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P.J., Technician
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 738
Experience:  10 years as a mechanic and fabricator in a privately owned, local, custom bike shop.
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My starter/solenoid repeatedly clicks on starting. the

Customer Question

my starter/solenoid repeatedly clicks on starting. the starter solenoid and battery checkout fine. The problem is the starter can't move the starter wheel. i fear the engine is froze some how. its weard because it ran fine when i used it an few days before. I'm looking for a good way to get everything moving manually to "unfreeze" it.
JA: How many miles are on the car? Does the engine turn over at all?
Customer: 4777
JA: What is the model of your '2777 motorcycle?
Customer: harley davidson low rider 1996
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: yes. I verified the battery is solid, 13.1 volts. I did voltage drop tests on all connection points, no drop. then took the started/solenoid out and bench tested it. wrks perfrctly. the soenoid gear hangs on the starter gear because it apparently can't turn, I check all fluid levels and theyare fine. New oil in primary because I removed it to work on starter.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: no
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Motorcycle Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  P.J. replied 4 months ago.

It sounds like your starter solenoid contacts may be the issue. Over time they degrade and limit the amperage that can pass through them. There is a check to do prior to opening up the solenoid.

You'll want to make a jumper wire out of a heavy gauge wire (12 or bigger). Remove the green wire from the solenoid. With the bike in neutral connect the jumper wire between the positive battery terminal (or large terminal on the solenoid) to the terminal that you removed the green wire from. If the starter works reliably by doing this you have a weak starter relay circuit. You'll need to troubleshoot through this circuit to determine where the weak point is.

If the starter still gives you the clicking sound and doesn't work reliably then you have a solenoid contact issue. You access these by removing the 3 solenoid end cover bolts and pulling out on the cover.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. Also, please leave a positive rating for my service today. Thanks, P.J.