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Old 03-29-2012, 11:23 AM   #31
apt13 OP
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the block that the starter relay plugs into is under the tank.

when i am taking the starter relay out of the block and jumping the relay wires to get the starter to spin, i am jumping pins 30 and the middle 87. the relay does;t differentiate 87a and 87b, they are both named 87.

in my previous thread last year we went off on a whole other tangent trying to figure out the various wiring diagrams and relays and pin#s. haha.

here, i drew a picture last year of what the relay connects to:

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Old 03-29-2012, 11:35 AM   #32
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oops, yes the "connector block" you are referencing is in the headlight bucket. sorry i mis-read your post.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:19 PM   #33
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I'm sorry but what is the voltage between 85 and 86 when the relay is clicking?

Between 85 and ground?

Between 86 and ground?
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:44 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldroadie View Post
I just refurbished my starter bushings and ended up rebuilding my solenoid to cure a lazy starter so i have so recent experience in this box The relay is a two part switch, the active part, the click you hear, is a low current side that engages a much higher current latch. The high current latch could be so pitted it won't pass enough current to engage the solenoid; in my case the latch in the solenoid was so pitted it wouldn't spin the starter. Seems like you've ruled out the high current wires by jumping them at the relay, and, the solenoid engages and spins the starter so you've eliminated that as a culprit. what's left is one side of the relay.
My point exactly.

You can do a voltage drop test across the contact points with the relay on the bike. Relay 101 doesn't even mention the contact point side of the relay and that side is what the relay is really all about. You can actually do a load drop test with the relay in the bike but the problem is often intermittent. The simplest type of relay have two components that fail and need to be tested, not one.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:12 PM   #35
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If'n it was me, I'd go out to the bike, plug in the original relay, attach my meter to the wire from the relay at the solenoid, turn on the key and hit the start button. If I get a reading close to the same as the battery voltage voltage, I'd continue to hold down the button and wiggle the relay. If the voltage stays consistant, then I'd start wiggling wires. If the voltage is consistant, I'd press and release the button a few times while watching the meter to see if my voltage comes and goes as it should. If it does, I hook the wire up to the solenoid and hit the button. If it works, I'd do it again while wiggling the relay. If it quits working, I'd start wiggling the relay in a very specific way to try and narrow down which movement caused it to break connection. And if it keeps working, I'd chalk it up to having done something to fix it while doing all this troubleshooting and put the bike back together. Its hard to fix if its working. When I worked on attack jet avionics systems for the Marines, we'd called that an "FM repair". Fucking Magic!

APT13, think of electricity like water. You can lose voltage for the same three reasons you can lose water:the pump/battery isn't putting out what it should, there is a blockage in the pipe/open in the wire, or there is a leaking pipe/shorted wire. You fix them in the same way, too. First you narrow down where you are losing your water/electricity, then you correct whichever of the three problems is causing it.

The collective has determined your battery, starter, and switch probably aren't the problem. You're not blowing any fuses nor do you smell smoke or feel heat; so we have ruled out a shorted wire. That leaves us with an open or partial open at a corroded/loose connector or the relay has bad contacts internally. While you wait for the relay, grab a beer, get your meter, and perform the tests above. Since you are taking voltage readings instead of actually starting the bike, you don't have to worry about the battery going dead or wearing out the starter while troubleshooting. You may find your problem before you put in the new relay, or you may not. But, at least it'll keep you occupied while you wait for the new relay to come in.

Then again, I love troubleshooting. YMMV.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:06 PM   #36
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Hey apt13, been out of town and just saw this. If you don't want to wait for the relay, why not just take a trip to boxerworks and borrow or buy from them. Also, i have a spare battery for giggles if you want to borrow it? It's a panasonic version of the PC680 and it's good...I swear!
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:42 PM   #37
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the last relay i got was from Nathan. I had to fish it out of the bottom of some drawer. haha. the box looked nearly 30 yrs old. i questioned its "newness" at the time, maybe it was busted already. who knows. it was the last one he had, although he might have some new ones by now.

if I can't get this all figured out I might just bring it to him and dean and let them have a go at it. they are always happy to see me and my problems. haha.

thanks for the battery offer. I might take you up on it!
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:28 PM   #38
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So we're still stuck on the relay. It's important to work your way methodically and logically from one end of the circuit to the other - somewhere along the way your dragnet will snare that scoundrel.

But if you jump around, and hit different parts of it willy nilly, you might never find it.

When I say to troubleshoot from one end to the other, it's most common to either start at the source point (battery) and work towards the device (starter, in this case) or the other way around. Since we've begun at the starter and worked our way back to the relay, let's go that direction.

You asked about the diagram you posted. Remember that a relay is a low power switch activating a high power switch. It would take a very large switch, and big wires to handle the amount of electricity needed to operate the starter. Can you imagine something ten times larger with much larger wires on the handlebar? Yuck!

So what we have is a small switch that can handle a small amount of electricity with small wires, that will activate a much larger switch that CAN handle the amount of electricity needed to drive the starter.

That's what your relay is. Any questions? Does that make sense so far?

In your diagram, #85 and #86 are the low power switch - the one activated by your starter button. When one of those has 12Volts and the other is grounded, you'll hear a click, which is the high power switch making a connection.

At that point when the click happens, #87 and #30 are connected. That means that the 12V on 87 will travel out through #30 to the solenoid.

Doing a voltage test won't necessarily tell you whether everything is working, since there can be voltage, but minimal current. A voltage test will only tell you absolutely if it's not working at all.

So there are a couple of ways to test the relay. One is to replace it with a known good one. The other is to activate it (while plugged in) to see if it operates what it should. You've delivered 12V to #30 at the socket and the starter works. Let's see if #85 from the starter button will actuate the relay and spin the starter. #86 goes to ground.

So, if you apply 12V with a jumper to #85 (while the relay is plugged in) does the starter work as it should, or not?

If yes, the problem isn't the relay.

If no, then it could be the relay, or the lead from #86 to Ground. Since it's easier and cheaper to check the ground, that'd the next thing to do.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:25 PM   #39
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Cool thanks. I've only jumped things with the relay out. Can you tell me how to do it with the relay plugged in? Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes View Post
So there are a couple of ways to test the relay. One is to replace it with a known good one. The other is to activate it (while plugged in) to see if it operates what it should. You've delivered 12V to #30 at the socket and the starter works. Let's see if #85 from the starter button will actuate the relay and spin the starter. #86 goes to ground.

So, if you apply 12V with a jumper to #85 (while the relay is plugged in) does the starter work as it should, or not?

If yes, the problem isn't the relay.

If no, then it could be the relay, or the lead from #86 to Ground. Since it's easier and cheaper to check the ground, that'd the next thing to do.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:33 PM   #40
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A voltage test and a voltage drop test or load test are two completely different animals. We know the relay is clicking so we already know that voltage is getting to the relay. How much is coming out of 30 under a load when the relay clicks but the starter doesn't turn is the question.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:55 PM   #41
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I wonder if anyone ever made a relay with a transparent cover. One could then see the switch or points open and close. Right? If there's a click, something must be moving. I think there must be a market for this.

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Old 03-29-2012, 08:18 PM   #42
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ok, i follow you, but didn't i do this already? is the little black wire on the solenoid the same black wire that plugs into pin30 of the relay?

when i took a voltage reading from the solenoid end, it was 12.2v with the key on, and 12.48v when i pushed the start button.

or are you talking about something different?


Quote:
Originally Posted by supershaft View Post
A voltage test and a voltage drop test or load test are two completely different animals. We know the relay is clicking so we already know that voltage is getting to the relay. How much is coming out of 30 under a load when the relay clicks but the starter doesn't turn is the question.
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:56 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Infracaninophile View Post
I wonder if anyone ever made a relay with a transparent cover. One could then see the switch or points open and close. Right? If there's a click, something must be moving. I think there must be a market for this.

Tom
The thing is that the relay contact may be moving and making contact but it may be corroded so that no current passes through (or only passes intermittently). I think that's what we're trying to diagnose here.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:34 AM   #44
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i just want you guys to know that i really appreciate the help. i know this thing can be quite frustrating obviously over the internet. during the last thread someone mentioned setting up a live web chat we can all join and watch me poke things live. haha. wouldn't that be great!

anyway, thanks for having the patience with me as i obviously don't know a whole lot about this electrical mumbo jumbo. but my understanding of it is a million times better than what it was last time.

i've got your most recent tests written down and am gonna try and knock them out today.
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:25 AM   #45
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We all understand your frustration - been there, done that. None of us were born electrical wizards, though some of us managed to get good training from the start while others of us had to pick it up a bit at a time through the school of hard knocks. Just realize that, and keep trying to understand what the circuit is all about. The more tidbits you pick up, the easier it will be next time figuring out the next one.

If you can wrap your wits around how a relay works, then you can think your way through a solution to checking it. The problem we're discussing right now is how to tell if it's REALLY working. When it's activated via terminal 85 you hear a click.

That click tells you that the switch for 87/30 has snapped closed. They are now connected. It's like throwing a light switch at home.

But all that tells you is that 85/86 are working. Why? Because they did what they were supposed to do - close the heavy duty switch.

You could use an ohm meter to do a continuity check on 87/30 to see if there is a complete path between the two. If there is zero ohms, then the gate is closed. Right?

But the problem with assuming that is because it won't necessarily tell you if the flow through that path is restricted. There's something happening here that you need to know - that heavy duty switches tend to have arcing between the two contacts while partly open (while opening or closing). That arcing corrodes the contact surfaces which in turn prevents the flow of electricity. A meter check my show there is contact, but not enough to do any good. Kind of like turning on your faucet and having a trickle come out - there's water but not very much because the pipes are plugged.

So that's what we need to know.

When I suggested testing the relay in situ, it does involve a problem of how to get 12V to terminal 85 while it's plugged in. But you know, if the relay clicks but the starter doesn't work - but does when 87/30 are jumpered, it's a pretty good sign the relay isn't working.

As for constructing a relay with a clear cover - that's been done. But I don't know that it would tell you much. It's hard to tell whether points aren't conducting by looking at them. And they've got a hard coating that once you file or sand them, goes through the coating so don't last long afterwards. Perhaps a capacitor would help prevent the arcing and maybe prolong the life of these things, like we've got in points ignitions. I'm curious if a small amplifier would work better than a relay - seems they can make them pretty small these days.
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