View Full Version : Force 40 trim relay question

06-14-2003, 04:03 PM
" I have an early '90's Force 40hp relay question. The motor is running fine, however, when I try to raise the motor up or down (I think this is called trim - sorry for my inexperience), only the down works. This actually happened to me last year also & at that time I replaced a part (I think it is a relay) & everything worked fine. Now I have the same problem this year.

The up and down relays are the same part & if I switch the working relay to either up or down - it works. I again purchased another relay this year, however this time - it doesn't work. Also, I've noticed that the working relay only works if both relays are connected (even if one does not work). I keep thinking either this is the result of another problem - or - I'm missing something.

I hope this made sense. I have a very shallow shore line & need to raise my motor up in order to get the boat to dock - so this is a big problem - any help or advice would be appreciated.

The markings on the relay that works are Hella (or it may be Chella) 12V 4RD 960 388-31 1688314CI Made in the usa. The markings on the new relay are the same except for 1 number - instead of '960 388-31' it is '960 388-32'. I asked the parts person I deal with & he said it was a newer version of the part. "

06-15-2003, 10:14 AM

The pump motor will work only if both relays are connected. This is because the motor is grounded through both relays when they are in the resting mode. When you activate a relay by pressing the tilt switch up or down, the ground is removed and replaced by 12 volts. The direction that the pump runs is determined by the direction of the current flow.

Find the two wires that lead to the pump motor. One should be green and the other blue. You will probaly be able to find a quick connect plug that you can disconnect. Ground one wire and feed 12 volts to the other. The motor should run in one direction. Now reverse this and the motor should run in the other dirction. This will tell you if the motor is operating, so that you have an idea of what the problem might be.


06-15-2003, 01:29 PM
" I am able to get the motor to move up or down by switching the good and bad relay. So, the motor is OK. When I buy a new relay, however, it doesn't work when installed ( I have the same situation - only the up or down work, depending on which one has the good/original relay). Is there a way to test the relay & see if it is good or bad? I'm thinking there is something else going on & the relay problem may be the result - just guessing. "

06-24-2003, 01:23 PM
" I wanted to update this message in case anyone has the same problem in the future.

I was changing the bad relay with a new one. The relay that was working - I left it alone. No matter how many combinations of things I tried, the good relay worked fine & the new relay would not work. A person at my parts store said that it was a good idea to replace both of them - so, I bought one more new relay. I put them both in & the tilt/trim worked fine! I can't explain it - but the relays are somehow connected. I hope this helps someone in the future.
John "

Brad Ellis
03-15-2006, 07:46 PM
"John, I know it's been a few years since you replaced the relays, but I was wondering where you found them. I'm in the same boat you are in, as my trim works only when the motor is running. When out of the water, I have to tap the relay a couple of times before it kicks in and starts going the direction I want it to. The only thing I can think of, is that while it is running, the vibration of the motor is doing the same thing as me tapping on it.

However, I can not find this relay any where for purchase on the net. I have found some posts about cleaning them, but I would prefer to replace them, as they are almost 10 years old now.

Thanks for any help you or anyone else can provide."

03-17-2006, 02:23 PM
"I had the same problem with my 1993 Force 40 hp outboard with the trim relays. I was able to locate a company called Susquehanna Motorsports to purchase the Hella 12V 4RD 960 388 SPDT relays. The Susquehanna part number for them is HL87411, it is the weatherproof bracket relay and they worked fine when I replaced them. The number for Susquehanna Motorsports is 610-944-3233 E-Mail is WWW.rallylights.com ("") The cost was 8 bucks each with $6.50 shipping and they had very fast service."

04-01-2006, 08:12 PM
"This is a decieving problem... The replay you think is the good one is actually the bad one. I haven't had time to think about why this is yet, but I was having the same problem, replaced the "good" realy, left the "bad" one alone, and presto, the trim works perfectly. Try it and let us know if it worked for you.

PS- you can go to any auto parts store and pick up a universal realy (for a horn, power window, etc) with matching plug pattern, and it will work."

05-12-2006, 09:01 PM
"Hey guys, Thanks for the info. I have the same problem on a 1998 40HP model. It sure made me scratch my head as well. Happy Boating! http://www.marineengine.com/discus/clipart/sun.gif"

Richard Cleland
06-16-2006, 07:46 PM
I have the same issue with my 115 Mariner. I will spend the 8 buck and shipping to get two waterproof relays. I figure that is only a few gallons. Thanks for the info and the part numbers.


04-07-2007, 11:43 PM
"Great Post
Have the same Problem with my Force 150 HP
Took the relay apart and could see bad contact, I agree that it best to replace both relays.
Rallylights had in stock will be back on water next weekend.

05-21-2007, 09:10 PM
"Hey everyone, thanks so much for this forum, really! we have a force 40 and I am looking for those relays also! I will deffinately replace both, I believe its the ground that makes the problem decieving electric runs odd ways sometimes anyway thanks!!"

02-20-2008, 07:35 PM
"Guys I have a 40hp force w/tilt and trim and had problems with these relays. My cure as i am used to electronic stuff fromm working on radio equip. I assumed that the relays especially over the winter storage where getting some condensation between the relays inside. I popped the cover off of the relays so you can see the relays close when you hit the switch to tilt. I bought a can of Electric motor contact cleaner at the hardware store. Force open the relays with a small screwdriver carefully, and spray the contacts. I do this every spring only takes a minute. No more tilt and trim problems. No replacement of relays needed, they just need a cleaning. Been doing this for several years. Just my 2 cents worth."

04-22-2008, 05:34 AM
I have a 96 model evinrude with relay problems.
It is a 5 pin 12v/40amp relay.
I found a generic one at the auto shop and tried to fit it but it sizzled up on contact.
Do I have to use only genuine evinrude parts? or is something else a miss.

06-16-2008, 02:54 PM
I am having the same problem and want to change out my relay but I have no idea where it is located. I have an 86 force 125. Any help would be greatly appreciated