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  1. #1
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    Default Ironhead starter... Help

    1973 Ironhead, 3 weeks ago went to start it up and found that the needle bearing on the starter housing had exploded out the back and needed to be replaced ... Ok , not a problem... Got a replacement part , installed bearing , carefully put everything back together including wiring and the starter just spins ...... ? Solenoid looked like crap , posts where loose and plastic cap cracked so I ordered a new one ... Now while I have this starter on my bench I check the bendix gear and make sure it only turns freely one way .... Put that back together,installed, and it sounds like the bendix gear isn't even popping out to catch and turn the motor over ... It just spins .... These things aren't that complicated.... Anyone else have this problem or can give some advice.... ???
    Really appreciate the help !

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    Default

    Did you replace the relay solenoid or the starter solenoid?
    Did you wire it/them correctly?
    If the relay sends power to the wrong lug of the starter soinoid the bendix will never get thrown out on the shaft.

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    I replaced the solenoid on that mounts on the starter housing unit ... Thats the only solenoid on the bike ... I assume it's the starter solenoid ... Top post gets the Positive wire to the battery and the Gen wire, small middle post gets the wire
    to the Ignition Switch, and bottom post goes to the Starter... Starter cranks , Bendix doesn't pop out... What am I forgetting or over looking ...?

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    So the bendix spins? But the solenoid arm don't move?
    Are you missing any parts? Like the spacer block under the solonoid mounting ear? The spring inside the solonoid?
    Did ya forget to bend the fork tabs into the bendix groove?

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    Your not going to believe this .... Everything is working the way it should be Wiring is good , solenoid is good and so is the starter... Hooked everything up and mounted the housing to the case ... Turned the key and it sounded like it was just spinning again... took the mounting bolts off and took the starter housing off with all the wiring still hooked up ... placed the housing on the case and put a glove on and held the jackshaft in place like the needle bearing would on the primary side ... Turned the key and everything worked the way it was supposed to , Bendix popped out and spun ... clockwise ... Put the damn thing back on the case and turned the key.... Sounds like it's just spinning again , WTF !!! ... Took the mounting bolts out and backed the housing up about a 1/4 inch, jackshaft is still in the needle bearing on primary side, so I could see if it was still working correctly or not... Turned the key and I could see that everything is still in working order but still just spinning , not catching the fly wheel and turning the engine...... Fuck me , right ??? What the fuck else could it be ??? is it not lining up right or not popping out far enough to catch the fly wheel... Measure distance the bendix gear has to travel to catch the fly wheel ... It's like a 1/4 inch , thats not it... took the jackshaft off the housing and stuck it in the needle bearing on the primary , pushed the bendix out into the flywheel and it matched right up... Seriously , WTF! Is it possible that the bendix is bad even though I can't move it by hand? Jackshaft bad ???

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    Splines on shaft for the reduction gear can strip when the big copper thrust washer is missing or mis-matched primary cover/inner require a thicker one (or three).
    At least thats the case on big twins. Same starter setup basically .
    Is the reduction gear in there?

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    I'm looking at the manual diagram and all the parts are here .... I have a feeling it's popping out and hitting the flywheel... Instead of lining up with it...Nothing else makes sense... Not sure why the housing needle bearing got blown out the back like it did... Screwed something up... It's just such a simple mechanical movement and I can't physically see what the problem is ... Just put the jackshaft and bendix in the vise and I can't budge the bendix, it's in good working order....

  8. #8
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    If you have a junk outer primary cover you could make a cutaway starter test cover as commonly done with big twins and observe what's going on.

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    Maybe try the old solenoid. New dosent necessarily mean good.

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    Took the primary case off to watch what was going on ... So everything was working fine , bendix is jumping out and hitting the flywheel in the side... Not lining up ... Tapped the needle bearing into the housing a bit more and that straightened it out ... Tried again and bendix jumped out and caught the flywheel... The jackshaft spun ( I was holding the other end with a punch ) but the bendix did not ... Took shaft and bendix off & put it in the vise to see if I could move it ... Did not budge ... So , the starter turns , which turns the jackshaft that does not turn the bendix......

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    If full lengths of shaft splines and Bendix splines are good and shaft spins but Bendix doesn't, it must be the Bendix.

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    Is the jackshaft spinning the wrong way? Stranger things have happened

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    My first thought is the starter must be spinning the wrong way ... It fell apart when i took it off the housing , put it back together and bench tested it . Not sure if the bendix is over shooting the shaft splines ??? I have a rebuild kit coming with new bendix and jackshaft.... Should be here today or tomorrow ... let you know what happens..

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    So, at this point the starter and all it's components are in good working order... I have to look for another cause as to why the bendix gear is not elevated high enough and does not pop out far enough to catch the flywheel... Before I parked the bike It kept dying ... I felt it was the carb ( bendix zenith ) and had to turn it over at least 10 times on the last 10 mile ride... When I was letting out the clutch from gear to gear it seamed to drag into gear... Got it home , parked it . Brought it out the next day and went to start it. Starter made a high pitch grinding noise and never caught the flywheel... Thats when I discovered the needle bearing blown out the back of the starter housing... And I started to fix everything that rides on the starter housing ... everything but the starter is replaced... Installed today and same result, the Bendix gear pops out and hits the side of the flywheel and just spins.... Can the clutch assembly get out of place ? Far enough to raise it out of place ... At this point I'm stuck

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    Gonna pull the motor ... see what's what

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    What is the purpose of removing the engine? I'd be getting an old primary cover and making a cutaway before I'd remove the motor since there's nothing different to be seen on the bench and the transmission is mounted on a trap door. (If you pull the clutch and all is normal, problem is somewhere in the starter mechanism.)

    If you want to work on a removed Sporty engine comfortably get a cheap auto engine stand and bolt the Sportster rear mount to the engine mounting plate.

    That post by punkrod saved my back much suffering. http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showth...l=1#post517015

    Have you posted on the xlforum? It's the best source of Ironhead info.

  18. #18
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    New age looks right at home on the Old Iron...


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    I posted last night , going to check in a few ...
    i understand the cutaway primary idea , but removing the primary cover and holding the end of the jackshaft in place with a punch or philips head screw driver does the same thing ... Thats what i've done and mounted the primary case back on the bike with the same results.... The problem i'm having with this is , With the jackshaft in the needle bearing on the starter housing and in the needle bearing on the primary case , the jackshaft really has no where to go ... there's no up and down movement or side to side ... There isn't any shims or any other type of adjustment here... It's either in there and it works or there's another problem somewhere else... I believe it's somewhere else , movement of the flywheel ... Which would take me to the main shaft ... I haven't pulled it yet and would try everything before doing so ... Your saying pull the clutch first, I will do that

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    Dragstew, nice set up ! Who's is that ??? New Age ???

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