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Old 07-08-2009, 07:11 PM   #1
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ISC 330 cranking slow

I have a 2002 Diplomat with an ISC330. Last week I went to start it up before going away for the 4th. It would not start and it cranked as if the batteries were dead. It was sitting in the driveway for about 5 weeks and the last time I had it out I had no problems or symptoms of problems. It generally starts right up within 5-10 secs. I was able to get a mechanic to come out, checked the connections positive and negative. I cleaned all the terminals and connections, removed the batteries and had them tested one was bad and the other was "marginal" So I put 2 new 1000 cca batteries in, fully charged and I get the same problem. Slow almost dead cranking. Red lead from the batteries gets warm. I had another mechanic in on Monday and after looking over everything he believed that the starter(although cranking) was drawing too much amperage. So he changed the starter. Yes you guessed it same thing slow crank, too slow to start. Checked the oil fine, no residue, some good news at least no metal in the oil! Although I had changed the oil in April. He is returning tomorrow to "bar" the engine. I'm not sure what this means, he is doing this while I'm at work. I was not able to find the ground lead on the engine so I had jumpered the ground from the battery direct to the engine. Same effect slow cranking, too slow to start it. Any suggestions as to what it could be?
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:26 PM   #2
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I have no idea what it could be, but did you start the genset and let it run awhile before you tried cranking the engine? Did you try the battery boost using your house batteries? Since you had two batteries go bad, maybe you have some kind of draw on the batteries while setting. s/Toby
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:49 PM   #3
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I didn't try the genset however I did use the auxilary start switch and it didn't change the cranking speed. I checked the battery voltage both at the intelec panel and direct from the battery with the main power switch off / on. I do not have an amp meter to see if there is any type of additional draw.
thanks for the input. I'll try the genset approach tomorrow.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:31 PM   #4
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Well you have replaced everything except the 12 vdc positive cable from the battery to the starter. Could be the cable is corroded and not making good contact in the cable ends. That normally cannot be seen until some of the insulation is removed near the cable end. Try a jumper cable from the battery positive post to the starter motor and see if that works. If so, replace the cable.

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Old 07-08-2009, 09:51 PM   #5
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Well you have replaced everything except the 12 vdc positive cable from the battery to the starter. Could be the cable is corroded and not making good contact in the cable ends. That normally cannot be seen until some of the insulation is removed near the cable end. Try a jumper cable from the battery positive post to the starter motor and see if that works. If so, replace the cable.

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Yep. Usually the cable that's warmest is the one that's giving the issue. Other possibility is that even though the batteries were new, they could have been at the store for awhile and partially discharged, but since the symptoms haven't changed that's not as likely.
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:49 PM   #6
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The adventure continues. Tried the generator, tried the jump red lead direct to starter. Same symptom slow cranking --> to no cranking in less than 10 seconds. Mechanic is returning tomorrow. Batteries are fully charged. Latest theory is that an injector could be leaking, leaving fuel in the cylinder. He plans on manually turning the engine backwords. I'm lost, may need to get it towed to a cummins shop. There are 2 main wires going to the starter, one from the battery. Any idea where the other one is connected to?
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:58 PM   #7
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Let me get this straight, is the engine turning over slow, or does it spin normally just longer before it starts running?
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:53 AM   #8
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It turns over slow for about 10 seconds, getting slower as you hold the key, just like the batteries are dead. It does not start. It's cranking too slow. Let it sit for awhile and the same thing is repeated.
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:25 AM   #9
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OK, wanted to clarify that.

What you have is high resistance somewhere in the cables, as they get hotter the resistance gets higher and imitates a dying battery.

A simple test you can do is take a test lamp, clip it to the positive battery terminal and touch it to the starter post where the positive connects. If it lights up at all you have a significant voltage drop across the positive cable. Repeat for the negative cable.

Electricity always takes the easy way out. A test light is easier than a bad cable, and once it crosses the bulb it'll make it glow. How much depends on how bad the cable is.

Do this with as much turned on as possible to increase the load. It's also safe to do with someone cranking the engine.

The other cable coming off the starter is probably the main 12V feed for the coach, or comes from the genset batteries, but I can't say for certain.
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:38 AM   #10
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thanks SK for the additional feedback. I've bypassed both the hot lead to the starter and the ground lead to the frame. One at a time by adding a 2 guage wire between them. There is an additional ground wire from the mounting bolt of the starter to the frame. As I cannot find where the ground from the batteries attaches to either the frame or the engine I attached the ground to this ground at the frame. If I read the schematics properly the extra wire on the starter solenoid fed up to the pre-heater. I even disconnected this wire to try and turn it over. No luck. I've also replaced the hot wire between the batteries. New batteries, fully charged, new starter, all main feeds bypassed, pre-heater disconnected, no progress. I read in another forum that batteries can short out under load. The voltage when turning over drops below the expected 7-10volts. Big amp draw, no turns who knows, Mechanic is due back in the next couple of hours.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:57 PM   #11
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Thanks again to those who responded, the problem was a seized alternator. The mechanic removed the belt and it fired right up. I guess I was lucky that I didn't break down on the road somewhere...... The net result, New batteries, New starter, New alternator. You can never throw enough $$ at a diesel.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:37 PM   #12
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Thanks again to those who responded, the problem was a seized alternator. The mechanic removed the belt and it fired right up. I guess I was lucky that I didn't break down on the road somewhere...... The net result, New batteries, New starter, New alternator. You can never throw enough $$ at a diesel.
Happy you found it. Bittersweet though but who would have thought an alternator would freeze up and cause those symptoms. There has to be a saying similar to the one about boats "A boat is a hole in the water that you throw money into"
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:48 PM   #13
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I gotta say that was a first for me. Probably was nearly locked up when you shut it down last time.

I've seen A/C compressors do that, and usually just lock the works down. Guess a diesel has the juice to at least try.
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:09 PM   #14
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Ya, we're all happy here, vacation starts in 2 weeks, Myrtle Beach bound. Didn't look too good for awhile. It probably locked up as I was shutting it down back in May. I didn't even get the idiot light, or maybe I missed it )
Always an adventure.

Thanks again for the feedback.
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