Oil leak with synthetic? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2007, 5:47 pm Thread Starter
 
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Oil leak with synthetic?

I've recently developed an oil leak on my 02 K1200RS. It seems to have started after getting a level 2 service when the mechanic put synthetic oil in for the first time. Most of the problems seem to be coming from the rear main seal.

The mechanic tells me that this is likely due to the introduction of the synthetic oil and the only real fix is to take the transmission apart and replace the seal (a costly endeavor). As a short-term fix, he has replaced the synthetic oil with mineral based oil.

Has anyone developed a similar problem from using synthetic oil?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2007, 7:36 pm
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My leak started not long after switching to synthetic, but the dealer also over-filled the engine, so it's not clear which, if either, caused the problem. What is very clear, is that the rear engine seal, the transmission input shaft seal, and the clutch slave cylinder all have a known habit of failing, leading to premature clutch failure. Mine was repaired while still under warranty, and the dealer replaced the engine and transmission seal, and replaced the slave cylinder pushrod with one of a new design that incorporates a washer.

Just because the failure coincided with a change to synthetic isn't necessarily proof of cause and effect, it could be coincidence.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2007, 3:58 am
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I'm just replacing my rear seal, no leaks after 36K on non-synthetic, but changing the seal anyway. Yes it's a lot of work to get in there if the shop do it.

As far as I know its the original seal on my '97, but the seals could have been manufactured in '92. I'd rather use oil specified for the bike and components used when it was designed and built.

Being realistic, what are the advantages of using synthetics in a bike that wasn't delivered with it? If the oil actually extended seal and motor life, I could see a winning argument. The K motors will always have their weak points which are expensive to put right, so what in practical real terms do you think you get from synthetic oils and can you prove it? If you get anal about metal parts wear and engine seizure (unlikely) , it's the cost of replacing seals and other parts that will make repairs uneconomic in the future and the bike will head for the boneyard or in bits on Ebay.

Will I get 100K miles guaranteed from a K motor without any seal problems if I switch to synthetic? Nobody would give that warranty knowing the history of K motors. I choose not to change, stick with cheaper dyno oils, and change it more often to keep the metal bits away from seals.

On the leaking clutch slave/rod issue. That doesn't entirely stop the problem if it happens, as fluid can only escape under pressure down the pushrod bore in the shaft. I've drilled 2 small holes at the bottom of the slave cylinder housing - now clutch fluid under pressure from the master cylinder has somewhere else to go if the seal leaks, and it will be visible.



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Last edited by voxmagna; Jun 7th, 2007 at 4:03 am.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2007, 5:52 pm
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Synthetic Oil

I was wondering, My KR specifies synthetic for the final drive and have been thinking of switching to synthetic for the engine at 6000 miles. Is there a different principle working in the final drive as far as seal leaking goes that does not apply to engine seals?

Thank you for your time,
Eric
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Jun 7th, 2007, 10:37 pm
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Synthetic Oil Causes Leaks?

True synthetic oils (our government has decided that it's OK to label petroleom oil synthetic if it can be shown to perform as well as a synthetic!) often cause oil leaks. I have found this to be the case in older K gearboxes in particular. After having the pleasure of replacing the clutch in my K1 after the pushrod seal failed, I have not been tempted to try synthetics in my K1200RS.

Since I had to disassemble the gearbox to renew the seal in the K1, I had opportunity to check the rest of the box for wear. At 200,000 miles, mostly on petroleum oils, there was minimal wear.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Jun 8th, 2007, 4:11 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 54089093
Since I had to disassemble the gearbox to renew the seal in the K1, I had opportunity to check the rest of the box for wear. At 200,000 miles, mostly on petroleum oils, there was minimal wear.
Exactly! why take a risk and what benefit is there from switching oils? You've had a lot of riding miles and fun which is what a motorcycle should give you.



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