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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 06-01-2014
spottrouble spottrouble is offline
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Default Electrical Issues

Ok I have a few electrical issues, and electrical work is not really a strong point for me, but I can trudge thru it with a little help. First off is 2 loose wires in the engine bay

Pic 1. This is just inside the rear engine door on the lower right, the loose wire end is the wire that my finger is touching coming out of that little box , I see nothing close by to attach that wire to, and I'm not sure what that box is?

Pic 2. This wire comes out of the wire loom that runs under the Bendix air control, not sure if its a ground wire, it would reach and fit a - terminal on the battery bank.

Pic 3. This is how the battery bank is wired, I'm questioning the way the 6V batteries are wired together, it obviously does work, but I just think it should be wired as I've drawn in pic 4.
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2014
spottrouble spottrouble is offline
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I had some time to check out the operation of the AC units this week, they do work, I did have 1 issue with the center AC, when I turned it on there was an arc, and wisps of smoke in the closet. So I pulled the cover off the wiring in the closet to inspect, one wire coming off the switch was corroded green and had burned thru, trimmed it back and crimped on a new terminal and AC worked just fine. BUT the wires from the plug to the AC switch get VERY hot, the bare ground (Romex wire) is too hot to leave your finger on.

First question is if that wall socket is original or an add-on? Next thing I question is the use of Romex from the plug to the AC switch?
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2014
oldmansax oldmansax is offline
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Can't help you on pics 1 & 2. You are probably going to have to track down where those wires go to determine what they do. My coach's PO had added a zillion wires going all over everywhere. I found (and am still finding! ) wires that were run & not connected to anything!

On the battery pics, it looks like they were wired that way to be able to use only one wire to the solenoid and to make that wire as short as possible. Also to equalize the lengths of wire between the batteries so they will all charge equally.

TOM
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Old 06-01-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldmansax View Post
My coach's PO had added a zillion wires going all over everywhere. I found (and am still finding! ) wires that were run & not connected to anything!

TOM
Most likely what you are finding are wires that Bluebird added to the wiring loom to accommodate different models and layouts of the different coaches of that era, my '82 FC has bundles of wires that go nowhere, but some of them are affixed with a tag that indicates what they were to be used for, such as a microwave wire bundle located behind the curbside over head compartments to wire in a microwave on that side, when my microwave is located above the stove on the street side.
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Old 06-02-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spottrouble View Post
I had some time to check out the operation of the AC units this week, they do work, I did have 1 issue with the center AC, when I turned it on there was an arc, and wisps of smoke in the closet. So I pulled the cover off the wiring in the closet to inspect, one wire coming off the switch was corroded green and had burned thru, trimmed it back and crimped on a new terminal and AC worked just fine. BUT the wires from the plug to the AC switch get VERY hot, the bare ground (Romex wire) is too hot to leave your finger on.

First question is if that wall socket is original or an add-on? Next thing I question is the use of Romex from the plug to the AC switch?

The ground wire is for safety and should never carry any current unless there is a short. I would carefully inspect the AC wiring from the power panel all the way to the internal AC connections to be sure the neutral and ground are properly connected. Getting that hot is not a good thing. Also the internal contacts in the plug may have overheated which will weaken the contact pressure and generate heat, I would replace it. Also, I assume there is a 20 amp fuse on the circuit and the plug socket looks like a 15 amp one. The 20 amp ones have a provision for one of the blades to be either vertical or horizontal for a 20 amp style plug..

The plug wiring should be stranded rather than solid wire because it is designed to be physically moved (flexed) when plugging in and unplugging.
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Last edited by gcyeaw; 06-02-2014 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 06-02-2014
oldmansax oldmansax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamflagman View Post
Most likely what you are finding are wires that Bluebird added to the wiring loom to accommodate different models and layouts of the different coaches of that era, my '82 FC has bundles of wires that go nowhere, but some of them are affixed with a tag that indicates what they were to be used for, such as a microwave wire bundle located behind the curbside over head compartments to wire in a microwave on that side, when my microwave is located above the stove on the street side.
Yeah, I have some of those too. But the ones I removing are very obviously after market. somebody was VERY fond of 18 gauge thermostat wire and 16 Gauge stranded (not THHN)

TOM
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Old 06-02-2014
spottrouble spottrouble is offline
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I'll rewire that plug this evening, and check voltages on those wires, with AC running I could touch the bare ground wire, too hot to leave your finger there more than half a second, but it did not shock me either. The wires running into the wall socket were not hot, and neither were the wires leaving the switch, just the wires from the plug to the switch. So how do I access the CruiseAir AC units, no way that I see from side, or underside, do I have to crawl all the way underneath and get to the backside of them?
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Old 06-02-2014
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The CruiseAir condensing units can be accessed by removing the grills from the street side or dropping the entire unit out of the bottom. The grills do not give you enough room to access the units. Poor engineering IMHO. one of the things on my list is to replace the original grills with 14" x 22" HVAC filter grills. Just cut out the side of the body & fit them in. That will give enough room to properly service the units.

I am not a big fan of dropping the units either. Tubing that old will have a tendency to fatigue and crack (and leak) if you move it very much.

TOM
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Old 06-06-2014
spottrouble spottrouble is offline
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After making 2 different pigtail plugs for the AC I came to the conclusion that the only way it worked was with stiff Romex, using flexible wire always left a loop sticking out that would forever be in the way. So I removed the wall socket and just wired directly to the switch, then used a clamp on amp meter to check the wire that was in the ground position on the wall socket, sure enough it showed amperage. With a gut feeling that the wall plug was not original I decided to check the front CruiseAir switch wiring to see if connections in closet were correct, those connections looked the same and when I check the PRESUMED ground lead it showed amperage also, hmmmm. So then I went and pulled rear CruiseAir switch, well as best I could, thermocouple lead prevented anything more than tilting out the top, not enough room there for the clamp on amp meter. Thought about it for a minute and decided if that wire is JUST a ground wire, then if I unplug it the AC should still work, so I unplugged it and AC did not work, hmm.

See diagram below:
Looking at the terminals on the back of the Off/Start/Run switch for the CruiseAir, the terminals are laid out in this fashion, the top left terminal is what was wired to the ground terminal in the wall socket, does anyone know if this is truly a ground? I know the black wire is the power wire, and I'm assuming the white wire on the right side is neutral, using a non-contact power probe the black wire is the only wire that reads hot, whether ac is running or off. Using the clamp on amp meter, both white wires and black wire show amperage when AC is running.

Yes I have some schematics, rolls and rolls of them, but with temps in the mid 90's outside, and higher in the bus, I just cannot sit and study them until I get the AC running, and if you saw the paper disaster that is my office, you'd understand why I want to leave them in the bus
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  #10  
Old 06-06-2014
oldmansax oldmansax is offline
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Kristin,

I have the diagrams somewhere in my coach but, unfortunately, it is at my other shop miles away.

I don't think the OFF START RUN switch has a ground. It only supplies power to the other 2 switches on mine. In the OFF position everything is off, obviously. In the START position, it supplies power to the FAN (inside) unit only. In the RUN position it supplies power to the FAN and the TEMP (outside, condensing) units. On mine, the outside condensing unit only has one piece of romex supplying it. The ground & the neutral are both connected all the time & the TEMP switch inside switches the power (supplied by the OFF START RUN switch) on & off based on temperature.

One other thing, the whole shooten' match is also controlled by 3 switches over the drivers head, They are off & on only.

Maybe this will help a little.

TOM
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