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Collapsed oil filter

Rick Schroeder
(@red-horse)
Trusted Member Expired Membership

performed an oil change on my 81 R100RT w/ 72+k miles.  After completing the "routine" procedure, i started the bike to check for leaks, etc.  The oil light took a little longer (20-25 secs.) to come on, but did eventually and stayed on.  I was not happy with the length it took for the light to come on and fearing the dreaded O ring issue. I removed the filter cover and found the collapsed section (see pics).  I checked the box the filter came in and it was not damaged.  I purchased the filter from a well known vendor who advertises in the Air Mail.  It is the correct filter for the bike, 575.  Now if the filter was damaged prior to installing and i over looked it, bad on me.  If the filter collapsed after installing, bad on the manufacturer. Not only were the pleats crushed but the metal liner with the holes inside also crushed. This was only in one of the two sections.

Maybe just a word to the wise, check the filter prior to installing.  Now my question is on the hinged filter does the section with the 3 metal flanges go in first or does the section with the rubber tip go in first?  

I've owned the bike since '81 and have always done oil changes in the same manner.  One shim, white O ring, black O ring, paper gasket.  Never had an issue before.

rick 

81 R100RT

Quote
Topic starter Posted : 01/23/2021 13:04
Richard Whatley
(@wobbly)
Member Moderator

Your issue is not your work or work process. And to tell you the truth, your filter does not look too terribly bad. A real case of "collapsed filter" makes the element look like it's been crushed with pliers.

There are other reasons you can experience the same results....

• Oil too viscous for the season. You did not state which "weight" of oil you were using, nor your locale. 20W50 might be fine in Arizona in January; in Maine or Canada... not so much. To tell the truth, if you are riding in 50 degree weather, an Airhead runs so cool that 15W40 is all you need.

• Secondly (and you should really check this out), the oil filter by-pass valve. Every oil filter has a pressure release which allows oil to go around the filter element when the filter is clogged, or when the oil is too viscous (cold). A "spin-on filter" has an internal valve which you can't see. In a cartridge type element (like our Airheads have) the by-pass is built into the engine block. The valve is located in the back of the oil filter cavity, near where the oil filter post enters the block.

It's the "screw looking" device right at 3 o'clock from the post. First thing you do is order a new screw cap, ball and spring. Then trim a long screw driver blade to EXACTLY fit the new screw cap. Then take your modified screwdriver and remove the old screw cap. Use a stick magnet to pull out all the pieces of the 3 parts. (It is common for the spring to be in several pieces, as shown in the photo below.) Use thick grease on the end of your screwdriver to install the new spring. Use thick grease to place the new ball inside the screw cap. Use the same grease to place and install the screw cap-with-ball back into the engine block. 

?1

Hope this helps.

[color=blue]Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
#15150[/color]

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Posted : 01/24/2021 06:48
Rick Schroeder
(@red-horse)
Trusted Member Expired Membership

I cut open the filter and you can see the damage to the metal core.  Can this really happen with the amount of pressure in the system?  

I'm in the Finger Lakes area of NY.  I've been using 20w50 for the life of the bike.  I will let the vendor know about this defective filter.  I'm also looking into replacing the by-pass parts at the back of the canister.  The small screw holding the parts in seems to be held by some sort of "keepers" or tabs in the slot not allowing the screw to be removed.  Is there a certain method to removing the by-pass valve with the modified screw driver?

rick

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Topic starter Posted : 01/24/2021 13:44
David Elkow
(@4949)
Trusted Member Expired Membership

Holy smokes, that looks stepped on. Can’t imagine being crushed like that from oil pressure. The crease in it makes it look to me like it was “mechanically” crushed. The pleated paper was probably rebounded enough that you didn’t notice on the way in. I’ll be checking mine now!

ReplyQuote
Posted : 01/24/2021 18:19
David Elkow
(@4949)
Trusted Member Expired Membership

Really really good that you suspected trouble when the pressure light was slow to go out, and took it back apart!  Wow. You know your bike well, and went with your gut.  Excellent save!

ReplyQuote
Posted : 01/24/2021 18:27
Richard Whatley
(@wobbly)
Member Moderator
Posted by: @red-horse

I cut open the filter and you can see the damage to the metal core.  Can this really happen with the amount of pressure in the system?  

I'm in the Finger Lakes area of NY.  I've been using 20w50 for the life of the bike.  I will let the vendor know about this defective filter. 

It's not so much the "pressure" as it is the cold temperature viscosity of the oil. When 20W50 is cold it can take on the thickness of molasses. You can understand that even at 1 psi, molasses would crush a paper filter. Which is why I suggested a thinner viscosity oil for the winter.

If you want to use 20W50 during winter months, then you're going to need to 1) maintain your pressure regulator valve, 2) maintain your oil by-pass valve, and 3) keep the engine revs low until the oil thins out to its fully heated viscosity. Which, as previously explained, may take a LONG time. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with 20W50. It's fabulous oil, and I use it myself. It's how it's being used that becomes the issue.

 

Posted by: @red-horse

I'm also looking into replacing the by-pass parts at the back of the canister.  The small screw holding the parts in seems to be held by some sort of "keepers" or tabs in the slot not allowing the screw to be removed.  Is there a certain method to removing the by-pass valve with the modified screw driver?

The case has been dimpled at the factory in an effort to keep the screw cap from un-seating itself. The dimples are effective against engine vibration dislodging the screw cap. However, they are no match for "Mighty Rick" and his parallel blade screwdriver, especially when he places an adjustable wrench on the square shank to assist in loosening the screw cap. The screw cap will simply plow right over any dimples in the face of 6ft-lbs of torque. 

The "certain method" has already been touched on. The grove in the screw cap is machined with parallel sides. In order to apply ANY torque, the bit must also have parallel sides. If you'll spend 10 minutes perfectly matching the bit to the new screw, then it will take all of 30 seconds to come out. IF you bugger the slot of the screw with a poorly formed bit, then it may take you 15 hours and an entire bottle of Excedrin. Your choice.  It's a simple RH thread.

For installation I suggest you apply very light inward pressure and slowly turn the screw counter-clockwise. You will feel the threads of the screw cap fall into the threads of the case. THEN you can start your clockwise tightening sequence... again using the special parallel bit. The threads have been distorted by those dimples, so the screw cap will require 1 or 2 ft-lbs of torque to be installed. But that's your insurance it won't vibrate right back out. 

When the screw cap becomes flush with the engine case it will bottom out. You can use an adjustable wrench to seat it to ~8 ft-lbs and know it's in there for life. Do not re-dimple the case. Do not apply LocTite.

Hope this helps.

[color=blue]Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
#15150[/color]

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Posted : 01/25/2021 07:07
Joe Hall liked
Joe Hall
(@joe-hall)
Eminent Member Expired Membership

Question: If the spring is broken in the oil filter bypass valve, wouldn't that make it bypass the filter at a lower PSI than if the spring were in tact? If so, the problem would not manifest in a collapsed filter, but in a bypassed filter. Yes? No?

Thanks 

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Posted : 01/25/2021 08:09
Rick Schroeder
(@red-horse)
Trusted Member Expired Membership

Mr. Wobbly,

You answered my question to a T.  I'll be doing the replacement work as soon as i receive the new pressure relief valve parts (PRV).  

I did the oil change this past fall when it was still warmer.  I don't ride the bike this time of the year, too much sand and salt on the roads and too cold for these old bones.  

I noticed in your photo of the parts for the PRV, there are two springs.  On the MAX BMW fiche it only shows one. Are there two?  I'll be going through MAX BMW for the parts.

Many thanks again until the next issue arises-STAY SAFE.

rick

redhorse

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Topic starter Posted : 01/25/2021 09:54
Richard Whatley
(@wobbly)
Member Moderator
Posted by: @joe-hall

Question: If the spring is broken in the oil filter bypass valve, wouldn't that make it bypass the filter at a lower PSI than if the spring were in tact? If so, the problem would not manifest in a collapsed filter, but in a bypassed filter. Yes? No?

Thanks 

You are thinking correctly. However a lot of these have been reported broken, and I've experienced 2 in a broken state. When I repair a bike I like to take care of all the associated issues. I've learned the hard way that it's the only way to operate. It's the only way I can guarantee the work. You don't replace 1 main bearing. You don't fix the headlamp without checking the tail lamp. So I want the complete Oil System in perfect order.

Or look at it from the other side: If you don't do it now, exactly when would you check and/or fix this ?

Hope this helps.

[color=blue]Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
#15150[/color]

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Posted : 01/25/2021 13:37
Richard Whatley
(@wobbly)
Member Moderator
Posted by: @red-horse

I noticed in your photo of the parts for the PRV, there are two springs.  On the MAX BMW fiche it only shows one. Are there two?  I'll be going through MAX BMW for the parts.

Mighty Rick -

1) The parts fiche is correct, there is only one spring. The shorter one is what came out of my 1981 R100. That's what happens, the spring breaks and the filter by-pass is turned ON full time. IOW a large percentage of the engine oil is actually by-passing the engine oil filter !!

Be sure and use the fiche for your model year. There are 2 different springs and 2 different screw caps. The wise person orders both caps and both springs because the shipping is far more than the extra parts. 

2) AND... there is no telling where the remainder of the spring travels to. The next item in line is the oil gallery, which feeds the oil pressure switch and the main bearings.

 

Be sure and swish a stick magnet around in the well that's behind the screw cap. You really do want to get all the pieces of the old steel spring out of there.

Hope this helps.

[color=blue]Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
#15150[/color]

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Posted : 01/25/2021 14:01
David Elkow
(@4949)
Trusted Member Expired Membership

All this talk has inspired me. I ordered the spring, ball, and plug too!  Those bits are original in my ‘78 with 150k. I’ll make myself a custom screwdriver, and then, .... when my bike least suspects it, .... I’ll swap in the new parts.

Based on forum discussions, I’ve also ordered parts to freshen up my Bosch starter, plus a new positive cable, and starter relay. My starter is untouched for 42 years now. Those are some well made devices!

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Posted : 01/27/2021 14:02
Joe Hall liked
john stirling
(@arni)
Trusted Member Expired Membership

When I drained the oil from my new-to-me ABC member "maintained" bike I found chunks of oil filter in the pan. So that was a filter that broke up and the fragments traveled through the entire system. The black o-ring was missing so the thing was running on unfiltered oil. The engine was trashed. The PO generously supplied me with a couple new oil filters of the type he had been using. They were Hi-Flo Filtro, that is, Chinese junk. I only use good quality OEM filters, mostly Mann or Purolator. They are still the cheapest disposable item on the bike, to the disbelief of many owners who have never done the math.

 

Even good filters do not have an indefinite lifespan. The paper is cheap stuff, not acid free archival stuff. The acids in the paper eat the  fiber and the filters go bad just sitting. So I never stock up and I only buy from places that sell or use a lot of them so they have fresh stock. I would call Bobs a good choice because they use good filters for their service work. I have heard EME hs both good filters and junk ones but I suspect they turn over few of the good ones. Ebay: never.

 

When I change oil I check for left-behind rubber and give the relief ball a poke with a screwdriver. If it is nice and springy it's good. If it isn't or if the ball is cocked to the side it is bad. I never, ever, ever fix anything that isn't proven bad. I just suppress my neuroses and don't do it.

I never make a tool when I can go to the hardware store and buy one. If what I need cannot be bought, like the special wrench to get the nuts off to remove the rear drive on an '88 (BMW screwed that one up) then I modify or fabricate. Enderes tools make a nice 6 way screwdriver that is good quality,has parallel tip tips for the flat blades. Maybe USD6 or 7. I have one under the seat all the time. here's a Stanley from Walmart for less than USD5

https://www.walmart.com/ip/STANLEY-68-012-All-in-one-6-Way-Screwdriver/21155668?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=101005196&&adid=22222222227016784661&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=40872360392&wl4=pla-78765385472&wl5=9028883&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=141609952&wl11=online&wl12=21155668&veh=sem&gclid=CjwKCAiApNSABhAlEiwANuR9YMplyWJG6d9Yo2WUpP3dNlSZhUxq0ZumuB4McMUZeTggmkPusoGIoBoC4eYQAvD_BwE

 

 

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Posted : 01/30/2021 20:19
Rick Schroeder
(@red-horse)
Trusted Member Expired Membership

Just wanted to make a correction here.  I misspoke (or mistyped) when i wrote in the original post, "The oil light took a little longer (20-25 secs.) to come on, but did eventually and stayed on".  I should have said the the light went out after 20-25 seconds and did stay off.  

I'm still waiting on the PRV parts,  guess the parts came from Germany and now making their way through the USPS.                 Glad it's winter and not riding weather.

John, thank you for the heads up on the screw driver.

rick

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Topic starter Posted : 02/02/2021 15:57
David Elkow
(@4949)
Trusted Member Expired Membership

I kinda figured that .... you probably weren’t standing there saying, “whew!, sure glad that oil light came on and stayed on!”

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Posted : 02/02/2021 18:45

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