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Old 04-03-2013, 12:10 AM   #1
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12volt, transmission and engine issues.

When I turn the knob on the headlight pull switch the dash light illuminate normally but I noticed at the same time all my instrument readings become lower. Batteries are fully changed so it should not be a low power problem. I was thinking it could be a ground issue...

Also, while driving I was getting errors on my allison world 3060 transmission loss of power, the mechanic moved the wires from the house to the chassis battery and that seemed to fix the problem. MH sat for two months and house batteries were very low probably causing the loss of power problem. (so the mechanic thinks)

This evening I started up the engine and was getting the same transmission errors, the cu would go blank, beep a bunch of times and do not shift light would appear. the tach bounced a couple times, at the same time the lady in the coach told me that I had an alternator failure. Ever since this episode the cu has cats eyes + + and the do not shift light is on, I turned the engine off and now the engine will not start.

The last thing I did was clean all my battery terminals prior to starting today. I am plugged into shore power, when testing the power voltages gives me 13.5volts on my house batteries (4 6volt new) and only 12 on my chassis batteries (these look very old not sure age)

When looking at the grounding post in the battery area where all the battery grounds come together, looks like there is some corrosion, so I might want to pull the batteries and get in there and clean that up.
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:38 AM   #2
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I would find any and all grounds alot of times that is where the issue is at, it is easy to clean them up and don't cost anything after that try to start it up if your cranking batterys are up then it should fire off check them with a meter to be sure and while it's all apart have them tested won't hurt then you will know the state there in.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:06 PM   #3
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Will your battery boost switch cause your engine to start? If not, try holding it on without cranking for a minute or two to shift some voltage to the chassis battery before trying to crank the engine.

If that works, then check your voltage at the chassis battery terminals when the engine/alternator is running. If not 13.6V or so, the alternator voltage is too low or not reaching the battery.

Just replaced my alternator last week and that fixed my no tach problem.

Dash lights and transmission operation are driven by the chassis batteries on my rig. Perhaps your chassis batteries are not up to the task.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:53 PM   #4
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Dean you are right on target. My battery was too low. 11.5 volts. I put the battery charger on them. After checking all the grounds that I could find, I started testing amperage, connected to shore power my house batteries were up to 13.5... But the chassis battery was below 12 and not getting any better. I turned my generator on and after a few minutes of running the cats eyes on the transmission cleared and I was able to start the motor right up.

I understand after reading my manual that the chassis battery does not charge with shore power like the house batteries do, but I wonder why the chassis battery is depleting after a week of siting. Of course I did not flip the disconnect switch so there could be something drawing power, I will check the amp draw with the switch on and off to figure that out.

It does not make much sense to me that shore power would not charge chassis as well as the house batteries, is that how all coaches are? Would you suggest getting a charger on those as well. I am using an inteli-power pd9260c smart charger for the house batteries. I still see the heart inverter which i think can be used for charging, but I am not sure that is doing any charging since the inteli power was installed.

How do you keep the chassis battery charged? I read where people just run a 14 guage wire with clips from + on the house batteries to the + on the chassis batteries. Is that the best solution when plugged into shore power?
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:34 AM   #5
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Did you get it tested your battery still could be weak, and there will be things drawing power from the battery while parked. You hit the disconnect while it's parked for the cranking batterys if it still goes down without anything drawing off it then it's going south, if you have a meter with the 12V amp draw setting you can see if there is a draw while sitting
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:55 AM   #6
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Hi Knight rider, that's a great idea, I do not have a tester like that but my mobile guy is coming over Friday to look at the air conditioner. I bet he will have that kind of tester, I will ask him to check those. Both chassis batteries look as old as the coach, where the house batteries were just changed they are 4 6volt batteries. So I trust the house batteries only.

Looking at the trick-l-start device to keep both charged while plugged in. Anyone have experience with these devices?
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:56 AM   #7
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I would take those cranking batteys and have them tested to make sure they hold power enough to crank that unit even after sitting for a while.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:33 AM   #8
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My reply is in red in your quoted questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobioknight View Post
Dean you are right on target. My battery was too low. 11.5 volts. I put the battery charger on them. After checking all the grounds that I could find, I started testing amperage, connected to shore power my house batteries were up to 13.5... But the chassis battery was below 12 and not getting any better. I turned my generator on and after a few minutes of running the cats eyes on the transmission cleared and I was able to start the motor right up.

In my Gillig manual, there is about 6 pages of detailed instructions on how to test your alternator to see if it is working properly. I just replaced mine for about $300 plus 1 hr of R&R.

I understand after reading my manual that the chassis battery does not charge with shore power like the house batteries do, but I wonder why the chassis battery is depleting after a week of siting. Of course I did not flip the disconnect switch so there could be something drawing power, I will check the amp draw with the switch on and off to figure that out.

There will always be power draws on the chassis battery unless you use the cutoff switch.

My two 8D batteries are fine after four weeks of storage without using the cutoff switch. The volt reading may drop to 12.4 vdc but that is more than adequate with 1300 cca in each of the three year old batteries.

My guess is your chassis batteries are marginal or your alternator is not up to snuff

It does not make much sense to me that shore power would not charge chassis as well as the house batteries, is that how all coaches are?

Many rigs will not charge the chassis batteries from shore or gen power.

You can add a Trick-L-Start dohinkus that can shift voltage from the house batteries to the chassis batteries. I have not installed such.


Would you suggest getting a charger on those as well. I am using an inteli-power pd9260c smart charger for the house batteries. I still see the heart inverter which i think can be used for charging, but I am not sure that is doing any charging since the inteli power was installed.

I still use the original 2500W Heart Inverter to do the smart charging. It works fine and requires little interaction on my part except for the Equalizing function.

How do you keep the chassis battery charged? I read where people just run a 14 guage wire with clips from + on the house batteries to the + on the chassis batteries. Is that the best solution when plugged into shore power?

I have used a jumper cable in that fashion to keep the transmission running when the alternator failed enroute. The chassis batteries discharged and shut down the engine because the transmission requires battery voltage to operate.

I did this so I could reach my destination and replace the alternator.

I would not recommend that format for routine operation.


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Old 04-04-2013, 06:52 PM   #9
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Following up on deandec, later models of CC had a charger for the engine batteries while on shore power. On my 2000 Magna, CC installed a Heart Interface Echo Charge to keep the engine batteries charged. It is capable of delivering 15 amp to the engine batteries.

On the Winnebago I owned before this coach, I installed a Trik-L-Start to keep its engine batteries charged while on shore power and it worked fine. I believe it is capable of delivering 5 amp to the engine batteries.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:37 PM   #10
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Echoing to phays' comment... on my cc, chassis battery is always getting charged whenever house batteries are fed, either on shore power or solar. it's all managed by heart interface. i did my solar connections myself, and the wires from mppt controller are connected to house batteries only. never had a problem on charging.
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:19 PM   #11
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We have Battery minder on each of our there Battery systems, always good.

Simple test cannot verify Battery is good, only can tell if bad.

Good requires long test with load
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