Starting problem

Discussion in 'Engine, Fuel and Exhaust' started by 81 shovel head, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. 81 shovel head

    81 shovel head New Member

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    I have a 1981 shovel head. The starter won't turn motor over just makes a clunking sound when I hit the start button after hitting button 2 or 3 times then nothing. I replaced starter and solenoid and still same problem. However I can kick start bike and it will start. Please help thank you
     
  2. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Welcome to The Forum, have a look at the starter drive Starters
     
  3. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

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    Well if all your grounds are clean and tight ( I'd even pull the battery cables and wire brush them and the terminals ), and you've already replaced the starter and solenoid, it most likely the starter relay or the starter switch.

    Test to see if you're getting voltage off the relay wire going to the solenoid. If no voltage then test your starter switch. If the starter switch is good, then it's the relay.
     
  4. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Load test the battery just to make sure it is up to the task. If it is good, then the guys have you covered above.

    TQ
     
  5. 81 shovel head

    81 shovel head New Member

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    i've replaced the wires ,relay,and battery also.If it was a starter gear or another gear inside would i still be able to kick start? Also the starter will turn over outside of the bike ,but when i install it into the bike it wont turn motor over just clunk,clunk,clunk and then nothing when i get home i'll check out what you guys have told me so far and let you no what i find. Thank you
     
  6. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

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    Ok let me back up here, maybe I did not read you OP close enough. Is it a deep gear sounding clunk or is it just some clicking ?

    If all it's doing is clicking, then the soleniod is not yet engaging so I don't see how the starter gear could be the culprit.

    However if it's doing some physical gear clunking, or if it was trying to engage or spinning freely it could be the starter gear assembly.

    You might should check that area out if that's the case. It's been awhile since I looked at kick start gears, but I imagine a kick start could still work even if the solenoid gear engage was failing electrically.
     
  7. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    The solenoid operates the starter drive via a fork, if the drive is bad or the fork and bushings are in a bind the starter will not work, The kick starter works through the transmission main shaft and clutch separate mechanical system, Tho you should make sure the electrical starter components are not in a bind, this will break the starter housing
     
  8. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Shovelheads Starter Drive Housing Diagram (Type I) : atulv.com Here is a picture of the drive and fork
     
  9. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

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    So if the starter gear is engaged enough to bind, kicking could break the starter. Seems he would feel the problem though when he kicked it. In any case with the "clunking" or gear or fork crashing sounds, that would be the area to hone in on.

    Wow what a fantastic site, I've never seen this one before.
     
  10. 81 shovel head

    81 shovel head New Member

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    Yes it's a clunking sound not a clicking sound I will check out all the starter components and get back with you guys. And thanks for the diagrams they will be very helpful.I am glad I found this site thanks again