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84,000 mile service with alternator belt replacement


bruce2000ltc

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bruce2000ltc

Just completed the 84,000 mile service on my 2013 RT.  Oil and filter change, spark plugs, valve check, etc.  Everything was in spec.  I had changed the original alternator belt at 42,000 miles so it was time to change it again.  This can be a bear of a job without the BMW tool but it is doable.  This time I tried a hack I'd seen on YouTube by a guy named Normski.  He shows how to he changes the belt on a GS.  The lower pulley has three holes near the outer edge that are about 5.5mm, perfect for a 6mm tap.

You tap one of these holes and thread a 6mm cap head bolt in far enough for it to be strong.  The 6mm cap bolt I used was about 1-1/4" long.  Set the bolt at 5 o'clock and put the new belt over the top pulley and start it over the bottom pulley.  Using ratchet wrench with a 34mm socket turn the lower pulley clockwise while keeping the belt on the top pulley with you hand.  The cap head bolt will keep the belt from sliding off the lower pulley.  This cap head bolt trick made changing the alternator belt a piece of cake.  Also, it is much easier to get to the belt when the body work is off the bike.

BTW, the maintenance schedule calls for the alternator belt to be changed every 24,000 miles or 6 years.  I think that is a little extreme.  Both of belts I changed showed little wear and no cracks in the rubber.   

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6speedTi

It's 24,000 mile interval because they are stretch belts. Even if it looks ok it should be replaced. They are inexpensive enough compared to the cost of being stranded on the road waiting for a tow. 

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Dave_in_TX
On 6/29/2024 at 10:28 AM, bruce2000ltc said:

Just completed the 84,000 mile service on my 2013 RT.  Oil and filter change, spark plugs, valve check, etc.  Everything was in spec.  I had changed the original alternator belt at 42,000 miles so it was time to change it again.  This can be a bear of a job without the BMW tool but it is doable.  This time I tried a hack I'd seen on YouTube by a guy named Normski.  He shows how to he changes the belt on a GS.  The lower pulley has three holes near the outer edge that are about 5.5mm, perfect for a 6mm tap.

You tap one of these holes and thread a 6mm cap head bolt in far enough for it to be strong.  The 6mm cap bolt I used was about 1-1/4" long.  Set the bolt at 5 o'clock and put the new belt over the top pulley and start it over the bottom pulley.  Using ratchet wrench with a 34mm socket turn the lower pulley clockwise while keeping the belt on the top pulley with you hand.  The cap head bolt will keep the belt from sliding off the lower pulley.  This cap head bolt trick made changing the alternator belt a piece of cake.  Also, it is much easier to get to the belt when the body work is off the bike.

BTW, the maintenance schedule calls for the alternator belt to be changed every 24,000 miles or 6 years.  I think that is a little extreme.  Both of belts I changed showed little wear and no cracks in the rubber.   

I found with my 2007 RT that the trick was to get the belt on the top pulls and start the belt on the bottom.pully, then turn the bottom pulley using a crescent wrench. The crescent wrench prevented the belt from L m oolong off as the pulley was turned.

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freetime2247

57K on the original belt though it is checked at each service. I have a spare belt standing by. I think I'll change it at next service. Current belt still looks good with no cracking.

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dirtrider
4 minutes ago, freetime2247 said:

57K on the original belt though it is checked at each service. I have a spare belt standing by. I think I'll change it at next service. Current belt still looks good with no cracking.

Morning freetime2247

 

Those stretchy belts last a lot of miles but time is their eventual enemy. The only real way to check the belt is to remove it, then turn it inside out, then fold it back into a tight arc. Then look for cracking across the ribs. 

 

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bruce2000ltc

Continental guarantees the belt for 5 years.  I checked the belt the way dirtrider said and it looks brand new.

I'm comfortable with my mileage and time interval between changes.

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rockitcity

Timely topic.  I just replaced the alternator belt today on my 2013 RT using the aforementioned You-tuber Normski method. I did not have a 34mm socket, and tried to find one at the local auto parts stores, but to no avail. I used a 10" crescent instead. A socket would have been much easier, but I got it done. 42k miles on mine with the original belt.  It had some cracks on the inside, and a bit of fraying on one edge, but it probably could have gone a lot further. What price peace of mind? In my case, around $50 in parts, and that included replacing the air filter, which was surprisingly dirty after 10,000 miles.  I did not replace plugs, but did a little sanding as they looked pretty good at 10,000 miles. A lot of stuff to take apart for a minor service, but I took my time and feel confident it is put back together correctly. I also did a valve clearance check, and although the intake valves are getting near their limit, they are still in spec.Overall a satisfying way to spend a (hot) Southern California afternoon.  Too hot to ride anyway!

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Indy Dave

The crescent wrench is the way to go here. I use a small plastic pry bar instead of a screwdriver. YMMV.

 

 

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I saw that video when I was looking up how to do it.  Looks pretty easy if the engine is out of the bike frame.  Also, it was mentioned that he was using the wrench on the old belt, which probably already had some stretch and was looser than a new one.  (From experience, the new one is plenty tight!) With the RT panels removed, there are some mounting brackets that get in the way of the wrench. With a 10 inch Crescent wrench (jaws fully extended,) I could get about 1/4 turn max before having to turn the wrench over. It was tedious, but still do-able. I would still recommend finding a 34mm socket to make the job a lot easier.

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bruce2000ltc

Look I understand that everybody doesn't have a 34mm socket and 6mm tap but, on the other hand, not everyone has a Crescent wrench that large either.  If I didn't have either I'd pop for the 34mm socket and the tap. I've done this both ways and the Normski method is by far the easiest way to install a new belt.  

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On 7/14/2024 at 5:00 PM, rockitcity said:

I saw that video when I was looking up how to do it.  Looks pretty easy if the engine is out of the bike frame.  Also, it was mentioned that he was using the wrench on the old belt, which probably already had some stretch and was looser than a new one.  (From experience, the new one is plenty tight!) With the RT panels removed, there are some mounting brackets that get in the way of the wrench. With a 10 inch Crescent wrench (jaws fully extended,) I could get about 1/4 turn max before having to turn the wrench over. It was tedious, but still do-able. I would still recommend finding a 34mm socket to make the job a lot easier.

I used to do it all the time with a 14" Adjustable wrench. The guy in the video is holding the wrench the wrong way.

Also don't forget to remove the spark plugs and don't turn the engine backwards.

But I know you guys know all that already. :4617:

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rockitcity
2 minutes ago, Bernie said:

I used to do it all the time with a 14" Adjustable wrench. The guy in the video is holding the wrench the wrong way.

Also don't forget to remove the spark plugs and don't turn the engine backwards.

But I know you guys know all that already. :4617:

I actually have a larger, ahem, "adjustable" wrench than a 10", but the brackets that support the side panels wouldn't allow enough clearance to turn it. I think the guy in the video has the wrench turned backwards so that the curved side goes against the belt rather than the pin for the jaw adjustment. Anyway, not trying to prove anything here, I was just glad some videos were available to show how to change the belt without buying a special tool or going to the dealer for a pretty simple job.  I'll probably only do this once anyway. And yes, removing one set of plugs is a must!

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