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Junior Grue
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How do I know if my starter is bad. It just spins
That's usually the sprag clutch in the rear of the engine "read engine out" but could mean broken/loose gears in the starter.
 

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When I had the first signs of trouble with my starter it would just whine, without spinning the motor. I removed it and bench tested it by grounding the housing,and applying power to the stud. You can do this with jumper cables . It seemed sluggish, so I disassembled it and found alot of carbon in the housing. The carbon was from the brushes that were worn almost completely down to nothing. There was enough to spin the starter over without a load, but it wouldn't spin the motor. I replaced them and it worked for two weeks. Then next problem was the planetary gears had stripped a tooth and caused the starter to lock up. At this point I bought a new one , instead of playing with it every two weeks. Some folks have had good luck rebuilding theirs, but for less then $100 I was happy with a new one.,,
 

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If the starter clutch is gummed up it won't engage. Some had luck with adding solvent to the oil(deisel, sea foam, MMO) running the engine easy for 50 miles . Then new oil it may clean out the clutch. Others have talked about drilling holes in the case and squirting cleaner in at the clutch springs. But basically to really fix it you have to pull the engine and take the starter clutch apart to clean it up.

Stater spinning but not engaging the engine is 99% the clutch issue. Could be totally trashed planetary gears but unlikely but much easier to cheek pull the starter and open it up, broken starter chain = pulling engine, stripped spindle =new starter..never seen that one???
 

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The starter is easy to pull ( I don't even pull the exhaust), while it is out you can reach in with your fingers and feel if the sprag clutch is working right. The sprocket should only turn one way and not the other.

also, don't forget you must put the bike on it's side stand(trust me I found out the hard way)
 

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Still Learning
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How do I know if my starter is bad. It just spins
What oil is in the bike?
How long has it been in the bike?
Be specific.
 

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I had the same problem in my 83 1100, took the starter out and pull it apart. What I found was the large ring gear had moved and broke a small piece out of the starter housing. their is a small tip that holds the ring gear stationary and thats what broke out of the starter allowing the starter to spin the ring gear instead of the gears to turn the motor over. This is what I did to fix it. 1. I epoxied the broken piece and the ringgear back into the housing let it setup. 2. I drilled a 1/8 inch hole through the side of the housing into the ringgear. 3. Used a very short 1/8" steel poprivet to help secure it without drilling through the ringgear, only need to go about half way in the ringgear. tested it out and it works fine.
 

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What oil is in the bike?
How long has it been in the bike?
Be specific.
I am having this same issue right now. I put 2cycle in it to limp it home and now my starter just spins. The starter works great, I reached in nd checked the chain ad sprocket and it is turning correctly. I am completely stumpped
 

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I bought a starter from DB Electrical also for my 82 Aspencade. The two issues I had was that the hot cable connection is further forward and thus you need a longer cable from the solenoid. The other problem was that the o-ring on the DB starter was too fat and would not fit in the engine hole. I re-used the old starter o-ring and it fit perfectly.

I hope you own a swivel connector on your socket wrench, as the bolt in the front of the starter is really tucked in there. Without the adaptor, there is no way you can get in there.
 
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