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

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  #31  
Old 06-13-2013
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RGloverii RGloverii is offline
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Kris,

The diagnostics you attempted to perform needed to be done with the key in the START position. What you tested today will need to be done again. It will be much easier to do this with help. One person to turn the key, and the other person to check the solenoids.

Here's how it works:

For the purposes of this explanation, a "solenoid" is an electric on/off switch.

So when a solenoid is in the "off" position, you will ALWAYS have 12v+ at one of the two large terminals. The 2nd large terminal will have nothing. Because it is off. When you turn your key to "start", 12v+ is sent from the key switch to the SMALL terminal of the solenoid. This causes the solenoid to flip to the "ON" position. When "on", the solenoid allows the 12v+ from the first large terminal to flow to the 2nd large terminal. And from there, to the coach's starter motor. Make sense?

So when you are testing for power at the solenoids, you NEED to be testing when the keyswitch is in the START position. Any other time, the solenoids aren't doing anything. They are all OFF.

Remember when I asked you if you could hear anything when turning the key to "start"? Well, solenoids are electromechanical devices. If you listen, you should be able to hear them "click" on and off. No "click", odds are, no power.

My guess is, you aren't getting the 12v+ from the keyswitch to the solenoids. It's as simple as that. Might be the A/T switch. Might be the keyswitch itself. Might be a fuse or breaker somewhere. But the bottom line is this: You NEED to check the first points in the chain before screwing around with ground straps and other ****. Keep it simple. See if you are getting the "on" signal to the solenoids, and let us know what you find out. Then, we can go from there.

Hope this helps.

-Robert
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  #32  
Old 06-13-2013
Friday1 Friday1 is offline
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You should have power on one of the large studs on the Ford solenoid. When you turn the ignition switch to START one of the small studs will get power IF the neutral switch is operating properly and the ignition switch is also operating properly. If those two devices are operating as they should, the other large post on the Ford solenoid will get hot, and the power then goes to one of the small posts on the starter solenoid. One of the posts on the starter should be hot before you turn the key to START, just with the 12 volt switch in the driver's area on. This is a key point in your troubleshooting. If one big post on the starter isn't hot, you have something wired wrong from when you changed batteries.
So to review: one big post on both the solenoids should be hot with just the 12 volt switch in the driver's area on. If not, this has to be corrected first before you go any further. The Ford solenoid is just in the system to put power to the starter solenoid small post. It's purpose is to send a signal to the starter without high amperage going through the ignition switch on the dash. The power goes from the ignition switch to the neutral switch to the Ford solenoid to the starter. If you pull the dash up to ck continuity on the AT switch, you are most of the way to the back of the ignition switch. Take your probe and see if you have 12 VDC on one post with the key off, 12 volt driver's area switch on. This is the supply of power to all the functions of the ignition switch. Turn the key to START and there should be power to another wire. This is the wire that goes through the neutral switch.

Rick in Ohio OOOPS, Looks like Robert beat me to it.
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Last edited by Friday1; 06-13-2013 at 09:11 PM. Reason: info
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  #33  
Old 06-13-2013
Vanda Vanda is offline
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I've had the A/T switch kill my ignition even after I flip it back up and had to cycle it a few times . Another time for no apparent reason the starter didn't catch when I turned the key , I checked the cut off switch under the shifter and confirmed it was in neutral , then tried a few more times and it caught ... I don't think juice in the battery is your problem . These guys will get you hooked up .
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  #34  
Old 06-14-2013
kroosmd kroosmd is offline
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I stopped over this AM and checked the Ford Solenoid with the key in the start position. I have 12v on the small lug. I also have 12v on the large lug. I did not have time to check the starter Solenoid lugs but will do so tomorrow.

Am I correct in thinking that my issue is going towards the starter from the Ford style solenoid and that my A/T switch and ignition switches are ok? The issue of being in neutral is still a potential.
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  #35  
Old 06-14-2013
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RGloverii RGloverii is offline
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Kris,

Based on your diagnosis, I believe you have eliminated the following possibilities:

A/T switch
Ignition switch
Neutral switch

Still to be tested:
Starter Solenoid
Starter itself

Unclear:
Ford Solenoid....

When you tested the "Ford solenoid", you should basically be seeing 12v+ at all 3 terminals: Small terminal (from ignition), Large terminal 1(from battery), Large terminal 2 (to starter solenoid). Did you in fact see 12v at all 3 points? If so, the Ford solenoid is working properly, and you can check that off your list as well.

We are making good progress here. With a bit more time, you'll have your coach started ASAP!

-Robert
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  #36  
Old 06-14-2013
Friday1 Friday1 is offline
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Robert, You seem to have better communication with this fellow. Some Ford solenoids have 4 terminals. Two small terminals mean one is grounded all the time and one is waiting for the 12 VDC from the neutral switch. If he has a 3 terminal solenoid, the case or mounting tabs are the ground needed for a complete circuit. Your last explanation is really good. He seems to be determined to solve this.

Rick
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  #37  
Old 06-14-2013
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Hit that ford solenoid with a hammer! (not to hard) That would be my fist move. Then the starter solenoid. If the hammer fixes it, then replace the solenoid, or at least pull it apart and clean it up.
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  #38  
Old 06-14-2013
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Bill Pape Bill Pape is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyclegg View Post
Hit that ford solenoid with a hammer! (not to hard) That would be my fist move. Then the starter solenoid. If the hammer fixes it, then replace the solenoid, or at least pull it apart and clean it up.
Starting caution!!

Check the park brake, block the wheels, instruct the key turner to shut it down quickly until you are clear of the bus.
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  #39  
Old 06-14-2013
kroosmd kroosmd is offline
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it is a four lug solenoid, I only checked the two ones that I expected to be hot. I will check all four tomorrow morning and then starter solenoid as well. When I was down underneath the rig and the key turned to the start position the ford style solenoid thunked or cycled.

I will tap the starter solenoid after checking for 12v but will follow the safety precautions mentioned above
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  #40  
Old 06-16-2013
kroosmd kroosmd is offline
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Oh to be a mere mortal that the bluebird gods can laugh at.

Yesterday when I went over to continue my quest to figure out why my bird wouldn't start, I decided just for grins to take the advice of one of the replies to my post and I tapped on the starter and starter solenoid. Well, she fired right up... I didn't know if I should laugh, cry or curse.

I am kicking my self because when I was a kid I had many ****** cars that I had to do this to occassionally to get them to start.

Ah well, now I can get "the Hippo", as my younger son calls it, over to the mechanic and figure out my next issue which is why my bird is sooooo slow. I understand it is never going to smoke the tires but when Im on the highway going 60 mph and go up even a modest hill I drop to 35 mph and that is not even safe as I am a barely moving road hazard.

Thanks for all of the responses and for the patience with my lack of knowledge on this subject.
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