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1988 GL1500 just turned 100,000 miles

No oil leaks I can find, doesn't use a noticeable amount of oil between changes

oil level is not overfilled.

but ...

I can almost always smell hot oil (like oil dripping on an exhaust manifold)

worst when starting after it's sat for a few days. After a few hours of riding it seems to go away.

thought I'd ask here for likely causes before I start tearing things apart.

as always thanks for any help or suggestions.

Mark in MN
 

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Take a look at the shifter-shaft seal (above the left-side header)... they had some issues with those backing out on the first few years of the block casting.

If you sit on the side stand after a run, there'll be a bit of a weep there -- you may be able to see a little "flow" along the left-side tins, but usually just a dirty engine-side...
 

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Satan;
thx for reply. will check the area you suggest. can the seal just be pushed back in or does it need to be replaced and, if replacement is needed, how big a job?
 

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if the shifter shft seal has popped out -- I'd recommend cleaning the area (it's a tight reach - work on a cold motor) and just stuffing the seal back in - some folks will add a touch of RTV to the exterior of the seal to help hold it, but I recommend against that (the RTV prolly won't stick too well, since cleaning here is next to impossible, and what does stick will make future replacement seals, if needed, leak or be more difficult to fit)...

Yeah - once clean, just kinda pry it all back in there (have the kids save a few popsicle sticks, smoothed chopsticks are damned handy)

If it contiues to leak, the change can take a while (several good writeups here) - about 2-hours... And if it doesn't leak, you're done already!
 

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Bruce County Boy/Snowbird
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Here is what the seal looks like and a part number from Mother..I believe they are readily available and about 3-4 bucks each.
 

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thanks much, guys.
 

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Try checking your clutch fluid level maybe you have a slow weep on the clutch slave cylnder? Regards Derek
 

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If it smells like gear oil check the driveshaft boot for oil. A leaky seal on the driveshaft can allow oil to spiral up the shaft and drip on the exhaust. It will drip leaving oil when it sits and smell when exhaust heats after startup.
 
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