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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 26th October 2010
SCchopper SCchopper is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: xlh 1000
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Default starter relay location.

I have a basket-case 79 xlh, that I am rebuilding. It looks to me as if the starter relay would mount behind the seat near the circuit breakers, however my bike is a rigid and did not come with one. I have a couple of manuals, but neither says a word on location. They assume that you have it put together already. Also, I'm running points, not electronic ignition.
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  #2  
Old 26th October 2010
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nikki nikki is offline
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not to sound but put it any where you want as you are build it your way Nikki
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  #3  
Old 26th October 2010
SCchopper SCchopper is offline
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I understand my freedom of choice; I could mount it on top of my helmet, if I made the wires long enough. I am refering to the original mounting location, as to make sence of what the bracketry looks like. I have the original AMF factory service manual and te Clymer "ironhead" manual. It isn't in there. I want to know the original bracket's location. It was mounted to what, in which location? Mine came in a box.
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  #4  
Old 26th October 2010
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IronMick IronMick is offline
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My 1980, which would be similar but i do not know if the same, had it under the seat, on the right side, to the right of the circuit breakers; there is a square steel bracker there. The relay was one of the cube types. It was rubber mounted to the bracket, on the circuit breaker side of the bracket. The rubber was one of those odd things with a stud on each side. One stud into the bracket, the other into the relay.

If i carried on with this description long enough i would have the 1000 words to make up for the picture that i do not have.
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  #5  
Old 26th October 2010
hasselme0 hasselme0 is offline
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On my 79 xls it was under the oil tank/battery. I just got the bike back and the old school relay was tossed for a new modern type (bosch). My indy then wired it next to all the circuts. The new one is small so it will go anywhere. I should figure out how to post some photo's
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  #6  
Old 26th October 2010
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Smerch Smerch is online now
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The oil tank and battery tray are integral on the '79.

The starter relay is bolted to 2 tabs that stick down from the battery tray, placing it in between the frame rails. It's exposed to all the crap that the rear wheel slings into that area. Make sure it's grounded well.

I'll post a pick if that would help.
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  #7  
Old 26th October 2010
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tat2d2dope tat2d2dope is offline
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i always ditch the factory relay and wire in a bosch small type for driving lights ect.
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  #8  
Old 27th October 2010
Fe Head Fe Head is offline
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As others above have said it was originally mounted outside the right hand side oil/battery cover.

It sits level with the lower part of this cover and just behind it - fully exposed to the elements.

The original large brown styled one has been and still is a constant source of solenoid failures due to its offshore design and manufacturing limitations.

If you are committed to using it (not recommended) make sure the battery's input wire and the relay's output wire to the solenoid are 10 - 12 AWG automotive grade. Many times the smaller wire sizes lead to a burnt out relay from excessive heat.

Also the original relay has an extra post which is a +12 by-pass used only for vehicles with a ballast resistor in series with the ignition coil. Our Sportsters of course do not have this feature so it needs to remain unused.

The smaller, cheaper, more reliable metal can relays are easier to mount - provided the spade connectors are each soldered as well as crimped.

Lastly make sure to apply copious amounts of dielectric grease over each terminal for added protection and corrosion resistance.

Cheers;
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  #9  
Old 27th October 2010
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IronMick IronMick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fe Head View Post
...Lastly make sure to apply copious amounts of dielectric grease over each terminal for added protection and corrosion resistance ...
... remembering that dielectric grease is not a conductor, so too much is not good. Perhaps you should apply it after making the connection?
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  #10  
Old 27th October 2010
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pdamedic pdamedic is offline
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Default Mount Location

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCchopper View Post
I have a basket-case 79 xlh, that I am rebuilding. It looks to me as if the starter relay would mount behind the seat near the circuit breakers, however my bike is a rigid and did not come with one. I have a couple of manuals, but neither says a word on location. They assume that you have it put together already. Also, I'm running points, not electronic ignition.
I just went through this same frustration. I have a 76, after I figured out the wiring and looked in the locations that others on this forum told me...which is the same thing they are telling you. I found it can only go (on my 76) bolted to the bottom of the batter box on the kickstand side. If your is like mine there is a hole in the back bottom of the battery box. That is also where the length of the stock wiring will reach to it as well. It sucks for two reasons....one it is exposed....two it looks like crap.

Personally...I am not trying to have an all stock bike. I just bought a new relay from J & P and now I wish I would not have. Wasted $29 bucks. At the time I was not aware of other electrical options. I got a new battery and hoped I could fit the relay inside the battery box as there is extra room, but no way, just too big.

I put in three new circuit breakers cleaned up that area of the bike, got it looking nice, tied the wires down, etc.... I tried to fit it under the breakers...it looks tight. I will probably scrap it.
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