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I just spent some time with a starter guru.  He builds starters and alternators for race cars.  That's ALL he does.  My starter began spinning the other day without turning over the motor.  From all indications I needed a new one.  I took my starter (stock '02 chief) to this guy and watched while he took it apart.  He showed me the clutch which is the piece splined to the jackshaft and said that it was my problem.  It needs to be rebuilt which he is doing for 120-125 bucks.

 

I told him about the problems we all have with starters and how some are going to the 2.2 kW (hope that's right) starter and he informed me that he builds race starters for 500 hp motors with 12:1 compression and uses 1.4 kW starters and has no problem what so ever.  He said that the starters themselves were fine, but if you don't have a strong battery, you can't spin it.  

 

He also warned me that the clutches in these starters are destroyed by leaving the starter engaged after the motor starts and that it only takes a second to blow the clutch.  He warned me to release the starter button as soon as I heard it fire.  I know we all knew that, but at least now we know what specific part gets destroyed.  Not releasing the button at any compression stall is also bad for the clutch.  He said that if a lot of amps are running through the starter and that happened then the windings are an issue, but more than likely it's the clutch that's getting all the damage in our bikes.

 

The remedy?  Get a good strong battery like an Odyssey and repair the starter clutch.  He said that it doesn't matter what kind of starter you have.  They all have clutches and they will all fail without a good battery and not laying off the button.

 

Hope you all can find an alternator shop in your area to fix yours.  It's a LOT cheaper than a new one. :nod:  :nod:

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I went through this in January with my 03 Chief. I had the starter re-built twice and it broke twice and left me stranded. I replaced it with a heavy duty chrome Tech starter. It fires like it never has before. The only problem was that I had to purchase a new jack shaft only for an adapter piece for the new starter to fit. So for $500.00 for the starter and $ 189.00 for the jack shaft I am riding again. I was informed that the factory starter was a Hitachi starter (basically junk). Even though I had it beefed up and rebuilt it kept breaking.  I think it is smarter to buy a new heavy duty starter.
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what's this guy's name and address? Would he rebuild ours, if we were to ship to him? I'm on starter #3 myself, and hope it survives the year.....
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That's the first I've heard about Hitachi starters but I'll ask John.  I don't know his last name but here's the address.

 

Bridgeport Starter and Alternator

3411 W. Washington St.

Indianapolis, IN 46222

(317) 244-3130

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Not sure about Hitachi but a friend of mine who is a former Indian dealer mechanic (and worked for GM/Toyota's Nummi factory) told me that some of the starters were based on Nippondenso car staters.....Toyota owns ND. He having worked for Toy should be able to identify a ND starter!

 

He concurs that the clutches are the main problem. Don't forget to take a look at the primary cover jackshaft bushings. If tight or loose (missing?) then you're in for a world of hurt.

-ANT

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Wow nice to know im not the only guy with starter problems  lol  had to replace mine 2 months after i bought it and after indian went out so my dealer was like ill fix it if you pay.  So i had a local V-Twin shop do the repair  Used a Terry components 2.0 kw starter and Heavier cables. Found the bushing for the jackshaft in the outer  and inner primary cover had lots of sloop so hade a machine shop make me new ones out of some oil impregnated material???  Cranks like a champ just hope it stays that way.  

                                       Big Chief  duppun

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The oil impregnated bushing you're talking about is called a Bronze Oilite bushing. This was developed by Studebaker way back in the 20's or 30's.

 

It's a porous material that is soaked in oil and heat treated so that it literally will absorb the oil. When in use and under pressure some of that oil oozes out. Pretty slick eh?

 

Some words of caution though, don't grind on the running surface to make it fit as you'll end up wrecking everything. See here:

 

http://yarchive.net/metal/oilite.html

-ANT

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Made my bushings from solid bar stock and cut on a lathe and drill press, friend a cerified machinest did it for me so i hope he knew what he was doing looked good to me before reasembly, thanks tons for the information though new to this board and it easies my mind to have somewhere to go to and discuss this stuff with other Chief owners since theres not another chief  within 100 miles.    

                                   Big Chief duppun

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  • 5 weeks later...

The early starters were made by Compufire....  when someone says it is a Hitachi starter, I believe they are talking about the style of starter.  Hitachi made a certain style of starter that is used by many others...with the converter and all.

 

I am sure some other much smarter people can give specifics...but this is how I understand it from the little I have read.

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:lookaround2: sorry it took so long to get back. swipter yes it works with stock starter you just have to change trans cover. aaron is right it will not work with stock exhaust thats why i have the upsweep pipes to clear kicker :idea31: i got it from sharp eye enterprises in ca. ph 562-250-0333

hope this helps

bob

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