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Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

?Waldo? wrote:
and others might not,

I just hope those people work on their own vehicle because paying a shop to rewire the vehicle and replace the ignition switch is a lot more than installing a $12 relay.

So... what do these new cars use that have the engine stop at red lights and restart when you press on the gas? Must be a computer and relay in there somewhere.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

Cabriolets are known for factory fuel pump relays and lambda relays going bad... nothing to do with wiring or user error.

My parents' '89 Westy had a Digifant power relay go bad (others have now spoken up about the same issue)... original, factory equipment, not user error or faulty wiring. [Edit: This is a special 5-pin relay specifically installed in '88-'89 vans.]

Relays do indeed fail, just as any electronic device can fail, including my van's A/C hi-lo switch and my totally unrelated PS2, thanks simply to age, heat cycles, and use. Should you avoid installing a hard-start relay because of a potential failure? No. FFS... three pages of bickering over this? Rolling Eyes 🤦‍♀️

Glenn wrote:

I only use genuine Bosch relays.


Genuine Bosch no longer exists since that division of Bosch was bought by Tyco Electronics.😌
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

kamzcab86 wrote:
three pages of bickering over this? Rolling Eyes 🤦‍♀️

One word... Covid. Nothing better to do.

Lock it if you like Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:44 am    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

I have one of Jay Brown's relay kits installed on my van for around 8 years or so. I recently had his relay fail while on a trip. I had another relay and swapped it out. I now converted all of his kits to German relays and Bosch relay sockets from FCP Euro. Cheap and a quality upgrade to his otherwise nice setup. His relays were made in China, and we all know how that goes. I would consider the relays being Chinese to be the issue, and doubt highly that the issue will resurface with a quality relay. There should be zero question as to if the addition of a start relay is a good idea...the only issue is understanding it is now another part to diagnose, otherwise win-win. You have now pretty much completely removed the common ignition switch issue for good.

I am a shop owner by trade, and have seen very very few factory relays fail in my career, but when you outsource, you get what you pay for. I would not install one of Jay's kits into a customer vehicle unless I upgraded the relay.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ now this is a quality post.

I wish these arguments between egos would go to private messaging as they have little to do with the substance of the post.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

Here are the relays as well as the plates. The plates are required as the common relays do not have a mounting tab. They are cheap and nicer quality anyway. You just release the terminal tabs from the old base and reinsert them into the new base.

https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/relay-plate-3334485008

https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/porsche-multi-purpose-relay-wehrle-141951253b

This setup also works for the headlight relay kit as well.
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Last edited by kalispell365 on Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

kalispell365 wrote:
Here are the relays as well as the plates. The plates are required as the common relays do not have a mounting tab. They are cheap and nicer quality anyway.

https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/relay-plate-3334485008

https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/porsche-multi-purpose-relay-wehrle-141951253b

This setup also works for the headlight relay kit as well.

This is the one I listed way back on Page 1

Bosch made in Portugal and has a mounting tab.
https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/saab-volvo-multi-purpose-relay-bosch-0332209150
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

Hi Glenn -- is a 20/30 amp enough for the starter relay? The Chinese one I got from Jay is a 30/50.

Thanks!
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

oceanair wrote:
Hi Glenn -- is a 20/30 amp enough for the starter relay? The Chinese one I got from Jay is a 30/50.

Thanks!

I've not had a problem with the one in my car and it's been there for 35 years, but a higher amperage certainly won't hurt.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 12:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

oceanair wrote:
Hi Glenn -- is a 20/30 amp enough for the starter relay? The Chinese one I got from Jay is a 30/50.

Thanks!


I used the one I listed specifically because its 40 amp, I also believe it is the same as the fuel pump relay in a stock gas van but don't own one so I cannot confirm for sure. Made in Germany.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

kalispell365 wrote:
I am a shop owner by trade, and have seen very very few factory relays fail in my career, but when you outsource, you get what you pay for. I would not install one of Jay's kits into a customer vehicle unless I upgraded the relay.


After having a couple Hella relays fail within about a year of installation in the engine compartment of my '85 Westfalia, I figured that there had to be something better available.

Instead of blindly assuming that any specific brand would be better than another based on the name printed on the relay case, I decided to grab a bunch of relays from my normal suppliers for testing.

I designed a torture test of subjecting each relay to 48 hours @ 30A load cycling on and off every 10 seconds via a timer circuit, followed by a trip through my dishwasher on the top rack set to the pots and pans cycle.

Using 2 relays from each brand, I repeated this cycle until the relays failed. Here's how the results played out (I didn't keep any notes on brands that failed after a single cycle):

Hella - Completed 2 cycles before failure. Water found inside relays when opened for autopsy.

Bosch - Completed 2 cycles before failure. Water found inside relays when opened for autopsy.

Picker Components - Completed 4 cycles. Water found inside relays when opened for autopsy.

Song Chuan - Completed 10 cycles before abandoning testing. No water found inside when relay was cut open. These 50A/30A relays are epoxy sealed and resist weather significantly better than any other relay I have ever tested. I have replaced less than a dozen of these relays in the 7+ years I have been using them in my hard start kits.

A non-sealed relay on a wide socket is going to trap water. This will be especially problematic for anyone that drives in areas that have lots of snow and salt during the winter months. A bracket mount relay with a thinner socket will shed water much better.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

I used old school Mercedes icecube relays with the round posts. I did so because I have a poop ton of them and they have silvered posts and sockets, so they can last for years without any signs of corrosion. I'm not sure I've ever seen one of these relays fail...ever. I think the relays themselves are made by Bosch or Kaehler. I don't expect anyone to follow my lead on this, but I'm just providing data points. If I didn't have lots of spares, they would probably be a total chore to find while on the road.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

thatvwbusguy wrote:
Instead of blindly assuming that any specific brand would be better than another based on the name printed on the relay case, I decided to grab a bunch of relays from my normal suppliers for testing.


Kudos, Jay! Science beats dogma every time!

I just checked your ads and do not see the hot start relay kit. Are you no longer selling them?
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:23 am    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

?Waldo? wrote:
I just checked your ads and do not see the hot start relay kit. Are you no longer selling them?


I have been so swamped with work for the past 3 months that I decided to deactivate my ads for the hard start relays for a while.

Each hard start kit takes me about 30-35 minutes to assemble, test and package. After working a full day at my engineering job, I usually sit at the bench for 2-3 hours each night in an effort to keep up with orders.

In winter months, this doesn't bother me too much since it's just about dark when I get out of work anyway and I would rather stay busy than sit and watch TV. During the long days of summer, it's nice to be able to get outside for a few hours each day or just relax and not worry about making stuff and filling orders.

I will most likely reactivate the ads for hard start kits in a few months once the work/life balance feels a little more balanced Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:21 am    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

Jay, enjoy summer!
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:59 am    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

Indeed, that seems quite reasonable.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:51 am    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

thatvwbusguy wrote:
kalispell365 wrote:
I am a shop owner by trade, and have seen very very few factory relays fail in my career, but when you outsource, you get what you pay for. I would not install one of Jay's kits into a customer vehicle unless I upgraded the relay.


After having a couple Hella relays fail within about a year of installation in the engine compartment of my '85 Westfalia, I figured that there had to be something better available.

Instead of blindly assuming that any specific brand would be better than another based on the name printed on the relay case, I decided to grab a bunch of relays from my normal suppliers for testing.

I designed a torture test of subjecting each relay to 48 hours @ 30A load cycling on and off every 10 seconds via a timer circuit, followed by a trip through my dishwasher on the top rack set to the pots and pans cycle.

Using 2 relays from each brand, I repeated this cycle until the relays failed. Here's how the results played out (I didn't keep any notes on brands that failed after a single cycle):

Hella - Completed 2 cycles before failure. Water found inside relays when opened for autopsy.

Bosch - Completed 2 cycles before failure. Water found inside relays when opened for autopsy.

Picker Components - Completed 4 cycles. Water found inside relays when opened for autopsy.

Song Chuan - Completed 10 cycles before abandoning testing. No water found inside when relay was cut open. These 50A/30A relays are epoxy sealed and resist weather significantly better than any other relay I have ever tested. I have replaced less than a dozen of these relays in the 7+ years I have been using them in my hard start kits.

A non-sealed relay on a wide socket is going to trap water. This will be especially problematic for anyone that drives in areas that have lots of snow and salt during the winter months. A bracket mount relay with a thinner socket will shed water much better.


Jay,
My post was in NO way an attack on you...I have spoken with you before and even purchased an additional relay and terminals. You were extremely personable and helpful. Your water rationale fails for two simple reasons.

1) The start relay is mounted in a location in the Vanagon where there is no chance of any sort of the type of water/ snow/ salt exposure you mention, so I can't see how that ever would be an issue to start with. Even you said so when I inquired regarding a Delphi Weather pack style sealed relay for that location on the phone.

2) Your comment regarding the Bosch relay socket is incorrect. The socket has large cavities around each terminal port. There is NO way water could in any way pool in the base. A simple examination of the Bosch socket illustration would make that assumption false. If water was to run down a relay from the top/ sides, it would end up on top of either relay socket, trapped between the relay and the top of the socket. The Bosch base may be bigger, but has larger cavities allowing drainage. I haven't even touched on the obvious fact that the relays are mounted in a way that water would have to go against gravity in a quantity and duration that is extremely unlikely. In this application and location your theory is more of a sales pitch (including the whole dishwasher experiment) considering my first point above.

I also gave you the benefit of the doubt on here and did not mention the second identical relay I purchased from you for my Light Force lights on my Toyota. It also failed and was not exposed to water. I only use my Vanagon about three short trips each summer, so that relay saw very little use. I'm not offering any sort of study or proof that the German made relays are factually better, but how many of us would consider our Vanagon was the same quality if made in China? Again, I can only speak of my experiences with your relays. Both of my headlight relays functioned correct (in fairness, I don't drive my Vanagon at night ever) but the other two of four failed honestly. No water, just failed. The fact that I didn't contact you about the failure and there are others in here also mentioning the same relay failure tells me your claim of "less than a dozen" is in fairness, low.

For the few dollars more, I consider a German relay superior to Chinese, but that is me "blindly assuming". But, in my experience the only relay failures I have had were the Chinese relay.

This wasn't "dogma", it was a numbers based experience how I reached my conclusion.

On a final note. I appreciate your testing data, but lets put our cards on the table. If Bosch or other German relays were as problematic as your testing concludes, there would be folks all over forums like these with German vehicles with failing relays...one post after another and we all know that's simply not true. every factory relay in my 300K plus van is original, your relay failed in very short order respectively. I suspect in your testing you either used a relay with an inadequate amperage rating OR are soaking relays in water and then calling the result a failure on the lack of water proofing alone-that's just not an issue in this application as I detailed above. Those are skewed results, any relay that you soak will likely fail. Half of your relays in my possession didn't fail because of introduced water, they just failed from defect or poor quality.

Again, zero disrespect of you or your product intended, just my experience. My experience numbers wise is why I said "I wouldn't use your kit unless I changed the relay". The socket was used because of the lack of mounting tab on the new relay, I did not have problems with your socket, but I like the Bosch quality better (I'm assuming your sockets are Chinese also?)-that's just me.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

I didn't take your post as an attack in any way.

My findings are based on selling and supporting thousands of relay kits here, on my website and through my re-sellers over the past 10+ years. Since my sample size is likely orders of magnitude larger than anyone else selling to the Vanagon hobby, I will rely on my data without question.

The Song Chuan relays I use in all of my kits are made in Taiwan in IATF-16949 Certified factories. The relay sockets I use are Tyco and are typically made in Germany.

Everyone is entitled to think that German electronics or plastic parts are the best regardless of the validity of that belief. It's no different than the opinion that Japanese electronics are vastly superior to anything else on other forums I frequent.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

The OP's question was about installing the relay to benefit a newly installed starter. My answer is that if the Vanagon starts fine, I would not.

My Syncro has a start relay. My other two Vanagons did not and they never had issues. Today I moved the Syncro 20 feet. 5 minutes later I tried to move it back. The engine would not turn over. Rather than trace the wiring using the Bentley I came to the Samba to look for the quick fix. The Bosch 30A relay had died.

What I learned reading the Samba threads is assuming the grounds are clean (they are) and the wiring/Vanagon is in good order there are two places to check. One is the ignition switch and the other is the start relay if you have one. The second is the primary benefit of the start relay is it reduces the load on the ignition switch.

Since the start relay (installed by a PO) is easier to get to and I have spare relays (and a spare ignition switch) I swapped in the spare. Presto! The Syncro starts. Thanks to the people who post for making this a quick and easy fix.

Regarding this thread:
My relay died, so count me in. However, I'm a good example of what Glenn tried to say. I'm only responding because my start relay died. That biases the results.
The PO appeared to do a decent job on the connections with a nice hard start kit. However they left the relay hanging by the wires. It is a 30A Bosch. The relay had fuzz growing around its spades because it was hanging "legs up" and it appears water collected in the indentations. The dead relay rattles if I shake it as if a small bit on the inside is broken off. I replaced the relay with a 40A Meyle relay that looks prone to water ingress.

I've had VWs for 42 years and some have had hard start relays. Usually it was to circumvent salt corroded wiring on 6V systems. The relays kept the voltage up which had to be good for the starter solenoids but I can't say it would increase the solenoid lifetime. The start relays made problem starters reliable. If you've lain in slush and gook trying to short the solenoid of a rusty '62 beetle with a screwdriver while cars drive past spraying slop on you, you'd know why some of us install them.

The wiring/connections are fine on my never seen salt Syncro so I doubt my relay is necessary. However, if it reduces the load on the ignition switch I see no reason to remove it. It may that without the relay the Syncro would have gone through several ignition switches.

One thing. If you add the relay do a decent job and don't leave it hanging by the wires. That invites problems.

YES. This long winded post is courtesy of COVID-19 spare time.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Hard Start Relay a good idea for new starter? Reply with quote

The Vanagon should have had a starter relay as standard! The SA T3 Caravelles and Transporters did have the missing starter relay as well as headlight relays as standard equipment. VW knew they were cutting it close.
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