Starter spins but doesn't turn the engine

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Starter spins but doesn't turn the engine

Post by pitnor54 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:49 pm

I replaced the starter on my 83 GL 1100 with a new one. The first time I tried starting it, it fired up just fine. Better than ever. Now the starter spins but doesn't turn the motor. Any suggestions?

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Re: Starter spins but doesn't turn the engine

Post by MJSantos » Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:57 pm

I think the first thing to do is pull that starter and check the chain and gear inside, if they're intact check the planetary gears in the starter. It's possible the new starter gave out.

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Re: Starter spins but doesn't turn the engine

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:24 pm

It could also be the sprague clutch. If the starter is operating correctly and the planetary gears are intact, it's likely the sprague clutch (the piece that connects the starter to the engine when the starter is running).

The tiny little spring-loaded arms that reach out and engage the drive get clogged up with sludge, to the point that they don't engage anymore. If you can get the bike started (either with the starter or by push-starting it), then change the oil, and add a can of Seafoam to the crankcase. Run the engine for a while (go take it for a ride for half an hour), then drain and change the oil again. The Seafoam will dissolve the sludge in the crankcase, hopefully including the sludge fouling the sprague clutch, and allow it to operate correctly again.

Sometimes people have to do two or three Seafoam oil treatments to get it working fully again. If you still can't get it to work after that, I'm afraid the engine has to come out to fix the sprague clutch.

Now all of that is assuming the starter is actually operating (spinning its shaft with good torque) in the first place.

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Re: Starter spins but doesn't turn the engine

Post by johnmicy » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:31 am

thanks for postings :)

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