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Starter Motor Removal Help

28475 Views 77 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Blaine
Hey guys! I have a 1995 Vulcan EN500 and I need some help removing the starter motor. I fully charged the battery and tried to start the bike, after sitting in storage for the winter, a few days ago. When I tried to start it the relay would click rapidly but engine would not crank. So, I started trouble shooting. I first took the battery to an auto repair shop and it tested healthy. I then thought that it might be the relay, so I bought a new one on eBay. Now when I hit the start button there is a single click from the relay, but still the engine won’t crank. I started checking the battery cables and notices that there is rust on the starter motor where one of the ground cables is connected. So now I am trying to remove the starter motor to clean the rust off and to test to see if it is functional. However, now I have run into a problem with removing the left engine cover. I have removed all the 8mm bolts, but it will not budge when I pull or twist on it. It there something on the inside that I am missing? I looked at a free service manual for a 1996 Vulcan, but couldn’t find anything different for what I am already doing. I started doing my own repairs about a year ago to help save money and due to the fact that the nearest motorcycle repair shop is 20miles away. Any help would be appreciated.
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You should troubleshoot this rather than just replacing and tearing apart looking.
Eyeballs are not very reliable with this sort of problem.

Post back if you want some help.
Some help would be great. What should I be doing?
Some help would be great. What should I be doing?
You first need to get the left side cover off.This takes some pulling & prying as the Flywheel has a very strong magnet in it & wants to keep the cover from coming off.Patience & be careful not to gouge the mating surfaces. :)
You first need to get the left side cover off.This takes some pulling & prying as the Flywheel has a very strong magnet in it & wants to keep the cover from coming off.Patience & be careful not to gouge the mating surfaces. :)
This is not what I mean.

Do you have a meter and know how to use it?

No meter, we can help there too.

Leave the cover in place for now.

Post back.
I bought a very basic multimeter from advance auto parts when this first started to check the battery. I not completely familiar with all the settings, but I have a decent grasp on the concept and I am a fast learner.
Post back with make and model number of your meter for my reference, and then we dive into the deep end.
Alright, lets do it. It's a All-Sun EM830

1. Plug black meter lead into bottom plug.
2. Plug red meter lead into plug above bottom.
3. Turn switch to the left in the V range and set to 20.
4. Black meter lead to battery negative.
5. Red meter lead to battery positive.
6. Take voltage reading.

Post back with reading.
I charged the battery overnight and let it sit unconnected for an hour before I took the reading. I tested it three times and each time I got a reading of 12.87.

1. Take voltage reading across battery.
2. Turn on key and take another reading.
3. Leave key on for a full 5 minutes and then take another reading.
4. Turn key off, leave for another 5 minutes and then take another reading.

Post back with 4 readings.

Battery must be connected to bike.
When you say take the reading across the battery do you mean just to test it like I did the first time?
Yes, all readings taken across battery posts.

Be sure and ask any questions, like you did, if anything is not clear.

I do not mind at all. Better than sending smoke signals to all of the neighbors!
Thank you. I really do appreciate that. Like I mentioned before, this is a whole new realm for me.

It might be a few days before I'm able to post the reading. I have to put everything back together from where I was trying to get to the starter. I live in Omaha, NE and we're looking at some more cold weather in a couple of days.
No problem. If nothing else, I hope you learn something new along the way. That is never a waste!
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SFair, it is good to see patience and knowledge like you have. I appreciate what you do to help others. Sharing knowledge is important at least to me!
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Sfair is also great at being sure to start at the beginning.

I have made the error, in the past, of assuming some early part of the troubleshooting process was done properly, only to find out much later that it was not.

If you personally do not perform all of the steps, just begin again. Never trust that the person before you did it right.
Ok, so today was they last nice day that we are having for the next week. I got home 30mins before my girlfriend brought dinner home so I quickly, and not very neatly, reattached all the cables so I could do the readings. I think I can rule out the starter motor because I hooked the relay up wrong twice, which resulted in it sparking and the starter motor turning briefly. Starting to think that it is just the battery. The battery has been off the tender for 24hrs before I took these readings:

Battery unconnected: 12.47
Connected and the key turned on: 11.95
Battery sitting turned on for 5mins : 11.83
Battery sitting connected but turned off for 5mins: 12.31
Your battery is marginal, at best. Should never drop below 12v with initial key on.
Ok. This was battery that I bought cheap at Walmart about one and a half years ago,so I should have excepted as much. So just for my reference, when looking for a new battery what should I look for and where would be the best place to buy from?
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