Author Topic: No power to starter relay  (Read 1387 times)

Offline makjoh

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No power to starter relay
« on: April 21, 2017, 04:13:45 AM »
Bought a nice 1997 K1100 LT the other day and decided to take her indoors on her first pillion ride. When running low on fuel I pulled into a fuel station and filled up. Climbed aboard and......starter would not work!! Couldn,t believe it. How could this happen on our first ride? Had to call breakdown who sent a 'mechanic' who fumbled about with things. He said it was a starter relay at fault and got the bike going by bridging the relay terminals with a spanner. Don't stall it on the way home he said!! And get a new relay......which I've done and installed and.....no starter working. So I get my multimeter out and check the power going to the relay itself. There is no power showing when the starter button is depressed. Where the hell does one go from here? Assistance greatly recieved from newbie. Thanks
  • south wales
  • k1100 lt k100 rs 16v

Offline Laitch

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 07:48:00 AM »
Where the hell does one go from here?
Welcome, makjoh. Your problem is not uncommon for owners of newly purchased K-bikes.

If this were my bike, I'd answer the following questions for myself:
Is the motronic plug clean and plugged in tight?
Are there any blown fuses?
Is power going into the starter button switch?
Is power coming from the starter button switch?
  • Along the Ridley in Vermont.
  • 1995 K75T 60,000 miles
I wept because I had no radials until I met a man who had no splines.

Offline johnny

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 08:08:07 AM »
greetings...

#1 backspin starter maintenance... dont doubt me on this... id bet my stash of black and white laitch south beach polaroids on it...

j o
  • i parks my 96 eleven hundert rs motobrick in dodge county cheezconsin...

Offline Laitch

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 08:31:26 AM »
. . . id bet my stash of black and white laitch south beach polaroids on it...
If you get stains on them, j o, they'll be worthless. Be careful.
  • Along the Ridley in Vermont.
  • 1995 K75T 60,000 miles
I wept because I had no radials until I met a man who had no splines.

Offline makjoh

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 03:59:46 PM »
Thanks Laitch.


It seems that the culprit is the sidestand! Or rather the switch it opens and closes. I neglected to mention that another symptom was the fuel pump not priming when the ignition was switched on. The previous owner dropped by to diagnose the fault. But the problem now seems that when cleaning and moving the contact it primes the pump then the contacts open, i.e when the sidestand is out?? This surely cant be correct?
  • south wales
  • k1100 lt k100 rs 16v

Offline Filmcamera

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 04:06:20 PM »
No the engine cuts off when the sidestand is deployed.  That switch is a little sensitive.  I suggest what you try is find the connection from that switch and jump it.  If the bike then starts that is your problem.  I had the same issue on my bike after doing a clutch change.  Just make sure the switch is properly clean and closed by the sidestand when it is up. 
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Offline Laitch

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 04:11:00 PM »
when the sidestand is out?? This surely cant be correct?
Can you start your bike yet, makjoh?

  • Along the Ridley in Vermont.
  • 1995 K75T 60,000 miles
I wept because I had no radials until I met a man who had no splines.

Offline makjoh

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2017, 02:49:10 AM »
Hi Laitch....no I havent started the bike yet. I sprayed the contact sidestand with gunk for an overnight penetration before washing off. However when wheeling the bike back into the garage I could smell some burning and saw that I had not protected the battery terminals and have shorted it with the unsecured plate!! It will not charge so I am assuming destroyed plates? We did however get to hear the fuel pump prime and the starter operate whilst pressing the starter. So its a new battery and jet wash the bottom of the bike to clean up all around the sidestand contact. Is there a way to by pass this switch?
  • south wales
  • k1100 lt k100 rs 16v

Offline Laitch

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2017, 07:06:01 AM »
Jet/power washing the "bottom" of the bike can penetrate electrical connectionsólike the gear position indicator, for oneócausing more problems. Using brushes and moderate stream of water will still clean up the bike plus build upper body strength and flexibility.

How long did you charge your battery and what was the voltage reading on your meter? If the battery won't charge when it is off the bike, then you need a new battery. Assuming anything doesn't help much. Did you check all your fuses after you made this mistake?
  • Along the Ridley in Vermont.
  • 1995 K75T 60,000 miles
I wept because I had no radials until I met a man who had no splines.

Offline wally.fisher

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2017, 09:55:24 AM »
Jump the side stand switch to eliminate it, you will find the connector above your rear brake fluid pot on right side, it is a two wire plug hidden against the main loom.


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Offline makjoh

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2017, 11:07:11 AM »
Now I am confused.........battery fully charged and installed. All original cables put back. Switch on ignition and no fuel pump primer noise? But starter works. Kick out the sidestand and the fuel pump kicks in with that whirring noise that should occur when the ignition is switched on??
  • south wales
  • k1100 lt k100 rs 16v

Offline The Mighty Gryphon

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2017, 11:10:40 AM »
Does the starter work with the side stand down?  Does the engine start and run?
  • In my garage in Marilla, NY
  • '94 K75RT Mystic Red, '92K100RS White, '94 K75S Dakar Yellow
"Dohn f wit me, honkey, cuz I dindu nuffin'"

Current:
'94 K75RT "Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS"
'94 K75S "Cheetos"
'92 K100RS "Moby Brick"

Past:
'82 Honda FT500, '80 Honda XR185, '78 Honda XL125, '76 Honda XL125, '74 Honda XL125, '71 Ossa Pioneer, '68 Kawasaki 175

Offline Acute Toxicity

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2017, 11:11:22 AM »
Do #1, #2, #4 and #4 at this link and report back that you have completed these 4 things in their entirety or you will likely be banned by Mystic Red for not doing the minimum.

Offline makjoh

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2017, 01:02:16 PM »
Thanks guys.......complied with the suggestions and used electrical contact cleaner but no luck. Here are my symptoms
1. Fuel tank full and indicator showing full tank
2. Switch on ignition and fuel indicator swings to zero, NO whirring of fuel pump,  starter turns engine over but doesn't start because the pump hasn't kicked in.
3. The bike is on the main stand when this is happening so I pull OUT the side stand and THEN I hear the fuel pump whirring and the fuel gauge swing back to show a full tank but obviously with the side stand out the bike wont start.


Thats my dilemma.....an electrical fault somewhere that is confusing the fuel pump to kick in with the wrong signal i.e. when the sidestand is OUT.
  • south wales
  • k1100 lt k100 rs 16v

Offline The Mighty Gryphon

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2017, 01:09:06 PM »
Have you been messing about in the relay box?  It sounds like you could have the wrong relay in the fuel pump relay socket.  The load shed relay is normally closed and opens when power is put on it.  If that is in the fuel pump position it might do what you are seeing.
  • In my garage in Marilla, NY
  • '94 K75RT Mystic Red, '92K100RS White, '94 K75S Dakar Yellow
"Dohn f wit me, honkey, cuz I dindu nuffin'"

Current:
'94 K75RT "Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS"
'94 K75S "Cheetos"
'92 K100RS "Moby Brick"

Past:
'82 Honda FT500, '80 Honda XR185, '78 Honda XL125, '76 Honda XL125, '74 Honda XL125, '71 Ossa Pioneer, '68 Kawasaki 175

Offline kioolt

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2017, 01:17:39 PM »
Have you been messing about in the relay box?  It sounds like you could have the wrong relay in the fuel pump relay socket.  The load shed relay is normally closed and opens when power is put on it.  If that is in the fuel pump position it might do what you are seeing.


I'm pretty sure the load shed relay is normally open and closes where power is applied.  That's why when you loose the ground side through the starter (no power to LSR, contact opens) that the headlight quits.
2004 R1150RT 178,100 miles
1991 K100LT 128,700 miles
1982 R100RT 106,900 miles
Total 413,700 BMW miles
AMA,BMWRA,BMWMOA
The cheapest thing on a BMW is the nut that connects the handlebars to the seat.

Offline bocutter Ed

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2017, 03:47:03 PM »
I'm pretty sure the load shed relay is normally open and closes where power is applied.
Open is when the current can't flow ...
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Offline kioolt

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2017, 04:07:57 PM »
Correct about open being when current can't flow.  The LSR opens the headlight circuit when starting.  It does this by turning off (no power across the relay coil opening the headlight circuit).
2004 R1150RT 178,100 miles
1991 K100LT 128,700 miles
1982 R100RT 106,900 miles
Total 413,700 BMW miles
AMA,BMWRA,BMWMOA
The cheapest thing on a BMW is the nut that connects the handlebars to the seat.

Offline bocutter Ed

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2017, 09:58:45 AM »
Correct about open being when current can't flow.  The LSR opens the headlight circuit when starting.  It does this by turning off (no power across the relay coil opening the headlight circuit).
In that case then, wouldn't the LSR be NC (normally closed) and open only when the start circuit is engaged. Not as posted in reply 17?

I'm pretty sure the load shed relay is normally open and closes where power is applied.
  • Toronto, Canada
  • '61 Puch DS60 - '66 Puch 250 SGS - '87 BMW K75s

Offline kioolt

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2017, 10:11:41 AM »
In that case then, wouldn't the LSR be NC (normally closed) and open only when the start circuit is engaged.


No,  when the key is turned on power is applied to the LSR which closes the contact (headlight turns on).  When the starter button is pushed the power is removed from the LSR opening the contact thus turning off the headlight and some other non-essential for engine running circuits.  This is done so that there will be more battery power for the starter.  then when the starter button is released or the engine rpm is 700 or higher the LSR will have power again and close the contact thus turning the headlight and other circuits back on.   Relay contact names (NC or NO) are always named by their unpowered state.  Not by the state is which you will normally find them when in use.  e.g. When I'm riding my bike the LSR contact is always closed.  This is the normal condition for when I ride, but it does not mean it is a normally closed contact because it has power on the coil at this point.
2004 R1150RT 178,100 miles
1991 K100LT 128,700 miles
1982 R100RT 106,900 miles
Total 413,700 BMW miles
AMA,BMWRA,BMWMOA
The cheapest thing on a BMW is the nut that connects the handlebars to the seat.

Offline The Mighty Gryphon

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  • dyke chik wit attatood
Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2017, 12:45:20 PM »
My mistake. 

The load shed relay coil is energized when the ignition is turned on and grounded through the starter.   When the start button is pushed and 12V is applied to the starter motor the 12V on the starter eliminates the ground for the relay coil and the lights and horn are disconnected.

THe normally closed relay I was thinking of was the ABS warning light relay.  The small one in the blue case.
  • In my garage in Marilla, NY
  • '94 K75RT Mystic Red, '92K100RS White, '94 K75S Dakar Yellow
"Dohn f wit me, honkey, cuz I dindu nuffin'"

Current:
'94 K75RT "Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS"
'94 K75S "Cheetos"
'92 K100RS "Moby Brick"

Past:
'82 Honda FT500, '80 Honda XR185, '78 Honda XL125, '76 Honda XL125, '74 Honda XL125, '71 Ossa Pioneer, '68 Kawasaki 175

Offline makjoh

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2017, 02:39:55 PM »
Hummmmmm.....Johnny and the mighty gryphon may have hit upon an interesting theory, first off thanks Johnny for the info on how to bypass the sidestand switch. Not yet achieved that because I'd like to find out whats causing this problem first. Which leads me back to you and the mighty gryphons theory.....fumbling mitts in the relay box!! Not mine but the breakdown mechanic who attended at the outset. I saw him pulling out what relays he could, shake them, put them back and then spanner the starter relay with the ignition on to start the bike. So I am assuming he has put them back in the correct position otherwise the bike would not have started in order for me to get home? Will the relays only fit in one way? Or is it possible he has misaligned them? Taking the blue relay out knocks the fuel gauge to zero. I have not tried any other relays
  • south wales
  • k1100 lt k100 rs 16v

Offline Inge K.

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2017, 02:59:21 PM »
The blue ABS warning relay should be put in left rear socket of the six in two rows,
the five other relays is identical to each other.

Offline makjoh

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2017, 03:50:10 PM »
Thanks inge....from recollection my blue relay is in the FRONT left socket. I'll confirm and get back when I check the bike again tomorrow
  • south wales
  • k1100 lt k100 rs 16v

Offline Inge K.

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Re: No power to starter relay
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2017, 04:07:04 PM »
Front left is the fuel pump, looks like you're on the right track now........when swapping them.