starter crash

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by bus driver, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. bus driver

    bus driver Member

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    I have a 91 Electraglide that sometimes when I engage the starter it sounds like it's crashing the pinion gear against the clutch ring gear. Sometimes it does it, sometimes it doesn't. Somebody told me it could be a low output by the battery. I always keep it on a battery tender and the battery seems fine. Before I tear it all apart, I was wondering if anybody had any experience with this problem before. When it does it I immediatley abort the start, so I don't know what would happen if I held ther starter button longer. Actually I don't want to know. Thanx
     
  2. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    First I would load test that battery, next I would be looking at replacing the starter drive JMO
     
  3. karlsbike

    karlsbike Active Member

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    Hi BusDriver
    I had exactly the same problem on mine (see below;)
    Yes, your battery is shot...
    After this started happening intermittently I bought a new, low-cost battery that was ok for a few months, but then the nasty sounds came back. The starter jack-shaft did not engage the ring gear fully, and it chipped off the 'corners' of my clutch ring gear.
    I ended up replacing the battery with a H-D AGM battery, and I've never looked back. I didn't do anything with the ring gear, except smoothen the sharp corners that were broken off a bit. Now it is 7 years or so later, and I still have the same starter, jack shaft ass'y and ring gear - even the same battery(!), and no problems...
    The battery will be replaced this winter, but that thing has really impressed me.
     
  4. btsom

    btsom Active Member

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    Perhaps it is because I just changed a starter drive for similar symptoms that I suggest you also check for that failure. Before removing the starter I checked inside the primary drive for the condition of the clutch ring gear and starter pinion. They were both in perfect condition. Having heard the noise before with a different machine, I was very confident at that point that the sprag clutch was in the process of failing. Pulling and disassembling the starter revealed NO damaged gears so I replaced the starter drive. It has only been a week so there have been very few starts on the new drive, but so far no more grinding noises.
     
  5. bus driver

    bus driver Member

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    Thanx for the advise. I'll try getting a battery from HD, and also i'll take a peek inside my primary. Parden the pun i'll keep you posted. Bus Driver
     
  6. karlsbike

    karlsbike Active Member

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    And when you do, pay particular attention to the ring gear teeth for signs of chipping/damage.
    I did not mean to give you the only possbile solution; remote fault-finding is not easy whan you cannot see/hear the problem, and it could of course be your starter clutch. I just got a definitive flash-back when I read your description and saw what fine vintage scoot you're riding!
    Good luck, and let us know what you find.
     
  7. bus driver

    bus driver Member

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    As soon as I can get the 5 feet of snow away from the front of my barn (garage) I'll let you know. But thanx for all the advise. Bus Driver.
     
  8. karlsbike

    karlsbike Active Member

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    Hey BusDriver - you're worse off than us;) We've had a mild period now, and it's only about a foot or so of snow left. But, I would dig in there - working on the bike is the best way to cure the winter blues...
    Speaking of which, this year I'll be insulating my garage. Steel is too cold to handle at -10/15C (10F or so)
     
  9. bus driver

    bus driver Member

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    If I insulate my barn, my Wife might want to come and hangout and give me "advise" at what I am doing wrong. Either way it's going to be cold. Thanx Bus Driver