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  1. #1
    jefski520's Avatar
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    Help! burned up Starter Relay on '03 GTi LE RFI - What went wrong??

    Hello all, today i was helping a friend replace his leaking oil tank in his 2003 Seadoo GTi LE RFI and ran into an issue. We completed the install of a '96 oil tank (seamless - so it doesnt leak) and put everything back together. Connected the battery and as soon as we plugged in the safety lanyard, we heard a light humming noise and SMOKE started to pour out of the starter relay (Seadoo part # 278001783 listed for $82). There were no beeps or anything.

    I checked the battery voltage with my Ohm meter and it checked 13.4V. I put my battery charger on it to see if it would take a charge, and the automatic charger would not let it charge saying the battery was fully charged.

    Notes on re-install:
    Cleaned all better terminals (scraped them clean) and used di-electric grease on all of the connections. The ski runs in salt water, i take all precautions i can. I also put di-electric grease on the electrical connections, in case there is any sealing integrity. I also wiped all of the connections so that there would not be any connetivity through the grease.

    I plan on purchasing a new OEM part, but i want know if there is something that I may have done wrong, so i dont burn the new part up.


  2. #2
    Waterluvr's Avatar
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    What caused the relay to engage in the first place when the lanyard went on?

    Start by unplugging the connector from the solenoid and see where the issue lies. The MPEM sends voltage to the start/stop button on the yellow w/red trace wire from connector #2 on pin 23, when the button is pressed and held that sends the circuit to ground and a semiconductor in the MPEM switches power over to connector #3 pin 20 which powers the hot wire (also yellow w/red trace) on the solenoid plug in conjunction with the black ground wire coming from connector #3 pin 8.

    With the lanyard removed and the plug off the solenoid, have your meter set to test for 12VDC and install the lanyard. Probe the connections on the solenoid plug in and see if there's power there, if so the start/stop switch has failed and gone to ground all the time or if that can be ruled out there's a short in the harness or the module has gone bad and is powering the hot wire from connector #3 pin 20 all the time regardless of input from the start/stop switch circuit.

  3. #3
    jefski520's Avatar
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    The relay engaged when i put plugged the lanyard in.

    I removed the relay last night and it has a hole burned into it where something got hot.

    When I get home tonight, i will follow your pin outs and test the voltages. Is there any chance that the di-electric grease caused the issue?

  4. #4
    jefski520's Avatar
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    @Waterluvr,
    Ok, So I checked the pin outs on the 4 pin connector for the starter relay. The voltage did not change on any of the 4 pins regardless of what i did. Lanyard connected or not connected, start button held down with the lanyard in or our. One lead has the 12.5V at all times.

    Being I only saw 12.5V at this lead, I am tempted to swap batteries in the ski from a know good one, that runs a twin GTi to this one.

    I have the new part on order and will be here early next week. I am hesitant to just plug it in and burn it up.

    The other odd thing is that when I plugged in the lanyard, i get no beeps, no buzzes, and the gauges do not display anything.

    Any thoughts on next steps?

  5. #5
    Waterluvr's Avatar
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    Yea, a known good battery is always a good start maybe have the other one load tested for peace of mind. Is your beeper bad, remove it and test it to see right to a 12v source.

    Need to know if there is power and ground at the solenoid plug in once the start button is pressed and held (as there should be) or whether it's there all the time no matter what.

    Which lead has 12V all the time?

    On edit:
    Another thought, test the old solenoid and see if there's continuity from the ground side of the plug in on the relay body to either of the battery cable lugs, seen a few short there and take out a whole bunch of stuff down the line on the ground side of things.
    Last edited by Waterluvr; 06-11-2015 at 08:18 PM.

  6. #6
    GGG's Avatar
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    Wait a minute. The starter relay doesnt have a 4 pin connector. it has a 2 pin connector and 2 battery cables bolted to the top of it

  7. #7
    jefski520's Avatar
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    Hey all, just wanted to give some follow up with everyone that responded & assisted me. I got the ski running.

    @GGG - The item i was referring to, is actually called the control relay. The Seadoo OEM parts guide had the wrong description for the part. This relay gives power to the ECU once enabled by the safety lanyard switch.

    What did I find wrong with the ski: The control relay mention in my first post (part number 278001783) had signs of corrosion between the potting and the plastic case of the relay. What we 'think' happened is that salt water (yes, the operator rides in the ocean) leaked between the potting of the electrical component & the plastic housing that encases the relay. This caused the short in the relay. I replaced this relay and the safety lanyard and all fixed. The parts were given to two local jet ski experts and they both came up with the same failure mode.

  8. #8
    GGG's Avatar
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    that sounds more like it

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