How to Remove a Starter From a Harley-Davidson Low Rider

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Harley-Davidson uses a Nippon-Denso-type starter assembly on their Low Rider models. A solenoid on the starter assembly controls the high-amperage current used by the starter during operation. The field coil and commutator strip become energized to produce a high-speed rotation in the starter, which is then transferred to the engine by the drive mechanism. Burned contacts within the solenoid, insulation breakdown in the field coils, worn commutator strips and damaged drive mechanisms can cause the starter to fail and require replacement.

Things You'll Need

  • Ratchet
  • Allen driver set
  • Face shield
  • Rubber gloves
  • 10 mm wrench
  • Socket set
  • Wrench set
  • New starter housing O-ring
  • Loctite Threadlocker 243 (blue)
  • Foot-pound torque wrench
  • Inch-pound torque wrench
  • Petroleum jelly

Removal

  • Remove the seat retainer screw from the seat mounting bracket using a ratchet and Allen driver. Lift the rear of the seat up and slide the seat toward the rear of the bike to disengage the seat from the frame and remove it from the bike.

  • Don a face shield and rubber gloves.

  • Remove the battery cover retaining screw from the bottom of the battery cover using a ratchet and Allen driver. Tilt the top of the battery cover out and lift the cover to disengage it from the battery tray.

  • Remove the negative battery cable from the battery using a 10 mm wrench.

  • Remove the positive battery cable from the battery using a 10 mm wrench.

  • Unhook and remove the battery strap. Remove the battery from the tray. Remove face shield and rubber gloves.

  • Remove the two top battery tray screws from the frame above the battery tray and the bottom battery tray screw from the inside of the battery tray using a ratchet and Allen driver.

  • Remove the battery tray from the bike while guiding the battery cables through the holes in the battery tray.

  • Remove the starter end-cover nut, using a ratchet and socket, and pull the end-cover off the starter.

  • Pull back the protective rubber boot off the positive cable terminal. Using a wrench, remove the positive cable nut and then lift the ring terminal off the starter terminal stud. Unplug the solenoid electrical connector from the solenoid.

  • Remove the two starter retaining bolts from the starter using a ratchet and Allen driver. Pull the starter off the bike. Remove and discard the starter housing O-ring.

Installation

  • Inspect the two split-ring bushings in the inner primary case where the starter mounts for slack or looseness. Remove the split-ring bushings and spread them to provide a slight interference fit in the primary housing. Push the split-ring bearings back into position.

  • Install a new starter housing O-ring on the starter assembly. Install the starter assembly on the bike.

  • Apply one drop of Loctite Threadlocker 243 to the treads of the starter retaining bolts. Install the starter retaining bolts and washers and tighten them to 24 to 27 foot-pounds using a foot-pound torque wrench and Allen driver.

  • Install the positive cable ring terminal and nut on the starter terminal stud. Tighten the nut to 65 to 85 inch-pounds using an inch-pound torque wrench and socket. Push the protective boot securely over the positive cable terminal. Plug the solenoid electrical connector into the solenoid.

  • Position the starter end-cover on the starter and install the nut, using a ratchet and socket.

  • Place the battery tray in position while guiding the battery cables through the holes in the tray.

  • Install the upper and lower battery tray screws and washers. Tighten the screws to 96 to 120 inch-pounds, using an inch-pound torque wrench and Allen driver.

  • Guide the battery cables into the recesses at the upper corners of the battery tray.

  • Don face shield and rubber gloves.

  • Place the battery in the battery tray with the terminals facing out. Snap the battery strap in position.

  • Install the positive battery cable and cable bolt. Tighten the bolt to 60 to 70 inch-pounds using an inch-pound torque wrench and socket.

  • Install the negative battery cable and cable bolt. Tighten the bolt to 60 to 70 inch-pounds, using an inch-pound torque wrench and socket.

  • Remove the face shield and rubber gloves.

  • Apply a light coat of corrosion retardant grease or petroleum jelly to the terminals.

  • Install the battery cover and screw. Tighten the screw securely using a ratchet and Allen driver.

  • Place the seat on the bike. Lift the rear of the seat and slide it forward to engage the seat tab in the frame slot. Lower the rear of the seat and install the seat retainer screw through the seat mounting bracket. Tighten the seat retainer screw securely using a ratchet and Allen driver. Lift up on the seat to make certain that it is mounted securely on the bike.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always use protective face and hand gear when handling the battery on a Low Rider.
  • Always remove the negative cable first and connect it last when removing or installing a battery. Failure to do so can cause the battery to explode and lead to serious injury and death.

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References

  • 2009 Dyna Models Service Manual; Harley-Davidson Motor Company
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