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I think I have a short on my 86 VT1100. It has died on me while riding a couple of times lately, and it seems to not be getting gas. The relay for the fuel pump seems to be going out intermittently. This is a discontinued piece and as far as I know, there seems to be no way to test it. The reason I think it's the relay is it should click when turning the key on. When it dies and won't restart, I'm not hearing the click when turning the key. Immediately after it dies while under load, it will usually start back up and idle roughly and briefly, like it's burning whatever fuel is left in the carbs. Then it won't start. I'll walk by it in the garage and turn the key periodically and nothing. Then one time I'll turn it and hear that that relay click, and she'll start right up. I'm afraid to ride far from the house because I don't have a trailer and I never know when it's going to quit. Any suggestions to troubleshoot this would be appreciated.
 

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I could probably locate the short, but that's because I'm a motorcycle mechanic who is especially proficient in electrical systems. However, there isn't really an easy way for me to tell you how to fix it yourself.

If you aren't comfortable with the electrical that much (and I have to assume you aren't since you're asking), you probably will have to just take it to a dealer or mechanic.

It could be something as simple as the relay itself going dead, but you won't know until a knowledgeable mechanic gets their hands (and multimeter) on it.
 

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oldbutreliable said:
I think I have a short on my 86 VT1100. It has died on me while riding a couple of times lately, and it seems to not be getting gas. The relay for the fuel pump seems to be going out intermittently. This is a discontinued piece and as far as I know, there seems to be no way to test it. The reason I think it's the relay is it should click when turning the key on. When it dies and won't restart, I'm not hearing the click when turning the key. Immediately after it dies while under load, it will usually start back up and idle roughly and briefly, like it's burning whatever fuel is left in the carbs. Then it won't start. I'll walk by it in the garage and turn the key periodically and nothing. Then one time I'll turn it and hear that that relay click, and she'll start right up. I'm afraid to ride far from the house because I don't have a trailer and I never know when it's going to quit. Any suggestions to troubleshoot this would be appreciated.
What makes you think it's a short?
Relays go bad. It may just be a bad relay.

If you know how electrical systems work, pull the relay out and see if
you have power one leg of the switched side of the relay.
Then, you should also have power to one coil side of the relay
when the key is in the ON position.
You can also pull the relay out and test it with a continuity tester.
Put the tester across the switch and energize the coil with a couple
of jumpers. If you get intermittent results, that's your problem.

If you had a short, you'd likely be blowing fuses.

Without seeing the relay or schematic, I can't say for certain how it's wired,
but you should be able to use any relay that is rated for the appropriate
current draw and of the same basic design. You might have to change connectors or do some slight
wiring changes, but you can make another relay work.
 

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I agree with litnin, that if you had a short, you'd probably be popping fuses. However in my experience, I've never seen a relay "going bad." When they go bad, they go bad. Usually as a result of the coil blowing "open", but sometimes shorting "turn to turn." I would look for a loose connection.
 
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