Testing an R11 Overdrive Relay

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Tinman_70
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Testing an R11 Overdrive Relay

Post by Tinman_70 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:16 am

Is there any documentation for bench testing the operation of an R11 overdrive relay? I've seen some electrical OD troubleshooting but it's all describing driving issues. I'd like to bench test my relay to make sure it is working properly. I can make to relay operate but I'm not sure that's a real functional test.

Thanks, Joe
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Howard56
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Re: Testing an R11 Overdrive Relay

Post by Howard56 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:24 pm

Believe the easiest way is to clamp the solenoid in a vise being careful not to bend or damage anything on the flange or case. You can use an ohmmeter and check between terminal 4 and the case. There should be continuity and meter will read a dead short but you will be reading across two coils so it would be difficult to differentiate if one was open with a standard ohmmeter.

To check with voltage apply the 6v ground to the case and other lead from the battery or a heavy duty battery charger of at least 30 amps output to terminal 4. Use a heavy wire of around 10-12ga or a jumper cable. The solenoid should pull in and stay in. If it does not move then the pull in coil contacts or the pull in coil is suspect. If it didn't pull in, to check the hold in coil then with voltage still connected pull the plunger stem all the way out by hand. The spring is quite hefty but if the hold in coil is good it should stay out when you release the plunger. If it does not stay out then hold coil or since it didn't pull in either the connections between terminal 4 and both coils or both coils and ground are suspect.

The other terminal 6 is for the cut out to ground the ignition. Using the ohmmeter It should be open to ground as the solenoid sits relaxed but as you pull the plunger out then approximately two thirds of the distance out the contacts will close and short terminal 6 to ground.
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R11 wiring.jpg

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Tinman_70
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Re: Testing an R11 Overdrive Relay

Post by Tinman_70 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:58 am

Howard,

As always, thanks for the help.

Joe
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Packard Don
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Re: Testing an R11 Overdrive Relay

Post by Packard Don » Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:24 pm

Howard, which terminal is which on the physical relay? It’s easy to see which is power but it’s not clear on the others. Thank you.

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Re: Testing an R11 Overdrive Relay

Post by Tinman_70 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:48 am

Are you testing the relay or the solenoid? I had trouble with my R11 relay. I could bench test the relay to see that it would engage and it worked but when installed it would not activate the solenoid. Turned out the the connections on either side of the glass fuse were corroded, had enough juice to activate the relay but not enough for the solenoid.
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Howard56
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Re: Testing an R11 Overdrive Relay

Post by Howard56 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:17 am

Here is the factory R 11 relay configuration. In addition to the fuse contacts Tinman_70 mentioned, another thing to check is the condition of the internal contacts. Several have found them to be burned or oxidized to the point they are not able to carry enough current for the solenoid to pull in. Using a point file or burnishing tool cleans them up.

If the relay itself is found to be bad, many have substituted a modern 30amp cube type relay available for a few $$ rather than getting another OD relay. 12v cube relays are all over ebay, 6v's are a bit harder but can be found at Newark Electronics and a couple of repro wiring places. The cube relay can be mounted stand alone with an inline fuse holder added in place of the fuse on the relay or the relay can is gutted with the old coil and parts removed leaving just enough of the old terminals inside to solder onto. The cube relay will fit inside the can and then soldered in so no one will ever know.
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R11 OD relay.jpg

Packard Don
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Re: Testing an R11 Overdrive Relay

Post by Packard Don » Sat Mar 14, 2020 8:36 am

Thank you very much! The view of the relay was exactly what I needed to see. The relay arrived a couple days ago from a vendor who said he had no way to test it so I want to at least be sure the coil is okay. Cleaning the contacts (if necessary) can be done later. I don’t yet have any 6v batteries but I can probably use a battery charger as I have a high-amperage one.

On the cubes, thank you for the suggestion but I refer to have no non-original stuff like that on any of my cars unless it’s inside an original housing Where it appears and connects in an original way using the stock terminals. As long as the coil is good, I’m sure that the original relay will be fine.

I was surprised at how large the relay is as the one in my 1952 Henney-Packard was much smaller. However, it may have been an aftermarket replacement.

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Tinman_70
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Re: Testing an R11 Overdrive Relay

Post by Tinman_70 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:19 am

When my relay failed, I replaced it first with a 6V cube relay that was mentioned. Worked OK. Note that if this relay is used a 30A fuse needs to be added to the circuit. Mine was on my aftermarket fuse panel.
Replacement Relay_1.jpg

I ultimately replaced the cube relay with an R11 OD relay from Vintage Auto Garage. It was about the same price as a new original style replacement relay. It contains a 30A internal circuit breaker. It also works fine but I was more confident with it.
Replacement Relay_2.jpg
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