Starter not engaging clutch


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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dano955
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:53 am
Location: Macon, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate

Starter not engaging clutch

Postby dano955 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:10 am



a month ago my starter failed on my 1985 Interstate. when I broke it down I found a tad broken on the postive brush. well my local Honda place wanted $28 a piece,( i asked twice) so I orderd them off e-bay for $9. after repair and installing the starter it only spins and not engaged the motor. i just do not believe that the starter clutch went out along with the starter at the same time.i could be wrong but let me say that again i hope they have not stop at same time. i do not see how i could have missed the gear inside the motor. please i need some ideas or suggestions because i really miss riding my bike



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wjnfirearms
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Location: Portersville, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000
1980 KZ750 LTD
2007 H-D XL1200C
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Re: Starter not engaging clutch

Postby wjnfirearms » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:54 am

Starters basically work by the same principle regardless of what type of vehicle they are on.

You obviously already understand how they spin by knowing that the commutator brushes failed on yours. They engage the engine by a mechanism called a Bendix drive. This juts out the gear that engages the engine when power is supplied to the starter and retracts when it is removed when the engine starts. It sounds like this is where the problem lies in yours now. Generally, when the Bendix fails, the starter either needs rebuilt or replaced. You never stated if yours functioned before you replaced the brushes or exactly what the starter was doing, or not doing, when you serviced it in the first place. Unfortunately, by my long experience with starters in general (more automotive than motorcycle but they're similar in any event), you may well be looking at needing to replace it.
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dano955
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:53 am
Location: Macon, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Starter not engaging clutch

Postby dano955 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:06 am

wjnfirearms wrote:Starters basically work by the same principle regardless of what type of vehicle they are on.

You obviously already understand how they spin by knowing that the commutator brushes failed on yours. They engage the engine by a mechanism called a Bendix drive. This juts out the gear that engages the engine when power is supplied to the starter and retracts when it is removed when the engine starts. It sounds like this is where the problem lies in yours now. Generally, when the Bendix fails, the starter either needs rebuilt or replaced. You never stated if yours functioned before you replaced the brushes or exactly what the starter was doing, or not doing, when you serviced it in the first place. Unfortunately, by my long experience with starters in general (more automotive than motorcycle but they're similar in any event), you may well be looking at needing to replace it.

Do I need to replace bendix

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wjnfirearms
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:51 pm
Location: Portersville, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000
1980 KZ750 LTD
2007 H-D XL1200C
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Re: Starter not engaging clutch

Postby wjnfirearms » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:38 am

I guess the biggest issue is the availability of rebuild parts, which I just plain do not know yet. I'm newer to the Wing world and am just learning what is available for our vintage models and what is not. For the sake of time and potential aggravation, it might be better all around to locate a replacement starter and swap the whole part. It could end up cheaper in the end possibly. It is possible that a good generator shop may be able to repair your existing starter, but again, that depends on parts being around.
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dano955
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:53 am
Location: Macon, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Starter not engaging clutch

Postby dano955 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:49 am

wjnfirearms wrote:I guess the biggest issue is the availability of rebuild parts, which I just plain do not know yet. I'm newer to the Wing world and am just learning what is available for our vintage models and what is not. For the sake of time and potential aggravation, it might be better all around to locate a replacement starter and swap the whole part. It could end up cheaper in the end possibly. It is possible that a good generator shop may be able to repair your existing starter, but again, that depends on parts being around.


i got another bendix --can a bendix be tested

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WingAdmin
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Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Starter not engaging clutch

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:04 am

wjnfirearms wrote:Starters basically work by the same principle regardless of what type of vehicle they are on.

You obviously already understand how they spin by knowing that the commutator brushes failed on yours. They engage the engine by a mechanism called a Bendix drive. This juts out the gear that engages the engine when power is supplied to the starter and retracts when it is removed when the engine starts. It sounds like this is where the problem lies in yours now. Generally, when the Bendix fails, the starter either needs rebuilt or replaced. You never stated if yours functioned before you replaced the brushes or exactly what the starter was doing, or not doing, when you serviced it in the first place. Unfortunately, by my long experience with starters in general (more automotive than motorcycle but they're similar in any event), you may well be looking at needing to replace it.


That's a good description of how car (and airplane) starters work, but in the case of our motorcycles, it's a totally different beast. There is no bendix/spring or anything of the sort.

Instead, the starter is permanently connected via splined shaft to a sprocket, which turns a chain, which in turn turns a larger sprocket connected to a sprag clutch. The sprag clutch is a one-way clutch, which means it engages when the starter turns, so that it cranks the engine - but as soon as the engine fires, and starts spinning faster than the starter, it disengages. This is why you can press the starter button on the bike when the engine is already running with no damage being done.

The problem is, the sprag clutch is in an area of the engine that gets very poor oil flow. As a result, sludge tends to collect in the sprags. Eventually, there is enough sludge that the springs on the sprags can no longer push enough to engage the clutch, and as a result, the starter just spins without cranking the engine.

The easiest way to fix this is with a healthy dose of Seafoam in the crankcase. Change the oil, and with the fresh oil, add half a can of Seafoam. Now the hard part: You need to run the engine for a good hundred miles or so. If the starter engages occasionally, you're in business. If you can't get the starter engaged at all, you'll need to get some friends to help out and push start your bike.

Once you've finished your big ride, and while the oil is still hot, change the oil again. You'll see big chunks of black goo come out with the oil - that's what the Seafoam has dislodged. With the fresh oil and dislodged sludge, your starter should be good to go.

If not...then it gets more difficult, because the only other way to get to the sprag clutch is to pull the engine and split the engine case - and that's major work.

dano955
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:53 am
Location: Macon, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Starter not engaging clutch

Postby dano955 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:11 am

thanks-by adding seafoam to the oil and turning the rear wheel work

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WingAdmin
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1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Starter not engaging clutch

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:07 am

dano955 wrote:thanks-by adding seafoam to the oil and turning the rear wheel work


Turning the rear wheel (in gear, with the ignition on) will work to get it started, but you really need to have the engine hot and running for a good 100 miles to dislodge the sludge.

dano955
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:53 am
Location: Macon, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Starter not engaging clutch

Postby dano955 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:53 am

what is the best gear to push start

dano955
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:53 am
Location: Macon, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Starter not engaging clutch

Postby dano955 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:10 pm

when i tried to start the bike this morning,every 5th or 6th time it would move like when i didn't have the clutch lever pulled all the way in-it even backfired one time-so i guessed it trying to engage-going to change oil and add seafoam -[half of bottle right] try to push start it and ride about 50 miles==then change the oil and filter again--wish me luck -cause i really miss riding my goldwing and i get 15mpg in my silverado and around 43 on bike--driving 500 miles a week at almost $4 a gallon in GA is a big saving for a poor man like me---AGAIN THANKS GUYS

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17046
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Starter not engaging clutch

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:37 pm

It can be quite tough to push start in first gear, as the gearing means it will be spinning the engine the fastest this way - you can even lock up the rear wheel.

Try second, and if that doesn't work, third gear. Remember to have the choke out, because the engine will be cold. Once the engine catches, pull the clutch right in, because being stone cold, it won't have enough power to push the bike along, especially if it's not in first gear.

dano955
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:53 am
Location: Macon, Georgia
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate

Re: Starter not engaging clutch

Postby dano955 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:49 pm

thanks-i call some friends to push start it after i change the oil i tried it one more time and it engaged--i drove about 60 miles. when i got home and switch it off the starter would only spin until maybe the 5th time--i going to change the oil and add seafoam and because i had only time to drive 60 miles i going to drive a 100--thanks again i will keep you guys informed--is there things i can look for or do if i have to pull the engine to help me in the future

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wjnfirearms
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:51 pm
Location: Portersville, Pennsylvania
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000
1980 KZ750 LTD
2007 H-D XL1200C
Contact:

Re: Starter not engaging clutch

Postby wjnfirearms » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:56 pm

Thanks for clarifying that, Admin. I guess I just assumed that they pretty much worked the same way most of the rest did. Proves that I have a lot to learn about the Wing idiosyncrasies.


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