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Under The Awning Here is where you can carry on a conversation, just like............well, like you were sitting under your awning at the campsite.

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  #1  
Old 10-23-2009
gcyeaw's Avatar
gcyeaw gcyeaw is offline
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Location: Ridgewood
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Default Let there be lights

nAs I was travelling to Maxton tonight, I was lucky enough to spend 3.5 hours in solid traffic on the Garden State Parkway (why do you think they have Park in the name). So I finally got going on the Turnpike, and it got dark, very dark. I realized my headlights were not working. So there is no good place to stop, so I fired up my spotlights and aimed the first one. I touched the acessory switch to change to the second spotlight, and everything went dark, both spotlights,the rearview screen went to noise, the fan engaged and the red headlight warining light and buzzer sounded..Oh yea, the fuel solenoid dropped. I was a little disoriented with everything and the nasty red light and buzzer the only electrical thing working. After an eternity, it all fired back up . I looked for any alien space ships, but that wasn't it. (auroreset breakers are great). The acessory switch was not at fault, it was just unfortunate timing.

After many more close encounter episodes, I made it to a rest area and opened the front panel, The headlights came on and the problem went away. I did some prudent rearranging of wires, insured nothing was pressing on them when I closed the panel. Then hit the road with no problems. I will need to do some daylight not-raining investigation, but it is working for now.

So the bagels are in the frig/freezer and will likley be at Maxton tomorrow.
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2009
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drive safe,see you tomorrow!
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2009
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NH Bill NH Bill is offline
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Nice Gardner, that's a heck of a way to get your adrenalin rushes.

It was about one year ago when Lisa and I just made it off the highway and were lost in Hershey, PA on a narrow back road when the same thing happened. It was pitch black but, I doubt we got as much of a rush as you did o the NJ TPK.

Anyway, we stopped on the side of the road (which was also the middle of the road) and just sat for a moment. The lights came back on. Well, since then we did the relay upgrade and so far, so good. Glad to hear your safe....get some rest.

NH Bill
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2009
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I spent the night at a Wal-Mart and continued on to Maxton today. As I was traveling I noticed that the volt meter was registering below 12 volts. I decided that that previous evenings problems had fried the alternator, so I fired up the generator and set the Xantrex to charge. Well, consistant with the status of things so far, the Xantrex ran a little while and then reported overheating, and stopped charging. After a while it started charging again, but quit shortly thereafter with an overheating problem.

In the end I made it to Maxton. In between rain showers I managed to determine the cooling fan on the Xantrex was not working. Shane had a similar fan in his 'Mary Poppins' tool bag, and I hooked it up. After that, the Xantrex worked fine. So I still need to work on the alternator, but I can live with the generator and Xantrex for now.

Nothing like a vintage bird to try your patience!!
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2009
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Further investigation revealed the apparent cause of the circuit breaker tripping. A while back I had installed a Bosch relay to take the load off the ignition switch, I sourced the power from breaker #13 in the lower front. Well, it turns out that that breaker is for the spotlights. It is a 15 amp breaker and the spot lights use 14 amps. The additional load of the ignition and acessories was another 5 amps, well over the rateing of the breaker. It would hold for a while, but then trip and reset. I seldom use the spotlights, and then not for an extended time, so it didn't show up before now. Next time I will choose more wisley.

I installed a new breaker for the ingition relay to correct the problem.

As for the Xantrex charger/inverter fan, it turns out that the insulating sheet Xantrex installed for the heat sink extended too close to the fan blades and the blades hit it and stopped turning. I trimmed the sheet and all is well now.

I will add pictures tomorrow.
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2009
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So Gardner, maybe I lost you here, but what was the original problem that the headlights were not working before you turned on the spot light? Too small (amperage) of a breaker for just the head lights?
Also, didn't the tripping breaker protect your altenator?
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2009
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Tom,
I don't know what the original problem was. It went away when I opened the front. I did some trimming of the metalic covered insulation to insure it didn't touch the terminals, and re-arranged some wires and air hoses so they cleared everything on the door.

Interestingly, the alternator is working some what intermittently. Sometimes it gets to 13 volts, and other times it is at 12. I think the regulator is the problem. I will see if I can get one somewhere.

I did quite a bit of driving today and had no problems. I did, however, forget to check the refrigerator after I shut down the generator, and true to forum, it didn't properly switch to propane. I guess I will have to settle for warm beer tonight.
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