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Old 03-18-2012, 12:47 PM   #1
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'84 P30 starter replacement issues

the starter packed up on the '84 Southwind (Chevy 454) and i have replaced it. i removed the negative cables from the batteries for safety and NOW when hooking them back up i encountered a live circuit that wasn't "ON" before, and for some reason i get a hot spark as if short when connecting my generator battery. also; get no power to the gauges and my tank display panel is lit up like a christmas tree. HELP! what made these gremlins pick ME today?
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:52 PM   #2
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when i hook up the first battery, it sounds as if the booster switch is closing the solenoid, but i don't THINK it is doing that; the power step light came on (they've never worked in the time i've had it) so i removed the switch itself. i don't understand the display panel going full on, no switches pressed; and i'm dead worried about shorting something out and burning the rig to the ground.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:09 PM   #3
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the clicking is a relay mounted on the firewall, that i have no bloody idea the purpose for is. i've switched off the breaker box in case there was something going on there, but this has had no effect. when i turn the key, the dash gauges do not respond, the starter does not turn, and there is no change when i push the booster switch (that i can clearly hear "CLICK" in front of me).
what if i remove the relay? Chevrolets don't use a relay for their starting or charging systems... still don't understand the loss of power through the switch to the dash, starter itself, etc.... all batteries are up and hot.
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:21 PM   #4
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Check to see if you have the fusible link wires hooked up with the pos cable at the starter. If they are hooked up pull on the wires if they stretch replace the fusible link and check where they shorted out this is a common problem on the 454. Exhaust heat will melt the insulation on the wires and when they get moved around they short out.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:36 PM   #5
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will do that... i don't particularly like the way Chevy ran wires on these rigs. that bundle is tight under the exhaust manifold, nearly. dodging a bad thunderstorm threatening to drown me right now... so far, so good....
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:00 PM   #6
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no dice, again.. no power to the starter hot cable, it seems; i left the battery connected and shorted the hot cable to ground momentarily to see if it would spark, and it did nothing. there are no dash lights, no turn signals; nothing chassis related works except the wipers. Fleetwood apparently never considered that owners would be working on these, as their owners' manuals don't have any wiring diagrams to speak of.
it's too dim outside to work, and it's raining some besides. try again later, when i'm not so aggravated and frustrated.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:18 PM   #7
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raccoonman, this is what you need, but for an '83. I'd be happy to send you scans of mine, but its an '89. Don't know if they're similar.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:41 PM   #8
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i must have blown a fuse or fusible link somewhere.... there ought to be 12vdc coming to the starter at all times with the batteries connected.
well; the bottom's fell off the sky; it's pouring, so no more trips under the rig today. or outside, for that matter.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:27 PM   #9
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went back to the starter, disconnected and REconnected the fusible links and the power cable; decided one step i had skipped had been the common ground between ALL the batteries (3, 2 coach and 1 gen) and guess what.... the rig decided to work again. i can't tell WHY the gen bat makes a difference, it just does, on my rig...

i haven't learned a thing on this repair... this was dumb luck, IMHO. i need to take it to an actual SHOP and let THEM set the batteries up while i watch.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:51 AM   #10
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There is nothing wrong with your system you have a common ground and it must be hooked to the gen., house batt. when you did not hook them up start batt. had no ground. Trace your neg cables and you will find only 1 cable going to the frame so when you left common ground strap disconnected no ground. The reason every thing worked crazy was the start batt was trying to ground through the house batt.
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:52 AM   #11
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well; that explains it then.... with all the cables/wires attached to the negative terminals on the rig batteries, none of them were actually making a ground. i work on my cars all the time, and it didn't occur to me that ONE MORE ground cable was stopping me cold on the rig! i routinely check for bad grounds on cars that are giving me trouble... D'OH!
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