Question about 2004 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom

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How do you take out the starter?Does the engine has to be taken off the frame?.

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No, the engine does NOT have to come out of the frame.

First, disconnect the battery. Drain the primary cover, remove the shifter, foot peg, loosen the primary chain adjuster under the outer cover, whatever needs to be removed depending on your model Sportster to get the primary cover off.

From the right side of the bike, remove the exhaust system and whatever you need to remove to get the starter off. Disconnect the large battery cable and the single wire from the starter.

Back on the left side, there are two large bolts just above the clutch assembly, remove them. They may be different lengths so watch for that. Remove the starter.

Good Luck

Posted on Sep 14, 2010


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Both the alternator and the starter are grounded to the engine by the bolts that hold them on. There should be a very heave ground wire from the engine to the frame Find it if it is still attached remove it and clean all the rust from the mounting and wire ends place and reinstall it if it is broken replace it

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How to change a starter

Changing a starter motor is mostly the same for any vehicle, but since you didn't specify what vehicle, here is a generic response.
To gain access to the bottom of the engine where the starter is located, jack up the vehicle and place strong jack stands under the frame. DO NOT USE JUST THE JACK TO HOLD THE VEHICLE UP!!!!!
Locate the starter motor, which will be bolted to the engine. First, disconnect the two wires connected to it, which come from the battery and ignition. Make sure the ends of the wires do not touch the frame or it will short out. Then remove the bolts holding the starter to the engine and slide the starter out.
Slide the new starter in the smae place and tighten the bolts to the correct torque (varies by vehicle). Then re-attach the wires to the terminals on the new starter and you should be done.

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the engine ofr the 95 Le Sabre is most easily taken out by dropping the sub frame. Here's how its done:

1. Lift the car on jack stands as high as you can get it **DO NOT FORGET TO CHUCK THE REAR WHEELS***
2. Begin by removing the battery cable, air filter hose and air filter box, the front wheels and disconnecting all the sensors from the wiring harness there are 2 main harness connectors that should take care of all the sensors depending on year and model. Also remove power steering pump and Cruise control.( this includes the starter cables and remove the A/C compressor* from the engine its self.
3. The next step is to remove the exhaust manifold that is bolted to the engine (trust me it saves about an hour of frustration, and saves you an exhaust gasket)
4. next get a hoist or engine crane strapped to the motor and support the engines weight. Then begin taking the engine cradle out by removing the 4 bolts out of the sub frame.
5. next lower the motor and trans mission from the vehicle. and pull it from under the car.
6. remove the transmission bolts (there are 5) that are at various circumference of the motor to trans
7. Now support the transmission and lift the engine off the engine cradle (sub frame) and replace the new engine into the old engines place.
8. bolt the engine to the transmission and replace the starter.
9. slide the engine back under the vehicle and replace the lift or hoist back on the engine.
10. lift the engine back into place and adjust the sub frame into place and bolt that back together.
11. replace the exhaust manifold.
12. replace the engine wiring harness, A/C compressor, Power steering pump, cruise control, and attach the starter wires.
13. reconnect the air filter hose and air filter box.
14. check motors oil level, and oil filter.
15.reconnect battery

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You may have to remove cooling fan assembly and bring starter out through the top. Did you remove splash guard between frame abd front of chassis. Should come out that way.

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Solenoid just clicks and starter doesn't engage.We removed engine to paint frame started worked then but when we reinstalled engine starter doesn't engage.Starter motor was checked and was good.There is a...

Does your starter have a good ground now after the paint job??? If you jump from the battery to the starter side of the solenoid, do you get any results?

If you have good power and the starter is known good, your solenoid could be faulty.

Thanks for your question at

Jan 09, 2010 | 1987 Suzuki LS 650 Savage

2 Answers

1998 454 engine wont start. starter replace selonoid replaced.

Items of interest.

1.When a starter fails to start a vehicle, and the wiring has been found to be bad, and changed, one suspects the wiring first.

2.If a starter is suspected to be bad, one takes it out, and performs a benchtest, or takes it to an auto parts store, and see if they can do a benchtest. They need to load test it, not just see if it will Spin!

This test result should stop the needless buying, of starter after starter. If you get three bad starters in a row from an auto parts store, I suggest it's time to change auto parts stores! (Make sure, you are not twisting the S terminal on the Solenoid, when installing the ignition wires)

3.The frame of your vehicle should be the Ground.

Make sure that the motor home manufacturer, hasn't reversed the system for this motor home, and is using the frame for Positive.
This was done in the past for some older vehicles, because it was thought to reduce rusting, of the frame. However, you're dealing with a motor home. Hard to say what type of system they used.
Normal, would be using the frame as a Ground.

In the normal type of setup, of using the frame as ground, make sure where the starter contacts that 454 Chevy engine block, that this area of the starter has no paint on it. The starter grounds through the engine block, and where the starter contacts the engine block.

Make sure also, that this area of the engine block has no paint on it.

Be sure that there are flat braided ground straps going from the frame, to the engine block. If they are an insulated wire, and not braided flat straps, be sure they are about the thickness of your little finger. You'll notice I stated -> They. There should be TWO of them. ONE, will NOT Do!

The frame is the ground. The starter gets it's Ground source from the engine. The engine gets it's ground source from the frame. The only contact the engine has to the frame, is the motor mounts, and the transmission mount. They have
RUBBER in the middle!
There HAS to be -> ground straps! There MUST be TWO of them for the correct amount of grounding!

4.Power to start the starter turning comes from the ignition switch. The reason you have a solenoid on the starter, is so that there won't be a wire that is the thickness of your little finger, going up to the ignition switch!

Check the wire that comes from the ignition switch, for power, once the ignition switch is turned to the Start position.

Battery -> Negative terminal disconnected. Ignition wire from starter disconnected. Put electrical tape on the terminal end, of the ignition wire you removed from the starter solenoid. (Goes to the -> S <- on the solenoid)

Leave the other wires on, put the nut back on, and tighten. (Use caution in this area. The nut is only 5/16 inch, or 11/32. This means that threaded post is TINY. DON'T overtighten! IF, the threaded post starts to turn, STOP! Pull out on the post.

Inside the solenoid cap, that you can't see, there is a square boss, on inside end, of this tiny threaded terminal post. The solenoid cap, has a square hole that this boss fits into. Keeps that tiny threaded post from turning. Inside the cap, the tiny threaded post is connected to a one strand copper wire. If you twist the tiny threaded post, more than 90 degrees, the wire will twist off! Time for another solenoid!

Wheels chocked. Transmission in neutral, and it's best to have the parking brake on, and someone in the drivers seat. Have this person hold their foot down on the brake pedal. This way you avoid any accidents happening to YOU, someone else, or property.

Reconnect the Negative battery terminal. (Order of connecting up a battery is ALWAYS, Positive terminal First, Negative terminal last)

Take a multimeter set it to DC, and to the 50 volt scale. Find a clean, non-painted surface on the frame, (Or scratch a little area), touch the Black lead, (Negative probe) of the multimeter to it. Touch the Red lead, (Positive probe), of the multimeter to the ignition wire, electrical tape partially removed. (Enough so you can make a good contact to that terminal. The tape is there, in case the wire slips out of your hand, and touches a ground. If it has no tape, you'll think it's the Fourth of July under there!)

No reading? Be sure the person inside, has the ignition switch in the starting position. Still no reading? Check that ignition switch out. See if it's getting power.

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