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  • Bad Starter Relay?

    These are the symptoms I'm experiencing, are they caused by a bad starter relay? I have a 99 Pro Air with a GT40.

    My boat suddenly wouldn't crank after riding an hour. It only makes a click at the relay box when trying to crank. I've tested with my volt-meter different things.

    The starter has 12V while the key is on "ON". When you turn the key it drops to 1V. The main battery keeps a constant 12V, even when turning the ignition.

    I've read of everyone's problems with the starter relay and it sounds very similar to the problem everyone else is having.

    Let me know what you guys think. Thanks.

  • #2
    Bad Starter Relay?

    as my experience, your problem may solve by change a new starter relay, I changed out the starter relay of my 01 SAN since some times I'll miss starting,(need couple time press start the engine, if can't start,I can heard click sound) no more miss fire after replace a new one, the photo is the bad starter relay's erode contacts.

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    • #3
      RE: Bad Starter Relay?

      MrMarbles, you should not have +12V on the starter unless the key is in the start position.. If the starter wire is always hot, your relay is no longer acting as the switch, and is probably bad. I would simply disconnect start cable and test with your meter again...

      Keep your fingers crossed that the bad relay did not burn up your starter!

      Good luck and let us know!

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      • #4
        RE: Bad Starter Relay?

        The device on the GT-40 motor that is commonly called a "starter relay" is not a starter relay in this application. It looks like a common Ford starter setup, but it is not. The starter on a GT-40 boat should have 12 volts to the solenoid on the top side of the starter, from the battery, at the thick red cable.

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        • #5
          RE: Bad Starter Relay?

          The relay that Richard took apart is a common starting problem for the GT-40 motor. It is used to supply electricity to the ignition, fuel pumps, and computer of the GT-40 motor. It does not supply current for the starter motor, it does supply current for the starter solenoid. Before you take any thing apart on this relay, make very careful notes of where each wire and cable goes. If you ask for advise from someone that has ever worked on an old Ford, that is not knowlegable about this use of the relay, they will wire it wrong. I had to trouble shoot a boat that someones "expert" mechanic replaced this relay on, and if I did not have an other boat close by with a GT-40 in it, I would of taken me forever to rewire the first boat correctly.

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          • #6
            Daniel, thanks for the tips. Is there a wiring diagram for this relay somewhere? I'm really hoping I can get it running by Friday, but it isn't looking good from what I've read.

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            • #7
              Ok, here is what I found on the 1998 ski with a GT-40, that I replaced. Your engine might be different.
              Looking at the relay, with two metal ears up. (in NW and NE position, all cap two letter abbreviations are compass directions) There are two large copper posts, one SW, one NE, a brass small post at SE, and a steel slightly larger post at NW. DISCONNECT YOUR BATTERY BEFORE WORKING ON THIS RELAY! The large copper post at SW has the large red cable from the battery on it, the large red cable that goes to the starter solenoid, and a smaller red wire that goes to a fuse block. (or the circuit breaker bank) The steel terminal at NW has a yellow wire with a red stripe on it. The large copper post at NE has a green wire with a red stripe, and a brown wire on it. The small brass post at SE has a purple wire on it, and a black wire on it. This orientation may or may not be how the relay is mounted in the boat. Your boat may have different color wires. Before you take your boat apart, make careful notes, with good light. Under dim light black, brown, and purple look a lot alike

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              • #8
                Thanks a lot! I'm going to see if I can get one from NAPA to get me through the weekend. If this fixes my problem, I'll order a heavy duty one from skidim.

                Thanks again Daniel. I will try it out and let everyone know how it worked.

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                • #9
                  I would not get a NAPA one. There is no way of knowing if they are wired the same internally. I Haven't been in a boat since October. Have Patience, Grasshopper.

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                  • #10
                    Patience? Whats that? The water temp is still in the mid 60s, I gotta get back out there! (heads to skidim and selects overnight delivery, hehe)

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                    • #11
                      if you own a gt40 keep extra in the boat your gona need it.

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                      • #12
                        Ok, still need some support here. I got the new relay in from skidim (in like 2 days regular delivery). I just replaced it but exactly the same thing is happening. I tested a few more things but it didn't really help. I'm getting 12V on the big posts on the new starter relay until I attempt to crank it, which drops it to ~1V. I also checked thinking it might be a bad ground. The Negative wire coming from the battery to the engine block was rusted so I cleaned it, but it didn't do anything different.

                        I don't know where to go from here, any ideas?

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                        • #13
                          Do you know how to check voltage drop in the individual cables going to the starter? Check that. Try to trace the entire electrical path from the positive post of the battery through to the solenoid of the starter and back to the negtive of the battery. Can you turn the engine by hand, with a breaker bar and socket on the front nut? (15/16 I think) It is possible that the solenoid on the starter is bad. Does 12 V pass through it when you are trying to crank the motor?

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                          • #14
                            I'm not exactly sure how to test the voltage drop throughout the wires. I have no idea how to turn it by hand either. This is the most engine work I've ever done, but its been a great learning experience.

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                            • #15
                              Bad Starter Relay?

                              My experience with a Starter Relay,was on my 84 Ski.
                              and it did Click one time then it was BAD..never clicked again
                              I had NO power to anything,on the boat...So I think I would check the Battery and connections there..Try a New Battery.if thats not it..then trace everything from there............

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