Saturday, May 03, 2008

Fixing my Noisy Starter

For a while now, I've noticed usually during cold starts, a slight metal on metal grinding noise that lasted for less than a second or so when starting the motorcycle. It had me a bit worried since I was thinking it was the timing chain slapping against the housing because it might be not tight enough.

Luckily, I found this article on called "Squeaking Starter Repair". Reading it, it describe the noise that I'd been hearing exactly even though the title did not. Here's an excerpt:

When you start the motorcycle, after the starter has cranked the engine for a few seconds, and it the engine fires and starts, then your hear a squeaking noise (metal against metal, teeth grinding). It only lasts for a second. Maybe two.
The above description was exactly what I was experiencing! So I read the article and determined it was within my skill level of wrenching. I was not planning on taking the whole starter apart to do a thorough cleaning as the author wrote that just cleaning the accessible areas of the starter would probably do the job. My heartfelt thanks to the author: TaSK, whomever you are, great "how to" article on how to do this wrenching task. It helped me fix my noisy starter!

As you can see in the pictures below, the starter was quite filthy, both outside and inside.

My Valeo Starter, just off the engine block

Outboard Side, pre-cleaning, quite filthy eh?

Inboard side, just as filthy

Bottom view of the starter

I used some carburetor cleaner solution to clean off most of the remaining gunk after wiping the bigger stuff off with some shop towels. The task of cleaning it is easy, just be careful where you spray the cleaner and keep an eye on the pin as noted in the repair guide, it could conceivably work itself out when you're moving the parts back and forth to clean them and re-grease the shaft sections.

Inboard Side

Outboard Side

Bottom side

The starter disassembled and assembled pretty easily since I'd only taken the top cover off. Mounting it back onto the engine block is not too much of a pain. The bottom mounting bolt gave me the most trouble. I did have to unbolt the left side footpeg mount/cover in order to access the mounting bolts by the way. The guide is premised on a 1150GS motorcycle, more stuff to remove on a 1150RT.

Above photo taken a while ago, shows location of starter on Maria

I tested the started before mounting back the cover and the tupperware, it worked beautifully! Got the motorcycle all buttoned up and she's ready for more riding. Yet another small step by me towards becoming a beemer wrencher....


TaSK said... is awsome, and the little guide I wrote was my way of contributing back to the site. I am very happy you liked it!

Ride far, ride slowly, take care!


Charlie6 said...

thank you again riding to you as well.