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Old 07-04-2009, 04:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How to Bench test a Starter

Pulled the starter from my 86 FLHTC as the darn thing won't start. I have power to the solenoid when I hit the starter button but nothing from the solenoid or starter. Now that I have it off the bike what's the best way to test it??
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What do you mean "nothing from the solenoid or starter"? If you have (had) no voltage going to the starter from the solenoid, it will never turn over. There's no need to pull the starter to check that.

You can get a general idea about the starter by putting jumpercables on your car battery, the black (ground) cable on the starter housing and the red (positive) cable briefly on the terminal that connects over to the solenoid. If the starter turns over, that's a good sign, but not a guarantee of no other issues with it. If it doesn't turn over, that's bad.
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Old 07-04-2009, 05:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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claydbal is reading this now saying WTF is this?
follow what dr hess says, if you have trouble holding onto it, its good.
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have power to the solenoid and power to the lug nut on the starter but nothing happens, unless I hit the starter with a small hammer it will turn over.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like it has something binding a little if a bump with a hammer lets it work. I had a starter on my old '73 Ford that would bind and not work correctly without a "tap". I took it apart and found that there was a burr on the shaft that would cause it to hang up. I took it apart and made quick work of it with a file and emery cloth.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Very easy to pull Hd starters apart and see whats wrong with them. Might just be a loose or bad/worn out connection under the solenoid cover. Pull those 3 screws off first and take a peek. Make sure the plunger and wires inside are in good shape.
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info, found this informative link: Starter System Testing:
http://www.box.net/shared/24r68jnme1
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Well, if there was power to the starter and no movement, then it's bad. Most starters need brushes (at a minimum) when they require the Harley Wrench to work.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The solenoid and the starter are new, never been used, but been sitting for 5 years in a garage, suspect condensation caused some corrosion.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Found the problem, a poor solder joint in the solenoid. Did a re-solder and works great now. I guess they don't test them when shipped out.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yup, seen that before,easy fix...Even got 2 this year that had the solenoid spade connector snapped off in the box.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaillarry View Post
I have power to the solenoid and power to the lug nut on the starter but nothing happens, unless I hit the starter with a small hammer it will turn over.
Well.... put a small maul in your saddlebags...

(this is the humour section, isn't it? :-)

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