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ack1961

Can someone point me to the '03 WR450 Starter issue thread?

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Sorry for the 1 billionth thread regarding the '03 WR450 Starter issue, but I've been away for a long time, and I need to get the starter fixed on my '03 WR450.

I've been through 2 starter motors (both stopped working and the 2nd one went up in smoke after it failed). I remember a thread a couple of years ago where someone took the time to outlline the parts needed to upgrade the '03 Starter assembly to an '04. I bookmarked it on my old computer, but did not import those bookmarks onto my new laptop. I just did a search for it on this forum, but couldn't find it.

I found a new Starter on eBay that should fit my '03:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/280978043093?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

I just want to know which other components I'll need to change in order to get this starter issue fixed for good.

I'll also listen to any constructive suggestions on the best way to tackle this issue. I'm no mechanic, but I can turn wrenches well enough to get this done.

Thanks,

Steve

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Ack1961,

The 2003 Starter issue dealt with the fact that the Idler Gear between the Starter Motor and the Starter Clutch (located on the end of the Crank) was a rigid gear. When the engine occasionally backfired, the force of the backfire was transmitted to the Starter Motor. If you were lucky, the Woodruff Key on the Crank Shaft sheared and the engine lost timing and would not start. If you were unlucky, the Side Case broke. Sometimes, the Starter Clutch came apart. Actual failure of the Starter internals is not a result of the Idler Gear issue.

I was one of the first to incorporate the upgraded 2004 starter gear train parts into my 2003 WR. I wrote a lengthy thread on the problem and the parts required to upgrade from the 2003 to 2004 configuration. I tried to find the thread using Search and no luck. Maybe some helpful soul saved it to a personal file.

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Ack1961,

The 2003 Starter issue dealt with the fact that the Idler Gear between the Starter Motor and the Starter Clutch (located on the end of the Crank) was a rigid gear. When the engine occasionally backfired, the force of the backfire was transmitted to the Starter Motor. If you were lucky, the Woodruff Key on the Crank Shaft sheared and the engine lost timing and would not start. If you were unlucky, the Side Case broke. Sometimes, the Starter Clutch came apart. Actual failure of the Starter internals is not a result of the Idler Gear issue.

I was one of the first to incorporate the upgraded 2004 starter gear train parts into my 2003 WR. I wrote a lengthy thread on the problem and the parts required to upgrade from the 2003 to 2004 configuration. I tried to find the thread using Search and no luck. Maybe some helpful soul saved it to a personal file.

Baja,

Thanks for that. When I bought the WR, the previous owner said that he had "the Woodruff Key" fix done to it already, but he never had a problem with the Starter.

Since I've owned the bike, I've gone through two starters (the original and the replacement), even though I don't use the e-Start very often.

I don't mind buying another starter (like the '03-'06 on eBay), but I'm just wondering what else I should be ordering to make the Starter assembly bullet-proof.

I'm going to go through my backups and see if I can find the link to your thread on this topic.

Thanks for the reply - it's greatly appreciated.

Steve

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The "Woodruff Key fix" consisted of lapping the fly wheel to the crank shaft and using Loctite on the nut that secures the fly wheel to the crank. This did little more than ensure that an engine backfire would transmit force in the direction of the starter motor -- increasing the likelihood that the side case would crack.

The way to determine if the 2004 parts where installed in your bike is to look at the Idler cover on your bike. If it is flat, with no raised dome, then your bike does not have the updated parts installed. Every bike since 2004 has the domed Idler cover.

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The "Woodruff Key fix" consisted of lapping the fly wheel to the crank shaft and using Loctite on the nut that secures the fly wheel to the crank. This did little more than ensure that an engine backfire would transmit force in the direction of the starter motor -- increasing the likelihood that the side case would crack.

The way to determine if the 2004 parts where installed in your bike is to look at the Idler cover on your bike. If it is flat, with no raised dome, then your bike does not have the updated parts installed. Every bike since 2004 has the domed Idler cover.

Yup - mine is flat. I might as well try to find the parts list for the '04 and do it all at once.

Thanks.

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Sorry for the 1 billionth thread regarding the '03 WR450 Starter issue, but I've been away for a long time, and I need to get the starter fixed on my '03 WR450.

I've been through 2 starter motors (both stopped working and the 2nd one went up in smoke after it failed). I remember a thread a couple of years ago where someone took the time to outlline the parts needed to upgrade the '03 Starter assembly to an '04. I bookmarked it on my old computer, but did not import those bookmarks onto my new laptop. I just did a search for it on this forum, but couldn't find it.

I found a new Starter on eBay that should fit my '03:

http://www.ebay.com/...984.m1423.l2649

I just want to know which other components I'll need to change in order to get this starter issue fixed for good.

I'll also listen to any constructive suggestions on the best way to tackle this issue. I'm no mechanic, but I can turn wrenches well enough to get this done.

Thanks,

Steve

Ack1961,

The 2003 Starter issue dealt with the fact that the Idler Gear between the Starter Motor and the Starter Clutch (located on the end of the Crank) was a rigid gear. When the engine occasionally backfired, the force of the backfire was transmitted to the Starter Motor. If you were lucky, the Woodruff Key on the Crank Shaft sheared and the engine lost timing and would not start. If you were unlucky, the Side Case broke. Sometimes, the Starter Clutch came apart. Actual failure of the Starter internals is not a result of the Idler Gear issue.

I was one of the first to incorporate the upgraded 2004 starter gear train parts into my 2003 WR. I wrote a lengthy thread on the problem and the parts required to upgrade from the 2003 to 2004 configuration. I tried to find the thread using Search and no luck. Maybe some helpful soul saved it to a personal file.

Here you go i think i found it after reading this thread & going through a long search

http://www.thumperta...ruff-key-blues/

http://www.thumperta...tial-new-owner/

Hope that's it.

Enjoy if it is :cheers:

Edited by Barra8

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However, unless I missed something, it doesn't sound like this solves the actual starter issues you are having. It's a good idea to upgrade, mind you, but not a solution.

Maybe give us a little more info on what's actually happening and some steps leading up to it and we can help fix. Contrary to what has been written here, the electric start on the WR is actually quite reliable if maintained and used properly. My 04 will fire off even after winter storage without issue, and has only been kick started twice since I bought it in 09. And the PO was VERY short and said he never was able to kick it over either.

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Ack1961,

The second thread, http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/250737-2003-wr450-starter-problem-information-for-a-potential-new-owner/, contains my parts list to upgrade your 2003 to the 2004 configuration. In addition it includes my instructions for installing the new parts -- it is simple, takes less than 30 minutes and is very easy.

Note Miweber929's comment about the original problem which is broken starters. Again, updating the starter gear train is a VERY wise thing to do. However this upgrading to the 2004 configuration will have no effect on your starter problem. I have owned three WR450's (2003, 2006 and 2008) and I've never had a starter problem. While WR starters don't seem to spin the motor as rapidly as KTM starters, they are reliable. I'm unable to provide any advice to you about what is required to repair our starters. I would take the starter to a starter shop for an evaluation -- couldn't hurt.

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Just did the mod today on my 03wr450. Pretty simple only part was the washer between the new cover and new gear was loose on shaft. The shaft has a groove cut into it which is where washer rides

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