Starter is bad? (VIDEO)


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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rrod1393
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Location: Freehold, NJ
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate
2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic

Starter is bad? (VIDEO)

Post by rrod1393 »



I'll try and keep this short but also bring you up to speed. I just completed a tune up on my GL1200 and got the bike running great. I took it out for a short spin and came back, turned it off and then tried to fire it back up again and the starter made this growl. It would not spin the engine. My voltage dropped to 10v. I had the battery for about a year now so I thought, maybe the battery is dying on me early. This growl has happened before a couple times but have been able to start the bike (more on this later). Figuring I have a couple trips planned soon, I don't want to be stranded because of my battery so I purchased a new Odyssey battery $$$. Put it on the bike.... same noise and no spin. Checked for voltage drop from the solenoid to the starter (0.0). I pulled the starter and opened. It up it is nasty. So last year I had kind of the same problem, starter started to make the growling noise so as preventative maintenance, pulled it and cleaned it. A year later and maybe 2,000 miles, and it looks this bad again???? How? What is causing the brushes to make such a mess...age?? Is it caused by a bad armature? Anyone else deal with this? I purchased a parts bike so I'm going to pull the starter off that one to use. See the attached photos and videos.

Videos 1 and 2 show me trying to start the bike and the noise I hear. Video 3 is with the spark plugs removed to see if the engine would spin better, and it did for one to three revolutions and soon flopped dead.


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CrystalPistol
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Re: Starter is bad? (VIDEO)

Post by CrystalPistol »

I'd say clean it up, degrease it well, polish the commutator segments, perform brush plate ground mod, grease gears, try again.

https://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/10 ... ggish.html
CrystalPistol;4072210 wrote: I was going to post this repost of old article in a post in a thread .... but it would get lost there and here, it may help a new owner of an old warrior GL1200 with a sluggish starter motor.



I performed this mod back in about 1999 - 2000 when Ken was active, it really spurred my GL1200's starter to life and to this day, it still spins "fast" when I hit the button. The engine almost "leaps to life" with the resultant faster spin. I didn't save it when I could have, but there was similar instructions for the earlier GLs.The following article by Ken Chapin on February 25, 1999
Subject: Sluggish Starter
Recently, a tip came to me from Larry Shoebridge of Ontario, Canada. By redirecting the ground circuit from the commutator brush within the starter to the aluminum housing cap of the starter, a more substantial connection is made. Close examination of the stock OEM starter will reveal that the current flows through the brush and wire then down through a mounting plate that is secured with two (2) rivets to the brush plate. This plate simply sits in a collar groove when the starter is reassembled creating the completion of the current circuit to ground. Dissimilar metals are used here and we all know that corrosion lives in between dissimilar metals and good contact can suffer. The modification involves drilling a hole in the end cap and securing a separate length of spiral stranded copper wire with a nut & bolt to a solid connection of the brush mounting plate (either spot weld, rivet or nut & bolt). A spot weld is recommended. With this modification, you will notice an improvement in the cranking performance of your starter.


Removal/Overhaul of GL1200 starter motor.


To understand why the bike must be on the sidestand for this procedure, you must understand that the starter is driven by a gear in a drive chain off the starter clutch. The starter is plugged into the engine casing and engages the gear that basically hangs loose in the chain that comes down from the starter clutch. After you pull out the starter, you will notice the round hole. When you look into the hole, you will see the gear hanging in the chain in the middle of the open hole. If the bike was on the centerstand, the chain would swing over and the gear would not be in the middle of the hole. Thusly, the starter will not engage the gear when you go to plug it back into the engine casing. Put the bike on the sidestand and leave it there until the starter motor is back in.


**** This removal procedure applies to the 1985 (late) to 1987 GL1200 only. The 1984 and early 1985 GL1200 starter motor is different and can be removed by following the instructions given for the GL1000/1100 series. The late 1985 to 1987 starter motor is easily identified by the hump on the casing near the reduction gear case housing where it plugs into the engine.


1. Bike on sidestand.


2. Disconnect the battery.


3. Disconnect the cable from the starter motor.


4. If the bike is equipped with floorboards, remove the one on the starter side as well as the heel/toe shifter and any connection to the shift shaft protruding from the engine.


5. If the bike is equipped with a factory shifter, remove it from the shift shaft as well as the footpeg.


6. Remove the exhaust system on both sides of the bike and just lower it to the ground. This sounds involved but is actually quite easy. There are 4 exhaust nuts per side and the rear hanger bolts. You will need new copper exhaust gaskets for the reinstallation.


7. Remove the two exhaust manifold studs from the bottom of Cylinder #4 (the rear one on the left side). Use a stud remover tool or the old double nut trick.


8. Remove the two 8mm bolts that secure the starter motor to the engine. Wiggle the starter out of the engine casing and away out through the area that you created by removing the exhaust and studs.


9. Repair the starter motor as required.


10. Reinstall in the reverse order. Put grease or vaseline on the O ring to aid in inserting the starter back into the casing.


The starter motor itself consists of three (3) main sections. Prior to disassembly, use a scribe or felt marker and mark the casing across the three sections to ensure that they are reassembled correctly and are oriented to each other.


1. remove the three long bolts that hold the sections together and separate them. Be careful as there are a series of flat thrust washers on each end of the armature (located in the middle section). Record the location and number of the thrust washers. Ensure they go back in their original locations upon reassembly.


2. the end cap basically performs no function other than to cover the brush plate and commutator area as well as center the armature shaft with its bearing in the end of the cap.


3. the drive end contains the reduction gearing and if need be, can be disassembled to replace the bearing. This is extremely unlikely. The shaft should turn freely and normally only requires a cleaning and grease application. Simply remove the gear case cover screws, inspect the gears for wear or damage (not likely) and lubricate the gears with grease. Align the dowel pin with the groove on the gear upon reassembly of the gear case.


4. remove the brush plate from the end of the center section by removing the screw at the one brush connection. Before removing the brushes, note that one of them has an insulating sleeve over the braided wire.
The replacement must go in the same brush holder. Remove the brushes and replace if necessary and clean the brush plate. ** Brake Cleaner is a good general cleaner for this entire job.


5. remove the armature from the center section.


6. thoroughly clean everything using the Brake Cleaner. Although the cleaner will dry without leaving a film, it is suggested that the components be dried with compressed air.


7. get some extremely fine steel wool (000 of even 0000 is better) and gently clean the metal surfaces or bars of the armature and the commutator. Blow with compressed air.


8. using a volt/ohmeter, test for continuity between pairs of armature bars (the long ones). There should be continuity between the pairs around the entire circumference.


9. check for continuity between pairs of commutator bars (the short ones), and also between the commutator bars and the armature shaft. There should be continuity between the pairs of bars but NOT to the shaft.


10. check for continuity of the field coils. There should be from one end to the other.


11. check for continuity from the cable terminal to the motor case and from the cable terminal to the brush wire that protrudes at the other end. There should be continuity from the terminal to the brush wire but NOT from the terminal to the casing.


12. reinsert the armature back into the center section.


13. reinstall the drive end with the reduction gears.


14. reinstall the brush plate with the new brushes.


15. reinstall the end cap.


16. reinstall the three long bolts.


Test the starter by hooking jumper cables up - positive lead to the cable connector and negative lead to the starter motor casing. The starter should dance across the table or floor.


*** the modification made to the grounding circuit of the starter motor is not really necessary, but if you wish to provide a more precise ground connection, then an appropriate section of stranded copper wire will have to be spot welded (preferably) to the brush plate with the other end secured to the end cap via a simple nut and bolt mounted in a drilled through hole in the cap. I suggest you seal the hole with silicone to waterproof the area. Rather than spot welding, the end could be riveted securely to the brush plate. Take your pick.
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User avatar
rrod1393
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2018 3:56 pm
Location: Freehold, NJ
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate
2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic

Re: Starter is bad? (VIDEO)

Post by rrod1393 »

I did what I thought was a good cleaning. I polished the contacts so they were bright copper, no dust. Made sure the brushes had good contact and they were moving with spring tension. Greased the gears. This is the result after a year???? Looks like I never touched it.

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Aussie81Interstate
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Motorcycle: 2001 GL1500F6C Valkyrie
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Re: Starter is bad? (VIDEO)

Post by Aussie81Interstate »

You also need to carefully clean out the grooves between each segment - if there is a build up of carbon in the grooves it will accelerate the time between servicing I would put some new brushes in.

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DenverWinger
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Re: Starter is bad? (VIDEO)

Post by DenverWinger »

Check for armature winding shorts - take ohmmeter and test between all the commutator pads and the armature shaft, should be no readings. If any of the pads show a reading, the insulation broke down and the winding for that pad is shorted to the core. This can accelerate wear on the brushes.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

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rrod1393
Posts: 56
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Location: Freehold, NJ
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate
2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic

Re: Starter is bad? (VIDEO)

Post by rrod1393 »

Replaced the starter with one from my parts bike. I pulled that one apart and cleaned it also. Cleaned my original one and found the commutator looks like this.... Is it done??? Im good to assume this pitting had something to do with it's short service life.





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Aussie81Interstate
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:34 am
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1982 CX500 Turbo (Historic registration - finally)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500 (sold)

Re: Starter is bad? (VIDEO)

Post by Aussie81Interstate »

That armature would appear to be TOASTED.

I hope your replacement one was a lot cleaner.

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DenverWinger
Posts: 1524
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Starter is bad? (VIDEO)

Post by DenverWinger »

That looks pretty nasty, looks like it's been suffering from serious high current draw. If you clean out the copper spatters from between the pads and smooth it up some with maybe 400 grit emery cloth might be OK though. Did you check for any commutator pads reading a short to the armature core? If any shorted windings found I'd trash it.... :?
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

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rrod1393
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Location: Freehold, NJ
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 Interstate
2000 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic

Re: Starter is bad? (VIDEO)

Post by rrod1393 »

I did not test for a short yet... Only wiped off the armature. I'll see about testing for shorts and then sand it down. I also found the mounting points for the starter really dirty and corroded on the block. My guess is it couldn't be good for current flow that way. I cleaned both the block and start up with sand paper then put a little silicone grease on the connection. Spins great. I'll keep you posted on my attempt to rehab this armature.



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