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How to Test a Starter | Starter Test with Battery | How to Test the Starter on a Motorcycle

How to Test a Starter | Starter Test with Battery | How to Test the Starter on a Motorcycle


Hello, John Talley here with
Partzilla.com. Today we’re going to take a little bit of time and look at the
different starters that you may find on your ATV, side-by-side, or motorcycle. And
we’re gonna test each one just here on the teardown bench using just a regular
battery, set of jumper cables, and this little test lead. Now the one in the
center is what you’re gonna find on most of your utility type machines, and it has
everything incorporated into one assembly. What you’re looking at is the
starter solenoid, starter motor, and then it has a bendix gear that is driven into
the starting gear which is typically on your flywheel. Now the next variation on
that, it actually separates the starter motor from the starter solenoid but it
still has the bendix they’re just going to interlock in that gear that’s
typically on your flywheel. Now the last one still uses a starter solenoid that
separated it from the motor itself, but you’ll notice that there’s not a bendix
on this one. This one actually operates through a starter reduction gear and
then a one-way clutch that way it can only turn in one direction. And once it
finishes, that clutch is free to spin. So how do you test each one? Well that’s
pretty simple to do. We’ll start with the standard one, and I’ll walk you through it. And then we’ll go on to the one with the bendix
and then the one without. Now before you start this, make sure that you have a
good battery. You can do a voltage test using a meter and just make sure it’s
north of, you know, twelve and a half volts. Now make sure there’s no open fuel
anywhere near by ’cause as you’re doing this, chances are it may throw a spark.
It’s just that amount of current trying to travel through each one of these
motors. So here’s what we’re looking at. That this lead here actually goes
directly into the motor and through the windings. There is no negative because
the body itself is the negative side of the motor. Now this side is typically
where your starter wire is coming from the battery. And this little guy right
here is the trigger that’s coming from your ignition switch or your push button
that causes the solenoid to engage the motor, turns the motor, and then
engages that bendix that you’ll see down here at the bottom. You’ll actually see
that your drop down and turn and then when you release the starter it pulls
back up. You can actually test the starter
separate from the starter solenoid, and let me show you how to do that. Go ahead
and carry your ground to your body, go and connect our negative to the battery.
And now keep in mind this is live now so don’t let it touch the framework of the
starter itself– otherwise us a direct short. What we’re gonna do is go directly
to the starter solenoid positive and you should hear it click. When we engage this,
it’s actually going to thrust the bendix gear down and that I’ll tell you that
it’s working. Now if we want to test just the starter motor, go ahead and attach
this to the wire that’s going directly to the motor windings. Now when we pass
it through you’re just going to hear the motor turn. Now here is how you test them
together. Put the positive here, that’s going from the battery to the positive
post of the starter solenoid. Alright we connect that, look: nothing happens. Now
the way you trigger both is to pick up a positive right here and all we’re gonna
do is trigger the side of the starter solenoid. When we do that, the starter
will spin and the bendix will be driven down as well, so they’re both gonna
happen at the same time. See it? One more time. There you go. We’ve got our battery
disconnected, now let’s go ahead and take all this apart and we’ll put the next
one in the vise and walk through it. Now this one basically has the starter motor
itself with the bendix, but it does not have the starter solenoid attached to it.
Now the one I have on here now is a used starter, and I don’t particularly like
the color wire that they used for the positive input. Green is usually
associated with ground, but we’ll get over that. Let’s go ahead, connect our
positive since they’re isn’t a whole lot of ground work to attach to, we’ll
use that as our trigger. So we’ve got our battery hooked up, and what we’re gonna
do is just ground the other line and what you’re going to see is the motor is
going to spin and the bendix is going to come out. It operates on the same
principles as our first one, the only difference is the starter solenoid is
located at a different location. Now to test the starter solenoid, we do it the
same way as we tested this one, but instead of having a grounded body it
actually has the positive and negative inside the wiring harness. So to test
this one, we only need to get to two wires. We need to ground that green wire
and then we’re gonna send a trigger– 12 volts– to the yellow with a red stripe.
And we’re gonna do that without touching each one is we’re going to use a couple
of leads to get on the backside, so we don’t run the risk of touching the leads
together on the plug side. So that’s negative, there is your positive.
So we’ve got our jumper cables hooked up to our smaller test leads because this
is going to be a low amperage test. We’ve got our battery hooked up but we’ve got
the negative held out to the side. And all you’re going to hear is just a
click, and that’s what we’re after. Now what that click sound is representing is
that a contactor is coming up, getting pulled into position, essentially
connecting this point to this point. Now how do I actually know that’s happening?
The way we’re going to test this is to use a digital multimeter and we’ve got
it connected to the two posts of the starter solenoid. And you’ll notice right
now it shows an open open circuit. That means that those two points are
completely separated from each other. And what we’re gonna do is use the battery
just to trigger the solenoid and when we do that, it’s going to bring up a
contactor, you’re gonna hear it click, and then you’re gonna see a resistance in
between these two posts. Somewhere in between 1 and 4 ohms, it depends on how
well that contactor makes a connection in there. So we’ll just hold it for a
couple of seconds, let you see the meter change, and then we’ll release it. All
right, it sees it. 2.37 and then it releases. And you can hear it as well.
Closed, 1.4. Open. And what that is allowing it to do is to take the voltage
from your battery side, send it over to your starter. It’s that simple.
Let’s look at our last starter. All it is comprised of is just your housing, which
has the negative built into the body just like the other two, and then you’ve
got one positive lead that will be going over to a starter solenoid
somewhere on the machine and I’ve showed you how to test that. So to do a static
test on one of these, we simply ground the body, we reach in and we grab that
center post, and now when I ground it it is simply going to spin. It has no
bendix because it uses a couple of reduction
gears as well as a one-way clutch on most vehicles. All there is to it. Well there you have
it: I’ve shown you just the basics on how to test each scenario that you’re going
to find on an ATV, side-by-side, or motorcycle. If you need any parts for
your machine, why don’t you come see us at partzilla and we can get you taken care of. If you like what you see, and want to see what I’m working on next, why don’t you hit that subscribe button that way you’ll be notified. We just want to say thank you for shopping with at Partzilla and we will see you in the next video. Y’all have a great day.

2 comments on “How to Test a Starter | Starter Test with Battery | How to Test the Starter on a Motorcycle

  1. how about using a scope to look and see if you have a shorted commutator section, i.e, a dead spot, starters more times then not will not exhibit problems until your stranded, testing with a battery only tells you that it turns on, a scope allows you to "look inside" of the starter with out even removing it from the machine.

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