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1974 Ironhead Sportster Starter Issue

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Old 08-25-2013, 01:41 PM
Chaoszen Chaoszen is offline
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Default 1974 Ironhead Sportster Starter Issue

Hello everyone! I'm new here. I have a 1974 Sportster with an ongoing electric starter issue. My old starter needed replacement. I bought a Prestolite high torque starter as my Sportster has a brand new S&S stroker kit which makes the bike a 1200cc. I put the starter in and checked the voltage. The starter was pulling 14v but would not turn over the motor. The solenoid seems fine but all I get is a click when the gear engages. The starter bench tests fine but will not turn over the motor. The old starter was worn out but would at least try and turn it over. I have about 800 miles since engine rebuild and it used to start right up.
There were 2 different starters in 1974, an Hitachi and a Prestolite. The starter I replaced was a Hitachi I think. But the Harley dealer said a high torque Prestolite would work better.

My question is, why wont the new starter turn over the motor? Am I missing something? Or is the Prestolite high torque just not doing the job?

I am lost here and would really like to ride my scooter before the end of summer. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any suggestions..
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:02 PM
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IronMick IronMick is offline
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I am not familiar with the differences between the two starters, except that Hitachi uses metric mount long bolts while the Prestolite uses 1/4". If the new one installed into the same threaded holes as did the old one then they are the same brand.

The solenoid "seems fine" is not good enough. We have to know absolutely for certain. Here are the tests, all 3 of them ...

Here is a detailed procedure for testing the start system. This will isolate exactly which part is causing the problem ...

Start System Testing
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