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Howdy friends!

Got an interesting problem with my 81 GL1100. I've been having sluggish starter for a while so I did the voltage checks at the solenoid and the starter bolt. Everything reading 12v+ as it should. Used a jumper cable to go from the positive battery post to the starter and it was still sluggish/uncooperative. Well I finally pulled it off the bike today and took it apart. When I cracked the case on the starter I had oil SHOOT out of it like it was a wd-40 can (yes, with a little "pffft" sound and bubbling). Thank GOD I put all the cardboard down on the kitchen table or I would be typing this from a local motel instead of from the house. (Wife was NOT amused... :whip: )

:? So, the question is, is this a seal issue for the starter? Or has something gone horribly wrong in the bottom of the engine? When I pulled it out I got the 'pint of oil' that drained from the hole the starter goes into. I've read on other posts that this will usually happen... but... Help? Oh, and yes, the starter was positively topped off with engine oil. I've wiped it out best I can and will use up a can or two of electrical cleaner on everything tomorrow before I attempt testing/reassembly. Only problem is I don't know if I should augment/change the rubber seals before I stick it back on.

Thanks for any input!


-Bikerman417
 

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Yes there is a seal in the starter head to keep oil out. Check the crank case vent also to be sure it is not plugged. If it is it can force oil into and out of places it shouldn't be.
 

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Well that's one I haven't heard of before.
There should be a shaft seal on the output end of the starter motor since it goes into the back of the crankcase. I gotta believe that seal is blown. I suppose you could replace it if you can get it out and figure out where to get a replacement. Maybe it's only an O-ring.
A new or rebuilt starter would cost more but in the long run it might be the easiest way to go.
 

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Also, is there a gas smell to the oil? If so, you have an over flowing carb float valve pouring fuel into the cylinders and then into the crank case. That would cause hydrolock and answer hard to turn over and oil in starter.
 

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Welcome to the Forum bikerman417! :waving:
 

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Another thing to check is the crankcase breather tube. It comes out of the crankcase just behind the #4 carb and has a tube running into the air cleaner housing. That tube should be open so the crankcase can breath or it will pressurize and cause wierd stuff to happen (like maybe even pumping a starter full of oil).
 

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Thanks for the welcome and the suggestions! Ok, crank case tube AND vent will be examined. Glad I could make my debut with weirdness. :raspberry: So far no gas smell to oil, but I bet there IS a problem with the venting. I've done quite a few oil changes without even thinking about the crankcase venting... *facepalm* Looks like a greasy morning tomorrow. :) I'll keep everyone posted.
 

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I cleaned the starter thoroughly and reassembled, cranks right up, hallelujah! I'm still working on that venting thing. The cylmer I have doesn't have good info (or pictures) of the '81. There is a valve housing looking thing just behind the oil filler point with a hose going onto what looks like a vacuum point under one of the carbs. Could this be what I'm looking for?
 

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Directly above the starter on the top of the engine an "L" fitting comes out of the case and a hose goes to the air cleaner.
 

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while your on your prayer bones on the left side of things. remove the catch container and empty it too. its a air box drain container .
 
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