V Star 650 pickup coil and stator replacement

Replacing a Yamaha V Star 650 pickup coil and stator:

For a bit of background story on how I ended up here, a new mechanic stripped the oil filter bolt that happens pretty easily on these bikes. Unfortunately, when fixing it he got metal flakes down in the engine!

One day the next week I went out to start it and crankcrankcrankcrankcrank.  Oh great now what?   It took a good 25 mins to get her started that morning on the way into work and nearly the same on the way home, the next morning she was totally dead and would not start at all.   Following the diagnostics here:  http://650ccnd.com/coil.htm  I found my pickup coil was reading very high and was toast.   I was planning on maybe cracking it open that weekend to fix the sticky clutch but now I had no choice but to break open both sides.

Pulling the stator cover.

Japanese engineering likes to use lots of bolts close together at lower torque than other manufacturers. Be sure to remember exactly which bolt went in what hole, as you can see below they are all different lengths.

Also remember how your shifter is set up. I took a picture so I could tell later where the dot on the shaft goes in relation to the bracket. In my case dead center in the gap.

Unfortunately the kickstand has to come off to remove the shifter. There is a nut on the back side of the frame you need to keep from turning, it would be better if you had a helper and another set of hands for this part. I was by myself and had to use another box-end wrench on the back of the frame and a breaker bar/ratchet with a cheater pipe on the front. Yamaha really doesn’t mess around with these bolts, they were a bear to get off. Once the wrench on the back turned enough to press up against the engine or my lift I was able to break the nut free.

With the kickstand out of the way the shifter will just slide off the shaft after you remove the bolt in the previous picture.

As you can see I also upgraded from my poor mans bike stand to one from Harbor Freight for this operation for a bit more stability and lift, I needed one for the BMW restoration anyway.

Follow the wiring back up the frame and cut the zip ties as you go and remove a few bolted on wire clamps. Its a bit of a struggle to get these connectors through the downtube, use one hand to press back the big main wiring harness and press these plastic connectors through one at a time. It takes a bit of patience but you can do it.

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V Star 650 oil change disaster

I’ve had a lot of trouble with the V Star following our epic month long ride across the western United States and back.  It all started with a simple oil change.  You see, when I bought the bike I also got a service plan that included unlimited oil changes and all maintenence for 3 years.  I can work on my bike as you can see but I’d rather not have to on at least one of my vehicles and with as many miles as I’ve put on in the last three years this service plan ended up being a great money and time saving deal for me.   For years one of two techs has always done my bike and always done a good job, even cleaning it way better than I do most times.  Every time that is until the last time, when they were both off.  A small voice in my head warned me that I shouldnt hand over the keys to some tech I didnt know but I didnt listen.    He really torqued down the oil filter screws and stripped the center one as is an easy newbie mistake to make.

The bike leaked slowly for 8000 miles and by the end it looked something like this where its really perfected the old Harley patina with oil slung down the whole side of the engine, all down the pipes and swingarm and on the front of the saddlebag.   As RTWDoug has proved, a bike can go around the world with a nasty oil leak or dozen as long as its topped off regularly.

Unfortunately the only requirement for the primo bike parking on the sidewalk next to the door at work, no leaks!

Since they were the ones to break it they agreed to fix it at no charge but with this being New Mexico and as Ulysses Everett McGill would put it “a geographical oddity, two weeks from everywhere” it took a month to get my bike back from them due to waiting on parts.  They ended up tapping the stripped hole and putting in a timecert.  After I got her back I noticed right away the clutch was very grabby and sticky, so much so that trying to start it while cold with the clutch pulled in the bike would take off with you or lurch 5 or 6 feet when first putting it in gear.  WTF?    I immediately changed the oil and cut open the filter and just as I feared, they had gotten slivers of metal down in the engine while tapping it.  #$%^&@!!!!

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