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Old 01-19-2011, 07:39 PM   #1
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ignition problems

2003 workhorse 8.1 eng 34 foot motor home (condor). Intermitting starting. turn key and no inst panel lites turn key inst panel lites come on and it will start. then lites will flicker and lites go out then eng quits. start this process all over again and nothing no lites no start. sometimes starter will turn but no ignition. do not have a fuel problem I am looking for something not grounded. WHERE TO START??? LOOKING FOR IDEAS
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:55 PM   #2
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My guess is that the ignition switch is bad since the symptoms are changing and the only thing you are doing is moving the key in the ignition switch.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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Welcome bigeagle to irv2.
In the black box with the clear plastic cover on right hand side of your fire wall you have your solenoids and 12V copper buss connectors for chassis functions.
The left hand solenoid has a 5 amp fuse in a fuse holder attached to lug nut left hand side of solenoid.
If I remember correctly there is a green wire connected to the fuse holder clip.
This clip attachés to one of the spades of the fuse.
What happened to me was the clip popped off fuse spade and the engine would not start.
Its difficult to see the picture I will post will show you why.



Below this BIRD is the solenoid if you have this black box it maybe to far to the right to see the solenoid plus left lug nut also, The Newmar Mountain Aire has this problem. My coach its easy to see.
So if you are able to see lugnut you need long longnose pliers to force the clip back on the fuse spade which is not easy.
If this is your problem you may have to extend a wire off lugnut and place a new fuse holder and tie off on the wiring bunch of wires.
The clip worked loose from vibration and was a pain trying to find the problem because we thought it was a starter solenoid problem.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:03 PM   #4
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Thanks mike and 007. this has been a problem on workhorse for some time . I quess they just do not get it right when it comes to ther ignition systems and we are stuck with it.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:08 PM   #5
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I am planing to take this system apart until I can duplicate the problem over and over and over again and again. I feel like I will redesign and rewire if I have too. Calling workhorse is no help.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:17 PM   #6
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If you have a P-32 chassis it has a bad ignition switch reputation. You'll need to replace the ignition switch which is readily available at GM or any auto parts store. If you want to minimize the chance of it doing again because there are too many components hooked to it, do this upgrade with a relay.
Oemy's Web Site - DIY Projects

OEM Tech is a great guy and is on the Workhorse forum pretty regularly
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:53 PM   #7
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If it was a wire popped off or a blown fuse then the problem would always be the same and not jump around like what is explained. My bet is the ignition switch.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:31 PM   #8
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Never said the fuse was blown found the trouble when we were cutting off the battery cut off switch for house batteries. The battery cut off led would fad out when putting the switch off and on.
Found if you wiggled the green wire the led would stay on once wire clip made contact with fuse spade clip.
This fuse is in the start circuit for ignition system.
You say it could be the ignition switch I can agree to that also. The ignition wiring harness goes over a metal bend at top of steering column.
When you adjust the steering wheel for height adjustment the wiring harness will rub on this bend if it has a metal burr. The wires can short out to ground and send a puff of smoke up through your steering column and blow a 40 amp fuse in your chassis fuse panel.
Had a new improved ignition switch replaced and new wiring harness replaced.
After that was done I placed a spaghetti wrap around wires over metal bend.
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:37 PM   #9
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I replaced the ign sw today. Did not cure the problem. Will keep looking
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:53 PM   #10
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Can you get the starter solenoid to turn over the starter?
Did you check for that 5 amp fuse on solenoid in the black box?
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:03 AM   #11
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starter is ok. do not have pwr to instrument panel or ignition
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:18 AM   #12
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Is the starting still intermittent and does the inst panel lights still flicker and go out and the engine stops like you first said?
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:39 PM   #13
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FOUND IT**** CAN duplicate over and over. I like to think it as two problems. first was the batt ground wire end bolted to the painted cross member frame was not making a good contact. Second was the relay that was installed to take the load of the ignition switch was bad. (Installed so the ignition switch on the column would not melt or burn up) the relay on one side had 12 volt power on the other side no power even though relay was getting the signal to make contact. relay was bad. this was a 80 amp relay 3 post relay continuous. looks somewhat like a old ford starter relay. bought new relay at PPL Houston TX 27.00. Thanks all for your inputs
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:43 PM   #14
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If this problem happens again I will go to a higher AMP relay 100 or better just to be on the other side.
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