Question RE starter clutch (sprag gear) - VTXOA
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Question RE starter clutch (sprag gear)

When my starter solenoid contacts stuck, and before I knew such a problem could happen, I was convinced the starter motor was still turning the engine over even though the key was turned off.

Now I have a question about something I read in an older thread:
"If the starter is still turning the engine over after you turn your bike off (cranking the engine while everything is off), that means the starter was running the entire time your bike was running.
The sprag gear just lets it free wheel with no load on it, but its still turning over."
FROM: https://www.vtxoa.com/forums/6-vtx-18...hut-off-2.html

The two sentences seem to contradict each other.
The first sentence states "...if the starter is still turning the engine over.." and the second sentence states "...the sprag gear just lets it free wheel''
If the starter is turning the engine over then how can the (starter motor) just free wheel?

Does the sprag gear SOMETIMES disengage and the starter motor spins freely without turning over the engine, and other times the sprag does NOT disengage and continues to turn the engine over?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 03:59 PM
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the sprag.. is only used (in play) when the engine is running.. so no harm to starter....

its a ONE WAY clutch...



2005 VTX1800 F, type II, Silver Tribal, 89,000 Miles, Purchased Feb, 2005.
MTC clutch & springs.. K&N Air Filter. Garmin 2597 GPS.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeW View Post
When my starter solenoid contacts stuck, and before I knew such a problem could happen, I was convinced the starter motor was still turning the engine over even though the key was turned off.
"You were convinced." What convinced you, and what did you do when you discovered that it was actually happening?

I am not being a smart alack, just following your repair procedure?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 05:49 PM
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It is a matter of differing rotational speeds. When the engine is not running/stationary the starter turns and the sprag clutch catches to the then non-moving crank. Once the engine is running the crank is spinning much faster than the starter can ever go so there is no lockup with the starter, the starter is just free spinning, the engine crank is out running the starter spinning in the same direction as the starter. When the starter goes faster than the crank it will lock up to it i.e. when the crank is not moving. But yes the starter is still spinning if the relay contacts are closed.
Have you ever attempted to pull the pull cord on a running lawnmower, there is nothing, you just pull against the wound spring. If it was possible to pull it quick enough you would catch up and lockup again, but you can't pull it quick enough. A pull start and a sprag clutch perform the same function.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 06:01 PM
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I'm pretty sure the vtx starters were built with the possibility of this scenario. Otherwise, the continuously running starter along with the motor would ruin the starter and/or possibly damage the motor.

When mine did this the first time, I could hear it and couldn't figure out what it was until I attempted to kill the engine. This experience is a little disconcerting!

I remembered reading on here about it happening to others. Luckily I had only gone a couple blocks from home and went back and disconnected batt wires. I was not privy to solenoid issue and didn't even know where the sucker was. We live and we learn, huh?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDolittle View Post
"You were convinced." What convinced you, and what did you do when you discovered that it was actually happening?

I am not being a smart alack, just following your repair procedure?
Good question. Now remember that this was the first time it happened and I had no idea it could happen. It was a total shock of what was going on. I had stopped after driving (how long I don't recall), and after turning the key off and still have 'this' going on, the only thing I could think of was the wrong thing - I put it in gear and let the clutch out. I've since learned this is NOT good for the bike!

Thanks for other replies which I don't have time now to read, but I do appreciate and will read later.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 07:07 PM
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Rapping the starter relay is the best way to release it.
Putting it in gear and letting the clutch out to prevent engine cranking makes the starter draw more current which
probably burns off the bit of metal that welded.

The constant running of the starter will completely discharge the battery.
Some have reported the battery had gotten hot.
Battery acid vapor + spark = explosion. Be careful.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-30-2018, 07:23 PM
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the sprag clutch for the starter... has been in HONDA for many years...

I first remember seeing it in a 1969 CB450...
.



2005 VTX1800 F, type II, Silver Tribal, 89,000 Miles, Purchased Feb, 2005.
MTC clutch & springs.. K&N Air Filter. Garmin 2597 GPS.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-31-2018, 04:43 AM
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Doing this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeW View Post
I put it in gear and let the clutch out.
in that case, won't help...
You can shut off the engine like that, but not the starter.


VTX 1800/280
You can say anything stupid. It's the internet. No real consequences for YOU.

Last edited by ervin260; 01-31-2018 at 04:45 AM.
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