1. Dismiss Notice
  2. Dismiss Notice
  3. Hey Facebook people... We've created a group for XS650.com members to connect. Check it out!
    Dismiss Notice

Electric starter engages sporadically & kick start not rotating engine *help*

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by jjrock5, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. jjrock5

    jjrock5 XS650 Member

    Hi guys I have two problems with my starting system.

    1. The electric starter is not engaging properly to allow the engine to continue rotating as it tries to start. The times that the starter engages, the engine rotates but then gets disengaged quickly after and you can hear the starter gear just spinning freely in the engine case.
    This has a new MikesXS starter gear and clip. I compressed the spring “tang” in a vice to try to get as much rotational force/drag as I could but I could only achieve 5-6 lbs on it. Maybe the aftermarket spring is to blame but previous OEM spring had the same symptoms and the OEM gear teeth were very worn. Bike has 21,000 miles. Video below:



    2. The kick starter moves freely but it is not rotating the engine. I am almost positive I installed the mechanism back correctly. In the past I’ve installed it incorrectly with the metal tab in the lever assembly clocked wrong and I know the lever would not rotate at all since it was jammed. This time the lever seemed to engage the gear inside the engine case properly. I put it all together, I pushed down on the lever and it moves freely (slight drag) but it’s not rotating the engine. I can even rotate the arm with my hands. I pulled the spark plugs out and when I rotate the kick start lever, I do not see the pistons move up and down. The clutch is adjusted properly. Video below:



    The photos below show how much the lever is sticking out past the engine cover. Could it be it’s sticking out too much therefore not installed correctly?
    Thanks for any help!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    17,316
    6,696
    688
    Your kick shaft looks correct, it's not sticking out too much. I don't think your clutch is engaging. That's why the kicker just pushes through without turning the motor. I assume you had the clutch off to get at the starter gears. Maybe you assembled it wrong or maybe it just needs the adjustment reset. Many times when you remove the clutch, it's adjustment has to be re-done, don't know why.

    The starter grinding and kicking out indicates you didn't tighten the new drag clip enough. Try your old clip on the new gear (if it'll fit). The MikesXS clip is ground flat on the sides so it's not as thick and not as strong.
     
    MaxPete, Gator xs2 and jjrock5 like this.
  3. Superjet

    Superjet XS650 Junkie Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Have you checked your battery? At first the gear engages and almost starts it. A poor or incorrect battery size will do that exact sound of the gear grinding.
     
    MaxPete and jjrock5 like this.
  4. jjrock5

    jjrock5 XS650 Member

    Thanks 5Twins, I figured it could be a clutch pack problem. I will check.
    I've also read the MikesXS clips are "inferior" to OEM. I should've swapped them when it was all apart....

    Superjet, good point. The bike has a brand new battery (days old) but I didn't charge it when it arrived. I did notice the cranking was slowing down soon after trying to start it since the bike hasn't run in about 5 years so there was a lot of cranking yesterday. This is the battery I bought. I do have it on the charger now so I can have a full charge next time.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008BTMJ4M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    [​IMG]
     
    MaxPete likes this.
  5. Superjet

    Superjet XS650 Junkie Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    First thing is first with new batteries. Always fully charge them up before you use them. Give it a go afterwards, sounds like your bike wants to start.
     
    MaxPete and jjrock5 like this.
  6. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    If you pull the right side cover to check to see if things are right or replace the clip, you can check for operation before you put the cover back on.
    You can just push the button to test the starter. With the cover off it's easy to watch and see how it works.
    On the kicker, slip the pedal on the shaft, try kicking by hand, It will slip on/off if you drive a flat screwdriver into the gap where the lock bolt is. Watch to see if it engages. If it does and the clutch is slipping you will see the pressure plate turn and not the basket.
    Once everything checks out, put the cover on.
    Leo
     
    jjrock5 likes this.
  7. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    17,316
    6,696
    688
    The battery may be fine. These batteries aren't real big so they don't have a lot of reserve power. Constant cranking will run one down fast.
     
    MaxPete and jjrock5 like this.
  8. jjrock5

    jjrock5 XS650 Member

    Do you guys recommend putting the starter gear clip tab in the oem slot in the engine case or below it like MikesXS recommends in the link below? Is there a difference? It’s currently in the slot.

    https://www.mikesxs.net/pdf/manuals/24-6522.pdf
     
  9. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    The stock clip on the early models used a clip made from thinner wire. This proved too weak.
    For the C models they used a clip made out of heavier wire, thus stronger. This new clip would not fit in the notch like earlier clips. You had to move the clip over to beside the notch.
    These new clips were retrofitted as a kit to the earlier bikes as needed. The kit had a new gear, clip and return spring.
    If your clip fits in the notch then you can put it in there. I hope it doesn't fit. This means you have a stronger clip.
    Leo
     
    MaxPete and jjrock5 like this.
  10. jjrock5

    jjrock5 XS650 Member

    Finally got around to draining the oil and taking the side cover off to inspect. Please check out my video to see if you see anything odd that would cause the kick start to not rotate the engine. I will diagnose the starter gear issue later. Thanks!

     
    MaxPete likes this.
  11. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    um the clutch is turning completely free, LOL
    Is the mark visible in the hole on the face of the inner clutch?
     
  12. Gator xs2

    Gator xs2 XS650 Addict

    152
    201
    43
    FL
    Damn. I constantly in awe of how good you guys are. Please keep it coming.
     
    MaxPete, gggGary and Moabite like this.
  13. jjrock5

    jjrock5 XS650 Member

    After I posted the video and actually analyzing the assembly like an intelligent person would I realized the pressure plate wasn’t touching the clutch plates at all. Lol
    Bottom line, I PROPERLY adjusted the clutch via the screw/jam nut and now the kick start works properly. Easy fix.
    Now on to the electric starter gear problem. lol Thanks for all the input thus far.
     
  14. jjrock5

    jjrock5 XS650 Member

    Ok electric starter issue....
    I now have installed the new MikesXS starter gear with the old OEM (“stronger”) clip, and the old OEM spring. I compressed the tang on the vice to get close to 10 lbs of rotational drag on the clip. I’m getting about 6.5 lbs during most of the rotation around the gear and about 10 lbs on about 1/4 of the rotation.
    I installed everything and it seems that the starter gear engages much more often than previously when I go to crank the engine. But there are still times that the gear misses engaging and simply rotates without cranking the engine over.
    Is this typical with these bikes? Is this something I’ll just have to live with? Not sure if I have to do anything else.
     
    MaxPete likes this.
  15. Gator xs2

    Gator xs2 XS650 Addict

    152
    201
    43
    FL
    Is there a little in out play on your stater shaft? Roland Stuart brought it to my attention on my motor build. He shimmed it.
     
    MaxPete likes this.
  16. Gator xs2

    Gator xs2 XS650 Addict

    152
    201
    43
    FL
    Whatever it is...you get one you got em both.
     
  17. jjrock5

    jjrock5 XS650 Member

    Do you know how the shimming gets done?

    Sorry not sure I understand what you mean by this. Can you explain?
     
  18. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    In short - yes.

    While the rest of the bike is very well designed, and built from top-notch materials and the XS650 certainly was state of the art in the 1970s when they were new, the fact is that Yamaha engineering did not exactly "cover themselves with glory" when they designed the XS650 starter system. The system is complex, heavy and (in my view) poorly designed. The one key part which causes nearly all of the problems is that hairclip on the #4 starter gear and many of the aftermarket parts do not provide that magical level of friction (around 6-7 lb) required to make the gear kick into place to crank the engine properly.

    Yamaha failed to observe a rule that is widely accepted principle in mechanical engineering: friction is NOT your friend and they designed an electric starter system which depends on a certain level of friction in that hairclip to function properly.

    Basically, when you need there to be no friction, there WILL be friction and when you need the friction to be at a certain specific level - it will NOT be at that level. So, while the XS650 electric starter system does work - it can be a bit cranky (get it? ;)) from time to time and so poor or erratic starter engagement is pretty common. By squeezing the hairclip on the #4 starter gear (the one behind the clutch assembly) to achieve that magical 6-7 lb of friction and getting a new battery in there, you have done what you can to make it work as well as possible.

    The key point is that if the engine timing is correct, the spark plugs are in good shape and the carburettors are tuned properly and you use the "choke" lever, the XS650 engine will start nearly instantaneously. If something isn't quite right and it has to crank for any extended period, then starter disengagement is pretty common - but not fatal.

    Soooo....get the engine and carbs really dialed-in - and the starter issue largely goes away.

    Pete
     
    jjrock5 likes this.
  19. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    17,316
    6,696
    688
    Yes, keep the bike in a good state of tune so it starts quickly and easily, and doesn't put much strain on the starter. The starter system on these was sort of an after thought, added several years after the bikes started production.
     
    jjrock5 and MaxPete like this.
  20. jjrock5

    jjrock5 XS650 Member

    Pete/5twins, thanks for the detailed replies. It helped a lot.
    I’ll move forward with the build then.
     
    MaxPete likes this.

Share This Page