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Old 05-21-2012, 04:50 AM   #15
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You can jump from the big positive cable at the starter to the start terminal on the (small terminal) starter solenoid with a piece of small wire, if you can get to it. Providing all your connections are good from the battery and ground to the starter, that will bypass all of the start safetys(oil pressure, high temp, trans netural) be CAREFUL lots of amperage on that big wire, make sure your parking brake is set. If the starter does not turn over or at least click the solenoid or starter is bad. Happy hunting
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:37 AM   #16
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Diesel Fool, there have been a lot of good recommendations made on this thread but my recommendation is that we combine them into a quick logical step by step procedure that will help us help you to figure out what is wrong. I have listed them in order:

1. Turn on the ignition switch and check that the Allison transmission keypad has lights on. If this is dark then the transmission logic locks you out of starting the motor.

2. Turn on the headlights and have the DW stand in front of the MH and watch what happens when you turn the key all the way to start. If the headlights stay bright then it is not a battery problem or a large battery cable problem. If the batteries where bad or you had a bad connection then the headlights and dashlights will go out when you try and start the motor. This means you can stop messing with the big battery cables.

3. Now have the DW go back and stand just behind the curb side rear wheel and listen while you try and start the motor. Try it several times. If no clicking from the starter solenoid then the starter solenoid is not being energized by the key being turned to the start position. This means that something from that ignition switch to the starter solenoid is disconnected or broken. This could be the ignition switch, the NEUTRAL Safety switch in the Allison Control Box or the starter solenoid itself or the small 12-14 gauge wire connecting the ignition switch to the solenoid or a fuse. I believe there is a fuse inline on that circuit on most motorhomes.

If you tell us the answer to all three of those questions above then we can logically go from there.

Just a couple of things on towing. The tow truck guy normally is the one that will disconnect the driveshaft for you. Yes you need to mark it with a black Sharpie so it goes back on the same way. You need to also remove any mudflaps that go across the back of the mh. The tow truck will connect an air hose from his truck to your mh and pump air into your system so you can inflate your air bags to the drive position. I had to actually inflate my rear bags manually higher so my trailer hitch did not drag.

Let us know what you find out.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:51 AM   #17
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Hi-


Pulling what's left of my hair out.

2004 Newmar Cat 300 will not start 38K miles

About a week ago I replaced both batteries on the diesel side. The house batteries were fine. The coach started with no problem. Next day replaced 9 of the 10 LED marker lights & all lit up perfectly. Next replaced 1 burned out tail lamp bulb & my wife started coach to check all signals: LH, RH, back up, 4 way. Made the mistake (?) of turning off ignition right after testing lamps instead of letting it run 5-10 minutes. Half an hour later started again, tested signals & again turned off the ignition too soon (?) - did not let it run 5-10 minutes which is or is not advised with diesel. I dont know.

Next day would not crank. Dash lights up, wait to start & hear the usual sounds as is it waking up behind the dash. Also hear electronic activity back by the engine like something is being energized. But no cranking whatsoever. Check engine light illuminates.

Checked all the flat blade style fuses, front & rear and all show green with tester. Checked new diesel & older house batteries with multi meter & shows OK voltage. Read about Silver Leaf electronics VMSpc code reader here & ordered one. Loaded it to a Vista laptop & plugged into the port above the diesel in the rear. (I dont know if there is supposed to be another port under the dash.) But I get no diagnostics if I open that software before or after turning the ignition key to on.

Im stumped. Did I screw up some relay or ??? by not letting it run 5-10 minutes. Never started & shut it down quickly before. Im not opposed to getting a service call, but towing out of my driveway would probably be near impossible because of the incline with a sharp narrow turn at the end. Im calling Silver Leaf tomorrow, their screen loads but clicking on diagnostics does not produce a list of anything. No codes appear.


Diesel Fool 34 Freightliner chassis / Newmar Kountry Star coach bought new (never a problem before except dash AC which was fixed 4 times under warranty & crapped out within a mile of leaving Branford, CT Freightliner.) Im reluctant to go back there for that on my dime.
There is no reason to run a diesel for five minutes if it has not been driven. The idea of the idling for five minutes is to allow the temps in the engine to normalize (equalize) before shutting down. (and to allow the turbo to cool.)
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:28 PM   #18
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Thank you all again.

I'm giving up - too much for my arthritis to crawl under anymore with all the rain we are getting. Getting ready for a tow. Now have to get the electric step to retract. This is the second crap out for that. First one lasted till warranty ended.

New dilemma: for towing - to remove the rear mud flap - I took a quick look & saw the chains welded on. Didn't examine closely. Boy those Newmar folk are sure proud of their name with that huge stainless cutout with their name emblazoned over the map flap. Too bad the hardware isn't stainless. Their beauty is only skin deep. I'm temped to have a friends laser cut one that says "Newmar it's a turd, or is it a terd".

Truthfully I'm disappointed in this brand - if it isn't made by Freightliner, Cat or Allison it's cheap Taiwan crap. It's an overblown, overpriced paint graphic with a cheap fortune cookie underneath. A luxury coach my behind.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:47 PM   #19
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Sorry you are having such a hard time. I cuss mine at least 2 or 3 times a year. I look at these kind of things as challages rather than problems. Once its fixed all will be good again.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:07 PM   #20
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There is no reason to run a diesel for five minutes if it has not been driven. The idea of the idling for five minutes is to allow the temps in the engine to normalize (equalize) before shutting down. (and to allow the turbo to cool.)
Which Cummins says is not necessary in most cases. Just going down an off ramp is enough cool down, unless it's right after a long pull like the Grapevine.
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:10 PM   #21
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Thank you all again.

I'm giving up - too much for my arthritis to crawl under anymore with all the rain we are getting. Getting ready for a tow. Now have to get the electric step to retract. This is the second crap out for that. First one lasted till warranty ended.

New dilemma: for towing - to remove the rear mud flap - I took a quick look & saw the chains welded on. Didn't examine closely. Boy those Newmar folk are sure proud of their name with that huge stainless cutout with their name emblazoned over the map flap. Too bad the hardware isn't stainless. Their beauty is only skin deep. I'm temped to have a friends laser cut one that says "Newmar it's a turd, or is it a terd".

Truthfully I'm disappointed in this brand - if it isn't made by Freightliner, Cat or Allison it's cheap Taiwan crap. It's an overblown, overpriced paint graphic with a cheap fortune cookie underneath. A luxury coach my behind.
And just what does the house being made by Newmar have to do with a no start condition of the chassis, which is built by someone else??
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:03 PM   #22
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And just what does the house being made by Newmar have to do with a no start condition of the chassis, which is built by someone else??
Truthfully, nothing.

If I listed all the other shabby sows purse parts that look like a silk purse it would take all evening

I'll give you another: that illuminated clear plastic grab handle at the entry door ($125 or so to get another) cracks & fractures with less than a 200 lb
pull. Now the holes supporting the top & bottom support brackets are covered with fashionable gray duct tape. Pretty shabby looking but I'm not purchasing a third one to advertise Newmar's hollow reputation.

I bought new in 2004, paid cash & have been diappointed with the chrome plated plastic & pot metal also. Service in CT isn't prize either. The one authorized dealer dented the back ladder & denied it. The other non authorized service center cut out the front of my Dakota grill to mount the flat low brackets with a sawsall so shabbily - I was speechless. Then I discovered they wired the LH & RH turn signals backwards. The LH coach signal activated the RH tow vehicle signal and visa versa. I fixed that.

The plastic knob on the mirror control switch disintegrated. Literally crumbled. I own 8 older Corvettes (from 56 to 75) and they collectively much less trouble & more reliable even buying Sunoco 112 leaded for some at $64 in 5 gallons metal cans.

The Freightliner dealer in Branford CT never fixed the dash AC after several repeated trips to their store - and after the warranty expired I wouldn't even give then the opportunity to bill me the 1000's they billed Freightliner for their non work. Every time I brought it back I was assured the problem was solved.

I find it particularly repugnant the manner in which their web site wrapped their company image around a wholesome Christian work ethic & good values - I don't recall whether it was Mennonite or Amish - but to me it just turned out to be a disingenuous ruse. Conning the public ala Bernie Madoff - you must smile & appear trustworthy. I'd never but this Newmar brand again. It's a hollow reputation in my experience. I'd sell it, but their resale values are worse than a Cadillac.

Please note: I don't intend nor desire to debate the finer points of this coach. I'm old fashioned, I like garden tools with steel implements & strong wooden handles, not plastic hollow handles with tinny impregnated edges.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:34 PM   #23
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Had the same problem with my CAT 300. It was the starter solenoid. I got under the engine and used a screwdriver on the solenoid to start the engine. Just like the old days with the 50 chevy. I bought the solenoid at NAPA Auto parts. I have a post on this in the National Forum.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:01 PM   #24
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Here's the link to my post on the same problem, it has the cost and part number for the solenoid. HELP, She Won't Start
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:16 PM   #25
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Diesel Fool, There must be mobile diesel mechanics in your area.........somebody fixes broke down semis. Call around and avoid a tow if at all possible.
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:58 PM   #26
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Had the same problem with my CAT 300. It was the starter solenoid. I got under the engine and used a screwdriver on the solenoid to start the engine. Just like the old days with the 50 chevy. I bought the solenoid at NAPA Auto parts. I have a post on this in the National Forum.
Is that solenoid on the starter like on a Chevy or remote like on a Ford. When I lifted the bed to access the engine for a look see - I did notice 3 small boxes bolted to the frame rail with heavy Red & Black cables attached.

I would like to try and jump between the 2 terminals mentioned to get a jump start -- because the big mud flap chains are welded on. Nothing about it unbolts. That was a bummer. Because it's the sawsall, then spread a link with a big crowbar followed by a weld to reinstall.

If afraid of jumping the wrong terminals & burning out the discombobulator on the scazafrazz. Anyone have a foolproof way to ID this from that?
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:22 PM   #27
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Might try a search here for a mobile mechanic. Does the Freightliner chassis have the heater exchange valves that flow hot water through heater core and need to be closed for the dash air to work? On many truck chassis, there are 2 valves that need to be open if you want heat or closed if you want cool.
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:35 PM   #28
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Dieselfool, if the starter solenoid is bad then in normally clicks loudly when you turn the key to the start position. If it doesn't click then most likely not the starter solenoid. If you would take the time and answer the questions in my earlier post then many of us can offer you a lot more assistance in your troubleshooting effort. Without knowing the answers to those questions it is what I call "shotgun troubleshooting" as far a random spray of troubleshooting over the mh without any logic. Would like to help you but can't without you answering those numbered questions.

If your step staying out started at the same time as it failed to start then the two could be related.
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