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Update on my alternator failure...2014 RTWH..sorry for the delay but due to a long wait for the parts and a couple tools required to remove clutch and gearbox cover along with some life changes I am in the process of putting her back together....after maybe to much worry and research while waiting and in order to prevent this from happening again... I installed a heavier duty series style regulator and relocated it up front under the headlight for better airflow I also replaced the lithium battery that I had installed three years previous with an AGM...thinking the bike just didn't like the charge and discharge characteristics of the lithium....note I saw no physical difference between the old stator and the new...but it turns out that at the factory when they assembled the engine someone did not torque one of the bolts holding the magnet wheel to the crank...and said bolt came out and luckily stuck to the magenet and chewed up the stator...so that was the actual cause of my failure at 93K miles....this has been quite a task for a shade tree mechanic like myself...and I have learned a lot...biggest pain in the ass is and was figuring out all the combination on all the connectors..ugh...I have the engine back in and getting close to being far enough along to hopefully start her up without any issues...I will report...wish me luck!!!!
 

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That's quite a task to take on, impressive, good luck!
 

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Yes, that is quite a task for a shade tree mecanic.
It's good that you found the root cause of your problem. Would you still replace the r/r knowing that?
 

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Update on my alternator failure.
..but it turns out that the bolts holding the magnet wheel to the crank...came out ...and chewed up the stator...so that was the actual cause of my failure
So can we clarify, your failure was not due to regulator pack / battery / just a mechanical cock up?

If that is the case, I wonder how many folk are panicking about their alternators unnecessarily?
The alternator issue will still probably go down in folk lore as the Achilles heel of the Wethead!
 

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If that is the case, I wonder how many folk are panicking about their alternators unnecessarily?
The alternator issue will still probably go down in folk lore as the Achilles heel of the Wethead!
Indeed, I can hear it morphing into Final Drive, the Sequel!
 

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Very impressive. Amazing accomplishment for a "shader!"

The failure mode, being mechanical in nature, is good news in that it wasn't some electrical gremlin (though I like the idea of blaming the final drive! >:) ).

What factory tools did you need to buy to do it? If you don't mind my asking, how much do you think this ended up costing you to do yourself verses paying the dealer to do it?

PS - Oooo!!!! Let's blame it on the engine oil you used!!! Bet it was, eh, Castrol! Yeah that's it! Obviously using Castrol is the root cause of all these Wethead alternator failures!!! >:)
 

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Great pictures and a amazing job of doing this. Not sure I would.

Of biggest concern to me is this is not a normal failure at all. So as has been said the alternator may be getting a bad rap, and any angst over it may be misplaced.

I am sure the answer would be well with 93K on the motor we cant be responsible for a bolt vibrating loose. What a lot of work for a loose bolt.

I too am curious as to what tools you needed.
 

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How in the hell does this not fall under a warranty issue? I know you're past your mileage mark (unless you had an extended warranty), but this isn't something that should happen at all! Nothing inside the engine should be coming apart just from normal use! Tires and brakes wear out. Hoses harden and could develop leaks. BOLTS SHOULD NEVER COME OFF!

I would be raising hell about this.
 

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Thanks for this follow up! Very glad that it was a real screw-up ( ;) ) that had caused the failure rather than what had been discussed! As suggested, you definitely should contact BMW about this! Being able to show them the damaged stator should count for something!!!
 

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Thanks for sharing your project with us. Well done. There may not be many BMW techs that have done something like this. If you hadn't done this yourself, do you think that you have found out how it failed?

One of my biggest concerns when tackling a several day project is keeping things clean. It doesn’t help that my wife insists on parking in the garage. Note to self if I attempt something like this: document; label connector usage.

I’m looking forward to hearing that the project’s completed.
 

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Well do not be impressed with my shade tree skills yet....got the bike back together to a point where I could start her...problem!!!!....it seems the motor is locked up now...apparently I did something wrong...I should have checked that before I put it back in...crap!!! Seems like I have to do everything twice before I get it right...live and learn...so back apart she will come...I did show my evidence to the dealer and I also sent pics and talked to customer service...no help so far...as far as the tools...you must have the crank shafts locking pin tool...it allows for both TDC and BDC locking..must use BDC to remove the gear box cover...that tool was about 200 bucks...also you must have the clutch locking tool...about 25 bucks...I also purchased a lift from harbor freight...350 bucks..I will use it often later...the locking pin is useful for valve clearance checks also...would I have replaced the regulator anyway...had this issue not come up then maybe not...however it kinda makes sense with it tucked up in under the seat and the only airflow it gets is off the engine that it needed to be relocated...the battery thing was just a guess...and obviously the problem was the bolt coming out that caused this problem in the first place...not the regulator or the stator or the battery...so pretty depressing that I have to do it again but it will go much faster this time...would much rather be riding and enjoying this awesome bike...I will now always wonder if the same person that failed to torque that bolt or whatever assembled the rest of the motor...maybe had a bad day or whatever...but I totally agree that to have a bolt fall out inside the engine is unacceptable....I don't care how many miles is on it....that is a quality control issue not a part failure..someone asked about cost...the alternator was around 1300.00 and labor was estimated to be 12 to 15 hrs at 120.00 per...so in hindsite right now I wish I would have taken it to the dealer of course...but it is what it is and I will carry on...whether or not we would know about the bolt????...yep they might have kept that under the hat so to speak...have a great day of riding everyone!!!
 

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...it seems the motor is locked up now...apparently I did something wrong...I should have checked that before I put it back in...crap!!!
So sorry. I feel your pain.




...would I have replaced the regulator anyway...had this issue not come up then maybe not...however it kinda makes sense with it tucked up in under the seat and the only airflow it gets is off the engine that it needed to be relocated...
The regulator, like the alternator, It has never been a problem, so why move it!
I guess BMW did their homework and established the thermal load this item experiences. When they did their environmental testing and temperature calculations it must have passed. It is like when we fitted the external fuel pump on the 1100 /1150RT we were looking for a solution to a problem that didn't exist.
 

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This type of failure should NOT be happening regardless of mileage, especially if someone within BMW has made the statement they 'know' the root cause is a process problem in torquing during an engine build. By sharing your problem you have made others aware this may be a 'systemic issue' with this bike, resulting in BMW liable for the total cost of repair and potentially saving someone's life in the process.
File a report with NHTSA (Vehicle Safety Hotline Toll-Free: 1-888-327-4236) or Google on how to do this online. It is a quick process but be precise in your description like your postings.

FYI - This reminds me of the systemic failures with BMW fuel line 'plastic quick connectors' that would fail due to an inherent material issue that would not withstand 'reformulated US gasoline' and mechanically fail,,,, creating anything from a slight fuel weep to an immediate evacuation of all fuel in the gas tank,,,, onto hot engine components. I filed with NHTSA and pushed for a dealer recall which BMW resisted.
 

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I just had the same issue on my 2017 RT two weeks ago. The mileage was 80k km. Managed to get a used altetnator and hope to get the enogine boxed up by today.
 

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I just had the same issue on my 2017 RT two weeks ago. The mileage was 80k km. Managed to get a used altetnator and hope to get the enogine boxed up by today.


When you say you had the same issue, do you mean your alternator electrically failed, or one of the bolts had come loose and destroyed the alternator?
 

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Put some Gorilla glue on it. That'll fix it! Or go Red-Green mode and duct tape it.
 
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