Starter Intermittent Grind

Question for Fix My Hog

2008 Fat Bob FXDF My starter is beginning to grind intermittently, only when hot. Could this be a starter clutch, a starter, a compensator? Is there a good way to tell which one (or more than one)? Thanks. Dave

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Fix My Hog Answers

A bad starter clutch doesn’t grind. It makes a wining sound.
Grinding is more indicative of the need for starter ring gear & starter bendix gear replacement.
Your starter clutch is also the starter Bendix.
The compensator assembly on your HD isn’t the greatest design. There is a spring assembly that begins to fail. It is part of the rotor of the charging system. An expensive part to replace. If interested, Baker has a replacement compensator assembly that is a one time fix.
Make sure you are using a quality, fully charged, known good battery.

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5 Responses to “Starter Intermittent Grind”
  1. Chris

    $10 says it’s the compensator. I had the same sounding problem with my ’07 96″. Dealer replaced the starter, twice, before deciding that wasn’t the problem. It was intermittent but when it finally made that terrible sound while being started in the dealer’s service check-in, it got everyone’s attention. Replaced with a Screaming Eagle compensator (upgraded model from stock?) and all was good thereafter.

  2. Dave Bolen
    Dave Bolen

    I have an 08 FLSTC, I replaced the stock slip on’s with Rush slip on’s. The Harley dealership told me I didn’t need to tune it, that my bike was designed for the Rush’s. Sometimes it over rev’s, and sometimes it will stall out. Can you tell me what’s going on? Thanx

    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Dear Dave,

      Thank you for your patience. In response to your question-

      The bikes are all very lean from the factory to meet EPA requirements. Any performance ugrades like exhaust or air cleaner make the mixture more lean. We suggest installing a Vance and Hines FP3 to adjust your fuel mixture.
      This, however, is not likely to be the reason that the bike is over-reving or stalling. Check for possible stored diagnostic trouble codes. Resolve the issue you are having before tuning the m/c.


      Fix My Hog

  3. David Shreve
    David Shreve

    I’ve been having starter problems should I go with a bigger starter or use the same

    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hello David!

      We’d love to help with getting your starter straightened out!

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