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

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  #21  
Old 06-09-2013
Frank W. Frank W. is offline
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As we walk through this problem your having with your coach on the forum... now is a good time to mention a couple of things about BlueBird Wanderlodges:

BlueBird built Wanderlodges on spec and as custom orders for dealers and customers...so even within a single model year some things can be found "done different"...as a general rule you could almost say that there is not really a "standard" BlueBird Wanderlodge. They would do just about anything to satisfy a customers/dealers desires.

Then add the various owners over the years and their "customizations"...

All these factors combine to make even the simplest problems a bit more complex...and complex problems even harder to solve. The suggestions we give are based on our own experiences with our coaches...some info might apply, some might not.

An example is that your A/T switch is vertical, mine crossways on the dash.
My '85 has jumper terminals...your '82-83 might not...or might have them in another location.

It's all part of the journey...welcome aboard!
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Coach photos & comments: http://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.co...php?albumid=79
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  #22  
Old 06-09-2013
Friday1 Friday1 is offline
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On my 1980 FC, the neutral start switch in the shift quadrant is just a little out of adjustment. Usually I have to push ther shift lever forward to get it to make contact. Getting the parts/pieces out of the way to do the adjustment will have to wait until the driver's seat is out of the way though. The suggestion to see if the fuel solenoid "thunks" when you turn the ignition to the run position is a good indicator that you do have power to the ignition switch and out to that solenoid. Checking the small Ford type solenoid on the frame below the radiator in front of the starter would be a good starting point. Have your son turn the key to the start position. The big lug on that Ford solenoid that's connected to the solenoid on the starter should get power to make the starter solenoid hot and crank the starter. If the starter has power and the field coil lug on the side of the starter case is not hot you have a bad ground to the starter, bad starter solenoid or that copper piece between the starter solenoid and the field coils is dirty or overtightened to cause a bad connection. A clicking relay is a sign of a bad connection or low power. A bad ground can sieze the crankshaft to the main bearings as the starter looks for a ground and finds it through particles of dirt in the oil between the bearings and the crankshaft. Don't take outside appearances of a good ground for granted. A ground connection can be tight and look OK but corrosion hides between the connection and the frame or an electrical component. Hope this helps.

Rick in Ohio
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  #23  
Old 06-09-2013
phaefner@vh-cpas.com phaefner@vh-cpas.com is offline
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Kris

I have an 82 also and in fact I have experienced a similar issue twice. First time I was able to hot wire the bus and shortly after hot wire procedures were complete I found my AT switch in the incorrect position.

Second time I found the ignition key type switch needed to be cleaned. My ignition key type switch was getting very hot. I purchased a new switch which got even hotter so I went back to the old one.

I live just east of Grand Rapids and I have a test light & a spare switch. If you want a hand I can stop by. 460 9388 Peter
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  #24  
Old 06-10-2013
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northmeck0255 northmeck0255 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kroosmd View Post
I have a sweet Fluke DMM and a semi-willing teenage son, now I just need some time to tinker. Man, I hate it when my job gets in the way.
I feel your pain, brother!!!!
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  #25  
Old 06-12-2013
kroosmd kroosmd is offline
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ok, so a small update. I tested the continuity on both ground straps(engine block and frame) that go to the starter; both were good. I found the suggested Ford style selenoid and got 12v on the larger lugs but not the smaller ones. I also got 12v on the starter connection. I pulled the ford style solenoid and went to napa, no luck and went to carquest and they had to order it. A word of warning, at first the carquest guy didn't want me to see the photo because he was positive it was the correct one; it was a 6v one and then the second one he had was a 36v one. I keep pushing until we found the correct one and it will be in tomorrow morning. Again my job and kids sports may prevent installation tomorrow night but if there is light and the mosquitos are tolerable and am going for it.
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82 FC35 RB
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Last edited by kroosmd; 06-12-2013 at 10:35 PM.
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  #26  
Old 06-12-2013
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RGloverii RGloverii is offline
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Kris,

Unless I am misinterpreting your actions, I am concerned that your diagnostic process is not as methodical as it could be.

From the symptoms you initially described, when you turn your ignition key to 'start', you get absolutely nothing. You have an FC, so you *should* be able to easily hear everything that is occurring. Since you hear nothing, your first step should be in diagnosing the ignition switch. Is it supplying 12v to the starting circuit when you go to start the coach? Then, follow the trail from there.

Did you test the solenoids you are now going to replace?? Get where I'm going with this? No need to be checking ground straps if the "Ford Style" solenoid isn't getting a signal to actuate. It *could* be a bad solenoid, but until tested, we don't know for sure, and you end up chasing your tail & throwing money at the problem.

Hope this proves to be helpful.

-Robert
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  #27  
Old 06-12-2013
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Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kroosmd View Post
ok, so a small update. I tested the continuity on both ground straps(engine block and frame) that go to the starter; both were good. I found the suggested Ford style selonoid and got 12v on the larger lugs but not the smaller ones. I also got 12v on the starter connection. I pulled the ford style selonoid and went to napa, no luck and went to carquest and they had to order it. A word of warning, at first the carquest guy didn't want me to see the photo because he was positive it was the correct one; it was a 6v one and then the second one he had was a 36v one. I keep pushing until we found the correct one and it will be in tomorrow morning. Again my job and kids sports may prevent installation tomorrow night but if there is light and the mosquitos are tolerable and am going for it.

You have to take those grounds off and file them clean.
1000amps will be going through them,checking continuity will not do it.
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  #28  
Old 06-12-2013
kroosmd kroosmd is offline
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Points well taken. With my limited understanding of electricity, my thinking was that is there is continuity then there is a path or connection. I will clean off the leads. Also, I see your point about following the path, I was under the engine and thought I could test that out to check it out.

I am learning that I am not describing things well enough. When I say I get nothing, I meant that I am getting nothing from the starter. No movement at all.

I did start to disassemble the shifter area to test the ignition switch but it was not coming apart and I thought that if I have 12v further down the chain that I can test when the key is on why take apart something that doesn't seem to want to come apart.

As for testing the solenoid, that is a very valid point. I should test it to know either way. My thinking was that from the reading, I see these things wear out so I should replace it so I don't get stranded in the future. My lady puts up with all of my outdoor sports like kayaking and such but being broken down gets her on edge. If something like the ac goes out, no problem but not moving is not good! If she is happy, we are all happy.

I do appreciate all the advice, direction and pointers.
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82 FC35 RB
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  #29  
Old 06-12-2013
Friday1 Friday1 is offline
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You can have continuity from - on the battery to ground until you try to make the starter crank. If your grounds are not shiny bright on the copper lugs and the frame steel, it is not a good ground. You first have to find out if you have 12 VDC coming to the Ford solenoid and going out of the Ford solenoid to the solenoid on the starter. If you don't, the problem is before the Ford solenoid-could be the ignition switch or neutral switch or any of the wiring that is between those two switches. A good trick at the parts store is to seek out the oldest parts guy. If the whole crew is teenagers, find another parts store! You say you had 12 VDC on both big lugs on the Ford solenoid. Then one of the small lugs had to be hot too. One of the small lugs has ground usually all the time. The other one is waiting for 12 VDC from the ignition switch...through the neutral switch to make power to go up to the big solenoid on the starter. The Ford solenoid puts power to one of the small lugs on the starter. The other lug on the starter has gound. All the time ground. All the ground wires-the one at the Ford solenoid and the one on the starter solenoid have to be clean on both ends. Lots of connections, lots of potential for a problem. I use a 12 VDC test light since you are just looking for power and seeing where it stops. Faster to read than a DVOM when you are just looking for power.

Rick in Ohio

Rick in Ohio
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  #30  
Old 06-13-2013
kroosmd kroosmd is offline
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Ok, another update. I purchased a 12v light probe, as described its much easier. With the key in the on position, I checked the starter solenoid and I have 12v there and at the ford style solenoid I have 12v on the heavier guage connector/lug and do not have 12v on the smaller connector/lug.

I cleaned off both ends of the ground wire to the engine block, all of the connections to the starter; there were 7 plus the two studs and bolts. I cleaned ond only one end on the other ground strap from the frame to the starter. With the tools I had present I could not get the frame connection undone.

At this point my little guy was beyond squirrelly so I had to call it a night. Saturday morning I will be back and will take apart the shifter area and test the ignition switch and the shifter.

As for the A/T switch, how is that removed? Pop it out from the front or do I have to take apart the whole dash to get to it from the back?
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