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Hey guys, I bought said bike just a month ago and it currently isn't starting - wondering if I got a raw deal here :(...

For the first few weeks it started up just fine really, motor turned over maybe three or four times without problem.

Then one day it would do what sounded like a half or partial turn and not turn over. I replaced the 5 year old battery which went dead with attempts, which seemed to help a little but still not turning over. I let it sit.

I came back to it and tried moving the bike and popping the clutch to turn the motor just a little, to get out of a blind spot on the starter? It actually worked for a couple more days - at least twice the motor sounded unhappy with starting with a loud ping that made me wonder if something was going wrong with the clutch - because after wards it felt/sounded like something was grabbing the engine intermittently even at constant throttle... possible a separate problem.

On nice sunny last Sunday it finally happened - the starter didn't even make a noise. The relay under the seat was still clicking. Is this a definite starter motor replacement? Should I even try to take it apart to clean it? Is there something else that could be causing these symptoms? Do I have to take the exhaust off to get to the starter?

Clymers manual is ordered and on the way... I'd appreciate any help at all.
 

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Assuming the battery is 100% charged and the starter relay is clicking into contact, the starter may need to be removed and serviced. Usually the brushes need to be replaced.

If you have a multimeter you can use that to confirm that power is making it to the starter. It will help to have an extra set of hands do this.



I hope this helps.
 

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I can't believe I actually got to answer thsi before anyone else! :DAnyway, yoy can test the starter by simply running a jump lead from the abttery straight to the termonal on the starter motor. Just tip it to the terminal and if you still get nothing then the starter motor is dead. Hope that helps a bit.
 

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jedinice1980,

I rebuilt my starter after it started acting like yours.My83 GL1100 Aspencadewould turn over fine when cold but as soon as it got hot (after running for awhile)the starter woulddrag very badly. There is a lot of information about how to pull and rebuild your starter if you search the archives for it.

You do not need to remove the engine!

A manual will give you step by step procedures on disassembly and testing.

It's pretty simple really. Make sure you lean the bike on its side stand so the gear and chain don't fall into the crank case. If it does, you need to pull the motor to get it out, or maybe you canfish it out with a hire hook or something. I didn't need to drop my exhaust to get to the starter but it may be easier if you do. I used a 1/4 extension with a universal joint to get to the bolt behind the exhaust, worked fine. Once you pull the starter, carefully disassemble it and clean it thoroughly. I used 0000 steel wool to clean the armature to a nice shiny new coppery look. Replace the brushes and ohm out the segments. Clean the inside of the casing with electrical contact cleaner and compressed air (if available) as best you can. Reassembly is the reverse of disassembly. Take note to line up the lines on the casing when reassembling.

The difference on mine was like night and day!

Good luck,

Bob
 

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While you have the starter motor out, have a good look at the insulating block where the pos wire connects, any arcing, dirt , oil etc will short the starter motor out.

If in any doubt change the insulator, cleaning it will only delay the problem.
 
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Jason wrote:
Darn, edzinohio beat me to it!!! :XI must learn to type faster. :p
Thats ok Jason dont worry about it. :clapper: Now that your at the keys would you please update your profile :jumper:and complete the location slot and tell these guys where you live. :weightlifter:

:skipping::18red::skipping:
 

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While you're at it after cleaning the commutator segments, you should take a look at the separators between the segments, if they are flush or proud they should be under cut. They need to be slightly lower than the face of the commutator segments. I wouldn't get near an armature with steel wool, it's just asking for a future short. There will alway be fine particles of steel that get into thebrushes, segments and windings.Much safer to use very fine emery cloth or fine wet/dry sand paper. If the segments are very muchgrooved they should be turned down because they will limit the contact area of the brushes and increase the heat generated and reduce the torque of the starter.
 

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I stand corrected! I meant I used 0000 steel wool on the COMMUTATOR, not the armature. I cleaned the armature up with electronic contact cleaner and a soft rag.

Thanks for pointing that detail out exavid! I got my parts confused!:gunhead:
 

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Thanks a ton for the help gents.



UPDATE: I did get the starter motor off - I had to drop the exhaust - not sure how a few others on this forum managed to get to the back bolt without that step - no regrets because it was a good learning process. Upon further inspection the motor was very soiled on the inside and must have heated enough that most of the insulation on the brush wires were baked and brittle. Considering I am trying to get this bike prepped for a long trip I opted to just get a new motor - $161 to my door on Ebay. Thankfully that was the problem, starts up instantly now.

Here's the wierd bonus. Either because of the new motor not dropping voltage or the new battery I put in right before that, suddenly the electronic (LCD) speedometer started working, which previously stayed at 0 no matter real speed about 90% of the time. Something to note for anyone with digital dash on the 1983 - glad the starter went first because I was thinking about taking the front wheel apart looking for the speedo problem.

I got an email from the local GW Group who meet once a month. We're looking forward to our first group ride. :waving:


Oh yeah! AZWinger - a light bulb just turned on - the old starter must have been what was grabbing - I was experiencingsomething that would load down the motor for a fewseconds than let up withoutany reason - I was worried about clutch troubles - it's not doing that anymore - ahhhh, gosh it feels good when everything falls into place.
 
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