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Timwhy Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:32 am

Been reading all the threads about the "Hard Start" "Hot Start" relay installs.
Question I have is this something that my van can bennefit from?
My starter is 1 year old and works great, the ignition switch is less than a year old
and works great also.
Would adding one of these relays just add fuel to the fire for one more thing to
go wrong down the road, or would it help in any way? Reading that there is no real
bennefit for one of these relays as the older vanagons had the problems corrected,
that the older buses expirenced. On the other hand I have read that there are some
that swear by these relays and they are happy with the results.
Any input will be appreciated...............Tim

Bruce Wayne Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:12 am

I went through two ignitions in less than a year when I first got my van. local VW guru said to many volts going to the switch was frying it. added a relay kit,no problems since.

I think this is the one I have. super easy to install. I bought mine from a local FLAPS that is for German cars only.




http://www.autohausaz.com/search/product.aspx?part...img][/img]

Randy in Maine Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:09 am

I have never had one on any VW. Never needed one either.

Ahwahnee Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:17 pm

I added one to my 84 when I was getting 'no crank' after hot driving and then a heat-soaked spell of parking. Took care of the problem.

I used a basic $2 relay I had on hand (probably 30a), took power off the back of the alternator and tapped into the ignition wire pulled from the starter. Easy to do, easy to bypass if the realy ever fails.



I would expect a starting system in tip-top condition should not need this but age and the nature of rebuilt starters may benefit from this assist. Never thought about it taking some load off the ignition switch -- wouldn't have though the current through the switch was much either way.

crazyvwvanman Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:43 pm

The starter relay addition is a way of solving some intermittent starter issues without spending a lot of time and/or money. It reduces the current load on the starter switch and boosts the voltage that the starter solenoid gets. It can overcome a few types of problems or combination of problems. If you sometimes experience no sound from the starter when you turn the key to start, the relay may "fix" it. I wouldn't add one unless symptoms called for it. I have added them several times in the last 30+ years of VW van ownership and had the problem go away forever in some cases. The common kits can be installed and then later removed without a trace.

If you have a Westy fridge or aux battery relay you may need to add a few extra steps to the installation procedure. The official Bosch WR1 kit does not have everything you need in this case. I recently purchased a kit from a Samba seller that had the extra instructions and included the extra jumper wire for use in a Westy and at a good price.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1066289

You can build your own kit and save a few dollars but why bother when a ready made kit exists?

Mark


Timwhy wrote: Been reading all the threads about the "Hard Start" "Hot Start" relay installs.
Question I have is this something that my van can bennefit from?
My starter is 1 year old and works great, the ignition switch is less than a year old
and works great also.
Would adding one of these relays just add fuel to the fire for one more thing to
go wrong down the road, or would it help in any way? Reading that there is no real
bennefit for one of these relays as the older vanagons had the problems corrected,
that the older buses expirenced. On the other hand I have read that there are some
that swear by these relays and they are happy with the results.
Any input will be appreciated...............Tim

Vango Conversions Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:55 pm

I'm having hot start issues as well, but usually the starter will engage but not really crank the engine over when hot. I have a 3 month old battery, the engine is a Subaru so it's harder to crank over but the charging system is awesome. Oddly enough, when it's hot and it fails to start, turning on the headlights for a minute seems to help :? maybe it has nothing to do with it though.

I've thought about adding a ford style remote solenoid as well, but maybe I just need a new starter. Anyways, I guess I don't know what's up.

Ahwahnee Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:31 pm

Vango Conversions wrote: I'm having hot start issues as well, but usually the starter will engage but not really crank the engine over when hot...

If the solenoid is engaging (which is what I'm hearing) then I think the hot start relay will be of no benefit to you.

Timwhy Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:31 am

Got around this week to installing the relay kit that I bought from Jay.
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1066289
It was very easy to install and the directions are spot on! The only problem that I encountered
was the grounding of the fridge and aux battery relays under the drivers seat. I had to ground
both relays to the body after I removed both Red/Black wires from the 85 position on the relays.
Once a used electrical tape to wrap the ends of the wires and then attached the new ground wires,
everything works as it's suppose to.

Jay was there answering any of my questions along the way, so there's Great Customer Tech Support
to go along with the Kit.

Thanks Jay!!



crazyvwvanman wrote: The starter relay addition is a way of solving some intermittent starter issues without spending a lot of time and/or money. It reduces the current load on the starter switch and boosts the voltage that the starter solenoid gets. It can overcome a few types of problems or combination of problems. If you sometimes experience no sound from the starter when you turn the key to start, the relay may "fix" it. I wouldn't add one unless symptoms called for it. I have added them several times in the last 30+ years of VW van ownership and had the problem go away forever in some cases. The common kits can be installed and then later removed without a trace.

If you have a Westy fridge or aux battery relay you may need to add a few extra steps to the installation procedure. The official Bosch WR1 kit does not have everything you need in this case. I recently purchased a kit from a Samba seller that had the extra instructions and included the extra jumper wire for use in a Westy and at a good price.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1066289

You can build your own kit and save a few dollars but why bother when a ready made kit exists?

Mark


Timwhy wrote: Been reading all the threads about the "Hard Start" "Hot Start" relay installs.
Question I have is this something that my van can bennefit from?
My starter is 1 year old and works great, the ignition switch is less than a year old
and works great also.
Would adding one of these relays just add fuel to the fire for one more thing to
go wrong down the road, or would it help in any way? Reading that there is no real
bennefit for one of these relays as the older vanagons had the problems corrected,
that the older buses expirenced. On the other hand I have read that there are some
that swear by these relays and they are happy with the results.
Any input will be appreciated...............Tim

Dwighia Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:29 am

Just wanted to pile on to the positive comments made above about Jay Brown’s Hard Start/Hot Start Relay. Just installed one for my ’84 Vanagon and it was easy and straightforward. The kit is of high quality and even includes an extra jumper for those with a factory fridge like mine. Jay also answered my email question immediately.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1066289
My van suffered from “no crank after hot driving” as described by “Ahwahnee” above.
Dwight

Glenn Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:48 am

A relay moves the high amperage from the ignition switch and wiring to the relay. There's ZERO downside to adding one.

Ever look at a modern car's relay box?

?Waldo? Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:05 am

I think that a relay is an overall good thing, but saying there's no downside is not correct. It adds another part that can and sometimes does fail (I have personally had a starter relay fail) and it can be fairly inconvenient when it does. The inconvenience can be exacerbated if someone who does not understand how to bypass the relay happens to be the one with the vehicle when the relay fails.

oceanair Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:11 am

I've had one of Jay's start relays fail too. Replaced it with a headlight relay and she fired right up. I removed the starter relay all together since I didn't have another relay.

I do think that I might add it back on again sometime, but it did leave me with a no start till I figured it out. Luckily, I was at home.

So it does add another possible fail mode.

Glenn Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:39 am

?Waldo? wrote: but saying there's no downside is not correct. It adds another part that can and sometimes does fail (I have personally had a starter relay fail)
I added one to my Beetle in 1984 and it's still working. The car has over 300,000 miles since and never a starter issue.

Mine is installed under the rear seat where there was a factory connector. I just put it between the connector, one wire to the battery and one to ground. It can easily be removed.

It's just a horn relay, when was the last time you replaced one of them if ever?

I only use genuine Bosch relays.


?Waldo? Thu Jul 09, 2020 11:34 am

Glenn wrote: ?Waldo? wrote: but saying there's no downside is not correct. It adds another part that can and sometimes does fail (I have personally had a starter relay fail)
I added one to my Beetle in 1984 and it's still working. The car has over 300,000 miles since and never a starter issue.

The number of miles you have had one not fail in one vehicle is not relevant as it does not change the fact that the relays can and sometimes do fail. You have already heard from TWO individuals in this thread who have said that it happened to them personally. Yes, failure is rare but it is indeed an additional downside when you add more parts that can and sometimes do fail.

As an apt analogy, there are some individuals who chain smoke and live into their 80-90's. That fact does not change the fact that smoking can and often does cause lung cancer and if an individual smokes cigarettes, they are far more likely to die young from lung cancer. Imagine the logical absurdity of someone saying there is "ZERO downside to smoking" because they have chain smoked their entire life and are now in their 90's without illness.

If you think that Bosch relays never fail you are also wrong about that.

The ease of installation, removal, or bypass also does not nullify the potential downside that I stated of the inconvenience of it failing, especially if someone who is unfamiliar with the relay is using the vehicle. All of that certainly adds up to more than "ZERO downside". I think that a starter relay is generally a good thing and the added downside of another potential failure mode is generally worth it, but to state there is "ZERO downside" is simply not true.

Glenn Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:22 pm

OK... can we get a show of hands on how many people had a automotive relay fail?

I had a 1980 Audi 5000 that had 190,000 miles, never had a relay fail.
I had a 1991 Passat, that has 180,000 miles, never had a relay fail
I had a 1984 Accord that had 240,000 miles, never had a relay fail.
I had a 1999 Accord that had 270,000 miles , never had a relay fail.
I had a 2001 Civic that had 260,000 miles, never had a relay fail.

I still have a 1974 Beetle with 475,000 miles and never had a relay fail.

That's 1,500,000 miles.

How many relays in a 1980's Vanagon and how many have been replaced?

How many added fog lights or installed high wattage headlights and NOT added a relay?

Sorry, Waldo... relays are VERY reliable. And 30+ year old ignition switches and wires can be fragile when stressed.

crazyvwvanman Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:27 pm

Agreed, I like and use starter relays but had 1 new one fail about 4 years after installed.
It is the same type relay used in several places in Vanagons so having a spare relay in the van is obvious anyway.

As far as reliability of relays in general, the original factory VW relays appear to last longer than aftermarket ones. I guess that is the reality with most things.

Mark

?Waldo? wrote: ......
The ease of installation, removal, or bypass also does not nullify the potential downside that I stated of the inconvenience of it failing, especially if someone who is unfamiliar with the relay is using the vehicle. All of that certainly adds up to more than "ZERO downside". I think that a starter relay is generally a good thing and the added downside of another potential failure mode is generally worth it, but to state there is "ZERO downside" is simply not true.

Glenn Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:31 pm

Not sure why a Vanagon burns out relays.

Maybe not using the correct one that can handle the amperage for a starter.

I suspect user error.

Quote: General Specifications
Bosch Part Number: 0332209150
Voltage: 12V
Current: 30A
SPDT
Enclosure: Standard Cover W/Bracket
Footprint: ISO 5 pin
Coil Specifications
Coil Operating Current: 160 mA
Equivalent Coil Resistance: 69 - 80 Ohms
Pull-in Voltage: 8 V
Drop-out Voltage: 1.2 - 5 V
Operating Conditions
Operating Temperature: -40 - 100 C
Humidity Test: 95% for 7 Days
Salt Spray Test: 144 Hours
Dust Test: 8 Days
Life Tests
Resitive Load - N/O: 30 A - 150,000 cycles
Resitive Load - N/C: 20 A - 100,000 cycles
Motor Load - N/O: 40 A - 150,000 cycles
Motor Load - N/C: 15 A - 75,000 cycles
Lamp Load - N/O: 30 A - 150,000 cycles
Lamp Load - N/C: 15 A - 50,000 cycles
Mechanical life: 1,000,000 cycles

?Waldo? Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:56 pm

You must be right, Glenn, that automotive relays never fail except due to user error. It's a wonder they even bother to make replacements.

Glenn Thu Jul 09, 2020 1:23 pm

?Waldo? wrote: You must be right, Glenn, that automotive relays never fail except due to user error. It's a wonder they even bother to make replacements.
Just like ignition switches.

crazyvwvanman Thu Jul 09, 2020 2:44 pm

Could be that some aftermarket relays aren't up to the task long term in spite of having specs that say they should be ok. But I installed one 10 years ago in one of my Syncros when the starter got flakey and the relay still works fine. The starter finally gave up completely a few months so the added relay extended its life quite a ways for me. Those locker Syncro starters are no fun at all to change if you don't really have to.

Mark





Glenn wrote: Not sure why a Vanagon burns out relays.

Maybe not using the correct one that can handle the amperage for a starter.

I suspect user error.



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