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

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  #1  
Old 10-09-2017
hansruys's Avatar
hansruys hansruys is offline
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Default Alternator not showing voltage at dash gauge

Bad day yesterday, rain all day
and somebody sideswiped my coach with their trailer on the interstate in Nashville.

Both of my dc volts coach and dc volts engine were reading low
12 volts and after an hour or so of driving closer to 11 volts.
The alternator charging amps gauge is showing nothing.

Running the generator brings everything back up to 13+
and also recharged my battery bank up from 67% to 93% last I looked.

batteries are 4 Trojan 16LE forklift batteries and an 8D all one year old,
I just serviced batteries a few days ago,
they were thirsty and all checked out with my hydrometer.

I have a hard time believing both of my alternators quit at the same time,
so I'm hoping for relay or blown fuse,

I did make a mistake a few days ago and started the coach
while it was still plugged into 50 amp,
don't know for sure, but that might be the cause of my problems.

Sitting in a Lowes parking lot right now "borrowing" their wifi
not really sure where to start looking,
so if any of y'all can point me in the right direction, it's much appreciated.

I can make it to Pine Mountain running the generator while I'm driving,
but I'd rather fix it while I'm close to parts sources here in Murfreesboro.

Going to walk over to Harbour freight and buy a battery load tester,
don't think that's the problem but I want one and it's someplace to start.
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2017
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You might find that one alternator failed a while ago, but how would you know? When the second one failed it became obvious. Just a thought.

If everything charges OK from your charger running the gen or shore power, then I would say your batteries are OK.
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2017
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcyeaw View Post
You might find that one alternator failed a while ago, but how would you know? When the second one failed it became obvious. Just a thought.

If everything charges OK from your charger running the gen or shore power, then I would say your batteries are OK.
I agree.
Did you check the belts?
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  #4  
Old 10-13-2017
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hansruys hansruys is offline
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The rear alternator has belts,
haven't pulled up the floor to see if the front one does,

We've been in Woodring Corp of Engineers campground, on lake Carter
nice, but no wifi or cell service.

Checked all breakers and fuses that I could find for continuity,
tried replacing the relay inside the rear ignition box, with an extra relay,
that didn't do anything, but I don't know if that's a good relay or not!

Crawled under the back and saw that the alternator has two wires,
one 14 gauge yellow/black stripe and one cable that goes directly to shunt,
with batteries fully charged voltage is 12.8,
doesn't change with engine off or running,
when I plug into 50 amp voltage goes up to 13.4
so inverter is charging my batteries, alternator does not do anything,
switch on dash alt A or B doesn't change anything when running.

My question is: are these the type of alternators that have to be "exited"
in other words is that 14 gauge wire an electrical source?

If so, where does it originate,
or do these alternators "make" electricity simply by rotating?
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94 WB
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  #5  
Old 10-13-2017
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Default Alternator not showing voltage at dash gauge

Here is a charging diagram of a 1991, this might be of use.
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2017
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Dieselbird01 Dieselbird01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hansruys View Post
The rear alternator has belts,
haven't pulled up the floor to see if the front one does,

We've been in Woodring Corp of Engineers campground, on lake Carter
nice, but no wifi or cell service.

Checked all breakers and fuses that I could find for continuity,
tried replacing the relay inside the rear ignition box, with an extra relay,
that didn't do anything, but I don't know if that's a good relay or not!

Crawled under the back and saw that the alternator has two wires,
one 14 gauge yellow/black stripe and one cable that goes directly to shunt,
with batteries fully charged voltage is 12.8,
doesn't change with engine off or running,
when I plug into 50 amp voltage goes up to 13.4
so inverter is charging my batteries, alternator does not do anything,
switch on dash alt A or B doesn't change anything when running.

My question is: are these the type of alternators that have to be "exited"
in other words is that 14 gauge wire an electrical source?

If so, where does it originate,
or do these alternators "make" electricity simply by rotating?
Hi Hans,

The Delco Remy alternators that I have on my 91 WB “auto excite” so they don’t use a separate wire to excite them.

Odds are that you have a different problem but occasionally an alternator can fail to “auto excite” due to low magnetism. Just revving the engine will sometimes get one working but on rare occasion it can require “flashing the field” to get one working.

I had to flash the field on one of my Delco Remy alternators last year. I used a jumper wire to momentarily put 12 volts on the “R” terminal of the alternator (for just a second or two) while the engine was running.

Of course this will only work if a loss of magnetism is what’s keeping the alternator from working.
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1991 40' WLWB-WTB
Body Number F095567
My Location: http://www.bbirdmaps.com/user1.cfm?user=4

1991 40' WB ...From 2008 - Present
1984 ½ PT-36 .From 2000 - 2008
1973 FC-31 .....From 1991 - 2001
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  #7  
Old 10-14-2017
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hansruys hansruys is offline
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Location: St. Petersburg
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Thanks for the schematic,
I went over all of the blueprints in my blue box and that is one I don't have,
so this is much appreciated.

I think John has "enlightened" me to the point where I believe
it is time for me to replace both alternators,

I've owned this coach a year,
before that it sat in a barn for five years with an occasional warm up,

I remember the previous owner telling me he had both alternators rebuilt because they rusted up,

since the day I purchased it,
I had to "rev" the engine to what John calls "auto excite"
in order to get the alternator to show voltage.

I remember flashing the field coils on the old Harley generators
and I'm going to give that a try, when I get the opportunity,
but I'm not real hopeful.

I was hoping to get out of this with a five dollar relay,
but it now seems much more likely that this too will be upholding
the long established Wanderlodge tradition of five hundred dollar fixes.

thanks for the help guys.
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St. Petersburg Florida
94 WB
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2017
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isp2952 isp2952 is offline
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Location: 1520 N. Binkley Rd., Larwill, IN 46764
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Hans, if you go to http://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.co...ead.php?t=8959 and read post #4 That is the same alternator I got for my bus and I only have and need one. It was set up for two but trust me, you don't need the second one. These alternators work great and like Shane said they are set up for emergency vehicles that sit and idle a lot and have to put out a lot of power while doing that.
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2017
Dieselbird01's Avatar
Dieselbird01 Dieselbird01 is offline
John Wyatt – Administrator/Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Titusville
Posts: 4,168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hansruys View Post
Thanks for the schematic,
I went over all of the blueprints in my blue box and that is one I don't have,
so this is much appreciated.

I think John has "enlightened" me to the point where I believe
it is time for me to replace both alternators,

I've owned this coach a year,
before that it sat in a barn for five years with an occasional warm up,

I remember the previous owner telling me he had both alternators rebuilt because they rusted up,

since the day I purchased it,
I had to "rev" the engine to what John calls "auto excite"
in order to get the alternator to show voltage.

I remember flashing the field coils on the old Harley generators
and I'm going to give that a try, when I get the opportunity,
but I'm not real hopeful.

I was hoping to get out of this with a five dollar relay,
but it now seems much more likely that this too will be upholding
the long established Wanderlodge tradition of five hundred dollar fixes.

thanks for the help guys.
Be sure you use the "R" terminal - Not the "I" terminal that the yellow/black wire is on.
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John Wyatt
Titusville, Florida
1991 40' WLWB-WTB
Body Number F095567
My Location: http://www.bbirdmaps.com/user1.cfm?user=4

1991 40' WB ...From 2008 - Present
1984 ½ PT-36 .From 2000 - 2008
1973 FC-31 .....From 1991 - 2001
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