Chinese starter

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

  1. rambozo

    rambozo Been here awhile

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    We don't have HF over here, I think sealey is our equivalent, kind of, you see it
    a lot with tools, many different packages but the same tools inside, all made in
    the same Chinese factory, it's usually the packaging that dictates the price

    I don't write all Chinese stuff off, the quad I mentioned earlier has no business to
    be still going after the abuse it has got! Loncin stuff isn't too bad ive found, close
    copy to Honda as well. I've been working on small machines my whole life and
    I can say with a lot of conviction that 90% of Chinese machines are very poor
    quality, with a company like HF, sealey draper etc though there is some QC that
    you don't get with a lot of the other stuff

    A starter motor is worth a go as it's only gonna stop working, I wouldn't be
    fitting Chinese wheel bearings or anything crucial though
    #21
  2. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    don't get me wrong .. not saying all harbor freight are good quality. in fact a chunk of HF items are just plain junk.

    just like writing off all Chinese bearings as not fit for critical applications is plain wrong. some are excellent quality and some unfortunately are junk. that's a problem with chinese goods .. inconsistent QC .. but overall quality has been getting better.

    back to original topic .. would not hesitate to use a $120 starter from Euro motoelectric. but still prefer refurbishing oem bosch starters for my airheads. unlike newer gear reduction starters, bosch starters are very robust and can be refurbished several times provided armature doesn't burnout.
    #22
  3. knary

    knary sunshine and puppies

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    I have a $105 Chinese starter. As best I can tell, it's identical the one Euro Moto Electric is rebadging as an "enduralast" starter. I bought it from Caltric via ebay. Shipping was fast and included. I looked at the $58 and the $89, or whatever the prices were, starters on ebay. Caltric's "feedback" was better, the starter looked better made (judging by photos), and it's specs were on one of the other options was lower. I went for what to me seemed like an affordable compromise. I'd probably have bought from Euro Moto Electric, but I gave up on their balky website.

    The starter with its threaded mounting bolts is a dream to install compared to the heavier Bosch and those awkward to access nuts, it spins roughly 1000 times faster than the old worn one, uses far less battery power, and seems well built. Having said that, I have approximately zero miles on the bike since putting it in. :D
    #23
  4. 685

    685 Scarred Adventurer

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    Well, it starts! Well, in fact. The starter makes about 1 1/2 volt drop when cranking and the engine starts a lot easier--getting more voltage to the coils probably helps. I could have paid more, Amazon offers the exact same starter for $86--Arrowhead the US distributor offers a huge line of motorcycle stuff--starters and alternator. It actually came with a test sheet--it would be interesting to compare the test sheet with the ones that come with starters from the same source.

    You know, I'd have liked to put a more expensive starter in, too. But there's been a lot to fix on this bike and I'm on a thin budget. For now it's running and rideable. And that's enough.

    I've been in this discussion of HF stuff for years. I use a lot of their tools--hand tools, shop stuff like an engine hoist and floor jacks, and a lot of their air tools. Some of it hasn't been very good. But over the years, a lot of it has been great, good enough that ya have to stop and scratch your head about how they can make it and ship it halfway around the world--and still make a profit. I have a lot of tools that I wouldn't have access to if it weren't for HF. And if you shop there enough, you end up with a drawer full of screwdrivers, multimeters, little flashlights, and measuring tapes that they just give you. If you shop there long enough, you begin to notice that year after year, the quality improves, too.
    #24
  5. rambozo

    rambozo Been here awhile

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    I maybe seem to have sounded a bit more negative than i am about Chinese
    stuff, I have a lot of Chinese made tools from Sealey/Draper etc that are
    perfectly fine and I will be buying more in the future

    With the bearings i try to only ever use Timkin, FAG and SKF, while some of
    them are now made in china it's the quality control of the company I trust, I
    only have a problem with the knock off and unbranded stuff, so I am kinda
    agreeing with you cy

    Glad to hear your bikes up and running!
    #25
  6. Jim Day

    Jim Day full manic mechanic

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    Damn!!! I wasn't going to say anything but..... Nothing personal but if you don't love BMWs you probably should just get rid of it. It's a labor of love, or perhaps the most lovely form of labor, but if you're not into it what's the point?

    Every once in while I'll meet some guy that has a BMW that talks smack about it then starts talking about some other bike they wish they had.

    My response is always the same: "Sell it to me" or at the very least I tell them to put it on ebay where they can probably get enough money to finance that other bike they wish they had.

    For example My buddy "G" bought a R75/6 while in collage couldn't keep it running and brought it here by trailer. He hated it called it a money pit and after trying to change the oil filter made a stupid mistake the resulted in zero oil pressure. He went on facebook bashing it and I told him the same thing, and then bought it unseen for $1000. I fixed it and ride it almost daily, as kind of a general local beater bike. Do you know how much money I've had to put into it? Other then the tires nothing.

    Here's his piece of junk now.
    [​IMG]
    He took my $1000 and bought a brand new KLR, get's it worked on at the dealer and is happy as a clam. That makes two of us.:D

    BMWs are neither "Garage Queens" or "Money pits" if properly ridden and maintained. I've seen your bike and your posts. It's obvious you are not into it. You hate the brakes, you say you are used to jap bikes and it's not the same, that the transmission has issues etc..etc.... and now you're sticking Chinese parts on it that are just going to lower it's value.

    That bike is not a lost cause, it could still be a great bike.

    I'll gladly take the bike off your hands. Send me a PM with a price and the frame and engine serial numbers. You don't even have to fix it up I'll come get it running and ride it back here.

    Bottom line though: that bike still could be a good ride, and if you get it to someone who cares they will make a great bike out of it. :freaky
    #26
  7. knary

    knary sunshine and puppies

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    It's a brand of motorcycle not a religion. :lol3
    #27
  8. Jim Day

    Jim Day full manic mechanic

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    “The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed....”

    Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance


    I wouldn't call it a religion but I know how I like to spend my Sundays :D
    #28
  9. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    Amen, Jim...

    --Bill :pope
    #29
  10. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

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    Great reply, Jim!
    #30
  11. Jim Day

    Jim Day full manic mechanic

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    I meant to tell you this earlier, but I did not have time to look it up.
    I saw your frame number thread:
    Your bike is not a 1971 R75/5, and it's not a 1976 R90/6 it's a R80/7

    You can see the info here: http://bmbikes.co.uk/chassispages/enginechassis800.htm

    R80/7 Made in Germany for the US market in December of 1977.
    These frames are stamped by hand that's why it looks sloppy, but that is a legitimate frame number in the right location for that bike and it actually looks like a R80/7 that has been modified somewhat to look like a R90S.

    In your frame thread you said that you were going to trade out the frame for a nicer one with the number 61200015. Don't do that!! Your opening yourself up to a huge headache if you change the frame, and since that original R80/7 frame has a brace you'll be changing out to a weaker frame as well.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but you are talking about this bike?
    [​IMG]
    Twin plugs, braced frame, Mikuni Carbs, to me that's a good looking bike with great potential.

    I'm not trying to give you a hard time, but that bike is potentially a great (fast by BMW standards) road bike, a piece of BMW history and there are plenty of people around here (like me) who would love to restore it or make it into a great bike. If you're not into it you might consider passing it on to one of us.
    #31
  12. knary

    knary sunshine and puppies

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    :rofl :rofl :rofl
    #32
  13. 685

    685 Scarred Adventurer

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    So I'm a liar because I don't go through the litany of the weird stuff a previous owner did?

    Trying to keep it as brief here as possible--the engine started life as an R90/6. As I'm talking about replacing the starter, the frame, displacement changes, brake changes, aftermarket wheels, seat, and tank style are not important to the discussion. I hate that the previous owner went loony tunes on improvements and most everything I've had to repair has been related to his poorly executed go faster "improvements" which have no documentation and make trying to figure what parts to buy and how to fix the deficiencies even harder.

    And if you are getting your panties in a bunch because I don't hold Airheads in the same holiness as you, sorry (tho not very.) I wanted a decently acceptable, fun, safe & reliable spare bike for my brother to ride when he visits. My brother chose the bike, in 20/20 hindsight something less esoteric and a little more sophisticated (and stock) might have been a better choice.

    Don't get me wrong, I really do rather enjoy working on the BMW. It's nice out on the carport in Jan. & Feb. in Tucson. Quiet, and calming. ZZZZZZZ! No really. But remember the old car that one thing after another needed fixing? It's like that.:lol3
    #33
  14. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    #34
  15. Jim Day

    Jim Day full manic mechanic

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    Lighten up :lol3

    I'm not saying that you're a liar. I'm saying that I don't think you know what you have, and if your going to keep it you might want to get more informed before you do anything drastic to the bike like changing the frame.

    What's the serial number on the engine? I'll look it up for you. You initially said the engine was a bored out R100 with dual plug heads, Mikuni Vm38's. Why do you now think it's a R90?



    Those "loony tunes go faster "improvements" like:

    The San Jose BMW front fork brace:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=957848
    [​IMG]

    Frame brace.
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=663128

    [​IMG]
    (love that one)

    Mikuni carbs: another standard well known upgrade, Twin plug heads: another standard well known up-grade with hundreds of pages of documentation online. Those are all actually well known upgrades that add value as well as performance to the bike.

    Search "frame strengthening" or "mikuni 38mm" "twin plug" on this forum and you'll find all kinds of documentation about what they are why they work and why people do them.

    I mean I think I see where you are coming from. The bike has a bunch of upgrades that you don't know anything about, so you think they are some crazy "looney tunes" modifications and wish it was just stock. What you do not realize is those mods are well known, functional, and add performance and value to the bike.

    Is that bike worth as much as an all original stock bike? No but it is a decent example of a upgraded bike, it's not a lost cause, and a lot of people would love to have that bike with all those upgrades just as it is.

    If you're not really into the bike there are a lot of people around who'd take it off your hands, and you could buy a lot of HF tools with what you could sell it for. :d

    Just sayin :lol3
    #35
  16. 685

    685 Scarred Adventurer

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    back on track .. for those on a really thin budget .. the cheapest repair is IMHO still the best. OEM bosch starters don't have magnets to come loose later. gear reduction starters do weight less but they are not that much lighter. my big honking EarthX ETX36 (14AH) LiFePO4 spins R80G/S with oem Bosch starter at 15f with authority. EarthX ETX36 (14AH) saves about 20lb vs stock lead acid battery.

    a bosch starter refresh kit costs $10 for new brushes and bushings. better on a lathe, but armature can be burnished by hand. brushes should be silver soldered on for best reliability, but lots of folks have lead soldered with decent results.

    provided armature is not shorted out .. oem bosch starter refurbished several times can last life of airhead. unlike new BMW's back then airheads were engineered to last a lifetime. perhaps that's why there's such a fanatical following!!! me included ...

    [​IMG]

    valeo starter magnets came loose .. from valeo starter rebuild thread


    another valeo weakness .. plate can come loose shorting out armature .. from valeo starter rebuild thread
    [/QUOTE]

    Thanks, I'll order that, and keep the old starter as a stand by in my massive (well big enough) shed. Nice project for this summer when daytime temps make riding uncomfortable.
    #36
  17. 685

    685 Scarred Adventurer

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    Yeah, I actually know what all he did, and why. And I do long for a simpler, more basic version. And actually some of it, he really did on the up & up--the frame replacement for example was done I suppose to get the longer wheel base. I think he sourced a replacement frame from BMW, took it to the California DMV, and had the replacement frame numbers put on the original 71 title. The Mikuni's were in the neighborhood on jetting--and VM38's are huge for the bike. The dual plug & Dyna coils and module seem to work well. And it has already started to settle down--tho now after replacing the starter & cleaning some electrical connectors, it's cutting out intermittently at 3K rpm. No big deal, just one more thing.

    This conglomeration of a bike is a shared ownership project. It's still my brother's, and everytime I talk to him I'm explaining why it needs a new voltage regulator, clutch, transmission, starter, brake shoes (still don't have that one sorted,) etc. Not entirely mine to sell.
    #37
  18. JimGregory

    JimGregory Long timer

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    Thanks, I'll order that, and keep the old starter as a stand by in my massive (well big enough) shed. Nice project for this summer when daytime temps make riding uncomfortable.[/QUOTE]

    You may want to re-state that this bike is not yours to keep or not keep. It's your bro's and you are BEING a bro by making sure it works for him. If I read that right then it's a noble enough cause for me. Or have I totally mis read every thing. I don't know any more.
    #38
  19. rambozo

    rambozo Been here awhile

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    Me too:thumb
    #39
  20. Jim Day

    Jim Day full manic mechanic

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    Fair enough. I've been there!!

    Sharing is great in concept but from my experience it works better with whiskey and beer then bikes, boats or women :lol3

    I'm really not giving you a hard time :D

    I'm just suggesting if you do your research and fix it up right that's going to be one hell of a bike. I'm seriously envious I'd love to play with that thing.

    [​IMG]

    Take a good look at that Daytona Orange R90S Hotrod above. It's a beautiful bike, a coveted bike, a bike you could take to any BMW gathering and people would Oohh and Awe!!! Now look at what's on it. See anything familiar? Mikuni 38mm carbs, frame brace, San Jose brace, twin plug heads, shifter extension...... your bike already has all those upgrades.

    Whoever originally did those mods did their research and knew exactly what they were doing. I find it hard to believe that anyone would go to that much effort and do a half assed job.

    I'm not saying the bikes not gone through some hard times. Someones obviously assembled some things wrong. The exhaust is upside down, the carbs appear to be switched as that's a right hand carb on the left side, but the person who made those mistakes was not the same person who did the original upgrades. Generally people who bore out cylinders, and tune carbs know what side of the muffler is up.

    That bike already has some of the best upgrades. Take some time and really fix that bike up right. It might take a while but it will be worth it in the long run. :D
    #40