88 starter issue

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by richny, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. richny

    richny Member

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    Hey all, just got my first harley two weeks ago and am quite proud...so far. I've got an 88 sportster 1200 that's in great shape for her age but started having a little trouble with the starter. I put in a new battery and have a full charge on it. At times when I hit the starter button I hear the starter spinning but it does'nt engage the motor. Sometimes after bumping the starter button a few times it'll catch and crank over and start. Kinda scared to take her somewhere now in case it won't catch and leave me stranded. Please tell me this is something simple and won't cost an arm and a leg to fix.
     
  2. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    I am looking at a parts break down of an '87 Sporty. Inside the starter there is clutch sub-assembly that may be slipping. It is an over riding one way clutch. If that was slipping, you would have the symptom you describe.

    I would think the '87 & '88 are close in starter design.
     
  3. richny

    richny Member

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    thanks for the quick reply. I've got a clymer manuel from the guy I bought the bike from and the starter seems to have a lot going on in there. I was kinda guessing something like that but wanted some opinions before ripping her apart. Was'nt sure if it was like a car with a bendix sping to push out the starter gear, but appears not.
     
  4. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Actually on the '87 parts break down, it looks very similar to an automobile starter. Maybe the '88 is different.

    Do you hear that "clank" sound of the pinion gear engaging with the ring gear.
    If you do, I would bet it is the over-running clutch sub-assembly slipping.

    You know it could be something as simple as lack of lube on the shaft the clutch slides on. You could just be compressing the spring without the pinion gear shooting forward.

    Hoop!
     
  5. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    Your problem is more than likely the starter drive which is #133 in this pic.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. richny

    richny Member

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    no, I don't hear a clank or anything, just a spinning sound. Well, thanks for all the suggesstions, guess there's no easy way out. Time to break out the tools!

    How does the starter drive operate?
     
  7. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

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    Now after looking at the break down that Glider posted, I am not really sure if the pinion is thrown forward by the plunger solenoid like they do in an automotive starter.
    I would just pull it out and see whats going on.
     
  8. richny

    richny Member

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    hey guys, pulled off the primary to see what's going on and this is what I found. When I push the starter button the starter gear comes out and does engage the clutch shell ring gear and both spin freely but does'nt always crank the engine over. So, I assume there must be something slipping or worn from the clutch shell ring gear to the clutch asembly causing it not to engage all the time. Can't really see anything on any parts breakdown. Anyway, went to the dealership and ran it by the service manager and he's stumped, but they're gonna pick my bike up and check it out for free. I'll let you know what the final outcome is. Hope I don't need to get a second job.
     
  9. STEVE07

    STEVE07 Well-Known Member Staff Member Super Moderators

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  10. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    Also, since you have it apart, the starter drive replacement requires you dismount the starter anyway...the two fasteners on on the primary side. The difficulty is you dismount the starter from opposite side, so you may have to remove a small amount of parts on the opposite side to get clearance to phhysically remove it. The clutch drive is about $80 or so and easily replaced with 1/4" socket set and handtools. You did the majority of the hard stuff removing the primary cover.