Seals Again & Again? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 12th, 2008, 4:10 pm Thread Starter
 
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Seals Again & Again?

I love my 04 K12GT. The GT fits my needs as a long distance ride. Problem is BMW stands for beaucoup maintainence work. At 18,000 miles I am on my second set of front seals. The tranny seals are leaking. Clutch is not slipping yet, but it is just a matter of time. The posts are so numerous on RS/GT seals failures, but I see nothing from riders or from BMW dealers on long term....... are there any better seals or is this something people are putting up with a second time, a third time, a fourth time...... Comments?

Last edited by PJDBMW; Feb 12th, 2008 at 5:59 pm.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 2008, 1:34 pm
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Seals again

Unless you're riding your bike off-road (seems unlikely), fork seals on these bikes usually last a long time. Have a good look at the fork tubes. Is the chrome failing or pitted? Were the wipers above the fork seals replaced at the same time, as they should be?

Running the gearbox oil a bit lower may help your other leaks, as well as avoiding BMW's synthetic gear oil.

The rear engine seal in my bike leaked for almost 20,00 miles, but finally stopped on it's own.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 14th, 2008, 8:42 pm
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I ran into the fork seal problem right after I bought my bike in 98 took it in twice under warranty and still had problems. It turned out to they had put the seals in up side down I found this out after replacing them once again myself. It can be done, if you take them out look real close you'll see witch way they should go in also if you pull the strut from the bottom the seals go in real smooth.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 15th, 2008, 2:21 am
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Duh oh..I don't think OP was referring to FORK seals !!"Off rroad""?The mighty K?? Don't think so.

No,he was talking about engine and transmission seals. Sounds familiar.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2008, 7:57 am
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I think the K motor in certain riding circumstances (Urban/City/commute) is just running too hot. When I replaced my seals at 36K the polymer was very hard on the old seals.

I also noticed they use a very shallow seal depth in some critical places. If the seal is very shallow I wouldn't expect it to have such good lateral stability around the seal edge. Some but not all of the seal sizes can be bought in Viton from seal suppliers. Viton has a higher temperature rating, but is slightly harder. Some of the oem seals (e.g the large rear drive seal) have a special lip seal you won't get from a seal supplier. My personal view is this is a bit of fancy design that's wasted because the bearing appears to fail before the seal, so I'd still consider a standard lip profile.

I never used the fancy Teflon seals on my rebuild and it's too soon to say if I can get more mileage. I plan to do some mods on the cooling before we start our Summer here. Sorry I can't offer a 'quick fix'. If you've been there on a K-Bike stripdown you may be more willing to risk trying something else than a first timer.

PS I fitted a pair of fork gaytors after replacing the fork seals 3 years ago and they haven't leaked yet.



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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 16th, 2008, 8:30 am
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the early years had a recalled or service bulletin on the fork seals.Cant remember which.I think they changed fork seals 3 times before they got one that worked. My 98 RS had leaky fork seals at 6,000 miles, but new seals been good for 20,000 and wernt hard to replace.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 17th, 2008, 8:51 pm Thread Starter
 
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Seals.....More...

Thanks for the comments. I was not referring to the fork seals. My troubles are with the engine seals and tranny seals. Front cover seals were replaced two years ago and have now failed again. Rear seals and tranny are now starting to leak.

The bike is a 2003. I have 18000 miles on it as I also have other bikes. My questions is, if I replace the seals now can I expect to do it again in about another five years or 18,000 miles? I am getting the feeling the answer is yes as the majority of the comments I read seem to say the seals are (1) of a poor design or (2) of a poor material (3) I am about to be on my third set of front cover seals (4) BMW seems to know about the seals but has paid no attention to it (or even acknowledged it) despite the fact that virtually all the GT/RS of this era will suffer the failures.

This is my first BMW. When I did research, I read quite a bit about the R Bike surging that was never acknowledged by BMW. Is it typical of BMW to ignore the issues?
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2008, 8:43 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJDBMW
Thanks for the comments. I was not referring to the fork seals. My troubles are with the engine seals and tranny seals. Front cover seals were replaced two years ago and have now failed again. Rear seals and tranny are now starting to leak.

The bike is a 2003. I have 18000 miles on it as I also have other bikes. My questions is, if I replace the seals now can I expect to do it again in about another five years or 18,000 miles? I am getting the feeling the answer is yes as the majority of the comments I read seem to say the seals are (1) of a poor design or (2) of a poor material (3) I am about to be on my third set of front cover seals (4) BMW seems to know about the seals but has paid no attention to it (or even acknowledged it) despite the fact that virtually all the GT/RS of this era will suffer the failures.

This is my first BMW. When I did research, I read quite a bit about the R Bike surging that was never acknowledged by BMW. Is it typical of BMW to ignore the issues?
Have you ridden your bike from new and what's your riding climate? If you ride mostly long touring rides with the temp guage not rising more than 1/2 way, that should be a cool reliable motor if my theory is relevant. If the motor oil temperature is consistently running high and debris remains in the oil, I wouldn't expect any seal to last too long. BMW have tweaked around with seals e.g telling us that Teflon is better, but if the fundamental problem is motor cooling requiring a substantial design re-think, I don't think you are going to hear much. I expect my car to run 100K+ without a seal problem, but then it has more than twice the radiator area of a K-bike and the large fan with good aerodynamic airflow design brings any temperature rise down in a minute or 2 to the thermostat level. A common problem with seals is wearing shafts, bearings and end float. I found my shafts as smooth as glass with no detectable wear in their bearings

The other factor may be oil change frequency. I replace all oils about every 4K miles, oil is cheap, and I've always used Dyno. Bikes have small oil sumps and the less debris floating in oil, the longer seals should last.

When I did a recent big teardown, I fitted a large circular Ferox magnet to the inside of the oil filter cover. I wanted to get neodymium magnets around the oil filter can, but there's no space. When I do the next oil change I'll let you know what if anything is stuck to the magnet.



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Last edited by voxmagna; Feb 18th, 2008 at 8:52 am.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2008, 10:15 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJDBMW
Thanks for the comments. I was not referring to the fork seals. My troubles are with the engine seals and tranny seals. Front cover seals were replaced two years ago and have now failed again. Rear seals and tranny are now starting to leak.

The bike is a 2003. I have 18000 miles on it as I also have other bikes. My questions is, if I replace the seals now can I expect to do it again in about another five years or 18,000 miles? I am getting the feeling the answer is yes as the majority of the comments I read seem to say the seals are (1) of a poor design or (2) of a poor material (3) I am about to be on my third set of front cover seals (4) BMW seems to know about the seals but has paid no attention to it (or even acknowledged it) despite the fact that virtually all the GT/RS of this era will suffer the failures.

This is my first BMW. When I did research, I read quite a bit about the R Bike surging that was never acknowledged by BMW. Is it typical of BMW to ignore the issues?
In your initial post..you stated that you had an 04' K1200GT. Now you say it's an 03'.....I get the feeling that you should learn how to do a front seal replacement and learn what your bike is really all about for yourself. If you want something done right...you have to do it yourself! Maybe while you're doing the work..you'll find out what year your bike is.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2008, 11:36 am
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I was just informed at my recent 18K service that my rear main seal is leaking. I'm asking BMW why my '03 low mileage bike now needs a 700 procedure when they've serviced it from new.

I'm hoping they'll contribute to the fix. If not I'll probably sell it while it looks OK and buy something else, which is a shame as I rather like it.
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