Chinese starter

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by 685, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. 685

    685 Scarred Adventurer

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    Several weeks ago, the starter on the 76 R90/6 gave up the ghost and wouldn't start the bike anymore. Huge voltage draw--pulling from 12.5 v to about 8. i reached the conclusion that enough smoke had leaked out over the years that it got weak.

    I ordered an Arrowhead starter, made in China. The Ebay vendor supplied the cross reference numbers, it it was a "direct" replacement for my old Bosch. $59 shipped from California--it was here in two days. Did a picture.

    [​IMG]
    image hosting 20mb

    I removed the old starter today, looks like it was pickled in saltwater! The new starter is a lot lighter & smaller than the 40 year old Bosch. The front plate from the Bosch doesn't line up with the bolts on the new one. The bolt up ears on the drive end do--perfectly. They are threaded, and to get the starter in, I had to drill the left side ear out to slip the mounting bolt through--and it took about a 15mm longer bolt.

    I can anticipate all the patter about "Chinese junk" and can say that under $60 is a pretty good gamble. Plus, there's a guy in town who's parting out a 75 R60/6 (got a trannie from him in the past) who has a Bosch starter for me for $35, which I may buy as a back up.

    I haven't tried the chinese junk yet, but I can say that it appears to very good quality--machining looks good, it is finely finished, and the hardware looks good.

    Opinions on leaving the front stabilizer plate off the starter? If I use one, I'll have to do some fabrication. Is that plate really necessary?
    #1
  2. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    Chinese starters have been used successfully for years .. most if not all private label BMW starters are Chinese. they probably are are purchased for about $30 each by the pallet. but catch is knowing which mfg and part number to use. Chinese mfg are notorious for differing in quality. some meet ISO 9000, others could be junk.
    #2
  3. rambozo

    rambozo Been here awhile

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    I take it you mean the thin plate that you have to remove the front cover to get
    to the bolt?

    If so I fitted a second hand valeo (I think) to my beater, it didn't have that plate
    and it was a lot lighter than the Bosch so I figured i didn't need it and didn't fit
    it. I can be lazy sometimes:D

    No problems so far, it's been on over a year. If your not as lazy as me it would
    not be a bad thing to fit it though
    #3
  4. bmwrench

    bmwrench Long timer

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    Only the Bosch starters used the support plate. The Valeos and their copies don't use it because they are so much lighter.
    #4
  5. JimGregory

    JimGregory Long timer

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    The Bosch starter on my 92 RS did not have the front mount when I refreshed it a few weeks ago. I'm not loosing sleep over it. Appeared to have never had it.
    #5
  6. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin! Supporter

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    :lurk





    ...and.... we are are waiting to hear......:ear

    :D
    #6
  7. JimGregory

    JimGregory Long timer

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    Hmm..Yacht sales? I am in Yacht sails.
    #7
  8. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin! Supporter

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    My condolences..... :cry


    :evil

    Wait.. yacht sails?? as in North, Quantum, umm ????
    #8
  9. JimGregory

    JimGregory Long timer

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    Pryde..The other guys. You do J's and Tartans in newport if I'm not mistaken. Must know Ned Jones
    #9
  10. 685

    685 Scarred Adventurer

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    As you veer off into the sunset, are you guys suggesting that I use the old starter as a boat anchor?
    #10
  11. Thorazine

    Thorazine Likes exhaust fumes

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    #11
  12. JimGregory

    JimGregory Long timer

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    If you are planning on staying with airheads for a while I would repair the bosch AND buy your neighbors starter. When the china starter shits, slam one of the Bosches in. I don't know if the china starters are rebuildable but the bosch is for the most part. I havent heard yet of any 59 dollar starters failing yet. Maybe they last forever. Who knows.
    #12
  13. Voltaire

    Voltaire Titanium and Ceramic Hipster

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    I bought two starters for my race bike from the US as post on 2 was the same, a genuine made in Poland Valeo and a Chinese one.
    Valeo lasted about 40 races before the solenoid stuck on, being lazy I jst fitted the Chinese one, a year later still going strong.

    I visited a Chiller factory in China a few years back, your quality control is only as good as your suppliers and their suppliers and so on.
    #13
  14. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin! Supporter

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    Easy to slam the Chinese, but they simply make whatever one asks... if you want quality, you can get it... if you want "best price", they are happy to oblige....The Chinese are working their way into the ways of the world, you better believe it!!!

    :evil
    #14
  15. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    Yeah, but somehow the very idea of a Chinese knockoff of a French starter in THE premiere German motorcycle is...

    :)
    #15
  16. rambozo

    rambozo Been here awhile

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    Jade Rabbit didn't last too long on the moon till it crapped itself:rofl

    I work on small plant machines as a home job and I have to say a lot of Chinese
    stuff is ridiculously poor quality, solonoids especially, even petrol pipes perish
    in a very short time, talking months, not years

    Having said that I have a Chinese quad nearly ten years, second hand then, and
    it's still going strong. It all depends which factory I suppose. At $60 it's not
    gonna kill you though
    #16
  17. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

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    When did BMW change from 93 teeth flywheels to 111?

    I have a feeling that it might have been 76?

    Just checking that you have the right 8 tooth (93) or 9 tooth(111) starter for your flywheel. Using the wrong one can chew the flywheel up a bit.
    #17
  18. 685

    685 Scarred Adventurer

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    Mine's an early 76. The vendor gave a listing of applications, with starter motor numbers. The one I got cross referenced with the Bosch part number stamped on the old starter. I'm pretty confident I got the correct one.
    #18
  19. 685

    685 Scarred Adventurer

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    Unless someone drops off another airhead, this is probably my first & last one. It's the definitive 'second bike' in the herd, for the occasional ride and for visitors to ride when in Sunny Tucson. I like working on it okay, but I don't collect and don't go out looking for money pits (got enough of those already.)

    It's the only bike I've ever gotten with the idea that it would be a garage queen.:norton It coulda been a Norton, or even a Moto Guzzi convert--it was what my brother gave me to work on.


    That said, I'll probably get the used Bosch for a backup. I don't know that the Chinese starters are rebuild material, either, but for $59 why bother?
    #19
  20. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    yup .. no question some chinese machinery are junk!
    but don't believe for one minute all chinese machinery are junk.

    all those factories moved from USA to china owned by American companies have transferred technologies including quality control.

    an excellent example is Harbor Freight small gas motors which are knock offs of small Honda engines. for awhile HF Honda clone engines were so close internal parts would interchange with real Honda engines. further HB engines due to ISO 9000 standards were equal in performance to real Honda engines. HB was forced to change their small motors slightly so parts would not interchange.

    but the point is for years HF has been making world class small engines equal to Honda small engines. iphones are made in china too .. not everything made in china is junk.

    airhead starters made in china has been used for years under private labels. but they cost about $120 instead of $60. which is still pretty darn cheap .. personally would rather pay the $120 for a private label Chinese starter like Euro Motoelectric that's got all the bugs worked out. note not all private label starter are Chinese .. some could be Italian or what ever.
    #20