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oil level..


just954rr

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i changed my oil and filter the other day,(3 quarts and a full filter)..rode 10 miles or so, bike sat over night...and ..heres the current level..should i add more?...

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Bike should take 3-3/4 Qrts (that includes the filter.

You MUST do the oil dance to get a 'good' reading on oil level.

Ride till bike is fuuly warmed up (5 bars) cha cha cha

Place on side stand and do si do with your partner for 10 minutes

Place on center stand and spin your partner around for five minutes

Check oil level and leave the dance floor wave.gif

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thanks for the laugh........so i guess its ok then..just ride it?.. i know theres 3.750 QTs. in there,...somewhere.

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I'm sorry, but I just can't believe all that oil dance is necessary.

 

I just park mine on the center stand. When I come out in the morning before a long ride (not every day), I look at the oil level in the sight glass. If I can see a line between oil and no oil it is fine. If I can't see a line it is either too low or too full. With clean oil, too full might be hard to tell from too low. That is only a problem right after refilling. The best suggestion I have heard for distinguishing between too full and too low requires two people. Lean the bike to the right and see if a line appears.

 

It has worked for me for 75K+ miles.

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I've seen some suggestions around here that if you put the bike on the side stand and can see oil, you are good to go. I'm not sure if that's true or not, so I'll settle on "it might be good enough". For me, when the oil is that low, I get a lot more noise out of the cam tensioner on startup and an impression of more noises overall. Also, I measured just over 3qts after changing from this level.

 

So, I occasionally do the dance, but just try to generally keep an eye on it since it is still using oil.

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ShovelStrokeEd

OK, here is what I do on the 1100S, 51K miles so far. It would be more but I put 20K on my Blackbird in the last 7 months and haven't ridden the S all that much.

 

Change oil and filter, 3.75 quarts, including the prefilled filter.

 

Ride bike for 6000 miles, change oil and filter. I'm probably near a quart low at that point but don't really care. The motor doesn't seem to either. It is running fine and has nearly equal compression in both cylinders. I haven't had to touch the valve adjusters for the last 20K miles either.

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Look at glass + see oil = ride bike.

 

With nearly a US gallon of capacity, and only a few onces difference from the bottom of the glass to the top, it just isn't that critical of a thing.

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I also am having a slight oil level issue. Bike just had an oil change when I first got it, bike was low on oil. Glass filled on side stand, and almost none on center stand. Now after about 800-900 miles almost none in glass, and just under completely full on side. Now nothing is leaking and nothing is wet could I be burning that much? This is my first BMW, it is a 99' RT with 57,900 I picked it up with just shy of 57K a few weeks ago.

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The difference you describe is only a few tablespoons, so yes, you may well be burning a tablespoon or two every 1000 miles.

 

See Ed and Ken's posts above. I follow a combination of the two. Change oil, put in 3.75 qts, ride bike 6000 miles, change oil. However, when on long trips I take a little with me and look at the oil on the sidestand occasionally. If it gets down to about 1/2 to 2/3 full on the sidestand, throw the extra .25 qt from the last change and ride the remaining couple thousand to the next oil change.

 

People tend to put way too much emphasis on the oil level. Change the oil and ride the bike. Unless a huge leak develops (that you're likely to notice), you really don't need to be adding oil all the time. Between the uncertaintity in getting the oil to all drain out of the cooler and back to the sump and the small difference (~1/2 qt) between a full and empty sight glass; you can drive yourself mad adding a few ounces of oil every 1000 miles.

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I also am having a slight oil level issue. Bike just had an oil change when I first got it, bike was low on oil. Glass filled on side stand, and almost none on center stand. Now after about 800-900 miles almost none in glass, and just under completely full on side. Now nothing is leaking and nothing is wet could I be burning that much? This is my first BMW, it is a 99' RT with 57,900 I picked it up with just shy of 57K a few weeks ago.

 

Try not filling the oil for a while, whilst keeping a weather eye on it. These bikes do use oil but they use more when filled to the top. Look at the airbox drain. If there is much oil in there then it is blowing out of the breather into the airbox (NORMAL for a small amount). My bike seems to like the oil level below the dot, kept there is consumes about 1/2 litre between 6000 mile services. i.e. I do not need to top up but the level drops to the bottom of the glass.

 

Andy

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Back when I used to worry about oil level I was quite the Fred Astaire.

 

Then I discovered that if you just put the bike on the side stand and you see oil to the halfway point in the sight glass you are good to go. After extensive research I found that half full on the side stand = bottom of the sight glass on the center stand.

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OK, HERE'S THE SKINNY FOR, PERHAPS, THE UMPTEENTH TIME.

 

No, I'm not shouting or upset. Just kind of amused and reliving sooo many previous discussions. You see, it does seem as though every six months we cover the same issue. And, since I've been on this board about 6 years, it does get a bit repetitious. Nevertheless, it is new to those who ask, so with a smile on my face here's what we came up with years ago after much discussion and debate. As always, feel free to disagree. However, logic and 90,000 trouble-free miles on my RT tell me this works.

 

-----

 

You will likely never get a consistent, day-in/day-out reading on your sight glass. This is because of the oil cooler and the oil cooler lines. Sometimes, when you stop your engine, the oil cooler lines and the cooler itself will drain down into the crankcase. This gives you a proper oil level reading. Sometimes they will not drain. This is simply because the stars aren't right and an air bubble didn't get started up the oil lines allowing the oil cooler to "burp" and to drain its contents down into the sump.

 

THEREFORE. . .

 

When changing your oil, you should put in 3.75 quarts (no oil in the filter). With the bike on the centerstand, start your engine for a minute, then shut if off. Do this up to five times, each time stopping for 3-5 minutes and then checking the oil level in the window. If at any time you see oil in the window, you're done. Go riding. If not, then add oil slowly until you see it in the window. That's all. You do not have to get the oil up to the red dot in the middle of the window.

 

IF YOU'RE NOT CHANGING OIL, JUST CHECKING. . .

 

In this case, centerstand the bike and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. If you can see oil anywhere in the window, go have a beer. You're good. If not, just add enough oil so that you can barely see oil at the bottom of the window. Then go have that beer.

 

HERE'S WHY. . .

 

The difference between oil at the very bottom of the window and oil at the middle of the window is about 3-4oz. Your oil cooler and lines holds about that much. IFIFIF you can see oil in the window, and your cooler is not releasing its oil to the sump when you stop the engine, you have the correct amount. Some day, when the oil cooler DOES release its oil into the sump, you'll miraculously have oil right to the middle of the window. Now, if your oil cooler IS releasing the oil to the sump, and you only have oil up to the bottom of the window, then you're only 3-4oz low. 3-4 ounces, as a percentage of 4 quarts, is negligible. The thing is, you don't know for sure which of the above is happening.

 

WELL, WHAT IF. . .

 

What if you fill the oil up to the middle of the window while the cooler is retaining its oil? In such a case, you have too much oil in the engine (although the sump reads the correct amount). What happens is mani-fold. First, your excess oil will mist up and out through the breather line and into your air box. There, it will collect in the bottom of the airbox until it reaches a volume (only a few ounces are needed) whereby it starts to overflow and drain down into the intake tubes. This will cause your engine to ingest and burn this oil, causing a bit of smoking, but more importantly causing the burnt oil to cake onto your exhaust valves. Not good. (side note: always drain your airbox during a service ---- there's a 1/4-turn drain plug on the bottom left of the box behind the left side panel ---- be sure to have something small, like a styrofoam cup, under there to catch the oil).

 

Second, too much oil in the crankcase reduces the air volume in the crankcase. Since on the boxer twin both pistons descend in their strokes at the same time (one side is on the power stroke, the other on its intake stroke), the ability of the crankcase to breathe, as well as slightly compress its remianing air volume, is compromised because of the reduced air volume. This can cause a slight increase in engine vibration. No, it won't turn it into a paint shaker, but it can make it buzz a bit more than usual.

 

Third, crankcase pressure is one of the contributing causes to the oil sight level glass blowing out. It's rare, but it has happened. And when it does, your crankcase's contents empty onto the lower back half of your bike (including the rear wheel/tire) in about 4 seconds. Dangerous, ugly, smelly, and not fun to clean up. Not to mention the truck ride home for you and the bike.

 

SO. . .

 

There are eight ways to skin a cat. None of the "other" methods of checking/maintaining oil level is going to cause engine damage. You can follow the advice above or you can go your own way. In any case, if you use good judgment and change your oil frequently, you'll be fine. But we DID have exhaustive discussions on this years ago, and have had similar discussions since. The above are the conclusions many of us came away with. YMMV.

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side note: always drain your airbox during a service ---- there's a 1/4-turn drain plug on the bottom left of the box behind the left side panel ---- be sure to have something small, like a styrofoam cup, under there to catch the oil
Since I have the tupperware off right now I think I'll go and do that, I didn't discover the drain plug until the last TOR and have never drained it in 106,000 miles...

 

Maybe I should take a bucket rather than a styrofoam cup?

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ShovelStrokeEd

Won't matter much, Bob, the oil will dissolve the styrofoam cup and it will all wind up on your driveway anyway. tongue.gif

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Just kind of amused and reliving sooo many previous discussions. ... every six months we cover the same issue. ... it does get a bit repetitious.

Yet the Oil FAQ remains empty.

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Long_Haired_Rider

A buddy of mine is a state trooper that's been riding BMW's for years and umpteen miles. His advice to me was to put the bike on the side stand for a few minutes to allow the oil to drain down from the oil cooler. Then put it on the center stand to check the oil level. He warned that if you add too much oil, (i.e., cover the window), that the window will blow out in short order.

 

Also, if you are new to the site who cares what was discussed 6 years ago? I for one don't have time to search through 6 years of posts.

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Ooooowww.... testie...

 

After six years of repetition you would be exasperated too. Additionally, don't even mention tires or type of oil to use to FB....

 

grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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Also, if you are new to the site who cares what was discussed 6 years ago? I for one don't have time to search through 6 years of posts.

 

Yeah, but it was discussed last month, and the month before that, and the one before that. You only need to look through 6 weeks of posts, not six years.

 

Andy

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After six years of repetition you would be exasperated too.

After six years of repetition, as an administrator, I'd have put the contents of my post into the Oil FAQ and pointed the enquirer to it.

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Oh fug... he posted an oil thread grin.gif

 

Here we go.... wave.gif

 

OBTW... Welcome aboard, we all hope you enjoy your ride, we're having a little fun here.....

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i changed my oil and filter the other day,(3 quarts and a full filter)..rode 10 miles or so, bike sat over night...and ..heres the current level..should i add more?...

 

I'd wait a week or two before mentioning the bike "surges"......... dopeslap.gif

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I am aghast at the irresponsible advice you have received above. I mean really...a newcomer just looking for a little tech-love, and this is what you get? We should all be ashamed of ourselves.

 

Ok then, here's what to do. Just print this thread and cut out the below image - stick on your sight glass and you're all set for next 6,000 miles or until your next oil change. Then just print another, easy as pie.

 

78858400-Ti.jpg

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