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Starter freewheeling
Hello all,

Well, I'm digging into the winter project (87 Aspencade restoration) and noted that the starter does not catch every time. Actually it does not more than it does. When I hit the start button, I get the expected lope of the engine turning over but it only does it for a rev or two before it stops and the starter goes WHIZZZZ! :-W When I let off the button it decelerates and just before it stops, there is a quiet clunk, as if shifting into gear. When I try to restart it either just goes WHIZZZ! or may lope once or twice before doing it all over again.
I'm thinking the starter gear/bearing set has failed. :-SS Any thoughts?

Also, any tips to get this bad boy replaced if it IS bad? :-\
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#1 10-14-2009, 06:24 PM,
Yes it sounds like the starter drive is worn out.
Luckily you have an 87 so you can just pull the starter and repair or replace it.
On my 84 I would have to pull the engine and remove the rear case to do that simple job. Confusedhock:

Ken
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#2 10-14-2009, 07:31 PM,
K Bergen Wrote:Yes it sounds like the starter drive is worn out.
Luckily you have an 87 so you can just pull the starter and repair or replace it.
On my 84 I would have to pull the engine and remove the rear case to do that simple job. Confusedhock:

Ken

I dunno about that Ken. They all look the same to me. What makes the '87 so special?
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#3 10-14-2009, 08:06 PM,
I've accessed the starter on my 84. Just pull the exhaust and one of the exhaust studs and the shift lever.
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#4 10-14-2009, 08:09 PM,
Check this link for more information...
<!-- l --><a class="postlink-local" href="http://www.gl1200goldwings.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=6222">viewtopic.php?f=48&t=6222</a><!-- l -->
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#5 10-14-2009, 08:12 PM,
glhonda Wrote:
K Bergen Wrote:Yes it sounds like the starter drive is worn out.
Luckily you have an 87 so you can just pull the starter and repair or replace it.
On my 84 I would have to pull the engine and remove the rear case to do that simple job. Confusedhock:

Ken

I dunno about that Ken. They all look the same to me. What makes the '87 so special?
From my reading on the early 1200s the starter sprocket would drop down making the re-installation of the starter next to impossible.
In the later years there was support added that kept the sprocket in place so you could remove and replace the starter without removing and dissembling the engine.

Ken
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#6 10-14-2009, 08:34 PM,
K Bergen Wrote:From my reading on the early 1200s the starter sprocket would drop down making the re-installation of the starter next to impossible. In the later years there was support added that kept the sprocket in place so you could remove and replace the starter without removing and dissembling the engine.

Actually, that's an old wive's tale, started by some hammer jockey that lacked the finesse God gave a gorilla.
I've replaced numerous starters on gl1000's-1200's and never had a problem. Never had to pull the rear case for a starter O.H. or replacement.
Leaving the bike on the side stand allows the chain and lower gear (drive gear) to rest against the outer portion of the case. Hold your mouth just right and the new starter slips right in. In '86, they came out with a plastic guide for quieter operation, which helped keep the chain and gear in position for easier assembly. But I'm relatively certain it was for noise reduction, since most engineers I know could give a ..... about how easy or hard the part is to replace.
Unfortunately, the part that wears out (over-running clutch) is still internal and requires engine removal and disassembly.
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#7 10-14-2009, 09:04 PM,
For this restoration case it might be just gummed up clutch.... I
I'd get some motor flush (I use Gunk brand) and flush the block out for 10 minutes or so... Replace with new oil and just see if the starter clutch returns to working order... This condition has also been experienced by some folks during cold weather that use 50 weight oil in the bike...
Ed Zogg
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#8 10-15-2009, 07:40 AM,
All,

Just had the project running for about 1/2 hour. It took quite a few bumps to get the starter mechanism to catch but IT LIVES! It tried to get it to idle (no luck...) so it stalled a couple of times. Believe it or not the starter mechanism started working, not just once in awhile, but EVERY TIME! @-). After I shut it down for the last time, I tried the starter again and it fired right up, first time.
What gives...maybe it WAS gummed up from sitting? I don't think the PO messed around with starting it all too much...at least that was my impression!
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#9 10-18-2009, 01:39 PM,
Oil type and viscocity and temperature can both play a big part in how the starter clutch works.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of gl1200goldwings.com

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#10 10-18-2009, 07:14 PM,
87GL1200A Wrote:Hello all,

Well, I'm digging into the winter project (87 Aspencade restoration) and noted that the starter does not catch every time. Actually it does not more than it does. When I hit the start button, I get the expected lope of the engine turning over but it only does it for a rev or two before it stops and the starter goes WHIZZZZ! :-W When I let off the button it decelerates and just before it stops, there is a quiet clunk, as if shifting into gear. When I try to restart it either just goes WHIZZZ! or may lope once or twice before doing it all over again.
I'm thinking the starter gear/bearing set has failed. :-SS Any thoughts?

Also, any tips to get this bad boy replaced if it IS bad? :-\

I know this is an old thread which has probably been resolved, but, I had a similar situation and thought it was the 20w/50 and the cold weather but it turned out to be something else.

Ready?

It was my weak battery. Yes, a weak battery.

I put mine on a trickle charge all day and tried starting again later that night, and she fired right up, first time. I let it sit for a couple of days and she lite up, first try one morning.

The freewheeling and clunk is the weak battery not strong enough to spin the starter fast enough to engage the starter flywheel and then clunks when the springs in the flywheel press the rollers back to their neutral position.

So, make sure the battery is strong. I use a hydrometer and measure the specific gravity of the water/acid mix.

Hope this helps.

-Ride On
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
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#11 10-19-2010, 01:39 PM,
be happy that even if the problems is in the starter that's easier
if its the clutch mechanism inside the engine THAT deeinitely involves pulling the motor
i'll settle for the starter being the problem any day over that

but being that winter is coming on, it would be the time to pull,clean and replace the brushes and start the new year knowing that there shouldn't be a problem during next years riding season
1987 Aspencade 129K
1986 SEI 93K
2014 Tri-Glide HD 17K

Hancock,MD
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#12 10-19-2010, 03:15 PM,


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