A common component to fail on a Harley-Davidson is the starter. Whether from age or lack of proper battery/motorcycle maintenance, it is almost inevitable that your starter will need to be pulled for rebuild or repair.
Harley’s starter design changed in 2007 and we found ourselves no longer having to get into the primary drive to repair or replace a starter! Prior to 2007, the starter clutch and the starter gear were two separate parts. Harley has since changed the design. Now the Harley starter clutch and gear are one component within the starter and swapping one out is easier than ever.
Changing the Harley starter clutch is actually very much the same process as earlier (5 speed style) starters, with the exception of not having to touch your primary. This saves, both time and money. Well, just a little less money as you do not need any primary oil or gaskets. This starter clutch, however, will cost us a little more than its predecessor.
How long it takes to replace your Harley starter clutch will simply depend on what model HD you own. Once the starter is on the bench, it is a quick, easy process to separate the gear housing section of the starter from the motor and solenoid sections. The clutch assembly is held in with only a light, press fit. An internal o- ring assists in keeping it aligned, properly orientated, and sealed within the housing.
We have had customers tell us “my starter is leaking”! Sounds absurd. Obviously there is no oil inside the starter. Well, there shouldn’t be, but if the starter’s internal o-ring fails it can allow primary oil to travel into the starter and then out through a small passage in the starter housing.
So yes; in a way- “The starter is leaking”! This is why it is important to change both o-rings when repairing your starter.
Watch Bob pop this starter apart – clean, and reassemble it. You will see; it’s easy to do it yourself.