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oil in the starter

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:03 pm
by MikeCoulombe
I just joined the club with a 1983 gl1100.
Owner told me it would need a starter.
After searching the issue here I removed the starter.
I was a little surprised when oil came out of the hole, not too concerned with the bike on the side stand.
I was however quite surprised to find that the starter itself also had a lot of oil inside the case.
I did find that the planetary gears were missing teeth and jammed up the stator.
I know I will have to replace the starter.
My question is, should there be any oil inside of the starter?
And how can it be avoided?

Re: oil in the starter

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:03 pm
by Aussie81Interstate
You would not normally see any oil in your starter motor.
If the planetary gears have broken teeth that is one issue - there should be an "O" ring on the starter motor just behind the gear that engages on the chain inside the motor itself. IF this is compromised I presume oil can travel along the length and somehow get inside it.

Get your starter motor fixed.. I would be more concerned as to why the teeth have broken - can be caused by a hyro locked motor - as in a cylinder or clylinders with an amount of fuel in them..

Were the planetary gears well greased or dry ??

Re: oil in the starter

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:24 pm
by DenverWinger
That sounds to me like the oil was seriously overfilled, You shouldn't get oil out of the starter hole, even on the side stand.

Check that oil to see if it smells like gasoline.....

Aftermarket starters have been known to break planetary gears for no apparent reason, but I wouldn't expect that out of an OEM starter....

Re: oil in the starter

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:43 pm
by MikeCoulombe
When I pulled it open it dumped a couple ounces of oil on the work table.
There was no evidence of any grease.
I have the timing covers and rad out.
I turned the engine over easily with a ratchet on the crank. I put the starter cone back on so I can move the bike around without having the engine open.
The previous owner said he had the engine running badly a year ago saying that he thought it was running rich.
The last registration was in 2010. So it has sat for almost ten years.

Re: oil in the starter

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:36 am
by virgilmobile
The oil that lubes the chain and sprockets is kept inside the engine by 2 parts.
There is a starter casing "O" ring to keep it from leaking to the outside and the front bearing of the starter to keep it from leaking into the starter.
If you have oil inside the starter,the front bearing seal is bad.It is a part of the bearing.
Leaving the bike on the side stand is the preferred way to reassemble it.
A bit of wiggle-giggle and it slides right back in.
Do use a narrow 10mm wrench under the power connection stud so you don't twist the stud and break the wires inside.

Re: oil in the starter

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:55 am
by MikeCoulombe
Yes that's what I figured it had to have a seal in the bearing. I'm off to the cycle recycling psychos cycles in Edmonton this morning.

Re: oil in the starter

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:06 pm
by virgilmobile
When you get your "new" starter,I may suggest a complete teardown and cleanup with new grease..Bench test it first and be sure to use that special wrench on the stud bolt to keep it from turning while you torque the cable nut down.
I took a old 10mm box end wrench to the grinder to make it thin enough for that purpose.

Re: oil in the starter

Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:13 pm
by MikeCoulombe
Found one with good gears and grease in the cone. Cobbled it together and the engine turns over well enough to get a compression test done and decide on the next step. Thanks for the tips.

Re: oil in the starter

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:58 am
by MikeCoulombe
So the starter soaked in oil, made a brave attempt but only lasted a couple of starts before it developed a dead short. So I tested the scrap starter it tested okay but it needed the positive brush connector. Long story short, soldered connector from dead starter, now works great.