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Motorcycle Starter repair for 1994 hd 88 cubic inch evo motor

My starter is not engaging the motor. It spins but wont turn over the motor. I have taken the first one out and replaced it with a loaner from a buddy. It worked about 15 times and started doing the same thing just spinning and clicking but not engaging the motor. So I had the original bench tested its fine so I put it back in and it work about 12 times. Same thing all over again. What do I do it has me a a bunch of my buddies lost.

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  • loudashell Jan 16, 2009

    1998 Softail Custom:

    starter spins but will not engage motor this has happened only a few times before but always reengaged and started the bike tonight I tried to get out for a ride and it would not engage at all only spining and the battery is new

    more than enouph juice is getting to the starter.

  • DynaKing Feb 24, 2009

    Harley FXDS Conv. 1340cc. starter spins but takes its time engaging. It always starts though. Sometimes it will engage immediately, but only after a short stop on a long ride. It is getting worse as time goes by.

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Check the battery if the starter tested good the starter spining and clicking and not engaging the starter suggest the solonoid is suspect it kicks the starter out might be going bad. BATTERY is the common factor with the three starters working about the same lenght of time

Posted on Jan 15, 2009

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2 Answers

When i start the bike, the starter will spin out a couple of times before it finally catches and turns the engine. this happened for about a week, until it finally stopped catching. now it just keeps...


You don't say what year/model your bike is. None the less, most likely the starter bendix is shot. This can happen in an instant (especially if you have a mechanical advance and the springs are weak or broken.) This would make a sort of "zing"ing sound when you try to start it. The solenoid's job is to push the bendix into position to engage the starter ring on the clutch hub. The starter motor won't turn until the solenoid is fully engaged. Check the bendix - it should turn freely in one direction and not at all in the other. Good luck.

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Pull the spark plugs out and hit the starter. This will make sure that the engine is not locked up. If the starter does not turn the engine, put the bike in first gear and have someone push you, making sure the engine is free. If the engine is OK, your starter is probably jammed and needs replaced. That wire getting hot is a dead giveaway something is locked up tight...starter or engine. If ya have a large hi-performance engine in the bike, chances are your stock starter won't do the job.

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1 Answer

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Sometimes they have to have little shims on them so they mesh correctly when they engage.

Jun 05, 2009 | Harley Davidson Harley-Davidson Motorcycle...

1 Answer

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WELL I WOULD CHECK BATTERY VOLTAGE IT NEEDS TO BE 13.5 THAT'S A GOOD BATTERY THEN I WOULD CHECK ALL GROUND FROM BATTERY SO YOU SAY IT CLICK DO YOU HERE THE STARTER MOTOR SPIN NEED MORE INFO TO HELP YOU THERE A WAY TO JUMP STARTER TO SEE IF IT SPINS BUT BE FOR WE GO THERE LET ME NOW THAT BATTERY VOLTAGE IS OK AND ALL CABLES ARE TIGHT.GOOD LUCK REDOIL

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do you have commpression releases on your motor if not you may need to in stall this will ease the stress off your starter and your motor will turn over easier if you do have the releases not sure what you may need to do without hearing the drag to determine if gearing is issue

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The starter isn't kicking out the jackshaft or bendix and engaging the flywheel or starter sprocket it sounds like.

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1 Answer

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ok bro' couple of things going on here. we'll start with the starter haha! how does it start you ask? the starter button hots up the sarter motor with the 12 volts dc which engages the starter gear wit the CLUTCH BASKET which has a ring gear in it and of course the starter is spinning and it spins the clutch basket and pulls on th primary chain if your fatpunk I mean fat boy is stock and pulls on the motor sprocket and turns the motor. If no motor power to the wheels and no starter power to the motor then something in between is broke. so I think the clang you heard was the demise of your primary chain or the clutch basket or the engine sprocket I think the primary chain is most likeley. so take it easy off the line until you hop it up proper son it ain't no hot rod til you drop some mods on it

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What going on


Bad switch or Solenoid. depending on the bike.

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