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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #21  
Old 07-13-2018
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Bill Pape Bill Pape is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Dupree View Post
Johns right,the buss bar will stop it from starting.but will not kill the rest of the DC power.
But i do think the problem is cables mounted to the starter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieselbird01 View Post
That's where I would start.
Does this bird have the braided ground strap to chassis ground?
If so get it shiny clean, then replace with new when convenient
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  #22  
Old 07-14-2018
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Bill, it does! Could that be the issue? Of course, now I'm home & have time & tools to troubleshoot, she fires up every time! Looking back, before the trip I was sometimes having trouble starting; it would "chug-chug" trying to get past the compression stroke like the batteries didn't have enough power, but I never completely lost DC power, and using the "aux battery" switch always did the trick. So I got in the habit of using the switch. Before the trip, I load tested each battery, checked the alternator output & cleaned all my battery connectors in the battery bay, thinking that something there was at fault. But I think the 2 times this DC loss happened, I may have just tried to start without using the combiner switch, I don't really recall. If it was/is a grounding issue, would using the aux battery switch provide an alternative ground path through the genny battery? In any case, soon as I have a bit of spare time, that braid strap, which looks really dirty, is getting replaced. Thanks for the advice!
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  #23  
Old 07-14-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikenjackie View Post
Bill, it does! Could that be the issue? Of course, now I'm home & have time & tools to troubleshoot, she fires up every time! Looking back, before the trip I was sometimes having trouble starting; it would "chug-chug" trying to get past the compression stroke like the batteries didn't have enough power, but I never completely lost DC power, and using the "aux battery" switch always did the trick. So I got in the habit of using the switch. Before the trip, I load tested each battery, checked the alternator output & cleaned all my battery connectors in the battery bay, thinking that something there was at fault. But I think the 2 times this DC loss happened, I may have just tried to start without using the combiner switch, I don't really recall. If it was/is a grounding issue, would using the aux battery switch provide an alternative ground path through the genny battery? In any case, soon as I have a bit of spare time, that braid strap, which looks really dirty, is getting replaced. Thanks for the advice!
yes, maybe the braided strap starter to chassis ground
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  #24  
Old 07-20-2018
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OK, having got back OK I didn't address the DC power issue immediately - found a couple other "issues" that manifested themselves during the trip....you know how that goes!
Bill, you mentioned the braided cable from the starter to ground. I can get to the starter end, but can't see where it attaches to the frame, let alone get to it, without getting right under the bus, & there's not enough clearance - the frame is really low behind, & the muffler doesn't let me get in from the side - looks like I'd need a pit to get to it.
But I found something else today, don't know if it's just gotten worse, or I somehow; the positive lead from the inverter to the battery bank is kinda swollen where it joins the connector, & the insulation is split for the first few inches. So before messing with the braided cable I'm gonna fix this first, see if it makes a difference.

I've noticed that the inverter cables are heavier duty than the rest of the battery cables; Id say they're probably 0 gauge, while the rest are 2, I think. Should they all be the same gauge, or doesn't it matter? Checking Walmart & PEP boys, etc, they don't have pre-made cables heavier than 4 gauge. Do I need to buy the cable, connectors & a crimper to make my own, or are they available somewhere already made up?
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  #25  
Old 07-20-2018
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Sorry to be blunt but those battery connections aren't even in the ballpark of being clean... or good!
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  #26  
Old 07-20-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieselbird01 View Post
Sorry to be blunt but those battery connections aren't even in the ballpark of being clean... or good!
I agree with you John. Before I started looking for something that might be wrong, I would try fixing what is obvious. Those cables and connections are in bad need of attention. Also that one cable has obvious corrosion.
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  #27  
Old 07-21-2018
azrescue azrescue is offline
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I don't know the systems on the coach in question, but I can't help but think that a relay is opening up, possibly because of a poor connection somewhere else (such as the aforementioned battery cables).
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  #28  
Old 07-21-2018
Frank W. Frank W. is offline
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A quick field test for a good GROUND: Use a set of jumper cables. Run a cable from the questioned terminal to frame.
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  #29  
Old 07-21-2018
konehd konehd is offline
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When I was at Hood River I checked this out.

Pretty much *all* the connections where loose. Recommended taking apart, clean & tighten them up.

The batteries where not secured! Only thing holding them was the wires.

There is a disconnect switch too, didnt check the ampapacity of it, but looks small for the loads.

Instead of 6x 6v batteries there are 4x 6v and 1x 12v. Not standard.

IIRC the hot lead went to a terminal, then to all the loads, it was loose in its mounting... Mike was going to take that apart and tighten it up too.

Maybe Mike could post a photo of the batteries so all could get a look.


HTH
/Joe
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  #30  
Old 07-21-2018
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Thanks everybody. I get it, I'm gonna replace at least all the positive battery cables, then see where I stand. I've been checking auto parts stores, can only find 4 gauge made up cables. I would think I'd need at least 2 gauge, possibly even 0 gauge. Do they sell them made up, or do I need to make my own? Also, is there a problem having different gauge hot & ground cables?

FYI, although the battery configuration is "non-standard", it's worked flawlessly for almost 3 years, and allows me to separate the start battery from the house bank if off shore power for a few days.
I really appreciate everybody spending time to offer advice; Once I've managed to find (or make) the new cables (AND cleaned up the existing ones!) I'll let you all know how it turns out.
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