starter relay bypass - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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starter relay bypass

Hey guys
i have a 2002 roadstar 1600 i am going trough relays quite a bit and dont know why i have tried both oem and after market oem last about a month or two aftermarket last about a week. is there a solution that i am missing? or is there a way to bypass to relay ???
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 10:46 AM
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I hope someone with more knowledge on this answers the call. I am not a mechanic or electrician. It sounds like the starter is drawing too much current (brushes worn out). The starter relay i believe is there to protect the rest of the electrical system. I don't believe you want to bypass it. I am not sure how to check the amp draw on the starter. I believe it will blow cheap volt meters.
Good luck and let us know what you find.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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one thing i have not checked its the the draw from the starter i will do that thanks for the reply.i will update on what i find out
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 01:38 PM
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the way starter works, the starter button sources about 1A of current to the stater relay

the starter relay closes and it sources about 30A of current to the starter motor

so you see the problem with bypassing the starter relay, the starter button cannot source 30A directly, it would melt (but first it would blow its small fuse).

If the starter has been working with the replacement relays, its possible the starter is drawing too much current, but that should blow the main fuse (30A).

Check and make sure the main fuse has not been bypassed, for example, it blew out and someone wrapped it in alum foil for a road side fix, and never replaced the 30A fuse.

That is the only way I can think of that a bad starter would damage the relay, the fuse is there to protect it, and the wires.

You can get a clamp-on DC amp meter and measure the current in the starting circuit. They are expensive because measuring a DC current is more difficult than AC current. Its possible the starter is spiking the current for a second and its not long enough to blow the fuse, but it is damaging the relay.

or you just had bad luck with a couple of faulty relays? There is a thing with electronic parts called infant mortality: if a part is not assembled correctly, for example poor soldering or a poorly connected heat sink, it will operate for a few hours, then fail. Once a part has worked for several hours its past that infant mortality stage, and will probably work for 20 years.

If you are going to try to measure the current with an inline amp meter, you will need at least a 50A meter to see the 30A current, and if its shorting you will want a 100A DC meter, or the short circuit current will blow your meter out.

If you have not used an inline amp meter before, you have to disconnect one of the wires to the starter (or at the main fuse) and put the meter in series with the wire you took off, so the meter completes the circuit and all the current flows thru it.

If you connect an amp meter across the two starter wires, like you would to measure the voltage, you will blow the fuse in the amp meter, and maybe blow the meter out too.
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Last edited by KCW; 07-06-2019 at 01:43 PM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astar616 View Post
one thing i have not checked its the the draw from the starter i will do that thanks for the reply.i will update on what i find out
If i am not mistaken the amount of amp draw will blow most 10 amp cheap meters.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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I see where that would be an issue with by passing the relay but what if it was on a separate switch? Also if I jump the relay to get it started the bike idles like complete shit untill I put one finger on the relay it calms down.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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i have checked all the fuses and none are bad
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-06-2019, 01:54 PM
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can you explain that with more detail

you start the bike
the engine cranks normally
the engine starts
but it idles poorly?

if you touch the starter relay the engine runs better?

that is odd, the starter relay should be off and out of the circuit once you let go of the starter button.

Its possible you have a bad connection on one of the wires in the harness that goes to the starter relay, and that other wire is making the bike run poorly till you move it.

Pull the connector off the relay and see if the pins look corroded on the relay or the connector

and check any other connectors nearby that might be moving when you push on that wire.

or get a random finger from somewhere and glue it to the relay

BTW: circuits that only work when an oscilloscope probe is connected... thats a real thing.

you connect the scope to see what the circuit is doing, and it starts working, so the waveform looks great

you take the scope probe off.. it stops working

you put the probe back on... it works again...
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Last edited by KCW; 07-06-2019 at 03:43 PM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 03:09 PM
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astar616 please do NOT install a separate switch for the starter as that will not fix your problem but it could make it worse! If your starter is drawing too many amps (which it sounds like it is) eventually the starter will stop working. The relay going bad is a symptom not the problem! Please have the starter draw checked as the system is designed by (hopefully) smarter people than us and is designed the best way for the functionality of the bike! I hope this helps you decide how to proceed!

Remember to keep the rubber side down & the shiny side up!!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 05:57 PM
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The starter relay handles a lot more than 30amps of current. There is NO fuse between the battery, starter relay, and the starter, it's all direct. Most bikes draw 150-250amps on the starter motor, to get it spinning, once spinning it can be as low as 80amps, but normally the engine will be started at this time, and compression works against you here.

The 30amp fuses on it, are what goes to the bike, but not to the starter itself., it's just a fuseblock that shares the battery post on the relay.

I cannot seem to pull up the specs of the relay itself, but it should be a good 100 to 150amps rating.

On my bike, I didn't have an issue with the starter relay, but the magnets in the starter came unglued, causing high amp draws from the starter.
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