Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions Evo's Thru 99 Starter Problem

Starter Problem

Moderators: Curt!, Pa

Post Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:41 am

Posts: 17
Location: michigan
Howdy,
I have been fighting a strange and frustrating starter problem on a 1987 FLHT thats got me stumped. On a recent trip the starter started to be labored but still worked, being five hundred miles from home it gave up the ghost and ran free at a gas stop while attempting to start. I pulled the right side cover and took the negative off the battery to stop the free running starter, had it flatbedded to a dealership and did an overnight in a flea infested hotel (little woman not impressed but brilliantly silent).
Next day back on road with new solenoid all is well, not quite, starter labored again. Stop at different dealership and buy new battery, back on road all is good for the day then battery seems low, starter labored. Heading home bike left running while fueling and such. One overnight stop and bike barely starts in morning with devine intervention, make non-stop for home never turning off motor for anything.
Now at home I have changed the starter, the starter shaft, the shifter arm, the pinion gear, starter relay, main breaker and put in another new solenoid. Now when I hit the button the solenoid energizes and the pinion gear seems to not be exactly in sync with the ring gear and doesn't mesh thus causing the starter motor to never energize form the solenoid switch. I noticed on the old starter shaft someone repaired some gauling on the shaft by emory cloth so its had a history, which is why I sprung for the new parts. The primary case needle bearing looks to be good so I haven't messed with it. I have had this apart about twenty times trying to fugure out whats up and still the same out come of things not quite right. The pinion just is not engaging the ring gear. The little woman broke her silence and said "So why don't you just buy a new bike", I like the way she thinks but this has become personal. Any similar experiances and or solutions?

Thanks
Rigidscoot

Post Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:01 pm

Posts: 2687
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Have you checked the starter relay?

Post Sun Oct 18, 2009 3:37 pm

Posts: 17
Location: michigan
Yup, Put in a new one, no change. I am trying bolting up the starter shaft housing first and then installing the starter to the housing in the hopes of a better alignment with the ring gear. Need to put the outer primary back on and will give that a try. Thanks for the reply!

Rigidscoot

Post Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:24 pm

Posts: 377
Location: madison wisconsin usa
may sound stupid, have you checked all of your battery cables closely? all of the terminals bright and tight?

if you have the kind with shrink wrap on the ends there may be hidden corrosion at the terminals.

worth a try anyway, and costs nothing.

john

Post Thu Oct 22, 2009 5:00 pm

Posts: 17
Location: michigan
Well I did recheck the wiring and found the connector to the center stud on the solenoid to be suspicious. I cut it off and soldered on a new one instead of the stock crimped connector, cleaned up anything I had'nt before, and assurred a full charge on the battery. The starter did engage and start the geezer cruiser but sounds and acts not quite right. The starter has a whine to it and seems to be impeaded. I am wondering if there is shim spacers in the starter that need to be added to or removed. Being its a new starter I suppose I could compare the spacers to the old one. At least I am making headway!

Thanks,
Rigidscoot

Post Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:28 pm

Posts: 2687
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Perhaps your solenoid isn't engaging properly?


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