Relay Witness Marks.

URGENT ASSISTANCE REQUIRED!

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Frank
Project Petrol Head!
Project Petrol Head!
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:14 pm
Model: 1.7
Location: East Sussex

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Frank » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:37 pm

I need a quick favour, can one of you check your Starter Relay (Aux Fusebox in engine bay and this relay is the second from the left when viewed from the front) and let me know how long your 'witness marks' are on your relay spade connectors?

The relay spade connectors are 11mm long and my marks (2 parallel scratches near the centre) are 4mm long. The other thing I need to know is how those green relay sockets are removed and how you get the female connectors in them, er, out, in order to squeeze them, etc?

Thanks. :-)

Edit - you can probably guess why I need to know this. As some of you know, I've had an intermittent 'No crank, no start' problem for a while. Everything tests OK, you fiddle about, change a relay or whatever and it fixes it for 6 months until the next time.

Well, the other day it wasn't intermittent, so this is my best chance to finally fix this for good. Starter works instantly with a remote starter on tab of S post and Batt + ve. No resistance from tab of S post to Relay terminal 5 on relay holder. Starter relays (yep, I have more than one these days) test fine with no resistance on spades 5 and 3 (load side) with 12v put across spades 1 and 2 (switch/coil side). A voltage drop test between terminal 3 on relay holder (the load 'in' side) and Batt + ve shows no voltage drop at all.

Relay out, ignition on, handbrake off and a jumper wire (thick wire with a spade on it, plugged into terminal 3 of relay holder) touched onto terminal 5 (load out side to solenoid S post connector) of relay holder and the car starts instantly.

One thing is certain, I will have this one. :-P
Last edited by Frank on Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
0 x

User avatar
Frank
Project Petrol Head!
Project Petrol Head!
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:14 pm
Model: 1.7
Location: East Sussex

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Frank » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:53 pm

Jeeze, good job I made my jumper lead or I'd still be at the side of the road waiting for an answer from you guys.
0 x

Pkp
Adolescent
Adolescent
Posts: 85
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 9:25 pm

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Pkp » Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:32 pm

Frank,
Have sold my Puma, so could not have a look......

But I did suffer from something similar on a 2.0 Capri, drove around with a jump lead for ages to start the car from under the bonnet, tried a number of things, but ended up fixing it with a new starter motor, which I never understood.

Keep the shiny side up....
0 x

User avatar
red
Site Administrator
Site Administrator
Posts: 10766
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:31 pm
Model: Other
Location: Cambridgeshire
Contact:

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by red » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:46 am

:o where is everybody?
0 x
FRP#0201 (2000) 2009-2011
Melina Blue (1999) 2006-2009
Moondust Silver (2000) 2006

User avatar
XAF
Project Petrol Head!
Project Petrol Head!
Posts: 905
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:33 pm
Model: 1.7

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by XAF » Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:38 pm

Sooo..... second from left on the back row?

Witness marks are 3-4mm. Crap pics but you get the idea.... I hope!

https://flic.kr/p/XUkTdX

https://flic.kr/p/WENZyD
0 x
2000 Puma Lux
2000 FRP #477

User avatar
Frank
Project Petrol Head!
Project Petrol Head!
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:14 pm
Model: 1.7
Location: East Sussex

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Frank » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:09 pm

XAF wrote: Sooo..... second from left on the back row?

Witness marks are 3-4mm. Crap pics but you get the idea.... I hope!
Many thanks. I should have mentioned that I have the older style auxiliary fusebox, but your findings are still valid - it seems that's as much as those relays are supposed to connect with the holder. I would have thought they would have made a 'longer' contact and that maybe the holder underneath the red (in yours) positioning plate had moved out of position. But, seems not.

It's a puzzle this one, in addition to what I wrote above, during earlier stabs at this all connections/earths, etc were cleaned and tested and that whenever it plays up, I get a single click from the starter solenoid and that's it. Mind you, even just that shows juice is getting from the ignition contacts, doing the relay coil and then load juice is getting down to the solenoid and so rules out a lot.

When you add in the rest of the info in the first post, it's hard to see what else it is other than poor contact between relay and holder/socket. So far, I haven't figured out how to get to the relay holder or even how the innards of the aux fusebox is removed - nothing on the Net and the Fiesta manual is unhelpfully silent on the subject.

So, just for something to do, I took a spare relay and faced up spades 3 and 5 with solder to very slightly increase the thickness - least it starts of the key now, but not every time. So, better than it was, but not fixed yet.

I can see me running that damn remote starter through the firewall into the cabin, at this rate! Grrr... :-)

red wrote: :o where is everybody?
Probably doing something really important like reading Detailing Weekly or studying the powder coating colour catalogues to get just the right shade for their rear axle. :lol:
0 x

User avatar
XAF
Project Petrol Head!
Project Petrol Head!
Posts: 905
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:33 pm
Model: 1.7

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by XAF » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:42 pm

Frank wrote:Probably doing something really important like reading Detailing Weekly or studying the powder coating colour catalogues to get just the right shade for their rear axle. :lol:
Have you been stalking me Frank?!!!

Now super sparkly-thingy-bling does look nice for the hubs...... :-P
1 x
2000 Puma Lux
2000 FRP #477

User avatar
Frank
Project Petrol Head!
Project Petrol Head!
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:14 pm
Model: 1.7
Location: East Sussex

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Frank » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:06 am

XAF wrote: Now super sparkly-thingy-bling does look nice for the hubs...... :-P
See? Just as I suspected. :-)
0 x

DOH
Project Regular
Project Regular
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:13 pm
Model: 1.7
Location: UK

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by DOH » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:35 am

Hi Frank
I've not followed in detail about your starter problems. But have you also checked the connections on the multipug to the loom near the starter and also the solenoid wires on the starter itself?
Tool station sell a can of electrical connection cleaner, so you could try spraying that in the relay socket in the fusebox and any other suspect connections on the key to starter path, including the ignition switch itself.
https://www.toolstation.com/shop/p81507?table=no

Another thing to try to locate the bad connection is with the help of an assistant, ask them to turn the key for you whilst it's dark. You might see an arcing spark from the culprit connection.
0 x

User avatar
Frank
Project Petrol Head!
Project Petrol Head!
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:14 pm
Model: 1.7
Location: East Sussex

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Frank » Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:04 pm

DOH wrote: Hi Frank
I've not followed in detail about your starter problems.
Hi DOH,

No problem, I only mentioned it in passing on another thread a while back. The simple answer to your questions is - yes, I've done that.

As the problem was occasional and intermittent in the past it was hard to know your testing was just catching it on a good day or if it really was OK. This time, as it is happening a lot more, I was hoping to catch a voltage drop or resistance somewhere, but no. The positive results using the remote starter and also the jumper wire across the relay socket connections both rule out many things, but also confuse the picture slightly.

This will be a borderline 'failing under load' problem, I reckon, and although already tested, I'll be hitting the earthing side again next.
0 x

Pkp
Adolescent
Adolescent
Posts: 85
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 9:25 pm

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Pkp » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:11 pm

You seem to have checked/or substituted a number of things on the starter circuit, like the relay etc, but you have not swapped out the starter motor itself? It lives somewhere at the bottom of the engine, gets hot and cold and wet, and subject to engine vibration, not a pleasant environment.

I no longer have a Puma to look at, but with a pre-engaged starter motor, there used to be two windings in the starter solenoid, a "pull in", and a "hold on". The closing coil was earthed through the motor itself, but the "hold on" had an earth all of it's own. If I understand you correctly, the solenoid "clicks" which implies something is getting there from the starter relay, but not enough to make the closing coil, but perhaps enough for the hold on to try.....

The fault on my Capri was the commutator, as there was enough resistance to stop the "pull in" to work. with only 12V to play with, it does not take much to stop something working. Once skimmed, it all worked fine.

Good luck, Paul K
0 x

User avatar
Frank
Project Petrol Head!
Project Petrol Head!
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:14 pm
Model: 1.7
Location: East Sussex

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Frank » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:38 pm

Pkp wrote: You seem to have checked/or substituted a number of things on the starter circuit, like the relay etc, but you have not swapped out the starter motor itself?
Hi Paul,

The remote starter on the S post tab instantly starting the car suggests that is not necessary. Indeed, just bypassing the relay with a jumper wire also starts the car. But thanks for the suggestion, as it never hurts to re-examine things in troubleshooting procedures.

The starter was replaced just before I bought the car and I remember that because I recall the previous owner bleating about how much the exhaust and starter had cost them and I bet that starter didn't really need replacing. However, if it's needed to replace the starter then I will, but only if I already know that is where the problem is. I'm not a big fan of trying to fix problems by shotgunning parts at them. :-)

Thanks for the 'good luck' message.
0 x

Pkp
Adolescent
Adolescent
Posts: 85
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 9:25 pm

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Pkp » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:54 pm

Starter not that old then, can't think of much else to suggest.

With the Capri, I used a long screwdriver connected to the battery +ve terminal and used to poke it onto the solenoid connection, so for ages I looked at the run from the ignition switch to the solenoid, and also tested the starter motor on the bench! (Not recommended as apparently at unloaded rpm, the rotor can come to pieces!)

Only other thing would be the earth return from the engine block to the chassis/battery -ve, but that is unlikely. I can remember changing the lead at the back of the block when I bought the Puma (2009), but I can't remember why!

Spent most of my working life fixing electrical and electronic boxes, and I would much rather be a "fixer" than a "changer". I used to have a Flymo with a wooden handle made up from 2*1, a gate hinge connecting it to the hover bit, and an Eddystone box with a switch!

If I have any bright ideas I'll post.
0 x

User avatar
Frank
Project Petrol Head!
Project Petrol Head!
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:14 pm
Model: 1.7
Location: East Sussex

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Frank » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:40 pm

Pkp wrote: Starter not that old then, can't think of much else to suggest.
Yep, it's a puzzle. The symptoms, or lack of them, point to a poor connection between the relay and the relay base and would explain how everything tests OK, but fails. The 'fix' I did with the sliver of solder on spades 3 and 5 did produce a good 'slide on the spade chamfer and then positive click' feel, but who knows? That's the problem with multiplugs, you never know if every spade is doing that. The only way of doing it properly is to get get relay base out and do the stuff properly...and that might happen yet.

Still, being able to bridge the relay contacts to start it, if necessary, has at least taken some of the urgency out of this.
Pkp wrote: Only other thing would be the earth return from the engine block to the chassis/battery -ve, but that is unlikely. I can remember changing the lead at the back of the block when I bought the Puma (2009), but I can't remember why!
I think the earth is worth looking at again as well. Later this afternoon, I'm going to just put a thick ol' jump lead from the starter body to the Batt -ve and see if anything changes, consistency-wise. I already know I have earth on the starter, but maybe under load? We'll see.

That lead at the back of the block is just for radio suppression but everyone, including me, seems to change it probably because the default one is thin and mean and seems to age badly.

But I, deliberately, keep an open mind on diagnostic stuff, so if anyone has any ideas, then bring it on and I'll try it.
0 x

User avatar
Frank
Project Petrol Head!
Project Petrol Head!
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:14 pm
Model: 1.7
Location: East Sussex

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Frank » Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:52 pm

Update -
Frank wrote: I think the earth is worth looking at again as well. Later this afternoon, I'm going to just put a thick ol' jump lead from the starter body to the Batt -ve and see if anything changes, consistency-wise
Well, I did the above and out of 16 'tries' it started 11 times and just clicked on the other 5.

I know that looks like bad news, but is it? It rules out the earthing of the starter and given the start point is pretty good. What brought this to a head was a really important meeting I was going to and what do I get? 15 damn clicks in a row before it started! Since then there has been a few 5 or 6 clicks runs. Now it starts 11 times out of 16 first time. - that, I can put up with, for now.

Apart from the testing, the only actual 'fix' I've done is that one on the relay spades and seeing as how things have improved I'm thinking that's where the fault lays.

So, here's the question - pre-2000 Aux Fusebox - (this isn't mine, but it looks like this) -

Image

How do I get the damn thing out so I can get to those relay wires/socket and do a proper job on this?


@ incidentally, for those of you with long memories, this one reminds me of the famous Battle of the Pre-Tensioner thread - viewtopic.php?p=355907#p355907 :-)
0 x

DOH
Project Regular
Project Regular
Posts: 355
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:13 pm
Model: 1.7
Location: UK

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by DOH » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:20 pm

Hi Frank. The braided earth wire isn't just for suppressing the radio it is needed to provide a good earth path for the coil pack & possibly the injectors too. All I can say is that the car goes noticebly better when its got a good connection around the two mounting bolts.
It will have no bearing on your starting problem though.
There is a cluster of earth wires that mount to the front lower part of the gearbox iirc via a 17mm or 19mm nut , If there is a poor connection there that can cause issues with your starter. So have you checked that?
0 x

User avatar
Frank
Project Petrol Head!
Project Petrol Head!
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:14 pm
Model: 1.7
Location: East Sussex

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Frank » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:54 pm

DOH wrote: Hi Frank. The braided earth wire isn't just for suppressing the radio it is needed to provide a good earth path for the coil pack & possibly the injectors too.
Will you tell this wild man or shall I? - viewtopic.php?p=360780#p360780 :-)

I'm just a simple soul and I don't care what it's for. I saw an iffy earth lead on mine and replaced it with a proper one and took it down to bare metal around the body bolt. Now, it's a good earth.
DOH wrote:There is a cluster of earth wires that mount to the front lower part of the gearbox...
...So have you checked that?
I was short of time today, so just did the jump lead onto the starter body up to the -ve test, no great improvement there. However, can never too many good earths, so I'll be sure to check that out. Thanks.
0 x

User avatar
JAC
Project Regular
Project Regular
Posts: 218
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:58 pm
Model: 1.7

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by JAC » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:23 pm

Hi Frank,

Did you fix this?

If not, this post will probably be of absolutely no use to you, as I am still a long way away from knowing 1% of the stuff you guys know, however...

I have experienced a very similar situation on two vehicles in the past, although it was a long time ago and I knew even less than I do now (if that's even possible!).

On one vehicle (an old Renault) I experienced the click with no start and the perfect start intermittently for a while. Sometimes it would go for days with no issues, other times it would play up constantly. After changing the starter motor, various relays and fuses, we finally narrowed it down to a cable that was damaged. Most of the strands inside the cable were broken, but when it was "laying" correctly it would start no problem. On other ocasions, due to vibration, it would open a gap and not work. I beleive it was the positive cable that ran to the starter motor in the end, but I could not swear to it.

On another vehicle (a motorbike), it failed 9 times out of 10. In this case it was also a problem with a cable (again after many painful hours and push starts), in this case the cable had stripped by vibrating on an adjacent piece of metal, causing a short. I seem to remember that this affected anything battery powered whilst the engine was stopped, but everything worked fine once started. Again, this was nearly 20 years ago so my memory is vague.

As I said, I am sure that this is probably of no help, but I though I would share.

Good luck with finding the fault, I have been searching for a stalling issue for nearly two years now (but hopefully I now know the culprit).
1 x

User avatar
Frank
Project Petrol Head!
Project Petrol Head!
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:14 pm
Model: 1.7
Location: East Sussex

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Frank » Thu Sep 14, 2017 6:20 pm

Jeeze, are these forums dead or what? *brushes tumbleweed to one side*
JAC wrote: Hi Frank,

Did you fix this?
Hi Jac,

Yeah, seems so.

As you've probably read, the troubleshooting elimination steps I did ruled out a lot of things (although I'm always wary of thinking that with electrics) and the 'walking the line' technique made sure that bits didn't get overlooked, i.e. following the same path the electrics had to take to get the job done.

I suppose the 2 key clues on this one were #1. bridging terminals 3 and 5 on the relay holder would turn the starter over instantly and #2. The relay(s) were tested properly and were good. This suggested poor contact at that junction was the problem. I never did remove the aux. fusebox, which always carries a risk of disturbing something else, but instead noticed (see photo above) that there was a vacant space next to the particular relay unit that I wanted proper access. So...I carefully removed the plastic division and took the relay out sideways.

So far, I'm happy with the fix I've done (dielectric grease and twisting, etc) but if necessary I can now remove the wires themselves and solder the damn things onto the relay. :-P

Anyway, so far, so good and the actual 'under the bonnet' time was pretty short on this - an important point if you have to watch your back. Mine can easily cut up rough working at that odd angle needed. Here's 2 links that I found useful on this one -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ire7vyDqelg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51tW8ihy5ds
0 x

Pkp
Adolescent
Adolescent
Posts: 85
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 9:25 pm

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Pkp » Sat Sep 16, 2017 11:46 am

Frank - the site did have an out of date "Security Certificate" for a couple of days and considering the number of Pumas compared to some models, there is still some significant life left on this forum!

You seem to be making progress, but re-reading your posts, have you measured the voltage drop between the battery +ve and the terminal for the solenoid coil with a known load ? If you connected a headlamp bulb (55W )instead of the solenoid and turned the ignition switch to the "Start" position and measured the voltage drop, you could calculate the resistance of the cable, connectors and the relay contacts that provide the circuit to the solenoid.

(You can use this idea to test a car battery by calculating the internal resistance of the battery. four 55W headlamp bulbs, and half a dozen sidelights is about 240W so 20A at 12V Measure open circuit volts of car battery (about 12.6V) then the volts under load, say 12.1V so a voltage drop of 0.5V at 20A gives an internal resistance of 0.025 Ohm - which I think is a bit high, should be about 0.010 Ohm I think, so just because the open circuit volts is 12.6, does not make it a good battery. This test does not tell you the capacity either)
1 x

User avatar
Frank
Project Petrol Head!
Project Petrol Head!
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:14 pm
Model: 1.7
Location: East Sussex

Relay Witness Marks.

Post by Frank » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:12 pm

Pkp wrote: You seem to be making progress, but re-reading your posts, have you measured the voltage drop between the battery +ve and the terminal for the solenoid coil with a known load ? If you connected a headlamp bulb (55W )instead of the solenoid and turned the ignition switch to the "Start" position and measured the voltage drop, you could calculate the resistance of the cable, connectors and the relay contacts that provide the circuit to the solenoid.
Hi,

Yeah, I sort of did. I put a twin horn on the solenoid switch terminal wire and turned it over and it kept on sounding fine (the tone sounds wrong if the voltage is off) , I didn't put a meter on it though. Proved nothing and that's the testing problem generally that I've had with this right from the start - it's an intermittent fault - so is it OK or are you just catching it on one of the times when it's OK?

As I wrote, seems OK atm, but it wouldn't surprise me if the true fault was not accumulative resistance of 'cable, connectors and the relay contacts that provide the circuit to the solenoid'. Point is, how much time do you spend on something before the fixing becomes more of a problem than the original fault was causing?
0 x

Post Reply

Return to “HELP ME!”