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Engine Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's engine.

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  #1  
Old 10-20-2018
Dennis Dennis is offline
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Default Stopped Cranking/Starter or ?

Yesterday I went to start my M380. It cranked for a second then nothing. My first thought was the battery was dead, but that was not the case; the battery is fine. When I turn the ignition key all the lights and buzzers that are suppose to come on do, but no cranking, it's as if a fuse or wire or ? is disconnected.

I tried starting it from the rear and when I hit start I hear a click which I think might be the starter, but that is it.

Before I have the coach towed to Cummins I figured I run this past all of you.

Thanks, Dennis
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Dennis Torres
2004 M380
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2018
xbskt xbskt is offline
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Bang the starter housing with as big a hammer as you can swing under there will sometimes cure an immobile starter. While you are there look for a loose connection. Good luck
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Jeff Schneider
Nantucket, Massachusetts
research mode
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2018
Dennis Dennis is offline
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Jeff, thanks for your good suggestion. I banged on it, my master mechanic neighbor banged on it and the tow truck driver banged on it before going through the laborious task of getting it ready to tow it to the Cummins dealer in Ventura about 40 miles away...$1,300 for the tow, but my insurance will cover that.

New starter works great, the engine never cranked as good as it does now. Reinstalling the drive line (what I call the drive shaft), new starter plus freight labor etc. just under $1,400.

It all turned out to be a blessing though because had my Coach been where I keep it parked near my home in Malibu, it would have burned to the ground. Instead we evacuated to Cummins and are living comfortably in it while we wait for the power to be restored to our home and smoke, ash remediation, which was remarkably spared although we sadly watched at least ten of our neighbor's homes burn to the ground be for leaving.
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Dennis Torres
2004 M380
Malibu, California
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2018
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Dc2x4drvr Dc2x4drvr is online now
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Glad you and family got out of your neighborhood before the fire, sorry for your neighbors homes...
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2019
Dennis Dennis is offline
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Further to the saga in this thread/subject. The new starter was installed by Cummings and they check everything in the engine and said all is well. The new starter worked like a champ; the engine never cranked/started as robust and fast. Went on three trips since and all was well. Yesterday I went to start the coach and the new starter is dead, same as before, cranked slow like a bad battery for about 10 seconds, then nothing. Checked the battery and it is like new. There's power to the ignition switch, dash board and starter, but the starter is dead just like before. Cummins is closed until Monday or Tuesday so I haven't call them yet and while I suspect there is some kind of warranty on the part (it's less than 3 months old) I wonder about the labor and tow (which was covered by my insurance company, but they will not be happy with another $2,600 bill - it was suppose to be $1,300, but the tow driver spent hours trying everything he could to get the starter to work and those hours were added to the cost of the tow. Good news was, he definitely knew what he was doing when it came to towing the bus.) Any ideas on what would cause two starters to fail in three months? The first one lasted 14 years. Could the engine be binding and stressing out or burning up the starter? Could there be a voltage/amperage spike that would burn up the starter? Or just one of those things? Thanks, Dennis
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Dennis Torres
2004 M380
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2019
Friday1 Friday1 is offline
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Get an assistant that can follow directions. Have them hold the key in the start position and check for power at the starter and backtrack toward the batteries. If the batteries are good the power had to be stopping somewhere. Walkie talkie or celphones help for us hearing impaired and keep us out of divorce court if your mate is your helper. Starters usually have ground wires to the starter area or to the case of the starter. Check the connections all along the starter wiring by taking them loose and sanding connections and base metal to bright and clean. Power had to be dropping out of the starting system unless you have a bad battery. Do the easy cheap stuff first before tossing parts at it.


Rick in Ohio
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2019
Dennis Dennis is offline
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Thanks Rick, this is sound advice and admittedly I haven't done this yet; ran out of time and was alone. But I did check the start batteries and they are in excellent shape. Three months ago when the same thing happened the tow truck driver spent hours, and he knew what he was doing, checking everything you mention (with me being his assistant) and to no avail; he had all the experience, equipment, meters etc. so I sort of suspect whatever it is, it's the same problem. Thanks, Dennis
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Old 02-17-2019
Fujimo Fujimo is offline
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Dennis do you have a good set of jumper cables, if so ground the engine, even use both clamps, red and black , now put other end on battery negative both clamps try to start easy way to tell if ground is problem. Good luck
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Paul and Lynette Brown
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  #9  
Old 02-17-2019
GregOC GregOC is offline
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I like Fujimos direct ground test. Unless you plan to fix it once you find the issue, call a mobil tech
a guy up in Golita did some repairs for us on the road in Ventura. He is one of the contract techs Cal fire uses when they roll to events. His rate was 95 per hour one hour travel. Great contat if he cant do it will have a resource for you Tim Parks 8053312815 . Could be somthing un related, or just an alignment of the part. I never tow.
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  #10  
Old 02-17-2019
Friday1 Friday1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fujimo View Post
Dennis do you have a good set of jumper cables, if so ground the engine, even use both clamps, red and black , now put other end on battery negative both clamps try to start easy way to tell if ground is problem. Good luck

Great idea! I'll remember that one.


Rick in Ohio
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