Author Topic: Starter seems to skip  (Read 1258 times)

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Offline 1965soda

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Starter seems to skip
« on: October 26, 2015, 11:26:00 am »
Good morning.  After doing some searching on the forum and not finding anything definitive, I am starting a post in the hopes of taping into the collective C10 wisdom before I tear into the bike (my 900 Ninja).

I have noticed the last few weeks with the colder temps and when doing a cold start, the starter turns the bike over but seems to be skipping and makes a less than pleasant noise.  It is almost like there are teeth missing on the starter drive.  Based on some of the posts I read regarding the alternator chain and tensioner and after looking through the service manual, I am suspecting the alternator chain tensioner may be the problem. 

Before I pull the cover off....does it sound like I am on the right track?

Thanks in advance for any advice/input! 
Currently in garage: 2011 C14, 2007 FZ1, 2001 M900 S4, 1983 900 Seca, 2003 ZRX1200, 1982 650 Seca, 8? Husq 430
Rides of the past: 2002 ZRX1200, 1986 900 Ninja, 1999 Ducati 900ss, 2002 R6, 2005 FJR, 1998 C10, 1998 VTR1000, 1989 1100 Katana, 1983 CB1100F, 1985 900 Ninja, 1983 900 Seca, 1982 Seca turbo, 1982 CX500 turbo, 1982 750 Seca, 1983 550 Vision, 1974 CB400F, mid 70's Rupp :-)

Offline SteveJ.

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Re: Starter seems to skip
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2015, 12:36:01 pm »
If the chain were loose enough to skip teeth, you would here a death rattle all of the time the engine was running. More likely an issue of thick oil aggravating a worn starter engagement assembly. Change to a synthetic oil, I use 5w40 Rotella in the winter, it does occasionally get down into the 30's here. Also quite helpful is to park a heat source such as an old fashion or halogen 100w light bulb in a reflector housing aimed at the bottom of the engine.
Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SiSF)
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Steve J  Tavares, FL, one of the Floriduh Steves
'15 Versys650LT, '98 KLR650, (back home), '99 C-10, 234k miles sold

Offline 1965soda

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Re: Starter seems to skip
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2015, 02:58:56 pm »
Thanks Steve. 

Very helpful and that would explain why the issue does not happen when the bike is warm.  I have a 10w40 Mobile 1 synthetic in it now. 

If the starter engagement assembly is worn, is the only solution to replace the starter or are there rebuild kits available?  Outside of the engagement issue....the starter seems strong and has been reliable.

Thanks!
Currently in garage: 2011 C14, 2007 FZ1, 2001 M900 S4, 1983 900 Seca, 2003 ZRX1200, 1982 650 Seca, 8? Husq 430
Rides of the past: 2002 ZRX1200, 1986 900 Ninja, 1999 Ducati 900ss, 2002 R6, 2005 FJR, 1998 C10, 1998 VTR1000, 1989 1100 Katana, 1983 CB1100F, 1985 900 Ninja, 1983 900 Seca, 1982 Seca turbo, 1982 CX500 turbo, 1982 750 Seca, 1983 550 Vision, 1974 CB400F, mid 70's Rupp :-)

Offline SteveJ.

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Re: Starter seems to skip
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2015, 04:12:07 pm »
Go to a 5 weight on the bottom of your oil. The engine must come completely apart, as in split the cases, to replace the clutch for it.  :'( >:(

I would change to the lighter oil, Rotella is still 40 on the top number for 5W40, or pick your favorite. The Rotella does meet JASO spec, says so on the bottle.

And use a heat lamp. What temps is this happening at?
Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SiSF)
Tick Tock, baby (Ironbuttal)
Steve J  Tavares, FL, one of the Floriduh Steves
'15 Versys650LT, '98 KLR650, (back home), '99 C-10, 234k miles sold

Offline 1965soda

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Re: Starter seems to skip
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 11:22:23 am »
Thanks Steve.  Appreciate the additional information. 

Bummer about the work involved in replacing the starter clutch.  I guess I cannot say for certain about the temp other than it was likely under 45 or 50 degrees at the times I have noticed it.  The bike does not get ridden much so I will probably wait to try the lighter oil until spring.  I was hoping to ride it a little more yet this fall but I have to believe what is happening could cause further damage to the gears if I continued to start it like that.

I have not looked in the service manual yet, but is there a chance this is caused by a lack of lube on the shaft of the starter clutch (assuming the clutch has one) and that could be lubed once the starter is removed?

Thanks again for the advice and any additional recommendations.
Currently in garage: 2011 C14, 2007 FZ1, 2001 M900 S4, 1983 900 Seca, 2003 ZRX1200, 1982 650 Seca, 8? Husq 430
Rides of the past: 2002 ZRX1200, 1986 900 Ninja, 1999 Ducati 900ss, 2002 R6, 2005 FJR, 1998 C10, 1998 VTR1000, 1989 1100 Katana, 1983 CB1100F, 1985 900 Ninja, 1983 900 Seca, 1982 Seca turbo, 1982 CX500 turbo, 1982 750 Seca, 1983 550 Vision, 1974 CB400F, mid 70's Rupp :-)

Offline SteveJ.

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Re: Starter seems to skip
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2015, 07:32:07 pm »
Thanks Steve.  Appreciate the additional information. 

Bummer about the work involved in replacing the starter clutch.  I guess I cannot say for certain about the temp other than it was likely under 45 or 50 degrees at the times I have noticed it.  The bike does not get ridden much so I will probably wait to try the lighter oil until spring.  I was hoping to ride it a little more yet this fall but I have to believe what is happening could cause further damage to the gears if I continued to start it like that.

I have not looked in the service manual yet, but is there a chance this is caused by a lack of lube on the shaft of the starter clutch (assuming the clutch has one) and that could be lubed once the starter is removed?

Thanks again for the advice and any additional recommendations.
Now we're getting in over my head.
Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SiSF)
Tick Tock, baby (Ironbuttal)
Steve J  Tavares, FL, one of the Floriduh Steves
'15 Versys650LT, '98 KLR650, (back home), '99 C-10, 234k miles sold

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: Starter seems to skip
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2015, 02:12:14 am »
I've seen this several times, it's the starter / alternator chain all worn out, and the tensioner is kicking back against the clutch. When it happens it unloads the starter clutch and it slips. Replace the chain and the tensioner, they'll both be wasted. HTH, Steve
C-14 ECU flashing for performance and rideability enhancement
C-10 Carb work , cams, & performance enhancements
 " Modifications for sport-tourers, BY a sport-tourer"
https://sites.google.com/site/shoodabenengineering/home

Offline 1965soda

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Re: Starter seems to skip
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2015, 11:25:45 am »
Thanks other FL Steve!

I will pull the cover to confirm and report back.

Appreciate the guidance!
Currently in garage: 2011 C14, 2007 FZ1, 2001 M900 S4, 1983 900 Seca, 2003 ZRX1200, 1982 650 Seca, 8? Husq 430
Rides of the past: 2002 ZRX1200, 1986 900 Ninja, 1999 Ducati 900ss, 2002 R6, 2005 FJR, 1998 C10, 1998 VTR1000, 1989 1100 Katana, 1983 CB1100F, 1985 900 Ninja, 1983 900 Seca, 1982 Seca turbo, 1982 CX500 turbo, 1982 750 Seca, 1983 550 Vision, 1974 CB400F, mid 70's Rupp :-)

Offline Steve in Sunny Fla

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Re: Starter seems to skip
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2015, 02:18:25 pm »
Oh, i see this s the 900 engine... to my knowledge, there was an upgrade to the starter clutch because of this issue. It's what the c-10's have. My other comments still stand, and the idea of using a lighter weight oil won't hurt either. Steve
C-14 ECU flashing for performance and rideability enhancement
C-10 Carb work , cams, & performance enhancements
 " Modifications for sport-tourers, BY a sport-tourer"
https://sites.google.com/site/shoodabenengineering/home

Offline 1965soda

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Re: Starter seems to skip
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2015, 04:42:15 pm »
Ding-dang it.  I was much more excited about your previous post.  Not your fault but I have to admit....I would prefer to not need to pull the engine and split the cases. 

As terrible as it may sound....I am hoping to find clear indication of chain and/or tensioner problems when I pull the cover off. 

I saw a post (when doing my initial topic search) about a manual chain tensioner.  Save to assume that would not help unless there is an indication of low tension in the chain, correct?

Thanks and I will report back when I get a chance to pull the cover and assess the situation.
Currently in garage: 2011 C14, 2007 FZ1, 2001 M900 S4, 1983 900 Seca, 2003 ZRX1200, 1982 650 Seca, 8? Husq 430
Rides of the past: 2002 ZRX1200, 1986 900 Ninja, 1999 Ducati 900ss, 2002 R6, 2005 FJR, 1998 C10, 1998 VTR1000, 1989 1100 Katana, 1983 CB1100F, 1985 900 Ninja, 1983 900 Seca, 1982 Seca turbo, 1982 CX500 turbo, 1982 750 Seca, 1983 550 Vision, 1974 CB400F, mid 70's Rupp :-)

Offline Greenie

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Re: Starter seems to skip
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2015, 02:20:50 pm »
I've got the same issue. Last winter I replaced the chain & tensioner. There was evidence of slop in the original chain. After that repair the starter would freewheel (not engage or become disengaged before the engine started) in 45 degree or colder weather. I did change to a lighter synthetic Rotella and the problem went away but now the starter is doing the same thing except in colder conditions.... like 40 degrees.
The bike has 80K miles and is otherwise pristine.