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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The starter on my 81 CX500C gave up the ghost early on a long road trip last August. A Honda shop cleaned it up and put in new brushes and etc. I also replaced the starter relay solenoid. The starter fired up after that and kept me going for the next 6000 miles of the trip. But somewhere along the line the bike began producing a loud honking sound just after starting. It lasts for a short second and then the bike runs great. The sound doesn't happen every start, but often enough and loud enough that I should probably get it figured out and fixed. It's such a signature sound that I thought the more experienced among y'all would be able to recognize the problem immediately.

This is the sound: goose

So what's the deal? Do I need to refurb or replace the starter once again?

Thanks for listening!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, cxphreak. I've been digging around the forums and listening to a lot of starting noises on youtube, but haven't found anything that sounds quite the same. I will have to get out the manual and school myself a bit on the starter clutch. Do you have an idea of what specifically would prevent the clutch from disengaging properly?
 

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Not really mate, that's just my take on the sound.

another possibility may be a bad bearing in the starter motor itself screaming as it comes to a stop and this may be a better [easier] place to start looking.

These are bike starters and of course the mechanism is different to a car but I have heard noises like this from car systems.

If you can borrow another starter from another local member you may be able to more easily narrow down the fault.

Also, try loosening the 2 starter retaining bolts a few turns and then pry the starter toward the back of the bike as far as the mount will allow and retighten the bolts.
 

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I think CXPHREAK is on track with it being starter bushes, they could just be dry, a bit of molybond grease should do the trick, the noise sounds just like a dry manual trans clutch spiggot bush in cars.
 

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Something concerning me is the noise occurs but the engine doesn't rev up to idle until the noise goes away.
You can hear it... starter spins, engine starts to fire, <HONK>, <HONK> goes away, engine idles up.
 

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I'd pull the starter and begin there. Could be brushes (not likely) or starter clutch or starter bearings........

Really no practical way to diagnose without pulling the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yep, I'll pull the starter and clean it up to begin with. That was the original fail, so maybe it just needs a little more lovin' than it was given by the Honda shop in Sault Ste Marie. It'll have to wait until the weekend, but I'll update the thread if/when I discover any further clues.
 

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Nate,

I was going to say, "Welcome to the forum," but it looks like you've been registered for a couple years. Do I know you under a different user name (that may have been lost in the latest server migration?)


R
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey Randall - I don't recall if I had any other user name. I tend to jump on the forum in the late summer when I'm prepping for a road trip. I had an 81 GL500 for the first trip three summers ago and have taken my current 81 CX500C on the last two. These are the only bikes I've owned and I am pretty much a newb at motorcycle mechanics but definitely enjoy getting greasy and learning some things.
 

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Nate,

I was going to say, "Welcome to the forum," but it looks like you've been registered for a couple years. Do I know you under a different user name (that may have been lost in the latest server migration?)


R
Well, anyways.... Here it goes! Welcome to the forum! LoL!

To me, that sounds like dry starter bushings.

If you're not familiar with DC motors it can be a bit challenging to take it apart and give it a good cleaning.

Here's a write up from our Wiki.

http://cxgl.wikispaces.com/Starting+Motor
 

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Hey Randall - I don't recall if I had any other user name. I tend to jump on the forum in the late summer when I'm prepping for a road trip.
Well, try to hop on some time in March, and look for the Annual Spring Ride and Barbecue. Right now, it looks like it will be the Saturday after Memorial Day, but I still need to verify that.

Where are you in Mpls?


R
 

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If the engine won't achieve idle speed until the honk goes away, it could be the engine is trying to spin the starter way too fast due to a starter clutch that won't disengage. I had a similar situation where I had to fix a Goldwing that was in our shop when the armature on the starter threw the commentator bars off after being spun too fast by a sticking starter clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Problem solved, but sorry to say I never did find the actual cause of the honking. I pulled the starter and cleaned it thoroughly according to Shep's instructions in the wiki. Everything looked clean and functional, but when I put it back in it was even worse. The honk turned to more of a churning grind and I nearly fried my battery trying to get it to turn over. So I found a different starter on ebay for a decent price, installed it, and she fired right up with nary a honk. Thanks to everyone who pitched in with suggestions.
 
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