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I have a starter thatdoesn't want to engage completely on my '81 1100after it has been riden and at normal operating temperature. Sometimes it takes two to three tries to engage the starter and Iusually always get a knock when i start her cold or hot.Doesn't act like it's the solenoid butrather just a lazy starter refusing to engage properly. I've sprayed WD40 in thestart button to see if there's a bad connection and checked my connections everywhere else. Battery is new and i've ran the MMO and drained and refilled with 20-50W oil.I've adjusted the clutch several times and held in on the lever to see if it may bethe clutch that's putting a drag on the starter with no luck. I plan to replace the clutch cable and adjust her again soon to see if it may help. The knock is a big concern andtellsme that it may be a badstarter butthat's a guess and a big chunk of cash.
 

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Theres loads of posts about this problem and it was discussed only recently as well. Do a search on GL1100 starter motor and you will get all the answers.
 

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does it "spin" when you stry to start it... then it is the starter clutch bearings. try running some marvel mystery oil for about 100-200 miles, dain and replace your oil with a good 20-50 wgt oil. my '78 still does it some especially after sitting. did replace the starter clutch once, but I do not recommend that.
 

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I've been all through the forum on this topic and no posts seem to reflect my situation with the knocking cold or hot. It does seem to spin when it's hot is the reason i decided to submit a post to my problem to see if anyone had something similar.
 

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I've also had problems starting my '81 1100. Have a look at http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/forum1/2760.html

If the starter sounds lazy I'd have a look at the brushes (Less than £10 in the UK. Got to be cheaper in the US). If it's spinning and won't engage until the motor is winding down (and then goes "thud") it's probably the starter clutch. I've changed that as well.Not on my list of top 10 fun things to do so I'd go with the MMO (wish I could get it) as advised here.
 

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Guys, he already did the MMO thing and refilled with 20w-50.

You might want to try some 10-40w and see what happens.

Does the knock occur as the starter engages finally? Or does it sound like it's coming from somewhere else in the engine?

My '83 has had one instance when the starter clutch didn't engage when I first pushed the button. When the clutch did engage as the starter was spinning down, it made a nasty clunk. Fortunately, this has only occured once in the last year that I've owned it.

If you do have to replace the starter, you don't have to remove the engine as is stated in some manuals. You need to put the bike on the sidestand and drop the exhaust pipes. You will probably need to buy some studs as I understand that it is likely you will break at least one. If you do, then you can use vise-grips to remove the remaining piece.

Then you can get to the starter and wiggle it out. Do not do this on the center stand as the gear that the starter fits into will go into the engine and you now have problems. You can probably get the starter itself re-built at a good alternator/starter repair shop for under a hundred dollars(US).

Regards,

Hobie
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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It's very hard to describe the actual sound and operationwhile starting(hot) when the starter doesn't want to engage it's almost like the battery is weak or likea badsolenoid or a poor connection on the solenoid itself.Sometimesi'll get approximately one revolution of the engine and thestarter poops out. The knockingoccurs when the starter doesengage (hot or cold)and tries tostart the engine and usuallyjust beforethe engine starts to run.Just may be the brushes but i wanted to ask before i get into a lot of timely work and there arenumerous possibities . I'm notcertainif the timing would be a factor but i just got her out of the shop for carb rebuilds and i'm certain the mechanic would of noticed. She runs fantastic! I think i'll try another pint of MMO and drain and refill with the lighter 10/40 because this bike sat for two years and the MMO won't hurt anything.She only has 34,600 miles on her withexcellent compression. THANKS GUYS
 

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this does not sound like a starter clutch then... more like not enough power to the starter.... start with the simple things. check and clean ALL the connections. you might also disconnect your batter and then hot wire the starter off a known good car battery and see if it still has problems
 

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rcmatt007 wrote:
this does not sound like a starter clutch then... more like not enough power to the starter.... start with the simple things. check and clean ALL the connections. you might also disconnect your batter and then hot wire the starter off a known good car battery and see if it still has problems
it does sound like not enough power that's the reason i checked all connections to be sure they were nice and tight but didn't (remove) and clean them. I'll try disconnecting,cleaning and reconnecting then i'll go the hot wire route if need be. May even be that the start button is corroded because i had a prob with the front brake light switch and had to disassemble it and clean it up good with fine emery cloth because WD40 didn't work. It just seems that it would be more inclined to do this from a cold start rather than a hot one. THANKS
 

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You can see if the clutch is dragging by tying down the clutch lever and with the bike in gear on the center stand see if you canturn the rear wheel pretty easily. I'd tend toward the starter itself, bad bearings in the starter or poor brushes and a worn, dirty commutator are suspects in this crime! If it doesn't have enough starting torque it's not going to engage properly.
 

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I've owned 2 GL1100's and when you remove the starter, I only have to remove the gear shift lever. I NEVER HAD TO REMOVE THE EXHAUST. There is plenty of clearance doing it. Easy job, even with a sidecar installed. Doug '81 Wing/Monaco sidecar
 

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Doug, is your sidecar mounted on the left of your bike?

As far as removing the exhaust, I was repeating what I had read, not done. If you don't have to,that's even better. Also, what I'd read said that you only had to drop the left side exhaust to get some clearance.

Regards,

Hobie
 

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If it's an 1100 starter in the bike, it should be a simple case of removing the gear change lever and working the motor out.

HOWEVER

If, like me, you've fitted a 1000 starter (I'm told it's more powerful), you have to drop the gear change lever, crash bar, exhaust and the stud nearest the strater 'cos it'sbigger!
 

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My sidecar is mounted on the right side. I'm in the US, presently in Minnesota. I am full timing in a motorhome and the sidecar rig is my transportation for 9 months when we are in Texas for the winter. Maybe an original 1000 starter was longer as was said, but i've replace 3 or 4 starters over the years without pulling exhaust. Doug
 

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I was not shouting, just trying to emphasize the fact. A lot of mis-information is passed on all boards by people passing on hear say. Just wanted to help people save on uneeded work. No argument intended. Doug
 

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I would change the 20w50 for (10w40)?!

Personally I would only use 50W if I lived in Phoenix or Palm Springs 120 degrees +!

Unless your bike is "Air Cooled", (with a radiator) 40W is fine!

I run (5w40) syn oil with no problems, makes it start easier!

But some bikes develop small leaks with (5w) so people prefer 10w?

Instead of WD40 spray "Contact Cleaner" in your switches (radio shack) etc!

Just for kicks try starting it with the clutch pulled in?

let us know?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
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wingdawg101 wrote:
I would change the 20w50 for (10w40)?!

Personally I would only use 50W if I lived in Phoenix or Palm Springs 120 degrees +!

Unless your bike is "Air Cooled", (with a radiator) 40W is fine!

I run (5w40) syn oil with no problems, makes it start easier!

But some bikes develop small leaks with (5w) so people prefer 10w?

Instead of WD40 spray "Contact Cleaner" in your switches (radio shack) etc!

Just for kicks try starting it with the clutch pulled in?

let us know?
yes i intend to change to the 10/40W soon because our summer has been relatively cool 80-90F but i've decided to run MMO once more because it sat for 2 years and it'll clean her up some more. I've tried to hold in on the clutch several times to see if it was dragging the starter down with no luck :(I planned on the contact cleaner toobecause of the greenish crud thati cleaned offthe front brake switch. THANKS
 
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