Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade


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84wingrider
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Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby 84wingrider » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:58 pm



Hi guys. Quickly, i just wanna comment on the wealth of good information on this site. Truly is a big money saver!
I took my bike out for a short spin this past wkd to get the cobwebs out of it (good excuse anyway). Upon cold start, she fired right up and purred like a Honda should. After a short warm-up, I pulled out of the garage to give it a quick spring bath before riding. Went to start it, starter engaged and just spun. After a few hits on the starter button, the engine started. Went out for a ride anyway, but stayed fairly close to home. Happened again on one stop. After returning home, i got my book out and read about the starting system. Book says if starter is engaging (turning) but not turning the engine over, the problem is in the starter clutch itself. The bad news is the book also says that the first step is to remove the engine. While i am mechanically inclined, i don't really wanna tackle a job of this magnitude and definitely don't wanna take a labor hit like this from my dealer. My question is, is there anything i can do to correct this without a giant teardown? I noticed on either a hot or cold engine, it will engage every time. If the engine temp is in between, starter clutch will not engage. As with most problems, i know it won't just go away and is likely to get worse. I have some long trips planned this summer and need this to be dependable for me. I know the bike can be push-started and really won't leave me "stranded", but this is a Honda for God's sake, not a Harley! Thanks in advance for any help and/or advice.

Stuttering starter in Indiana



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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:26 pm

The bad news: it's your starter (sprague) clutch.

The worse news: You have to pull the engine apart to replace it.

The good news: You might not have to replace it.

A lot of times, this happens due to sludge build up in the crankcase oil. And if that is the cause, it's easy (and cheap) to fix.

Go out and buy a can or two of Seafoam from your nearest NAPA or other automotive store, along with lots of motorcycle oil and a couple of filters.

Change your oil, and pour half a can of Seafoam into the crankcase. Go out and ride for half an hour, come back, change the filter and drain the oil. It will be filthy, as the Seafoam dissolves the sludge and deposits in your crankcase. Re-fill the crankcase with fresh oil, another half a can of Seafoam, and go ride again. Come back, drain the oil again, refill with clean, and change the filter again. If the starter problem was sludge (and chances are that it is), it should have improved markedly. If it's still not perfect, try the Seafoam treatment another couple times.

Good luck!

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby 84wingrider » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:20 pm

WingAdmin, how did i know that you would be the first to reply lol? In any case, thank you my friend. I was unsure if the starter clutch received engine oil or not. I actually thought of something along your line, but did not think the sprag received crankcase oil. I will definitely try this soon and will reply with an update.

Also, are there any aftermarket filters that fit these engines and are safe to use?

Thanks again for this info and i will reply soon.

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:07 am

I use this Emgo oil filter and have for years, with no problems whatsoever.

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby Old Fogey » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:29 pm

The problem with the starter clutch is that it gets very little lubrication and it is situated in the ideal position to attract all the condensation inside the motor, so it rusts up like the one on the right.



(in case you hadn't noticed, the screws holding the clutch assembly to the rotor are tight!)


Also the clutch roller sprocket can rust too!



Try the Admins tip, but if that doesn't work the engine has to come out. BUT, it is only the back end that need to be taken apart, not a complete strip by any means. The clutch cover and the rear case, then you can access the rotor. The clutch is built into the back of it.

More tips on how to do this here; http://s298.photobucket.com/albums/mm27 ... /?start=80
Image Image

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby Newwinger » Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:21 pm

WOW!, :o I happen to in the process of doing this now. I tried Admins suggestion but I just couldn't get the bike to start. So, I pulled the engine. Some of the accessories had to come off and I had to loosen the fairing nuts, but other than that, it wasn't too bad. I had trouble with removing the alternator rotor, not having the correct tool. But managed with a leather belt. I'm look for the tool not so I can install it back with correct torque.

I removed the torx head screws (T-35 btw, and I had to go buy) and I removed the cyliders: they had flat spots so Im replacing them. Once I pulled the caps (with the springs) out, they were filled with sludge and junk. The caps have little holes on top you can use to poke a small wire or something to pull them out. At $12+ a piece :shock: , I'm hoping to recycle the caps. The rollers ($3+ each) and springs $1.80 each) are on order.

So far, I've cleaned everyting as best I could. Before reinstalling, I'll check the function of the old cap. There are weep holes just inside (leading to the outside edge) that needed to be cleaned. While I'm waiting for the parts to arrive, I've stipped the starter motor for a good cleaning (and boy did it need it) and checked the timing belts for wear. I know the previous over replaced the belts. They still look good and 2 cover bolts are missing. The holes were filled with silicon to prevent water getting in. I ordered new bolt too.

I've never tried anything on this scale before. But I figure I have you guys (and gals) and a couple of gear heads in the family should I run into trouble. :D
Rick - 83 GL1100

chevydog66
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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby chevydog66 » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:13 pm

Hi, Newbie here with same problem, wanting to get some more info. I will be tearing into my (actually my deceased dad's) 84 1200 this weekend with same problem. I have been doing the internet research and will try the Seafoam and oil change trick first, but will eventually need to pull motor and clean the rollers, I guess. The dealer states that some of the parts are discontinued for this. So my question is will a good cleaning fix this problem or can I get new rollers, cap, clutch, and springs in the aftermarket world somewhere? Should I buy a used starter clutch? What to look for in a used assembly? Where to get the alternator tool? Not trying to hijack, just didn't want to start a new thread, wanting to keep this info in one locale.
Two wrongs don't make a right but 3 lefts do.

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby Old Fogey » Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:27 pm

The starter clutch parts are the same for all the GLs up to 87

Crescent Moon has the kit
http://www.crescentmooncycles.com/html/ ... 12006.html

The tool is available from a number of different sources, and in slightly different forms. This one from Z1

http://www.z1enterprises.com/products01 ... ocket.aspx
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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby sgrider » Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:56 pm

I had mentioned something about my starter clutch about a month or two ago. Problem I had was more when cold out than anything else. I was told to use synthetic oil and so far it has not given me a problem (knock on wood). The question is,... is there a way to prevent the sludge build-up. The way it sounds is that the parts are not really going bad, its more the sludge that causes the problem. I have an 86 with 21,000 miles on it so really the bike was never broken in and trying to prevent the pulling of the motor.

chevydog66
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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby chevydog66 » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:26 pm

Update!! Yippie the Seafoam worked for me! No more starter clutch problems. I added Seafoam to the gas and also the oil, and changed the oil twice. Now the starter is working fine. Thanks WingAdmin!!
Two wrongs don't make a right but 3 lefts do.

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby lucky_x16 » Sat May 01, 2010 11:03 pm

sgrider wrote:I had mentioned something about my starter clutch about a month or two ago. Problem I had was more when cold out than anything else. I was told to use synthetic oil and so far it has not given me a problem (knock on wood). The question is,... is there a way to prevent the sludge build-up. The way it sounds is that the parts are not really going bad, its more the sludge that causes the problem. I have an 86 with 21,000 miles on it so really the bike was never broken in and trying to prevent the pulling of the motor.


When you go to change your oil first of the year, drop half a quart of the winter oil out and replace with Seafoam, run it for 200-300 miles riding easy, not jumping on it to hard.
Once a year will do nicely.
Try to avoid your dyno oils.
I just rebuilt my starter clutch this past winter as well. I was able to get caps, springs, and rollers for less than $30.00 delivered.




I neglectfully did not get a picture of the back side, but there was rust inside there too.
The goo built up on the springs over the years the bike had been stored had actually shortened the springs by an 1/8 inch.
In replacing them all, it was cheap insurance, in lieu of doing it again.
I used spray carb cleaner to clean the tubes that the springs and caps rested in.
I replaced the rollers as well, as they appeared to have very small flat spots on them when I checked them with a caliper.

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby racetteb » Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:19 am

I spoke to my local dealer in regards to the same issues with my 84 1200 Interstate just recently, and am looking at a decent size repair bill myself. Mine's in for a full rebuild on the starter clutch assembly and will be replacing a stator while he's in there to prevent the eventual melt down of that. Noticed that someone had mentioned running a synthetic oil a few posts back, was cautioned not to do this as with the wet clutch that the 1200's had, if there are any polymers in the oil at all it can cause some serious clutch slippage.

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby gof » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:31 pm

84wingrider wrote:Hi guys. Quickly, i just wanna comment on the wealth of good information on this site. Truly is a big money saver!
I took my bike out for a really won't leave me "stranded", but this is a Honda for God's sake, not a Harley! Thanks in advance for any help and/or advice.

Stuttering starter in Indiana


I get this occasionally, good to know what it is. I think I am going to do some Seafoam tomorrow.

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby CASizemore » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:52 pm

I just talked to the guy at my shop, about this B3 would not start the other day. Three hours stuck at work she started long enough to get her into the shop once off the trailer. He is talking total teardown and rebuild, the same day I brought her in another Winger with an '84 Interstate with a toasted stator. His bill was about $3000, because he did all of the We are here and that part is original work that make sense when you are pulling the motor.

My estimate is about $2500, for that same kind of work. I am going to try the Seafoam to clear the sludge. I will report back later.

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby CASizemore » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:10 am

Sea Foam seems to have worked its magic, added half a bottle to B3's crankcase and then I went on a 130 mile ride. When I got her home though I had other issues. The last person to do the oil change did not use the bushing on the drain plug, instead they torqued the bolt down so much that I stripped the head trying to remove it. I changed the oil filter and topped off the oil, that is when I found the oil filter spring missing. Once I removed the drain plug and got a new spring. The oil was dirty black and well past any lubrication. She now starts with the lightest caress of her start button. I am a very happy rider. I also noted a loose bolt on the left hand side of the engine behind the Thermostat. The bolt is broken as it just spins and does not tighten.

I found a local junk yard with GL1200 three in various states of decrepitude they have some of the parts I want to replace. Although picking through that boneyard made me very sad. The had one 1200 motor was sitting on the scrap pile and I pulled the same bolt its about 5-6 inches long threaded for the first inch to inch and a half. This bolt runs into the frame so it can not be removed without at least removing the engine mounting bolts. There are small drips of oil come from it.


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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby Kapochek » Sat May 16, 2015 11:44 am

Please, PLEASE do NOT run synth oils in your 4 cylinder Wings!! I bought my '86 Aspy for what she was traded in for ($600!) because the starter wouldn't engage and the original owner couldn't justify the repair cost of pulling the engine and replacing the starter clutch. I checked the oil after reinstalling the starter (they thought the clutch was IN the starter) and found synth oil which I was told many moons ago was taboo for these old wings for not only the drive clutch, but the starter clutch as well - seems the synth oil is (theoretically, anyways) TOO slippery to initially engage and drags it out. The original owner seemed happy to admit running full-synth for over 50k miles. I changed the oil along with seafoam for the next two oil changes and rarely had a slip after that (1 in 30 or so!) I eventually swapped the clutch along with the first stator replacement (3 in a year, poorboy next!) and found a few flat spots on all the rollers as well as accompanying scrub on the sprocket/ drive surface. I've put over 130k on her with Spectro 'blue-cap' 10W40 and have gone through 2 more starters, but nothing else starter-wise!!

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby DaveClayton » Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:12 pm

I have had the starting problem with my 85 LTD Wing....at the time I put the whole tin of Seafoam into the recently changed oil and left it in there for about 1000 miles. In the meantime I started researching oils and focused in on AMSOIL. They have developed a synthetic oil for motorcycles with the wet clutch and starter clutch in mind......as well as a lot of other applications. When I changed the old oil out, it came out looking like the typical black very used oil that it usually does. I put in the AMSOIL Motorcycle oil (10-40) with a new oil filter and for the last seven years since using it I have not had one single starting problem....or any other problem......and...when I change my oil (every 3000 miles) it comes out as clean looking as when I put it in. I remember the first time I used it, I immediately found it to be noticeably smoother running and as well as smoother shifting.

All the motorcycle shops sell their own brand of motorcycle oil (specifically designed for the wet clutch etc.) BUT....none of them actually make the oil.....they all get it from an oil company that markets it under their name....Honda, Suzuki, Harley etc. So...who are these oil companies that are making specific oil for them....what kind of research are they dedicating to the specific problems that motorcycles have. The bikes that race are quite happy to use and advertise an oil that is being supplied to them for free.....but their engines are new and being rebuilt after every race so it's not the same as being used in a 30 year old bike. When you look into AMSOIL you will find they are constantly doing research on their oil and there are performance comparison tests with every other type of oil they can find out there.

I use AMSOIL in everything I own. I have 12 motorcycles (I own a motorcycle training school), 3 GL1200 Goldwings and a Harley and I swear by that stuff....it sure has worked for me. By the way , the 3 goldwings and the Harley are used every day as Instructor's bikes so it's not like they are sitting in the garage all year.

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby ned » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:30 pm

gents,
before you start taking your bike apart, have a look at this. It lives in the How-to section: http://goldwingdocs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12909

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby spanorky » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:29 am

Just a quick note with regards to the starter clutch issue. I sent my '83 GL1100 (almost 100,000 miles on it and a "slipping starter") into the shop for an engine redo and starter replace. $4,000.00 later and the bike had a lot of new Honda replacement parts, including a new starter. The following spring I could not start the bike. The "slipping starter" had not been fixed after all. It took me a while (about 3 months), but I found some obscure references to starter clutch sticking. That was before I found this group. Seafoam was the answer for me. I could not get the starter to turn the engine at all (the starter turned fine), and I just couldn't push start it. I had to remove a "cover" on the back of the engine and use a ratchet and socket to turn over the engine (being very careful of the direction of rotation, so as not to damage the engine). This was a very slow and long process, but I did notice an improvement in the ease with which the engine rolled over. After a few hours of manual turning I switched to using an air ratchet for a few more hours. The end result was that the starter clutch did eventually engage and I got the bike running. I put about 60 Miles (100 Kilometers) on it and changed the oil and filter. I did this three times, until I saw perfectly clean oil coming out. The only mistake that I have made was to not do this every year. Two years later the same issue crept into my life again. But it is now a simple, and fairly cheap, maintenance procedure to keep up.

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:19 pm

DaveClayton wrote:I have had the starting problem with my 85 LTD Wing....at the time I put the whole tin of Seafoam into the recently changed oil and left it in there for about 1000 miles. In the meantime I started researching oils and focused in on AMSOIL. They have developed a synthetic oil for motorcycles with the wet clutch and starter clutch in mind......as well as a lot of other applications. When I changed the old oil out, it came out looking like the typical black very used oil that it usually does. I put in the AMSOIL Motorcycle oil (10-40) with a new oil filter and for the last seven years since using it I have not had one single starting problem....or any other problem......and...when I change my oil (every 3000 miles) it comes out as clean looking as when I put it in.


Just a quick note: Engine oil has three primary purposes:

- Lubrication
- Cooling
- Suspension of contaminants

The first two are fairly obvious.

When an engine runs, the pistons are not perfectly sealed, especially on older engines (which is why the compression gets lower over time). When the combustion stroke occurs, piston blow-by occurs, which is combustion products that push past the piston rings and into the crankcase. This pressurizes the crankcase, which is the reason for the PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve. This valve sends most of this blow-by back through the intake to be burned again.

However, not all blow-by is captured that way. Some of it gets into the oil. A lot of the blow-by contains carbon (soot), which is black - and this is why your engine oil turns black over time. This carbon, along with acids and other contaminants are held in suspension by the engine oil until the oil is changed. It is the job of the oil to hold these contaminants in suspension and prevent them from accumulating in the engine and damaging bearings and moving parts.

So...if your engine oil is coming out "as clean looking as when you put it in" - where are those contaminants? Still in your engine. That's not a good thing. You WANT your engine oil to be black when it is drained. Amsoil doesn't magically stop blow-by from occurring, contaminants are still being blown into your crankcase, so if it's not coming out with your oil, where is all that stuff going?

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby Solina Dave » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:39 am

Now I'm confused. I've used Castrol 10W40 oil for years in my '78 GL1000, and I change my oil and filter religiously every 5000 kms. (3000 mi.). I'm beginning to have starter engagement problems similar to what's being described in this post, and will likely give it the Seafoam treatment when I bring it out in the spring. Hopefully that will help, and if it does, I'll add it to my scheduled maintenance routine.
There seems to be conflicting ideas regarding the use of synthetic oil. Is there significant advantage in it's use, or should I just continue using conventional oil. WingAdmin, do you use synthetic oil now, or have you ever, in any of your GLs? What's your recommendation? You make good points in regards to how, and why, sludge accumulates in the crankcase of older machines.

Thanks for your help......................Dave
"Assume Nothing"

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby DaveClayton » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:28 pm

I don't know why you would WANT your engine oil to be coming out black.....that is telling me the oil is breaking down because of heat or too long in the engine or excessive carbon. So now you have your preferred BLACK oil (???) running through your engine.... that is not slippery anymore....causing more friction and higher heat....transporting all this suspended carbon and particles through all your bearings and anything else that moves. If you could prevent this....why on earth wouldn't you. Why is your oil filter not filtering out all this crap and keeping the oil nice and clean??? Why is your oil allowing all this sludge to build up and block these tiny passages and preventing your starter clutch from grabbing properly??? So...to clean this sludge out you use the Seafoam...excellent choice....I have used it and it works very well in cleaning out the sludge...I highly recommend it.

So....now you have the inside of the engine nice and clean and your starter clutch is working again. Are you really going to continue to use the same old type of oil that allowed the sludge to build up and cause you all that grief??? If you are then I would suggest you start using an oil additive or two to help your oil keep your engine clean and slippery......seafoam is one additive you can use...but not on a continual ongoing basis. Or.....you can try Amsoil.....it has everything already in it.....that is what it is designed to do. It's been 7 years for one of my Wings since the Seafoam cleaning and the use of Amsoil and no hint of a recurring starter clutch problem.....and never a hint of a problem with the clutch itself.

Forty years ago (??) when they first came out with synthetic oil I also heard the rumor/warning not to use it in a motorcycle because of the clutch....because it was TOO slippery (????) Well....I had already put it in my bike before I heard this terrible news and I never noticed any difference in the operation of my clutch...it worked just fine. Today, they make a synthetic specifically for motorcycles. As I have said here before....my oil comes out looking clean...not black.....no sign of any sludge build up. Maybe...just maybe...there is something (additive??) in Amsoil that somehow dissolves these carbons and sludge ....or....does something that allows the oil filter to collect the crap....like the stuff I put in my pool that attaches to the particles in the water....sinks to the bottom of the pool so I can vacuum it up and makes the water crystal clear again. I have 2 bikes in my fleet with well over 100,000 k and others catching up, and none of my bikes have ever had the head(s) off. My 1998 Harley (Ultra Classic) has 157,000 k and I swear when I fire it up it runs better that when I last shut it off.

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby roadwanderer2 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:29 pm

WingAdmin wrote:I use this Emgo oil filter and have for years, with no problems whatsoever.



if you don't want to wait a week to have the oil filter delivered, you can go to any advance or O'Reilly's auto parts and pick one up, its a fram filter part # CH6009 and it sells for under 5 bucks, and if your a military veteran, you can by rights get a 10% military on that plus ALL your auto/bike needs. this filter will fit all the GL1100's/1200's from 83 and up to 87. i use it on both my 1100 and my 1200.

stuart.

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby chrisz » Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:37 pm

DaveClayton wrote:I don't know why you would WANT your engine oil to be coming out black.....that is telling me the oil is breaking down because of heat or too long in the engine or excessive carbon. So now you have your preferred BLACK oil (???) running through your engine.... that is not slippery anymore....causing more friction and higher heat....transporting all this suspended carbon and particles through all your bearings and anything else that moves. If you could prevent this....why on earth wouldn't you.


When my work commute was about 80 kms one way for about 12 years in the '90's I used Amsoil synthetic oil (PAO based) in my small Honda car. Every time I changed the oil (and I did it myself to save money) it always came out black and it was changed twice yearly. I used Amsoil due to longer drain intervals. After about 4-5 years, I switched to another brand of oil, also synthetic and same viscosity. Changed the oil at the same intervals and it looked identical (black) as did the Amsoil. I expected my mileage maybe to worsen, but it didn't. So for me Amsoil oil was good, but I found that other synthetic oils are similar if not identical in performance in my application but were cheaper. Perhaps if one performed an oil analysis (Blackstone) with either oils at said mileage and same vehicle maybe there will be a story to tell. But used oil coming out clean in a gasoline powered engine, would be interesting to see.
BTW, I once worked at a wildlife conservation facility (while in high school) in their motor-pool, my job was to change oil, etc., to help out the real mechanics. The motor-pool used dino oil from a drum (don't ask what brand or viscosity?). The oil in their vehicles was changed like clockwork and the only time I saw somewhat 'clean' oil was on vehicles that were propane powered. That oil was a light brown color, but not black.

DaveClayton, are you a distributor for Amsoil? Amsoil is currently accepting applications. http://www.amsoil.com/business-opportun ... ealer.aspx

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Re: Starter clutch not engaging/'84 Aspencade

Postby Old Fogey » Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:56 pm

You want to see black oil, try running a diesel. My oil is black within 100 miles. But the blackness, although carbon, is so microscopic that the recommended oil change intervals are 18,000 miles. I admit that worries me, so I change at 10,000 just as I always have with the previous recommendations for the earlier engine. A couple of gallons of oil and a fiter are a hell of a lot cheaper than either a new turbo or worse, a new engine.


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