07-22-2013 at 06:04 PM. Reason: added pics

  14. #14
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danix View Post
    He hasn't seen the bike yet, this is all speculative.
    I got the bike disassembled yesterday (well, right panel off) and started on some maintenance.
    I can see how they diagnosed the seal, there is clearly some signs of leaking around that rubber boot at the transmission output.
    I forgot to smell it but I will do so later, I definitely know what trans lube smells like having done that service yesterday.

    On the other hand, dealer checked off that high/low beams were operational and I clearly have no low beams. Unless there is some trick to the switches I don't know about, they missed this item, so they could be off on the seal too. They also told me I needed rear brakes yet the form shows brakes checked off as OK.
    I'm quickly learning how to DIY on this model.

    9345704354_5ca27c0d80.jpg
    9342916607_040844bd10.jpg
    The low beam only comes on with the engine running.. that catches a lot of new owners. The leak? Since it's the outside of the boot that looks grungy - I'd be sniffing it..
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

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    Well smack my ass and call me Judy...
    I thought that might be the case, but since the high beam worked I ruled it out, and with the engine half apart I couldn't test the theory anyway.
    Oh well, one less thing to fix. Thanks Don.

    Smelled the oil... can't really tell, there's not that much. Tempted to clean it off with carb cleaner and see when/how it reemerges.

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