Starter Clutch Removal/Replace? - Page 7 - Honda Rebel Forum
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post #61 of 65 Old 08-05-2018, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 18
Ok, I know this is hella old, and I totally forgot about this thread.
I ended up actually doing this repair myself. I didn't do it "the right way" but I got it done. And I was painfully new at all of it.

It involved an impact driver, a torque wrench, and a flywheel puller (which was extremely difficult to use for some reason). None of which I had at the time. The flywheel puller is a specific Honda tool I had to order from the dealer. It takes some force to get that thing off (#23 is the bolt). But I did finally remove the whole alternator assembly that way. And now I can't remember if it was more helpful to have the bike in gear or not. Sorry.

I also had to have someone help me remove the bolts on the back of the starting clutch spring cap (#30 in PDF) in order to get to the springs and rollers. The screw heads were melted so that they couldn't be removed. I didn't know what else to do at this juncture so I went back to the dealership. The parts guy took pity on me and sent me to his fabricator buddy across the street, who welded tabs on those screws so I could remove them. Otherwise I'd be buying a whole bunch of pieces instead of just springs and rollers. But then I had to order new screws and wait for those, too.

The springs and rollers were a pain, too. You gotta be real careful and deliberate with placement or they all fall out. Super skinny needle-nose pliers, and a whole lot of patience, helped. Stupid tiny finicky pieces.

Maybe your repair won't be as frustrating. Maybe you'll get that flywheel off no sweat. Mine kept spinning, so I jammed a rag in there to keep the starting motor chain from moving, and got it so stuck in there, I had to burn the rag off with a torch. And almost set my bike on fire in the process. [Yeah, I know; I'm a spaz.] And then I get to the whole bit where the springs and rollers are housed and I'm clearly not getting those screws off because there's a big gob of melted metal on top of each screw head where one would usually insert a screwdriver. Maybe yours isn't welded like that and you can just unscrew that sh*t. Maybe get all the bits and pieces in advance so you don't have to keep waiting every time you order something else. Then you can totally do it in your garage. And likely in one or two days tops, too. What a concept.

Seriously, this is a tedious repair that only masochists (yes, this includes bike builders) and mechanics should undertake. Otherwise, farm it out so you can get it done and just go ride. Fer reals.

SIDE NOTE: I long ago sold that Rebel, only to replace it years later with a newer model that I use to teach people how to ride. I now have a 2002 model, and I am *still* doing all my own repairs on it. Yes, they're just as tedious. No, I'm not a mechanic. Yes, I am that stubborn. (Really, though. Ask me about my recent clutch replacement job.)
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post #62 of 65 Old 08-05-2018, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
Posts: 18
"On the flywheel removal... It appears as though if you had the proper size bolt you could just thread it into the flywheel and push it off of the crankshaft. Unfortunately however I didnt have an assortment of large bolts to play with, so I rented one of the 3 pronged jaw pullers from Auto Zone. I put the flywheel bolt back into the crankshaft and threaded it down with just about a 1/8" gap, then used the bolt head for the jaw puller to press against. This worked for removing the flywheel but I was amazed at how much pressure it took to break it loose."

THIS. Honda makes a flywheel puller for this, but you still have to use an impact driver to break it loose somehow bc there isn;t enough force with the puller. and the bits about having it gear while your gf holds the brake. yeah, not so easy, and totally didn't work out the way i thought it might. the flywheel puller was also not so easy bc the starter motor chain kept moving. It was rough.

You def need an impact driver, and it really helps to have someone there to keep things from moving while you try and get that flywheel bolt off.
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post #63 of 65 Old 08-05-2018, 06:47 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Fredericton,NB
Posts: 13,266
Ummm yeah... This is where it helps to have an experienced friend to give advice or help with some of your first attempts at repairs.
Jaw pullers are definitely not recommended for use on the Rebel flywheel due to a tendency to warp the rim which is not as rigid as you might think. The Honda screw type puller is used to apply even pressure to the hub only (where the actual taper is located that is holding the thing on the crankshaft) You don't just screw the thing on until it comes loose. This will involve an awful lot of force and friction. The correct procedure is to apply some moderately hard pressure to the puller and then rap the end of the bolt with a hammer. The impact of the hammer blow combined with the steady screw pressure will shock the taper loose with much less static force than would be necessary to simply screw it off with no impact.
The flywheel should be held with a nylon strap wrench to loosen the fixing bolt rather than trying to jam the rather delicate starter chain. Putting the bike in gear and using the crankshaft and transmission to hold the flywheel in place can break things.
A valuable lesson is to get the proper tools for the job so you don't damage your bike.
Anyway, Good luck with your project.
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1973 Norton Interstate (in a box in the basement)
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post #64 of 65 Old 08-09-2018, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 3
Thank you, this is why I asked the question want all the right tools on hand before I tackle this. Just ordered a flywheel puller. Also a nylon strap wrench? Not a rubber mastercraft strap wrench? Appreciate all the feedback
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post #65 of 65 Old 08-09-2018, 10:49 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Fredericton,NB
Posts: 13,266
An impact screwdriver will also be a big help in getting the 3 screws out of the back of the flywheel without chewing the screws. They are also must-have tools for working on bikes.

2004 Rebel 250, 2003 BMW K1200GT (roadburner), 2004 BMW R1200GS(all purpose),
1973 Norton Interstate (in a box in the basement)
1968 Triumph Bonneville
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