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Old 07-01-2008, 04:20 AM   #15
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I'm sure that you are right about them being solenoids, Mike. My confusion is based on the sheer volume of wires in the coil circuit. If you will look at either the 1st or the third picture that I posted, you will see a "gaggle" of wires on both of the lower terminals on the left solenoid. All of those wires, on both sides, read ground. I understand that only one side might be ground and that I'm reading through the coil. I just cannot reconcile in my mind how the voltage from turning the ignition to the own position could be applied to all of those wires without drawing a significant amount of current - and I thought the whole purpose of the solenoid was to limit the current running through the ignition switch itself. You will notice that the right coil, which is supposed to be the aux start solenoid, also has a gaggle of wires on the coil terminals. Somehow, that just doesn't seem like a smart way to do things and I really cannot wrap my mind around so much wiring on the aux start coil circuit. Maybe my computer background and the normal penchant that we have to isolate wiring to prevent noise is clouding my view of the situation.

I'm going to measure current draw again today. If it is still smaller than I can detect, I'll wait until after our next trip and see how the situation appears. If I don't have symptoms, I cannot troubleshoot.

With Hooligan's diagram, I have a much better idea about which large cables are which. I do have a long wire that I use to complete the loop when measuring continuity. We've bought and sold a lot of older houses and sometimes that long wire is the only way to figure out circuits in them, too. I'm often surprised at how creative electricians can be.

Thanks for your continued assistance as I work through this mess.

Charlie
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:23 PM   #16
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Update:

I have not been able to duplicate the symptom That symptom may not have been described correctly in the first place. I assumed that it was a chassis battery drain but it may have simply been the chassis battery voltage not getting where it needed to go. I left the RV sit for a week with the house battery disconnect engaged (i.e. house batteries off.) Per Hooligan, I found that my step controller was a drain on the chassis batteries and have that temporarily disconnected. The chassis batteries, two weeks later, are reading 12.73volts. Obviously, I don't have a battery voltage problem. I've started the engine a couple of times and it fires immediately - just like it always did before.

On Sunday, I plugged in the shore power and engaged the house batteries. Tonight, I tried to start it and, on the first try, got something close the the symptom at the campground. THe starter did not turn over and all I heard was a click. I went all the way off with the key, went to start, the started engaged immediately and the engine fired.

JWalker and I have corresponded on this several times and he believes that it might be my ignition switch. I agree that is one of the more likely culprits. I'm also concerned that the ignition solenoid is not fully passing voltage to all of the components attached to it when the switch is turned to on. In that case, the ignition switch itself would be OK but the solenoid transfer is incomplete. I know for a fact that happened on the battery disconnect solenoid because I was getting 12.5 volts into it and 9.6 volts out. I exercised the store/use switch a couple of times in succession and that problem has not reappeared.

The time for our big trip (4,200 miles) is coming and I was really hoping to have this problem resolved before then. I desperately want to prove something bad but am about out of ideas for how to go about that. I'll test everything again this Friday, having let things sit for another couple of days.

Charlie
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