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Starter Removal - pics added + video
Ok my started died. so heres some pics and a list of what i had to do to get to it i first tried to remove it without removing the exhaust, but well, had to do it:

first you got to do is remove the lower fairing covers, then you have access to the U Clamps that hold the engine crash bars, and then you must remove all bolts and clamps that hold them to the frame. then you will remove 8 nuts that hold the exhaust pipes and the rear muffler bolts/nut then you can pull the whole exhaust system down without damaging anything. you will need someone to help you on the other side of the bike, you will pull them down and to the back of the bike a little bit,
then you are ready to go. remove the shift lever and then two bolts holding the starter motor to the bike engine, pull it to the front of the bike, i used a plastic hammer to get it moving.


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Just cleanned the commutator bars with a sandpaper, even when the manual says not to use sandpaper there, there was no other way to get it clean. anyway assembled everything back, tested it on the bench and it was alive!! Big Grin

before installing it on the bike ill look for new brushes

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my starter failed again, i had to take it off again and got some new pics of the process:

Removing engine guards
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remove the exhaust nuts, some may come out with the stud, thats ok, also, for the cylinder 4 you will need to remove the stud if it doesn't come out by itself, you can tight two nuts against each other and then you can remove it without having to use visegrips or damaging the threads. its needed for clearance.

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remove all the nuts on both sides, then the rear muffler mount bolts and it comes down nice and easy, then you can work on the stud i mentioned before:


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i also forgot to say you need to remove the shift lever, its only one bolt, once you removed it, you can pull it out. Smile

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oh and you dont have to worry about the gear inside the engine, it wont fall out or something like that Smile good luck.
85' GL 1200 Interstate - My Picture Thread
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#1 03-12-2008, 04:32 PM,
thanks william86 i have to do my starter also and was wondering if anyone had posted pic's of the job
'75cb750 ,'79cb750superK,
'93gl1500se, '79cb 750f,
'85cb450sc, '05sunL70
'06 ST 1300....william
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#2 03-12-2008, 05:50 PM,
im a big trouble now, my brushes are 5MM long, and the service limit is 7 MM, so must change them or the starter will fail soon . i bought a couple of brushings for some electric tool, i checked with the car starter repair shop and they wait it would do fine, but i talked to another mechanic and he said those brushes did not had cooper and they would last for like nothing. i located them on ebay for 30 bucks, but takes 2 weeks to get them :'(
85' GL 1200 Interstate - My Picture Thread
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#3 03-12-2008, 06:45 PM,
I have to remove my starter as well - its been getting weak (my battery tests good with a load tester). I am going to first check all my connections, but I believe the starter is failing.

Anyway - my shop manual says to remove the engine for the '84-'85, yet you seem to have done it okay without doing that. Were there any problems reinstalling the starter with the gear/chain combo just hanging there (second pic from top)?

I have an '86, the book says to remove the left side exhaust, left side cover and remove the starter. Is it this easy? Why the change from '84-'85 and '86+?
2009 KLR 650
2002 Harley Sportster 1200 S
1999 Vulcan 1500
1986 Honda Gold Wing 1200
1981 Dnepr
1979 KZ1000
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#4 03-22-2008, 06:43 AM,
i had no problems installing the starter back to the bike the gear inside will stay in place, i even moved the bike parked it on the side stand and so while i was getting the starter repaired, and it remained in place. i had to remove both side of the exhausts because they are welded together in the middle so it makes long task to remove both lower fairing covers, engine guards just to get clearance for removing the exhaust. i dont know the changes on the different years of the 1200s

the bad news is that my starter failed again and ill have to do all this gain, may be the brushes i installed are getting worn really fast and the powder if doing some bad in there.. also when i inspected it, i noticed the commutator bars were worn
85' GL 1200 Interstate - My Picture Thread
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#5 04-02-2008, 11:48 AM,
William_86 Wrote:i had no problems installing the starter back to the bike the gear inside will stay in place, i even moved the bike parked it on the side stand and so while i was getting the starter repaired, and it remained in place. i had to remove both side of the exhausts because they are welded together in the middle so it makes long task to remove both lower fairing covers, engine guards just to get clearance for removing the exhaust. i dont know the changes on the different years of the 1200s

the bad news is that my starter failed again and ill have to do all this gain, may be the brushes i installed are getting worn really fast and the powder if doing some bad in there.. also when i inspected it, i noticed the commutator bars were worn

I just went through the whole process (I have a thread about getting the kits). I ended up just getting brushes and springs from my Honda dealer, total cost of $24 and about two days to come in.

I only removed th eleft lower fairing and the left engine guard. I didn't have to drop the whole exhaust, I removed the four 12mm nuts holding the exhaust header on to the engine, loosened the two 10mm bolts on the exhaust clamp at the end of the header, and removed the 14mm bolt/nut combo holding the rear exhaust assembly to the frame. This provided enough slack to rotate the header away from the engine (I removed it completely for easier access, but you don't have to do this). I had to use three M8x1.25 (I think) nuts on the exhaust stud to get it out. The starter just came right out with minimal fuss.

My starter had a large amount of powder in the end cap, but the brushes were actually within spec, I replaced them as a precaution. I cleaned the whole assembly out with brake cleaner, used synthetic wheel bearing grease to repack the reduction gear assembly, and re-installed. Absolutely no problem with the starter gear or chain, and I had the bike on the center stand the whole time.

William_86, how is your starter failing? What are its symptoms?
2009 KLR 650
2002 Harley Sportster 1200 S
1999 Vulcan 1500
1986 Honda Gold Wing 1200
1981 Dnepr
1979 KZ1000
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#6 04-03-2008, 06:00 AM,
William did you carefully inspect the starter brush springs? If they have overheated or are rusted, they can lose their tension and not push hard enough on the brushes. Another problem can be a bad ground. Look for electrical arc points. And another problem can be a bad bushing which can cause the armature to drag against the starter housing, just look for tell tale scratch marks inside. If needed replace the bushing.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of gl1200goldwings.com

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#7 04-03-2008, 12:44 PM,
Hello

my starter starter to drag. at first i thought it was the battery as the weather really became hot, the fan turns on almost all the time while driving at the city, the first time it dragged before i had changed the brushes, i just hitted it with a piece of wood and it starterd to work again as usual for like 5 days, that day i charged the battery and i even tested it a lot and worked fine.

then it dragged again, untill the solenoid would just click, i could hit it with the magic wooden piece again and would spin a little and drag again, i charged the battery, tested the solenoid and jumped it.

when i got the starter out i found that one of the brushes was like damaged, lots of little holes like it was sparking, the other was fine, i can't tell which one was ( positive or ground ) and a lot of powder. i checked the hardness of the brush and is as hard as the stock, sanded it a bit. the conmutator was dirty also, even i had cleaned it when changed the brushes like 3 weeks ago?. anyway. the brushes i installed were from a car starter, so i believe are capable to handle the power of the bike starter. those brushes were a little bit bigger, but i got them to fit and slide on free on the slot, the springs are fine and push the brush as should.

i got new brushes. im going to a car electric shop to see if i should use them. cuz this brushes are more like cooper made and are hard to sand.

im wondering if the commutator should be greased or must go dry?

i know i should get the original brushes, but its really hard for me to get right now. would take up to 4 weeks to get them. and would have to travel to US just to get them. its something i cant afford right now.

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The brushes on the plate are those i said that look like made of 100% cooper, the other two are the pair that failed and the single is the old stock i was running ;p
85' GL 1200 Interstate - My Picture Thread
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#8 04-03-2008, 02:26 PM,
William
If it goes when you hit it with your block of wood(not a good idea as you can crack the magnets) then the end bushings are worn and the armature is dragging.If you look inside the starter when it is apart you should see shiny spots where the armature is hitting.Not trying to bum you out but you may have ruined the starter by hitting it.I would only ever do that if I was stuck somewhere and planned on replacing it when I got home.Just my 2 cents.
Good luck. I hope it's OK for you.
Fatwing Chris
If Id'a known it would last this long I would've taken better care of it !!!
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#9 04-03-2008, 05:16 PM,
i was not hitting it hard enough to cause damage to it i believe, i was just tapping it if thats a better word to explain (my lack of english)
85' GL 1200 Interstate - My Picture Thread
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#10 04-03-2008, 05:36 PM,
the cooper brushes had to go away, mechanics said that it may damage the commutator. so i went for regulas brushes, i found some with shorter wires, and got them to fit.

anywya i wanted to know WHY it failed. my only guess is that the brushes i installed before the cord was so big and got stuck, and the brush couldn't go down and starting to spark. it runs fine, sounds strong and spins fast.

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85' GL 1200 Interstate - My Picture Thread
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#11 04-04-2008, 04:45 PM,
I have a LTD Trike and my starter went out. I follow the instruction that you gave and took the starter out and put new brushes and clean it up and installed it back on and it worked find. This was the fist time I worked on a starter on a bike or trike. Thanks for the instruction and pictures that you posted, it helped a lots
Jerry Driggers
1985 LTD Trike
Member American Legion Post 181--American Legion Post 181
Member American Legion Riders Post 181-- American Legion Riders Post 181
Member PGR--Patriot Guard Riders
Member GWRRA Chapter GA-K--GWRRA Chapter K
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#12 07-10-2008, 08:10 AM,
congratulations it was my first time too, im glad my post helped you Smile
85' GL 1200 Interstate - My Picture Thread
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#13 07-10-2008, 02:09 PM,


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