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Old 25 Jan 2001
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Location: Wirral,UK
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Leaky R80GS pushrod seals


My R80GS pushrod seals are weeping slightly and I'm wondering if anyone knows any tricks for getting them to seat without removing the heads.

Can I expect the slight weep to quickly turn into an ecological disaster or should I just forget about it?

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Old 25 Jan 2001
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Location: Vancouver BC Canada
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The seals won't turn into an ecological disaster anytime soon.

When the bike warms up, the cylinders/heads move and expand slighty, which, when the seals are new and soft is easily dealt with and there are no leaks. As they age and harden, they are no longer able to seal properly, as they're just too hard to flex enough to maintain the seal.

They will weep for many thousands of miles, very gradually getting worse. Weeping for 10,000, even 20,000 kilometres is no surprise.

They are easy to replace when it comes time. And if someone suggests banging on the collar just above the seals on the pushrod tube, it won't work on yours. It worked on approx. pre 1980 models only - and then temporarily.

Don't worry about it until you have an opportunity to deal with it easily.

Note - if you have the topend off for any reason it's worth replacing these, as well as the o-rings on the studs. They aren't expensive.

Grant Johnson

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Old 20 Mar 2001
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Join Date: Mar 2001
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The only advise I can offer on this problem concerns removing the heads and reseating the pushrods. When doing this I understand it is important to drive the pushrod guides out of the heads about 1/8th of an inch (2-3 mm). When you reinstall the heads this will force the seals to seat firmly.
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Old 29 Mar 2001
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Location: Berkeley, CA, USA
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I haven't kept up well with this discussion group, and I see your post is two months old. Everything Grant told you is true, however I've been told that tapping in the seals themselves a little bit (as opposed to tapping in the collar, which in the newer models is brazed to the pushrod tube)well stop the weeping for a while. Letting them weep won't hurt anything, but is a little messy. I recently installed new ones, and it is about a half a days job, if you take the time to decoke your heads and pistons, etc.

You can shorten the job by only removing the cylinder far enough to replace the seals. This way you don't have to mess with the piston rings and stuff.
Bob Shilling, Berkeley, California

\'88 BMW R100GS, \'91 BMW R100
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Old 29 Mar 2001
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Wirral,UK
Posts: 170
Thanks for the advice guys.

Although I'm not particularly experienced with engine work, I think I'll replace the seals myself before I set off. No real point starting with a leak! And, at least then I'll know what it looks like inside.

Good ideas about leaving the pistons in the barrel.

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Old 25 Jun 2014
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Hi Sean

Did you ever get round to changing them? have the same issue.

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