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Starter Clutch problems (I think)

Discussion in 'XJ Technical Chat' started by Huascar L. Hernandez, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. Huascar L. Hernandez

    Huascar L. Hernandez New Member

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    Hey all,

    First all, glad the site is back up, i was getting worried it was down for good. Found the facebook page, would have been great a quick blurb about why the site was down.

    Anyways,
    I'd love a little advice/assistance/miracle here. I bought an 81 XJ650 summer last year, starter motor was cracked, (push started so I know it ran at least) replaced it and worked on the carbs, front and rear brakes. Heat/Time/Money prevented me from doing much else until recently. Put carbs in, new battery, new plugs but bike wont start. Posted on reddit and was told its the starter clutch.

    Quick video below is me trying to start the bike up. Second video is the starter off the bike (thought the starter was the problem at first)




    Did oil/filter change right after getting the bike, can't remember brand but I know it was 10w-40 motorcycle oil but I'm willing to do a flush again if you guys think its just the oil. Also seen comments on using seafoam but I can't even start her up so not sure if its a good idea.

    I'm so worried that the only fix is to split the case, never done a job that big. If thats the only solution I'm thinking of selling/parting the bike. I just dont think I have the skill/patience for something that big.

    Thanks all
     
  2. Toomanybikes

    Toomanybikes Well-Known Member

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    It does sound like it kicks out after cranking for a few seconds. But until you get it running and flush out the old oil and maybe previous owners incorrect oil it may do that until it gets hot. And battery sounds a bit weak for a good start. Did you do the complete carb “Church of Clean” ? When I do them the bike starts instantly.
     
  3. Huascar L. Hernandez

    Huascar L. Hernandez New Member

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    I had replaced the oil previously but did not attempt to run it (didnt have the starter replaced yet) but I dont think I let it drip overnight, just a basic, remove oil plug, let it drain, remove filter, put new filter in, put new oil in. I've now let it sit in my garage with the drain plug removed for 2 nights. Would that help? Would another flush with cheap motorcycle oil help? I can get 1L of 20-50 conventional for $7 (cheaper then $17 for 1L for other high end). Could the seafoam be a bad idea if I can't get it started anyways? If i could still do it even without starting it, should I leave the drain plug open for a better drip and with overnight waits? Also, seafoam, do I do it via the access point behind the alternator? I had cleaned the starter but didnt replace the brushes. I've now ordered a rebuild kit from amazon and should have it sometime next week. Also, battery is new, and I had just charged it prior to testing. Next test while I wait will be load testing the battery and pulling out my car battery to use on the bike.

    As for the carbs, I did not do the full church of clean. I followed it without separating the carbs.
     
  4. Timbox

    Timbox Well-Known Member

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    As for the oil issue I don't think you have a problem of how you changed the oil. Even a fast oil change just letting the oil run out and turn into a small drip is good. Over night dripping is not needed IMHO. I hope that your kit is the correct one, the icon on the top right of every page will get you the correct part for your bike every time. Start a PM with Len he will help you out with anything and everything.

    Did you make sure the little hole in the bottom of the bowls were supper clean? That is a little jet that needs to be open to have the bike start right. That is missed a lot so don't feel bad if you missed it. Take a twist tie and removed the insulation off of it, it is a great size for putting down the hole and cleaning things out. Just hitting the carb with cleaner will not do the trick, I have tried didn't work.

    Do you have any fuel leaking from the carbs? You will tell if the "O" rings on the fuel rail is bad right away, it will start to leak when you have the gas on with vacuum or when on prime. Speaking of prime, make sure you prime those dry carbs too, no fuel in the bowls no start.

    That started in the vid is kicking out, I hope as stared above that once the new oil gets moving in there it will take care of its self.
     
  5. cds1984

    cds1984 Active Member

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    Definitely seen the fix from flushing the old oil and running new oil through the engine on a slipping starter clutch.

    However, also have pulled a starter clutch to find the solid boss cracked through with no hope of retaining the pressure on the shaft.

    Splitting the engine isn't that difficult, just physically demanding and long winded getting it out and apart and back together and back in.
    Maybe a bit costly if you start replacing all the other bits you notice are in bad shape also, of course.

    Hopefully the oil flush is your fix!
     
  6. Franz

    Franz Active Member

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    I don't think splitting the crankcases is difficult either. In fact l enjoy working on engines. It depends on how much money an owner wants to spend.
     
  7. Huascar L. Hernandez

    Huascar L. Hernandez New Member

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    Sad to say no go on the oil flush. Rebuilt the starter too since the brushes did need to be replaced. Made sure battery was fully charged. It clearly just slips more often then not. How much of a teardown is necessary to get access to the starter clutch? I mean, I get the need to split the case, but once the case is split, how much "deeper" would I need to go. Also, what tools are needed, I have wrenches and sockets, some torx screwdrivers, hex, pliers and other basic tools. This is my first bike, got my license last year, haven't ridden since the safety course. I dont know if its worth it to do all that work since I'm really itching to get on a bike and ride.

    I keep hearing splitting is gonna be costly, time and money. What's the expected cost? Might just be better for me to part to recoup what I put in (on original purchase, $450) and use that as a down payment to purchase a dealer sold functioning bike.

    Also, I'm in York, PA and willing to trade it plus some cash for a running bike if anyone knows anyone.
     
  8. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    a motor swap would be cheaper. you could get a 750 motor for it .
     
  9. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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