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Thread: Buell XB starter problems

  1. #11
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Great to know, Thanks for posting the results!



  2. #12
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    After 2000 miles the starter has started leaking Oil drips from the back cover of the starter solenoid housing. This is Rare Electrical starter, I bought it trough Amazon here https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    It looks like this is very common issue with Rare Electrical starters, the starter clutch has sealed bearing, oil from primary case goes in the clutch housing trough the bearing seal and then leaks out the starter.

    The starter works fine except this leak. Should I worry about it? Can it cause any issues except the oily mess under the starter? Can it cause electrical issues? Motor oil is dielectric so I believe it should not shorten the starter circuit?
    Last edited by TPEHAK; 07-02-2016 at 07:10 AM.

  3. #13
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    Didn't you just buy that 2 months ago? Listing on Amazon says 1 yr warranty, maybe you can exchange it...Oil leaks usually just get worse. Just my 2 cents.

  4. #14
    Senior Member nicholas900's Avatar
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    New oil is dielectric. Once it mixes with carbon from the combustion burn, and particles from the clutch discs, it becomes conductive. I agree with above return it under warranty. Otherwise I'd just rebuild the factory starter. The parts are cheap and other than an occasional over run clutch failure they are solid units.

  5. #15
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    OK, today I've disassembled the original broken starter and extracted the drive clutch



    Here is the list of parts I've ordered to fix the original starter

    Starter clutch H-D#31663-90 to replace the original broken clutch https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Aircraft remover to remove the original paint from the starter covers because the paint has been damaged while disassembling and cleaning https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Wrinkle black spray paint to restore the starter paint https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    High temperature grease to lube the starter clutch gears https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Oil resistant Buna-N O-ring 2.5 mm Wide, 42 mm inside diameter, durometer A70 to replace the starter clutch o-ring http://www.mcmaster.com/#9262K735

    I also spent a bunch of shop towels, gloves, brake cleaner and time, so it looks like is is easier and cheaper just buy a new starter than fix it.
    Last edited by TPEHAK; 07-04-2016 at 06:49 AM.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Chicknstripn's Avatar
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    IDK if it would be cheaper... ...I've seen starter prices ranging from $60 to $125 on the fleabay.
    I think most us DIY guys could get away with just buying that starter clutch assembly and save quite a bit of money. I already have black paint, high temp grease, brake cleaner and an abundance of rags in my garage. For me replacing the clutch would probably be faster, definitely not easier, then ordering a new starter. Definitely more gestifying and therapeutic.
    Especially considering this thread helps diagnose IF the starter issue is the clutch.
    Thanks for posting all the info.

    One thing is for certain.
    You can recoup a lot of the money you've spent by selling your rebuilt starter.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Holy crap. I'm dealing with this exact issue with a OEM starter. Leaks oil when ridden hard.
    I didn't know you could get internal starter parts separately.

    THANKS TP! Wish me luck, I have 3 days to be finished...

  8. #18
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    I wish you luck! I have two starters and each one has different issue. The original Buell starter which I currently do not use has malfunctioning clutch, so I'm replacing the starter clutch on it to have a good starter on hands just in case if the starter which is currently installed on the motorcycle will leak very bad. The new 1.4 kW starter is currently installed on the motorcycle and this starter has oil leak. I'm not sure how to fix the oil leak. There are few major barriers between the primary cavity and the starter, the o-ring around the front 42 mm clutch bearing, the starter clutch front bearing seal and the starter clutch axle internal seal. The o-ring can leak if it had not been properly installed, or if it has wrong size, or if there is no o-ring. The bearing plastic seal can leak too and I'm not sure if it is possible to fix it without replacing the bearing or the bearing plastic seal. Also the starter clutch axle is a tube and this tube has an internal seal, maybe this seal is leaking. Actually are two more possible spots can leak, the starter drive housing mounting screws and the gasket between the starter and the primary case. I use these cheap gaskets for the starter I bought on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and I'm not sure if they are better then the original Buell gasket.
    Last edited by TPEHAK; 07-05-2016 at 05:51 AM.

  9. #19
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    OK, I've got the All Balls Starter clutch H-D#31663-90.



    The good news it looks like it should fit even it has wider gear. The bad news the All Balls starter clutch does not have seal for the output gear axle, so the oil can go trough the gap between the output axle and the starter clutch and the starter will leak. Maybe the Rare Electrical starter has similar starter clutch with no seal and this is the reason of the oil leak.

    Last edited by TPEHAK; 07-10-2016 at 07:45 AM.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    I had a BAD primary oil leak on the motor around the breather area. I replaced the starter gasket and still had the leak. I did an easy test on the starter o-ring/sealed bearing by removing the front of the starter housing and leaving the clutch assembly installed in it.
    I held it vertically and poured a 1/2 ounce of oil right on top of the gear. When it leaked right through I knew I had a problem. The starter clutch from Harley has had numerous updates so I bought one, snapped it in place with the new oring and tested it again. No leak.
    I put about 1000 miles on it in the last few days and the motor is dry.



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