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Old 05-21-2013, 09:08 AM   #29
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I spent some time looking into solid state relays. They're ~$100+ rated for the application. For some reason the higher amp DC rated units are MOSFET design while comparably sized AC types are SCR, probably due to concerns Dave raises.

So after thinking this over I'm with Wil. Its worthy of a simple improvement to alleviate the emergency scramble to uncouple the battery, and wiring the SRS load input off the battery switch takes care of that. The buzzer is also a good idea, although for me I think I'll run that up to the driver's area. For initial startup of the day I start then do a walk-around which would catch the buzzer, but for a lunch stop I just start & go so I wouldn't hear it back by the engine. I haven't used either Spare1 or Spare2 of the spare wires WRV left me that run from batt compartment to dash yet, so there's a good excuse. And I can do the source rewire immediately, then go shopping for the buzzer.

Wil- what did you do w/the original input wire from the split loom?
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:09 AM   #30
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I just ordered a spare Cole Hersee solenoid and was about to research a modification similar to Wil's. Any recommendations on wire size & buzzer? The local auto parts as car type mountable horns and backup beepers. I'm considering the use of a backup beeper mounted close to the solenoid where I can hear it while walking past the engine service compartment. I always start the coach and then walk back to hook up the car so I'd hear the beeping.

This is an excellent thread on a modification that could prove to save time & MONEY!
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:50 AM   #31
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The original wires between the starter and SRS had heated and the insulation was soft. The Cummins tech ran new wires and cut the old ones at the starter end where they enter the loom. I occasionally try to remember to check for any voltage or resistance to ground on these wires at the SRS end. It appears that they didn't heat enough to short to any other wires.

I found a fairly loud back up beeper and I can hear it during the start cycle most of the time. If in doubt I open the door and listen. My wife can heat it most of the time. I mounted it in the battery compartment. FYI - this failed at 42K miles.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:04 AM   #32
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I leave for Alaska in a few days, so I don't have much time to work on a solution to this issue, but the discussion has me concerned. Even though my motto is "that which you are worried about is not what will fail", I have decided on a quick fix temporary solution. I found a 200 amp, center off, manual switch and a 12 v buzzer in in my pile of surplus electronics. I can wire the buzzer to an extra RG59 video cable that runs from the drivers area back near the relay (I previously replaced all my video cables with RG6). I will rewire the starter relay through the 200 amp manual switch. If my buzzer stays on, I can move the switch to the center off position, and if the relay fails open, I can use the switch in the 3rd position as an emergency starter switch.

Given my motto, this will also ensure that the relay will not fail on my trip.

I have a question about the use of the Cole Hersee relay. It is designed as a continuous duty relay. Why not select a relay that is specifically designed as a starter solenoid relay? Again, I am concerned about the contact life of a relay that may not be designed to switch large inductive loads.

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Old 05-22-2013, 01:32 PM   #33
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Dave- as you note, any proper starter relay should give many thousands of reliable starts, and our load is pretty small by comparison (we are only jumping to the actual starter relay/Bendix on the Cummins starter, not actual Cummins starter motor. Relays of this type tho, are not 100% inspected/tested, only sampled at best even w/name brands. So failures are inevitable. I've replaced a few in my time, tho never one that failed in the ON mode. IMO it needs a safety shut off for the Failure ON mode, and a buzzer to indicate Failure ON would be nice.
Your switch + buzzer sounds like a good upgrade. Especially w/a manual bypass to start; now you wouldn't have to deal w/it in the dirt so to speak changing out a failed SRS.
I'd recommend to always carry a spare SRS of some type, good for at least 30A.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:14 AM   #34
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If the SRS fails on, a quick fix might be a sharp blow with a wrench or hammer. If this does not turn the starter motor off then disconnect the ground cable at the battery.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:51 AM   #35
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A preliminary search for solenoids on the net gives a price range of $20-30 for a basic solenoid; $50-60 for an "intermitten-use"; and $100+ for a higher amp/continuous-use model. Funny--most auto parts store insist that you provide a model and year of vehicle--unless you have a part number. Anyway, thinking after 10 years of faithful service, it may be time to replace the solenoid on my 03. Kind of a "belt and suspenders" approach but also considering rerouting the feed wire to the main cut-off switch and installing a buzzer, just in case.

PS--there are a lot of generic solenoid applications, many are for 24v and 48v systems so make sure the one you select is 12v--asssume it makes a difference.
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:14 AM   #36
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Glad I used the term "preliminary." There are lots of solenoids on the Amazon, at varying prices. Ref my earlier comments, has anyone stumbled across the warning to use only "diode suppressed" solenoids on computer-controlled engines?
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:19 AM   #37
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My Cole Hersee accessory solenoid failed last year and I replaced it with a genuine USA made Cole Hersee solenoid. That one worked once before failing to make contact. Exchanged that and the same happened with the second one! Got my money back and bought a NAPA generic replacement (made in China) and that has worked fine ever since.
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:27 PM   #38
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Slightly inboard of the SRS you should find the rather large, and little used, black bakelite case solenoid that Cummins supplied for the grid heater. Assuming you don't need the grid heater at the moment, and most of us rarely do, you could reposition the grid heater solenoid to the SRS location as a spare, continue your trip & replace the SRS when you get to a comfy location where parts are available.
Make sure to safe the leads to/from the grid heater solenoid if you do this.

If you are looking for the SRS #10 Wht Perma-Hot point of connection that gives us this always-hot condition, I believe it is the #12 Blue wire on the Chassis +12v pass-thru stud (engine side of chassis rail). It appears there is a #10 Wht/#12 Blue splice about 4" back from the terminal ring. If you want to know how I fugured that out- you will have to attend the Texas Heritage Rally Gearhead Session, which should be a hoot.
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:56 PM   #39
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As Rose the Stalker would say, "Phase 1- complete." Disconnect installed:

I put in a Dorman # 85904Z 35A 2-pole On/Off switch inline in the perma-hot #10 wire to the SRS. Now if the starter has a run-on condition, I flip this switch. Happens there is a 1/2" hole, perfect for the switch install, no drilling, just to the inboard side of the SRS; I just used the handy Swiss Army Knife (studiously avoiding all arterial attack modes ) to carve out the WRV white rubber caulk that non-quite filled the hole & spliced the 1046B #10 wire to the switch terminals.

Now to add the Radio Shack# 273-068 piezo buzzer. I'm thinking it'll mount under the bed, and I'll use the pulse option (has pulse & steady alarm, just pick a terminal you like for ground on the potted buzzer).
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:02 PM   #40
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FWIW - Two winters ago in Pahrump, NV me and a friend changed his starter on His 2003 Monaco MH, same ISL400 alpines have. It was not a hard job, but it gets heavy holding up the starter and installing a bolt. We had to twist the mounting plate on the starter around to match what we took off, that was not hard either. You can buy a Torx Socket which then makes this job easier, since you have the correct tool for this job and future events if necessary.

Based on what I read here, carrying a spare solenoid would be a good idea, light in weight and may save you a tow down the road a piece. Turning off the master switches will kill the ignition system, so the starter motor will stop running, which also kills power to house/chassis, but will stop the problem, until you can disconnect a battery cable and fix the problem for good.

I have at least two solenoids under that area and I will have to figure out which one/two to get and carry spares for. I routinely check and clean battery cables, but since we went to AGM's the corrosion problem has gone away.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:29 PM   #41
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Nope--as the thread points out, both the starter motor and the solenoid at the heart of this thread are wired directly to the bats--no switching.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:47 PM   #42
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So if the contacts weld, the starter runs on till you wrench the battery negative cable loose. Unless you install a switch to take the 12V away, or reroute the feed to the battery cutoff switch.
BTW, if going to the batt cutoff switch, make sure to safe the end of the perma-hot #10. Its still perma-hot so if you contact ground w/it you will do some welding. That's why I put the shrink tube over the switch contacts in post#39, less stuff to accidentally ground. Not shown in the photo, I slid a 1/5" piece of split loom over the perma-hot stud on the SRS; one less thing to accidentally contact & make a spark.
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