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Autopsy of a failed starter relay

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  • Autopsy of a failed starter relay

    The starter relay that was on my bike when I bought it failed a few years back and I kept it around. I parked the bike for a few years and have gotten her out to get back on the road. The "OEM" replacement relay has already failed, after only about 8 months of actual use. I decided to tear the first one apart while waiting for the 3rd one to arrive. This unit failed in the familiar "stay engaged and keep the starter turning" mode. The one currently on the bike will not spin the starter. No +12 VDC passing to the other terminal with the button pushed. I can hear it clicking, but no juice.

    Here are a few pictures of the first failure. I put the first one back on to troubleshoot the current one. The lower spring must be stronger than the upper but it doesn't feel like it! It was still spinning when I shut the bike off. Had to pull the negative cable off the battery to get it to stop. Since it was drawing a lot of current, there was a small light show!

    Exploded (literally!) view. I bent the tabs to get the disc out.



    With the lower spring in view.



    Picture of the disc before I got it out.



    The arc marks on the disc.



    Last edited by C-ya; 05-15-2018, 10:31 AM.

  • #2
    when they engage and wont disengage its cos the cables are on the wrong terminals. swap the leads and it will work normally. its possible aftermarket ones have the internal link on the wrong terminal and this result in the ":latching" of the relay
    www.cycleinnovations.com.au

    It never ceases to amaze why people ask for advice then when I give it they either ignore it or argue against it.
    But then I don't know all that much about TL's

    wwjd.......what would jimmy do.

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    • #3
      The positive off of the battery went to the terminal with the ring that feeds the fuse and it is the outer terminal (away from the center of the bike). The fuse feeds the two silver pins inside the receptacle which are wire colors red and red/white. I'll check the one that is on the bike now later but they both worked normally at one time.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by The Ring-In View Post
        when they engage and wont disengage its cos the cables are on the wrong terminals. swap the leads and it will work normally. .....
        Stu, it does not work that way on a TL starter relay. If the cables are swapped to the opposite (wrong) terminals, then the system will be completely dead, as the positive cable from the battery will be connected to the "starter motor" terminal, which goes nowhere until the relay engages. And the relay cannot engage, because the starter motor cable is connected to the "battery" terminal, and therefore, there is no power to the main fuse. Hence, the system is dead.
        January 2012 - BBOTM & TLOTM

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        • #5
          I'm wondering if the "stick on" scenarios are caused by that disc getting thicker due to arcs and that causes continuous contact which causes the starter to spin.

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          • #6
            Stu, it does not work that way on a TL starter relay. If the cables are swapped to the opposite (wrong) terminals, then the system will be completely dead, as the positive cable from the battery will be connected to the "starter motor" terminal, which goes nowhere until the relay engages. And the relay cannot engage, because the starter motor cable is connected to the "battery" terminal, and therefore, there is no power to the main fuse. Hence, the system is dead.

            need to review that one. not sure why I have found that to be the case.
            www.cycleinnovations.com.au

            It never ceases to amaze why people ask for advice then when I give it they either ignore it or argue against it.
            But then I don't know all that much about TL's

            wwjd.......what would jimmy do.

            Comment

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