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1986 TRX 250 Starter Bypass Gear Problems


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I finally got around to working on the TRX, this has been an ongoing problem with this machine. This is a machine that we keep on my Fathers property, i dont see it that often, my brother haad it professionally repaired last year and year before same problem, the new starter gears and bypass gears last about a year and the machine is not used that often, he said he was done with it , so i thought i should go take a look. Sure enough the gears were all malled again. 

 

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There is some slack in there but most is taken up by the gear cover,if anyone with history with these machines has had the same problem, let me know your findings. Where i am now im looking for finding replacement honda gears on Ebay and try those. I suspect the original was replaced with aftermarket gears years ago and they just worse quality as the years go by. 

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The broken gear has not been fully meshed with the starter pinion. The starter seems like it should be moved across left or right so it meshes full width of the gear teeth.

I doubt that alone would break gears repeatedly though, or not that fast anyway. Too much ignition advance would strain the gear. I'd check the ignition timing and advance, and try to ascertain how much it retarded as it went down to low revs. The cdi is really old and it probably gets advanced timing, and more ignition advance as it revs than it's meant to, if the air-gap on the pulse coil is too small.,

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Thanks! I will check that, and there are 2 different starters, if the wrong one was put in the gears may not mesh right, the one for 85 and 86 had a shorter shaft than the 87, i didnt get it completely out to check, i got it loose only to find i can only get it all the way out by taking everything above it out and ran out of time.

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I just found it out when i was trying to purchase a starter the 85-86 had a shorter shaft and shared many parts with the 3 wheeler Big Red 250, what i ddont know is if all the 86s were like that or if they changed somewhere in the middle of the model year. I also found out that the aftermarket gear has 46 teeth and the honda one has 43 teeth. The honda one is still available so im going to go with that one and try to find a used denso starter and get back to all honda parts and see if that fixes the problem.

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Oh ok. Getting the correct parts has always been a mechanics nightmare. Mechanics always blame the spares guy and the spares guy always blames the mechanic.

Anyway.. There are two ways they can get extra teeth on a gear, make the pitch smaller or increase the diameter.. If they change the pitch the gears would wear badly, but those gears don't seem to be too badly worn, just a bit damaged. I'd have to suspect they increased the diameter, and that should, unless it bottoms the crests out in the valleys, decrease clearance and increase the depth of the pitch. That should aid the strength of the cogs. The fact it's got more teeth means it will be lower geared, and that should reduce the load. I'd probably be ok with the aftermarket gear as long as it looked well made and finished.

I'd be pretty sure the longer pinion starter will cure the problem.

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I agree from the looks of the broken gear teeth, it looks like it needs the longer pinion starter, but all the information i have found says the 86 uses the short pinion starter and the longer one started with 87. 

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Might be a replacement engine.. You could compare the engine to frame number for discrepancies.

 

Have you checked in 87 what other parts got changed to accommodate the different longer starter ? It must be either that case or the gear that changed..  I think.

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Its always possible it could be a replacement engine, i never thought in that direction, only because it was only a year old when my father bought it, but it was used hard, infact the kickstarter has never worked and he never got that fixed, im going to be fixing that also.

Clarification on the bypass gear, you think having more teeth on the gear would be a plus.

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Oh ok, #11 explains it then.

I think that bigger gear with more teeth will be lowering the overall ratio between starter and engine by quite a lot because there's a second reduction which will multiply the small difference in ratio of the first gear set, and I think that reduction in ratio should lower the strain/load on the gears.. so hopefully make them last longer.

That said, I'm sure Honda will have worked it all to the umpteenth degree and their design will be quite alright when the right starter is fitted. I see also that the honda gear is quite a reasonable price.. Don't know what the aftermarket gear costs though..

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If your Dad got it early on then it probably hadn't got a new engine..  Hondas are too good for that !

It's probably just a different market, that had different components in that year.. That would be my guess.

They quite often come to some trade deal where the machine's made in Japan, but assembled using some local manufactured parts and labour, in the country it's going to be sold in. That machine might be before America started making and assembling the bikes for their own market. It might have been made in Japan but the alternative starter might have been made in America and somehow got fitted to a case not made for it..  ..  Or something like that.

As I say.. Parts are a mechanics nightmare !

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The problem with this one is i cannt just go out and tinker and come back in and figure it out, its a few hrs away, but iv been seeing my brother spend a lot of money to get it repaired and the repair will last about a year with very little use, its mainly used as a utility vehicle pulling stuff around the property, no mudding or high speed riding., So i decided i better get involved to try and figure out whats going on. Im trying to gather up all my parts before i go. I found a used honda starter on Ebay, very reasonable, with the correct part # for an 86. I dont generally buy used starters, but new OEM is unobtainable. If need be i will rebuild it if possible. I found the honda gear like the one that was chewed up, although Calric makes the gear and starter to fit, might should have gone that route but will see how it goes.

Im also going to do the kickstarter while im there, i have been thinking about it a little. The kick starter just kicks down easily and doesnt turn the engine, no noises or grinding or anything, and springs back up good. So i was thinking maybe the one way bearing has quit working, any thoughts on that.

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Yeah well hondas are well made and repair really nicely usually. They don't have many design faults/weak parts. You'd have to suspect that whoever is doing these short lived repairs is not doing the repairs very well..I'm sure you'll get to the bottom of it and do better than these in a hurry mechanics.

The kickstart... yeah the sprag clutch in the centrifugal drum could cause that, or the kick gear might be munted, or whatever disengagement mechanism it has for the gear might be playing up. It's easy to test the sprag clutch by putting it in a forward gear and trying to push it forwards, in which case, if the sprag is good, the wheels will try to turn the engine over. If you push oi backwards the sprag will slip and not try to turn the engine over.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have been slowly gathering up parts for when i go back to work on it, i found an  new OEM honda gear on Ebay, so i ordered it , waited and waited and no gear i was in no particular hurry so i just waited, yesterday there was a note on my door SORRY WE MISSED YOU, from the post office i had to sign to get my package,. It came from Japan, i never paid attention to where the seller was located, but it was free shipping, i would have thought the shipping would have been more than i paid for the part, $39.00. Very nice gear compared to the aftermarket one. That is probably why there are so many failures.

I also got a used OEM starter from ebay, works but not in the best of shape gear wise, i was just going to replace the armature but havent been able to find one. It will probably work OK but the gear is a little knarly looking. Any of you guys ever used Caltric or Nicci starters, i may just get a new aftermarket, maybe better than this one.

 

The gear compared to aftermarket honda one is on the left

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IMG_4948.thumb.jpeg.4ec34308dd9d063f6036035778a48a00.jpeg

Starter teeth are fairly chewed up, but meshes up fairly well, but  am not really comfortable with it.

IMG_4955.thumb.jpeg.c16f8627b27b95dbeb17c52a1c6e270c.jpeg

IMG_4950.thumb.jpeg.7c36c5843358a54fbad702539e4b8761.jpeg

IMG_4953.thumb.jpeg.3af01bb6f6bf2580f05091a9622ada61.jpeg

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Is the gear going to mesh across more of the tooth now, and is it going to perhaps mesh further in on the start pinion ? That does look a bit munted alright. Pity to run that on the nice new honda part..

I'll look in my shed tomorrow.. I've got a shelf of those..

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Im going to go there in a few weeks, so im trying to gather up what i will need to get it going, not sure about how the starter is going to mesh from the looks of the bad gear that came out of it should mesh further in to cover all the teeth , which would be the longer shaft starter, thats what i have to determine did they put the wrong starter in and does it actually take the longer shaft starter even though 86 is listed for the same starter as the Big Red 250 3 wheeler. Maybe like you said it does have a newer engine. I think i will go with one of the new aftermarket starters it should be fine with the hoonda gear.

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You said there was also a second version of side case, so it gets even trickier. 

I do notice though that the starter pinion has two different wear marks. There's the chewed bit, and then there's signs of wear that extends a little bit further along the splines towards the body of the starter.. Perhaps it was just the first replacement cog was too narrow.. Perhaps this new genuine cog will make good contact.. A bit of grease or bearing blue should reveal how much contact it has.

 

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This is not the starter that was on the quad it is the one that i got off ebay the only one OEM that would fit, teeth were worse than i thought, but got it dirt cheap and it does work, a mistake. Last time i was with the quad i got the starter loose but never could get it out without pulling the air box and i ran out of time, when i go there i have to mow 4 acres crank and service all the equipment check the house and other things. I do remember that teeth were also missing off the starter but couldnt get it out far enough to see if it was the long shaft or short shaft, srarter. I think im going to buy a new Niche starter for it and see how that works out.

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