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engine oil hide-n-seek


MontanaBud

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Hi all. Question about my 04 1150RT (102k miles).

 

I'm on a road trip, right now in Denver, and a couple days ago I could find no oil in my sight glass. I added a couple ounces, but still nothing. Drove it some, let is sit overnight on the side stand, still nothing. This was odd because the bike doesn't really ever "use" oil.

 

I drove it to a level site, parked it on the side stand for 20 minutes, then put it to the center stand, and still nothing. I added nearly a half liter of oil until I could spy just a bit of oil at the bottom of the sight glass, and then continued on.

 

Many miles later, at my next stop, the sight glass is totally full. Now I'm starting to smell the oil. Should I try to drain off a half liter or so?

 

Thanks for your help.

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Morning Bud

 

First thing I would do is repeat the test you did where you found the sight glass full.

 

 

If still full/overfull then lean the bike slightly to the right to determine how overfull it really is.

 

If just a little overfull then leave it be, if a lot overfull then maybe drain some off.

 

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szurszewski

It's probably overfilled. There are many threads here and elsewhere about this. Some bikes, like mine, don't seem to like to show oil in the glass most of the time (though it will right after an oil change), and then kind of randomly will. If I put in oil every time a check of the sight glass told me I should...well, I'd add a lot of oil. A LOT of oil.

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I'll get someone to help me with the tilting sight glass check.

 

If the oil was actually at mid-point in the sight glass, and I then added a half liter, how overfull could it be? In other words, what amount of oil is the difference between bottom, center, and top of the sight glass? Is it 4oz between each point? I can't recall.

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Afternoon Bub

 

This is from a BMW oil-level service bulletin---

 

"The red ring of the oil sight glass has a diameter of 25 mm and

this corresponds to a difference of approximately 0.5 litre in the quantity of oil in the engine.

 

An oil level found to be midway up the sight glass when the oil is checked at operating temperature can drop to “minimum” when the oil is checked again at a very low temperature".

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8 oz between each point; 16 oz total bottom to top. Source: BMW Rider's Manual

 

When comparing oil levels at different times, try to measure at operating temperature.

Thermal expansion of new (unused) oil:

4 qts from 60 deg F to 200 deg F = .2184 qts or about 7 oz - in this case, almost half a sight glass. Engineering Toolbox online calculator

 

Heh - while I was looking this up, DR posted his reply. Same thing. :)

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Yeah, the only problem I ever had with the level was right after changing the oil once and the oil (being new) was so clear I thought the level was low when in fact it was so full it was above the glass. Apart from that I've never had to do the dance for some reason; it's always been very consistent and obvious where the level was. So do some bikes act oddly in this regard and others not? Hmmm....

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  • 2 weeks later...
foundationapps

Here's what I did to find the missing oil...

 

Bike on centerstand, weight on the rear tire. Rotate front tire clockwise if you're looking at it from the left side. Make sure road or bug particulate matter doesn't drip onto your foot.

 

Then, reset the trip meter to "0". Turn the key on, then off, then off, then on.... but don't start.

 

At this point, make sure the refueling MC-130 is on station... tip to the left, then to the right, then check the level.

 

IF, there is no oil in the window, drain all the oil out, leave the filter on, then refill all oil back into the filler hole.

 

Wait 10 minutes, recheck oil.

 

Repeat as needed.

 

Have seen this odd situation about half the time I check my oil. I tend to ignore it until I get 3 bad reads in a row. Kinda like reading blood pressures.

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foundationapps

:) Of course I Jest, and don't call me Shirley... Airplane 1976 (roughly)

 

Almost forgot to add on finding the missing oil. Before you approach the RT, execute a few SDRs, put your RT under direct visual surveillance for the rough time it takes to drink 1 very cold beer, approach cautiously using multiple J-hooks, and surveillance your OWN backtrail... low crawl across the floor and creep up on the window from the right side and below using a dental mirror for indirect observation :) The dang thing can sense you coming ....

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Glenn Reed
:) Of course I Jest, and don't call me Shirley... Airplane 1976 (roughly)

 

Almost forgot to add on finding the missing oil. Before you approach the RT, execute a few SDRs, put your RT under direct visual surveillance for the rough time it takes to drink 1 very cold beer, approach cautiously using multiple J-hooks, and surveillance your OWN backtrail... low crawl across the floor and creep up on the window from the right side and below using a dental mirror for indirect observation :) The dang thing can sense you coming ....

 

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