Alternate Oil Sight Glass?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by mdmaroon, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. mdmaroon

    mdmaroon Mike

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    Today I replaced the oil sight glass on my 2000 R1150GS because the old one started leaking.

    How is this part worth $50? That's absurd. It was made in Taiwan. It's worth $1.

    Hopefully I don't have to replace it again anytime soon, but if I do I'm going to be looking for some alternative. Maybe a generic sight glass from an industrial parts supplier.

    Has anyone been down this road? I did a lot of searching and didn't really find anything, but I'll even make something before I spend $50 on this again.
    #1
  2. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Must be more expensive in Canada than the US!

    Jim :brow
    #2
  3. mike54

    mike54 You don't get me

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    If you go to McMaster Carr and look at sight glasses you'll see that a sight glass with a temp rating above 200 degrees is going to be around $30. That's about what they are here in the US for the BMW part. I guess you could just epoxy a piece of plastic over the hole. That would be cheap and without the rubber is should never leak.
    #3
  4. Docholiday52

    Docholiday52 n00b

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    if this the same for both 1100gs & 1150gs, site glass for the R1100GS and R1150GS is approx $32 us and $50-70 CDN.
    it is a real ripoff up here in Canada on a lot of MC parts.

    Is there not a way one could create an oil sealable/lockable dipstick that would mount in a location, like the site glass, that could be a better option? given all the fancy dancing, correct warming, center stand balancing, etc that one is supposed to go through so that you get an "accurate" reading is very strange. BMW's huge research team could have come up with something a little more predictable and advanced. Maybe we just need a set of 3 weep ports drilled in the sight glass. if the oil runs out of the top hole, it's too full. if it dosen't run out of the bottom holl, it's too low. Hmm, what is the middle hole for?
    Well, maybe we need only two check holes.

    BTW, if you are waiting for the oil to drain down, I have found a great webste/service for those of us that like to be kept up on the latest mc racing news, or Rick Steve's hints on where to stay on our next trip to Europe for that long awaited bike trip! Check out UnoTelly.com! It is a service that lets you follow events and get replays of channels like Speed, PBS, Netflix, bbc, and a whole lot more in many parts of the world that would normally be only available in the USA.
    Especially good for those of us Up North while we are awaiting weather warm enough or at least less icy so that we can get back on the road with our favorite set of wheels! My R1100gs has some new Heidenaus that need to be scrubbed up!

    Any othe site glass options out there that anyone has tried?

    Doc.
    #4
  5. mdmaroon

    mdmaroon Mike

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    #5
  6. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    The spec says good to 100*C...
    That's not gonna cut it.
    #6
  7. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    Scroll down...they offer alloy/glass versions that will work.
    #7
  8. Spaggy

    Spaggy Long timer

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    Why should this BMW part be any different? Any time I've checked prices for part in Canada, they are 2-3 times more expensive than from the US. Check ebay, beemerboneyard or online parts guys like Max BMW. Tired of getting screwed over. Thought we were supposed to be nice. :rofl
    #8
  9. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    I guess I don't see it. The aluminum/glass ones seem to be screw fit but maybe I'm reading it wrong.
    #9
  10. lkchris

    lkchris Albuquerque

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    Suppose maybe things would be better if more people understood economics?

    There's lots of labor and packaging involved in shipping that part from the manufacturer to BMW Germany to BMW USA to a BMW dealer. Along the way there are lots of storage facilities with rent to be paid.

    Then of course there's the fact there are probably as many BMWs using this part in the world than Chevy made cars yesterday.

    If you have a rare talent and are willing to work for a dollar, come on down.
    #10
  11. Ron from BC

    Ron from BC Long timer

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    Seen similar discussions before.....sort of like when I just paid just under 5 bux for one rubber washer for one of the valve cover bolts last week. They retail at Max BMW for 2.25 :huh
    #11
  12. mdmaroon

    mdmaroon Mike

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    It's not that I don't understand economics.

    The idea is to avoid being involved in their economics by letting them keep their fancy package (a ziploc bag with a sticker on it) and their part in Taiwan.

    If I have to replace it again, I'm just going to make an adapter (I have access to a lathe) so I can use one of the cheap threaded fittings. I found one good for 180 Celsius for $8 on Amazon.

    The adapter would simply be an 8mm thick, 40mm diameter disc with an 0-Ring channel machined around the circumference and a threaded hole through the center. I'd use a tight fitting O-Ring and also silicone it in (with high-temp oil and gas resistant silicone). It wouldn't be a bad idea to put a couple of blind holes for a pin-wrench in it so it could be held while threading in the sight-glass. Making this would take about 20 minutes, and I'd enjoy doing it, so the value of my time is insignificant.

    I bet a person could have a local machinist or handyman make this for less than $50. They'd be supporting a local small-business, which is nice.

    Anyway, hopefully my new sight glass doesn't leak for many years. I just posted this thread for the benefit of others who might one day seek an alternative.
    #12