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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 25th April 2018
datimm09 datimm09 is offline
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Default 1977 xlch starter issues

I have a 1977 xlch and my starter is not engaging. It's not clicking or spinning but I have voltage and ground. I checked for voltage at the solenoid (11.6 volts) on the small post and I have it. When I press the starter button it jumps the two big post and sends power to starter motor but does not make any noise. The starter motor receives battery voltage (11.6 volts) but will not spin. What really confuses me is when I check continuity at the starter motor positive terminal to any ground I have 0.00 ohms of resistance. Does this mean the starter motor is grounded (shorted)? It's a brand new starter motor and starter solenoid. It has a after market push button switch with relay included.
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  #2  
Old 25th April 2018
cazz1000 cazz1000 is offline
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due ur self a favor and take it apart ,,, its from 1977 ,,, look for burnt contacts,,, dried grease,, bad gear might be chewed,, look at the armature,, brushes,, don,t guess,, take it apart ,,, then u know,, good luck,,, keep them ironheads going ,, they repay u back
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  #3  
Old 25th April 2018
cazz1000 cazz1000 is offline
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take the starter apart,,, look at it,,
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  #4  
Old 25th April 2018
datimm09 datimm09 is offline
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Can anyone get the specifications on the resistance it should have across the starter from the positive terminal to the case?
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  #5  
Old 25th April 2018
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Yellowstone Kelly Yellowstone Kelly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datimm09 View Post
Can anyone get the specifications on the resistance it should have across the starter from the positive terminal to the case?
I can check the resistance of the starter motors on my two Ironheads this afternoon after work, if nobody else does it before then.

11.7 volts is low for battery voltage. It should be a volt higher, and is usually around 12.8 volts on my bikes.

If you take a set of jumper cables and bypass the solenoid and connect one end of one of the jumper cables to the positive battery terminal, then touch the other end of that cable to the starter post, there should be a big spark and the starter motor should spin. Without the solenoid pulling in, it won't be turning the motor over, but you should be able to hear just the starter motor spin. If it doesn't, something's wrong inside the starter motor.

While you're at it, make sure the battery negative cable has a good connection to ground. You can connect the other jumper cable to the negative battery post and to the starter body while you're doing the starter motor test.

The starter uses large amounts of current, there has to be good tight connections on all the big cables for the system to work.
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  #6  
Old 25th April 2018
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You say the starter is brand new: does that mean it has never worked on your bike? Did your old starter work with your existing wiring? Who supplied the starter? It's not unheard of to get something aftermarket that doesn't work properly, especially if it's from China.

Eric
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  #7  
Old 25th April 2018
datimm09 datimm09 is offline
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Default Fixed

Thank you for the help everyone, I just got it to turn over. The starter was not making a strong enough connection to the engine to complete the ground. I took the starter back off sanded the paint off the starter housing where it mounts the the engine and sanded the engine it's self and everything works. Thank you for your input. That was getting quite frustrating.
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  #8  
Old 25th April 2018
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Thanks for letting us know how it turned out.
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Old 25th April 2018
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Perhaps run an extra earth wire from a starter bolt to battery negative terminal?
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