The Bendix type drive shaft and gear assembly, located in starter housing between starting motor (Figure 4-5) and clutch ring gear, provides automatic means of engaging the starter shaft drive pinion with the ring gear on the clutch sprocket for cranking the engine and for disengaging the drive pinion from the ring gear after the engine starts.

When the starter motor is not operating, the drive shaft worm pinion is disengaged from the ring gear.

When the starter switch button closes starting circuit, the solenoid armature shaft (1) pulls shifter lever (2). Fingers on lever engage groove in shifting collar (3) which forces pinion gear (4) into engagement with clutch ring gear (5). At the same time, solenoid also closes starter motor circuit thus turning the ring gear and cranking the engine. After the engine starts and switch button is released spring return on solenoid shaft returns lever so that pinion gear disengages from ring gear and starter motor shuts off. There are matching spiral threads on starter shaft (6) and pinion gear (4) so pinion will shift if mating teeth do not line up for going into mesh. If starter button is not released after engine starts, pinion gear will turn freely by means of overrunning clutch (7) to prevent damage to starter.

1. Armature shaft 5. Clutch ring gear

2. Shifter lever 6. Starter shaft

3. Shifting collar 7 Clutch

4. Pinion gear

Figure 4-5. Starter Drive


Remove solenoid as follows:

Disconnect battery ground wire from battery terminal post. Remove cover (1) and disconnect wires from starter solenoid terminals held by nuts and lockwashers (2) and (3).

Remove chain housing cover.

WARNING — Whenever primary chain cover is removed, first disconnect battery cable to prevent accidental starter operation and possible injury.

Depress retainer cap (4), remove pin (5) from hole in plunger (11) shaft. Remove spring (6).

Remove solenoid attaching bolts and lockwasher (7) and spacer bar (8). Remove solenoid (13) with boot (9), gasket (10), plunger (11), and plunger spring (12).

Rotate starter shifter lever (25) end forward and disengage lever fingers from pinion gear shifting collar (20). Pull pinion gear and shaft assembly (14) from housing. Note drive gear (28) will remain in drive shaft housing (29).

To disassemble pinion gear and shaft assembly (14), remove thrust washer (15). Place nut (16) between copper jaws in a vise and unscrew from shaft which has a left hand thread. Remove pinion gear assembly (17). Remove lock ring (18) to separate gear (19), shifter collar (20), and spacer (21) from shaft (22).

To remove starter shifter lever (25), it is necessary to either remove inner chain housing (see "Stripping Motorcycle for Transmission Repair") or remove oil tank.

Remove screw (24) and lever (25) from chain housing.

Remove starter shaft housing from chain housing studs as follows:

Remove starter motor and housing as an assembly by removing nuts and lockwashers (23) from chain housing studs. See "Starter Motor," Section 5.

Remove oil deflector (26) and gear (28) from starter shaft housing (29). Needle bearings (30) and (31) are pressed into housings at shaft ends.

To service starter motor see Section 5.


Assembly is essentially the reverse of disassembly except as follows:

Clean needle bearings (30 and 311 and repack with grease. If replaced, needle bearing (31 j Should be pressed in flush with outside of housing. Pinion (f§), spacer (21) and shaft (22) should be assembled with no lubrication on worm threads.

Shaft nut (16) should be secured to shaft with Harley-Davidson "Stud and Bearing Mount," Pan No. 99626-77 after cleaning parts with "Safety Solvent."

Connect battery cable to longest solenoid terminal stud.

CAUTION — If cables are reversed, the solenoid will remain in battery circuit.

1. Cover

2. Terminal nut and lockwasher (2)

3. Terminal nut and lockwasher

4. Retainer cap

6. Spring

7. Bolt and lockwasher (2)

8. Spacer bar

9. Boot

10. Gasket

11. Plunger

12. Plunger spring

13. Solenoid

14. Pinion gear and shaft assembly

15. Thrust washer

16. Pinion shaft nut

17. Pinion and shifter collar assembly

18. Lock ring

19. Pinion gear

20. Shifter collar

21. Spacer

22. Shaft

23. Nut and lockwasher (2)

24. Shifter lever screw

25. Shifter lever

26. Oil deflector

27. Oil deflector O-ring

28. Drive gear

29. Starter shaft housing

30. Washer (1971 & earlier)

31. Needle bearing

32. Needle bearing 33 Starter motor

Figure 4-6. Starter Shaft, Housing and Solenoid - Exploded View

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