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Old 06-26-2014, 09:19 PM   #29
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My memory sucks, but I believe the purpose of that solenoid is to charge both batteries when engine is running. They are alt output?






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Old 06-27-2014, 06:05 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave78Chief View Post
I see what you mean now. Very well could be however, the much bigger problem is there is no connection to the small post on the relay which means it never is energized.

Dave
Those relays (like the one in pic #4, post 15), which appear identical on the outside, have various internals. Constant duty vs. normal would be just one example. Another is the ground path to energize it. Could be through the metal mounting strap, could be that empty terminal. There's a few more variants as well.


mmfire - I thought the same until seeing the diode type isolator was installed as well. Even with that, you could be right!
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:48 AM   #31
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Electrical schematic on 80's Rambler

I haven't done any troubleshooting since my last post. I've been working on some drain issues since the antifreeze odor is killing me in the heat!
While working I plug into shore power with an extension cord. I don't have any batteries hooked up currently (pun intended) and over the course of an hour my battery indicator light goes from empty to fully charged. What is that about?
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:00 AM   #32
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My guess is the indicator is seeing the output voltage of the converter.

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Old 06-29-2014, 08:41 AM   #33
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Antifreeze odor - thanks for bringing back THAT very unpleasant place in my memory!

Good luck poking around.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:42 PM   #34
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Did a little more testing tonight. I bought the Power Probe 3 (I'm addicted to tools!) to help me trouble shoot. I couldn't easily chase wires by myself so I'm recruiting some help from an electrical engineer later this week.
Tonight I tested my alternator by checking voltage sitting and running. I got 12.4V sitting and 12.1V running. Normally this is a sign of a bad alternator for a car but is there anything else that would cause this on a motorhome? I still have not connected any coach batteries, just chassis battery.
I also tested the Alternator Isolator. I thought I found the problem by testing it with everything connected but when I disconnected it looks like its fine. Was hoping for a cheap fix
Once I chase wires I will post where the 2 solenoid sand starter wires are going. Hoping someone can help correct once it's all mapped out.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:50 PM   #35
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Lower voltage when running is bad.

Depending on alternator regulator could be internal.

Check to see what you have.

If internal then ign wire as input and battery wire output.

If external then field wire input battery output.

Check alternator wiring type and voltages.

Worst case pull it and have parts house check it.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:24 AM   #36
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How did you get this thing home with a bad alternator? Are you taking your voltage readings directly on the back of the alt. or somewhere else?

Isolator is easy to test. You can use a voltmeter (set to ohms) - just like you check a diode? Functionally the thing consists of 2 diodes and a heat sink. That's all there is to it. The center terminal is common, the outside terminals are the output. With the voltmeter set to ohms, hook the negative lead from the voltmeter to the center terminal, the positive to an outside, then reverse the leads. One way should show continuity, the other should show it open. Do that for both sides. Results should match. Any exceptions means the isolator is junk - and honestly, with the amount of trouble I've seen with that type, it would be no surprise if that were the case. I would not buy another of that style. Everyone has moved to relay type isolators and the conversion is not difficult.

Nothing against elec. engineers, but you may have better luck with an experienced auto/truck mechanic?
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:58 AM   #37
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Electrical schematic on 80's Rambler

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahicks View Post
How did you get this thing home with a bad alternator? Are you taking your voltage readings directly on the back of the alt. or somewhere else?
Checked voltage on the battery. 12.4 not running and 12.1 running. I was hoping someone on the forum would verify of this test was conclusive or do I need to remove alternator and recheck.

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Isolator is easy to test. You can use a voltmeter (set to ohms) - just like you check a diode? Functionally the thing consists of 2 diodes and a heat sink. That's all there is to it. The center terminal is common, the outside terminals are the output. With the voltmeter set to ohms, hook the negative lead from the voltmeter to the center terminal, the positive to an outside, then reverse the leads. One way should show continuity, the other should show it open. Do that for both sides. Results should match. Any exceptions means the isolator is junk - and honestly, with the amount of trouble I've seen with that type, it would be no surprise if that were the case. I would not buy another of that style. Everyone has moved to relay type isolators and the conversion is not difficult.
That's what I did. I thought it was bad when the above was false. I did it while it was still connected inside rv (w/o battery). Once the wires were removed, the above was true.

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Nothing against elec. engineers, but you may have better luck with an experienced auto/truck mechanic?
I agree however he owes me a favor and is willing to help me identify my current setup. I hope to redraw the wiring diagram and see if anybody can assist me in how it should look. Wishful thinking!
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:10 AM   #38
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Dave, for a quick patch/bypass/test, you can move all 3 of the wires on that isolator to a single post. Makes no difference which one. That will effectively bypass it/remove it from the circuit. Then check your voltage with/without the engine running to see what you get.
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:49 PM   #39
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As a side question, while letting the RV idle last night I decided to see if the generator will run. Its started on 2nd try and ran for about 5 minutes. I have only done this a few times since I purchased it. I believe its a 7kw Kohler.
I turned on the rear AC and a few lights. The front AC would not turn on. There is a switch by the circuit breaker that toggles front or back AC (and a center position that I haven't tried yet).
Toggle is in front position. The front runs while hooked to shore power. The generator died on its own in 5 or so minutes. Gas tank is full and it would not restart. Again, no coach battery is installed. Is this supposed to do this? I read about the oil level switch last night, may check that tonight. Should this shutdown without coach batteries or do I have another issue?
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:07 PM   #40
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A gen normally starts off the house/aux. batteries. Changing this one to do that your call.

No clue why it quit. Did it seem to be running OK? Is it full of reasonably clean oil?

Front/rear AC selector switch is used on shore power. There's not enough amperage to run both, so they give you a choice with that switch. Center (both), if I remember right, is for use when on generator.

One note, when switching power sources (gen vs. shore power) or front vs. rear AC's, do that with the AC's turned off. You don't want to have those contact points (or the gen set) dealing with huge power surges that will occur when switching under load.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:26 PM   #41
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I would stick to one problem at a time or you will get confused

I assume you measured the 12.4 and 12.1 at the battery.

Alternator should put out around 14.1 VDC. Measure at isolator center pin to ground.
Isolator will drop the alternator voltage by 0.5VDC (14.1 - 0.5 = 13.6VDC)
Measure 13.6VDC at each of the other to studs on the isolator
You should see no more than another 0.5VDC drop from the isolator studs to each battery B+ (13.6 - 13.1VDC). That is a 1.0VDC drop from alternator to battery which is why many people do not use diode isolators.

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Old 07-02-2014, 07:53 AM   #42
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<<<I would stick to one problem at a time or you will get confused>>>

Confused, or maybe overwhelmed? Picking up a project coach that's not received much in the way of recent TLC, can leave it in need of attention on quite a few fronts - especially when there are as many systems/levels of complexity as present in a MH like this one! When all these fronts are viewed as a single entity, they may appear quite discouraging. Taken one at a time though, allows focus, and a sense of accomplishment as each small issue is taken care of/completed!
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