wiring for starter relay, sportster?

I have a older sporty that might be wired wrong at the relay, have added another switch to get by but would like to fix. I have a four post relay. the way it's wired, handle bar wire and starter wire are both on the grounded side of the relay and then the cables on the larger posts. does that sound correct or should one of the two wires be accross from each other to work?

4 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you have a "cube" type relay


    #85 goes to Ground

    #86 is 12V(+) from Starter Button

    #30 is 12V(+) from Battery

    #87 is 12V(+) Out of Relay & TO STARTER

    All Relays of this type are labelled(famous last words :)


    If you have one of these kind


    The pair of Big terminals are

    *From Battery 12V(+)

    * TO Starter (12v+)

    Does not matter which is which


    The Little ones are

    *One is Grounded

    *Other one comes from Starter Button and carries 12v(+)

    If they are connected Backwards,,,Reversed Polarity,,,

    it wont Damaged anything.

    Starter wont spin backwards or any such thing.

    But the Relay will not function because of Reversed magnetic polarity---it will fail to pull the Power Contacts into connection.

    It will just "Do Nothing"

    It will "push the contacts OPEN" instead of properly pulling them closed.

    Simply reverse the small wires on the small terminals.

    Nothing from the Starter Button goes to Ground.

    Once you're certain it's all connected properly,,,

    It should work right,,,since your add-on auxilliary switch is working.

    If Not,,,the Power to Starter Button goes thru handlebar "kill switch".

    Check for 12V(+) Out of the button when pushed.

    It's source originates at the Ignition switch

    And,,depending upon what year the bike is,,,possibly some other "safety" switches which break the circuit to prevent inadvertent starting.

    Good Luck

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  • 4 years ago

    Starter Relay Wiring

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  • 1 decade ago

    Not sure about your Harley, most relays are wired like this -

    The 2 large posts of the relay - 1 to starter motor & the other to (+) battery.

    (+) to starter switch on handlebar.

    When the start button is pressed, (+) comes out of the switch and goes to the relay.

    The other relay wire goes to ground, or any safety switches like the neutral switch and clutch switch.

    The starter motor gets power from the relay and the body of the starter motor acts as ground for the starter motor.

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  • 1 decade ago

    as the wires been cut or replace or is it the switch is bad seems like if the one you have now is working why not just used that one and remove the old... heres a few sportster sites might be better off asking where sportster riders hang out... i replace mine at 60,000 miles and not much on wiring other than replacing what i see burned

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