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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone. I had a no start issue with a 2000 Vulcan 750. When the starter was pulled the splines were completely destroyed. I took the right side case cover off and started poking around to see how everything worked and try to determine why the splines were destroyed. I turned the starter clutch gear by hand and it turns freely in one direction but not the other. Everything looks like it's in great shape and seems to be functioning correctly how I think it's supposed to work. I have two questions, and I sincerely appreciate any help.

1. Has anyone else seen a starter with completely destroyed splines on a VN750 or similar bike with the starter/starter clutch setup?

2. Did I somehow mess with the balancer timing by turning the starter clutch gear? I didn't realize it was a balancer until I was looking at a parts diagram after the fact.

I don't think I could have caused an issue because I think the way the starter clutch works is that it will spin freely in one direction without even turning the balance shaft, but I'm not positive. Thank you so much for the help.
 

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1) no

2) no

Starter clutch works that way, it's a one-way clutch. Will turn the engine, but the engine can't spin the starter. Although, it sounds like the starter clutch may have been sticking in order to grind the starter splines down.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. I thought that was how it worked, but it just doesn't make sense that the splines were ground down. Maybe the clutch has been sticking intermittently, it was extremely easy to spin by hand so I don't think it was stuck and I broke it free. Thank you for answering me so quickly.
 

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You're welcome. I remember one poster that had his starter clutch sticking after the bike sat a long time, he knew his starter was spinning with the engine running. A few have had to replace that clutch, but I recall one that said he got it freed up.

Without me looking it up ... The splines on the starter just ride on the clutch all time, right?

Are the teeth on the clutch chewed up too?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The splines on the starter are constantly in contact with another idle type gear that is in constant contact with the starter clutch. They never disengage each other and the only gear that's chewed up is the starter splines. All of the gears spin in one direction freely, so the clutch seems to be working fine. That's why this is so baffling to me. Now that I'm not worried about getting the balancers out of time by spinning the starter clutch in the direction it moves freely, I think I'll turn the starter clutch around a few times and feel for dead spots or resistance. Also, the position of the starter itself is not adjustable, but there is some noticeable damage to the bottom of the engine, like the previous owner drove through a big pothole or over a curb and bottomed out the engine case bad enough to take a small chunk out, so I'm wondering if the position of the starter also took a hit and got bent out of wack to a position where it wasn't fully engaging, and over time got damaged to the point it won't engage at all. Just brainstorming, thanks for the replies. I'll update after we work on it some more, but it might be a few days.
 

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I figure the engine case would break before bending enough to knock the starter alignment off.

Had the idea of somebody abusing the start button with the engine running, but I think the clutch prevents anything bad from happening. You might hear the starter run, but that's it. It might even be locked out when the engine is running. I've done it once or twice, but forget what it does.

This is a weird one, just never heard of starter splines getting ground off. Don't see the reason for it so far.

Loose starter bolts at some point?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well here's the update. Since everything seemed fine inside of the case, we put a new starter in the bike and it's been starting great. I have no idea what caused the original starter to wear out like it did and hopefully this issue is now put to rest. Thanks for the help Spockster! have a great weekend.
 
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