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Terrible grinding noise coming from starter when trying to start '82 XJ Maxim 550

Discussion in 'XJ Technical Chat' started by camelCase, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. camelCase

    camelCase Member

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    Subject says it all

    When I go to start my bike, I hear a really bad grinding noise coming from the starter motor on left side of bike.
    I put it on the battery tender over night. Tried again, same thing.

    It's a new battery and oil level is fine. I can bump start it.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. dkavanagh

    dkavanagh Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Sounds like you've narrowed it down! When it runs, does it run in gear without the terrible noises? If so, I would take out the starter motor and inspect it. I believe someone posted a really nice re-build video for the starter. I would remove it and start breaking it down to see what's making the grinding. There are some planetary gears that are a likely suspect.

    Here's the video: https://www.xjbikes.com/forums/threads/starter-rebuild.122512/
     
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  3. camelCase

    camelCase Member

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    Yeah it runs fine without the noise.
    I'll check out xj4ever and see what they've got for sale.
     
  4. camelCase

    camelCase Member

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    And because I'm lazy, if it is the starter motor, I'll just buy a new one from xj4ever and throw it on there.
     
  5. Jetfixer

    Jetfixer Well-Known Member

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    One of the few problems with the xj 550/650/750 is the starter clutch slipping , lack of regular oil changes , using synthetic oil can all be symptoms. It can sound like a bunch of bolts in a coffee can when trying to start , mine slips sometimes when hot , only real fix is to split case and replace rollers and springs. Agree with dkavagh try to rebuild starter first , if brushes are worn and reduction gears need greased .
     
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  6. camelCase

    camelCase Member

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    Ah man I hope it’s not the starter clutch. I did a little bit of research just now and that seems like a huge pain to fix.
    I may try doing an oil change and use conventional oil.
     
  7. camelCase

    camelCase Member

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    It does sound like a can of rocks though.
     
  8. Jetfixer

    Jetfixer Well-Known Member

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    Using synthetic oil can cause starter clutch to slip, the oil "washes" deposits , when we switched oil brands in the aircraft , we had oil filter clogging problems so bad we switched to yet another brand . Some folks claim they have ran synthetic oil with no problems , but the tollarances on these engines are not as "tight" on modern engines . I used Screaming Eagle 20/50 w synthetic in my Buell ,but it had a dry clutch .
     
  9. camelCase

    camelCase Member

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    Do you recommend a conventional oil for this bike?
     
  10. Jetfixer

    Jetfixer Well-Known Member

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    I use Valvoline 10w40 motorcycle oil , but some use Shell Rotella 15w40 kmoe has a thread on oils . Xj4ever has a spin on oil conversion , I put this on my seca great upgrade.
     
  11. cgutz

    cgutz Well-Known Member

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  12. camelCase

    camelCase Member

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    Here is a video that I just took. Wasn't able to bumpstart because I think the oil needs to be a bit warmer. At the end of the video, you can hear a very faint "whirring" sound.

     
  13. Polock

    Polock Well-Known Member

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    sounds like a low battery to me
     
  14. camelCase

    camelCase Member

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    Really? Brand newish battery. I’ll break out my voltmeter though and get some data.
     
  15. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Bourbon. Moderator Premium Member

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    Or a starter in need of new brushes.
     
  16. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Bourbon. Moderator Premium Member

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    Even new batteries can be faulty.
     
  17. camelCase

    camelCase Member

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    I’ll get the battery tested then go from there.
     
  18. camelCase

    camelCase Member

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    I got the battery tested, it's fine.
    I removed the starter and opened it up. Lots of carbon buildup and muck inside it. Started cleaning.

    Here's some pictures of the brushes and various components.

    • tested continuity from brushes to cable terminals and cable terminals to casing and I think, going by the Clymber Manual, that's okay.
    • checked resistance on component in the first picture, forgot what it's called, but used the Clymber Manual and the readings were good. Also checked the mica levels between the copper panels. Also good. So whatever that component is called, I think it's okay. Again, this is the all from the first picture.
    I need to go to the store tomorrow and get an electrical device cleaning solvent but judging by these pictures, can you guys see anything major wrong? Again, whatever needed to be tested with an ohmmeter, I did that and results seem to be fine. Maybe a starter motor rebuild kit is in order, but before I do that I'd like to see what you all think.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Bourbon. Moderator Premium Member

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    The brushes look like they are at, or beyond, the wear limit.
    Chacal has them in stock.

    Clean and re-grease the reduction gears while you have it apart.

    If the starter isn't spinning at its best the starter clutch will slip.
     
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  20. camelCase

    camelCase Member

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    Awesome thanks. I’ll replace them. Probably would need new o-rings right?
     

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