Question about 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

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1974 sportster starter turns but does not engage

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Your starter drive or "Bendix" is bad. Disconnect the battery, remove the outer primary, remove the starter solenoid and pull the starter drive shaft, with the Bendix on it, out. Clamp the starter drive shaft in vise with soft jaws and remove the nut on the outer end. It has left handed threads. Replace the starter drive with a high quality unit such as ACCEL. Avoid the cheaper Chinese units as they don't last. Reassemble your bike.

Good Luck

Posted on Oct 12, 2010


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I have a 1974 harley sportster xlh. I have changed the starter , the starter solenoid, and the battery. still having trouble with the starter turning engine over slowly or if it even does.

bad starter switch might be the issue. barely connecting. try jumping the switch or battery to starter directly to see. good luck

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Do i need to pull the primary cover off to remove starter from 1974 sportster

Hi Tom, not on this year and model, just remove the clamp bolt and the chrome end cover and fully loosen the two nut studs being carefull to remove the starter with both hands as an assembly studs included. Good luck and have nice day.

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Hi Anonymous, and the usual suspects are:
1.Ignition/Light Key Switch not in IGNITION position.
2.Engine Stop switch in the OFF position.
3.Discharged battery, loose or corroded connections (solenoid chatters).
4. Bank Angle Sensor tripped and Ignition/Light Key Switch not cycled to Off and then back to Ignition
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1979 sportster - selenoid has 3 wires, 1 batter +, 1 starter, 1 starter button, other side of starter button goes to power, hit starter button motor turns over, release starter button, starter keeps...

Or the big washer in solenoid is burnt & sticking take apart sand big copper washer & part it touches reassemble .. you may also ask this ? at they have helped me...

Apr 21, 2011 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

I have a 1974 ironhead, starter turns but will not kick out .made bike into bobber none of original wire harness is used, I really have no idea what im doing when it comes to wiring. any help would be...

Maybe a bad solenoid in the starter. Check that you have a good ground to the starter. would suggest running wire from the battery negative post to the starter housing then try starting it. you may just have a bad ground if runnin a wire to the starter helps then you probably need to pull the starter take emery cloth or scotchbrite to where the starter meets up with inside of the mounting housing clean it up a little also the lip of the starter. or you may need to just run and mount a wire from the battery to one of the starter mounting bolts.

Sep 19, 2010 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

Starter will not engage

This bike has an electrical starter. A few explanations could cause such behavior
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Clicking sound on start-up.

a clicking sound means there was enough electric power to engage the solenoid, but not enough to turn the starter. battery is low

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