Starting scare :0

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Starting scare :0

Postby boomtank » Thu May 04, 2017 9:43 am

Had a major scare yesterday. With a break in the ongoing rain, I decide to start the bike and check/charge the battery. As I hit the starter I get two cranks and then a loud POP!!! :o Let off the button and think what the heck? Hit the start button again and I get a whrrr. No cranking over, no clicking, nothing, but dash lights are bright. First thought was engine broke. :(
Hop on the bike and roll it back and forth in gear. It seems ok, so I open the right side casing and turn the motor by hand. The motor turns easily. :? Take the oil fill plug off and hit the starter to see if there is any movement there. The starter was moving very slowly. A couple of quick taps on the starter button and she turns over and starts. All sounds good and a healthy rev. :)
Not sure what it was, but a starter rebuild kit is on the need to get list now. I'm guessing with the age of the bike the starter brushes are about gone and just need replaced. I'll post an updated when I get them in.

Be safe out there.
Keep the rubber side down out there ;)
Speed never hurt anyone. It's the sudden stop at the end that does :o

1988 Honda VTR250 interceptor
(aka the bottle rocket)
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Re: Starting scare :0

Postby John Hilmer » Thu May 04, 2017 3:19 pm

Boom,

Be sure to use a bit of PB blaster on the screws that attach the starter to the engine and don't use a Phillips driver, only JIS is safe for this set of screws. A hand driven impact driver helps also.

The danger here is that those screws generally are corroded and the threads are locked. A Phillips driver will probably ruin the slots and then the real work begins. Yeah, I went through this once because I did it wrong and wound up drilling the head of the screws off. Since then I'm 100% on getting them out correctly.

The proper, #2 as I recall, JIS driver bit will significantly improve the chances of breaking them loose. I use the short bits that fit into a 1/4" hex socket and then step this up for the hammer actuated impact driver.

When I put this back together I replace those screws with new.

Good luck,

John
Lord help me to be the man my Labrador thought I was.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood ...
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Re: Starting scare :0

Postby squirrelman » Wed May 10, 2017 7:25 pm

Symptoms suggest a possible problem with A WEAK BATTERY OR the starter clutch. :( Don't ever run the bike to charge the battery !!!!! :o Use a proper 1 or 1 1/2 amp charger for 8 to 10 hours. Fully charge the battery b4 you remove starter or order brushes. :shock:
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Re: Starting scare :0

Postby boomtank » Thu May 11, 2017 1:25 am

Well folks, the starter rebuild kit arrived :) Happy and anxious to get it done, I head out and grab all the necessary tools.

Seems easy enough to get the starter out. Remove the plastics, disconnect the starter relay, remove the fuse (safety first), remove the power wire at the starter, and the two bolts holding the starter on. All goes smooth, and with a bit of a pry with a small flathead screwdriver it comes right out. 8-)

20170510_091235.jpg
Starter

20170510_092709.jpg
Starter out


I set up a make-shift table out of some wood on the ground to avoid damage to the armature spindle when I use the impact hammer to get the housing bolts off.

20170510_093845.jpg
Wood setup


Unfortunately this didn't work, so in the vice with some heavy cardboard it goes. Took a bit of persuasion, and a bit of PB blaster, but I was able to get the bolts out without too much damage to the heads. :|

20170510_101139.jpg
Starter model


Back to the table for disassembly. Carefully removing the top and bottom housing parts, and laying out each piece in order, thinking man this thing is very dirty inside. But, it was just the dust from the brushes. I take a look at the brushes, they aren't bad at all. Seem to be well within the service limits.

20170510_102604.jpg
Brushes look ok

20170510_102617.jpg
Dirty Armature


Then the bad news. The brush plate from the kit I ordered is not the same. :x

20170510_102448.jpg
Brush plates


Apparently the 88 model has a different starter that the 89-90 models. I should have known the from the history I have of getting parts...LOL All listings for the kit show it as a "universal fit" for our 88-90 vtr's. After a lot of searching I did find the correct part numbers and pieces. It seems the 88 model uses Mitsuba SM-8 4 brush and the 89-90 model uses Mitsuba SM-13 2 brush starters. UGH!!!! the aggravation. But who to blame, the sellers for the listings, or me for not fully researching. :roll:

But, no need to cry over spilled milk. A good deep clean of all the parts with a soft brush, an eraser on the brass parts, and grease what needs to be greased. It was a little tricky getting the brushes back in, but I got them in without too much effort. Line all the pieces up and put it back together. The starter mounted very easy back on the bike. Reconnected all the power, hit the start button, and she fires up right away. :mrgreen:

Not sure what went on, but I'll keep an eye/ear open. The next likely item would be the starter clutch going out, but I'm not sure as this is the only time this has happened. It could have gotten bound up or just glitched. Haven't had an issue all day today. The bike has been starting and running strong. 8-)
Keep the rubber side down out there ;)
Speed never hurt anyone. It's the sudden stop at the end that does :o

1988 Honda VTR250 interceptor
(aka the bottle rocket)
boomtank
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:08 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Starting scare :0

Postby ExTex77 » Thu May 11, 2017 7:50 am

Thanks for the detailed write-up & photos.
And glad you got the bike back into operation.

have a good weekend
ride safely
ExTex
1989 Honda VTR250 & 1988 Honda NT650
Wife rides a Burgman 200 scooter and I enjoy riding it also
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Re: Starting scare :0

Postby John Hilmer » Thu May 11, 2017 4:24 pm

Boom,

I'm pleased to hear that you won out on this!

My best guess is that the cleaning did most to solve the problem, or perhaps just getting a good connection between the cable and lug on the starter.

It might be wise to clean the connections at the battery negative terminal and where it attaches to the engine. This circuit is low voltage and high current, so even small resistances can hamper the ability of the starter to work efficiently.

For what it is worth I have never heard of a problem with the starter clutch on the VTR 250. I'll guess that the starter clutch is the same one that is on the VFR 500 because the VTR 250 is simply half of the 500, and so it is under less stress by half. For that matter I can't recall seeing a report of a starter clutch failure on the 500's either.

The typical starter clutch failure is most often described as "pushing the starter button and hearing a whir" without the engine turning. Then, several tries later the clutch does engage and the engine starts. This comes on gradually, so initially it is seldom, and as time goes on it happens more often.

This is due to how the devise functions. If you study the diagrams that Honda provides you can see how the spring loaded bearings will bind in one direction and free-wheel in the other. If the relationship of these parts are worn things fail to work as they should.

Going back to how this fails, those tiny bearings can no longer drive the engine because of wear to the internal and external engagement points, and the clutch can no longer drive the engine.

I don't think that the starter clutch is a problem here.

OK, I'm done and shot for today.

John
Lord help me to be the man my Labrador thought I was.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood ...
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Re: Starting scare :0

Postby squirrelman » Thu May 11, 2017 7:19 pm

Didn't someone tell ya u didn't need to remove starter or replace brushes ?? :o :o
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Re: Starting scare :0

Postby boomtank » Wed Aug 16, 2017 4:18 pm

Thanks ExTex77.
John, as I always do, anything that gets removed gets cleaned. All the connections were fairly clean but I gave them a wire brush treatment and contact grease anyway.
Squirrelman, in my years of "fixing things" one of the main issues with any motor is the brushes failing due to age and lubrication of the bearings. So thats where I started.

Now for the bad news. It has happened a few more times. The last couple of times I did not hear the loud pop. I can only guess the starter clutch has an issue. The up side is she still starts and runs strong and the "binding" does not last as long now.

Maybe Ill get to investigating into it further latter, but for now it is tolerable. I guess the next step is to jump wire the starter to bypass the switch and relays to see if it still "binds" when it happens again. Or, remove the starter first and use a jumper wire to see if its a weak starter.

Until next time.....
Keep the rubber side down out there ;)
Speed never hurt anyone. It's the sudden stop at the end that does :o

1988 Honda VTR250 interceptor
(aka the bottle rocket)
boomtank
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:08 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Starting scare :0

Postby boomtank » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:17 am

So I guess I'll do a small update. It's been a long while now, and only had one or two issues with a slow or lagging start. My guess is the starter clutch was gummed up from storage and causing issues. The bike has not has any problems with starting since. No banging, knocking, or sluggish starts for some time now. Never did get to open the side cover and look, but as for now, don't fix what ain't broke. :D
Keep the rubber side down out there ;)
Speed never hurt anyone. It's the sudden stop at the end that does :o

1988 Honda VTR250 interceptor
(aka the bottle rocket)
boomtank
 
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:08 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Starting scare :0

Postby squirrelman » Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:07 pm

something you can try to lube sticky starter clutch parts is to gently lay the bike on its right side and get engine oil to flood the area. a loud craCKING sound is one sign of a starter clutch going bad. i bought a '90 VTR that had 2of the 3 bolts holding the s.c. together beginning to back out, and the bolts are (partially) accessible just by removing the small inspection cover.

when removing starter lead, it's important to hold the lower nut with a wrench while loosening the top nut.
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