With the cold weather setting in and my wrist surgery just 10 days away, much of the motorcycle restoration project is on-hold for a while. I’m still making progress, though, ordering small parts that I need and cleaning parts that I’ll use again.
The project is really a series of little sub-projects. The latest sub-project was a complete rebuild of the starter motor. Since this is a full restoration, components like the starter require restoration, too. The starter came apart without argument, and the parts appeared to be in great condition. The original grease appeared to be fresh, but when I rotated the bearing the grease peeled away with the consistency of licorice candy. So, all the parts were soaked in mineral spirits to dissolve the old grease.
In a moment of cleaning overkill, I put the bearings and gears in an ultrasonic cleaner to blast away any remaining tiny crud. The appropriate parts were coated with fresh grease before the starter was reassembled. The starter was clean and lubed, but I still didn’t know if it worked. I grabbed a set of jumper cables, connected them to a battery then hooked the other ends to the starter. With a kick the starter pounced to life, spinning with a convincing hum. When the engine cases are painted, the starter body will receive a coat of paint to match.
Still a long way to go with this project, but the starter is ready for service.