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Thread: 2004 R1150RT Alternator Problem

  1. #16
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger 04 RT View Post
    Thanks MM. In the back of my mind, I'm thinking that if the starter's a problem I might just replace it.
    If that is what you end up doing, euromotoelectrics has replacement starters starting at $119 for Enduralast brand and $189 for Valeo. They also have a Valea replacment housing with the magnet fix if that is the only problem found. I just put a new Valeo in my RT and problem solved.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  2. #17
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    I pulled all the plastic and the fuel tank. The Blue D+ wire connects to a spade terminal on the alternator with a press-on female spade. Wiggling that connection restored continuity to the circuit and the Batt/Alt light now comes on at Key On. My garage is below freezing today and that press-on connection is in a knuckle-busting location. As soon as it warms up I'll check for corrosion and/or a loose fit. It looks like I won't have to pull the alternator.

    Further investigation of the starter will have to wait for a warmer day.

    RB

  3. #18
    Registered User PAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Wanderer View Post
    The bad Valeo starters were in a lot of bikes for several year models.
    Check the part number sticker on them.
    - If you have the D6RA-55 (bad) model you have the bad magnet design
    - If you have the D6RA-75 (good) model it has metal magnet retainers in the housing and even if the glue gives up the magnets will not get jammed into the stator like PetDocs did.
    Do you happen to have the years involved with the different starters? My old 98 Saturn has the bad design but after 188K no problems. It's my 03 R1150RT that has me a bit worried. How common is the magnet problem?

  4. #19
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger 04 RT View Post
    I pulled all the plastic and the fuel tank. The Blue D+ wire connects to a spade terminal on the alternator with a press-on female spade. Wiggling that connection restored continuity to the circuit and the Batt/Alt light now comes on at Key On. My garage is below freezing today and that press-on connection is in a knuckle-busting location. As soon as it warms up I'll check for corrosion and/or a loose fit. It looks like I won't have to pull the alternator.

    Further investigation of the starter will have to wait for a warmer day.

    RB
    Glad you did not replace the starter to fix the charging problem

  5. #20
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Agreed, though I still plan to pull the starter and give it a look over, and while it's out see what the clutch plate to transmission input shaft play looks like.

  6. #21
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAS View Post
    Do you happen to have the years involved with the different starters? My old 98 Saturn has the bad design but after 188K no problems. It's my 03 R1150RT that has me a bit worried. How common is the magnet problem?
    Sorry PAS, no idea where and when BMW used the D6RA-55 Valeo part. I do know for sure that my '96 RT had one in it and in '95 and '96 they were failing frequently. It is very easy to check though. If the part number label is not visible pulling the starter from an oilhead is very easy once you figure out the right angle to wiggle it out of there. No matter which one you have it's also a good idea to pull it every year or so and clean out the bendix gear, nose bushing etc. and lightly lube it. While you are in there with the starter out of the way you can also measure clutch wear and spline wear.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  7. #22
    Registered User PAS's Avatar
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    Actually did a spline lube last march but never gave it a thought to check the starter. I foolishly assumed the magnet problem was fixed many years ago. It may be worth checking and replacing with the "fixed housing" from EME for $35.

    http://www.euromotoelectrics.com/pro...6ra-magccw.htm

  8. #23
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Success.

    There were two separate problems:

    1. The D+ spade terminal at the alternator was loose. Tightened up and reinstalled and the alternator starts first time, every time.

    2. The starter motor was binding sometimes, drawing lots of current and causing the battery voltage to drop during cranking. This also means the injectors don't fire enough fuel, causing it to crank longer before starting.

    Took the starter out and broke it down, in pieces. The model is D6RA75 which I believe is the "good" one.

    What I've found is that the inside cover to the planetary gear system had somehow fallen out from it's location covering the gears. It then ended up attracted to the permanent magnets and found its way to the top of the armature. The piece I'm referring to is the cover you can see in the (copied photo from another post) picture below. It has been rotating with the armature, part of the inner hole has worn off and there are signs of arcing (including some holes in the cover!) but otherwise it looks fine. The armature wiring that made contact with the cover had some wear but is okay.

    I reinstalled the planetary gear cover as in the photo below, put the starter back together after a bit of lubrication and cleaning. The motor now spins faster, is quieter and the battery voltage stays higher during cranking. The bike starts more quickly too.

    Thanks everyone for the help.


  9. #24
    Lucky motorradmike's Avatar
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    Well done Roger. No parts!

    If you had taken it to an average shop, you'd have a new battery, new starter, and they never would have found the loose field connection.
    I may be cynical, but I have good reasons.
    Mike Marr
    1978 Yamaha XS750 (Needs rings), 1996 BMW R1100RS, 2004 Honda CRF230F

  10. #25
    Bruce Toner
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    Mike,
    What voltage were you getting at the starter with the bad starter? Did you happen to recheck it with the new one? I am wondering what the voltage would be if the starter is ok.


    Bruce

  11. #26
    Lucky motorradmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucetoner View Post
    Mike,
    What voltage were you getting at the starter with the bad starter? Did you happen to recheck it with the new one? I am wondering what the voltage would be if the starter is ok.


    Bruce

    I don't remember the voltage, just that it was only slightly higher using a much bigger battery.
    That told me that my bike battery was not the problem.
    I had already eliminated poor connections.

    The problem is that "slow cranking" can be caused by both a weak battery, and a starter that draws more than it should.
    Simply measuring voltage at the starter doesn't tell the whole story, you need to know how much electrical power the starter is consuming compared to how much mechanical power it is producing. Difficult to do with what most of us have around the garage.

    What I did wasn't much better than a guess, effectively replace the battery and see what happens.

    10V is generally accepted as reasonable battery voltage while cranking, it will be less at the starter.
    Mike Marr
    1978 Yamaha XS750 (Needs rings), 1996 BMW R1100RS, 2004 Honda CRF230F

  12. #27
    Bruce Toner
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    Thanks Mike,

    Cheers!

    Bruce

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