Question about Harley Davidson FLSTC Heritage Softail Classic

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Engine won't turn

I have a 96 FLSTC which sat in my garage for a year, upon trying to start it up this month I broke my starter clutch. I jacked the bike up and put it into first gear and then tried to spin the rear wheel, having no luck. My engine appears to be siezed which I don't understand why, when I put the bike up it was full of oil.

Am I missing something?
Any suggestions?

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Climate/ humidity? possible rust in cylinders? try some marvel mystery oil in the spark plug holes...oil doesn't lubricate static pistons...after setting always pull plugs and motor over before starting; I know 2 little too late; these are beasts; alittle oil on top of the pistons will break free

Posted on Jul 07, 2009

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Jack up the bike again and try top gear with spark plugs removed,if that doesn't work pour oil down plug holes and let it set for a while couple days then try again good luck

Posted on Dec 29, 2009

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You might want to check the clutch plates, on the older bikes whenthey sit for a long period of time, the plates stick soo bad on some that when you have it running and try to put it in gear it'll either stall the bike or take off like a bat from you know where. You might try pulling the plugs and see if you can turn it over, It may be Hydrolocked. The oil tank on your bike will leak down and fill the crank case, but if you fuel tank was full and you float on the carb started leaking, you might have a motor full of oil and Gas, which does not like to turn over, if youforce it you could bend a rod.

Posted on Jun 12, 2009

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1 Answer

Engine wont turn over


You have asked a question which cannot be answered without a LOT more information. Like what do you mean, won't turn over? By hand? or by starter? And if starter, have you checked all electrical start systems? Have you TRIED turning it over by hand?? You should have done that FIRST before you ever tried to start it.

If you care about the condition of the engine after 12 years, you have a lot MORE work to do than worry about whether it will crank over. I had the same situation last year with a car that had sat for 10 years, and I worked on it about 2 weeks (off and on) before I ever hit the starter. (Hint: you do NOT want to suck in 12-year old gas and 12-year old oil. Another hint, pull all the plugs and squirt light oil - Marvel Mystery Oil, drain ALL the gas, oil and coolant and replace.) Oh, and by the way, when I finally hit the starter, it fired right up. Now get to work and check back in 2 weeks.

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You may have a problem with the "over running" clutch in your starter. The way your starter works, the jackshaft must be fully extended and engaged with the ring gear on the outer clutch basket before the starter motor turns over. If the starter motor spins and the engine does not turn, it's the starter clutch (over running) clutch that is bad.

You can replace the clutch if you have the know how and tools and save some money. If you can't do the work yourself, you're better off replacing the entire starter. The labor time to disassemble, replace the clutch, and reassemble the starter will eat up any savings recognized from do it this way instead of simply replacing the starter. The labor time for the job will almost double but you can price it out to see which way is better.

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It could be any number of things but the most likely in my opinion is that you have a bad "over running clutch" or "starter clutch" in your bike. You didn't tell me what year model bike you have but the header of this post says you have a 2000 FLSTC Heritage.

The starter clutch can be replaced and you can save some money if you can do your own work. If not, the cost of repairing your starter and simply replacing the starter is about the same due to the added labor time required to take yours apart and replace the bad part. The starter clutch cost about $120 US. Once you get the starter off, there is about another hour labor to replace the clutch.

Good luck
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