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Old 01-07-2020, 12:29 AM   #1
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Engine wonít start

I have a 2009 Phaeton QTH with a Cummins 360 ISC. I tried to start my engine and it will not start. When I turn the ignition key I can hear a humming and a low clicking sound by the starter. My starting and house are batteries charged. I can start my generator and my starting batteries are new. I am traveling this week but looking for recommendations from those who have experienced similar issues or willing to provide input. If I canít figure it out, I will have it towed to Freightliner or have Cummins mobile mechanic come out to repair. Also, I am open to good mobile mechanic recommendations in the Tampa, FL area. Thank you.
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:25 AM   #2
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Clicking implies your engine batteries have lost their charge or you may have have a bad ground.

First I would take some car jumper cables and carefully jump your house batteries (or your car battery if that is easier) to your engine batteries.

If the engine starts then you know your you either have a short in one or both of your engine batteries... or more likely you solenoid failed and it's been draining your engine battery current.

New batteries or not, a short will only take 1-4 days to get below 11.5 volts and then you will hear a clicking noise.

Attached is a typical solenoid and battery chart for an RV. This may or may not help.

In my Itasca Horizon the solenoids are located behind a metal wall plate located above my inverter. Your's might be there or somewhere else.

Note: It's probably a good idea to replace both solenoids when you have time. These do fail and usually when you need the RV or when you are on the road. So consider yourself lucky you found your problem before you begin your next trip.

Amazon can deliver what you need in 2 days. And they have good RV quality (silver contacts) solenoids.

Trombetta 12 Volt Bear DC Contactor Part No. 114-1211-020
This is you AUX/BOOST Relay that connects your house batteries to your engine batteries --- and only works when 12V is applied to the Front + Terminal. Note:
The 12V comes from your house batteries and it also remains engaged until the voltage drops below 7.5V.

Intellitec Battery Disconnect Relay Part #: 01-00055-000
This is your Battery Cut-Off Solenoid. This one is located on the HOUSE battery circuit only.

Your solenoids maybe different, but most are universal on Class A Diesels.

FUTURE SAFETY TIP: I always carry a 36" battery cable you can pick up at Walmart for $10. This is so I can jump your house batteries to your engine battery in the event your alternator goes out... which will short your engine batteries and in about 1 hour your battery voltage will drop below ~11V... which is the minimum voltage you need to keep the engine ECM working.

This trick bought me another 100 miles of driving so I could make it to the nearest diesel mechanic so he could change my alternator. ...And another time I used it to help a stranded RVer who didn't carry one.

You see, jumper cables work when you have a tow car and need a jump, but they are no good when you need to drive your RV with a dead engine battery. That's why you need a 36" thick battery cable and you just connect the "+" on the house battery to "+" on the engine battery. (Assuming your house and engine batteries are located in the same cargo bay! ...And ground is always hooked up!)

Good luck getting your engine started. And you can google "Mobile Diesel Mechanic" for help if you need it. My guess is that you need to replace your solenoids and you can let your alternator charge your batteries.

Reminder: After you get your engine started and you DO NOT have an battery charging issues, then you know it's your solenoid shorting out and draining your battery... or another short somewhere.

How long was your RV in storage?
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:28 AM   #3
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Spark1

Imnpsrd gave you some great advice and information. Additionally, you may need to check the solenoid or relay mounted at the starter itself if you find the charge solenoid and battery combiner are not the issue.

If your batteries are showing fully charged, perhaps you can have someone turn the key while you position yourself at the rear of the coach to determine where the "clicking" noise is emitting from.

Corrosion or poor/loose connections can sometimes replicate the symptoms you are experiencing, so look/feel things over real well.

Please let us know how you make out.
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Old 01-07-2020, 05:34 AM   #4
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Bang the starter with a hammer. Drive to shop and have it replaced.
He said all his batteries are fully charged.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toribk View Post
Spark1

Imnpsrd gave you some great advice and information. Additionally, you may need to check the solenoid or relay mounted at the starter itself if you find the charge solenoid and battery combiner are not the issue.

If your batteries are showing fully charged, perhaps you can have someone turn the key while you position yourself at the rear of the coach to determine where the "clicking" noise is emitting from.

Corrosion or poor/loose connections can sometimes replicate the symptoms you are experiencing, so look/feel things over real well.

Please let us know how you make out.

Yep do that first but you can also try smacking the starter with a hammer. Not a little tap. Smack it pretty good.
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:08 PM   #6
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Trouble Shooting A Clicking Sound -- No Starter Engagement

Yes... If you are sure your batteries are fully charged and you still get clicking noises from the starter when you turn the key, it might make sense to hit it hard with a hammer... to move the armature... implying their is a bad spot causing the problem.

But... before you wack anything it's easy to do the following first:

1) Check for loose battery terminals (positive and negative).

2) Try using your "Battery Boost" switch to jump the house batteries to the engine battery; and try to start your engine.

3) Try jump-starting your engine batteries... any number of ways.

4) Find your starter relay to the key switch. If it's a standard type... remove it... clean the contacts and reinstall. If still no engine start... then replace the relay with a spare and try again.

5) Locate your Battery-Boost solenoid an probe for be sure it is secured tight against the metal wall. Why? ...Many OEM solenoids do not use a separate ground wire. Instead they ground the solenoid by mounting it to the metal.

Note: The tip-off is to look for only 3 terminals on your solenoid, because this type grounds itself to the metal. And when you replace it with a Trombetta 4-post solenoid, you just need to add a ground wire and secure it very well to the metal wall.

6) Check your starter solenoid (under your coach) for loose leads, broken wires, etc. and measure voltage at the starter motor.


7) If voltage at the starter is above 12V then rap the side of the starter motor with the side of the hammer... and try to start the engine. (Replace the starter.)

* If I missed something, or stated something wrong, please let me know?
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:20 PM   #7
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The item listed as " Starter Relay Connector " is a solenoid. Its used to take the load off the long wires from the dash.

It is often hidden somewhere between the starter and batteries. The connections can rust and corrode causing starting issues.

Often times, if the starter is hammering, clicking, its a bad battery connection.
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:27 PM   #8
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Thanks TwinBoat: Is this a good picture of an RV starter relay? I can't find anything specific to my RV. So to everyone, all of these picture are for "general use."

If anyone has a detailed Diesel RV Starter Circuit Diagram that includes the ignition swicth, starter relay, Boost Solenoid (AKA Jump Solenoid) and Battery Disconnect Solenoid... please post.

This picture comes from another member who owns a Itasca Horizon and it shows the before and after clean-up picture of his Starter Relay. ...But there appears to be 2 or 3 different devices here and I don't know what these are exactly. Can anyone clarify?
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Old 01-07-2020, 09:01 PM   #9
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It would appear to me that there are a fuse holder. A starter solenoid. And a ? Grid heater solenoid.
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Old 01-09-2020, 07:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
The item listed as " Starter Relay Connector " is a solenoid. Its used to take the load off the long wires from the dash.

It is often hidden somewhere between the starter and batteries. The connections can rust and corrode causing starting issues.

Often times, if the starter is hammering, clicking, its a bad battery connection.
This....it's rare a starter motor goes out on larger engines. If the batteries are truly topped off I would bet my lunch it's a connection or ground issue.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:33 PM   #11
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Neighbor ask me to look at his grandson ATV, it would not start. Said that the battery was fully charged. Still would not start. Told him he needed to replace the battery. He said but it is fully charged. I put my charger on it till it read 100 percent charged. Tried starting it but still would not start, changer went from 100 percent to 40 percent. Took the caps off the battery and there was no fluid in it. Got my meter and checked each cell, had 2 dead cells. He finally replace the battery and it started right up.
How much water in in your battery?
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:22 PM   #12
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Black circle is a solenoid. Has 2 large wires and 2 small control wires.

Yellow circle is a auto reset circuit breaker.

Blue circle is a fuse, under a cover.

Your RV many not have all items together, you need to find the solenoid and check it.Click image for larger version

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Old 01-11-2020, 09:10 AM   #13
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Our RV does not have a remote solenoid. Hot cable goes straight from the battery to the starter solenoid which is mounted on the starter. Just like a typical old school Chevrolet starter.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:28 AM   #14
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Does it click click click like a dead battery? Check connections for tightness. If batteries are new maybe the posts weren't tight enough. Or is your chassis battery charger on the fritz? Yes try jumping them.

Also on these big motors the starter solonoid develops a dead spot so to speak. All big trucks that I have had do this from time to time. Turn key to start and nothing. Keep hitting it to start and off start and off till it catches. I don't know why they do this but it does happen.
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