Question about 2004 Harley Davidson FLHR - FLHRI Road King

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How do you remove a starter on a 04 harley daidson roadking . ive got the 2 bolts that hold it in out,ive got the wires looks like you have to remove the oil fill neck?

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  • 3 more comments 
  • killdux May 09, 2010

    does the oil filler need to come off to ?

  • killdux May 10, 2010

    does the oil filler need to come off to ?

  • killdux May 10, 2010

    thanks steve for all the info...i ment oil fill neck not oil filter,but i got the starter out,i took off the chrome cover on the back of the starter and it came out.the reason for removing the starter is i had my engine built up a couple of years ago,88 to 95 in. with pistons matched,andrews g-55 cams,the builder told me then i might have problems with this stock starter with kick back,well over the years years it would SLAM AND BLAM,real hard upon starting,well it finally went just spins...something broke putting the new one in should be fun,stand-by steve for more guestions on the put back in part,thanks kevin

  • killdux May 10, 2010

    thank you steve,will do,tomorrow im going to get new starer,ultama fireshot i think its called,but hope to have her back up running tomorrow....thanks kevin

  • killdux May 13, 2010

    thanks steve for all your help,i ended up getting an all balls starter,its in,all done and it sounds so smooth,so thanks again,,,,,kevin



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You're going to have to remove a lot more than that. You've got to remove the outer primary cover to get to the jackshaft. The jackshaft has a long bolt in it with a bend tab washer to hold it in place. Remove the bolt. You may can pull the starter out then there is a "coupling" that connects the starter and the jackshaft. It has to go in in a particular way. Make sure you identify which way this coupling has to be in there. It has a snap ring on the inside of it.

With that off, you may be able to get your starter off. I have seen them where you had to remove the clutch assembly by an inch or so to get the starter out. Of course, everything on the right side of the bike that gets in the way of the starter must come off as well.

Good Luck, Steve

Posted on May 06, 2010

Testimonial: "thanks bro...but its just a starter,lol"

  • 3 more comments 
  • wd4ity
    wd4ity May 10, 2010

    Unless they've moved the oil filter to the rear of the engine, no. The oil filter on a Road King has always be at the front of the engine as best I know. Now, I must admit that I'm more familiar with the 2000 and earlier year model bikes but Harley usually doesn't change that much on their engines. If you can work on a 1948 model Panhead, you can work on a 1999 Evolution engine as well. They just don't change that much.

    Now Harley may have changed the oil fill neck to face the rear of the transmission rather than the front like on the earlier models and that may have to come off. But, I'm not familiar with them moving the oil filter. But, no matter what it is, if it's in the way preventing you from getting the starter off, you'll have to remove it. More than likely, you'll have to remove some of the exhaust system.

    Now, you never said anything about "why" you wanted to remove the starter. The starters on these bike actually give very little trouble and most of the times any trouble with the starter is actually caused by something else or is repairable without removal of the starter.

    Also, keep in mind that even with over thirty years of experience messing with Harley's, I don't claim to know everything about them, especially the late models with all the computer controlled systems on them. I make the best recommendation I can with what information I'm provided on this forum (which is usually less than one sentence) and my experiences. I used to tell people years ago that I couldn't fix a bike over the phone and here I find myself trying to do it on a computer. Strange how things have changed.

    Good Luck,


  • wd4ity
    wd4ity May 10, 2010

    Sorry, misread your post. I read "filter" not "filler". That'll teach me to put my glasses on the next time I read something. LOL Told you I was an old bugger. I think Harley may have moved the oil filler spout to the backside to the right side of the transmission when they went to the Twin Cam engine. The filler spout should have a couple of bolts holding it on. I'm not sure if you'll have remove the lower section but I would suspect not. I would stuff a rag in the area to keep and loose bolts from finding there way into the tranny though.

  • wd4ity
    wd4ity May 10, 2010

    Ok, I understand now and It's my fault. You said plain as day "filler" and I misread it as "filter". My mistake.

    As for your starter, I understand and what has gone wrong in your starter is the "over running clutch". A replacement will cost you about $150 if you put it in yourself. It's not really that difficult of a job to do. But, on your engine, built up as it is, you could probably use a little extra power on the starting end.

    Here's another thing you might want to check. On some electronic ignitions, you have a setting for the starting method you are using. Like on the Crane HI-4 system, you can select either Kickstart or Electric start. If you put the system in "Electric start", the ignition system allows the engine to turn over three times before it starts firing the plugs. This gives the starter the chance to get those big heavy flywheels turning over before trying to light a fire in the engine. The old Shovelheads used to be notorious for doing this, the Crane system eliminates the chance of the plugs firing on "the first upstroke" of the engine and producing a kick back.

    In the future, why don't you contact me directly at wd4ity at That way, if you need a picture or something, I can scan it in and shoot it to you. I'll be out of town this coming weekend but otherwise, I'll be here.


  • wd4ity
    wd4ity May 10, 2010

    Ok Kevin, Good Luck and I'm here if you have questions. Don't forget about the coupling that connects the starter and the jackshaft.

  • wd4ity
    wd4ity May 16, 2010

    Good Deal Kevin. Glad you got it fixed. Ride Safe now.




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