Water Pump Seal Repair FAQ

by Kristian #562 11/11/01
Updated 26 Mar 2003 by Spakur #1117
Please read the Disclaimer before attempting any work in this FAQ.
Last Updated: 16 Feb 2007, by Winter #1935

For Other Related FAQs:

Section 1: Introduction

First off, full credit goes to Michael #563 who wrote the original abridged version of this FAQ. I did this job myself a long while back and wrote a few notes on it at the time, which went into a few emails and Chain Gang responses, but I wasnt in FAQ-writing mode at that time, Id never written one in my life. Justin #843, who did his Water-Pump based on my early posts, also contributed some Great Tips & Observations. Flash proofed it and as always, sent a host of good tips. What can I say, the man's amazing.

The Chain Gang as a group have contributed huge amounts of information to this FAQ, so there you go guys, this is really your FAQ. You might even recognise something you posted. (btw, by guys I mean Guys and Girls. My fianc rides a motorbike, but when she rides, shes one of the guys).

This is a BMW. Why does this happen?

What are the symptoms and at What Mileage can I expect this to happen?

Test: Probe the weap hole "depth"

Congenital (frequent) waterpump failure: possible cause(s)

How far can I travel on a bike with these symptoms?

Section 2: Parts and Tools Required

What Parts Should I Buy?

Recap, referring to the Diagram:

Recommend: Part #7 & #8 are Imperative and come with the kit anyway.

Parts #3, #5 Get as Cheap anyway.

Parts #9, #10, #11 only if obvious Damage or Wear.

The BMW Coolant Repair Kit was $35-$45 in Jan 2003.

What Tools will I need?

Section 3: Repair Proceedure

So Whats the Procedure to Replace the Seals & Shaft?

Well, its basically the following 8 steps.

Drain Oil, Remove the Tank, Drain Coolant, Remove the LHS Engine Cover, Replace Shaft & Seals, Replace the LHS Engine Cover, Replace Fluids, Replace Tank, generally in that order.

  1. Drain your engine oil.
    1. See here for the Oil Change FAQ (Classic) or here Oil Change FAQ GS/Dakar. You should do this first and leave it awhile to cool, because you will want to do this with the engine HOT to Drain the Oil properly, however you dont want to be taking the Engine Cover off while Hot.

      Preventative Waterpump Only: From Flash #412 (Classic F). "I changed my water pump bits about a week AFTER I changed the oil. I didn't want to drain the whole mess, so I only pulled the bottom drain plug after letting the bike sit overnight. Not very much came out. I put a BUNCH of newspaper under the work area, but it didn't lose very much more oil while I was working on it. I drained the oil into a clean container and then poured it back in when I was finished. What I am saying is that if you are doing this PREVENTATIVELY, you do not  need to drain out ALL of the oil, just the sump."

      If you have a GS or Dakar you MUST Drain your Oil. Refer Misc. Waterpump FAQ's below.

  2. Remove the Fuel Tank.
    1. You need to do this to get access to the radiator. See the Gas-Tank Removal + Replacement FAQ for details. One guy tried (and managed) to refill the Coolant without removing the Gas-Tank, but even he doesnt recommend it. See the Coolant Change FAQ (Classic) if you really want to know how he did it.
  3. Drain the Coolant - Refer the Coolant Change FAQ (Classic) or Coolant Change FAQ (GS/Dakar) for details.

    1. Check the Radiator Cap for grunge and clean it.
    2. Locate the water pump cover which is on the left side of the engine towards the front.
    3. Remove the lower of the three Allen bolts and have a bucket ready. Put your bike on its side stand to empty some more coolant. Remove the remaining 2 bolts on the Water-pump cover. There is NO NEED to remove coolant hoses off the impeller housing to do a water pump seal replacement, just roll the housing, hoses still connected, up and out of your way, with string if necessary. If you do decide to replace the clamps, get some of these: New Clamps. Here's shot of the old and new clamps. See also the Hoses FAQ.
    4. The impeller is behind it and will now be exposed. You can try and knock out the Clampbush pin now if you wish, as it CAN make removing the cover little bit easier, but be gentle or you will damage the Plastic Drive Gear (Part #11). Note this is NOT necessary, as the cover will normally come off with the impeller and shaft inside it.
  4. Remove the LHS Engine Cover
    1. Remove the two bolts holding the starter to the LHS Engine Cover and let it hang. Marty #436 provided this great annotated Photo of the Cover.
    2. Remove your Gear Shifter. All it takes is undoing the Allen Bolt and wiggling it off the spline. Note the position first and if you havent moved it down one notch, nows a good time to consider it. See the Gear Shifting FAQ.

    3. Remove the Clutch Cable off the Fork Lever on top of the LHS Engine Cover. This entails loosening the clutch cable at your Clutch Lever on the handlebars, so there is enough play to get the cable off the Fork Lever. Flash #412 notes "You don't NEED to slack the cable adjustment at the grip. What I do is pull in the clutch lever with my left hand and grab the cable sheath down at the bottom with my right hand. As I let off the lever with my left, I pull the sheath with my right, getting enough slack down there to slip the cable out of the slot. (Putting it back together generally requires slack, however.)"
    4. Get a Pencil or Magic Marker to mark the position of the Clutch Fork with respect to the Engine Cover, for when you re-install it.
    5. Remove the engine cover (Allen) bolts and note the location of each bolt. (some are different lengths, but most are the same length).
    6. Gently coax the engine cover off and watch out you do not damage the Shift Lever Seal on the spline, if you are not going to replace it. Watch how much the Clutch Fork Rotates until the Cover is free, because this will help you set it to the right position when you replace it. You need to keep the whole deal straight and gently wiggle the casing. The aluminium clutch lever arm rotates clockwise, which should roll the shaft teeth off the Clutch Release Bearing Rack. Be gentle and take your time, keep the casing straight or the casing locating pins, the release bearing and the impeller Drive Gear all conspire to jam you in. For details of what I am referring to when I talk of the Clutch Release Bearing see the Clutch Cover Removal FAQ.

    7. In addition, the paper gasket on the casing is very fragile and rips easily. So, avoid curling your fingers around the inside. If you rip the gasket, you will have to buy or make a new one out of gasket paper.
    8. Now you'll see the innards (note this photo also has the clutch pressure plate removed, which you do NOT need to remove) but what you are after is on the engine cover you just removed, towards the front. On the inside you will see the Black Plastic Drive Gear. The impeller is still on the outside of the casing.

      GS Only: You will also need to remove the Oil Return Line to remove the LHS Cover. Requires undoing the Lower Bolt & Upper Bolt (No Picture).

  5. Replace the Shaft & Seals
    1. If and ONLY if for some reason the Drive Gear gets stuck and you can't get the casing off, you can remove the casing by taking off the impeller. Do this by knocking out the roll-pin with a small punch. Gently pull off the old impeller and push shaft through the engine cover, while pulling the casing off, so the casing comes off and leaves the Water Pump Shaft and Drive Gear in place.
    2. NORMALLY you should be able to remove the entire casing with the impeller in place on the outside and the Drive Gear on the inside. This makes sense, because the new water pump shaft comes with the impeller attached.
    3. You can now take your entire LHS Engine Casing assembly over to a bench to work on it. First off, remove the Black Plastic Drive Gear (part #11 on the Diagram) from the shaft. There is no reason you shouldnt be able to re-use it if it is in good condition. Simply pull it off the end of the shaft. Mine was stuck on fairly firmly so tap the steel rod gently while holding the END of the Plastic Drive gear against a solid surface. Try not to Damage the teeth, it's PLASTIC and you'll end up having to buy a new one.
    4. Then knock out the stainless steel " Lozenge Pin" which holds the Drive Gear and allows it to rotate the shaft. Remove the washer (Part #9), in between the Drive Gear and the Engine Casing. Put both in a safe place, you will need them again.
    5. Now you can remove the impeller, by simply pushing it from the inside of the cover, to the outside. You will not need this shaft, the impeller or the roll-pin again. Out of interest have a look at the wear on the shaft.
    6. Now remove the seals, by hand or with a rod, but try not to use screwdriver or if you do take care not to scratch the seal surfaces. IMPORTANT: NOTE the direction each seal faces as you take them out. That's the water pump seals removal finished.
    7. You may also wish to replace the other seals (Gear Shifter Seal, Clutch Actuator Seal) in the casing at this stage. If you do decide to replace the Gear Shifter Seal its just a push-out and replace effort. The Clutch Actuator Arm Seal is a bit different, you can either try to prise the old one out with the Clutch Actuator Arm in place and fit the new one over the top, or you will need to remove the E-Clip inside the casing, just under the seal, pull the Clutch Actuator Arm out, replace the Seal (which is easier to get out this way) and then replace the Clutch Actuator Arm and E-Clip. Have a look at the Clutch Removal FAQ for more details.
    8. When replacing the water pump seals note the placement and direction of each seal. It should be the same as when you took them out. The spring side of the Inner Water Pump Seal (the Oil Seal) is toward the engine and the spring side of the Water Pump Seal is toward the Impeller. This way Oil Pressure and Water Pressure will help the Seal seat onto the shaft. i.e. The SOLID faces of the seals face each other.
    9. I packed the Inner Water Pump Seal, the Gear Shifter Seal and the Clutch Actuator Seal with a little grease, to protect the spring on the seal from corrosion and to provide further lubrication, even if it was only to install the cover. Just push them in gently but firmly to seat correctly. Use a socket to seat the seal by pushing gently against it, anything between 23 and 25mm is O.K. Do not hammer them in!
    10. I did NOT put any grease on the Outer Water-Pump Seal as it will just contaminate the Coolant Water.
    11. Install the Outer Water Pump Seal and MAKE SURE it is so placed so that there is a GAP between the two seals, to allow any water or oil to trip out the weephole in future. I believe the Oil Seal seats all the way into the Casing, but the Water Seal needs careful alignment.
    12. Check the Drain weephole (visible at the 6 o'clock position, just at the base of the bearing) is clear by poking a small blunt object up there.
      DO NOT PACK the gap with grease
      Do NOT PACK the Gap in between the Inner and Outer Water Pump Seals with Grease. Why? Because if you PACK the area, the weep hole will not weep until you build up enough pressure to BLOW out the grease you packed in there. That sort of defeats the whole purpose of the weephole which is an early warning.
    13. If the new shaft came with the impeller on the shaft, push the NEW Impeller & Shaft into the casing from the outside.
    14. When replacing the shaft dont forget the washer between the Drive Gear and the Casing. 
    15. Reattach the Drive Gear Retaining Pin and Drive Gear itself, in that order. Make sure you push the Drive Gear far enough onto the shaft so the slot in the Drive Gear goes over the Lozenge-Pin. Here's what happened to someone who had a problem with it:
      • The black gear on the end of the impeller shaft has to be shoved onto the shaft so that it pinches the cross pin. I think I either didn't initially push it on hard enough, or while wiggling the cover to get it on, loosened it somewhat. The black gear itself has plastic walls on either side of the groove that fits over the pin. One of those walls was bowed out...obviously where the pin escaped. Fits the symptoms too, since the bike didn't develop the overheating problem until a good 100 miles or so. Initially the pin was in place, and the problems started when it finally worked free. I see no damage other than to the black gear itself. My current plan is to pick up a new gear and pin and reassemble everything tomorrow.
      • That impeller drive gear was hard to remove on mine and it's good if it is, as it then doesn't fall off. Might be a good idea to dry off all the grease off the shaft thoroughly, push the (clean) drive gear on and see if it sloppy or a snug fit. If it's snug you'll know it won't pop out when you put it back. Now don't go forgetting the Washer that someone else forgot a while back...
      • If you want to know about putting in maybe MORE than 2 seals seeMisc. Waterpump FAQ's below.
  6. Replace the LHS Engine Cover
    1. If you bought a new Gasket, but bits of the old one are stuck to the LHS engine housing, you can remove it by gentle peeling it back with a razor blade. Get the kind of blade that has a folded metal bit on one side, not the double-edged kind. Don't gouge the metal surface with a screwdriver, it's a potential leak-spot.
    2. Flash #412 notes if the WHOLE GASKET is stuck, you can leave the old one in place if it is stuck to only one side.
    3. To keep the existing/new gasket on the Housing, smear a little bit of oil on the housing surface and the paper will stick to it just fine, enough to allow you to put the Housing back. Make sure BOTH surfaces either side of the gasket are clean. Spotless. Same for the Gasket itself.
    4. Putting the casing back on is a harmonic convergence of drive gear, shift lever and clutch arm and bolt alignment. If you noted how much the Clutch Arm turned when you took the cover off, you will have a good idea of its starting position when you replace the cover. It should start from about 3-4pm (facing the LHS of the bike) and turn anticlockwise back to its original position as you push the cover on.
    5. The Clutch release bearing (Flat Rack with Teeth, Bottom of Picture) that sticks out of the centre of the clutch pack always wants to rotate with the Flat Side UP, (Note Clutch springs are off in this Photo, but will be in place if you just do the water pump) because of the weight distribution. It keeps rotating until the Teeth face about 5 o'clock, making it impossible to get the cover back on. To get it into the Clutch Cover the Rack must be horizontal, with the Teeth facing towards the rear of the bike so that it will properly mate with the clutch shaft. You can get around this by taking a pea-sized dollop of generic grease (not hi-temp) and putting it between the rack and clutch pack to keep the rack from rotating. THEN the cover should go right on. Line up the two alignment pins and make sure the gasket doesn't slip off the housing when you push it against the engine, otherwise those pins may tear pierce, tear or otherwise damage the gasket. Don't worry if your gasket gets folded just once, they're fairly hardy, but it shouldn't rip.
    6. Eyeball your shift gear on the plate and the internal gear and push lightly. You may need to gently rotate the impeller to allow the drive gear to mate with what drive sit. YOU WILL KNOW if its set in right because the plate moves in quite a bit when correct. Otherwise, you're just jamming. Again, watch your paper gasket. You will tend to gravitate towards grabbing it with your fingers and ripping it. BE PATIENT when putting the engine cover back on and watch out for proper alignment of the Shift Lever Shaft and the Clutch Release Shaft.
    7. Do up your Case-Bolts to Torque Specs. The four short bolts are for the Waterpump and Clutch Fork, one very short bolt is for the gear Shift Lever and the rest of the bolts are for the Clutch Cover.
    8. Do up your Starter Motor to Case Bolts to Torque Specs.
    9. Replace the Gear Shifter Lever on the Spline. Make sure it line up with your earlier marks.
    10. Replace the Clutch Cable in the Aluminium Fork (Note mine is cracked) and re-attach the cable at your handlebars. Adjust to the recommended Free-Play at the Clutch Lever on the handlebars.
    11. Remove the Large O-Ring behind the Water Pump Impeller Cover and clean the groove it was in. Replace it with a new O-Ring, return it to its location against the LHS Engine Cover and replace the 3 Allen key Bolts, torquing to spec. Note the crush washer on the lower (drain) bolt should be changed, but you can re-use it once at a pinch. The bolt also requires Loctite.
  7. Replace Fluids
    1. For Coolant replacement refer to the Coolant Change FAQ (Classic) or Coolant Change FAQ GS. Make sure you properly BLEED the system or the Pump will just cavitate.
    2. For Oil replacement refer to the Oil Change FAQ (Classic) or here Oil Change FAQ GS/Dakar. It might be a good time to change your Oil & Oil Filter too, depending on the state of your Oil since you noticed the Water Pump had failed.
  8. Replace the Tank
    1. For Tank Replacement (Classic) refer to the Gas-Tank Removal + Replacement FAQ or Fairing FAQ GS.

Thats it. Go out for a ride. Go home, have a few beers and write to BMW and ask them why they dont put stronger metal in their REPLACEMENT KITS and why there is no bearing on the impeller side? Might be a good case for getting a bunch of Shafts made of Titanium for Chain Gang Members. Many Thanks to Michael#563, Hombre sin Nombre, Flash#412.

My problem was, then after everything was replaced, I tested the clutch job by casually slipping the lever on the shaft and turning it with my hands.....there was a clicking as the lever turned on the shaft splines HOWEVER I thought it was internal so dis-assembled again and again. Finally I decided that everything inside had to be O.K. so I put the lever on in near to the proper place/spline (I had marked but the mark had been rubbed off) and then INSERTED THE LOCKING BOLT and tightened. No more 'clicking' and all was fine except I did have to remove it again and move it over a few splines. After that lever is locked in place I turned the shaft (to test) with a large crescent wrench on the lever instead of hooking up the cable. I didn't lengthen the cable before so had to do it to finish the attachment. Hope this helps. Ike #647

Section 4: Miscellaneous Water Pump FAQs

Has anyone tried to make a New Hardened Shaft?

What about the GS/Dakar? (See opinions below, it does happen). Thanks to Fitz from Oz & Haakon #626

There is a slight difference in procedure: On the injected model, the oil return line loops around the bottom of the clutch cover. Looks like the line has to be removed to allow removal of the clutch cover. The metal tube from the banjo bolt at the bottom of the crankcase extends up to a flexible tube the last few inches into the oil tank. The metal tube has a tag attached toward the top end, and this is bolted to the rear of the cylinder head, to hold it steady. The Torx bolt which holds this tag is extremely difficult to get at. Mine has just come up to 35000km, and there is a very slight weep from the tell tale hole, with oil, not coolant misting out.

Has anyone tried to install 3 or even 4 seals? What about a Bearing?

Has anyone tried to install a different Seal?

What about drilling holes in the impeller fins to reduce force and cavitation?

Why is my impeller a different Colour to the Replacement?

Why was there no coolant leaking from the weephole?

Is there any Chance it's NOT the Waterpump?

How do I get rid of the contaminated oil?

My Question concerns the emulsion that's caused when the two fluids get mixed and thrashed around in the engine. I was told by a fellow biker that the emulsion is very sticky and it pays to run either kerosene or diesel or some sacrificial oil through the system, drain it again, repeat and then put in good oil, to get the emulsion of the gears and bearings. Has anyone had experience with this, any advice at all?

I have no oil contamination, but coolant is leaking. Do I need to replace the whole pump?

Do small bubbles on the top of the oil in the tank indicate water in the oil? Mine is always foamy.

How does the water and oil mix?

Can I inspect the shaft and seals WITHOUT removing the clutch cover?

Pegaso Waterpump Kit

What about an electric waterpump?


Waterpump Discussion

Kristian #562, Flash #412, HsN

I know what you're saying about the likelihood of it NOT being a wobbly shaft as opposed to a soft one, but as I wrote in the waterpump FAQ, there is only a SHORT (about 10-12mm long Bearing, in the casing) which can hold the shaft rigid and it's not quite in the centre of the shaft. Maybe that's worn, but it would mean a new LHS engine casing. Again, GREAT design. Given the length of the shaft from the case-bearing to the impeller, if the impeller is not perfectly balanced it will flop around, IMHO. That's why I think it is BOTH the soft shaft AND the wobbly shaft which causes the failure in the water-side seal, along with coolant type etc. Actually I don't think it had actually failed because the Oil-Side Seal was still tight as I expected it would be, being close to the casing bearing. I was just really curious about the water-side Seal Looseness.

The Total Depth of the hole the two seals fit in is 15mm. Given that the Stock Seals are 7mm each in Depth (They are 10x26x7 Seals), this leaves just 1mm for the Gap for the Weephole, for the Stock Seal Setup. So I bought the 2# Stock Seals and I also bought 3# 10x26x4 seals, and 2# 10x26x5.5 seals. This gives me the combination of either Stock Setup or:

  1. 2 x 5.5 + 1 x 4 (Sandwiched in the Middle) = 15mm or
  2. 1 x 7.0 + 2 x 4 = 15mm or I think I'll put the 7mm one to the Water-side.
  3. 3 x 4 with a 1mm gap in between = 12mm

Lets see how long the middle seal lasts. My only concern is that it won't get enough lubrication, but if I pack the whole area with Grease ... well lets see what happens.

With regards the bearing idea, Flash was all for just loctiting the bearing in place. Unfortunately the THINNEST sealed bearing I can get is a 17x26x5, which would still leave me with having to find a 10x17x5 bushing. They don't make such a bushing off the shelf so that idea goes out the window as I'm not likely to find one in a hurry here, that fits.

I can see how it would take several rides to fully remove all the bubbles from the system. I also have to add a bit of coolant from time to time (maybe 100 ml in total over 2 years, 20-30 ml every few months), but in the hot part of the year I always seem to have a spot of wet coolant on the end of my burp tank overflow tube. I also don't get a full seal on my burp tank

It's the threads on the Gray Cap. They are CRAP. I replaced the cap with the Child-Safety top off some Green Liquid Candle Fluid Bottle. Fits GREAT!

Burp tank Cap - the rubber insert is very hard - and there's always blue coolant on the threads, so I've recently tried substituting a soft rubber o-ring for the hard rubber seal. Then again, I wonder if I'm fooling myself - I see a few red specks in the carbon on top of my piston, which can indicate water contamination, so maybe my head gasket is failing internally. From what you describe, and the source of the parts, it seems a likely bet that you got an early model shaft. While it's possible to test the hardness, and also possible that you could have a shaft teeth hardened in a metal treatment shop (not a difficult process if you have the shop), from the info from Team Pami, it seems very likely you got an early shaft. That, and possibly the extra spring pressure seem to have done you in. I wonder if you can get more specific on the source/model year of shaft next time? It's sad that we cannot get such info from BMW, but nice that Pami is so helpful.

I think so too. Motorworks couldn't tell me the year as they said they were stripped somewhere else...

Thanks for including the Team Pami email, it was quite informative! I cannot even locate the shaft (rack gear) in the parts photo's - any chance you have a part number? I was hoping to see if more than one part number (version) was listed, but can't even find it in the fiche. I'm sure something about it must be listed in the Dealer Service Information Bulletins - I sure wish we had access to them. Somehow that doesn't sound right. I think that most complaints about the seal failure have centered on the shaft being worn, not on the (inner lip of the) seal itself failing. For it to have expanded to the point of looseness sounds like something fundamental is wrong. Damaged, wrong size, wobbling shaft, overheated, not lubed properly, reversed, wrong seal material, missing the spring coil (inside the lip), if there is one? (The parts fiche does show the seals being greased with wheel bearing grease.) When reading my comments keep in mind that I have not actually taken my water pump apart yet, so once again, I don't really know what I'm talking about! If it's a matter of keeping the seal fastened into it's outer socket, it can be glued in place (Loctite, Loctite Bearing seal, Permatex, Yamabond, ThreeBond 1209), but for the inner lip to become loose on the shaft just is NOT right. You might run this all by Flash - he just did his water pump, and is much more coherent than most. (I wonder if he's annoyed by all the questions yet! :-) The looseness you describe isn't right.

Well I lubed it and the springs were in and OK and it hadn't moved and I put them in the right way and I don't think I damaged it going in. ONLY explanation I can think of is maybe overheating. When there is no water, that side has no lubricant...!! So if the Head was leaking water into the oil and there was no water going around because of that reason. Maybe. If the oil side seal seems good, and the weep hole is not blocked, I don't see how the water can get into the oil that way, at least not without some coming out the weephole.

Yeah. I know. I just want to make a better solution. I guess you could try that. It might be easy to find a bronze/brass/nylon or sintered bronze bushing that you could cut to fit. They sell cheap ones in the little drawers of special repair parts in the hardware stores, and also in electric/starter repair shops. But that makes it sound like the seal is coming loose from it's socket, as opposed to coming loose on the shaft. Which is it? Is the shaft wobbling? I'm not sure how the shaft itself is retained. Is the shaft bushing/bearing still good? Maybe an insert can be installed.

The shaft is retained on one side by the Impeller and the other side by the Drive Gear. That's it. Is it wobbling.? Hard to say, but yes I think I could wobble it, at least in the condition I found it.

Well, it depends on the type of gasket material. Some types do like to be re-torqued. It's also possible that you might have warped the head itself, if it overheated badly? (Not as likely on a single cylinder bike as on an elongated multi-cylinder head.) Having taken the head apart, you might retorque the bolts that squeeze the gaskets that separate the water from the oil. (I don't have a good feel for which bolts that might be, as I haven't taken mine apart to see it in three dimensions.) If carefully done, and it sounded like you have good torque wrench, that seldom hurts anything. You might be surprised at how it reseats since it was heated. In some problem gaskets where I know I have a water sealing problem, I often use a thin even coat of a spray on aerosol gasket sealer (Permatex, CopRCoat, or some such) on both sides of the (new) gasket. (I have to hang it up outside to spray both sides and let it dry.) I often use it on big engines with long gaskets that have to be placed (upside down) on the head side first.

Hmm that's VERY interesting, wish I'd known that before I put it back. The manual didn't mention any coating and I assumed it would be tight enough with the Torque. I'm not about to take it out again, but I will Re-Torque it. I guess it'll give me the opportunity to relocate the VR and check the Valves and retorque the head and Re-Grease the Steering Head Bearings. Sounds like work to me! Oh Yeah. But I'm waiting for the parts anyway. What I'll be really annoyed about is if it IS the water pump seals and I have to do this every 15,000 kms. What a crap design.

It sounds like something is wrong, but I'm not sure exactly what. I wish I could be more help, but I haven't been thru the WP problem first-hand yet. Well when you do you'll have a VERY good idea, hopefully, of what I'm talking about. What sort of mileage is your bike on so far.? I hope I might have given you an idea or two that might help. Maybe forward your original email, and my reply to Flash - he'll say that we are both insane, but it will make him think about it, and maybe he'll have some special insight as to what is wrong. I'm not sure what else to say....

Done that as per message BELOW. He doesn't think I'm insane, but he probably knows you are :-) ! However he DOES say his SEALS were fine, unlike mine. I CAN already feel a small groove on the shaft at the water side seal lip location though. Well I did ask Flash about it earlier and here's what he had to say....(See message below)

Seal, on the other hand is still good and stays stuck onto the shaft, so the what's the chances of water getting through there.? I never saw (but that doesn't mean it wasn't happening) any coolant leak from the weephole.

Heck if I know. But it MUST be getting through cuz it IS getting in the oil. Besides, seals are supposed to work on one direction better than the other. Are you SURE you put them in right? The spring sides of both seals should face OUT of the cover. Put another way, the solid sides of the two seals should face each other.

Forget about the early-warning capability of the weephole and put a third seal, which I reckon might JUST fit, into that gap. It would both provide a better running surface for the shaft (less wobble, less wear on one seal, though goodness knows it should NOT be designed to run on a seal) and better sealing against water to oil side transfer. It would effectively seal the weephole, but hey, I know when the coolant starts disappearing and I check the oil colour whether the thing is failing. I might be able to get the same id/od seal and a slightly narrower one if the gap is too narrow. What do you think?

I think that is a GREAT idea. Hell, my first F80G/S had a leaky shifter shaft seal at the 600 mile check-up. I had the dealer give me a new one. I replaced it. It started leaking again by 1000 miles. So I bought another seal from a supply house and put it in ALSO, pushing the original further in. That lasted about 80k miles, 'til I sold the bike. If you DO go that route, I would pack the area on both sides of the middle seal with white lithium grease because it is light and most likely to melt and redistribute itself as needed.

Alternatively, but this would require a bit of machining, how about fabricating a bushing or just purchasing a bearing (same size as the seals, but narrower) that fits OVER the shaft AND in that Gap between the two seals. If it was a good fit, you could tap a thread in the weephole and drill a small locating depression on the outer bearing casing to fix the outer casing from turning?

Screw the drilling idea. That's what GREEN Loctite is for, stud and bearing sealant. If you can find a sealed bearing, that would be GREAT. If you do, pack the gaps on both sides between the bearing and the seal (s) with some heavy duty multipurpose grease.

What I'll be really annoyed about is if it IS the water pump seals and I have to do this every 15,000 kms. What a crap design. Which is probably why they didn't put a bearing on the impeller side in the first place.

I think that if mine ever goes, I am going to see about having the replacement shaft hard-chromed. Recall that I replaced mine at 18k preventatively. And found the shaft scored. The seals were still fine.

...members of this forum have done a great job distilling a somewhat daunting task
(to someone unskilled in the art) into a reasonable thing that feels like something
that we should not only be able to do, but we should want to do.
So, thanks to you, Kristian and many, many others...