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Old 15 Nov 2002
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Location: Saginaw, Michigan, USA
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R100GS Bosch/Valeo Starters

I picked up a used Bosch starter and dropped it and my '92 R100GS off at the dealership. The mechanic there told me that in his experience, the Valeos require less juice and turn faster than the Bosch units. I understand that the advantage of the Bosch's include that they can be rebuilt and they should be more reliable. The valeos are prone to the magnets breaking loose (as discussed elsewhere on HU). Finally, the mechanic told me that replacement of the (USD 16) starter relay is required when replacing a valeo with a Bosch. Anyone know why this is the case? Anything else to worry about when making this swap?

Thanks in advance,
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Old 15 Nov 2002
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Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 24
I too understand that the Bosch starter is rebuildable and more reliable. When the Valeo in my R-100GS died three years ago, I replaced it with a rebuilt Bosch. I did not replace the starter relay and I have not had any problems.
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Old 15 Nov 2002
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Reno,NV,USA
Posts: 564
I replaced my starter on my 92 R100R on
8/7/98 at 75,590 miles with a used Bosch.
A year or so later I replaced the bendix.
Since then I have replaced 2 starter relays and 2 solenoids. I am at 161,000 miles now.
I don't think that's too bad just regular upkeep.
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Old 17 Nov 2002
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Canada and the Alps
Posts: 123
I've rebuilt my Valeo starter twice now, although BMW will tell you that they are not.

The biggest problem with these starters is that they drop magnets. Some last forever, other go in the first few years.

In case anyone out there decides to stick with their Valeo, here are a few options:

Saturn cars have used Valeo starters as well as other brands. I needed the motor housing that contains the magnets. This part of the starter is 100% identical; except for the parts under the brush holder, the other parts are not interchangable. I picked up a used starter for a fraction of the cost.

New Valeos are available from Ace Houston Wearhouse. Contact: Bob Spencer at 1-800-392-3332. Part number: D6RA 15, new Valeo part number: 432586. $172.50 in August 2001. Quote account number: 700 - Airhead Beemer Club.

If you are considering rebuilding your Valeo starter, I have a short write-up of my rebuild on my web site. Have a look under the "Technical Stuff" heading in the contents column.


Alex's BMW Motorcycle & Global Touring Page http://www.ott.igs.net/~ace
All the best,

Alex's BMW Motorcycle & Global Touring Page
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Old 12 Dec 2002
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I think that Motorworks in the UK do refurbishing of Valeo's: http://www.motorworks.co.uk
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Old 1 Jan 2003
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Location: Heathrow,UK.
Posts: 11
My 0.02p here:
PROS:turns faster,less current drain,easier to work on and fit spares,weighs less,Comes out with 2 bolts.
CONS:Only has 2 brushes(wear faster),has bakerlite/plastic brush holder which breaks down with heat.Is not as heavy duty as the Bosch.
PROS:Heavy duty,Has 4 brushes which last longer,has metal brush holder,needs less maintenance.
Cons:weighs more,Is arkward to work on(Brushes and springs)Is not as efficient.Has 3 mounting points which necessitates front engine cover removal.

Notes:I have found on the Valeo if you drill the rivetts out that hold the 2 main halves together and grease well you will get much longer life out of the unit.
I have not changed the starter relay ever with either of these starters.
The later 4-valve valeos use exactly the same internals except the motor turns the other way(magnets are other way round).
Trying to re-glue the magnets is not recommended(they must be correctly polarised!!)
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