Burning oil but not smoking???

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by CurlyMike, Oct 13, 2010.

  1. CurlyMike

    CurlyMike Formerly SaddleSoar

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    So, have a 1977 R100 that I bought, have been ridding it for weeks, on and off. Oil light comes on the other day and I check the oil, none on the stick. CRAP. Put exactly to the line this morning, ride it 50-60 miles and just checked it, its lost about 1/4 of the level. I made several conscious efforts to look back and watch the exhaust and I never say any smoke, either on the acceleration or deceleration. It has very low miles and was a resurrection project that someone else did.

    Where is all of this oil going? There is about a quarter size drop of oil in the back right region of the pan, but not nearly that much oil. I would say rings locked but how so without smoking? O-ring on the pump?
    #1
  2. Hawk Medicine

    Hawk Medicine Coyote's Brother

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    Which line on the dip stick are you filling the engine to?
    Are you running 20/50?
    How many miles between oil changes?
    How many miles are you getting per added quart between oil changes??

    But once you say you have an oil leak, all bets are off. What looks like a tiny leak, could well be a river of oil under crankcase pressure.

    It also bothers me that you didn't that you were low on oil till the oil light came on. Don't you check you oil before you go for a ride? Somehow, I thought that everybody does that...
    #2
  3. CurlyMike

    CurlyMike Formerly SaddleSoar

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    I am sorry that it bothers you that I dont check my oil everyday, I guess I should. I ride just about everyday and leave the ranch in pitch dark at 6:15, I am sure I am not the only one that does.

    I am not an idiot, when I say the fill line, thats which line I mean.

    20/50, yes. Valvoline VR1 Racing 20/50

    Changed the oil when I got the bike, 2 weeks ago...

    I dont understand what you’re asking on the last question...

    When I start the bike, I dont see any oil coming out from anywhere. The spot I am talking about appears very small and I just assumed it was breathing.
    #3
  4. batoutoflahonda

    batoutoflahonda Long timer

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    I would put it on the center stand, level it and let sit for about 20 minutes. Check your owners manual and see if you are supposed to screw the stick in, or just rest on the the hole. Top it up, and ride it again and see what happens.

    ps
    I'm not disrespecting, but I have no idea if you have had an airhead forever, or just picked it up yesterday.
    #4
  5. Pigford

    Pigford British

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    As long as you check the oil level, the same way each time, it'll be accurate to see if the level is going down :wink:

    Its not always possible to see oil smoke from the exhaust when running at highway speeds.

    Does the motor run very hot?
    #5
  6. CurlyMike

    CurlyMike Formerly SaddleSoar

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    I have always checked the oil level with the stick just sitting on the lip ready to screw in, always check it the same way.

    How in the world do I know then, run in the dark with a light passing through it, would that show me anything? Have my wife follow me on the highway at dark?

    I wouldnt say its real hot at all...
    #6
  7. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    Now we are talking. No need to have your wife follow you. Just back up to the headlights in the dark and rev your engine. I bet you will see the oil then.
    That is were it is going I bet.

    I have seen a lot of beemers run out of oil. Until you learn its drinking habits, brand new or new used, check the oil every ride. If it is a long ride, check your oil DURING the ride. Opposed twins can be a virtual oil pump.
    #7
  8. danedg

    danedg Horizontally Opposed

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    I had a severe oil consumption problem after a rebuild...
    Turned out the 10mm bolts and the new oil pan gasket hadn't really said hello to each other...
    The threads on my oil pan bolts go ALL the way up into the case...
    The gasket wasn't seated, the bolts weren't snug... it wasn't LEAKING pre se, but the oil was pushing out during operation....
    Get DOWN on your knees and resnug them bolts up...
    I'll bet you they are looser than you wanted to find....
    ...and you have to tell us if they were.!
    After that... no more oil loss!:lurk
    #8
  9. Hawk Medicine

    Hawk Medicine Coyote's Brother

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    Well, unfortunately your description of whats going on is pretty vague, so I asked a few basic questions. And no, I'm not saying that you're stupid or anything but, I do have three BMW dipsticks in front of me right now and not one of them is marked with a "Fill" line. Just "max", 2ltr and "min". Most guys understand that the "Fill" line is the "Min" line (It's ordering you to fill the sump!) and that "max" line is the "Stop filling" line but from your description, I have no idea and now it sounds as if you don't either.

    My last question was to try and get some idea of your over-all oil usage. My R90 used zero oil between oil changes. Once the oil level reached the mid point, it stayed there forever, while my 82 R100 guzzles a half quart every 3K and and a full quart if I'm running it hard (80+ all day.) My newest R100 ,thats still wearing in the new rings, uses 1.5 qts per 3K if it's kept filled to the top and 1/2 qt, if its only filled half way between the min and max lines. Thats because it blows oil through the breather if it's kept topped up.

    Lastly, (And I'll repeat this.) if you have oil on the outside of your engine, if may very well be an indication of a much larger oil leak when the bikes is being ridden at road speeds. Me? I would check to see if that symptom is really an illness but you should do whatever you think best.

    I know whats going on with my engines because I check my oil frequently but since you cant be bothered... Well, the results of that are obvious and you shouldn't get mad at me for trying to help you out. Oh well...

    See ya later.
    #9
  10. CurlyMike

    CurlyMike Formerly SaddleSoar

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    Cant be bothered, is that what I said? I just dont understand your crappy attitude. OK, fill line. 1/4 of the distance from fill or max and the bottom line. It wasnt that unclear. If all you have to add to my thread is to say stuff like I cant be bothered, I would rather NOT get your input. I need assistance not ASS. I just dont understand. Do you need to tear me down to make yourself feel better. Bothered, thats not what I said and I am sure I am not alone about not checking my oil every day. On the bikes I know I check them every couple of weeks.

    Now an update, started at work and was OK, put the RPMs to it and it did smoke some. Did smoke, one some deceleration. So I guess rings are in order. Didnt leak a drop of oil all night or all day at work...

    My education and wondering is, why would it smoke worse from running it more? I though ring were supposed to try to free themselves the more they run? Also, going to check the breather tube...


    Just so you know mymindsok, I am putting you on my ignore list, congrats, you are my first one...
    #10
  11. batoutoflahonda

    batoutoflahonda Long timer

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    Well, you could do a compression test. Even a leak down test. You could also have worn valve components.
    #11
  12. ML WYDELL

    ML WYDELL NED

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    Curly mike,
    I too am having an oil issue. New crank, con rods, rings, cyl's honed. 1200 miles on the previous stated. When on the sidestand for an hour or more she'll blow blue smoke real good, center stand not quite at all?? I was recommended to do a leak down and compression test, cylinders could be egg shaped?? I'm very oil conscious, thats me. So I am checking and trying to get some "historical data" in the next weeks to see just how much is disappearing. On top of that, when I changed the oil I found flakes / mica in the oil filter chamber:eek1 Haven't mastered riding backwards to observe my vapor trail at highway speeds:lol3 I'll just carry xtra oil I guess. Good luck. My 5 cents.
    #12
  13. danedg

    danedg Horizontally Opposed

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    Gentlemen,
    It's all the NEW stuff....
    You've got to keep checking ALL the torques' ,etc. for the first 2000....
    driveshaft couplers, oil pan, head bolts, valve lash, exhaust header nuts...:ear
    #13
  14. Country Doc

    Country Doc Wanderer

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    Clearly it's burning a lot if you ran it down to the oil light in 2 wks, and lost 1/4 of the level in a 50 mile ride.

    I would expect smoking if it's burning that much, but who knows?

    Starting with a compression/leakdown sounds quite reasonable. The engine would be covered in oil if you're losing that much from an external leak on a short ride. You've got lots of other airheads based on your sig line, so obviously you know the breed.

    My '90 R100GS burned virtually no oil. My '76 R75/6 would burn about halfway down the dipstick every 1500 miles - it needed a top end rebuild, but also had a leak from the tacho drive seal on the front of the motor which did pump out a decent amount of oil over time. My current freshly rebuilt slash-5 has burned about a 1/3 down from the fill line in 2500 miles, much of which was probably in the initial ring break-in, so I'm happy about that.

    FWIW, I _certainly_ don't check my oil every ride either. If my bikes had oil issues severe enough to mandate check the oil every single ride, I'd fix them or have them fixed before carrying on. My KTM is a good example of that... :D

    I'd bet the top end is in need of attention. I don't put much stock in "low miles" anymore - seen too many bikes with tons of wear with low miles, and others with high miles that run forever. Do you know what was done recently on the motor?

    dc
    #14
  15. bmwrench

    bmwrench Long timer

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    I've seen several BMWs use large quantities of oil with no visible smoke; My original 1050 kit went through enough oil to get the oi light flickering in 300 miles. Compression and leakdown tests don't help in diagnosing this problem unless there's enough of a valve/guide problem to cause the valves to not seal; oil in the chamber will actually improve the numbers.

    Pull the spark plugs and look at the pistons with a small flexible light: if the piriphery is very clean, or you see a shiny glazed looking oil deposit, it's almost surely a ring problem.

    Getting the rings to seal in one of these motors, especially with modern oils, is a challenge. Proper piston to cylinder clearance, good cylinder prepartion, the right rings, assembly and break-in all are critical.
    #15
  16. MaraBiker

    MaraBiker Vozi Miško!

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    Some great info here. I have similar problem with the bolts on oil pan (maybe loose threads). Still need to check it out.
    #16
  17. nowhereman

    nowhereman I'm lost -don't follow me

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    I had something like this happen to me. My GS would need a half quart every 1000 miles or so. I usually ride by myself, so I couldn't really see smoke at speed coming out of my tailpipe. I finally rode in a group and the guy behind me told me that every time I pulled away with hard acceleration, I'd have a decent puff of smoke out of the tail. After deciding to replace my pushrod seals I had the heads inspected. Turns out my valve guides are way out of spec and I'm due a top end rebuild. I figure once I get that work done, I'll be in good shape again.
    #17
  18. rufusswan

    rufusswan Been here awhile

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    It happens. You can check for that condition by holding a piece of paper at the end of the mufflers to see how much crap (and what kind) comes thru the exhaust.
    #18
  19. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    I also got my heads rebuilt for the same symptoms, at about
    90K miles? No more smoke out the tailpipe, and considerably less oil loss.
    #19