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Old 06-16-2009, 03:38 PM   #1
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Bounder charging system

I have a 2000 fleetwood bounder that is having some charging issues and I not sure where to start. Installed new battery(under the hood) and it drains it in short order. It won't even jump start now. The Deep cycle batteries I know are in need of replacement as well, but that shouldn't affect the starting of the engine should it? I think the alternator is at fault but I don't know where to find one. It is a workhorse chassis with a 454 GM, will a regular parts house have what I need? If so how do I know what amperage to buy? Also I need to know where to find other parts locally, if possible for this motorhome. Thanks to all that can shed some light. P.S. I live in Northern California, north bay area.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:42 AM   #2
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mgnmarin, welcome to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us here and hope to be of some help. I am not sure if you know how to use a volt, Ohm meter but you should get one and learn how to use it, in and around your motor home. It is a very informative tool. Check the voltage of batteries before the engine is running and compare that voltage to when the engine is running. This will let you know if the alternator is working. One way to get the right part is to remove the bad one and take it with you to the parts store. They can even check it if you don't know how. You may have a core charge on the new part anyway. Have the batteries checked. I have even seen new batteries with a bad cell in them. Once you have good batteries then you can check the charging systems. Good luck and let us know what you find and we will help you with other things.
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:25 AM   #3
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You should have no problem finding a replacement at any parts house, Just don't let them sell you one for a pick-up truck with the 8.1L engine. Make sure they match the one you have (which means bring it into the store as RV Wizard suggests).

Current Workhorse Wxx chassis come with a 145 amp alternator. Anything in that range should be sufficient.
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Old 06-18-2009, 09:21 PM   #4
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As Mike said, you need to get a voltmeter and learn how to use it.
If you are not familiar with automotive 12 volt systrems, the first few articles here http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=71062 will help a lot.

Shorted diodes in the alternator can and will discharge a battery in short order, but many other things can as well.

You need to do a "draw test" and find the source of the drain before spending any more money though.

Get a 12 volt test light. Disconnect the negative battery terminal, and connect the light in SERIES. That means one end of the light to the batteries neg terminal, and the other end to the disconnected cable, so that all the current going out of the battery must pass through the test light. (I like to use the neg side cause if you lose control of it, bad things won't happen. Pos would work too, but it better not touch any metal.)

If you have a draw, the light will glow.

Start disconnecting stuff until the light goes out. I would start with the alternator, and then move on to fuses.
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Old 06-19-2009, 08:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimM68 View Post
As Mike said, you need to get a voltmeter and learn how to use it.
If you are not familiar with automotive 12 volt systrems, the first few articles here http://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=71062 will help a lot.

Shorted diodes in the alternator can and will discharge a battery in short order, but many other things can as well.

You need to do a "draw test" and find the source of the drain before spending any more money though.

Get a 12 volt test light. Disconnect the negative battery terminal, and connect the light in SERIES. That means one end of the light to the batteries neg terminal, and the other end to the disconnected cable, so that all the current going out of the battery must pass through the test light. (I like to use the neg side cause if you lose control of it, bad things won't happen. Pos would work too, but it better not touch any metal.)

If you have a draw, the light will glow.

Start disconnecting stuff until the light goes out. I would start with the alternator, and then move on to fuses.
I understand your method but on a 2000 model the computer draw will keep the test light lite. the new way is with an amp meter in line and as you disconect things see how much they draw.
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Old 06-19-2009, 10:20 PM   #6
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I've used an ammeter as well, but ya gotta be careful, most can only do 10 amps, and ya gotta move the meter probe to get that. The test light is much safer. 'course you can always use both.

A normal draw on the chassis battery is perhaps 50 milliamps max, most I've seen are much lower even than that. That is point zero five amps, so it's not much, and would take months to draw down a good battery.

An alternator with a shorted diode might draw 5 amps or more.
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