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Old 05-01-2004, 05:55 AM   #1
scottw OP
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Location: Tokyo
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Question 2 R100GS problems: starter and hole

Hi all: Thought I'd try to kill two birds with one thread. I have an '89 R100GS.

First, and most problematic: I just got my bike out of winter storage a week or so ago. Started up fine the first time and a rode it on my short commute (5 minutes/3 miles) a couple of times, no worries. Then went to start it up the third day and it turned over very slowly, but started. Rode it to work, volt gauge looked fine, plus no charging idiot light except at idle, which is normal (for my bike). When I left work it barely started, but it did and I made it home (once it started it ran fine). I have the 400 Watt Omega charging system and I've never had any trouble with it.

The next day, no start at all. Turned over maybe 2-3 times, very slowly, and then nothing. When I hit the starter button again, just a loud click. So I figure the battery has gone bad over the winter (although I used a battery charger). I gave it to a friend and asked him to find a comparable-sized battery here. He came back with one, I put it in and same story, turns over once or twice verrry slowly, and then nothing but a click when I hit the starter. I even tried jumping from my car, with no success, so now I'm really worried. Do I have a dead starter? I thought if a starter died it would go all at once, but this went gradually, over a couple of days. The bike has a Bosch starter, which I gather is better than the Valeo, but I assume the Basch units can and will dies also.

Could it be a loose connection somewhere? Anything else I should check? If it sounds like the starter, is there anything user-serviceable about the starter (for an only-average home wrench), or will I have to just replace it as a unit? I have the Haynes and Clymer manuals so I do have a little guidance on repairs.

Problem #2. After the two rides to work I was checking the oil and noticed a small hole surrounded by oil above and to the left of the oil filler plug. See the picture below, the hole is just to the right of the petcock. I assume there is supposed to be a plug there, perhaps for some optional sending unit. I can cover it up for now with some heat-resistant tape, but what is this hole? I need to figure it out so I can order the right part plug to stop it up.

Thanks all, for any help you can render to my apalling ignorance on these two issues.

-Scott
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Old 05-01-2004, 07:45 AM   #2
dancerdave
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sounds like to me you may have a bad ground somewhere, first check at the motor where the ground wire connects directly to the battery cause if you tried to jump the bike with another battery it still would not have a ground..
and it could be the brushes in the starter are worn out also or is full of carbon
good luck in finding your trouble.. i just replaced my starter on my gspd , it is a 1991...
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Old 05-01-2004, 08:17 AM   #3
Renegade6
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The stock starter on the later airheads is a Valeo starter (French made) which has a habit of having the magnets fall off of the stator and causing the bike not to start, or to turn over slowly. Some people have had success gluing the magnets back to the stator but, most either buy a bosch starter (good) or now a third option is to buy a new modified Toyota starter that is supposed to work even better ( http://www.motoelekt.com/ ).

The hole is essentially a drain from the starter cavity on top of the engine.
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Old 05-01-2004, 08:23 AM   #4
scottw OP
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Thanks, I'll check the ground. The starter is a Bosch. The original Valeo was replaced before I got the bike. Do the Boasch units have the same issue of magnets fall off?

Renegade6, should that hole have a plug, or is it supposed to be a drain or breather hole?

-Scott
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Old 05-01-2004, 08:28 AM   #5
Renegade6
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I've never heard of the bosch's having the problem but, they do need some maintenance from time to time, check out this page: http://home.jps.net/~snowbum/techindex.htm

If the bushings holding the armature are worn, they can also cause the starter to drag but, they are pretty easy to replace.

The hole doesn't need any plug, should just be left open.
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Old 05-01-2004, 08:51 AM   #6
MtnRider
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What about the battery?

Did you fully charge the Battery / how old is the battery. It may not be holding much of a charge...

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Old 05-02-2004, 07:28 PM   #7
Frank Warner
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That drain hole looks to be weeping oil. The cavity drained by that hole contains the starter motor. Possibly one is related to the other.. the oil could come from the engine breather hose that also resides in that area.

Don't block the hole, the fluid has to go somewheres and better here to let you know than elsewhere that could cause a failure of something else.. like the starter motor for instance.. Remove fuel tank, remove blcak cover (says BMW on it - two 5mm allen keys - could be tight front and back - err you need to remove the air filter cover too). Clean inside and find the source of the oil. While here look for lose connections to the starter motor...
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