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Old 05-14-2012, 11:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My 84 GL1200 has been a bit slugglish to start. Clasic weak starter - starts OK cold, won't turn over the engine when it's hot. The bike has about 75000 miles.



I bought a rebuild kit of ebay. Now that I am into the rebuild I am wondering if he problem was elsewhere. When I got the starter out, I noticed there as a sticker from a rebuilder. I know some of the history of the bike.It was not done by the previous owner.



After opening up the starter, I found the brushes to be in good shape, not noticable shorter than the new ones. There was a light coating of carbon dust on everything. Much less than I was expecting. The bearing was not turning freely at first, but after working it a bit it spins nicely, and seems tight. The kit came with 2 bearings, neither of which were the right ones for the '84 starter. The bushing didn't seem to have any play in it. I replaced anyways since it came in the kit.



I am a little concerned about the bearing. I sprayed brake cleaner to clean up the starter. I didn't explicitly spray the brearing, but it mysteriously started spinning freely while I was basicly playing with it. I don't feel any grit. I am concerned about te amount of lubrication inthe bearing.



I had to abandon work tonight when I discovered I didn't have any grease to repack the planetary gears or lube the bushing.



I guess the worst that can happen is I get to rebuild it again .
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You can really only go one way with it now, and that's forward with the repair. If the brushes are as good as you say, don't replace them. Clean out any dust and grease the bearings. Make sure all the soldered parts at the brush plate are solid, that often gets overlooked.
Keep your fingers crossed and hope it works out.
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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My starter job went exactly as you have described except for the sticky bearing. I added an earth wire from the brush plate to the body but didnt make a great job of it, the starter stayed bad when hot. Took it off again and fitted the new complete brush plate from the kit and put it back together and it now spins like new, the old plate and brushes looked perfect but the new one fixed it.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would fit the new plate and brushes. Common sense really, you have the starter opened up and new parts to hand. Why put the starter back in with old parts and face having to do the job again?
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Brush plate to motor housing is critical. Either install a grounding wire or just make sure that the grounding tabs on the brush plate and the spots on the housing are clean and making firm contact. I put a small drop of high-speed oil on the bearing. This '84 starter works like new now.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Didn't think much about the brush plate. I can see how that would be critical.



Yes I am putting all the new parts in while I have it apart. The bearing was the one part I really wanted to put in new but didn't come with the kit. Makes me wonder - what do those bearings that came with the kit fit? The kit claimed to be for an '84 but the only parts that fit are the brush plate, brushes and bushing. The Orings don't fit well and the supplied breaings are useless.



Thanks for all the advice recieved.



Jim


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Old 05-15-2012, 10:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Follow up. I put the starter back together with new brushes and brush plate, new bushing and 1 new o-ring. Repacked the grease in the plantary gears.



I had a bit of a scare when the starter splines would not go into the sprocket. It eventaully worked in. The bike is basicly vertical.



The rebuilt starter definately turns th motor over better. The acid test is when the engine is heat soaked. I'l find out in a few days after I finish other projects on the bike.



Jim
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Okay, Greydino, be sure to let us know.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The bike now starts fine even when heat soaked. $23 in parts, 1 hour to get the starter off, 2 hours to clean and rebuild, 1 hour to put it all back together. I work slow.

The only hiccup was I discovered the left side engine guard will not go back on while the exhaust pipes are bolted on. D'oh! I plan to replace the valve covers so I'll leave it off for now.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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An easy thing to overlook on those starters is the brushes. They do not usually fail from wear. The brushes look fine for length. The issue can be that someone cranked the bike excessively. This can tend to "boil" the copper out of the brush set. Did the brushes look blue or even black in color compared to new? If so that will certainly contribute to the problem. The copper is a much better conductor than carbon. I wonder if the fines in the starter are not copper remains?
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