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Old 04-25-2013, 03:08 PM   #1
Flying Kangaroo OP
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Starter getting tired?

Hello fellow airhead nuts and victims. I have recently become the proud owner of a '70 R60/5. Been riding my old Shovelhead for 24 years and felt that another old, obsolete ride was in order.

Unfortunately, I'm still working out a few bugs, and I have a question.

My electric start seems to be the only way to go during these cool mornings. After that she starts just fine with the kicker and runs like a dream. However recently, the starter will only turn her over a couple of times. Then she seems to bog down. The starter will only turn her over about a single revolution after that. Battery is fully charged. Occasionally I can just walk away for a few hours (or overnight) and try it again. The starter seems stronger after a while, but I still have only a chance or two even then.

I'm thinking faulty relay, but this thing is a whole new learning experience for me.

Any advice will be welcome. Thanks.
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:33 PM   #2
disston
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From your description it sounds more like battery. Pretty much it's one or the other. New bike to you but the battery is not new? The SWB (short wheel base) /5s use a smaller battery.

The starters are rebuildable and modern more powerful starters are available. The modern starters are not cheap though and the starter rebuild is pretty involved, may be why a lot of riders have been opting for the modern starter.

Cleaning wire connections to relays and the rest of the parts of the electric system and starting system are always highly recommended on internet forums. I have even seen several bikes that simply had loose wires to the battery.

You are allowed to use the kick starter on a 4 speed. They don't have a very long throw though.
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:04 PM   #3
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Battery is less that a week old. OEM standing at 13 volts. It was my first thought though, as the one it replaced couldn't hold a charge for more than a day. Battery is definitely good.

Starter is strong at first too. It does have a slight flooding issue that will be worked on ASAP, which is why it always takes a few tries to get her running long enough to give it a bit of throttle to keep it from dying.

Those few times seem to be all that the starter will give me. After that it will only revolve a half a turn of the crank (or so).
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:45 PM   #4
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Measure some voltages. What is the battery voltage when it's cranking well, and when the cranking slows down? What is the voltage at the starter solenoid when it's cranking well, and when the cranking slows down?

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Old 04-25-2013, 05:49 PM   #5
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I had what seemed like a weak battery problem and slow starter motor.
The electric start was fine on a warm or hot engine but slow or even no-go on a cold one.

The problem was found to be the bearing bushes in the starter motor body wearing oval and letting the shaft 'wobble' thus lifting the commutator from the brushes and slowing the starter motor under load.

I bought new ones from Motorworks but a good lathe operator should be able to make you some.
If the new ones are from Oilyte they need soaking in oil overnight prior to fitting....phosphor bronze or brass can go straight in.

HTH
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:06 PM   #6
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Well Bill, the voltage is hanging at 13 volts when she's turning just fine and when she's feeling like she's about done.

Tarka. The starter is relatively new. The guy I bought her from had sunk over 5 G's into her in the two years before he sold her. Starter was one of the things in the receipts...along with a new stator, diode board, regulator, and electronic ignition.

I just cleaned the contacts on the starter relay, but saw no change.

Don't ya just love these old machines?
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:09 PM   #7
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Airheads

It is either the battery, starter, or wires and connections. There now was I a big help?

Marc
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:25 PM   #8
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Just thought I'd add (in case it helps) that I had it in the clubhouse the other night (68 degrees) and took it outside the next morning (mid 30's). She started right up. Ran her up to the gas station to fill her up and grab some smokes and parked her outside for a few hours. Never ran her enough to get her good and hot in that time, but noticed the same problem when I tried to crank her over to leave.

Came back with a charger/starter. Didn't make any difference with it hooked up and set at "12 volt start".

Kinda makes me think that the battery has nothing to do with it...even thought I went right out and got a new one.

Thought I'd throw that in.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:37 PM   #9
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The electric starting system was new in 1970. They kept the kick starter till the end of 1974 and decided then that they would go with electric only. It worked fine for most riders and they had also developed some other problems in the trans so getting rid of the kicker had other benefits.

There is a long number on the side of the starter. It's a Bosch number. It is a ten (10) digit number. If it ends in 007 it is the early /5 thru 1974 (1st year of /6) starter and we can call it the .5 Horse Power starter. Starters in 1975 and 1976 had the last three digits of 015 and we can call this one the .6 Horse Power starter. Either of these starters will fit your bike. They are both 8 tooth starters. Beginning in 1977 starters have 9 teeth and won;'t fit earlier bikes. Supposedly the 015 starter is better but I can't guarantee that, I just thought it would help to know this.

The real fix for starter ills these days is the Enduralast starter sold by Euro Motoelectrics for $169 or several other after market starters, all of which cost at least a hundred more than the Enduralast.

http://www.euromotoelectrics.com/Sta.../bmw-str1m.htm



I don't exactly how much more powerful it is but it is more powerful. And it is lighter too.

Of course you could be like me and collect a bunch of old broken parts and try to build a good one from the junk ones.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:24 PM   #10
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That lack of voltage drop suggests a starter problem. There should be a voltage drop of a couple of volts normally (to 10-11V) and with a bad battery the voltage may drop below 8V. May be a bad battery cable (positive or negative). They get old, battery acid seeps in and rots the copper from the inside and it looks OK from the outside. This shows up with a big voltage drop at the at the starter (solenoid) terminal. There may be starter problems-- major, like a fried armature or minor, like sticky worn brushes. Brushes and lubrication, etc, can be done at home, major stuff takes a starter shop (if they can get the parts).

What brand of starter is it? May be on the receipt.

New starter? Alternator parts? Sounds like the PO was randomly throwing money trying to cure this starter problem. Doesn't work. Makes me think "battery cables" even more. Remove the starter cover and see what the voltage is at the solenoid. Be thinking about removing the starter.

Don't fret. This is just sorting out a new-to-you bike...

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Old 04-25-2013, 07:26 PM   #11
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You're not the first to mention the cables, Bill. I'm gonna get on that in the morning.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:18 PM   #12
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Okay...so here's what's happened so far;

Had her on the trickle charger for a while. Starter was spinnin' like she was new. Carbs were floodin' like they were 50 years old...

but she started.

Battery seems to be holding a good charge. It just seems like it needed the extra push. Could still be bad, but it's brand new and was holding 13 volts regardless of what was going on.

Don't wanna blame the starter. She was spinnin' like there was no tomorrow.

Could there be something in all the new ignition parts the P.O. put in that could be bad. Stator not pushing enough? Regulator? Electronic Ignition conversion?

Which brings me to another point.

I've always been a points man myself. Still runnin' 'em in the Shovel and I'll never go electronic since I'm a "kick only" guy and I've yet to see any E.I. that's as easy to kick as points.

Forgive me for getting off the subject for a bit, but...

would I be better off going back to a stock ignition?

I'm all ears.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:51 AM   #13
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old grease and dust have given you sticky brushes,if one brusch fails to contact the collector,,it turns difficult or slow,,, maby they loosend up after some use, but i think your starter is going to give you problems in the near future. i guess short brusches and dirty collector. short brushes can give bad contact , and a burned collector witch give you again more bad contact soon.
second possibility,, oxidation at solenoid contacts, from long time no use,,gives a voltagedrop,,in fact an amperedrop. the solenoid works but the starter does not get the feed he need ,,,even on a weak battery , a good starter wil turn over,,slower, but it will work,,unless the battery is dead ofcourse.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:22 AM   #14
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The flooding is minor-- probably as bit of trash under the needle valve. Remove the float bowls, turn the gas petcocks on and holding the float up manually, let it drop down and flush the trash out.

If the battery has a full charge and is holding good voltage under load, it ain't the battery and it ain't the charging system. There is something amiss between the battery and the starter so zero in on that. Like Trabbart says.

These intermittent problems are the devil to solve.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Kangaroo View Post
Okay...so here's what's happened so far;

Had her on the trickle charger for a while. Starter was spinnin' like she was new. Carbs were floodin' like they were 50 years old...

but she started.

Battery seems to be holding a good charge. It just seems like it needed the extra push. Could still be bad, but it's brand new and was holding 13 volts regardless of what was going on.

Don't wanna blame the starter. She was spinnin' like there was no tomorrow.

Could there be something in all the new ignition parts the P.O. put in that could be bad. Stator not pushing enough? Regulator? Electronic Ignition conversion?

Which brings me to another point.

I've always been a points man myself. Still runnin' 'em in the Shovel and I'll never go electronic since I'm a "kick only" guy and I've yet to see any E.I. that's as easy to kick as points.

Forgive me for getting off the subject for a bit, but...

would I be better off going back to a stock ignition?

I'm all ears.

--Bill
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:59 AM   #15
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What did you measure for voltage when hitting the start button? below 10.5?
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