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Leaking valve cover gaskets - what did I do?


szurszewski

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szurszewski

I replaced my valve cover gaskets today with with new - both sides, inner and outer gaskets. They're are both leaking heavily.

 

The bike used to have these cylinder guard/footpeg/light mount things on it that were held on by cylinders that sort of hooked under the head of three valve cover bolts on each side (and then they had internal threads into which you'd screw the mounting bolts for the guards - no idea what brand or anything). I removed the right side apparatus when I put the sidecar on some months/1500 miles or so ago. Noticed just this week that the cover on that side was leaking/seeping. Needed to adjust the valves anyway, so I picked up some new gaskets as I've never replaced them in the ten years I've had the bike.

 

I also removed the cylinder guard thing from the other/left side. Since both sides now leak, and neither side ever leaked before, I'm wondering if somehow longer bolts were used for the guards or maybe a washer/spacer was removed? I haven't tried to pull a bolt loose from the cover - are they removable? Should there be anything on the valve cover bolts other than the rubber seals? I'm thinking maybe yes ....

 

It's hot here - for here anyway - so I'm taking a break for a bit and will head back out later to tinker around. May put the mounting parts for the guards back on and see if that stops the leak.

 

Thanks for your thoughts!

josh

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szurszewski

Gee - isn't the internet great? I think I may have figured out what I'm missing thanks to the parts fiche on MAX BMW's website. Looks like each cylinder head cover bolt is supposed to have a rubber bush AND some sort of metal washer/spacer that goes between the bolt head and said rubber bush; I don't have the metal bits :( and though the the rubber bits are available separately, the metal bits are not (and I really don't want to buy eight $20 bolt assemblies when I don't need new ones - for that price I could have picked up the Atlantis 3 gloves I was smart enough to only look at after I'd already paid for my gaskets this morning!).

 

I guess I'll hit the hardware store and see what I can find.

josh

 

 

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Lincoln_Faller

in a similar situation I just found some appropriate washers at my local Ace Hardware, and installed them between the rubber bushings and the heads of the bolts that hold the valve covers on.

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Michaelr11

I had a similar leak after I purchased my R1100RT. The PO had highway pegs mounted to the valve covers attached under the cover bolts. The rubber seals on the bolts were ruined by the peg attachments. Fortunately this only required new rubber bits for the bolts. All parts were there. I recommend NOT attaching anything extra at the valve cover bolts.

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szurszewski
I had a similar leak after I purchased my R1100RT. The PO had highway pegs mounted to the valve covers attached under the cover bolts. The rubber seals on the bolts were ruined by the peg attachments. Fortunately this only required new rubber bits for the bolts. All parts were there. I recommend NOT attaching anything extra at the valve cover bolts.

 

Yes - this sounds similar to what I had going on. I took the actual pegs off shortly after purchasing the bike, but left the guards/mounts in place because, well, I guess just because. I fiddled around yesterday with the rubber seals/bushings and figured out how they fit on there, but I'd guess mine are original or at least 10+ years old. Just pulling one out of the cover was starting to tear it, so I'm sure if I tried to get it over the bulge/stop on the bolt, I'd need new ones.

 

Since I wasn't going to try to get back to the dealer yesterday afternoon, I put the mounting bits for the guards back on and it seems good after a short run. Heading out this am, so I'll know for sure soon enough. Then I'll just need to get new rubbers, which appear to be only a couple of bucks each, and find some suitable washers. The stock ones are almost like a cover/finishing washer - maybe I'll get lucky at the local specialty fastener store.

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AnotherLee

Getting the new rubber bits on is easy if you heat them & lube them. Replaced mine at about 100K mi since they were starting to break down & leak a little.

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szurszewski

Good morning Lee!

 

I wasn't worried about getting new ones on - just didn't think I could get the current ones off without damaging them, and I didn't have access to new ones yesterday (was thinking to take off the rubber bits, put on some washers and then put the seals back on...but just gently prying the first rubber bush out of the hole started to tear the flange away from the shaft).

 

Until I did that to the one, they all looked just great - I guess they still all look great :) one just has tear you can't see anyway!

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