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Thread: Starter barely catching

  1. #1
    Junior Member Paco's Avatar
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    Starter barely catching

    Hey everybody, new to this and just need some help. I have a 2001 TW that i just replaced the base gasket on (the typical problem). After putting motor back in and reassembling everything I had trouble with the timing chain falling off of the bottom sprocket. I got that back on and a friend of mine tried starting the bike and to my surprise it fired right up. He didnt know I hadn't tightened the starter bolts and the second time he tried to start it, the starter spun free. So, I tightened them and tried starting it. I proceeded to spin freely without turning the motor over. I have read threads about the wires being backwards but that cant be it because the bike started twice as is. I also read the starter clutch bolts could be sheared? I'm turned away from this possibility because when the bikes in 5th gear i can roll it backwards and i can hear the starter whining. And then if i hit the electric start it will roll over the piston once and proceed to freewheel. This makes me think the starter "clutch" is still working. I also thought maybe i could bump start the bike and maybe this would magically fix my problem however the clutch is slipping enough to where i cannot start the bike by rolling. This is puzzling me as well. Anyway the bike is still together and i just wanted to see if anybody could lead me in the right direction before i start ripping parts and throwing money at it. All help appreciated! Thanks, Paco
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Paco View Post
    Hey everybody, new to this and just need some help. I have a 2001 TW that i just replaced the base gasket on (the typical problem). After putting motor back in and reassembling everything I had trouble with the timing chain falling off of the bottom sprocket. I got that back on and a friend of mine tried starting the bike and to my surprise it fired right up. He didnt know I hadn't tightened the starter bolts and the second time he tried to start it, the starter spun free. So, I tightened them and tried starting it. I proceeded to spin freely without turning the motor over. I have read threads about the wires being backwards but that cant be it because the bike started twice as is. I also read the starter clutch bolts could be sheared? I'm turned away from this possibility because when the bikes in 5th gear i can roll it backwards and i can hear the starter whining. And then if i hit the electric start it will roll over the piston once and proceed to freewheel. This makes me think the starter "clutch" is still working. I also thought maybe i could bump start the bike and maybe this would magically fix my problem however the clutch is slipping enough to where i cannot start the bike by rolling. This is puzzling me as well. Anyway the bike is still together and i just wanted to see if anybody could lead me in the right direction before i start ripping parts and throwing money at it. All help appreciated! Thanks, Paco
    Ken likes this.
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    Member wmgeorge's Avatar
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    But all was fine, before the repairs?
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  5. #4
    Junior Member Paco's Avatar
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    Yes! I rode this to school and all over god's creation. The only reason I tore it down was to replace the leaking base gasket.
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  6. #5
    Ken
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    Senior Member Ken's Avatar
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    As far as the slipping clutch goes, I have added a couple of ounces of Lucas heavy duty oil stabilizer. Since this seems to swell them a bit I would adjust it afterwards. I still have my original clutches. As far as the starter goes, you may just unseat it and remount and see if that helps.

  7. #6
    Senior Member TW-Brian's Avatar
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    Did you happen to change your oil during this process?
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  8. #7
    Junior Member Paco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken;527073,
    As far as the starter goes, you may just unseat it and remount and see if that helps.
    I did this after i realized there was a problem and it didnt seem to fix it. I thought maybe the splines werent reaching far enough but that doesnt seem possible if the starter tightens down it has to be touching that gear.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member joeband's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TW-Brian View Post
    Did you happen to change your oil during this process?
    thinking non-wet clutch type?
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    Super Moderator JerseyJeeper's Avatar
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    Did you have parts 1 and 2 out? 4,5,6?

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  11. #10
    Super Moderator JerseyJeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGman View Post
    I'm guessing that your timing chain has come off. You think the starter is freewheeling because you can't hear the normal sounds from the engine when it turns over because you are only spinning the crank. take the top timing gear cover off and see if the cam gear is spinning when you crank it.
    Very possible. Good idea! Hopefully a valve was not wide open when the piston came up.

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