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Old 17th June 2009, 21:43   #1
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Default Starter motor problems on the Thunderbird

I guess many of you out there must have had the same problems with the self-start on the new RE bikes. I have had problems often. I have replaced the starter motor once, then had the bushes changed and still there is a problem. I am using only the kickstart now. Any idea how this can be rectified or if there is an alternative to this.

Getting really bugging!
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Old 18th June 2009, 16:02   #2
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Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Any idea how this can be rectified or if there is an alternative to this.
firstly are you sure its the starter motor and not the sprag clutch acting up?? there have been problems but not to the extent you seem to be having. if its the motor it should have been solved once you had it serviced.
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Old 18th June 2009, 17:25   #3
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Even I busted the bearings (sprag clutch) on my ES 500CI to pieces. checked with the mechanic, said a replacement bearing would cost 3.5k and also told me it would last only a couple of thousand Kms, so I threw away the junk and I am happy living without the ES.
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Old 18th June 2009, 17:35   #4
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Even my starter motor is busted.Living with KS for the past 3 years(Electra 5s 2005).
The bushes had gone when i contacted them the spare part was not available and they asked me to purchase a new starter.

Living with KS since then and i am happy that i didn't spend 3.5k on it,heard starter as many problems and doesn't last long.
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Old 18th June 2009, 20:13   #5
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Ok, could be the sprag clutch too. Not sure since I replaced some of the bushes in the motor. Well, KS it is then!
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Old 19th June 2009, 14:26   #6
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Heard that Sprag clutch and starter issues are related and mostly results from backfire/ignition issues. Which is why it is mostly advised that KS be used for a cold start, when there is more chance of a kickback.

The below mostly relates to Sprag failures, but nevertheless, I thought it might be helpful.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
TIPS FOR FIELD SOLUTION FOR SPRAG CLUTCH FAILURE IN ELECTRICAL START
VEHICLES

I. Steps to follow when metallic noise & slippage occurs in the
Sprag clutch
a) Dismantle the Starter Motor, Chain case inner and the Drive
cover.
b) Remove the idler gear , sprag clutch drive & driven gears
assembly and the shims. Keep a track of the number of shims that were used.
c) Separate the Drive and Driven Gears. Inspect the thrust washer,
for any rough surface, bent or disfigured condition.
d) Inspect the sprag carefully for: Damage to the sprag ends
(individual bearings), damaged / broken/ sticky movement inside the sprag
bearing cage.
e) Carerefully look for deep dent or impression on Sprag track in
the sprag clutch drive and driven gears.
f) If there are deep dent marks in the sprag tracks either in the
gear inner OR the outer, then replace the entire assembly (part No.
560042/a) with a new set after carefully cleaning and lubricating the same.
(the sprag assy should be cleaned without dismantling
g) Carefully also inspect the following:
- Spindle on the drive cover for tightness (by hand), check oil
flow through spindle with oil can. If the oil does not flow through the
spindle, ensure this is not due to a block. The spindle should not be free
to rotate when pressed into the drive cover.
- Check the bushes in the chain case inner and the drive cover for
any cracks or recession into the housing. (bush top must be level with the
housing boss)
h) Reassemble the sprag clutch assy in the Chain case inner and take
care to reassemble the shim washers, gasket, drive cover. Check the
assembly is having the correct end float of 0.25 to 0.30mm after tightening
the drive cover screws fully. (Manual is incorrect in stating 1.5mm.) The
gears must rotate freely and very minute end float must be felt. Refit the
assembly onto the vehicle.

II. Steps to follow when Sprag Clutch / Gears are BROKEN
Note: One of the prime causes for the gears and/or the sprag to break is
the engine backfiring and/or the bushings in the chain case inner have
dislocated or damaged.
Dismantle the chain case assembly and the sprag gear assembly as above.
Inspect the Bush in the chain case inner and in the drive cover
Inspect oil flow through the spindle.
Check for proper tightness of the spindle in the cover.
In classic (Cast iron engines) Check thoroughly if the ignition timing is
advanced beyond 0.8mm BTDC (due to incorrect settings OR due to the advance
fly weight mechanism in the distributor is stuck in open position) The
advance retard weight could get stuck due to its catching on the rear side
of the condenser OR weak springs OR bent posts OR the locating tab getting
stuck inside the groove of the flyweight.
In Lean Burn engines, if the sprag or gears are broken, please ensure that
the New TCI Part No. 147100/c is fitted to take care of a backfiring caused
from premature ignition.
If the sprag or the gears are breaking for the first time in a bike, check
the above and replace.
If the sprag is failing for a second time in the same engine, it is best to
check the above and also replace the chain case inner assembly as
appropriate to the bike to avoid any further failure.

- Courtesy : TIM from N.Z. Bulletech yahoogroups forum -

Last edited by kuttapan : 19th June 2009 at 14:30.
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Old 19th June 2009, 15:04   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Ok, could be the sprag clutch too. Not sure since I replaced some of the bushes in the motor. Well, KS it is then!
is your bird a tbts or the older avl thunderbird with cdi ignition?
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Old 19th June 2009, 16:24   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollywoodhogan View Post
is your bird a tbts or the older avl thunderbird with cdi ignition?
Its the older TBird AVL
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Old 20th June 2009, 09:27   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuttapan View Post
Heard that Sprag clutch and starter issues are related and mostly results from backfire/ignition issues. Which is why it is mostly advised that KS be used for a cold start, when there is more chance of a kickback.
well, i can offer a simple preventive measure once you have a new sprag installed. when cranking the engine over, do not release the starter button until the engine has fully fired up. hold on to that button for a second longer after the engine starts to avoid the backlash when it shuts off. this way you can save the sprag from damage. my friend has been this technique for over 2 years now on his bird, after installation of a new sprag, and the sprag is working fine fine till today. trust me this works.
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Old 15th July 2009, 18:57   #10
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Default Help

Ok, looks like I will finally have to let go of my T-bird. The wife is going to be using it from now. But I will have to change the self-start. Is this the Ignition Coil that I will have to change? Or will I need to change the whole setup?
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Old 23rd July 2009, 09:44   #11
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Red face Help!!

Ok, here is what I did. Removed the starter motor, got it fixed at a local mech (he said he had fixed the bush). Now I have fixed it back in but the damn thing won't fire up the engine again. But I think something else is wrong then. When I press the Self-start switch, I get just this sound - "Tik Tik". And it is coming from somewhere near the battery! Is something wrong with the contacts or something? I am quite determined to get this fixed myself cause my expensive mech would otherwise ask me for some hard-earned money to get this fixed.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 10:48   #12
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I have a one month old LB500.

The ES sometime works, sometime doesn't since about 7 days ago, right after it got back from the first service

Will take the bike to the service center and get it repaired/replaced soon.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 16:43   #13
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I dont know much about self starter motors on bikes, but i could probably help you with >

Quote:
Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
...When I press the Self-start switch, I get just this sound - "Tik Tik". And it is coming from somewhere near the battery! ....
^ that sounds like its the starter RELAY making that noise. One "tik" when the electromagnet flips the contact on, and the other "tik" as it goes off.

Its coming from near the battery coz thats probably where the relay is located.
Atleast the relay seems to be working!

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 23rd July 2009 at 16:44.
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Old 24th July 2009, 10:59   #14
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Originally Posted by naveenroy View Post
Ok, here is what I did. Removed the starter motor, got it fixed at a local mech (he said he had fixed the bush). Now I have fixed it back in but the damn thing won't fire up the engine again. But I think something else is wrong then. When I press the Self-start switch, I get just this sound - "Tik Tik". And it is coming from somewhere near the battery! Is something wrong with the contacts or something? I am quite determined to get this fixed myself cause my expensive mech would otherwise ask me for some hard-earned money to get this fixed.

The TIC TIC sound comes from the relay used for the started that is normal you hear it now as the motor is not firing. If you really need the self start get it checked at RE.
Also get the relay checked as that may be at fault. Did the starter motor fire after you got it fixed try removing the moroe and try firing it in open out of the casing.
Always use Decomp and do press the clutch when using the self start.

The RE was never designed with a ES but they added one somehow so it can never be a perfect fit. I took my ES off my Electra though it was working fine as I do not want to take change with the sprag clutch hfailing on a long trip..

Last edited by bhogalrajnish : 24th July 2009 at 11:02.
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Old 24th July 2009, 13:59   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhogalrajnish View Post
Did the starter motor fire after you got it fixed try removing the moroe and try firing it in open out of the casing.
Not sure what you mean by moroe?

Will try removing it out of the casing and firing it though. Will update as soon as possible
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