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How to Remove the Starter From a 1998 Harley-Davidson FXSTC

by Kyle McBride

Harley-Davison equipped the 1998 Softail Custom models with a Japanese made Nippon-Denso type starter. A common case houses the starter and starter solenoid, which prevents the replacement of the starter or the solenoid independent of each other. When energized, the solenoid connects the starter to battery voltage and simultaneously extends the starter shaft, or jackshaft, into the primary drive chaincase. The pinion gear on the end of the jackshaft engages the ring gear around the circumference of the clutch shell, which rotates the engine through the primary drive components.

Remove the terminal bolt from the negative battery terminal with a 10 mm wrench. Position the battery negative cable where it cannot contact the negative battery terminal.

Place a catch pan under the primary chaincase drain plug. Remove the drain plug and drain plug O-ring with a wrench. Allow the primary chaincase lubricant to drain.

Loosen the left side running board mounting bolts with an Allen driver and ratchet and pull the running board off of the frame.

Loosen the rear cylinder exhaust pipe retainer nuts and remove them from the studs with a ratchet and socket. Remove the nut from the T-bolt at the rear of the pipe with a wrench. Pull the exhaust pipe off the engine and lay it aside. Remove the old exhaust crush gasket from the exhaust port in the rear cylinder with a dental pick.

Loosen the shifter pinch bolt on the shift lever with an Allen driver and ratchet. Pull the shift lever and spacer off the shift shaft.

Loosen and remove the primary chaincase screws with an Allen driver and ratchet. Pull the primary chaincase cover from the engine and lay it aside.

Pry open the lock tab holding the jackshaft bolt with a flat screwdriver. Grab the pinion gear with a clean shop rag to prevent it from rotating. Loosen the jackshaft bolt with a wrench and pull the bolt and the lock washer out of the jackshaft.

Remove the bolts from the chrome end-cover with a wrench. Pull the bolts and end-cover from the starter.

Loosen the starter mounting bolts with an Allen driver and ratchet. Lift the starter assembly from the engine. Remove the starter terminal nut with a wrench and pull the starter solenoid wires from the terminal stud. Pull the starter through the right side of the vehicle

Install the solenoid wires, washer and nut onto the starter terminal stud and tighten securely with a wrench.

Pull the jackshaft coupling off the starter and place the end of the coupling with the counterbore in it onto the jackshaft.

Install the starter assembly through the right side of the motorcycle. Guide the jackshaft coupling onto the starter shaft and install the starter mounting bolts. Torque the starter mounting bolts to 13 to 20 foot-pounds with a foot-pound torque wrench and socket.

Hold the pinion gear to prevent it from turning and install the jackshaft bolt and lock washer. Align the locator tab on the lock washer with the hole in the jackshaft. Torque the jackshaft bolt to 7 to 9 foot-pounds with a foot-pound torque wrench and socket. Bend the lock washer tab back into position with a pair of pliers. Ensure that the lock washer tab closely fits the closest flat on the jackshaft bolt.

Remove the old primary chaincase gasket with a gasket scraper. Install the new primary chaincase cover gasket onto the vehicle using the locating studs as a guide. Hold the primary chaincase cover in position and install the chaincase screws by hand. Torque the primary chaincase cover screws to 9 to 10 foot-pounds with a foot-pound torque wrench and socket.

Remove the clutch inspection cover with a ratchet and Allen driver. Add chaincase lubricant until the fluid level is even with the bottom of the clutch inspection hole with the bike parked on level ground and held upright by a helper. Wipe any residual oil from the clutch inspection cover and O-ring. Install the cover, O-ring and the inspection cover screws on the primary chaincase. Tighten the clutch inspection cover screws securely with a ratchet and Allen driver.

Install the shift lever and spacer onto the shift shaft. Tighten the pinch bolt securely with a ratchet and Allen driver. Install the footboard and mounting bolts onto the frame. Tighten the mounting bolts securely with a ratchet and Allen driver.

Insert a new exhaust crush gasket into the exhaust port in the rear cylinder. Position the exhaust pipe and slide the exhaust pipe flange onto the studs. Install and tighten the exhaust nuts to 12 foot-pounds with a foot-pound torque wrench and socket. Do not over torque and distort the flange. Install and securely tighten the T-bolt nut into the rubber isolation mount near the end of the pipe.

Install the negative battery cable onto the negative battery terminal. Install and tighten the battery terminal bolt with a 10 mm wrench.

Tips

  • Wash the bike to remove all traces of oil, even skin oil, from the chrome exhaust pipes before starting the engine. Failure to do so will lead to cosmetic damage and 'bluing' of the chrome pipes.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with petroleum lubricants. Dispose of used oil at an approved hazardous-waste facility.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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