AWD Turbo Parts and Performance

Black Fuel Pump Relay Problem – EVO X/RalliArt

The following applies to the 2008 through 2013 EVO X and 2009 to 2013 RalliArt. It has been known for quite some time now that the fuel pump relays are complete crap in the EVO X and RalliArts. Swapping out to the better blue fuel pump relay is included with a dyno tune here @ RRE.

I had a 2010 X come in for a tune last week. The car had basic mods just installed so it should have been good for a “before” pull as-is on the dyno. After the before pull I’ll put in a 3 port solenoid and do the blue relay swap at the same time. Before the full pull I tipped into the throttle at 3500 rpm to check boost and AFR. It was super lean almost 12:1 afr. For a drop in filter and cat back exhaust it should have been high 10s or low 11s at least.

So I went straight for the fuel relay and swapped it with the blue one. AFR went right back to where it should. Bad black relay caught red-handed. So I figured cut it open to see what exactly is going on in there.

Cut open relay:

 

Lever assy that the coil pulls sideways and pushes down on the contacts:

I can only guess someone had the bright idea to make a low profile relay by laying the coil on its side. When energized it pulls a lever sideways that pushes down on the contacts.

Maybe the little lever idea don’t quite make enough pressure on the contacts to keep a good connection? And/or the contact material is just not up to the job.

Here are both sides of the contacts of the dead relay:

Pics of the contacts from a “working” realy from a 2010 EVO X:

Already showing signs of impending death. Here are pics from a 2011 EVO X black relay with about 4k miles on it. Already not looking pretty:

Just for reference, we are talking about this relay in the fuse box under the hood:

This dead relay did not make a noise when shook. I can only imagine how dead for how long it would have to go before the contact actually burned off and rattled around inside. Do not rely on the salt shaker test to see if you have a dead relay. Also these pics show that it slowly degrades over time. It isn’t just working fine and then dies.

I see many threads with people speculating that at some point or date that EVO Xs or RalliArts get the better relay. I have yet to see a car come in the shop with an upgraded relay off the showroom floor.

Mention of some TSB and MMSA that some freezing and condensation as the culprit for the black relay failure. I am calling BS on this. They are all dying regardless of freezing. All the above pics are from Sunny California. We put on parkas when it dips into the 60s the one day a year here.

Bottom line, it is just a crappy cheap relay that has no business doing an important job. Every time you are in and out of boost it is clicking on and off. That makes a little arc that slowly degrades the surface. The worse it gets, the more resistance you have and the more arc it makes. Every black relay is slowly eating its self. Either buy any upgraded one or at least do a shell game of swapping it with another less used black relay. By default every EVO X we tune gets a blue relay installed. Maybe 1 out of 10 Xs that come in already have an upgraded relay already installed. All Xs should have a blue or green relay installed ASAP. Stock or tuned. Especially if modded and not tuned!

8627A011 is the part number for the more expensive green one.

8627A024 is the part number for the ~$11 blue one.

I got curious and just popped the lid off a blue one. Looks like a proper relay inside. In the black relay the contact points look like a melted on blob of something. In the blue relay they are thicker, more substantial looking. The magnetic action is direct so it may mean a higher clamping force for a better connection.

Opened up a green one. It also pops open. Only the black ones are sealed. Blue and Green have no apparent provisions for being sealed.

All relays side by side:

The blue one has noticeably the beefiest coil. The green relay has a sideways coil with direct action (no lever). But since it sits sideways it has to sacrifice some windings.

The green relay has nice looking contacts but they are buried too much to get a decent pic. I’ll stick with the blue thank you.

Another EVO X came through the shop with a dead relay. This one made a slight noise when shook. As if there were a couple grains of sand inside. Nothing I would describe as a “rattle”. This car had been tuned back in late 2008 before the relay was a common known possible problem. It still had the original black relay in it and the customer was complaining of a sputter under boost. Changed the relay and everything is fine.

Not much electricity was going to flow through that connection :-P

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