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Starter on 2004 harley spins but rarely engages to turn engine over

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The Bendix on the starter is bad. This is what shoves the starter gear out to engage the flywheel to start the engine and when you let go of the starter button it springs the starter gear back out of the way. Time to remove the starter and rebuild it.

Posted on Apr 16, 2017

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1 Answer

Starter spins, but why doesn't it engage flywheel?


Hi, Roy the starter drive/Bendix is a mechanical gear driven component that engages the clutch pack ring gear to turn over the engine. It has an internal mechanism that allows the gear to turn in one direction and once the engine starts allows the drive gear to free spin. If gear free spins in both directions then the drive gear has failed it is not serviceable and needs to be replaced. For more information about your issue, please visit the websites below, and for specific information or questions, please feel free to contact me at xlch@mail.com. Good luck and have nice a day. Inside Look at Harley Primary Starter Operation Solenoid Starter Clutch...
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If your starter is spinning but no engaging the flywheel, then you have 2 possibilities going on here, the # 1 and most likely cause is the bendix on the starter is not kicking out to engage the flywheel so you'll need a new starter... pretty cheap fix.

# 2 is that for some reason the teeth on the flywheel have been chewed away and now the starter gear can't crab the flywheel, this would only be a secondary answer if for some reason your starter had been grinding while trying to engage. Just an FYI, this is very rare but has happened, considering that your engine flywheel stops at the same spot every time you turn your engine off, so the starter is constatly grabbing the same flywheel teeth all its life. For this fix, you'll have to have the transmission removed and have a new flywheel installed on your engine.

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1 Answer

Starter not turning over engine


Does it engage and keep turning or does it engage and stop? This is critical to what is causing the problem. However regardless of what is causing the problem, the starter motor is going to have to be removed. It could be that the gear splines are not aligned properly, so that the starter gear is not fully engaging.

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My truck motor wont turn over? The started is kicking in ' but the motor does not turn to start?


You say your starter is kicking in..is it spinning and not turning the engine over? If so you have a problem with the flywheel teeth or starter gears not engaging..if no spin just a click..your battery is to weak to turn engine or you starter selonoid or starter needs replaced...good luck..

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Starter just whines when i hit the start button on my xl1200c 2004


Hi Wendywendy99, it sounds the like starter drive/clutch has gone south, it has components inside, that when spinning, centrifugal forces cause them to grab or lock into permanently fixed counterparts. The gear only spins one way and locks the other way. If you have one that spins both ways it has failed and needs to be replaced. Please visit the web site below for more help and good luck. Harley Davidson Manuals Mark Workshop

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1 Answer

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Hi Anonymous, lift up rubber boot on positive cable to starter, unplug starter relay wire usually green, with a jumper wire connected to positive battery cable starter stud, touch blade connecter on starter where starter relay wire was removed. If starter engages and turns over engine then your starter relay is bad. If starter activates but does not engage then your starter drive/clutch is bad. Good luck

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1 Answer

I have a 2003 Softail with less than 4,000 miles. Starter engages, but the shaft does not spin. Solenoid contacts has been replaced and the armature has been turned at a starter repair place. I...


If your starter clicks and you can hear the starter motor spinning but the engine is not turning over, your starter clutch, sometimes called the "overrunning clutch", is bad. Try this site for your starter breakdown. http://www.bikebandit.com Click on OEM parts, find your bike, and look under electrical for the starter.

Good Luck
Steve

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1 Answer

When hooking my new vrod battery up i can hear the starter spinning when i try to attach the ground...what am i doing wrong


When you discovered your battery was kaput, you were probably trying to start your bike at the time. I have seen on rare occasions that when this happens, the starter solenoid gets "stuck" in the "engaged" positon. Try rocking your bike backwards and forwards a few times with the transmission in high gear. Rock the bike while shifting the tranny until you get it into high gear. The with the clutch out, rock the bike and turn the engine over a few times. Shift the bike back down to neutral and try to connect the battery. Rocking the bike while in gear rotates the outer clutch drum. If the starter jack shaft is still engaged with the ring gear on the outer clutch drum, rocking the bike a bit will turn the drum allowing the spring in the starter to pull the jack shaft and starter gear back out of engagement. I hope this helps.

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2 Answers

What going on


Bad switch or Solenoid. depending on the bike.

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