Oil leak from above head gasket - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    I've been slowly going through some maintenance items on my F8S, and the latest issue I've noticed is that there is a slow oil leak from a hole just above my head gasket. Initially, I was worried the head gasket itself was leaking, but upon further inspection, it looks like the source is from the hole in the following pic, located just above the head gasket, on the left side of the engine:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://imgur.com/fhll3cD
    Please note, all pics should be rotated 90 degress CW. They show up fine on my PC, but they uploaded sideways on here. Click the imgur links to see them right side up.

    Some additonal pics, for reference:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://imgur.com/mfwUhcR
    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://imgur.com/E6D5Vsa

    It looks like I'm missing an M8x12 roll pin, according to the maxbmw parts fiche. But, the pics on that site are from the right side of the engine, so I could be wrong. Anyone have any insight as to what goes there?

    I was thinking it could also be an overflow, but I didn't see any hose connections near there on the parts fiche. Plus, it def feels like oil, so I'm inclined to think it's from a leak.

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  3. #2
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    The older ST’s leak at the valve cover on the left side,mines been sweating for some time,but not what I would call a “leak”.
    I just wipe it down when it builds up,it’s not worth the effort of fixing until it does leak.

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    it's a small drain hole that sits below the water pump housing, the gasket starts to weep between the water pump housing and engine head. The oil 'leak' is a small splash that comes from the chain that drives the water pump. It's is only very minor and as Mouse says, not worth the work to repair.
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, Spotlights, 50K Miles 

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  7. #4
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    Cool, thanks guys. I've been monitoring my oil level since I noticed the weeping. It didn't seem to be causing the level to drop much at all, so I was going to leave it alone. Nice to get confirmation this isn't a serious issue.

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    As DJ123 said it's a drain hole for the water pump. An oil leak there means that the engine side seal has potentially failed. While it seems it's not a big issue I'd monitor the scope of the leak at least once a year.

    One correction. The water pump is driven by a gear directly from the camshaft, not a chain.

  9. #6
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    I got the usual valve cover gasket leak. Had it on my first bike too, don’t remember what I did about it.
    I’m thinking on this one to just try and tighten the bolts? Should be factory tightened so maybe got loose. I have been ripping it pretty hard since I got the bike. I’ll check that when I Change the plugs and swap the front brake line here in a thousand miles. Was wondering why my shoes were getting dirty so quick, even tho miami is plenty dirty. Looked at the engine and there’s oil everywhere. Cleaned it up, keeping an eye on it. Had also put 20w-50 oil in it last oil change, which was my first on the bike, don’t know what he had in it, but with the heat down here I figured something with 50 at the end. Don’t know if that had anything to do with the leak. Think at 12,000 miles when I do all this other stuff, I’ll change to a part or full synth 15w-50.

    My Yamaha buddy would always talk about my 800 and my buddies R75 and R90 bmws leaking oil. Like yeah....they kinda do seem to. Shrug
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  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superduper View Post
    I got the usual valve cover gasket leak. Had it on my first bike too, don’t remember what I did about it.
    I’m thinking on this one to just try and tighten the bolts? Should be factory tightened so maybe got loose. I have been ripping it pretty hard since I got the bike. I’ll check that when I Change the plugs and swap the front brake line here in a thousand miles. Was wondering why my shoes were getting dirty so quick, even tho miami is plenty dirty. Looked at the engine and there’s oil everywhere. Cleaned it up, keeping an eye on it. Had also put 20w-50 oil in it last oil change, which was my first on the bike, don’t know what he had in it, but with the heat down here I figured something with 50 at the end. Think at 12,000 miles when I do all this other stuff, I’ll change to a part or full synth 15w-50.
    The bolts have shoulders so trying to tighten them further puts no additional pressure on the gasket while running the risk of stripping the threads.

  11. #8
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    Thanks, that’s good I formation.
    But it still could be possible that maybe they have loosened a bit to cause the oil leak to start, no? Guess maybe I’ll get a new gasket before the job Incase the bolts are tight, I’ll just replace the gasket.
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  12. #9
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    I replaced my valve cover gasket a few weeks ago.

    You will need the latest gasket kit which includes slightly different bolts which put a little more pressure on the gasket. A well known UK parts supplier initially sent me the old style kit and did not seem to know there was a new one. Do not use the old style kit!!!! It will leak.

    You also need to carefully apply blue hylomar gasket sealant.

    Mine no longer leaks. It is a challenging job but if you have enough competence (good amateur mechanic) and work methodically you will succeed. Consider changing the plugs and check the valve clearances while you are in there. You will have to move the radiator aside a bit but draining the water not necessary.

    Sit back and admire your clean dry engine. Good luck.
    Be aware I am not an expert. These are just my opinions. 

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  14. #10
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    Thanks. I’m probably just going to go in there and apply sealant and let it ride, probably won’t even check the valves.
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    Superduper, tell your Yamaha buddy all BMW’s don’t leak oil.
    I’ve had my F800ST for 8yrs, and had an R100RS for 25 Yrs, neither ever leaked oil.
    Now my Norton Commando On the other hand.......
    07 F800 ST 

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  17. #12
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    Any suggestions for gasket sealer ? Loctite or just regular caulk?
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  18. #13
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    https://rockitcool.myshopify.com/pro...ex-ultra-black

    Bought this stuff, any other thoughts?
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  19. #14
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    Just use gasket silicone sealant. I bought a tube of black one to match the gasket.

    I see you got exactly that. It will work fine.

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    Shoot, went in and did the work, what a challenge getting that damn plastic thing moved.
    Learned a lot, which is good because it seems to still be leaking. I should have just put sealant on the whole gasket but I just took the books instructions and put it on the side that usually leaks. Seems to be coming out of the front of the engine this time.
    I’ll have a look maybe Tuesday, do the job again. Really should get new gaskets but I’m broke.

    I put those E3 plugs in, seems to run maybe a little better, I guess.

    Also swapped out the front brake line, as well as bled the front and rear, brakes are feeling crispy.
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  22. #16
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    Hey all,

    Reviving my old thread since track season is starting soon. I was considering going to a track day (my first ever, and hopefully not last) but I was wondering if this small leak would cause me to fail tech inspection? I've been riding it like this for the past year, and haven't noticed any actual oil drops on the ground in my usual parking spots. Oil level has been stable as well. Haven't needed to add any oil between changes. I've been putting off fixing it, since the consensus seemed to be that it wasn't that big a deal.

    Thanks!
    Rod

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    No idea about track day regulations but no need to worry about oil level from a small leak. I mean, checking the oil level and wiping the dipstick won't affect oil level either.

    I'd get this seal fixed when doing a valve check as that way you're almost all the way there as far as disassembly goes.

  24. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ123 View Post
    it's a small drain hole that sits below the water pump housing, the gasket starts to weep between the water pump housing and engine head. The oil 'leak' is a small splash that comes from the chain that drives the water pump. It's is only very minor and as Mouse says, not worth the work to repair.
    So, I'm getting ready to do a valve check and coolant flush, and was thinking I'd try to tackle this as well. I found this on Max BMW, and I'm assuming either #4 or #7 on this drawing is the gasket you are referring to?



    Full-size image below:
    https://i.imgur.com/e3DeQc1.png

    I'm leaning more towards #7 since my oil doesn't look like it's been mixing with coolant.

    Also, since I'll be draining my coolant, would I be able to remove that housing cover at that time to replace the gasket? Or is this only accessible with the valve cover off? For some reason, my service dvd doesn't have anything on the water pump (possibly got corrupted when I transferred it from DVD to my flash drive).

    And actually, now that I look at it, it looks like I might need to remove the camshaft to access it, which would kinda suck.

    TIA!

  25. #19
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    Certainly looks to be part 7 or 11.

    Looking my Haynes manual, with the pump cover removed you do have access to the water pump and are able to remove it in situ. So you could replace O-rings 11 to rule them out. They also recommend adding a layer of gasket sealant to the back of it when re-installing to help prevent leakage.
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