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Enduro Engine 4 stroke (including EFI & Exhaust) 4 stroke engine, EFI, and exhaust discussion

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Old 04-17-2012, 12:59 PM
Jim Cook's Avatar
Jim Cook Jim Cook is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Smackover, Arkansas (AR)
Posts: 678
Thumbs up 2002-2003 FSE400/450 Electric Starter Tips

I was the owner of one of the earliest FSE400 bikes imported to the US. I learned quite a bit about the bike in the two years I owned and rode it.

One thing I found as an early FSE400 owner, was that the starter was the same as a Yamaha starter... with modifications.
The modification was needed because of the difference in what area of the starter was exposed, to be able to connect the starter power cable.
To explain further: the bolt where the cable attaches comes out of the starter in a different location than was originally designed for Yamaha application.

This new cable bolt location caused two problems:
1. On the early FSE, where the starter is down low in the front of the cylinder, there is a rubber plug in the side of the GG starter. This plug is located where the originally engineered "starter cable bolt" was supposed to be located. In certain conditions, this plug can allow water and mud to pass, which will eventually cause the starter to fail.
My fix for this was to completely cover and seal over the rubber plug with "QuickSteel" metal epoxy. (Quicksteel is now owned and sold as a "J&B Weld" product. It looks like a large Tootsie Roll, with two different color materials in the stick; darker in the middle.) This stopped the moisture problem caused by deep creek crossings.
Ricky Stator was an excellent resource for replacement parts to the starter, including the square formed o-ring which seals where the segments of the starter are put together. If anyone disassembles their starter for any reason, I highly recommend replacing the o-ring.

2: Second problem: Since the bolt to attach the starter cable emerges from a different location than what was originally designed, there are no internal tabs, or bracing, in the starter to hold the bolt stationary when loosening or tightening the cable retaining nut on the bolt.
When removing or tightening the nut, one must make sure that the bolt doesn't turn, or it will damage the connection with the starter's brushes. I got in the habit of securing the bolt with needle nose vice grips as I tightened or loosened the bolt connecting the cable.

This wasn't all that I learned about the early FSE starter system, but it was a definitely needed fix.

Good Riding!

Jim Cook
Smackover Racing
'11 Gas Gas EC250 (primary ride)
'06 Gas Gas DE300
'94 Husaberg FE350
'86 Yamaha IT200
'86 Honda TRL200 Reflex
'04 KTM 525EXC (soon to be dual sported)
Several others, including project bikes, Deb's bike, and a fleet of grandkids' bikes

Let's go riding!
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