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Old 06-28-2015, 01:21 PM   #1
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At Wit's End

My 97 Bounder engine died while sitting at the house running smoothly this morning. It is a Chevy chassis with the 454 7.4L engine. It has been giving us trouble since we bought it 3 weeks ago by not starting every time. I thought it was the CB-115 and/or the aux start solenoid in the BCC so I replaced both components. After sitting for a while and relays clicking away in the BCC it started and ran fine. Later that day it wouldn't start again so the previous owner told me it did this once with him but after operating the switch above the MH door for the main battery disconnect it started so I tried that (although I had many times before) and this time it worked. It failed again later but operating the switch again brought the power back to the ignition and it started.

I thought it was the switch so I order a new switch. It won't be here till July 3rd.

Today it started right up for me and I let it run while I worked on a few other things around the MH. This is all happening while at the house on 30 amp shore power.

I can't remember if it happened before or after I disconnected shore power but I was checking the water in the bathroom sink and came back to the front to turn off the engine and noticed it had died. Of course it wouldn't start so I tried operating the switch at the battery disconnect but this time it did not help.

The chassis battery was replaced October 2014. And the voltage at the battery reads 13.64 VDC. At the BCC the voltage is 12.24 VDC. I even hooked my car up to it this morning with jumper cables and it still doesn't start.
I have had shore power connected again for over 30 minutes and it still doesn't start.

I am at wit's end folks. This is my first RV Rodeo and it is kicking my rear.
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:30 PM   #2
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I've been having a whole lot of issues with my rv since I bought it as well. If the previous owner says that it's the main and aux battery switch panel and you've been playing around with it and it works/won't work and since you've already bought a new switch panel I would wait for that to come in and install it and see if in fact that is the problem. You might want to check your fuses as well and check out the wiring. Maybe something is loose somewhere.

One thing that I'm still trying to learn about fixing the problems with my rv is to be patient and double check everything. I'm still working on the "being patient" part because I expect to see results after I've been working on something. Most of the time it hasn't happened that way and just like you, it drives me crazy not being able to figure it out.
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:33 PM   #3
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I think you're onto something if the switch does the trick....sometimes. Too bad you have to wait until the weekend to find out. Can you jump the switch and see if that makes things happen all the time?

Failing that, can you hook up a test light to the engine before starting, and sip a beer while the engine is idling...and notice whether the light goes out the same time the engine dies? That might confirm loss of electrical power.
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:44 PM   #4
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Steve,

I think this boils down to basic engine trouble-shooting. Your engine just happens to be in an RV. So, let's back up a bit.

You say it runs fine (when it starts) then just quits. This is typical fuel filter clogging or fuel obstruction problem. But, then you seem to infer that your starter will not engage when you try to restart after it quits. Which, as you diagnosed, is typically an electrical issue.

I guess I am a bit confused at this point as to where the problem exists. If your engine will turn over, but not start you can rule out electrical to the starter. If your engine runs OK once it sits for a while you can rule out spark. So, this basically boils down to fuel. I would certainly put on a new fuel filter and see what this does for your issue.

Just a thought.

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Old 06-28-2015, 02:45 PM   #5
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voltmeter

A volt meter could become your best friend in figuring this problem out. If you have one think I'd try putting it across your starting battery to see that it stays up above 10.5 volts. (while cranking or trying to crank) It that is good then see if you can get to the wire (usually a red wire) that brings the 12v to the ignition sw. See that the voltage stays up when trying to start. If that is good go the the start terminal of the same switch and see if it stays up there. Next you may need to put your meter on the solenoid terminal on the engine to see if you're getting 12 there.

You may need a helper while you hold the meter leads onto the various points and have them try the key, but you can get leads for your meter that clip on and you can do the tests alone.
Hope this helps
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:54 PM   #6
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FWIW since I don't have one of these to be sure. It seems there should be two sets of batteries. Did you check both sets? Assuming there is a chassis set and a house set the AUX start solenoid would be used to boost the chassis batteries from the house batteries and/or allow the chassis system to charge the house when driving. If I thought I had a problem with the house batteries messing up the chassis batteries I would disconnect the BCC relay and see if I had 12 VDC on the chassis side. If I did I would concentrate on why the chassis did not run on it's own system. If I did not have 12 VDC with the BCC disconnected that would be the first thing I wanted to understand. ;-)
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:05 PM   #7
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Rick,

I am in the process of swapping my known good Aux Battery switch to use on the Main battery. Marking all the wires to keep things straight. I should know something in a few minutes and will repost. Thanks to all for the other tips I will look into if this doesn't work!

Steve
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bassbuds View Post
Rick,

I am in the process of swapping my known good Aux Battery switch to use on the Main battery. Marking all the wires to keep things straight. I should know something in a few minutes and will repost. Thanks to all for the other tips I will look into if this doesn't work!

Steve
Well, the switch swap did not help so I will look further. This is the longest it has been dead so whatever was intermittent has gone out apparently. I am not getting any power in cab from chassis battery. The engine makes no sound at all as if the battery is not connected or way low. No headlights, horn, radio, power steps.
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:39 PM   #9
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When you say it doesn't start what does it do? Does it turn over? Is it turning slow? Also is it carbureted or fuel injected.
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:42 PM   #10
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It does nothing when I turn the key. As if the battery is disconnected or totally dead. I'm not sure about fuel injection or not.
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:51 PM   #11
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One at a time, move the wires, to the same side of each solenoid. If nothing changes, put it back and try another.


You changed them, but did you change them to the correct ones. Maybe the last guy put the wrong ones in.


Send pictures of what you changed.
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:37 PM   #12
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I'm not sure how to post photos. The solenoid Fleetwood sent me has an insulated mounting bracket. The original mounted directly to the metal BCC box which would have made it grounded. Since it started after 15 minutes or so I thought everything was ok.
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:41 PM   #13
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Probably obvious, but have you cleaned the battery connections.
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:50 PM   #14
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I cleaned them at the battery and the cables that I disconnected from the solenoid. I have a charger on the battery right and it is still connected to shore power also, which may be causing another problem.

Here is the photo comparing original solenoid on the left to the new one on right.
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