View Full Version : Grease 65 FLH Starter Motor Gears???

05-19-2007, 07:58 PM
While cleaning the starter motor housing, I noticed a build-up of grease. I assume this is the original grease for the armature shaft gear, and larger gear that drives the bendix assembly. No mention of greasing these gears, or what kind of grease to use in the manual.

Also, I noticed white grease inside the starter solenoid, for the solenoid armature.

Does anyone know of the correct lube for these parts?


05-19-2007, 09:46 PM
My servi car service manuals say to keep it clean of all things. The two systems are pretty much alike except for design for fit differences. The principles are basically the same. Grease will make the pinion stick on engagement and return. I do use a little on the shaft bearing journals though. Nothing on the rest of the system. Paps

05-19-2007, 09:53 PM
Thanks Paps. By the way, the penetrating oil on the pistons helped.


T. Cotten
05-20-2007, 08:19 AM

I , too, found heavy grease within '65 starter housings, and have always generously re-packed them (along with the needlebearing and bronze thrustface).

I prefer Lubriko to modern disc brake formulae.

There were numerous updates to the housing during production, most noteably the addition of an o-ring to the deflector plate (separating it from the primary), and a drain hole. Early units suffered from water drawn in by the vacuum of the primary, and grease was their only protection.

I cannot recall finding anything within the solenoids, but a thin coating to prevent corrosion certainly wouldn't hurt...


05-20-2007, 10:43 AM
I found the grease in early ironhead sporties also. Found the grease in some of the solenoids as well. Usually the leak by around the solenoid boot and gasket caused the failure of the solenoid and the sticking pinion or sticking engagement fork. I am thinking a heavy amount of grease may have been added by the backyard mechanic or mis-informed licenced mechanic. Parts like the early starter systems have in them, make one think, logically, that they all need lube, but the truth is, the parts have such large clearance specs in them, heavy lube will bind them up, collect dirt and grime, and cause failures. Notice how weak some of the springs are in them ? That is because they are intended only to slightly help force directional movement. The added heavy clearances do the real work of ease of motion. Tighter clearances are found at fulcrum and rotating bearing points in order to maintain geometry, but yet, not restrict, engagement and disengagement motion. As with Cotten, I focus any lube, and to a minimum, towards bearing areas, as on bearings, shaft journals, and thrust faces. Paps

05-28-2007, 11:28 AM
Thanks for all the info, everyone!