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Hi guys,

Well, I'm pretty sure my starter just went belly up. I got on yesterday for the first time in almost two weeks (I'm relocating, been out of town). She started right up first time, then a block away (like, a tenth of a mile), I stopped for gas. I filled her up, then when I went to start it seemed like the battery was low...the starter was crawling. Well, so as not to be stranded, I drove around for about an hour, then did the old thing where you ride down a hill, hit the kill switch, then try to restart. No dice. Had to ease in on the clutch and do a rolling start.

So I stil thought the battery was at risk. I charged it all night. Still just crawled. Hooked it to my car with jumper cables. No go.

I removed, disassembled and cleaned the starter maybe four months/500 miles ago, and once in a while I had the slow-start problem recur. So I have no doubt that it's the starter. If I tap it with a rubber mallet while trying to start, it groans a bit and rolls, but not fast.

So here is my question for the experienced. Do I spend $75 on a rebuild kit like this one on eBay 4569892505 , or do I just buy a new starter for about $140? I just don't have any practical experience with rebuilding starters.

If someone thinks it's NOT the starter, well, I'm open to troubleshooting suggestions.


QUICK EDIT:

The $140 price was a new starter seller on eBay. I just saw that Old Bike Barn sells new GL1100 Starters for $470!!! What's the difference?


Thanks, and this sucks -

Jack
 

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Talk to my buddy Jeff over at z1enterprises.com he specializes in Kawasaki bikes, such as the z, z1, kz, gpz, etc. BUT, since I bought a goldwing, he has started to stock honda parts as well. He won't have any in stock, but he can order anything you need, and I can almost guarantee he will beat those prices hands down. Just use the parts request form, and he'll get back to you PDQ.

Another thing to try, pull your starter apart, and attatch a grounding strap from the brush plate to the motor housing. This will almost certianly stop your hot-start problems.
 

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Hi Philcsand,

Thanks for the referral, I'll check it out! See, I thought about the hot-start problem, but the bike was still cold enough to need choke, so the motor wasn't even warm. Good advice, though. I'm pulling it apart today. I need her to start ONE more time so I can get her loaded on a moving truck by Thursday. Talk about timing. :)

Jack
 

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Did you measure the voltage drop across the starter relay while pushing the start button? Should only be about a 1 volt difference. If more it could be the relay.

or

Did you try jumping straight from the battery to the starter lug? If it turns over then you know it's not the starter. MAKE SURE IT'S IN NEUTRAL before you try this!

Mine did something similar not long ago. Read my reply to mikulaon "81 starter woes". Maybe it will apply to you!

Bob :11grey:
 

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Hi Jack, the old slow starter is a common problem. Fir $140 I think it's better value to buy a new one as the windings could be damaged on yours by this stage. Especially as you have already cleaned it out before.
 

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Replace the starter.. If you can afford it, install a new unit. Don't rebuild the old one yourself unless you have the tools to turn down the armature. In most cases, the brushes have worn down and in the process have cut a groove in the armature. For $140, which is a very good price, it's worth replacing it... :)
 

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Hi guys,

Well, it wasnt'as dire as I'd first suspected. It was indeed the starter (thank the Honda makers for making it a 5 minute remioval). It turns out that when I cleaned it a few months ago, the positive brush got stuck in its guide. Well, it would push out, but not push back in. Anyway, it managed to leave a gap between the armature pickup and the brush, so I just had to smooth out the brush, clean the guide, and make sure it was good and smooth.

The brush is pretty worn, though, so as a temporary fix I will replace the brushes until I can scrounge the starter funds. Any suggestions for a place to buy the brushes?

Thanks,

Jack
 

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I was baffled by the intermittent slow cranking problem on my Wing for a long time. Took the starter out, made sure everything was OK inside and reinstalled it and still had slow cranking occasionally. Extremely frustrating.

Then I diassembled the starter switch on the handlebar, cleaned all of its components, stretched the springs under the balls slightly, polished the contact plate with plain brown paper (not sandpaper)lubed it with light grease, put it back together and haven't had a single startingproblem since.

Seems that the constant load of the electrical current running through the starter switch causes this switch to get hot and then creates too much resistance to feed the starter properly. ( Remember, the headlight goes off when the starter is running but once the starter switch is released the headlight still draws heavy continuous electrical current)

Might be something for you to check out before parting with your cash for a new starter. Total cost for the repair on my starter switch was $0. and one half hour of my time.

Be careful that you don't lose any of the small parts inside the switch and make certain that it goes back together the same way it came appart.

Vic
 
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