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Old 04-22-2014, 12:23 PM   #1
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Secondary starter solenoid

I am trying to swap out my secondary starter solenoid in the maintenance bay and I thought wrong when I disconnected the negative terminals on the chassis bats.I still have power to the line feed to the solenoid. What all I've done is shut shore power to the coach, switch off chassis and coach disconnect all negative cables on chassis bats and removed one positive cable on chassis bat. The other chassis bat positive post looks like a tarantula back there.Could someone point me in the safe direction as to shutting the power off to this solenoid.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:40 PM   #2
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NOPE--this was the point of the earlier thread--the feed wire to secondary solenoid is wired hot to the battery [just like the primary solenoid and the starter motor itself]. Only way to disconnect is to remove the + battery cable on the chassis bats. Suggestion was to cap off that hot wire and reroute to one of the terminals controlled by the main chassis cutoff switch in the bat/maint compartment...
PS--the chassis and house battery banks have a cross-over/common ground cable between them.
PSS- ref the house bats + post on an 03, I reroute several of the positive cables on + house bat post to the main fuse block lugs on the bulkhead. Probably not needed but I then upgraded the main cable from the house bats to the main fuse lug from 0-2 to 0-4.
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Old 04-22-2014, 09:11 PM   #3
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Well it looks like I'll have to remove all those cables off that rear bat positive terminal and hopefully without arcing on anything.That's a busy terminal for sure,any helpful words other than good luck and be careful ?
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:34 PM   #4
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If you are just changing out the remote solenoid, it would be easier to cut a short piece of rubber hose or shrink tube just large enough to slip over the always-positive wire/eye-terminal. Then be careful not to ground-stroke the wire when you take it off the solenoid, h slip the insulating tube over the bare metal.
Then go about changing out the solenoid.
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Old 04-22-2014, 11:23 PM   #5
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Mike I've been thinking about the very same method to isolate that hot wire. I have a few different hose sizes in the shop. I just had to laugh when I was lining out my tools to get started on this task. While looking at the solenoid on the coach I noticed the large terminal on the left side of the solenoid did not have a retainer nut to hold the eye/wire on the terminal. So I've dodged a bullet replacing this solenoid,makes me wonder how long the darn nut has been off.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:30 AM   #6
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If you have a post connection on the chassis bats just lift the post connector, not the thru bolt on the cables. Turning off the main chassis switch should kill most of the arc issues but a few parasitic draws [unswitched] may still arc a bit......
PS--Based on the earlier posts, I switched the secondary solenoid feed wire to the "Cab Power Block" which is next to the engine heater solenoids, and is a chassis switched source.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:38 AM   #7
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Jim,

Other than using insulated wrenches when working on House or Chassis batteries, the best approach when disconnecting ANY cables is to start with the primary ground ("-" polarity) first that serves the entire battery bank. This way the normally "hot" cables have no ground reference unless the positive & negative posts are shorted (one reason for insulated wrenches!).

Just an FYI since you discussed disconnecting the cables.
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Old 04-23-2014, 02:46 PM   #8
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The operation went well.Thanks to all for your advise.
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Old 04-23-2014, 02:56 PM   #9
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Curious--does anyone see a problem with reconnecting the secondary solenoid feed wire to a switchable chassis source, eg, the Cab power block right next door to the grid heater solenoids on the 03? I was surveying a friend's Tiffin product this AM in prep for a long trip and found that the Phaeton also has a hot [unswitched] wire from the bat to the secondary starter solenoid????
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:18 PM   #10
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I see no problem with using a KeyOn-switched 12v source to feed the hot side of the remote solenoid.
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:22 PM   #11
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EM--not exactly--I capped the OEM hot feed wire and rerouted/used the nearby fuse block for the front cab area [switched by the main chassis switch] to power the secondary solenoid. Rather than adding another switch, I figured the ability to switch off the chassis power [ie, kill the secondary solenoid feed] would halt a run away starter motor until I could determine what happened.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:48 PM   #12
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Scout- that's essentially the same thing I did by adding a kill switch inline on the hot leg to the solenoid.
I thought you were asking about taking the feed off a source that is hot only w/the KeyOn, which would also be fine IMO. The hot leg & the leg back to the starter's interior solenoid are #10, so you can't just tap off anything you find; it would probably take a fat relay or solenoid.

And now that I think about it, that's probably why this circuit is the goofy design it is in the first place. You need a healthy amp rating to kick the starter, and its beyond the usual Bosch 30A/40A relay off some KeyOn signal. And it would be kinda silly to have a solenoid to a solenoid to a solenoid, right?
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:04 PM   #13
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Duno--but after 13 years of learning about my Alpine, I have an all new appreciation for what is/is not silly [smile]. Agree with you in principle--the OEM feed wire to the secondary solenoid looks like #10. The switched front cab block I tapped looks like #2 or maybe #4 cable. Assume that cab block has some sort of reset breaker so my tap is "fused." Given that the OEM feed wire was #10, I figured the secondary solenoid in question was actually activating a "primary" solenoid on the starter motor itself--the primary being tied to the the bats via a larger cable to carry the higher amps needed for the primary. In effect, we have a secondary driving a primary solenoid already--do I hear a bid for three [not]?????? I love these puzzles!!!!
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:43 AM   #14
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I think there really are three. The key switch could be considered a manual solenoid.Turn the key to start, it activates the secondary solenoid. The secondary solenoid activates the primary solenoid. The primary solenoid activities the starter. The wires get bigger and shorter at each step. In Vansco coaches there are at least two additional solid state solenoids with an input driving an output at both the front and rear before the mechanical solenoids. Sometimes puzzles are only puzzling if you think about them to long.
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