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Starter trouble


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  • Starter trouble

    1996 883 with custom wiring and starter won’t spin. Realized I don’t have starter grounded. Obviously one end of ground wire goes to frame, where on the starter do I connect a ground wire? Thank you

  • #2
    On the stock bike, the battery ground cable goes to the upper left rear motor mount bolt. That grounds both case and frame, and the starter motor is grounded by being bolted to the case.

    Another note: ALL of these evo starters are subject to erosion of the contacts in the solenoid. There are kits available for their replacement. That could be your issue.



    • #3
      see info here:

      Starter & Solenoid Function

      The starter system consists of the following components: Starter Switch, Starter Relay, Starter Solenoid & Starter Motor, the last two being combined into a unit. The starter power rating is 1.2kW.1) These starters are made by Nippon Denso.

      The Starter Solenoid has three connections and performs two functions.

      One connection to the solenoid is from the starter relay, which activates both of its functions.
      When activated, the solenoid pull-in wiring pulls the solenoid plunger forward - which, thereby, pulls the starter pinion gear into engagement with the ring gear on the clutch housing in the primary.

      The second function that the solenoid performs is to close the high-amperage contacts (in essence, a switch) between the battery and the starter motor.
      This occurs as the plunger is moving forward.
      Initially, the pull-in windings will move the plunger forward and then the hold-in windings will keep a solid contact there until you release the starter switch button.

      The high-amperage contacts will activate the starter motor.

      Click image for larger version

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      Testing The Solenoid Wiring/Circuits...

      Starter Solenoid Rebuild Kits
      Starter Solenoid Rebuild Kits (OEM - for stock starter solenoids):
      1995 and later XLH 883 ……… use Kit 31603-91


      • #4
        You should have a 1/4" spade connector at starter. Most likely with a green wire. Take that off, make a jumper wire out of stranded wire with one 1/4" female spade connector and it needs to be long enough to touch battery. Plug it into starter, key or kill switch on, and then touch to positive(+) side of battery. That should make the starter spin.

        When ditching the stock bar switches I usually run a 14 ga wire from spade connector to a heavy duty, momentary, switch then to power source. Terminal E in pic below.

        Last edited by Tater66; 06-12-2023, 2:35 PM.


        • #5
          Another note: ALL of these evo starters are subject to erosion of the contacts in the solenoid. There are kits available for their replacement. That could be your issue.
          It's quite common. I inspect every HD I get with that style starter (which I prefer to all others).

          The OSGR Light Duty is a fine starter and contact kits are cheap, but on Sporties you usually need to pull the starter to replace them (the lower power cable stud-to-case clearance is tight) which is a primary cover pull (needs gasket and seal kit). Last one of many I did I thought (afterwards, kicks self in ass) I should have put inserts in the case then drilled the starter so I could install it from the outside. The starter is used on millions of cars and trucks but the weak little batteries on motorcycles lead to contact burning on any solenoid.

          You can easily pull the solenoid end cover to inspect the contacts and instead of reinstalling it's a VERY good idea to take advantage of the coaxial solenoid design to replace the cover with one of the various pushbutton end covers. They also eliminate the need for a starter button on the bars or a bulky rotary key switch to start the bike, because they bypass all original control wiring (which you can leave or remove as you prefer).

          is the style kit to get as it's got all the seals. I use silicone dielectric grease on the stud threads to exclude moisture.

          This covers the primary cover R&I. I've used several with zero problems:

          Starter to engine case gasket, being so cheap I buy ten packs instead of singles:


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