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FXR Starter question

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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 01:02 PM     #1
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FXR Starter question

Hey all,
So glad I found this site, I own a 88 FXR and I am having a starter issue and a battery draw issue. First the starter, since I've owned the bike (about 2 years) when I go to start the bike the starter will often just whine or spin like it isn't engaging, this happens more when the battery is low but even when it is fully charged. what happens is when I hit the start button it will either start to turn over then stop and the starter sounds like it is free spuinning or it will free spin right off. It has gotten progressivley worst. I verified that my relay is working and I took the solenoid apart, cleaned the copper washer and flipped it over. I found a good deal on a new starter and ordered it but am not sure if the starter is my issue. Someone on another site said there is something wrong with the jackshaft but my service manual shows that the jackshaft setup is from 89 on and mine is a 88. As for the draw, if I let my bike sit for a few days w/o running it the battery will go from full charge to dead, this is a new interstate battery that I installed because the old one was doing the same thing. Also any advice on removing the starter would be helpful, the manual shows that I should just have to undo the through bolts and wiring and it should slide right out, it doesn't look like I should have to open the primary, is this right? I know this is alot, but I'd really appreciate any help. I love this bike, it is my first Harley and I've waited along time for it. I'll try to get some pics up. Thanks
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 01:06 PM     #2
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Re: FXR Starter question

You need a new starter drive. They get tired after a while and do not engage. Sometimes it could be just a lubrication of the shaft where they ride but if you are going that far into the starter, replace the drive too.
The battery going dead should be checked out too. Try to disconnect the battery cable from the starter and see if it still goes dead indicating a problem elsewhere other than the starter.
It's #56 in this drawing.

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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 01:20 PM     #3
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Re: FXR Starter question

Thanks for the quick response, now can I replace this from the starter side, meaning, can this housing come off w/ the starter assembly, I see 2 bolts on the housing, or do I have to access this through the primary side, and also, is this a very difficult procedure? I work on cars for a living but am just getting into the bike side of things. Any advice on this replacement would be great, thanks again.
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Old Mar 17th, 2009, 06:24 PM     #4
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Thumbs up Re: FXR Starter question

No way am I an expert on this stuff but after quite a few years of tearing stuff apart to get it right, I'm kind of cheap, would rather fix it than replace it, I believe you could just undo the battery, starter bolts and remove the starter from the opposite side of the primary. Might as well take the rest apart though and clean it up, make sure the rest is working good also. You work on cars, get a manual and start working on the bikes. Ride on.
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 09:18 AM     #5
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Re: FXR Starter question

Thanks mikeeyr,
Trust me I'd much rather be working on bikes for a living, cars are just not that much fun anymore, I guess there's some truth to the old saying "don't do your hobby for a livin"
anyway I have a harley service manual but it is pretty vague on some procedures and detailed in others. What I'm most curious about is whether the clutch assembly is going to have to come out to access the starter drive, but I guess I'll find out when I pull the primary cover once the starter drive arrives. Thanks for the advice
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Old Mar 18th, 2009, 12:02 PM     #6
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Re: FXR Starter question

Quote: Originally Posted by vtfxr View Post
thanks mikeeyr,
trust me i'd much rather be working on bikes for a living, cars are just not that much fun anymore, i guess there's some truth to the old saying "don't do your hobby for a livin"
anyway i have a harley service manual but it is pretty vague on some procedures and detailed in others. What i'm most curious about is whether the clutch assembly is going to have to come out to access the starter drive, but i guess i'll find out when i pull the primary cover once the starter drive arrives. Thanks for the advice
amen!!!!!!
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 02:03 PM     #7
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Re: FXR Starter question

well the starter came in and I couldn't help myself and had to install it, and it does sound a little better but it is still disengaging. I had already ordered the starter drive so when that arrives I'll give it another crack. All good though, the chrome starter looks better than the old black one and now I'll have a back up. I'll update after I install the starter drive, still hoping I don't have to remove the clutch to get at it, guess I'll find out.
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 02:21 PM     #8
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Re: FXR Starter question

You should pull the outer primary look at the condition of your jackshaft gear and the gear on your clutch that is most likely the problem you can turn it over and watch if its engaging without the cover on just dodn,t run it but it sure sounds like a worn jackshaft,jel
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 02:36 PM     #9
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Red face Re: FXR Starter question

Quote: Originally Posted by jel123 View Post
You should pull the outer primary look at the condition of your jackshaft gear and the gear on your clutch that is most likely the problem you can turn it over and watch if its engaging without the cover on just dodn,t run it but it sure sounds like a worn jackshaft,jel
Thanks jel123, thats the plan, I ordered a new starter drive, (which I think is also reffered to as the jackshaft gear), and plan to pull the primary case this weekend, I'll post what happens....
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Old Mar 19th, 2009, 02:49 PM     #10
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Re: FXR Starter question

Also check your bushing in the outer primary case,jel
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