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josepcedwards
06-05-2011, 10:46 PM
How do I test a starter relay??? My boat has a new starter and alternator. It started good all day. I shut it off to answer the phone and when i went to start it i sounded weak that all i got was a CLICKING sound from the relay....... Help is needed!!!!

ahhudgins
06-05-2011, 11:13 PM
I would have to see the exact relay that you have. Two of the pins are the coil windings which are powered with 12V and ground to pull in the contacts. Some relays will only 2 pins for the normally open contacts, but some will have 3 pins: A common wiper, a normally open contact, and a normally closed contact.

The easiest thing to do is swap relays with another one with the same part number.

Or do you mean the starter "solenoid"?

josepcedwards
06-05-2011, 11:32 PM
http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=R130001

This is where the clicking is coming from.
1981 S&S

Philscbx
06-07-2011, 02:46 PM
Good possibility it's a hung brush in the starter.
Starter guys would call it a flat spot at the armature.
Brush (one of four) may be a little too worn to reach with enough down force to armature.

While key is turned to start position,
or (key on) jump the relay you showed with jumper wire so you can reach the starter.
A hammer with wooden handle, hold head of hammer, bump the starter (at end plate area, or side of starter) with an inline strike of end of handle while relay is engaged.
Starter should engage.

Or a crowbar or similar in a sliding motion and bump the starter with the bar end and see if starter takes off.

You can confirm relay is making full contact with test light with probe of test light touching heavy cable post of relay going to the starter. Test light will come on to confirm relay is working when you hear click.

Other end of test light clip goes to any ground point on engine.
Good Luck Testing.

thatsmrmastercraft
06-07-2011, 02:53 PM
When the solenoid clicks, or chatters, it is usually a low voltage issue. Clean all your battery connections including the block ground, charge your battery and have it load tested. And while you are this far, pull the starter and have it tested.

ahhudgins
06-07-2011, 03:01 PM
http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=R130001

This is where the clicking is coming from.
1981 S&S

Starter solenoid. I prefer to use a volt meter and not a test light because you don't know if you are getting the proper voltage. Plus I don't know what you mean by "it sounded weak". Connect negative lead of volt meter to a good ground on engine block. You should have 12V DC on one of the larger screw lugs. When you turn the key to the start position it applies
12V to the smaller terminal (coil winding) and pulls in the contact of the solenoid, that is the clicking sound you hear. In the start position you should now have 12V out on the other large screw terminal. This applies 12V to the starter.

If the solenoid clicks and you don't have 12V out on the other screw terminal the solenoid is bad. If you get 12V out then check the wiring to the starter. If you get 12V at the starter, remove it and have it tested. If your battery is bad the voltage can drop and stil have enough juice to pull in the solenoid (chatter), but not enough to turn over the starter.

airdrew99
06-07-2011, 03:05 PM
How do I test a starter relay??? My boat has a new starter and alternator. It started good all day. I shut it off to answer the phone and when i went to start it i sounded weak that all i got was a CLICKING sound from the relay....... Help is needed!!!!

If the starter relay is like the one in the picture, you can read the voltage on the large 12V hot terminal with a multimeter. Then when you turn the key to start, check the voltage on the other large terminal. There shouldn't be much of a voltage drop (if you are dropping a full volt or 2, then the relay is bad). If you are only dropping 0.1V then your relay is fine. I hope this helps. PM if you have more questions about the relay.

Drew

ahhudgins
06-07-2011, 03:05 PM
I should have asked: When you say "clicking sound" do you mean it clicks ONCE each time you turn the key, or it chatters when you turn the key? If it's chattering, check your battery and ALL TERMINALS like mrmastercraft said.

Philscbx
06-08-2011, 02:07 AM
Shoot a picture of your battery connections.
All mating contact has to be clean shiny.
Keep them sprayed down with either LPS3 or similar spray on evaporative grease.

Wing Nut type connection, like a trolling motor isn't the best for high load starter application.
Wing Nut for Accessory attach point is fine.

You just shut it off with new starter and alternator, so battery/connections/relay has to be the issue.

Start with a fresh charged battery.
If connections are not solid clean, battery may not be getting a good charge.

Recheck alternator connections, and belt tension.
Check for any inline fuse or circuit breaker from alternator.
Could be a pending wiring issue prior to replacing alternator.
Can use vehicle to charge battery off jumper cables while inspection.

milkmania
07-24-2011, 02:31 PM
was this matter solved?

just wondering as I have the same issue.

1) verified good hot battery
2) verified connections
3) pulled starter, jumped starter direct from battery and it spins in and out properly.
4) relay clicks once
5) with starter unmounted and grounded, the relay acts the same either way
6) verified kill switch intact
7) verified 'reset' button at back of motor is in proper position (not tripped)

dreddy
07-27-2011, 05:52 PM
Will the relay click be audible if the solenoid and starter don't spin up? I've had a similar problem lately and would much rather replace the relay if that is the culprit.

JimN
07-27-2011, 06:17 PM
The relay can click but if the contacts are burnt from cranking for too long and/or with a weak battery, it will fail to make good enough contact to pass the current needed to crank an engine, and it takes a lot of current.