Starter Problem with 2004 Classic!!

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by Rod Stewart, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Rod Stewart

    Rod Stewart Active Member

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    Hi guys;
    Just want to see if anyone has had a similar starter problem, and what may be the likely culprit. The bike is a 2004 Classic with big bore job and SE203 cams. Has been running fine til now.

    Yesterday on July 4th we toured the Logan Pass "Going to the Sun highway" in Northern Montana. It was a fine day, not hot, not cool, a few scattered clouds, and unbeleiveably, the crowds werent too bad.
    Anyway we were stopping frequently to look at the view, and as the day wore on, I noticed the starter getting more and more sluggish, til it would just barely start her up at all.
    When we got back to the campground at supper time, I tried the starter, and it would just spin. Would not engage at all.
    This morning I tried jumping it from the truck battery, thinking that maybe the battery is shot and just wont give her enough kick to engage the bendix. No dice; all she would do is just spin.

    Finally I engaged a couple of neighbor campers to help push me thru the campground, and finally she kicked over, to the amusement of all onlookers. I did not shut her off again until safely home in the garage.

    Anyone ever heard of anything similar, and any idea what to look for? I am pretty sure that it is a starter drive gear issue of some sort.

    Thanks,
    Rod
     
  2. rebel1

    rebel1 Member

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    Sounds like the drive to me also. I would make sure that you are getting a full 12 volts on the engagement wire. That is the single small green wire. Put a volt meter probe at the rear of the terminal and push the starter button. You should have 12 volts. If you do not have 12 volts, try jumping from the starter post to the single terminal (green wire) on the starter, with a heavy gauge, insulated wire. If it engages and spins the starter, you probably have a bad connection from the starter relay to the starter engagement terminal.
    Hope this helps.
    Rebel1
     
  3. Rod Stewart

    Rod Stewart Active Member

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    Thanks rebel1;
    I'll give that a try.
    It would be nice if the relay was the problem, as that's a whole lot easier to replace than the starter!

    Rod
     
  4. maine-e-axe

    maine-e-axe Junior Member

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    Hot rod motors are hard on starters, good luck.
     
  5. Rod Stewart

    Rod Stewart Active Member

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    So I got it fixed today.
    Turned out it was the overrun clutch in the starter, PN 31663-90. It is supposed to grab one direction and slip in the other, so that when the motor starts it does not overspeed the starter.
    Turned out it slips freely in both directions.
    Kind of a show-stopper.

    I took the starter into the local dealer and they sold me an aftermarket clutch made by Drag. (H-D does not supply this part anymore for some reason) Seemed to fit just fine, and it starts better than it has in the last 2 years or better. The old one must have been getting bad for a while.

    Not a bad job all in all, except you have to r & r the primary chain cover to remove the jackshaft pinion gear before you can pull the starter. This adds probably 2 hours to the job what with removing front and back foot boards, shifter levers, etc, etc.

    So if anyone has a similar starter issue, particularly if it seems like the starter is just plain slipping; the overrun clutch could be the culprit.

    Rod