starting sequence explained

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by Har-D, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Har-D

    Har-D Member

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    Can someone go through the mechanical event details that occur when starting my 1986 Softail Custom?

    I think I am ok on some steps, but need more detail on what is happening inside the primary case.

    1. turn ignition switch on - juice provided to starter switch.
    2. press starter button - juice flows to relay.
    3. relay closes to allow juice to flow to solenoid small post.
    4. solenoid windings magnetize and plunger slides up to contact washer with 2 large posts allowing battery juice to flow to starter motor - starter motor turns.
    5. Now from here I am losing it...

    What happens inside? What happens after starter motor starts turning? I know there is a pinion/starter gear that moves to engage the clutch gear but how is it forced onto the gear? What makes it slide off after the engine fires up? Can someone list out details of sequences that occur?

    Thanks. This info will really help me -and I am sure others. I am having a tough time with my starter system.
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    [​IMG]
    168:
    SOLENOID PLUNGER ASSY

    175
    :
    SPRING, SOLENOID OVER RUN

    189:
    SPRING, RETURN PLUNGER
     
  3. Har-D

    Har-D Member

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    6. Starter motor turns and the starter drive is kicked out to engage with the ring gear on the clutch basket.
    7. Engine cranks and starts.
    8. When motor cranks and fires up the over run clutch kicks the starter drive back off the ring gear so it doesn't damage the starter.
    From here the starting sequence is finished.
    --------------
    For #6. HOW is the starter drive kicked out? WHAT pulls it out to engage the clutch? How is the solenoid involved? Does its magnetism pull up the plunger (swinging out the gear) that is inside the primary, as it does the plunger that is in the solenoid?

    For #8. HOW is the starter drive kicked off the clutch? WHAT makes the starter gear pull away from the clutch gear?

    Why is it that when the starter gear gets stuck on the clutch gear the starter motor spins continuously (as people have posted) and only stops when the battery is disconnected? If it is staying engaged on the clutch gear why won't it keep cranking the engine? I get that if the solenoid is stuck pushed upward making contact with the copper leads the starter motor will run, but why the spinning without cranking if the gears are stuck engaged.

    Sorry for the loads of questions but I am conservative person and conserving space here.

    Thanks!
     
  4. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

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    the starter drive is pushed out by the starter spinning

    when the motor kicks over at a fast enough speed the kicks out on the one way clutch and disengages
     
  5. Har-D

    Har-D Member

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    Then what does the solenoid do regarding inside the primary case? How does it serve besides connecting power to the starter? Does it not do something inside?
     
  6. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

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    all solenoid does is connect power to the starter..

    What kind of problem are you having here so maybe we can help ya out a bit more
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  7. Har-D

    Har-D Member

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    But there are mechanisms in the primary case that have springs and a piston and a swing arm attached to the starteer gear -all interconnected with the solenoid butt. It all must do something??

    Well, about my issue: Long story (aren't they all?) but I will summarize. It is also in my thread called "solenoid sticking?"

    1. I have a 1986 Softail Custom.
    2. I bought it 2 years ago.
    3. It had intermittent starting -single click issue. It would start sometimes then not others. Every time I wanted to check it out to find the problem it would start for a while. Then one day I got fed up.
    4. I had no idea what was wrong and since it was used I took it to a shop.
    5. It started to get the bike there. But it did not start when I tried to start it in front of the mechanic.
    6. The next day the mechanic told me it always started and he has no idea what is wrong. Everything seemed ok. (note: he even saw the night before it would not start!). He was going to give me my bike as was starting every time -or will it??
    7. Still fed up and losing my mind, I told him to change the relay, solenoid, and starter. Well, it was an old used bike, and an intermittent problem with no overt problem spot; even they were stumped.
    8. The bike started ok for a while then it came back! Intermittent.
    9. This time I was able to check it out systematically since it was not starting more often, and I could nail it down while it was acting up.
    10. I got juice to the relay, juice to the small solenoid post and no juice to the starter post. Solenoid problem!!
    11. When I pressed the start button and it would not start, 100% of the time when I hit the solenoid with a screwdriver butt it cranked and started. Solenoid right?? Hence the thread "solenoid sticking?" It must have been sticking or the contacts pitted and charred. (but remember it was new-ish; seems weird to pit so fast --oh, well).
    12. I had the old solenoid from the change out and took it apart. It was a mess pitted/charred and all so I cleaned it plus flipped the contact washer.
    13. All I wanted to do was change out the solenoid from the outside of the primary case. It seemed a sure fix (and still may be if I can resolve my most recent issue).
    14. When I changed the solenoid I went to start the bike and the starter just spun freely non-stop without engaging the clutch gear wheel. It smoked from the starter area as I was loosening the battery neg cable. When I finally got it off the spinning slowed alot (battery dying?).
    15. SO, I took off the primary cover and messed with the "inner stuff". All I did was reattach the solenoid and make sure the "stuff" moved freely and was aligned ok. I was thinking maybe when I put the solenoid on initially it was pushing the inner piston/stuff at an odd angle and may have caused the problem with the spinning starter.
    16. I replaced the primary cover and hit the start button. It engaged the solenoid but did not turn over the crank; it made a slight grinding sound. At least it did not spin forever. I am hoping it is just a weak battery now.
    17. So I am NOW charging the battery (HD#65991-82B sealed) at 2amps and will try it again once charged.

    Whew!

    So now you see why all the questions about solenoid, mechanisms, gears and spinning starters?

    I reeeeeeeeeally appreciate any help HD Talking can give.

    Time for a can of 'drink'...
     
  8. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

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    did you put the old solenoid back in or the new .. a solenoid sticking will keep the started running till you pull the battery.. also a bad ground on the solenoid will cause same thing as power wont break ..
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
  9. Har-D

    Har-D Member

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    I put in the old one that I cleaned up. I never had the 'starter running' issue before. It was directly related to the recent initial installation I did from the outside of the primary. When I opened the primary, repositioned and babyed it, the running on issue is no more.

    I am still awaiting the battery charging -- then I will try it again.
     
  10. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

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    i woundnt trust the old one but thats just me be ready to pull the main fuse