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Oil Filter Gasket Failure


moscowbmw

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I've had my '03 R1150RT for a couple of months. One week ago Saturday I changed the engine oil myself. I've downloaded some great info from this forum grin.gif for doing my own maintenance, plus I made a trip to the local BMW dealer to get advice and factory parts (at least for this first time).

 

The oil change went fine and everything seemed normal for about 50 miles. Then, on the way to work I had a significant oil leak around the filter; while I was riding. I got the bike safely stopped before I'd lost too much; which is a good thing because the rear wheel was totally coated (lucky I didn't go down).

 

My super local mechanic, not a BMW specialist but very good all around, helped me get the bike on a trailer and back to his shop. When we pulled the filter we found that the filter gasket had failed. The easiest way to picture the failure is like you are pulling apart an Oreo cookie. There was a centerline crack all the way around the circumference of the gasket.

 

We thought two factors might have been the cause. 1) bad filter from the factory, or 2) I over-tightened the filter when I installed it.

 

I think #2 is most likely, but I'd be interested in any thoughts you could share. Thanks,

 

Mike

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We thought two factors might have been the cause. 1) bad filter from the factory, or 2) I over-tightened the filter when I installed it.

 

I think #2 is most likely, but I'd be interested in any thoughts you could share.

Personally I would guess #1. I've removed many filters that were on there so !@#$% tight that I just about had to blast to get them loose, but have never seen (nor heard of, before now) a gasket fail like that. I think the gasket probably had a freak manufacturing defect.
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glwestcott

I would suspect over-tightening also. Really, you need to just spin it down by hand until fingertight and then give another 180 degree turn and you're good to go. Over-tightening is what you need to watch for with so much when dealing with engines such as ours whether with the oil filter, drain plug, or other parts of the engine. On other engine parts, you're always putting steel bolts into aluminum and steel is much stronger than the aluminum. Oversnug those puppies and oooops, time for a permacoil! For many parts, such as your valve covers, its nice to have a torque wrench, but if you just snug things without cranking on them, you won't have any problems. My wife tells me she prefers that method also lmao.gif

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I think it's defective.

 

I don't think a gasket should fail with any humanly-possible torque applied to the filter.

 

Which brand filter did you buy? I wonder if the mfg. offers a warranty that applies to anything more than the filter itself.

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Mike, never seen an oil filter gasket failure like that before.. Are you sure it was the new filter’s gasket splitting in the center or is there a chance the old filter gasket remained on the engine block so you ended up with back to back gaskets (maybe even a gasket left over from a previous oil filter change).. Now that I have seen before..

 

If you still have the old removed oil filter see if the gasket is missing, still could have come from an earlier filter though..

 

Twisty

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glwestcott

Did you put a film of oil on the gasket before putting it on the bike. I could imagine a dry gasket coupled with over tightening could produce a shear.

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Mike, never seen an oil filter gasket failure like that before.. Are you sure it was the new filter’s gasket splitting in the center or is there a chance the old filter gasket remained on the engine block so you ended up with back to back gaskets (maybe even a gasket left over from a previous oil filter change).. Now that I have seen before..

 

If you still have the old removed oil filter see if the gasket is missing, still could have come from an earlier filter though..

 

Twisty

 

This was my first thought too

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Mike, never seen an oil filter gasket failure like that before.. Are you sure it was the new filter’s gasket splitting in the center or is there a chance the old filter gasket remained on the engine block so you ended up with back to back gaskets (maybe even a gasket left over from a previous oil filter change).. Now that I have seen before..

 

If you still have the old removed oil filter see if the gasket is missing, still could have come from an earlier filter though..

 

Twisty

 

This was my first thought too

 

My thoughts also. Only because I did it once. Didn't

get 50 miles though. More like the first stop sign.

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creekstone
Mike, never seen an oil filter gasket failure like that before.. Are you sure it was the new filter’s gasket splitting in the center or is there a chance the old filter gasket remained on the engine block so you ended up with back to back gaskets (maybe even a gasket left over from a previous oil filter change).. Now that I have seen before..

 

If you still have the old removed oil filter see if the gasket is missing, still could have come from an earlier filter though..

 

Twisty

 

This was my first thought too

 

My thoughts also. Only because I did it once. Didn't

get 50 miles though. More like the first stop sign.

 

+2 Right before I installed the filter on my last change, I discovered the old gasket was still attached to the engine.

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(maybe even a gasket left over from a previous oil filter change)..
Very possible, but I didn't mention it because it was mentioned that a pro mechanic pulled the filter and I would expect that any experienced mechanic would have noticed this right away... but except for that consideration I'd agree that it is the most likely possibility.
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I used a BMW brand filter. I know there are options, but I decided that I would use the factory filter for the first change.

 

I did lubricate the gasket before I installed the filter.

 

I don't have the failed filter, but I do have the gasket. I'll look at it again when I get home just to make sure, but it didn't look like two gaskets pressed together. If I can get a good picture I'll post it.

 

When it comes time for the next oil change I think I'll try to find someone more experienced and do it once with a partner. I told my wife that I'd save money by doing some of my own maintenance; she's not to confident of that at this point......

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(maybe even a gasket left over from a previous oil filter change)..
Very possible, but I didn't mention it because it was mentioned that a pro mechanic pulled the filter and I would expect that any experienced mechanic would have noticed this right away... but except for that consideration I'd agree that it is the most likely possibility.

 

expert mechanics have bad days too.

 

 

I told my wife that I'd save money by doing some of my own maintenance; she's not to confident of that at this point......

 

As long as you have some basic tools, you can do it. This way you can take your time and know it is done right.

 

We'll walk you through it. Just don't ask what oil to use...

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Moscowbmw,

 

When I recall that bmw's spin on oil filter (and its o-ring-like gasket) is virtually identical to all 4 wheeled oil filters and their total absence of major oil leaks, I think your problem was either a fluke (never again in ten thousand oil filter changes) or the result of one too many (that'd be two) gaskets/o-rings.

Ask the Missus for an old compact mirror and next time, use it and flashlite to inspect the oil filter's cavity, then with oiled gasket/o-ring and either 7 NM w/torque wrench or the "half a turn after contact" method, you'll be good forever (or at least until next oil & filter change).

Sorry to hear of your problem yet don't be put off by it; with visual examination, oiled gasket and correct (modest) tightning), it'll never happen again.

 

Komrad Wooster

 

btw, if you'd help me raise my 22 ft boat's 28 ft mast this saturday, I'll provide parts & change your filter free.

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