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Do I need a new starter or what?
When I hit the starter button the starter engages momentarily, then goes click, click. It takes about 10 tries to get the engine started. I took the bike to a shop and had a new solenoid put in but nothing changed. I took the bike to a Honda dealer and they called me yesterday, saying that they will have to disassemble the bike to determine what parts are needed. They think it is the starter clutch, but aren't sure. Estimate to fix the problem is about $1,500. They also tell me that Honda no longer makes many of the parts that may need to be replaced. I am retired and can't afford that. I know you guys are the specialists on GL 1200's. Any suggestions, or should I just try to sell the bike and get what I can. I really like this Goldwing, a 1987 Interstate with 47,000 miles.

Thanks,

Don B. Huh
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#1 05-18-2013, 07:50 PM,
first off kinda need to know where you are located,revise your profile,might be a member in your area that can help you out

since your bike sounds like its at the dealers the first thing i'd do is get it home where its safe since i think your dealer is looking to take a big vacation at your expense
1987 Aspencade 129K
1986 SEI 93K
2014 Tri-Glide HD 17K

Hancock,MD
Reply
#2 05-18-2013, 08:17 PM,
The starter motor is not spinning fast enough to engage the starter clutch.
One possibility is the battery is too weak to spin the starter fast enough.

If the battery is not sealed, check to see if the water level is at the proper level.
Measure the specific gravity of each cell of the battery. A sample of the acid/water in the battery is needed to do this, therefore, the hydrometer needs to be able to fit into the small holes of the battery cells. Some car versions are too large in diameter.
Each of the cells should be at 75% or better.
A digital multimeter should show at least 12.5V although 12.65 would be better.

If the battery falls short in these areas, try trickle charging the battery back to health.
Charging should not exceed more than 1.25mA. The battery could probably handle 1.5mA but keep an eye on it. It should not boil, but small bubbles should form - these are normal. It might get warm to the touch. That too is normal. Hot is not!
Depending on the current charge of your battery, it should take less than 12 hours to bring it back to 100%, if the battery can be saved.
If not, buy a new battery and make sure all terminals are clean, bright and shiny before reassembling.

Another possibility is the starter may need some attention. It may be a build up of carbon dust from the brushes, it may be the grease in the starter has dried out or lack of grease. All of these things will not allow the starter motor to spin fast enough to engage the starter clutch.

The nice thing about these suggestions is, they are all quit a bit LESS expensive than what the Stealer is asking. The hydrometer, or battery being replaced can be done by you!

Depending on your ability, you may want to attack the removal of the starter. It is easy.

If the battery is the culprit, although the new battery may cure your current problem, there are other things which can cause a battery not to get fully charged, and those may need to be explored or the problem may persist.

Try out these suggestions and let us know if they solve your current problem.

-Ride On
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
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#3 05-18-2013, 08:43 PM,
(05-18-2013, 07:50 PM)donbeh Wrote: When I hit the starter button the starter engages momentarily, then goes click, click. It takes about 10 tries to get the engine started. I took the bike to a shop and had a new solenoid put in but nothing changed. I took the bike to a Honda dealer and they called me yesterday, saying that they will have to disassemble the bike to determine what parts are needed. They think it is the starter clutch, but aren't sure. Estimate to fix the problem is about $1,500. They also tell me that Honda no longer makes many of the parts that may need to be replaced. I am retired and can't afford that. I know you guys are the specialists on GL 1200's. Any suggestions, or should I just try to sell the bike and get what I can. I really like this Goldwing, a 1987 Interstate with 47,000 miles.

Thanks,

Don B. Huh

I always check the simple things first.My 85 would'nt start either and did the same thing you discribed. I checked voltage at the battery terminals after charging, it was 12.6v so thought it would be ok but no it would hardly turn over just clicked. I had changed to 20w50 oil last fall and its like syrup.Changed back to 10w40 and went shopping for a high end MC battery with a higher output. It was worth it,flashed right up first time and every time since. I found out the fuel injection system looks for the motor to turn over at a certain rpm before it will inject fuel otherwise it thinks theres a problem and won't deliver fuel. This prevents loading the cylinders with fuel.Whether or not this helps you I don't know but its good info for anyone having fuel injectors on their GL1200.I'll never buy another standard MC battery for my wing, always go for the higher output,the extra few bucks is well worth it.
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#4 05-18-2013, 08:54 PM,
(05-18-2013, 07:50 PM)donbeh Wrote: When I hit the starter button the starter engages momentarily, then goes click, click. It takes about 10 tries to get the engine started. I took the bike to a shop and had a new solenoid put in but nothing changed. I took the bike to a Honda dealer and they called me yesterday, saying that they will have to disassemble the bike to determine what parts are needed. They think it is the starter clutch, but aren't sure. Estimate to fix the problem is about $1,500. They also tell me that Honda no longer makes many of the parts that may need to be replaced. I am retired and can't afford that. I know you guys are the specialists on GL 1200's. Any suggestions, or should I just try to sell the bike and get what I can. I really like this Goldwing, a 1987 Interstate with 47,000 miles.

Thanks,

Don B. Huh

I am new to this format. I just reposted my original message. Oh, well, like I said I am retarded, I mean retired.

Thanks for the replies. I live in Blue Ridge, VA., which is about 8 miles north east of Roanoke, VA. I put a new battery in the bike about 2 months ago and keep it on a trickle charger that I have.

The starter has been doing making noises for a few years but only recently became as severe as it now is. Tomorrow I will go get the bike back from the dealer and begin to explore these suggestions.

Have a great day folks!

Don B.

(05-18-2013, 08:17 PM)neoracer Wrote: first off kinda need to know where you are located,revise your profile,might be a member in your area that can help you out

since your bike sounds like its at the dealers the first thing i'd do is get it home where its safe since i think your dealer is looking to take a big vacation at your expense

I live in Blue Ridge, VA, which is near Roanoke. I am going back to the dealer tomorrow and bring the bike home. I will give you a call later. What's a good time?
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#5 05-19-2013, 05:06 AM,
This is the very problem I have! (1984 GL1200 Interstate Carb.) I was going to post the question myself.

Mine just started this issue this weekend. I also put a new battery in this spring, but it was a cheap one.
I also just changed the oil 20W50! But that is what I have always used, and it is warm enough that should not be the problem?

I have not checked my battery voltage yet.

On a car I would:

1) Make sure the battery is fully charged.
2) Check the voltage before start, should be upwards of 13 volts (above 12.5).
3) Check voltage with starter in-gauged, should not drop below 10 volts
4) With engine running, should read over 13 volts.

??
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#6 05-29-2013, 05:57 AM,
Remember...... size (physical) doesn't matter.
Just because the battery "fits" in the battery box, doesn't mean it is the correct battery for your application.
Yes, 12 volts, but, what is the cold cranking amps or the CCA? What is the reserve amps?
If you put a borderline or too small a CCA battery in your bike, or if your battery is old and weak, you will experience problems as your describe.

YOU MUST START WITH A BATTERY THAT IS IN GOOD HEALTH, or you will be chasing your tail.

Check the obvious and least expensive stuff first, condition of the battery, fluid level, overall voltage reading, specific gravity of the fluid in each cell, clean and tight terminals at the battery, starter solenoid, at the starter, and don't forget about the ground at the frame. All need to be clean AND tight!
Check the condition of EACH battery cable. Is there oxidation on the strands of wire? That can cause resistance!

Ambient temperature and oil viscosity, too cold and/or too thick means engine turns too slow.

The key here is, in order for the starter clutch to engage, it must spin fast enough. It has been my experience, a whirrrr, click, click, clunk means either too thick a oil and/or too weak a battery.

The starter may need service, but it will usually spin slowly only AFTER it gets hot from a running engine. They normally spin fine when cold.
However, when I opened up my starter, I expected to see boat loads of carbon dust and instead found old grease which was dry and acting more like dry Play-Doe.
Once clean, re-greased and reassembled, that sucka danced on the bench when tested.
Zow-wee Bat Man!

(sorry, A.D.D. rant)

check above items first, eliminating the easy stuff BEFORE getting into the harder, mechanical failure stuff.

Good Luck.

-Ride On
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
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#7 05-29-2013, 10:20 AM,
talked with Don last week,and his problem sounds somewhat like a bad starter clutch from what i could hear over the phone,but also possible that the starter may be the problem too,really think he should attempt some possible solutions himself before he takes it back to the dealers and opens his wallet for them,left him with trying seafoam and running the bike for 50 and draining oil,but haven't heard back him him with any results,opefully he'll try that before taking it back to dealers
1987 Aspencade 129K
1986 SEI 93K
2014 Tri-Glide HD 17K

Hancock,MD
Reply
#8 05-29-2013, 01:34 PM,


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