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Relays & Solenoids

Our standard automotive 30, 50 and 60 Amp "ice cube" relays are all Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT), 12 volt, continuous duty, with a unsealed dust cover. These are manufactured by either Bosch, Bueler or Tyco, and have a 30 to 60 Amp rating on the normally open contact. There are a lot of imitators, but many will not meet the SAE/DIN requirements.

Note that the current rating is for 250,000 cycles under rated load. Don't be misled by some ads for high amperage relays in the "ice cube" configuration. A relay can switch even 100 Amps quite a few times before the conacts in the relay are fried, but to pass the SAE and DIN tests it must meet all the performance specs for every operation for the full cycle count. The SAE and DIN test requirements are quite rigorous, and are designed to make sure your relay is reliable in service.

We stock the "ice cube" relays up to a 60 Amp rating, although the Quick Disconnect terminals that attach the wires to the relay are only good for 30 Amps continuous current, and in fact most of the QD terminals available are unreliable even at 30 Amps continuous.

So what we're trying to say is do not use relays with plug-in or quick- disconnect (QD) terminals over 30 Amps continuous, even though the relay is rated for more, because the terminals won't handle the current, whether it's a Bosch,  Bueler, or anyone else's relay.

Both the relays and the terminals will handle a short term current overload, ( a few seconds at 60 Amps, for example, to start up an electric fan ), but beyond that is asking for trouble. If you need more than 30 amps, check out our power relays and solenoids; we carry 85 and 200 amp continuous duty solenoids, and they use a 5/16" stud connection that will handle the current.

Another precaution: these relays should be mounted with the terminals down or sideways. If they are mounted with the terminals up, they can collect water inside the case if the area is pressure washed or splashed a lot. This is true for most relays of this type.

Fully sealed relays are available, but unless the relay is identified specifically as fully sealed, it is the standard dust proof and splash proof ( if mounted pins down ) but not sealed relay.

They come either with or without a mounting flange, see photos.

The flange mount sockets for the relays interlock to form a multi-relay mounting block, and are available either pre-wired, with 12 inch leads, or with crimp-on contacts for a cleaner installation. The non-flange mount sockets are also available either pre-wired, with 12 inch leads, or with crimp-on contacts for a cleaner installation.

The D.C. Solenoids, technically very high-current relays, are either continuous or intermittent duty. The two continuous duty solenoids are rated for 85 or 200 amps continuous; the intermittent duty is rated for starter motor duty, at 750 amps make, 1000 amps break.

All the Solenoids are available in either a grounded ( 3-Terminal) or isolated (4 Terminal) coil configuration. The 3 terminal operates when 12V Coil voltage is applied to the coil terminal. The 4 Terminal solenoids can be wired to operate in any mode, including energized when the coil is grounded. More details are available on request, including manufacturers spec sheets.


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