Chinese starter

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

  1. knary

    knary sunshine and puppies

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    29,622
    Location:
    portland, or
    Don't mind these codgers. Many have a fair bit of knowledge and some of them apparently gave up any sense of perspective to gain it. Good luck with the project. Your German bike will run just fine with its Chinese starter (just as so many have before and will in the future).
    #41
  2. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,614
    Location:
    VA
    Regarding being Chinese made, it is very likely Valeo has all their starter parts or complete assemblies made in China - because it's a good business decision. The customer support, warranty, and quality control separate the name brands from the clones. I noticed there are no Bosch starter clones on the market.

    I bought one of those 'Chinese knockoff' Valeo starters. However, after cleaning up the original Bosch starter it will likely never be used. But, I have somewhat of a compulsion for that sort of equipment. The Valeo design will spin the engine faster with less battery drain.

    Regarding rebuilding Bosch starters: for the readers of Haynes and Clymer repair manuals, all replacement brushes are soldered (i.e. using standard lead-tin solder). I have to expect the Chinese Valeo starter can be rebuilt with a Valeo rebuild kit, despite the claim that they cannot.
    #42
  3. knary

    knary sunshine and puppies

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    29,622
    Location:
    portland, or
    BLASPHEMER!
    :lol3

    FWIW, I priced out rebuilding my bike's starter and decided it wasn't worth the trouble as it wasn't just worn brushes (the starter in question isn't original to the bike).
    #43
  4. Beemerboff

    Beemerboff Long timer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,179
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    I have had a Ebay / Caltric starter on mt G/S for almost four years / 120,000 km, and it is still working the same as the first day I fitted it, which is perfectly.

    Ontic swapped parts around to get the right tooth number for one of his bikes, and the Valeo branded spare parts EME sells fitted the no name starter ok.
    #44
  5. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,543
    Location:
    Bath Uk
    A R90/6 frame is the same wheelbase as an R80, so I would guess that the R80 frame was fitted as a result of an accident. As this bike has been modified such a lot, you don't really know what you have got, it will have a mixture of parts from different bikes AND there is nothing to indicate that the original person who modified the bike actually knew what they were doing. Finding somebody local who knows airheads may not be a bad thing and I bet that you have not yet counted the teeth on the flywheel........
    #45
  6. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,614
    Location:
    VA
    Yes, since it appears the bike is somewhat of a conglomeration it would be best to check the gears before installing the starter. However, counting the teeth on the flywheel is a PITA. Instead, count the teeth on the starter Bendix (gear) of the old Bosch starter. Good luck!
    #46
  7. 685

    685 Scarred Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,081
    Location:
    Tucson (east side) AZ
    I'm not noble. I have ulterior motives. I want to be able to ride with my brother when he comes. Same with other visitors & local bikeless friends--I admit to be experiencing project creep weariness, tho.

    My bro gave me the bike to work on having never had it started and never rode it. The thought was, clean out the carbs, toss some new tires on it, and go riding. Uh, yeah, right. Dream on. Everything I listed, I've worked on. Gearbox, clutch, rear brakes (shoes, reset the brake pedal to different height & geometry,) leaky front brake reservoir, tune up, tires, wheels, starter, and on and on. Get one thing fixed and adjusted and something else pops up.

    I'm not resentful or angry. I like the BMW, like working on it, like the readiness of people to offer advice and explanation. I even like the local dealer, who seems to care and carry lots of parts like seals and gaskets.

    The previous owner did lots of cool stuff oversized pistons, dual plug heads, Mikuni VM38's, frame stiffeners, electronic ignition, a more comfortable old school Mayer seat, and on an on. Prolly upwards of $2500 in stuff in 90's dollars. The lineup for next year, is to switch to the replacement frame--less rust and will be powdercoated by then & new bearings in the Lester wheels. & Maybe have the fuel tank powdercoated.

    If the goal is to have a reliable, fun, bike, all I'm saying is that I could live with a beater R65/6 that's all the same oem instead of parts from here and there, that need to be identified to be replaced. Case in point--the rear brake shoes. Were they 71 /5 or 76 /6? I eventually pulled them out and did a visual comparison with pictures on the 'net. And the bike has a Dyna ignition module and dual lead coils. But any documentation that came with the parts is long gone.

    Dicked with less=easier to work on. And, truly, BMW's way of doing things is vastly different from anything (Japanese) bikes I've previously worked on. The added complexity, the lack of documentation, and the learning curve of something so different has lead to lots off thinking, contemplation, and stupid questions here in Airheads.

    I'm probably not going to pull the starter back out to count teeth on it or the flywheel, btw. I've been warned, I know. But checking the numbers on the old Bosch starter and then checking the applications table at Arrowhead should be sufficient.

    Not complaining, really. But, my brother is thinking, I think, that for just something to ride, he could have given me something else--his Buell, an SRX (cool Yamaha thumper,) an old Suzuki turbo, or a Guzzi. I update him, he apologizes, I say 'I don't hate it, no need to apologize.' Rinse and repeat.

    Gregory Bender, of This Old Tractor, says that old bikes (in his case Moto Guzzi) really need to be taken apart and gone through if they've been well used or have sat around for years. Turns out this is apt advice--and in practice, it's what I've been doing.

    Thanks for the kind words, concern, and advice.
    #47
  8. JimGregory

    JimGregory Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,404
    Location:
    Milford, CT
    Ok I'll say it. Thats a noble cause too.
    Dont worry you are not in danger of being nighted. It's just an old saying.
    I'm not sure an old quirky BMW is a good guest bike but I guess it depends on the guest. Also it's none of my damn business. There are no rules or laws that come with old BMW's, though some might argue that.
    #48
  9. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    6,844
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    BMW airheads are really not more complex .. just different. definitely a culture shock if coming from other makes. grew up with HD, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda, Bultaco and a rash of British sports cars. had all sorts of fun figuring out airhead basics .. a steep learning curve, but well worth the effort.

    got a rude awakening when I had to order parts for my first airhead, a dead 74 R90S .. there was no discounted parts that I could find .. nada .. everyone had the same high $$$ prices.

    got digging for airhead parts sources and technical info and stumbled on Advrider's airhead community .. the deep airhead knowledge on Adv is flat amazing!!! what's more amazing is how willing those folks are willing to share their expertise.
    #49
  10. 685

    685 Scarred Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,081
    Location:
    Tucson (east side) AZ
    Well went out this morning and fixed the turnsignals (yay!) Started the bike up once, it stalled, and now: Click, click, click!


    No starter at all. <sigh!>

    Was going riding, but now, I'll put on some shorts and take it all apart again.:puke2 My brother is coming in next Tuesday.


    EDIT: Just got off the phone. Must be that this happens often, I guess. They shipped one out today and gave me a prepaid return label. No questions asked. DB Electrical is on my up and up list, even if I have doubts about the Arrowhead starter.





    </sigh!>
    #50
  11. JimGregory

    JimGregory Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,404
    Location:
    Milford, CT
    I would charge the battery some.
    </sigh!>
    #51
  12. nothing

    nothing Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    337
    Location:
    PDX OR
    Jump start it and go ride.
    #52
  13. 685

    685 Scarred Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,081
    Location:
    Tucson (east side) AZ
    T'ain't the battery, it's the starter. Battery is sitting at 12.8 volts. Thanks tho, nice thought.

    The solenoid appears to be defective. Jams open, then jams closed (starter won't disengage.) It's packed up and ready to ship. BTW, while I had it out, I counted the teeth. Both starters are 9 tooth.
    #53
  14. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,543
    Location:
    Bath Uk
    But you still haven't counted the teeth on the flywheel yet? There could be a common cause why both the starters stopped working?
    #54
  15. boxerboy81

    boxerboy81 Stay Horizontal

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,736
    Location:
    Melbourne, Oz
    Any further opinions/updates on the cheap starters? Any reports of failure or longevity?
    #55
  16. ianblomeyer

    ianblomeyer ianblomeyer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Oddometer:
    71
    Location:
    south africa
    I have had one for several years in my G/S it got a bit noisy so i took it to a auto electrician . We checked it out .Firstly the magnets had clips. He said their are plenty of spares and it just needed a service . It still makes noises but works well. It appears to have been made in Poland .
    #56
  17. Beemerboff

    Beemerboff Long timer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,179
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Online Racing Spares has the Arrowhead one EME sells, and I have had one of EME.s in the G/S for over 200,000 km.
    Some overseas sellers have them for $us56- , but with $us29- postage, Paypals lousy exchange rate , GST and bank charges ORS's $160- price ends up around the same, and you have it in two days.
    Just put one in the R75/7.
    #57
  18. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    6,538
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    After reading this whole thread, I'm just wondering if his brother ever got to ride the bike?
    #58
  19. Beemerboff

    Beemerboff Long timer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,179
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Remember if you change from BOSCH to Valeo you need to upgrade the starter relay to the later one too, as the Valeo solenoid draws more than the Bosch.
    There is a factory notice out there somewhere----.
    #59
  20. AndrewSJC

    AndrewSJC Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2014
    Oddometer:
    226
    Location:
    San Juan Capistrano, CA
    Thanks for the heads-up. I was getting ready to test-start my R90 after replacing the stock starter with a Valeo clone. Would it do any harm to start the bike up a few times with the stock starter relay, or do I need to replace the relay before attempting to start the bike?
    #60