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The Irish Crew
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I think my starter clutch is faulty. The battery is good and I had new brushes fitted last summer so I know the starter is clean inside. It sounds like the starter clutch is just slipping. I did the engine flush and changed to thin oil last week and it worked a bit in that the clutch slips less often than before. It mainly does it when the engine is cold as well. Any suggestions or am I really looking at an engine out? Thanks.
 

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If the flush & thin oil didn't help then the starter clutch needs replacing (I assumed you tried starting with a known good fully charged battery as well). Using thin oil on the older Wings is a bit of a quandry. I used to use the lightest oil I could get on my low mileage GL1100 (I think 24k when I got it) and the gearchange got noticeably clunkier afterwards, specially in summer. I ended up going back to a decent quality 20W 50 for the summer months and only used the thin oil in winter, this made the starter spin the engine noticeably faster in cold weather. The switch to thinner oil should really be only for the winter instead of all year round, this does help the starter clutch as the rollers are less inclined to stick in the slots in the housing. But in the warmer weather you should go back to thicker oil as it will run thinner in summer anyway.
But like I said already, if the flush & change to thin oil didn't help then it's looking like a engine out job. As you gave Eamonn a hand with the cylinder heads you should have no problems with this. It's actually a quicker job pulling the engine and rear cover to get at the starter clutch than it is to pull heads etc. If you have all the parts to hand (clutch rollers,gaskets) you would probably do it in a day at a push, or spread it over a weekend at most.
 

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Very much like Jason states, but, I find that the clutch rollers will slip, when very cold, on most 4 cylinder Wings that I have come across.

Try warming the engine before you start it and then once running and fully warmed up, change the oil to a much lighter weight oil for winter driving, but, remember that since you are using much lighter oil it will become much thinner once the engine reaches full operating temperature, so don't drive the bike hard with this light oil in the crankcase. Change to a heavier grade oil once spring comes along.

Vic
 

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I did the clutch rollers and springs, and yes the engine is off. The springs were rusted and one broken inside one of the caps. I'm pretty sure those little springs are the critical items to thrust those rollers against the shaft. Good luck, good breathing technique, and good beer will get ya through anything.

J DUB
 

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i've heard from a few GL owners that the Shell Rotad Syn from Walmart is good allyear round.
 

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Like the lads say Al, its going to be an engine out job. I'd go along with only using the light oil in Winter. I've found that older Wings also tend to run noisy when thin oil is used in hot weather, so it's a good idea to replace it with thicker oil for summer.
 

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The Irish Crew
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It's engine out all right. I'll do it over the Easter break and I might fork out for a new stator whileI'm at it as there won't be a better time to do it.
 

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Be sure and check the outer clutch housing as well. I thought all I needed was roller/springs/caps, so I got the "immense pleasure" of pulling the engine twice in 2 weeks when after I got it back together it still wouldnt turn. New outer clutch housing cured that and it catches everytime regardless of temps for me now.

Any wear marks in the ramps and I would get a new one. It was the outer portion was $140 I think from my honda dealer. But I would have rather paid the extra money for the part the first time had I known it needed it rather than having to pull the engine a second time. :(

bob
 
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