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Old 08-31-2008, 11:05 AM   #1
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We are on our way back to the US after a month in Canada and today drove 140 miles or so, much of the way in light to moderate rain. Rain had quit by the time we got to this campground in Saint John, NB. We parked, jacks set, slides out and most of the other setting up things accomplished. In fact I had just opened the beer for us both to take a rest.

All of sudden the starter is engaged. You can hear it trying to start, but the key is off and the engine isn't actually starting. To get it to quit, I started the engine while Don ran to the rear of the coach. Don finally disconnected the chassis batteries to get it to stop. In the mean time I call Spartan Roadside assistance. Don says he was able to reconnect the batteries after switching a master cutoff which allows the batteries to remain connected and the starter is not trying to start the engine.

Provided lots of info to the person answering the Spartan line and someone is to call back, soon we hope. I'm hoping this is simple, but guess we won't know until we hear back from them on this holiday weekend. I would also say that this came out of the blue with no other symptoms apparent before it occurred.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:05 AM   #2
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We are on our way back to the US after a month in Canada and today drove 140 miles or so, much of the way in light to moderate rain. Rain had quit by the time we got to this campground in Saint John, NB. We parked, jacks set, slides out and most of the other setting up things accomplished. In fact I had just opened the beer for us both to take a rest.

All of sudden the starter is engaged. You can hear it trying to start, but the key is off and the engine isn't actually starting. To get it to quit, I started the engine while Don ran to the rear of the coach. Don finally disconnected the chassis batteries to get it to stop. In the mean time I call Spartan Roadside assistance. Don says he was able to reconnect the batteries after switching a master cutoff which allows the batteries to remain connected and the starter is not trying to start the engine.

Provided lots of info to the person answering the Spartan line and someone is to call back, soon we hope. I'm hoping this is simple, but guess we won't know until we hear back from them on this holiday weekend. I would also say that this came out of the blue with no other symptoms apparent before it occurred.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:52 AM   #3
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Hi Donna,

I seem to recall a similar thread....Turned out to be the Bussman Problem.

I was able to find the previous thread...Here's the link. Previous Thread

Hope you get this resolved quickly.

Sebastian
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Old 08-31-2008, 12:27 PM   #4
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Sebastian,

Thank you so much for that quick reply with the link. I probably glossed over that earlier post as I had no idea what a Bussman box was. After reading the January postings Don just went and found ours which is in a small compartment in front of the battery compartment. Our box is mounted up on the wall. However, he did find water around the o-ring in the lid of the box. The box appeared to be dry inside. Right now he is trying to find out why there was any water since it is a closed compartment.

Thanks again as we are still waiting on Spartan to call....
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:10 PM   #5
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Certainly hope you get the problem solved. It was a learning experience for me. I learned that IRV2 is an invaluable resource, and Sparten is unbelievable in its customer service.
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:06 AM   #6
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Have you attempted to start the engine again? After I went thru the same scenario and reconnected the battery cables I could not start because the starter was fried. By any chance was the Bussman moved from the floor to the wall? If so someone may not have sealed screw holes.
Good luck on resolution...that Bussman must be kept dry.

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Old 09-02-2008, 02:16 AM   #7
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We have kept the master cutoff switch engaged except for a couple of times we tried to see if the starter was still engaging. As of late afternoon yesterday it was. He also pulled 2 starter relays in the Bussman, but that didn't change the behavior. We don't understand enough about the rest of it to do much more without instruction. We STILL are waiting to hear from Spartan. Apparently they don't do weekends and the roadside assist number we called is only set up to tow you if you need it.

The Bussman is on the wall originally. Don checked it out and said the compartment is dry in spite of some moisture in the box itself. He thinks the only way water could get in is to travel in the corrugated conduit from the battery compartment next door. Unfortunately the hole for the conduit is above the Bussman. If it were below it, water would not drip from above. Needs a drip loop or something like that the way it is connected.

Hope we get an early call from Spartan (we've left at least 2 messages) or at least that they will answer the phone this morning.
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:20 AM   #8
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Well, we called Newmar early this am and they got Spartan on the phone. Just FYI for everyone....Kent Baker is no longer officed at Newmar and Joe no longer works in technical support. Guess they are too part of the cut backs.

The bad news is Spartan says we must be towed. The worse news is that they will drop the drive shaft and lift the front to tow. That was the last thing we wanted to hear, but not much to do about it. Their reasoning for towing is that what we have happening, "could" be the Bussman, but could also be a couple of other things that would kill the starter if we drove. They say it must go to a facility that can do proper diagnostic.

The closest Spartan facility we can see on a map is Bangor, ME which is probably at least 150 miles from here and they say there is not one in NB, so we don't really know where we will be going at this point. We'll just follow the tow truck.

Will post the solution when we know.
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Old 09-02-2008, 08:56 AM   #9
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Any chance for a flat bed? or removing the axles vice drive shaft for the tow? I did not use a Spartan facility for my diagnosis and remove and replace of the Bussman or Starter. I used the nearest recommended by Coach Net over the road truck maintenace facility. I paid and submitted the invoice and was reimbursed by Newmar and Spartan.
Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 09-02-2008, 04:03 PM   #10
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Donna,
Take what Ronnie said to the bank. Ask if the axle vice drive shafts can be pulled instead of the dropping the drive shaft. There was a recent post on this, with pictures. This was the tow truck opperator's prefered method to tow.
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Old 09-03-2008, 03:49 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by GaryKD:
Donna,
Take what Ronnie said to the bank. Ask if the axle vice drive shafts can be pulled instead of the dropping the drive shaft. There was a recent post on this, with pictures. This was the tow truck opperator's prefered method to tow. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Donna,

Here's the link:
http://irv2.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/9486094452/m/81810048541/p/4

Not to hijack the tread, but on a side note our transmission faulted again when we were leaving Hopewell Cape a few weeks ago. Instead of waiting to be towed, we crawled into Moncton in first gear, which took a few hours. After sitting in the Sobey's parking lot 30 minutes or so, we left and the transmission behaved and we made it to the Allison/Detroit Diesel shop on the other side of town at normal speed/gears. The shop found a cracked wiring harness connector and cable tied it down, so now we're wondering if the tranmission ECU, which was previously replaced, was really bad. So far so good. We're not sure yet if Newmar is going to fix it or if we're heading to Charlotte, MI and have Spartan replace it.

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Old 09-03-2008, 04:06 PM   #12
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Resolution....

This has been a long three days, but we are wiser now and hopefully if this should happen again we could handle better. Yesterday we begged Spartan roadside assistance to please send a lowboy type of tow, but we got a "sorry, this is what we provide"Ě on every attempt. We finally realized that Spartan Roadside Assistance is actually CoachNet and they are providing contract fulfillment for Spartan. So it is Spartan who determines what kind of tow Coachnet can offer.

The truck from Randy's Towing out of Saint Stephen arrived around 3:30pm. It was huge. No doubt it could haul our weight, but when they lowered that thing and pushed it under the front end, I just cringed as I knew damage was a surety. Perhaps the answer to prayers, after several attempts, the two guys on the truck agreed they could not tow it without damage and said they wouldn't tow us. We got Spartan (Coachnet) back on the phone reporting that they couldn't do it please send us a lowboy. That just caused them to call the tow guy's boss so the next thing we knew they were measuring with a tape and taking digital pics. Coachnet was trying to force them to take the job, but they were just as adamant that they would not take the liability as damage was a sure thing.

Don was talking to the guys and one of them got under the rear of the coach and sure enough as soon as we turned on the cutoff switch the starter again began turning again with the key still off so we started the engine and they said starter was still engaged. He rapped on it with a hammer and it disengaged. Apparently the Bendix spring was not releasing. It took 10 more minutes of phone conversation with Coachnet then Spartan before they finally agreed to let us drive it to the fix place which was about 4 to 5 miles away. We are very thankful as we felt it would damage the generator slide-out front and possibly the windshield. Plus the method of tow was putting all the stress of the lift on the center IFS spot. And, much lifting, bouncing, etc. would drag the radiator on the ground in the rear.

We spent the night in Bayview Truck Repair parking lot in Saint John, NB. Very noisy and very BRIGHT. They told us they might work us in between then (5pm) and 11:30pm when they closed. However, just after 10pm we decided nothing was happening that night and we went to bed. At 8:30 this morning they pulled us into the building and took off the starter. The closest location for a new starter with that part number was someplace in Nevada, so they took the starter to a rebuild place and did a rebuild of it. By 2pm we were back in business and on our way. We have paid the $700+ bill and will submit to Spartan for reimbursement.

It is still raining, so we are back in the RV park for one more night and will leave in the morning heading for Bar Harbor, ME. Not the best end to our month in Canada, but we are fortunate not to need to get back to work, so the delay is not a problem. I think if we should be in this spot again, we will call Coachnet ourselves on our own account and get the tow of our choice and deal with Spartan on the back end of this. It should be less stressful I think. I do thank the IRV2 members for coming to the rescue, as you helped us know what the issue was and gave us better insight.
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:30 PM   #13
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Do your best to protect the Bussman from further water intrusion.

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Old 09-03-2008, 05:01 PM   #14
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One other thing I failed to mention is that the repair also included replacing a starter relay that was in the engine compartment. They really did nothing to the Bussman even though we tried to steer them to looking at that too. This guy knew it all and really kind of blew that off.

However, I know Don has some plans to make this more water proof. I think he plans to move the wiring so that it comes in from under the Bussman box instead of on top of it. Although I was thinking this was a winter time project, I hear we will see a tropical storm in Maine this next week so we'd probably do well to work on this early.
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