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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was reading Broggy's Winter Work 2016-2017 thread where he was working at getting the starter brushes back in and remembered that I had taken some pictures to show how to get the brush holder and brushes assembled to the armature. The opportunity to get the pictures came about when the wife's bike stranded her at a gas station. The brushes in the starter were completely frozen in their holders and unable to move out and make contact with the armature. Click click, no go. Normally I forget to take pictures but this time I made sure I took a couple. Here is how I brought her dead starter back to life. This is what it looked like when I opened it up. 2014 XR 10 k miles.



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After disassembling it I gently removed all the rust off the armature iron with emery cloth, very lightly sanded the commutator, then cleaned the grooves out on the commutator with a hacksaw blade that has been ground on the sides to reduce it's width to that of the grooves and also removing the set from the teeth of the blade so that it no longer cut on the sides. I didn't want to widen the grooves while cleaning them. This starter is almost new so there was no need to undercut the insulator between the segments, just get the crud out and remove any conductive residue from between the segments.

When it was clean I ever so gently deburred the edges of the commutator segments so that the brushes wouldn't lift on any burrs that I created while cleaning between the segments and cause arcing.


These next pictures show how to get the brushes to stay in place while you assemble it and the clips I make from baling wire to hold the brushes in place.




Also this starter had one brush that had experienced a lot of arcing. Looking at it's contact face it looked sponge like instead of smooth. It needed to be ground down till good brush material was present. This picture is of the simple tool made from a socket slightly smaller than the commutator that was used to do this. Once made you place it in the brush holder, release the brushes and let them center the tool. Then rotate it by hand in the direction that tightens the sandpaper on the socket checking occasionally to see if the offending brushes have cleaned up yet or not. It doesn't take long to remove the burnt and of a brush as it has no real strength. You need about 85-95% good contact surface.



Doesn't look like much of a tool but it works.
When making the tool you measure the commutator diameter with calipers then wrap the socket with wet and dry sand paper till you match that diameter. You should try very hard to end up at the same size as the commutator because the radius of the contact surface of the brush must closely match the radius of the commutator as close as possible. Four of those little segments must transfer almost 300 amps without arcing excessively when you push the start button and they aren't any larger than they absolutely have to be to get the job done. If the radius's are off it greatly affects the amount of contact area and you risk pulling copper off the armature commutator segments and welding it to the brushes which really screws things up.
So just take your time and measure the diameter carefully.

Put it back together and it works good. Push the button and it fires right up.


Unfortunately I couldn't find any reason why my wife's starter had gotten so much moisture in it?
I'm not sure why some Vic's have moisture problems with the starter and some don't?
Any thoughts?

I did wipe all the orings down on reassembly with silicone gasket sealer in the hopes that perhaps one wasn't sealing completely and gasket maker would help. i couldn't find anywhere that a oring was cut etc. though.
I would have much rather had my wife's starter looked like Broggy's inside which was rust free, but those are the breaks.
 

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Thanks for that :)
 

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Heya @Joe_ That's amazing! That's exactly what I did but forgot to take photos. And my starter had almost ZERO rust; there was just a bit of oxidation on the brush-side shaft where it spins in the bushing. I think that was causing my noise. It looked very dry, so I greased it and the roller bearing on the output side.

That's a ****-ton of rust you have. Weird that it's a 2014 with only 10k miles; mine is a 2013 with about 34000.

[EDIT] Just looked again. The bottom brush in that first pic: HOLY ****!!
 

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Agree with @broggyr , you starter looked HORRIBLE . Do you ride in lots of rain or store your bike outside ?
 

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good job. Most guys don't clean the groves. There are lots of hot to on youtube,
Shocking how ugly the starter was on the inside. Makes me think if you have the exhaust off you should look inside the starter.
 

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Thanks Joe and Broggy!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Heya @Joe_ That's amazing! That's exactly what I did but forgot to take photos. And my starter had almost ZERO rust; there was just a bit of oxidation on the brush-side shaft where it spins in the bushing. I think that was causing my noise. It looked very dry, so I greased it and the roller bearing on the output side.

That's a ****-ton of rust you have. Weird that it's a 2014 with only 10k miles; mine is a 2013 with about 34000.

[EDIT] Just looked again. The bottom brush in that first pic: HOLY ****!!
No worries I took pictures for you :). That bottom brush was probably the one that had begun to burn.

Agree with @broggyr , you starter looked HORRIBLE . Do you ride in lots of rain or store your bike outside ?
Rain and humidity in Washington State?? Naaahhhh.
Actually the bike was only ridden one summer in WA, and since we are on the east side were in the desert so not much rain. Mainly it was ridden in AZ. The wife had to ride through a big puddle in Apache Junction, AZ which was as likely the cause as anything else.
I am a little nervous because I couldn't find the cause of the leakage. I am hoping the silicone gasket maker seals it up. I'm not sure how many times you can bring this starter back from the dead. I don't want to end up with a Zombie starter. That would be bad! A brain sucking starter. ewww.


good job.
Shocking how ugly the starter was on the inside. Makes me think if you have the exhaust off you should look inside the starter.
I was thinking the same thing. But you don't really need to disassemble the whole starter to see if you have this problem. Just remove one of the bolts that hold the motor together. If it is covered in rust, time to take it apart for service. The bolts on this were covered with rust.
If the bolt is clean all is good. A dab of gasket maker under the head of the bolt you took out to check should make sure things stay sealed if you aren't taking it apart any further.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ended up back at this post through a link in an other post. I then reread it and discovered that Weekend riders labled pictures were of his starter not mine. Mine looked exactly like his when I got done. I mistook his photos for my own!

To this day I am not certain what caused all the damage. I know it was water but is a mystery as to how it got into the starter.
I would like to prevent this from happening again in the future of course. Without know why it happened it is hard to do.


I believe that the beginning of the problem was when my wife crossed a deep puddle which covered the starter. But I am not sure that is what caused it as I would think that going on a motorcycle the starters would be designed to prevent water infiltration. I know she did end up going through some deep water at one point.
My guess is that going through a deep puddle quickly cooled the starter and the air in the starter bringing in water where it became trapped by the O ring seals. This starter has Oring seals on every joint. If water somehow got in, it would be unable to get out. The resulting high humidity from the trapped water wreaked havoc on the internals of the starter until it evrntually failed.

I wonder if what the starter really needs is to be fitted with a vent hose that is routed up high under the tank. This would allow it to breathe without pulling in water. What do you think? Weekend Rider do you remember going through water high enough to have covered your starter?
 

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Ended up back at this post through a link in an other post. I then reread it and discovered that Weekend riders labled pictures were of his starter not mine. Mine looked exactly like his when I got done. I mistook his photos for my own!
Joe, those are yours and Broggy's pictures. Sorry for the confusion. I just wanted to put them all together in one place with labels in case anyone else needed to service their starter in the future.
 
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