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looking for a roller starter

74179 Views 121 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  speedrattle
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I may be looking for one also. My hand held after hours of making it and modifying it it just won't even budge my motor even though it is quite easy to turn with a ratchet wrench.
The small battery won't put enough torque to it so I modified it to accept a big 750cca car battery and it still won't turn it over. The original starter in it turned clockwise but I needed it to turn CC. So I got a Dodge started that turn the correct direction.

Once I find a way to turn this thing over I think I am only an hour or 2 from making real noise and crying a lot.
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Doc Z Solo Starters.

Not cheap, but VERY well built
Went to the site and had to laugh when I saw the pic of the girl and the 2 starters. Caption on the girl says "Girl not for sale" , I wonder if I could rent her for a few hours.:)
Helpful hint: Doc races Aermacchi (HD) 350 Knuckleheads in AHRMA. I was able to trade an engine for my set as shown in pix, without the batteries and starters (O'Reilley's)
What kind of money are they getting for one with or without starters? Starters can be pricey if you get a good one (or 2). My motor is 1327cc and 11:1 cr.
About $800 for the Doc Z unit. I paid $50 each (or something like that) for the starters with a lifetime warranty from AutoZone.

Thought you said O'Reilly's? I worked for O'Reillys until 2 weeks ago and I don't think a starter for anything is under $100 anymore, starters and batteries have really gone up in the last couple of years. So basically that roller is $1k. Bit more than I want to spend. I'm looking at the pics and seeing how to build my own. Have you seen the ones with the long rollers that one end goes under your car/truck wheel to turn it? Obviously doesn't work on a post rear end.
Buy a home on Signal Hill CA.

View attachment 12798

A good place to live if you own a Harley-Davidson XLCH with a FireBlanks-NoRemorse magneto!

Danger, is my business."
Mine always started first kick, would everytime if you knew how to start one. When we were finished at the car wash I would go sit on the curb. My brother would ask me what I was doing. I said I'm taking a rest while you try and start your wet Triumph. I'd usually have a 5-10 minute break, then I would kick mine once and be on my way.
When I started my build I was a young 23 year old street racer so this build was suppose to be a street legal full race bike at the time. So in consideration of weight EVERYTHING that didn't have to be on the bike wasn't on the bike. This included elimination of the weight of any electric or kick start parts and would be a bump start only bike. Some of you know the story of this bike how for 35 years I thought this motor was only 1032cc, 10:1cr. After a tear down of the motor after 35 years after never having been fired I realized it was actually 1327cc at 11:1cr and might not be the easiest bike to bump start for a 60 year old guy (not my mind, but the body is showing wear) in 95* Georgia. So I looked into a hand held starter because the spud for the engine was available for a very low price. I even got Alan Sputhe who I bought my heads from to send me a set of pressure relief valves to put in the heads to ease starting. But the mechanic who did the reassembly didn't have the confidence to do them so I'm glad he passed on the job. But now I don't want to tear the top end down again until this freaking thing runs and I put a season on or how ever much time it takes for me to determine it needs to be done. In the mean time I need something to turn the motor over enough to fire it up before a few other things on the bike can be completed.Then I will need something that can be used at the starting line for LSR runs and trackside at RR tracks. and ready for use for DD. I just don't know how hard bump starting will be when I leave my destination without a starter. The hand held was portable enough to have fit in a backpack if need be with the motorcycle battery driving it, but that battery isn't enough torque to turn my motor or I have the wrong starter for this app. So thats why I need something like this.
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I had a Bultaco250 basket case I bought back in the late 70's, put it together and the only way to start it was to tow it behind a car till it was going about 20mph before it would fire off. I lived in the San Fernando Valley outside LA. Had a vacant lot next to my house in the residential neighborhood. I took some old car hoods and made some jumps and set up a little motocross track in that lot and pissed off all the neighbors who had swimming pools that I filled with dirt dust.
I lose my breathe when contemplating push starting 1327cc @11:1cr without pressure relief valves.
I seriously need to make some progress with firing this thing up. Where would I go to advertise in my local area to see if a local racer with a roll starter would loan or rent me one? I don't think it would be wise to start and breaking in this motor from bump starting it.
Don't even think about the one from OZ. I thought it looked like a good idea but have spent a lot of time making it right. There's nothing on the bottom to dig into the pavement, the rollers touched the bolts on the bearing housings and the rollers slide back and forth. If you ever have to change the sprockets, good luck, they are welded on. It is screwed together with sheet metal screws and the frame is kind of flimsy. It only has 1 motor and the plug for the foot switch is off a computer which won't stay attached. I put in a proper twist lock plug. The only good thing is it will start my 400 CanAm and is easy to roll back onto because the front roller is small. It was over $1200.
Which one from Oz were you referring to? I'll make my own before ordering one from across the pond anywhere for what they are getting for them.
I found 2 old 2'x2" rollers with bearings from an old treadmill that I could modify to work in a roll starter.

do you have a pic of yours for me to pick ideas from?
So I've done some research and find most of the roller starters are in the $800 range to begin with. Some claim to be portable, but you still need to handle the battery separately. I've seen hand held units that were incorporated into a hand cart making them portable. I've priced the material needed and can incorporate a roller starter into a hand cart for less than $175, and make it totally portable and take up no more space than the hand cart standing up. What I am going to do is use my hand cart that looks like this:

I will cut the "T" strap out of the top center and lay the cart on the ground and weld in an identical unit to this one from member Mgmark:

You lay it down and back in over the top handle. All nice and tidy. I just won a starter motor on Egay for $59. I'm going to get the frame stock tomorrow from the local metal salvage yard. The battery will be a gel type and will be semi permanently attached. All you have to do is lay it down and place the start pedal where you need.
I'll probably make 2 to start and see if I can't $800 for one of mine to offset the cost of mine.
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Your unit is not convenient for places like Bonneville and Ohio where you have to take it with you to the start line and then remove it immediately. You can't say yours is any more easy to place where ever you need it.
I will post pics as I make it. I have an extra cart I can use for mine. The cost of the cart would raise my pricing by about $30. If I use a new starter it would bump it another $40, so I'm still less than $250 in material. The common starters for these are 1959 Ford tractor starters.
I'm a price shopper, don't believe in paying retail for anything. I can get those starter motors new for $98.
Yes you can, and there goes 39% of your $250 budget. How much do you expect to charge for your labor? Free?
I included the used starter at $59 in my under $175 price, so a new starter puts me at $216. I'm sure my labor charge will come out of the $584 left over. I think I can make a few dollars after labor. Why do you continue to try and talk me out of it? I still won't want one of your units.
As I progress feel free to critique the build. I of course will custom powder coat them after all the welding, because that's what I do.
I am aware of the issues and have done enough research to know what to look out for. My plan leaves the cart to be a cart when the battery is not on it. Or I may put a second shelf on it for carry capacity or for a second battery for a 24v system.

Trailer Rollers $7.50 $15.00
5/8" Pillow Blocks $6.90 $27.60 $42.60
20t 35# 5/8" sprockets $7.50 $30.00 $72.60
10' 35# chain $13.00 $13.00 $85.60
59 Ford Starter $98.00 $98.00 $183.60
7" 1x2 steel tube $7.00 $7.00 $190.60
Solenoid $10.00 $10.00 $200.60
Bolts $5.00 $5.00 $205.60
Foot pedal $10.00 $10.00 $215.60
Shafts for rollers $2.99 $5.98 $221.58
Battery cables $20.00 $20.00 $241.58
Cart $30.00 $30.00 $271.58

I think that's everything.
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So today I procured the metal for the frame ($8) and cut and had my friend weld it up ($20)
Here's my cart ready to cut the "T" out:

Frame for the roller starter:

Framework in place:

I think this design is going to work out nicely. If you look at the brace bars in the back I will add extensions to them to secure the frame work to. I'm thinking about bolting (quick release pins) the frame work to the braces so it can be removed and used as a stationary unit.
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I'll post as I go. I didn't intend for this to be built in 2 days. Patience children. I ordered the chain and sprockets, should here tomorrow or next ($35 shipped for 4 sprockets and chain). I ordered the wrong sprocket for the starter motor thinking it had a 1/2" shaft, I was wrong, it's an odd size. I'll have to bore the new bearing out. Business is dead right now so I have to stop spending what money I have right now. I'll now cut the bracket that holds the starter to the frame today.
Added a coat of bedliner to the starter to freshen it's appearance. Measured and drilled the pillow block holes. Waiting on the pillow blocks and rollers to move ahead. Once those are in place I can locate and weld the starter bracket. Instead of messing with the wrong sprocket, for $5 I just ordered the correct one, which wasn't an odd size at all, it's 5/8" like the rollers.
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It is looking good.
You will want 13 to 13-1/2 inches between the roller center lines.
I am interested in how you attach the rollers to the axles too.
How would you do it?
It is looking good.
You will want 13 to 13-1/2 inches between the roller center lines.
I am interested in how you attach the rollers to the axles too.
Why will I need 13-13-1/2" between rollers when no body else's unit has spacing that wide? The rest look like between 10"-12"
at the most.
Marc, want me to make a starter for you?
Don'y know if I can afford you're quality of work. But go ahead and give it a shot.;)
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