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Old 01-24-2013, 07:11 PM   #1
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Motorhome will not start - random

I have a 2004 Holiday Rambler Endeavor (DP) with a Cummins ISC 330. More frequently lately, I cannot get the engine to turn over. I turn the key, have dash lights, have power to Allison pad, but nothing happens. Sometimes if I wait 20-30 minutes it will just turn over without a problem....I am assuming from some sort of surge protection timeout. Has anyone run into this problem? I really need your expertise on what to troubleshoot and/or get fixed/replaced. I already changed out the ignition switch thinking that may have been the problem....it wasn't.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:19 PM   #2
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Check the starter relay switch.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:30 PM   #3
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You have the posibility of a starter relay or a starter solinoid problem. Or a poor wiring connection somewhere, between the ignition switch and the relay , or a neutal safety switch.
Do you get / hear any noise at all when the key is turned and the starter won't operate ? Clicking ?
If you hear nothing, problem could be the starter relay or neutral safety.
If you here clicking , probably the internal contacts in the solinoid , mounted on the starter.
Dodge Cummins were bad for the contacts . Usually mulitiple tries of turning the key would get them started.
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:26 PM   #4
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Sounds like a starter problem ...loose connection or yes relay .... I once had a charge light (ALT) light come on now and then.... could be 1 mile or 100 miles after first start.....once the light came on I could pull over turn off the Switch Key and then restart the engine the ALT (Charge) light would go out ...ended up being a loose wire going to the Alt some time the simplest things are the problem. Good Luck !!

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Old 01-25-2013, 06:56 PM   #5
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Sneak up on it!

Have your voltmeter handy.

Measure voltages NOW with it working, you want to verify the correct wires.

Then when it quits you can quickly measure again looking for the change.

Easy...
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:27 PM   #6
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Have you tried the emergency start switch? Check your battery cables for tightness. Good Luck
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:39 PM   #7
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Could be bad battery terminal connections. Frequently you can pass sufficient voltage for small loads, but when you try to draw 750A, the connection goes dead.
Solution is to pull all battery connections, clean 'em w/a wire brush inside lead clamp & outside lead post, reattach, tighten.
Could also be bad cables where corrosion has grown up inside the cable end; again it will ohm out fine at minimal or no load but won't pass starting current; look for bulged cable insulation &/or green corrosion on cables. Solution there is to replace cable or cut back cable to a new clean end & swage on a new end.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:52 AM   #8
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Check (and clean) the connections at the starter solenoid. I paid a Cummins mobile tech $250 to crawl underneath my ISC 330 engine and wiggle the wires, while I sat in the cockpit holding the ignition key in the start position. Education does not come cheap.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:38 AM   #9
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A dead or dying battery may have enough to power dash lights but not enough for starting. First thing I would do is check the condition of the batteries as well as the condition of the connections. Even dying batteries may have enough left to occasionally take a small recharge and give intermitent starts.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:02 PM   #10
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i've experienced the same on our coach. When turning the ignition key, there would be dead silence. Turning the ignition key one or two more times and the engine would turn over. I took it to a reputable service center and the symptom could not be replicated.

I mirror what the other posters conveyed in regard to ensuring that the engine starting batteries are fully charged and the connections are free of corrosion and tight.

It could possibly be a relay/solenoid; however, it needs to be traced to find out the real culprit. This last happened to me over the July 4th, 2012 weekend and I have not had the issue except once or twice since. I will continue to monitor.

Please update what you find out.

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Old 01-27-2013, 08:03 AM   #11
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I know if you slide is out some MH will not start. or if the awning is out they have a relay so it will not start. Good luck
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:01 AM   #12
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Wiring/batts.

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Old 01-27-2013, 11:11 AM   #13
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If your auxillary start solenoid is acting up which is a common failure item your engine start batteries may be very low. Could be fiddling with the key kicks the solenoid into a decent contact and charges your start batteries and allows you to crank it after 30 minutes. As suggested the first attack should be with a voltmeter and note pad. Measure your engine battery voltage and have someone turn the key and log that reading as well.
Just shotgunning it will leave you frustrated. That said i always ditto cleaning the battery compartment cables and grounds shiny clean. A dremel tool with a round sanding disk works great but keep the area ventilated and the sparks far away from the batteries.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:01 PM   #14
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How old are your batteries?
I would start by doing (or having done) a load test to see if they are good or not. If they check out OK, then go searching for loose or dirty connections or faulty solenoid. Use the KISS method.
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