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Thread: R1200RT alternator belt replacement

  1. #16
    gulfcoastbeemer
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    I'd like to thank the BMW DIY community and JimVonBaden for leading me through the first successful alternator belt replacement on my '07 R1200RT. It was a breeze.

    I did pickup a couple of very helpful tips that I would like to pass along.

    1. Rather than Jim's technique using a thick plastic strip and a screwdriver to lever the belt over the top pulley, I found it much easier to use a simple length of nylon web strap to remove the old belt via the bottom pulley. It only took a matter of seconds.

    Here is a link to a "Conti Elast" YouTube video (about 28 seconds into the video) that illustrates this simple belt removal technique using a nylon web strap: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r770767xSiA

    (also shown on the Conti website: http://www.contitech.de/pages/produk...-elast_en.html)

    2. By all means, remove the primary spark plug from each cylinder -- making rotating the engine much easier. Then, set the gearbox in 6th gear, and with the bike on the center stand, push the bottom of the rear tire away from you -- in the normal direction of travel, as you feed the nylon strap between the pulley and the belt during the removal process and again as you guide the belt on during the installation process.

    WATCH OUT where you place your fingers as you rotate the engine using the rear tire! Best to use the heel of your palm as Jim illustrates.

    Believe it or not, I didn't remove any of the tupperware from the bike to accomplish this. It's key to make sure the belt is on the top pulley correctly as you start the installation process.

    With some of the money I saved, I bought Jim's video.

  2. #17
    Kitsap County Rounder cwsenn's Avatar
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    I used Jim's video but instead of being concerned about placing a piece of plastic in with the belt to remove it I used my pocket knife and cut the dang thing. My goal was to replace it not to save it. Pretty simple job IMHO.
    Chuck Senn
    2006 R1200RT (Red)

  3. #18
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwsenn View Post
    I used Jim's video but instead of being concerned about placing a piece of plastic in with the belt to remove it I used my pocket knife and cut the dang thing. My goal was to replace it not to save it. Pretty simple job IMHO.
    Gordian knot solution #1 a sharp knife.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  4. #19
    david46
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    I have Jim's dvd and tried to change the alternator belt following his instructions. Not a chance in hell. Sure I could remove the old belt. It had stretched over time so no big deal. The new belt circumference is smaller. I even tried with the help of a very able 250 lb. line backer type on the rear wheel in sixth gear of course. No dice. I even put the belt in boiling water for a half an hour and still that puppy wouldn't stretch enough to get it on. Foiled again, so off to the dealer I went, it was on in five minutes. Good luck. I have used Jim's DVD for most of my maintenance and have had great success, except that alt. belt.

  5. #20
    gulfcoastbeemer
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    Quote Originally Posted by david46 View Post
    I have Jim's dvd and tried to change the alternator belt following his instructions. Not a chance in hell... I even put the belt in boiling water for a half an hour and still that puppy wouldn't stretch enough to get it on.
    The CONTITECH ELAST belt (4 PK 592) is designed to stretch and then contract into place to maintain proper belt tension.

    I believe heating rubber will cause it to contract, not expand -- a natural by-product of rubber's unique entropic chemistry.

    When I installed my new alternator belt, I was lying to the left of the bike on my left side, such that I could push the bottom of the rear tire with my right foot. The belt must be fully seated on the upper/alternator pulley at the outset, and you need to firmly "guide" the belt over the lower pulley while pushing on the tire.

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by gulfcoastbeemer View Post
    When I installed my new alternator belt, I was lying to the left of the bike on my left side, such that I could push the bottom of the rear tire with my right foot. The belt must be fully seated on the upper/alternator pulley at the outset, and you need to firmly "guide" the belt over the lower pulley while pushing on the tire.
    I found it a lot easier to put a socket over nut holding the lower pulley and turn the engine that way. A nail set or pin punch lightly held in one of the holes in the bottom pulley will stop the belt from walking off. It took me longer to remove/replace the front cover than it did to replace the belt.

  7. #22
    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    I have an even easier way, demonstrated on a 2011 R1200GSA:

    http://www.youtube.com/v/YzPTPN98x40?fs=1&hl=en_US

    Same way to remove it, use the plastic strip to lever it off, use the 12" Crescent wrench to rotate to motor, then to reinstall it.

    This might help some. I filmed it recently.

    Jim

  8. #23
    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimVonBaden1 View Post
    I have an even easier way, demonstrated on a 2011 R1200GSA:
    http://www.youtube.com/v/YzPTPN98x40?fs=1&hl=en_US
    Same way to remove it, use the plastic strip to lever it off, use the 12" Crescent wrench to rotate to motor, then to reinstall it.
    This might help some. I filmed it recently.
    Jim
    Well that looks easy enough. Thanks.
    Scott
    1988 K75 Low Seat
    2009 R1200R Roadster

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by JimVonBaden1 View Post
    I have an even easier way, demonstrated on a 2011 R1200GSA:

    http://www.youtube.com/v/YzPTPN98x40?fs=1&hl=en_US

    Same way to remove it, use the plastic strip to lever it off, use the 12" Crescent wrench to rotate to motor, then to reinstall it.
    Very nice, Jim. It looks like the handle of the Crescent wrench does the same job as the nail set/pin punch, just a lot easier.

    Alas, I don't own a Crescent wrench that big.

  10. #25
    Der Kaptain mrtnfischer's Avatar
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    Angry 90K on 06' rt , BELT, Do We need a BelT? Uggh

    They are still working on my RT, Now they think the pump is not working right for the fuel....But Now a Belt, When do they recommended to be replaced>>>>????

  11. #26
    The belt was a 36K mile item, although the one I took off my GS at that mileage still looked and felt great. I kept it as a backup spare.

    People have said that BMW changed to a 24K mile replacement schedule for the belt. I have no idea why.

  12. #27
    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchyman View Post
    Very nice, Jim. It looks like the handle of the Crescent wrench does the same job as the nail set/pin punch, just a lot easier.

    Alas, I don't own a Crescent wrench that big.

    Harbor freight, 4 size set, $12.99.

    Jim

  13. #28

    R1200RT Alternator Belt Replacement

    Greetings - I searched this site and others (including YouTube) for an alternator belt replacement thread. Interestingly the majority of these threads advocated the $200 tool or various other tools (screwdrivers, drill bits, soda bottles, pieces of plastic, etc.) I can't believe the neanderthal advice being given on a qualified BMW site!

    I will say that the endorsement of the BMW tool made me think to investigate. I found an alternative. Also, a member's wife suggested hot water to soften the belt. Don't know that it is necessary but I used that tip as well and the belt slipped on in two rotations of the crank. Here is the tip:
    - Go to O'Reilly's Auto Parts.
    - Rent "EverTough 67089" belt tool.
    - Hold the "install" tool against the pulley and play with it a bit. The correct position will become intuitive.
    - Turn over the crank with a 34 mm socket. (O'Reilly 1/2 drive socket $10.98). I purchased the socket...may need it for other stuff.
    - Position belt properly on the top alternator pulley.
    - Then position the belt over the lower crank pulley with the tool on the initiation side of the pulley.
    - Rotate the crank and suck the tool into the belt/pulley rotation for 180 degrees and the belt slips on.
    - One cord may not slip on. Simply re-run the tool through another rotation and it will slip on.
    - Or, rotate the crank and use your thumb to push the last cord onto the pulley.
    - MOST IMPORTANT - return tool to O'Reilly's for rental credit. This is a free loaner tool part. $0.00 usage fee.
    - If you live more than 10 minutes from O'Reilly's...buy the tool for $27.99
    - If there are no O'Reilly's in your home town...buy it online. I attached a pic of the tool. Hope it shows.

    I hope this helps. Greg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #29
    Krmugin
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    I just did mine, and used the big crescent wrench. It took a couple tries to get the new belt seated properly, but I found it better than spending the big $$$ on the BMW tool.

  15. #30
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    I saw me as the OP and chuckled...been a few years.

    I use the shop tool on some models , however it's the big crescent the majority of the time these days. And instead of tussling taking the old one off, it gets cut off unless someone really wants the past it's prime current item.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

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