Should I replace all the relays


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Drop a gear
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Should I replace all the relays

Post by Drop a gear »



Good morning. I’m new to GWs and taking my ‘95 apart is a massive pain. That said, I’m replacing air and fuel filters, dyeing all the vinyl a nice new black, addding battery tender plug, voltmeter to dash and QI Ciro phone charger to battery, flushing radiator and replacing the 2 small filters (cruise solenoid and whatever the other one is). Sooooo, while I’m getting this thing up to snuff, should I replace ALL the relays at once or just keep a few on hand should a problem arise?
I ordered 8 from this site. Are they all the same and interchangeable or do I need any different relays? Don’t want to get stranded. Thanks in advance for you guidance and for all the great information you guys/gals provide.


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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by Snowmoer »

I would just keep a few with you, no need to change them out. All the ones on my 88 that I sold this spring were the originals. They were still going strong.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by WingAdmin »

They are all the same except for the blue one, which is a Normally Closed relay (all the others are Normally Open).

Image

If they are working today, then no need to replace them, but if you start getting intermittent problems, or any electrical problems at all, that would be one of the first things I tried. The relays will typically start failing intermittently before failing outright.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by Drop a gear »

Thank you gentlemen for your responses. And WingAdmin. Looks like I’ll be using your tutorial to change out the timing belts while everything’s apart anyway. Outstanding detail. Thank you
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by ct1500 »

Seeing as you already bought eight of the relays go ahead and replace the #3 tail/main which is the most likely one to give problems. Check the wiring terminals that the relay plugs into for any sign of excessive heating.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by WingAdmin »

Snowmoer wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 10:52 am I would just keep a few with you, no need to change them out. All the ones on my 88 that I sold this spring were the originals. They were still going strong.
You really just never know - the whole reason I got into these relays in the first place was because one of mine failed, on my 2000 SE, with only 50,000 miles on it.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by Greenwinger »

I agree, if you already have all eight I would change them. I did on mine. As mentioned especially with the #3 relay if you wait until it fails there is a good chance the wire and the socket will be burnt and with the relay block a quick fix is not so quick as you have to loosen the left saddle bag and move it to get at the relay box.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by Solo So Long »

Since you already have them, I would swap them out while you're working on the bike. I would also save the old relays as spares, and carry a couple.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by Elmobile »

And on that note, I just put the relay #3 replacement on my winter list :D

Wing Admin, I know we can get most on the relays from you but what about the blue one. Do you have it available or know of a quality source?
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by WingAdmin »

Elmobile wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:44 am And on that note, I just put the relay #3 replacement on my winter list :D

Wing Admin, I know we can get most on the relays from you but what about the blue one. Do you have it available or know of a quality source?
That one very rarely fails, it wouldn't be worth my while to source it and buy them in the quantity (thousands) from the manufacturer that I would have to.

That said, you can get an OEM one from Cyclemax, if you don't mind paying OEM prices:

https://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/gl1500 ... lay/194647
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by Drop a gear »

Thank you WingAdmin. A wealth of information a usual. I was trying to find the part number, but if you say it’s unlikely to fail, then I wait. I’m sinking enough money into this ‘95 to get it stable and reliable.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by Sadanorakman »

Whilst you could take the attitude of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it', if you have enough new relays to swap them all out now, then why don't you do just that?

If the originals have worked for 25 years, then the replacements should also. Any one of the originals could fail or go intermittent at any moment.

Then you could keep half of the old ones as spares.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by 4given »

Sadanorakman wrote: Fri Nov 06, 2020 3:21 pm Whilst you could take the attitude of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it', if you have enough new relays to swap them all out now, then why don't you do just that?

If the originals have worked for 25 years, then the replacements should also. Any one of the originals could fail or go intermittent at any moment.

Then you could keep half of the old ones as spares.
That is exactly what I did. Now I have a bag full of used spares +2 new spares. Can’t beat the price thanks to WingAdmin.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by echinus1988 »

Just a question about relays.

The relays you're talking about seem to be GL1500 relays. Will they fit the GL1800 or should we look elsewhere?

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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by WingAdmin »

echinus1988 wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 5:39 pm Just a question about relays.

The relays you're talking about seem to be GL1500 relays. Will they fit the GL1800 or should we look elsewhere?

Ride Safe!
The GL1800 relays are completely different, and are quite inexpensive, compared to the ones used on the GL1500 ($30 vs $4). I looked into sourcing them for the 1800 as well, and I can't beat the $4 price available elsewhere, so I never pursued it.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by echinus1988 »

I see what you're saying. I never thought of carrying any relays but it makes sense to have at least a couple just in case. Since I am not well versed in the relays, one more question please.

Are they all the same or are there a lot of different ones to replace. I have the manual but being between houses, I can't get to it easily.

BTW, WindAdmin, I know it's been said before but thank you for putting up such a great site!

Ride Safe!
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by blupupher »

I bought a few relays from the site, my plan is next time I have access to the relays I will replace #3 for sure, and maybe 2 and 8 (keeping the old ones as spares on the bike), and while in there, check all the other terminals for corrosion and apply some di-electric grease.

I did similar when I got the bike with fuses, I replaced all fuses and applied some di-electric grease to the new ones before insertion.
All but one looked like they were original and had probably never been removed.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by WingAdmin »

echinus1988 wrote: Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:26 pm I see what you're saying. I never thought of carrying any relays but it makes sense to have at least a couple just in case. Since I am not well versed in the relays, one more question please.

Are they all the same or are there a lot of different ones to replace. I have the manual but being between houses, I can't get to it easily.

BTW, WindAdmin, I know it's been said before but thank you for putting up such a great site!

Ride Safe!
They are all the same except for one - and the one that is not the same is blue, so it stands out. All the non-blue ones are identical and interchangeable.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by radecal »

Just purchased a GL1500 Trike and faced a reverse issue that has been resolved with relay replacements from WingAdmin.
I changed all relays out in one hit and will keep the ones that check out electrically as spares.
Still a small issue with a dodgy Reverse lever switch but all working again.
Question with a couple of comments in this thread about #3 relay being burnt.
When I changed all the relays, this one was burnt/melted around the plug-in area on the main relay block.
I cleaned it up as best I could but was concerned as to why it was cooked.
Why is this one particularly an issue with overheating????
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by DenverWinger »

Relay #3 provides power to most of the systems on the bike, so there's a goodly amount of current flowing thru it. It's the first relay to suspect if you find yourself "dead" along the road. The other relays are just for sub-systems, such a the air compressor, or High beam, or Low beam, etc... but just about everything flows thru #3.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by radecal »

Thanks for the quick reply.
I am in Australia and working night shift at the moment so had some time to read the site.
This to me is a bit of a worry as the area around where the relay plugs in is slightly melted.
I trimmed it up and the new relay plugged straight in so hopefully will be ok.
Seems odd that it is generating extra heat as if something is not working properly.
Looks like I may need to test the circuit to see if anything is overloading it.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by DenverWinger »

Heat is usually caused by corroded contacts. I doubt there's an overload, unless there's accessories or accessory lighting connected directly to bike wiring instead of their own separate power circuits.

The simple act of removing and replacing the relay probably improved the connection between relay pins and the connection lugs (or whatever you want to call them) inside the relay box.

Might be difficult on a trike, but you may be able to unbolt the relay box from the frame allowing you to pull the relay #3 wires with their connection lugs from the back of the relay box. This would allow you to clean up the lugs some and squeeze them down so they grip the relay terminals more securely.
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Re: Should I replace all the relays

Post by radecal »

That may be the problem. There have been alterations to the lights when it was converted to a trike so I am not sure what was put where.
There are been a couple of blown bulbs (headlight low beam, neutral light plus a couple of dash lights) so need to have a good look.
I've made a decision now to pull everything down and do all the servicing so I know what is ok before I go too far on it even though it is low miles. If I take the body off, I can probably get to the back of the relay block so will service that definitely.
I am looking at timing belts, all air filters (including the 2 little ones that are forgotten about), brake service, fork service, engine service and a check of all connectors (more dielectric grease on order). I want to make sure there are no hidden surprises under her skin!
Thanks for your advice.
Will let you know how I get on.


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