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Discussion Starter #1
My starter's failing. This morning I hit the starter and the starter wouldn't push over the compression stroke. It's happened that I've had to tap the starter in an attempt to get momentum, and once it's passed over the first time, it's got momentum to fire it up.

It's the starter because this morning, after I tried 6-8 times to get it over the compression stroke, I smelled "the smoke" about to com out. Burnt wiring would not be smelt if it was a connection issue.

Then, the question is, I've seen OEM starters being sold, but is there a rebuild kit with brushes and such, on the off chance that the other parts are OK?
 

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I stripped mine down and replaced the brushes [American Bosch], machined the commutator, bushes and seals were OK. I see Pinwall sells used ones on Ebay, but the cost of shipping to here would kill it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I stripped mine down and replaced the brushes [American Bosch], machined the commutator, bushes and seals were OK. I see Pinwall sells used ones on Ebay, but the cost of shipping to here would kill it.
I still think it's the starter, but the plot thickens...

I just went out and pulled the seat and tried to find the wire that got hot. I was surprised to find it wasn't the large ground wire, or the hot from the solenoid. It was a collection of ground/black wires that come off the battery into the wiring harness. Looks like I've got more electrical work in my future. I have no idea where they go, but if I had to guess, they'd go to the low/trigger side of the solenoid. Some of those wires are bare, which means I need to pull it all out and rewire the harness.

What's even more interesting is that when I put jumper cables from negative to the engine case, and positive to the starter, these wires still got hot. I can see if the larger cables got hot. That's common with starter trouble. But since it's other wires in the harness, that means a fuse isn't doing its job. I'm going to have to unwrap that whole section and understand why that's happening.

I need a real, honest to goodness, shop manual. Anyone have any thoughts on the best place to get one? Clearly, I need to spend some quality time with a wiring diagram, a meter, and my auto-electric kit.

I am glad I didn't buy a starter. While I still think it is the starter, it's foolish to buy one until I can get it to pass the jumper-cable test, and smoke the bigger cables.
 

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Put it in top gear and push it along the floor [with key OFF] to make sure engine is OK. That bundle of earths should all go to the rear engine mounting. Make sure they are all clean and tight.cheers
 

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Yep. Bad ground is likely cause.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Put it in top gear and push it along the floor [with key OFF] to make sure engine is OK. That bundle of earths should all go to the rear engine mounting. Make sure they are all clean and tight.cheers
When the starter first stopped on compression, I put it in 2nd or 3rd and pushed it over the compression stroke, thinking that if I got to the other side. momentum would help push it over. That didn't work, but since I'm not over-heating, and everything else is good, I have no reason to suspect the engine.

With the battery removed, the starter still had some trouble going past compression, but not having much experience with big twins, I'm not sure how much of it is normal.

I pulled the harness apart. The good news is that I only have to replace about six 18" lengths of wires that are in the harness, and while those ground wires are fried, they didn't take any others with them.

I have the manual, now. There's a whole chapter devoted to the starter, alone. It even calls out measurements on Fluke meters, of which I own. Reading through the manuals, it will say things like "replace the brushes", as a example, but then there's no part numbers anywhere (I can find) for the brushes. Still, the manual has very detailed test procedures for the starter, so I'll be able to find out exactly what part of the starter is failing, if any. McMaster-Carr may have brushes, if it comes to that.

One thing that is missing, though, is a wiring diagram of all the wires color-coded. I've got something like 5 black wires and one purple one that was in that collection of grounds. A purple ground? In many cases purple is a hot wire color. I know it's a ground, so I'll find some purple wire (and black wire) and repair the damage. But I do want to know where all these wires go. Why did they fry? I need to find that answer. I still suspect I fried the trigger side of the solenoid. But again, if that happened, a fuse did not do its job.

The main ground cable goes to a bolt that goes through the frame and into the engine. This is very good because it grounds the frame and engine with one bolt. Thing is, now I'm working my way to that bolt so I can make sure it's not corroded, even though the meter says continuity is good.

Next, I need to go through the fuses. A fuse was not supposed to allow this to happen in the first place. This is an interesting problem, because the main ground cable taking the high voltage to the engine case appears to be fine, and tests good.

I got a kid graduating today. Maybe I can slip out and tinker with it some more. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did some work on it last night.

Here's what some of the grounds looked like.

I was almost done when I saw where heat fried through the harness. I had to cut open the harness again, and re-splice in new, longer, wires.

Since I haven't found any color coded diagrams, I spliced 2-3 wires to a thicker brown.

I want to put in another ground from negative to the top bolt of the sub-frame mount, just because....

More to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's not the Starter, after all. And that's a good thing.

UPDATE: I put in some time yesterday, and found a few interesting things.

Being the way I am, I couldn't live with the brown wire so I got some 10g black for the harness. As I was stripping the insulation on one of the wires, about 5"-6" from the head stock, I noticed that a few ground wires spliced into the ones I was working with. I cleaned all that up and splices all the grounds in the front part of the harness to the 10g black with a butt connecter, then painted it with liquid tape and let dry.

I noticed that another set of grounds that go to the ECM was showing it's age, so I cut off that connecter, and spliced in a few inches of the 10g wire, so I only have 1 thick stranded wire and not 5 small ones. This is where it gets interesting...

I'm doing a test fit of the battery to see where to cut the wires for the ring connecters, and I decide to test the main ground and hot again, to rule out the starter. After getting it all hooked up, with star washers, I pressed the starter button and it appeared to do well. I hoped that it wasn't the starter, but after testing the starter a few times, it quit. Experience has taught me that if you hit the button a few more times, you might get a clue where the problem is.

One of the times I hit the button sparks came from the engine mount area where the ground was landed. I reached in there with pliers and the two ground cables that were there didn't move, not forward-backward, side to side... nothing moved, so I hit the button again... It was clearly that bolt, but nothing felt loose. After taking off the foot peg mount, I was able to get a good look at it and it was loose. I had planned to pull it all apart anyway, but I'm glad I saw signs of the failure instead of always wondering why. This is one of those cases where I'm glad I was wrong. Because the cable was loose, it explains why the dealer felt he needed to replace the battery, why my ground wires fried, and why the starter acted up.

Finding a wrench to get in there without pulling the swing arm or sub-frame took a while, but I did get it tightened up.

The moral to the story is: Even a guy that's been wrenching 40+ years can make the diagnoses at first. But it's the drive to find the root cause that will win at then end of the day.

Next on the list is: the shift lever is loose, the head bearings need adjustment, make some riser extensions from Yamaha cruiser parts, rework the brake pedal, see if my Don Vesco fairing will fit, then start spraying purple Plasti-dip on stuff. New bikes (to me) are fun, but I wish I was riding. The weather's been stunning in the Pacific Northwest.
 

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Rebuilding Victory Starter possible

If the rest of the starter is in good shape, I finally found a place to get brushes.

I attached images (assuming it worked) of the UPC for the brushes and pictures of the old, broken brushes (after cleaning with electrical parts spray) and the new brushes.

Took very little time to install. Cost was $12.50 plus $9.95 S&H.
 

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Need to trim commutator

Believe it or not, the armature was like new. There was no smearing of bronze, no uneven wear on the contacts, no deterioration of insulation, just a bunch of carbon from one disintegrated brush. The ONLY failure was the detached wiring for one of high side brush, and uneven wear of the detached brush itself.

I could almost have made the repair by just soldering it back together, but I don't want to have to do another disassembly in 40K miles.

This is the best starter design I've seen. If it weren't for the physical damage from bottoming out, it probably would not have failed until well after 100K miles.
 

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That sounds good about the commutator. I pulled my starter and checked it at about 50k km as I didn't want a breakdown a long way from home, it was in really good condition with about 10-20% brush wear. Replaced them anyway as they are so cheap and easy to fit. Should be sweet for at least 100-150k km easycheers
 
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