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400i Relay Access Question

Discussion in '365 GT4 2+2/400/412' started by oldcoin, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. oldcoin

    oldcoin Karting

    May 1, 2006
    249
    Reno NV
    Full Name:
    Tony Mitchell
    I have pulled back the carpet in the passenger footwell. Removed 4 securing bolts. Tried to rotate the panel down to reveal the relays. The panel seems too big (tall mostly) to rotate down. The panel is fouled by the carpet underneath the glovebox. There is no hinge at the bottom.

    Has anybody accessed their relays? is there a trick to it? Does anything else need to be removed?

    Thanks in advance for any help
     
  2. Ferraridoc

    Ferraridoc F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 20, 2012
    6,756
    Gold Coast, Aust.
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    Patrick
    Yep! A monumental PITA. You have to remove the outboard kick panel in the foot well. The foot plate slides out bottom first, but pulling the outboard side out as well, and don't scratch the centre console leather! The harness is very thick, and twisted around, but it will all unwind once you get it past the choke point. If it makes you feel better, putting it back in is... worse.
     
  3. SouthJersey400i

    SouthJersey400i Formula 3

    Mar 14, 2007
    1,202
    Romulus, NY (Finger Lakes)
    Full Name:
    Ken Battle
    My '84 400i has a hinge on bottom of relay cover. A previous owner cut about 1 1/2" corner off top left of panel to clear carpets without too much problem.
     
  4. Ferraridoc

    Ferraridoc F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 20, 2012
    6,756
    Gold Coast, Aust.
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    Patrick
    The Series I has a different setup, I think, but that's an excellent idea - I'll have a look next time I fry a relay.
     
  5. oldcoin

    oldcoin Karting

    May 1, 2006
    249
    Reno NV
    Full Name:
    Tony Mitchell
    #5 oldcoin, Mar 10, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
    Thank you for the advice. Now that the relays are visible it is apparent that I should have asked first: Where is the starter relay? Any help?

    The problem that I am hunting down is that when starting the car, sometimes the starter keeps trying to start the car even after I release they key.

    Note; Between the 2 fuse panels is a 3rd fuse panel with 3 8A fuses.
     
  6. Ferraridoc

    Ferraridoc F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 20, 2012
    6,756
    Gold Coast, Aust.
    Full Name:
    Patrick
    Unfortunately, I think that's a starter problem - the solenoid can get stuck. I've seen it happen (on a more modern car, admittedly) with a low battery. Further upstream, it could be the ign switch - easy to attach a test light (the big white wire) and see if it goes out when the starter gets stuck on. The fuse panel should have a label showing you what's what. Post a picture.
     
  7. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 11, 2001
    18,744
    Texas
    Full Name:
    Steve Magnusson
    Or sometimes a relay gets added at the solenoid/starter wiring (and that's a tough, hot environment not really appropriate for the small Bosch relays) -- you might have a look there just to see if anything's been added that might now be having a problem.
     
  8. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    26,871
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    I have seen that on a few 400's going back to when they were new. The only one I was asked to diagnose was not an electrical issue, to my surprise it was mechanical. The starter gear was getting jammed in the ring gear and the retraction spring was incapable of bringing it back while it was still under load. If the motor started, or tried to start the load was eliminated and it came back. As long as the motor started, or tried to start, no problem. After some careful measurements on 2 cars I found there was a machining issue mounting the starter slightly too close to the crank centerline. In those days all the machine work was done the old fashioned way. Some creative, in the car machine work was required to move the starter a mm or so away from the crankshaft.
     
  9. raemin

    raemin Formula Junior

    Jan 16, 2007
    322
    Lyon (FR)
    Full Name:
    R. Emin
    Same issue for me: starter jammed in the ring. My machinist was surprised that the engine seemed to stop so often on the same position (see oval yellow highlight). He fixed the crushed teeth and swapped the locking pin hole (see round highlight) in order to move the stress on fresh teeth (had to balance the part after making this new hole).

    At the end of the day a geared starter solved the issue for good: the starter gear seems less prone to jamming.

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  10. oldcoin

    oldcoin Karting

    May 1, 2006
    249
    Reno NV
    Full Name:
    Tony Mitchell
    With the help of a little starter fluid, I have confirmed Bryan's observation. So long as the engine tries to start, the starter does not stick.

    I am bypassing any starter concerns for now as my original problem is a no start after sitting for way too long (about 10 years). I have replaced 2 fuel pumps and 1 accumulator so far and have fuel up to the distributor. I guess I am looking at fuel injectors next.

    Thanks to all for the helpful comments
     
  11. jacques

    jacques Formula Junior

    May 23, 2006
    830
    Los Angeles/Florida
    As to the starter problem..Steve is spot on and will continue to re-occur even after two rebuilds (Enough already) until you replace that starter with a newer generation high-torque starter. They are plug-and-play. The car starts in 1 1/2 seconds rain or snow and does not run the battery down. The single best $500 bucks you will spend on that car. As to the relay panel...I filed off about 1/4 inch on one edge to be able to slide it out past the kick panel...problem solved. I hope the helps someone. Jq.
     
  12. raemin

    raemin Formula Junior

    Jan 16, 2007
    322
    Lyon (FR)
    Full Name:
    R. Emin
    #13 raemin, Mar 12, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2020
    Got to agree that this made my own life much easier. I've been convinced for long that this was due to the new technology. My brother decided to go for another route and bought a "stock" starter. Much to my surprise his cars now cranks gracefully... So be it new or old technology, a "fresh" starter is the way to go.

    In case someone want to keep it stock, Iskra were using the very same starters and the last variants even used a beefier winding. I suspect my brother was sold one of these, as there is a tremendous difference compared to the original setup.

    Another approach could be to use a 412 starter with the corresponding big ring: these starters are gorgeous (with an engraved Cavalino), and do perform a much better job. Unfortunately the gear mesh is specific, hence the need to replace the big ring. As a side bonus, they are slightly narrower so stay clear from the exhaust and are easier to remove from the engine.
     

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