Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-26-2012, 11:13 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2
Alternator issues

Preparing to change my alternator on my 97 southwind. I might have to be double jointed to do it. Is it hard to do? I assume I will have to jack up the front so I can reach from underneath.

bob7889 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-27-2012, 08:14 PM   #2
Senior Member
gauto5150's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Northwest Indiana
Posts: 326
Can you remove the engine shroud inside the cab and reach it there? I did mine on a 99 Pace Arrow with a Chevy 454 and most of the work was done in the cab area.
It wasn't easy but I wouldn't consider it the worst thing I've had to do on it.

2004 Fleetwood Discovery 3126 CAT engine
gauto5150 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2012, 09:02 PM   #3
Senior Member
Skip426's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Powell River, B.C.
Posts: 15,614
Hi and Welcome to iRV2.
Cold engine , batteries disconnected, draw a diagram of the belt routing.
Be ready to get dirty. You will probably need to have access from the top and bottom. Good Luck.
99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
2000 Caravan toad, Remco & Blue Ox.
Skip426 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2012, 10:12 PM   #4
Senior Member
toadog's Avatar
National RV Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Snohomish ,WA
Posts: 419
I found that I needed my wife to hold the alternator from the the top so I could come in from the wheel well to get the main bolt in. I could not start the bolt on my own, I played with it for a half hour.
Bob & Rita Bazley, the pups Tia & Kali ( shi-poohs)
97 Dolphin 36'
toadog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2012, 07:15 PM   #5
roaddogg369's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 88
I JUST put in a new alternator in my 89 southwind. It wasn't the hardest thing to do...BUT be prepared to lay on the floor hovering over the engine while twisting your arms in ways you NEVER imagined...lol. You can do it..good luck and keep us posted
roaddogg369 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2
I pulled the alternator today and had it tested on the bench. The alternator is good and strong. This of course leaves me puzzled. Why the voltage at the battery is a lot lower than 10vdc. I need to find out what relay maybe disconnects the main battery. Does anyone have the phone number of GM for an ordering of an electrical manual? I have a 1996 Chevy P30 chassis. There is a relay box on the front right side of the motorhome. But without prints it is a guessing game.
bob7889 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2012, 07:16 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2012
Location: White City, Oregon
Posts: 240

Is this a job you just 'pay up' and leave to the 'Pro's?'
fredaevans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2012, 07:22 PM   #8
Senior Member
4Knights's Avatar
Oklahoma Boomers Club
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,796
Originally Posted by fredaevans
Is this a job you just 'pay up' and leave to the 'Pro's?'
I wouldn't think so, I replaced mine and yes, it was awkward to get installed but nowhere near the difficulty I had working on the genset. Time and patience makes the job do able.
Ron & Wendy-Kansas
94 Pace Arrow 34 ft
25 yr Army retired 2006
4Knights is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 09:04 AM   #9
Senior Member
wa8yxm's Avatar
Damon Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 23,955
Believe it or not it can often help if you are blind (In this case it means working on things you can not see). Never done the job you are talking about but have done a few not far removed, I think auto manufacturers, and this includes RV's have contests for their engineers "How can we make this harder to do".

Song reference (I like singing you see) "The Designer"

Home is where I park it!
wa8yxm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 09:14 AM   #10
Iangolf's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 91
I assume based on the volt reading that the engine will not crank. Have you had the battery tested? If there is a dead short in the battery the volts will read low if you put your meter leads on the battery posts. Just a thought.
Ian, Debi, Shannon, Brendan and Dillan

Plus Fiona a minature Goldendoodle
Iangolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 09:41 AM   #11
Senior Member
Jim_HiTek's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Full time RV'er
Posts: 1,760
There might be a 'Field' voltage coming from the ignition system that adjusts the alternators output voltage...there's usually a diode in that line along with the usual wires and connections. A bad diode or corroded connection can cause your symptom. (Note that some alternators have their own internal voltage regulator so wouldn't have that system, but many older rigs do).

And it certainly could be a corroded cable connection between the alternator, the 'Main' solenoid, and the chassis battery. And the solenoid could be bad. Several places to look, so maybe follow the fat cable from the alternator back to the battery control center. Measure the output voltage along the route.

My rig had this same problem where it would occasionally not charge the batteries and it turned out to be a corroded connection to the 'Field' terminal on the alternator. The corrosion caused a lower then normal voltage to the field, which caused the alternator to put out around 10V.
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

Visit my RV Travel & Repair Blog at : http://chaos.goblinbox.com
Jim_HiTek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2012, 09:47 AM   #12
Senior Member
Ramblin's Avatar
National RV Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Ford Super Duty Owner
Carolina Campers
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,253
10VDC kinda implies a bad cell to my mind. Doesn't each cell contribute 2VDC to the battery output?

6cells X 2VDC = 12VDC
5cells X 2VDC = 10VDC

I'd disconnect the battery and have it tested before becoming a contortionist.

2002 National Dolphin LX 6356
Workhorse W-22 chassis
Don't believe everything you think.
Ramblin is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:58 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.