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starter does not engage engine when semi-cold weather hits(40 deg. or so). Tried Seafoam & oil change along with pulling starter apart & cleaning gunk out of it. No luck. QUESTION 1. How involved is it to replace the starter clutch? QUESTION 2. Will a block heater "fix" the problem? Any other thoughts? Thanks for any help.
 

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starter does not engage engine when semi-cold weather hits(40 deg. or so). Tried Seafoam & oil change along with pulling starter apart & cleaning gunk out of it. No luck. QUESTION 1. How involved is it to replace the starter clutch? QUESTION 2. Will a block heater "fix" the problem? Any other thoughts? Thanks for any help.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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That sounds more like oil thickness to me. What are you using?

Replacing the starter clutch requires engine removal.

Just a note of advice...I replaced my starter clutch and it did not cure the problem! It's an oil thing.
 

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Bike...and Dennis wrote:
That sounds more like oil thickness to me. What are you using?

Replacing the starter clutch requires engine removal.

Just a note of advice...I replaced my starter clutch and it did not cure the problem! It's an oil thing.
+++1
 

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Piled Higher and Deeper
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What oil are you using?? .. a heater will probably help.. maybe put a light bulb under the case?
 

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Had the same problem... after spending a bundle to get the head gaskets replaced. This is what convinced me to buy a GL1500. I still have the GL1100, and plan to pull the engine this next summer to address the stuck starter clutch. Not a small job. The local stealer wanted $1K to do the job - I told 'em to trailer it home and I'll do it myself thanks. The engine ran great tho - I heard/saw it running after it was put together... and they bump started it to get it running, drove it around, changed the oil, everything they could think of to unstick it, but nothing worked.
 

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My brothers 1100 did the same thing he drained half the oil and filled it with diesel fuel bump started it and let it run for a while on center stand then changed oil using 10w 30 and he never had problem again . funny thing is I advised against this
 

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I have the same problem when the weather gets below 40; I'm OK in the morning because it's garaged. At work I keep either a 150 watt bulb or a small space heater right under the block . . . fabricated a cardboard box to direct the heat.

Chuck
 

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40 F or so is not very cold for you to get this problem. Seafoam mixed with your oil and idled for a while should get the gunk out as should diesel oil or transmission oil. DO NOT RACE THE ENGINE WITH THESE THINGS IN THE OIL.

Or try a straight 00, 5 W oil to flush with.

What does your sight glass look like, if clear and clean the oil gunk may be minimal but if cloudy discolored a build up for sure.

Examine you oil filter closely after any oil mixer. Your crap screen also should be examined.
 

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If you are not able to clean the sludge from the starter clutch with an engine flush ( Seafoam or something similar) then the only solution is to remove the engine and replace or repair it. These pictures show a gl1200 starter clutch but the 1100 is the same. You can see where the rollers actually etched into the starter body and the rear of the alternator rotor. I was able to repair this one by dressing both surfaces with fine paper so that the rollers could slide again, replacing the rollers, pins and springs. It has been working great for about 2 years now.
 

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I had one that did that when cold and after a few thousand miles and a couple of oil changes it no longer had the problem. Also have another engine that was pretty bad and have it mounted on a stand to test with and it is getting better with running.
 

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My 1100 does it occasionally, mostly at one particular Gas Station. I would say 7 out of 10 times at that spot. Go Figure. Jay
 

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yes , before i would tear the engine apart i would do the sea foam treatment. engine oil and transmission oil are the same. so take it easy on engine loading. be careful and not overfill the oil. when changing the oil. change the filter too. don't be afraid to do it more than once either. it may take a couple of changes to get things cleaned out.
good luck with it.
 

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Personally I would stop using that mobil 1, your engine was designed 15 years before synthetic oil was produced and therefore was not designed for it, I have my own horror story about that, involving an otherwise good older car that suddenly busted all of it's piston rings but I won't bore you withthat.

Get some regular mineral 10w-40 and change it out a few times, add the seafoam to the first one or two, the bike doesn't care which brand you use and you ought to get fixed up.
 
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