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TOPIC: Loud clunk noise when cranking--bad starter clutch?--Update

Loud clunk noise when cranking--bad starter clutch?--Update 9 years 2 months ago #196798

  • Skyman
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On my M2, right after I put in the new piston kit, I started getting an intermittent "clunk" when cranking the starter--like the starter was slipping. At first, it only happened once in a while. But it is getting more frequent.

Is the likely culprit the starter clutch? I'm getting ready to tear into it, but I wanted to get some opinions first before I go chasing after it. Anything else that might cause this?

If it is the SC, is it a serviceable part, or do you generally have to replace them?

Thanks.

Post edited by: Skyman, at: 2008/02/25 17:15

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West Linn, OR
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Loud "clunk" when cranking--bad starter clutch? 9 years 2 months ago #196807

  • oldcoldankles
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I'm presently checking my M1 for occasional howling based on information from the following recent thread. So far I can't see anything wrong with mine. Let us know what you find out.
Terrible noise (KZ Rider)

Post edited by: N0NB, at: 2008/02/26 17:44

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Peachland BC
1981 KZ1000 CSR M1
1983 KZ550 LTD M1 (Shaft)
1989 Corvette coupe

Loud \"clunk\" when cranking--bad starter clutch? 9 years 2 months ago #196912

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Any ideas?

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Loud "clunk" when cranking--bad starter clutch? 9 years 2 months ago #196935

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my guess would be starter clutch also. i have not had this issue but have read of it before. i have a 76kz and just got a mk11 crank. the part #'s show the same clutch for all z1,kz,ltd, mk11's. just 3 small springs , cups, and rollerbearings. look here.
kawasaki motorcycle 1000 shaft drive kz1000e2 us 1980

Post edited by: N0NB, at: 2008/02/26 17:43

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76 kZ, frame gusset work,1200CC.Ported by Larry Cavanaugh,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 1.5mm.over intakes,.ZRX12 rear end,and seat,96zx9 front end.
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Loud 9 years 2 months ago #196950

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Skyman wrote:

On my M2, right after I put in the new piston kit, I started getting an intermittent "clunk" when cranking the starter--like the starter was slipping. At first, it only happened once in a while. But it is getting more frequent.

Is the likely culprit the starter clutch? I'm getting ready to tear into it, but I wanted to get some opinions first before I go chasing after it. Anything else that might cause this?

If it is the SC, is it a serviceable part, or do you generally have to replace them?

Thanks.


Does the starter slip at all? They usually make some sort of screeching noise too. I'm guessing that you don't have a kick starter, so does the clunk appear if you attempt to bump start it? If it doesn't happen I'd check elsewhere before blaming the clutch.

I'm assuming that your starter is like my '78 kz1000's. There are springs and rollers in the starter clutch that can wear (they are replaceable) the catch is that it may be a temporary fix, because the boss on the starter gear (that these rollers engage) may also wear. I don't think that these starter gears are still available new.

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Loud 9 years 2 months ago #196958

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Samwell wrote:

Does the starter slip at all? They usually make some sort of screeching noise too. I'm guessing that you don't have a kick starter, so does the clunk appear if you attempt to bump start it? If it doesn't happen I'd check elsewhere before blaming the clutch.

I'm assuming that your starter is like my '78 kz1000's. There are springs and rollers in the starter clutch that can wear (they are replaceable) the catch is that it may be a temporary fix, because the boss on the starter gear (that these rollers engage) may also wear. I don't think that these starter gears are still available new.


Yes, the starter does appear to be slipping. It sounds like the starter "skips" when the clunk sound is heard. It is a loud bang noise.

I spoke with Rob at Z1, and he thought it was more likely a broken tooth in the starter gear. I will take the cover off tonight and see what's going on in there.

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Loud 9 years 2 months ago #196977

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The starter clutch assembly is Kawasaki p/n 13193-1006 and is used from before 1981 up to the 2005 Police bike. and sells for around $76. The starter and first stage of the double reduction gearing has very scrawny gear teeth. When you pull the cover off pull it a little at a time, straight out, as the cover supports the outboard end of the double reduction gear, and there are dowel pins for alignment.

Post edited by: oldcoldankles, at: 2008/02/25 20:50

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1983 KZ550 LTD M1 (Shaft)
1989 Corvette coupe

Loud 9 years 2 months ago #196986

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mine also does this, but alot of times it actually skips off the gear and spins freely.
I need to replace mine soon, its really loud when the bike is at idle, goes away when the motor speeds up.

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Loud 9 years 2 months ago #197001

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Mine only does this when the starter is cranking, and makes no noise while running.

I pulled the stator cover off just now and took a look at all the gears. They look to be in good shape--no sign of damage, and no shavings or chunks of anything sitting in there.

Just for fun, I cranked the starter a few times with the cover off just to see if I could get it to "pop" again. Never happened.

So now I am stumped.

I guess I should pull the flywheel off to get a look at the starter clutch, just to be sure. That means I need to buy a flywheel puller, right? Argh!

I'm not sure how the puller works. Is it used after the center bolt is removed? Is it possible to remove the bolt without an impact wrench? Or is that yet *another* tool I have to buy? :S

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Loud 9 years 2 months ago #197021

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Skyman wrote:

Mine only does this when the starter is cranking, and makes no noise while running.

I pulled the stator cover off just now and took a look at all the gears. They look to be in good shape--no sign of damage, and no shavings or chunks of anything sitting in there.

Just for fun, I cranked the starter a few times with the cover off just to see if I could get it to "pop" again. Never happened.

So now I am stumped.

I guess I should pull the flywheel off to get a look at the starter clutch, just to be sure. That means I need to buy a flywheel puller, right? Argh!

I'm not sure how the puller works. Is it used after the center bolt is removed? Is it possible to remove the bolt without an impact wrench? Or is that yet *another* tool I have to buy? :S


The rotor should come off with a moderate sized struggle. There's onlt the one bolt holding it to the crank. No impact required, but it may have been loctited in place. I'd suggest the proper puller from z1e. My clymer for the '78 suggested a ball bearing, a fork cap bolt and a BFH to shock it off. The result? The ball bearing got jammed into the end of the crank! Use the puller and save yourself the grief. Its less than $10.

good luck, and let us know.

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Loud 9 years 2 months ago #197100

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I had the same problem on a '83 KZ1000 CSR.
It drove me crazy trying to figure it out.
Many dollars and hours later, the solution turned out to be simple.
The advance plate (right end of crankshaft) was sticking and caused to timing to be too advanced.
I am not sure if the noise was detonation, starter 'kicking' back, or what.
In any event, soaking the advance mechanism in WD40, cleaning it and lubing it solved the problem.

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Loud 9 years 2 months ago #197127

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A lot of the trouble you all are having may be the starter itself. Especially, if you hear a howling noise as the starter stops turning.

The bushing in the back end (opposite the gear end) of the starter wears a little and dries out. This well cause the starter to not spin as fast. As the starter spins it forces the rollers in the clutch to lock the clutch up and make the engine turn over. When the engine starts running it spins faster that the starter and releases the clutch. If the engine doesn't keep running the starter catches up to it again, the clutch reengages and causes that loud clunking sound. Having the engine tuned well so it actually starts and keeps running will stop the problem.
Having the dry bushing in the starter multiplies the problem because the starter isn't turning the engine fast enough to begin with.
I couldn't find a bushing for mine when I had the problem so I packed some never seize into that bushing before I put it together. I has worked fine for a coupe years but is starting to do it again. I see there is a guy on ebay that has rebuild kits for the starters with new bushings. I hope this helps.

Post edited by: The Milkman, at: 2008/02/26 16:58
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Loud 9 years 2 months ago #197139

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Thanks for the ideas, guys. I am on the road this week, but when I get back this weekend, I'll check those out.

B)

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Loud 9 years 2 months ago #197151

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Listen and heed floridabiker's advice. From what you describe on the condition of the gear teeth, I would listen to the florida man and check that out first before serious teardown!

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Loud 9 years 2 months ago #197352

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FloridaBiker wrote:

I had the same problem on a '83 KZ1000 CSR.
It drove me crazy trying to figure it out.
Many dollars and hours later, the solution turned out to be simple.
The advance plate (right end of crankshaft) was sticking and caused to timing to be too advanced.
I am not sure if the noise was detonation, starter 'kicking' back, or what.
In any event, soaking the advance mechanism in WD40, cleaning it and lubing it solved the problem.


Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think this is a plausible cause of the problem. Remember how I wrote that I was unable to duplicate the problem when I was cranking with the stator cover off? Well, at that time, I also had unplugged all the plug wires so that it wouldn't startup while cranking. So there's a good possibility I wasn't able to duplicate the problem because the real issue is a mis-timed spark. And with the plugs unplugged, no spark was happening.

I'll be home on Saturday, and I'll take a look at the advance assembly. Thanks.

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Loud 9 years 1 month ago #197726

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Yeah I was gonna suggest that it was a misfire, but the Milkman's post about the starter clutch re-engage making a loud noise is very interesting.

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Loud 9 years 1 month ago #198139

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Well guys, I took apart my ignition advancer, cleaned it, and lubed it up real good. Put it all back together, and tried to start it. Got the same result.

I listened real carefully this time, and I really think that it is not caused by any kind of misfire. It is definitely coming from the starter clutch area, and sounds like gears slipping. So, I'm thinking it IS because the starter clutch is disengaging and re-engaging.

Now, whether it is because the starter clutch is bad, or because the starter motor is not spinning fast enough (as Milkman suggested) I do not know. I can say that, when engaged, it cranks very slowly, even with a fully charged battery. So I'm leaning towards the starter as the culprit. I guess my next step is to remove the starter and inspect it. Any suggestions on what to look for?

Thanks.

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Loud clunk noise when cranking--bad starter clutch? 9 years 1 month ago #198148

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Pick up a set of rollers and springs for your starter clutch. I did that and my noise problem went away. I doubt if you need to replace the starter clutch housing, the expensive part. With the alternator cover off, reach behind the stator and see if you can move the starter clutch. I could move mine indicating the bolts holding it to the stator were loose/broken. I picked up replacement bolts at the hardware store, a bunch cheaper than the dealer....chris3

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Loud clunk noise when cranking--bad starter clutch?--Update 9 years 1 month ago #201180

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Okay guys, I think the problem is fixed.

My solution was to pick up a starter on EBay from a 1980 Honda CB900f and install it. It bolted right in, but it was a royal PITA to clearance the sproket cover to allow for the different position of the power lug. A lot of filing and grinding, trial and error until I finally got it so it wouldn't short out against the sprocket cover. :angry:

But I am VERY pleased with the results. :cheer:

Previously, after I installed the 10.25 CR pistons, the starter would really struggle: "Woo-woo....woo-woo....woo-woo...POP...woo-woo". Sounded like the battery was dead, even when the engine was warm, the only way to start it was to push-n-bump.

Now, it spins up like it's supposed to: "Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo" and no slipping "POP" noise. Yeah! :cheer:

The change from the .6Kw KZ stock starter to the .8Kw Honda starter made a HUGE difference.

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Loud clunk noise when cranking--bad starter clutch?--Update 9 years 1 month ago #201253

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Skyman wrote:

Okay guys, I think the problem is fixed.

My solution was to pick up a starter on EBay from a 1980 Honda CB900f and install it. It bolted right in, but it was a royal PITA to clearance the sproket cover to allow for the different position of the power lug. A lot of filing and grinding, trial and error until I finally got it so it wouldn't short out against the sprocket cover. :angry:

But I am VERY pleased with the results. :cheer:

Previously, after I installed the 10.25 CR pistons, the starter would really struggle: "Woo-woo....woo-woo....woo-woo...POP...woo-woo". Sounded like the battery was dead, even when the engine was warm, the only way to start it was to push-n-bump.

Now, it spins up like it's supposed to: "Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo" and no slipping "POP" noise. Yeah! :cheer:

The change from the .6Kw KZ stock starter to the .8Kw Honda starter made a HUGE difference.


Thats fantastic! The techie is me wants to know how you figured out the Kw for each of the starters. You could post pics of your cover post grinding. We could make it a cool addition like the coil powering mod!

thanks...Sam

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