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

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  #11  
Old 19th August 2019
JonesL JonesL is offline
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If everything; bendix (called the "Starter Drive Gear Unit" in the parts manual), its shaft, etc. all the way through to the starter motor turns then yes. If the bendix alone turns then the thing is slipping inside. Mine "felt tight" and kept testing fine on the bench but wouldn't grab when trying to turn the engine over. Before I gave in and admitted defeat, I had my starter out and back in so many times I though about replacing the bolts with zippers.
A word of advice; There's a thrust washer on the end of the bendix shaft where it plugs into the bearing in the primary case cover. Make sure it doesn't get away into the primary as you remove the starter 'cause it usually ends up being stuck to the inside of the primary cover by nothing more than a thin film of oil and is easy to dislodge.
And make sure it's on the bendix shaft when you reassemble. A dab of grease will hold it there.
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  #12  
Old 19th August 2019
USAFpj USAFpj is offline
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SOLVED...

I'm normally not a fan of just pulling parts in an attempt to find trouble. However, after pulling the battery tray, tray support, and the solenoid, I placed the combo on the workbench.

I knew there was slop, but all the XLH videos showed the same slop, and the end of the starter shaft wasn't being supported by the roller bearings in the primary cover, so slop was expected.

Until I pulled the starter shaft and looked at the end that goes into the opposite roller bearing...



The bearing isn't rusty, but is seized and not one of them rolls. Anyone have a solid jack shaft for a 75?
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  #13  
Old 19th August 2019
JonesL JonesL is offline
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The shaft has definite problems. Still curious as to bendix condition. I'd seriously consider replacing it with a fresh one since you've already got it this far apart.
Slap it back together and find the problem still exists is something I've been known to do.
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  #14  
Old 19th August 2019
USAFpj USAFpj is offline
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Yes, sir- that's advice I will take; already paid good money for it! I see that most of the shafts these days are made in Taiwan...

Always something..
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  #15  
Old 20th August 2019
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Nothing wrong with this one.

SPORTSTER-starter-jackshaft-1967-1980

Be sure and replace that bearing as well.

65-86-Panhead-Shovelhead-STARTER-SHAFT-HOUSING-BEARING-9062
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  #16  
Old 25th August 2019
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After installing the new bendix back onto the new shaft, attaching the solenoid, and cursing the battery mounting bracket for over an hour, I finally got everything attached back on the bike. With fresh battery, and not caring that fuel was pouring out of the small fuel filter and float, I hit the start button. Got a little action. Turned off the fuel, opened the throttle wide open, and hit the start button again...

After sitting for 28 years, my Dad's XLH came to life and scared the crap out of me and my 2 boys; I surely didn't think it would start!

Unfortunately, I spend months away overseas for work, and I leave again very soon. But when I return, I only have to put a new primary gasket on, and attach the balanced wheels, and she'll be ready for her first (of many) shake down runs.
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  #17  
Old 25th August 2019
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At least while your gone, you'll have a smile on your face and a story to tell, when you think of the bike!
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  #18  
Old 26th August 2019
JonesL JonesL is offline
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Glad to hear you got the starter problem ironed out. Now you can look forward to many riding miles when you get back.

"After sitting for 28 years, my Dad's XLH came to life and scared the crap out of me and my 2 boys; I surely didn't think it would start!"

Hey, what did you expect it to do? It's a Sportster.

Happy riding.
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  #19  
Old 26th August 2019
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Just think soon you'll be passing it on to your boys.What did the bearing look like?
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  #20  
Old 26th August 2019
USAFpj USAFpj is offline
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The bearing 'looked' good. But when i stuck my pinky finger in it, none of the rollers moved either individually, or as a unit. No visible rust, though.
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