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Old 07-12-2013, 12:06 AM   #1
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Batteries, BIRD or bonehead?

We just left on a trip today and I have a few strange things going on. I know they are related, but need expertise. I have a 2000 MADP 4080 on a Spartan chassis.

While driving, I noticed the analog voltage gage was at 12v. Scan gauge D says 12.2. Seems it should be north of 13v

Now we are hooked to shore power and the isolator relay is clicking every 10-30 seconds.

About a week ago, I took all batteries out to clean and repaint the tray. When I put them back, I couldn't recall where a group of smaller gauge wires with white insulation went, it seemed like they should go on the neg side of coach batteries by their location and length.

I'm fairly confident in how I hooked up the chassis batteries but am now doubting myself.

Bottom line, could I have damaged one of the chassis batteries or connected something wrong on them that would cause these symptoms? I'm planning to have the batteries load tested tomorrow.

Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 07-12-2013, 12:50 AM   #2
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I'm thinking white insulated wires for a ground wire would not be a Chassis thing ( usually black for ground on the chassis, and attached to the frame not the battery. ) But if they are grounds for coach components I can't see the alt acting up because of it.
Usually the chassis battery ground cable would run to the engine block, a separate cable from the engine to the frame and all chassis circuits would then be grounded to the frame.
Could be that moving the wires to the coach battery ground , would stop the relay clicking, but the alt.
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Old 07-12-2013, 04:50 AM   #3
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Bundle of white wires

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinner View Post
We just left on a trip today and I have a few strange things going on. I know they are related, but need expertise. I have a 2000 MADP 4080 on a Spartan chassis.

While driving, I noticed the analog voltage gage was at 12v. Scan gauge D says 12.2. Seems it should be north of 13v

Now we are hooked to shore power and the isolator relay is clicking every 10-30 seconds.

About a week ago, I took all batteries out to clean and repaint the tray. When I put them back, I couldn't recall where a group of smaller gauge wires with white insulation went, it seemed like they should go on the neg side of coach batteries by their location and length.

I'm fairly confident in how I hooked up the chassis batteries but am now doubting myself.

Bottom line, could I have damaged one of the chassis batteries or connected something wrong on them that would cause these symptoms? I'm planning to have the batteries load tested tomorrow.

Any help would be appreciated!
I just looked at my blue print for my battery wiring and the group of #12 white wires goes to the neg. post of the inside chassis battery. Hope this helps you out.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:02 AM   #4
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Any chance you can shoot me a copy of that print? Take a picture of it with your phone or whatever? Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:09 AM   #5
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The voltage you indicated while driving is to low. Your alternator is not charging the batteries. When you plug into shoreline your BIRD system is probably bringing the dead engine batteries online and the low state is loading the voltage down until it senses a low overall voltage and then shuts off. The voltage rises and the
BIRD cycles again. I am making an assumption of your bird device of course.

Measure the voltage on each bank of batteries. If you are getting 13.5 or more on the coach batteries and your engine batteries are sitting at 12.2 which is dead you can use a jump start cable between banks until they equalize. Be extremely careful of sparks of course.
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:29 PM   #6
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This link may explain the white wires and where they go.
Not all wires will relate to positive or negative as black & white some circuits may have different colors.
NEWMAR BATTERY SYSTEMS
COACH 12V WIRING
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:49 PM   #7
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Ok here's the latest. Stopped by Interstate Battereies in Sioux Falls, chassis batteries tested fine, coach batteries (8yo) were borderline. Replaced all 4 gc2 6v coach batteries. We are now in Chamberlain SD and the engine volts are down to 11.7. I'm guessing alternator or voltage reg, but probably alternator. Gen is on, ISC is off so chassis batts can charge. We want to get to Hill City tonight, but I'm questioning that. Any way to check alternator myself with a voltmeter? Any idea where to get one?

Thanks everyone!!
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:12 PM   #8
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Rapid City has a great many truck repair places, plus auto stores.

Dakota Battery and Electric could help you. Their off of Deadwood Ave exit 55. 4 lane and they have a big parking lot. I've used them a few times in the past.

Company

Give them a call.

I've driven from Cali to SD using the genny on our other coach when the alt went out.
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:46 PM   #9
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What does your battery cut off indicate when your engine is running??
Read when off than on no shore power.
Your sure all leads to batteries are on correct posts.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:17 PM   #10
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Getting a new alt at A&R truck service in Chamberlain right now. :fingers crossed:
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:10 PM   #11
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Volts are running steady at 13.7. Thanks everyone!
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:00 PM   #12
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Glad you got it fixed, have a great trip.
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Old 07-14-2013, 04:57 PM   #13
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Thanks for the follow up Spinner, good for you.
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