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Sportster Motorcycle General Discussion and Problems For discussing problems about your Sportster motorcycle that don't fit anywhere else.

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  #1  
Old 3rd June 2020
batchman batchman is offline
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Default 79 Ironhead with gear grinding start problem

Hi folks,
I hope someone can suggest something to help me with this starting problem. I've run out of ideas and things to try. When I press the start button it sounds like the bendix/clutch gear is not engaging with the ring gear properly. See the video at the link below. I've installed a new battery, starter relay and starter solenoid. I removed the starter housing and inspected the gears and the teeth looked good on both the bendix and the ring gear. The bendix clutch turns by hand in one direction but not the other. The arm operated by the solenoid appears to okay. The starter was disassembled and cleaned. It appears to be working. The roller bearings for the clutch appear to be good. The rubber boot covering the solenoid shaft was in good shape and did not appear to be hindering the solenoid operation. The video shows that after about 3 attempts of pressing the start button, I very briefly pressed the button and it sounds like the bendix gear just kicks out to the ring gear and retracts and then when I press the start button again it engages the ring gear properly and the motor turns over fine (I have the spark plugs removed). Then when I try the start button again the problem reappears.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Richard

Note: I got an error attempting to post that said I needed to first make one post before being allowed to add a URL so I'll try to add the link in an update to this post.
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  #2  
Old 3rd June 2020
batchman batchman is offline
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Default Video link of the problem in this thread.

Here is the link to the video showing the problem.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WTv...ew?usp=sharing
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  #3  
Old 3rd June 2020
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bustert bustert is offline
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Default

seems to be a bendix issue. what about the worm on the shaft, could be sticking and if so, a new jack shaft. just because it locks by hand, does not mean it will under power as the starter can develop several horsepower.
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  #4  
Old 3rd June 2020
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rokytnji rokytnji is offline
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Default

I was thinking bendix change also till he said it hand checked OK.
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  #5  
Old 4th June 2020
batchman batchman is offline
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Default

Thanks for the replies and information. I've ordered the shaft, bendix clutch, starter shift lever and both needle bearings. Will update on the results.
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  #6  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Default

There's a spacer that's supposed to go on the end of the bendix shaft. Is it still there? They like to disappear when you pull the primary cover.
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  #7  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Thanks BigMek, I noticed that spacer was missing so I ordered a replacement.
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  #8  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
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The starter problem is fixed!
Replacing the shaft, bendix clutch, starter shift lever and needle bearing in the starter housing solved the problem. Thanks for the help!
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  #9  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
denguy denguy is offline
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My starter kicks out once in awhile. Lately i have been quickly tapping the button once and then flooring it. I think this lines up the starter gear so that when i mash it everything fully engages.
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  #10  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
denguy denguy is offline
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My starter kicks out once in awhile. Lately i have been quickly tapping the button once and then flooring it. I think this lines up the starter gear so that when i mash it down hard everything fully engages.
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