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Safety issue- ignition relay definitely saved my ignition switch


VentureFar
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To start with, thanks for @djh3 for the ignition relay I bought back in 2014. It definitely saved my ignition switch but gave its life in the process. 

I was in Yellowstone this week in a thunderstorm downpour, pulled over to the shoulder on a narrow road  section and my 2006 RSV just shut off like the key was turned off. Literally getting buckets poured on me and in an unsafe place. I, of course, channeled my inner @cowpuc for guidance.  My buddy waved traffic about two feet away from my butt as I checked the Ignition fuse and battery connections. After that I just knew that something was amiss with the wiring to the ignition switch. I was in a very unsafe place to be pulling the tank off and totally getting drenched at the same time. Had to call for a tow out of the part to West Yellowstone - $520 - and using my Somewear satellite hotspot ( no cell service of course) I was able to ask my daughter to find me the ONLY motel room left in the whole town. As soon as I was unloaded off the tow trailer as the motel I pushed the bike under a bit of covering and took the tank off. We don't always get so lucky to see such an obvious solution yelling out - ITS ME ITS ME ! but that is what I saw see photo.

That red wire burned up and came off the connector. Had the ignition power been running though the ignition switch directly - as stock- this would not have had such a happy ending and quick repair. I stopped to have dinner since I could relax. After dinner I had to cut off and cut out the DJH3 ignition relay wiring, Plugged the now open blade females ( had to cut them out of the ink connector ) back into the stock connector and I was ALIVE again. So thank you to the ignition relay and thank you to djh3!

Now I need to contact djh3 to buy another ignition relay and an extra male connector.

I suggest that everyone with the relay check the relay wires every IMG_1423.thumb.jpg.9016c94075950ff5dee09434c8835290.jpgtime you have the tank off. 

VentureFar

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Over the years of service I has seen many of the crimp connectors cause a problem ...5 -10 years of use ...In Mid-summer 2019 crossed the USA .Canada border to pickup a parts order in North Dakota about 20 minute drive from my shop ...It has been a great way get parts from the USA ...When I reached Customs and paid  my tax and duty on the parts I purchased the Customs Officer knew that I had service shop and  said that there was bike parked on the side of the building that would not start ..They had already tried just about everything . but the would not fire , they had pulled into the customs to cross back into Canada .

I went over to bike to take a look , everything seemed to be in order .. Tried to boost but did not work , I decided to skin the battery cable about 3 inches from the battery ...The crimp connector at the battery and 2 inches was green and swollen to near double its size ...I applied the booster pack past the green swollen battery cable , the bike fired and ran .  They were heading the direction i was going so I stayed back for a while as a backup if they had more trouble  ... He sent me email telling that he found several connections on the bike had the same problem ...The bike was 5 years old so he replaced the whole wire harness

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had the same problem on the 99 several years back. burned up the whole connector. by the way you got off cheep for the tow out of Yellowstone, cost us $800.00 to the east gate, we were on our own from there. totally different problem when we broke down in Yellowstone.

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On 8/7/2021 at 8:34 PM, Marcarl said:

Could have been a loose connector on the wire?

I agree loose connections create resistance. Resistance creates heat. Heat creates more resistance which creates more heat which eventually reaches  a point where plastic connectors melts and electrical connections or connected components fail completely. International trucks were notorious for having ignition switch fires for this very reason. Also when installing a relay switch check the load/amp rating of the relay. Just because it is a relay switch does not guaranty it won't overheat, It must be rated high enough to carry the load put upon it. This goes for the load carrying wires and terminals as well. If you do not increase the size of the wire to match the load placed upon it, it will overheat as well.

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7 hours ago, djh3 said:

14ga wire and 40 amp relay is what I use. 

14 awg is not rated for 40 amps. Does the circuit draw 40 amps normally?

Here is a link to generic wire size verse rated current. http://wiresizecalculator.net/wiresizechart.htm, there is some slight increases in the ampacity for the same conductor size based on the material used for the insulation, if you need to safely carry 40 amps you need to be around a 100 awg.

 

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2 hours ago, M61A1MECH said:

 

14 awg is not rated for 40 amps. Does the circuit draw 40 amps normally?

Here is a link to generic wire size verse rated current. http://wiresizecalculator.net/wiresizechart.htm, there is some slight increases in the ampacity for the same conductor size based on the material used for the insulation, if you need to safely carry 40 amps you need to be around a 100 awg.

 

That should be a minimum of 10 awg. I'd probably opt for 8 awg on a 40 amp circuit.

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Using a 40 amp relay doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a 40 amp circuit, I don’t think our stator even runs that high. The amp draw of the circuit should determine wire size, I always use a heavier than needed relay on about everything, cuts down on failure. 

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@RDawsonis correct a relay is not a circuit breaker. The amp rating on a relay only indicates the highest load a relay can carry not the protection given to the circuit, therefore  it does not matter how thin the wire is as long as the wire and fuse or breaker are the correct size for the load on the circuit. Any size relay can be used as long as the amp capacity of the relay is larger than the circuit load. So if the circuit load is designed and fused for 20 amps any relay rated larger than twenty amps is OK to use whether it be a 30 amp Relay or 75 amp Relay. Going to a heavier gauge wire and corresponding fuse  is only required if the load on the circuit is more than what the existing size of wire and fuse combination in the circuit is able to carry

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Relay says30/40 amp. The harness that comes with relay and plug is only 14 ga. So I suppose I could use 10ga but that size wire will most likely not fit correctly in the plug that connects to the bike harness. The main ignition fuse of the bike is 30 amp. I guess I could install a 20 or 25 amp fuse to trim down allowable current to switch circuit. In the probably 10 plus years I have been making these things I think I have had 3 maybe 4 have issues. One of those was a relay that crapped out, one had wires that pulled loose from connector (which I have changed and improved the crimp method) I have also had probably had half dozen contact me because the factory plugs have burned up.

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6 hours ago, djh3 said:

Relay says30/40 amp. The harness that comes with relay and plug is only 14 ga. So I suppose I could use 10ga but that size wire will most likely not fit correctly in the plug that connects to the bike harness. The main ignition fuse of the bike is 30 amp. I guess I could install a 20 or 25 amp fuse to trim down allowable current to switch circuit. In the probably 10 plus years I have been making these things I think I have had 3 maybe 4 have issues. One of those was a relay that crapped out, one had wires that pulled loose from connector (which I have changed and improved the crimp method) I have also had probably had half dozen contact me because the factory plugs have burned up.

Dion, if the factory plugs have burned up or melted that tells me that there is not enough safety factor built into the original system, adding connections to that system could further decrease the current carrying capacity due to increased resistance in the system.  So to add a bit of safety factor to your system you may want to consider If possible, increasing the wire size on your components to 12 AWG and install a 20 amp fuse. The key bit of information missing here is how much current is normally required for that circuit to work? Is the peak load transient? I am thinking it is probably higher during starting verse normal operation, for short term high current the heat load on the wires and the connectors should be minimal, but if there is 20 or 30 amps running through the circuit all the time the heating could considerably higher.  Maybe build a system or two with what ever mods you think would be most beneficial and ask one or two of your previous customers to install them and test them for you to make sure the fuse and wire sizes are sufficient.

Any idea what gauge the wires are in the OEM harness on the bike ?

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10 hours ago, djh3 said:

Relay says30/40 amp. The harness that comes with relay and plug is only 14 ga. So I suppose I could use 10ga but that size wire will most likely not fit correctly in the plug that connects to the bike harness. The main ignition fuse of the bike is 30 amp. I guess I could install a 20 or 25 amp fuse to trim down allowable current to switch circuit. In the probably 10 plus years I have been making these things I think I have had 3 maybe 4 have issues. One of those was a relay that crapped out, one had wires that pulled loose from connector (which I have changed and improved the crimp method) I have also had probably had half dozen contact me because the factory plugs have burned up.

 

3 hours ago, M61A1MECH said:

Dion, if the factory plugs have burned up or melted that tells me that there is not enough safety factor built into the original system, adding connections to that system could further decrease the current carrying capacity due to increased resistance in the system.  So to add a bit of safety factor to your system you may want to consider If possible, increasing the wire size on your components to 12 AWG and install a 20 amp fuse. The key bit of information missing here is how much current is normally required for that circuit to work? Is the peak load transient? I am thinking it is probably higher during starting verse normal operation, for short term high current the heat load on the wires and the connectors should be minimal, but if there is 20 or 30 amps running through the circuit all the time the heating could considerably higher.  Maybe build a system or two with what ever mods you think would be most beneficial and ask one or two of your previous customers to install them and test them for you to make sure the fuse and wire sizes are sufficient.

Any idea what gauge the wires are in the OEM harness on the bike ?

This could hold true if more load was added to the circuit than it was originally designed to carry but even in a perfectly sized circuit, if connectors loosen up which is common with round eyelet terminals, were screws sometimes vibrate loose and extremely common with push on terminal which tend loose their tension and become loose heat is created. The flat 1/4" wide blade type push on terminals, are specially bad for this. As their grip loosens resistance increases causing heat which further loosens the terminals grip. Eventually this cycle continues to were so much heat is created that the plastic plug these often sit in melt and as this heat transfers back along the wire the insulation melts barring the wire and this now bared wire can either burn through the insulation on other wires or contact ground creating  a dead short, were if your lucky the fuse will blow but if it fails to blow because it is too large, the problem can continue back along the harness damaging additional wires either within the circuit itself or melting into wires that run along side it as in a harness. In this type of circumstance increasing wire and fuse size would not help and could actually be a problem since the increased fuse size would not blow as readily and the increased wire size instead of burning through would simply help to spread the issue further as described in the previous sentence. 

I cannot even count the number of times I have seen customers increase wire and fuse size from the fuse box to some add on device only to have the wire that supplied the fuse or even the fuse box itself burn up because someone thought simply increasing the fuse size and the size of the wire from the fuse to the add on device was good enough. This is were a really is a smart move as long as it is wired properly. By these I mean you can use the original wire to activate the relay but the the power going through the load terminals to the load should come directly from the battery or equivalent through a proper sized fuse and wire size to meet the load requirements to the relay (usually terminal 30 ) and then from the relay ( usually terminal 87 ) to the load.

With regards to the 30/40 amp rating. This is normally on a 5 terminal relay were terminal 87 is normally open and terminal 87a is normally closed. Terminal 87 is rated at 40 amps  were terminal 87a is rated at 30 amps.

Edited by saddlebum
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Steve I possibly could go to a larger wire, but not sure it will fit into the size connector required to be plug and play. Like I mentioned, Yamaha must be OK with wire size as I have only had a couple do this. And I agree these flat push connectors can loosen up over time. As other wise someone else wouldn't have come up with the post on the burned connector or the repair. All I did is make it a bit easier.

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10 hours ago, djh3 said:

Steve I possibly could go to a larger wire, but not sure it will fit into the size connector required to be plug and play. Like I mentioned, Yamaha must be OK with wire size as I have only had a couple do this. And I agree these flat push connectors can loosen up over time. As other wise someone else wouldn't have come up with the post on the burned connector or the repair. All I did is make it a bit easier.

Most terminals are available for various wire sizes if increasing wire size is something you wanted to do. Alternatively if a wire is to big for the terminal you can get away with trimming a few strands to make it fit. Since wire resistance is based not just on the gauge of the wire but also on the accumulated  length of the wire which increases with the length of the wire, trimming back 1/8" of an inch at the terminal, though not the best of choices is still an improvement over a lighter gauge wire.

Ever notice how a power tool looses power when an extension cord is too long and the cord gets warm. yet you replace that cord with a much shorter cord of the same gauge  the cord remains cool and the power tool is back to full power. The same occurs if you replace the cord with one of equal length but heavier gauge.

Common Wire Gauges

AWG wire
size (solid)
Diameter
(inches)
Resistance per
1000 ft (ohms)
Resistance per
1000 m (ohms)
24
0.0201
25.67
84.2
22
0.0254
16.14
52.7
20
0.0320
10.15
33.2
18
0.0403
6.385
20.9
16
0.0508
4.016
13.2
14
0.0640
2.525
8.28
12
0.0808
1.588
5.21
10
0.1019
0.999
3.28
Edited by saddlebum
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