Rigged is better than nothing: my temp fix for a bunk starter relay.

I bought an '04 DR-Z400S from a guy on craigslist the other day. Everything looked good, started up first time. It ran like a bat out of hell until yesterday afternoon it wouldn't start.  I assumed it was the battery, so I charged it overnight.  This morning it was reading 12.6 volts like it should, so I found a wiring diagram and traced the problem to the starter relay.  Tried finding one locally, no luck.  Online stores are asking $70+ for the oem part, so I ordered an aftermarket replacement for $27 from brown family racing on ebay, but it won't be here for at least a week.  Here's what I rigged up to keep me ripping until the new relay comes in.  These wires are run to battery contact and the starter contact on the relay, so I just hotwire it everytime and it seems to work fine!  Just thought I'd share...

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I think you are confused.  If the relay actuates with your jumper wires, the problem is in the relay control circuit not the relay.  You want to check out the wires from the push button to the relay.  Is the clutch lever switch still in the circuit? is the side stand switch still functional?

I think you are confused.  If the relay actuates with your jumper wires, the problem is in the relay control circuit not the relay.  You want to check out the wires from the push button to the relay.  Is the clutch lever switch still in the circuit? is the side stand switch still functional?

 

 

+1 

 

i'm betting on the corroded starter button connection. :( just like mine did. :(

 

 

not a big deal, just disassemble, clean, and lightly sand the starter button contacts and try it again. wd40/grease/gunk will make this worse, like most people spray in there. 

The clutch switch was uninstalled by a previous owner, but I checked their jumper and it's good.  I don't know about the sidestand switch, but i think i ruled it out with my multimeter.  The way I was thinking about it, though, my jumper was not actuating the relay, but overriding it.  My jumper goes from the battery contact (which always has voltage) to the starter contact.  I checked the starter button with my multimeter and it works.  

 

I referenced this wiring diagram from a thread about disabling the sidestand relay.  As far as I can tell, my bike is stock wired besides the clutch lever delete/jumper.  I put my multimeter on the yellow/black wire (E) and got voltage IF I was pressing the starter button.  Wouldn't that mean that the only thing between me and starting the bike is the relay?  I'm not an electrician and DC is less familiar to me than AC, but I thought I had this one figured...

The relay has 2, 6mm terminals for the large cables.  1 from the battery, 1 to the starter.  If you jumper across those terminals, then yes you are bypassing the relay.  But your picture shows 2 light gage wires hanging out the side cover You are not conduction the 50 amps or more to turn the starter with 18 gage zip cord are you?

 

I suspect you would need about 8 gage wire to jumper the battery cable terminals.

 

Yes voltage at E would indicate good up to that point.

 

Does the relay click when you press start?

 

Have you verified voltage at the relay on the relay control wires?  Have you verified ground for the relay?

 

Have you checked continuity of the internal relay coil? (The 2 small wires at the relay)

 

Typical relay failure is it clicks when the start button is depressed but the heavy duty internal contacts are burned out so power is not passed from the battery cable to the starter cable.  If that is what is happening, then yup you need a relay.

Haha, I was using 14-16 ga wire at first, but I changed it out for some 10 gauge and it's working better now.  Those light gauge wires got pretty toasty.  I understand the term "hotwire" now!  A relay/solenoid in the dash clicks when I press the button, but not the relay under the seat.  Haven't checked for continuity, but I got the replacement relay this morning and I'll be swapping it out this afternoon, hopefully solving the problem.  Will report back.  Thanks for the guidance!

Just changed the relay during lunch, and the bike started right up when I pressed the magic button!

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