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Old 12-02-2022, 03:05 PM   #1
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dead batteries

Hey guys, I have a dead battery problem in my 94 American Eagle. Batteries are fairly new and I am getting 120V power to the coach. Running the generator does nothing. I am suspecting the Heart Interface unit has gone South as I think it is original to the coach. Any ideas would be much appreciated.
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Old 12-02-2022, 03:18 PM   #2
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Yes, you need to be checking the inverter. See if it's outputting any charge to the batteries. There should be a fuse for the inverter (heart interface) near the batteries. check that first. If the inverter has no output on charge, then it's time to replace it. You make have to get a different brand with display. Contact any NIRVC or your selling dealer for further assistance.
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Old 12-05-2022, 09:34 AM   #3
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Most of us that own vintage Americans have outlived the Heart Interface converter/inverter long (AKA Source Manager) long ago and replaced the original unit with a new transfer switch +an inverter/converter.


Mackwrench has a excellent write-up on this board about replacing his defunct Heart unit with a Freedom 458 Inverter/converter and a new transfer switch which you will find to be very helpful.


In the meantime I suggest that you purchase a stand alone smart battery charger to maintain your batteries until you replace the Heart unit.


Good luck with this, and BTW there are quite a few vintage American Coach owners here that have "been there and done that" with repairs and/or maintenance on these rigs.
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Old 12-06-2022, 12:26 AM   #4
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dead batteries

I assume that your reference to Mackwrench is a twitter account. I am not familiar with how to track down the reference article that you mentioned. any help would be appreciated. Also, I thought the transfer switch was an integral part of the inverter/charger. Can you clarify please?
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Old 12-06-2022, 08:10 AM   #5
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I assume that your reference to Mackwrench is a twitter account. I am not familiar with how to track down the reference article that you mentioned. any help would be appreciated. Also, I thought the transfer switch was an integral part of the inverter/charger. Can you clarify please?

Mackwrench is a regular contributor on this board. He is a certified diesel heavy truck technician that owns a 1999 American Eagle. Just do a search on this forum (search feature is at the top of the page). His write-up on replacing his Heart Interface Source Manager is excellent.


https://www.irv2.com/forums/f107/hea...nt-470989.html


Post #4 in the above listed thread will show you his Freedom 458 + transfer switch configuration.





You are correct that your Source Manager is an integrated coverter(battery charger), inverter (DC to AC ) and transfer switch. When it is replaced you will need to purchase and install a transfer switch as there is no other unit on the market that has all 3 features in one unit.


If you read the whole above listed thread (it is very long) you will know what you need to do to replace the unit on your rig.
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Old 12-06-2022, 12:36 PM   #6
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dead batteries

Thanks to all who replied.
I checked out the recommended Freedom unit... whoaaah... $1700?? Also noted that it is a modified sign wave unit... not a pure sign wave. This seems to be last generation technology. My Heart inverter is a modified sign wave, so why would I want the Freedom unit?

Update:
I have a lot to learn, so please pardon my newbie ignorance. MY problem was actually dead chassis (engine) batteries. (The Heart unit is still operating correctly regarding charging the house batteries). Something drained the engine batteries and I can't figure out what! Checked all of the obvious switches in case they were switched... nothing wrong there. Anyway I charged the engine batteries but then still could not start the engine. Also, the steps failed to operate. I will have to check power to the starter motor, but if that is ok, then I don't have a clue about what could be wrong. Turning the ignition key to start lights up the dash and the Allison shift lights. Anyone have ideas?
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Old 12-06-2022, 03:48 PM   #7
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Thanks to all who replied.

Update:
I have a lot to learn, so please pardon my newbie ignorance. MY problem was actually dead chassis (engine) batteries. (The Heart unit is still operating correctly regarding charging the house batteries). Something drained the engine batteries and I can't figure out what! Checked all of the obvious switches in case they were switched... nothing wrong there. Anyway I charged the engine batteries but then still could not start the engine. Also, the steps failed to operate. I will have to check power to the starter motor, but if that is ok, then I don't have a clue about what could be wrong. Turning the ignition key to start lights up the dash and the Allison shift lights. Anyone have ideas?

If your Heart unit is charging the House batteries, it should also be charging the engine batteries. On my 98 Eagle, this is controlled by the Battery Control Center which on my 98 is located in the same bay as the batteries themselves.



You should have a "Boost " switch on your instrument panel. This forces the BCC to connect both of the battery banks together. That may allow you to start the rig and charge the engine batteries with the alternator. On my 98 that switch is labeled "AUX BATT".


Of course, none of the above apples if you are not getting power to the starter or if your engine batteries are defective. I would test the engine batteries for state of charge and CCA's while I was troubleshooting.



Sometimes even new batteries are not performing to specification, or someone may have installed batteries that do not meet the requirements of your Cummins C8.3 engine.




Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 12-07-2022, 12:19 AM   #8
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I did try the aux switch with no results.
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Old 12-13-2022, 03:59 PM   #9
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nicrisguy, It sounds like you have the same situation as my 99 Eagle, the house batteries charge but chassis batteries drain slowly over time. I just added a small smart charger to the chassis battery bank and plug it in if I will be at the same spot for a few days. It's the only function on my Heart Interface Source Manager that has failed so I have chosen to hold off on replacing it till the house charging system or the inverter stops working.
The only kink in my setup is after a few days the trickle charger will lock up and has to be reset, but it's manageable. Here is a link to the unit I have.
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Old 12-13-2022, 04:10 PM   #10
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You want the new xantrex, not the old 458 if you want pure sine wave.
https://www.hodgesmarine.com/catalog...FCharger+-+12v. Prices have gone up, they show the big one on backorder.
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Old 12-13-2022, 04:13 PM   #11
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I did try the aux switch with no results.
If the aux switch don't work, in many cases, either will any batter to battery charging.
Fix that.
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Old 12-13-2022, 07:05 PM   #12
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I can't tell which Xantrex you are suggesting.
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