- Parts List
- Remove Starter Motor
- Remove Starter Solenoid
- Disassemble Starter Motor
- Clean Up Commutator & Paint Parts
- Assemble Starter Motor
- Testing the Starter Motor
- Mount Starter Motor
I replaced all the engine electrics (alternator, diode board) all the engine wiring mounted to the timing chest cover. You can read about that work here:
Due to the amount of rust on the motor housing and corrosion I found in the front engine cover, it’s possible there is corrosion inside the motor as well. I had some problems starting the bike. So I refurbish the starter motor; I remove the rust, paint the starter motor and starter solenoid, replace the brushes and install new armature bushings.
The starter motor is a Bosch type 157, model 023. That means it is a 9 tooth starter motor which ONLY works with the 111 tooth flywheel, (part#: 11 22 1 336 380) . It develops just about 1 Hp (0.7 Kw).
Euro Motoelectrics provides a kit to refurbish a Bosch type 157 starter motor. They also stock many of the parts to repair the motor and complete replacement motors.
|BO157-TKPLUS||Starter Kit 12 41 1 352 536, 527, 537_Bosch 157 Series|
Bob Fleischer has material about Bosch and other replacement starter motors.
- Electrical Hints, Problems, Fixes.
- Troubleshooting the Starting System
- Starting & Starter Problems
- Retrofitting The Valeo Starter-BMW Service Bulletin
After I finished this work, I stumbled across a series of YouTube videos by Motor Phoenix about the starter motor. Although you do sit through removal of bolts and nuts and the focus is lost on occasion, it’s a good series by a knowledgeable mechanic.
Remove Starter Motor
The starter motor is under the top engine cover. It can be removed with the engine in the frame, but it’s a tight fit with little room to work. It’s very easy when the engine is out of the frame.
The starter motor mounts on the top of the engine with two Allen head bolts at the rear and a hex head bolt that attaches a bracket to the front of the engine block. The rear Allen bolts are tucked under the motor. I can get the long leg of an Allen wrench on them and use a socket to remove the nuts. The nuts secure a wire bail the holds the plastic cover over the Bendix starter pinion.
The shelf the starter motor mounts on is filthy so I use some engine cleaner to remove the greasy muck.
I use a wire brush to get the loose rust off the motor and starter solenoid.
Remove Starter Solenoid
All the fasteners have rust on them so I apply some Kroil penetrating oil and let it sit for a bit before removing them.
There is a braided copper wire attached to one of the threaded terminals on the starter solenoid. I remove it. After I remove it, I leave the nut and lock washer on the other threaded terminal the (+) battery cable attaches to. That way I’ll position the starter solenoid in the correct orientation when I reassemble it so I don’t get the terminals switched.
The stater solenoid has a bolt that attaches it to the cast housing for the Bendix gear. I remove it.
Then I remove the two screws that secure the starter solenoid to the cast Bendix gear housing with an impact driver.
I slide the solenoid out of the cast Bendix gear housing. There is a rectangular rod with a hole in it which engages a lever to push the Bendix gear in and out so it engages the flywheel.
Disassemble Starter Motor
You will note the starter solenoid is still attached in the following photos. I should have removed it first but didn’t. So I organized the write-up in the proper sequence.
The body is secured with two long bolts that have captive nuts. These are the same bolts the front mounting plate attaches to.
I separate the motor housing from the cast Bendix housing, but I have to remove the armature retaining C-clip under the protective cover of the brush holder on the other end of the motor before I can remove the armature from the motor housing.
I remove the two screws that secure the alternator bushing cover.
This end of the armature is secured with a large C-clip and I remove it.
Next are three shims and then a seal.
Here are all the parts in order of disassembly from right to left.
I push the armature through the brush holder.
The armature is free from the field coil housing.
Inside the field coil housing are the coils along the perimeter and at the bottom is the brush holder.
There is a Bendix gear actuating arm inside the Bendix cast housing.
I pull the armature with the Bendix gear out of the housing. I didn’t notice the rubber seal which pops out.
This is the orientation of the seal in the cast Bendix housing.
As the armature comes out of the cast Bendix gear housing, the actuating arm comes off.
It has a groove in the arms of the yoke that fit on the round sleeve at the back of the Bendix gear assembly.
Remove Brush Holder Cover
The brush cover is supposed to “just slip off” the motor housing. Mine did not want to do that and I had to use a screw driver to drive it off the motor housing. I pushed in along the edge of the rubber seal surrounding the braided copper wire and then used a plastic hammer to loosen the cover from the motor and open up a crack between the cover and the motor housing.
As I found out when assembling the starter motor, it’s a good idea to put an index mark across the field coil housing and Bendix gear cast housing so it’s easy to align them again. The long bolts with captive nuts have to thread into holes in the brush holder. I had to rotate the field coil cover a bit to get the long bolts to align with the holes.
Then I twisted a screw driver blade in the gap all around the cover to get it loose.
Now I can access the brush holder on the end of the motor housing.
Disassemble Brush Holder
The brush holder is attached to the the field coil inside the field coil cover. I remove the brush cover by pulling the springs off the ends of the brushes and hanging them on the edge of the brush slots. Then I pull the brushes out of their slots.
There are four brushes; two of the brushes are attached to the cover and the other two are attached to the field coil.
Remove Old Brushes, Install New
The Euro Motoelectrics upgrade kit includes four brushes, coil springs and two new armature bushings.
I inspect the brush holder and I expect the brush pigtail to be soldered but that’s not the case. The copper is “welded” to the lug by being crimped at high pressure to the lug.
So I cut the pigtail and then file down the old copper strands.
I tin the end of the new pigtail and the lug and then solder the new brush pigtail to the lug.
The field coil brushes are attached to lugs on a bus bar that connects to the braided copper wire that was attached to a threaded terminal of the starter solenoid. The bus and field coils are coated in rubber insulation.
I clean the rubber off the lug.
I pull the ring buss off it’s holder so I can expose the end of the brush pig tail. I cut the pig tail off, and file the remaining copper strands down. I tin the end of the pigtail and the lug and then solder them together.
After the new brush pigtails are soldered to the field coil bus lugs, I push the bus back into the clamp and squeeze the clamp tight on the bus. Then I coat the exposed parts of the bus and the lugs with black automobile touch up paint.
Clean Up Commutator & Paint Parts
I repainted the field coil cover, Bendix Gear cast housing and solenoid.
I use some copper polish and then some 1000 grit sand paper to clean the commutator on the alternator.
Assemble Starter Motor
I replace the armature bushings and then assemble the motor and solenoid.
Replace Armature Bushings
The armature mounts in two bushings, one in the Bendix gear cast housing and the other in the brush holder cover. I soak the new bushings in motor oil overnight.
The bushings have different thickness. The thick one goes in the brush holder and the thin one in the Bendix cast holder.
I drive out the old bushings using an appropriate size socket.
To install the new bushing in the brush holder cover, I invert the socket to the end the extension mounts to is against the bushing. This helps prevent bending the edge of the bushing.
The Bendix gear cast housing has a sharp edge on the outside and a bevel on the inside. I install the new bushing from the inside so it will not be damaged. I invert the socket as I did when driving the bushing in the brush holder cap. I use a long extension inserted into the front of the socket so I can drive it into the Bendix cast hosing. By the way, this bushing is longer than the original one so it fills the hole but the original is recessed so the bushing is flush with the inside edge of the hole.
Install Brush Holder
I insert the four new brushes into the slots in the brush holder.
I insert the commutator end of the armature in the field coil housing and then set the coil springs on the end of the brushes.
Install Brush Holder Cover
I put the brush holder cover on so the armature shaft fits through the hole in the cover with the rubber grommet around the braided wire in the slot. It is supposed to slip on the field coil housing, but mine is too tight to slide all the way on. Later I use the long bolts with captive nuts to pull it down. Then I install the seal, shims and retaining clip. I hold the motor so the armature doesn’t slip out of the brush holder.
Install Bendix Gear Actuating Arm
I put a bit of grease in the crease of the Bendix gear actuating arm and on the slot of the starter solenoid arm the fits over the end of the actuating arm.
I insert the circular arms of the actuating arm on the disk of the Bendix gear and maneuver the a shaft inside the slot of the Bendix cast housing. This is a bit fiddly to do since there isn’t a lot of clearance between the cast housing and the field coil housing.
I insert the pivot bolt through the solenoid Bendix gear cast housing and the Bendix gear actuating arm and secure it with the nut and washer.
Install Starter Solenoid
I insert the stater solenoid so the slot in the actuating arm slips over the end of the Bendix gear actuating arm.
I install the rubber grommet and then push the Bendix gear cast housing onto the field coil housing. Then I secure the starter solenoid to the Bendix gear cast housing with the two bolts.
I put the tab on the end of the braided wire that powers the field coil on the threaded terminal, the one that I left the nut and washer off when I disassembled it so I’d get the field coil power on the correct solenoid threaded terminal.
I insert the two long bolts with captive nuts through the holes in the brush holder cover. I twist the field coil cover a bit to get the bolt to align with the threaded hole in the cover.
I clean the paint off the face of the rear mounting bracket as this serves as the ground for the motor.
Testing the Starter Motor
I mount the starter motor firmly in my bench vice and connect a battery to the stater solenoid so I can test the motor before installing it and correct any mistakes I may have made. I connect the (+) battery cable to the threaded terminal of starter solenoid and use a bolt to through a rear mounting hole for the (-) ground cable.
At 1 Hp, the motor creates a large torque when starting to spin up and you don’t want it to get loose as it can hurt you and damage the motor.
Also, don’t allow the cables of on the battery to touch each other or the metal vice. There is enough power in the battery to metal the ends of the terminals.
I use a bit of wire and wrap one end over the spade terminal of the stater solenoid. If I touch it to the threaded terminal with the (+) battery terminal the motor ought to spin.
Here is a short video of the test.
VIDEO: CLICK TO RUN
Mount Starter Motor
Before I mount the starter motor, I spray more paint to cover the mounting bolts and the threaded terminal with the braided copper lead to the field coil. This was the way I found things when I removed it. I suspect Bosch wanted to reduce the opportunity for water to seep into the inside of the motor and solenoid. I also make sure the circular edge of the engine block the Bendix cast housing mounts to is clean so the motor sits square to the flywheel.
Here are is the hardware.
The front mounting plate has an offset in it. The orientation against the motor is as shown below.
Here is the hardware orientation to mount the bracket to the motor.
The Plastic Bendix gear cover goes over the exposed gear on the back of the motor.
I install the Allen head bolts with the bolt head inside the starter motor cavity. The nuts have a slot on one end and it goes against the engine block with the ends of the wire bail that secures the cover in the slots.
I install the bolt through the front bracket and orient the bracket so it won’t interfere with the gasket under the timing chest cover.
Then I tighten the rear Allen bolts and nuts and recheck that front bracket bolts and nuts are tight.
Last I install the engine breather hose so it routes over the top of the motor.
1980 R100RT Starter Motor Front Mounting Bracket had a slot cut in it so the fixing bolt did not have to be fully removed. Removal of oil cooler to get the front cover off helped to gain access to this bolt. Starter mounting bolts were not socket head nor are those shown in the fiche. I had to remove air box to gain access to these bolts.
Can not find anywhere, except fleischer, any info about oil breather which is why I removed the starter. Where is that oil return hole that should be cleared?
I sent you a note today via the CO-ABC MeetUp Email system.
I’ve not worked on a 1980 so there are likely differences in the details of the starter motor mount and particulars under the top engine cover. On the bikes I have worked on, I have not looked for the “hole” as I’ve not had need to, so I can’t tell you (or show you a picture) of where to look.
Perhaps someone else who subscribes can help you, or you can post a note to the airhead email list:
–> [email protected]
And if you haven’t joined:
Hope that helps.
Hey there Brook;
You cover much of what I was looking for with this model starter motor. However you don’t mention the bendix gear assembly, i.e.: shaft wear, spring tension, lubrication, etc… Anything to be concerned about in that area?
Keep up the good work, I enjoy following your projects.
When I inspected the gear, the teeth were not chipped or broken. The spring seemed strong. After rebuilding it, the Bendix gear spun out and back with no observable issues. Since the Bendix gear engages the flywheel next to the clutch assembly, lubrication can contaminate the clutch plate. I used a dab of wheel bearing grease on the pivot of the Bendix yoke and where the yoke plates engage the circular ring on the Bendix shaft (as shown in the documentation). I think that’s reasonable to reduce wear and hopefully won’t contaminate the clutch.
To be clear, the decision to rebuild the motor vs. buy a Vario or equivalent replacement typically ends up with buying a new motor from suppliers like Euro Motoelectrics since they are not very expensive. In my case, I wanted to learn what was involved in rebuilding the motor, and I wanted to preserve it due to this bike being a first year RS. I thought it was “fitting” to keep the motor, which is an emotional decision, not a logical one 🙂
Hello! I have an R100T 1980, and I decided to buy a new starter than repair the original, but the new one is shorter and does not have the two long bolts that have captive nuts, so is not necessary to use the front Starter Motor Bracket, Do you think this could be a problem in the future? or what do you recommend?
Note: I didn´t repair the original because I am writing from mexico and is hard to find that Rebuilt kit that you buy
Thank you for your note. Since I don’t know what make starter you bought, I can’t tell if it will work on your bike. There are companies that make starters that replace the original Bosch starter, such as Valeo. I have not installed any of these, so I don’t have any experience I can share.
You can read about Valeo replacement starters (which is popular make of replacement starter and could be the one you bought) here:
This is an excerpt from what Bob wrote about the Valeo.
“The Bosch starters use a bent metal plate mounted at the forward end, using one bolt to the timing chest wall. This supports the starter to the timing chest wall, needed with the heavy Bosch starter. When installing a Valeo in place of a Bosch, you do not use the the plate nor bolt. The Valeo installation is ~ 6 pounds lighter than the Bosch. Do not throw away that mounting plate; someone, or you, may eventually want it. When installing any starter be especially careful that the starter is properly & squarely mounted, you want to avoid breaking or otherwise cracking the starter nose casting during starter operation. Be sure the mounting cradle, nose area, etc., is clean of filth and there is no proud metal, etc. See later on that subject in this article! This caution on fitting includes the original starter …or a brand-new one!”
I hope this helps.
Hi Brook have replaced the nose on an old Bosch 9 tooth starter,the nose is slightly different from the original,the internal channel in which the bendix lever operates is narrower than the original,and is made in Spain,however my question is,what is the purpose of the rubber gasket,which sits in this channel?,i have not seen one for sale,and the original will not fit the narrower channel anyway,can i get away without fitting it?
I suspect the rubber grommet keeps dirt and debris out of the solenoid. It may also cushion the Bendix lever at it’s full extension, but that’s just a guess.
I’m curious if the nose you got is for the earlier 8 tooth starter housing. In checking parts fiche, I note that the later 9-tooth starter (1975 model year) had a different part# for the Bendix lever (8-tooth part# 12 41 1 352 528 (to 08/74); 9-tooth part# 12 41 1 243 138). The Bendix gears also have different part numbers which makes sense as the number of teeth change in the Bendix gear. That suggests the Bendix lever size and the slot in the housing changed size between the earlier 8-tooth and later 9-tooth starters. What I don’t know is if you can mix an 8-tooth nose with a 9-tooth starter motor assembly.
I suggest you carefully check that your Bendix lever will work with the nose you got. If it seems to operate smoothly, they one thought would be to use some RTV (look for the kind that gets hard when cured) to build up a grommet.
I hope that helps.
I really appreciate all the videos you have been making. I’m restoring a 1978 R100s and they have been extremely helpful. When you installed the new breather hose did you have any pointers to make it easier to fit the end of the hose into the airbox housing cover. The new hose from BMW is 24 or 25 mm and the hole in the airbox housing is 22 mm. Did you find any helpful ways to make it fit?
If you put a bit of silicone lubricant on the outside of the hose, or even a bit of 3-in-one oil, it should help it slide into the hole in the right airbox half. It’s a tight fit, but I got mine to slide in.
That said, I didn’t measure the OD of the hose or the ID of the hole, so I don’t know if my hose was the same size as yours.