Sorry for probably a redundant post, but searching this section for a similar problem only yielded a constant on issue related to the handlebar switch. My problem (1971 CL450) is when starting with the electric starter, the starter stays engaged (running) for 3-5 seconds, even after the engine starts. I’ve checked the wire connection at the starter and wanted to pull the starter off to check out the internals, but looks to me I have to pull the left hand crankcase cover to realign the drive gear (sprocket) and I don’t currently have the necessary gaskets. Is this correct, does the LH cover need to come off for the reinstall?
Also, my experiences in working on SBC engines points to the problem as being a bad “Bendix spring “ but I don’t see anything like that on these starters. What should I be looking for and is continued use going to cause damage? Thanks,
The starter clutches on our 450s are a sprag-style anti-reverse clutch, they only engage when the engine is turning slower than the starter motor (or not turning at all, of course). they generally don't "hang" after starting, but can make squawking noises that can make it sound that way. You likely need to rebuild the starter clutch and yes, the large alternator housing has to come off to do it - which also requires the removal of the front sprocket cover to do it properly as well
The parts usually necessary to do a repair are #2, 3 and 12, but in extreme cases the outer housing (#1) can be cracked and if the 3 screws are loose for a while and the clutch has been loose on the back of the alternator rotor, it can cause damage to the screw holes in the rotor as well as potentially break off the outer aluminum edges of the rotor where the clutch mounts. You'll need a 16mm bolt to use as a puller to get the rotor off the crankshaft once the bolt is removed from the end of the crank
Thanks AD. So, I need a replacement sprocket, sprocket plate and O- ring at minimum. Seeing as I’ve spent about 85% of my time wrenching vs riding this bike since I got it, any harm in just not using the electric starter and just use the ol’ kick starter for awhile? Or is this a fix asap or I’ll be sorry scenario?
they are springs, caps and rollers... generally the sprocket doesn't need to be replaced but sometimes the gripping surface where the rollers ride can get wear spots too. As for leaving it alone for now - you can but again, but if the screws on the outer housing (#1 above) are loose in the back of the rotor and you continue to ride the bike - whether or not you use the starter - they can get looser and eventually cause more damage to be repaired later
Ah, thanks for the clarification and yes, 1st link didn’t work so I incorrectly went to the starter page. I have the needed M16 bolt that I recently acquired to pull up my stubborn fork tubes. Ok, you talked me into it, I’ll get the parts and gaskets, oil, etc ordered to prevent from hurting the innards anymore than is already done.
Yep, we do buy them to ride... but when you consider how old they are, you have to figure we'll be doing some catch-up maintenance at the very least, right? Realize that the outer housing of the starter clutch may not be loose - but the long-term damage could cost you even more if it is, not to mention more expensive and harder to find parts like the rotor itself... the used parts situation is deteriorating by the day with these engines. BTW, if something isn't clear for whatever reason, whether a bad link or mis-typed post, be sure to ask. We're all happy to make corrections so as not to mislead
Replaced Sprag springs, caps and rollers and although the existing parts looked good, replaced all due to having it opened up and low cost of the parts. Rotor and such all looked good, thankfully. Pulled the starter, cleaned it up, put a nice finish on the commutator and cleaned the grooves in between and put it back together, still hangs on start. Again cleaned and checked handlebar push button, all appeared to be good there. Called Steve for some troubleshooting over the phone, who was very helpful and patient, got it narrowed down to the starter solenoid. Ordered and installed new Starter Solenoid, all is good. Thanks to Steve and Tom for the support and getting the old girl back on the road.
glad you're back at it....I get what you mean riding vs. wrenching which is why I ended up selling my 450 and getting a W650(finally!).
Wrenching can be rewarding but I got burnt out and stood by my pact: "Anymore serious wrenching or costly parts and I'm done."
keep it up! enjoy. a well-running, and reliable (yup, I said that) 450 is fun