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Old 09-30-2020, 04:27 PM   #1
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'06 Signature Engine Compartment Electrical Panel

Recently purchased this coach and each trip is a new experience in problem resolution. This past trip is no exception. Having negotiated replacement of the AGM batteries, since they would not hold a charge, the batteries were replaced in their service bay with 4 similar AGM hybrid gel batteries, 200AH each, replacing Lifeline 210 AH batteries. In the process the electrical panel cover was left off the panel. During the trip, the exhaust pipe coming from the muffler (rusted) came off, unwittingly. I noticed much soot on the exterior rear of the motorhome when setting up our site, and discovered the missing pipe and chrome turn down extension. I didn't notice any performance decrease, nor did I notice a louder exhaust. However, I did experience different electrical failures driving back, such as the controls for leveling, both in setup and travel modes, no longer appear to have power, the TV drop down came down when shutting the engine off at a rest stop, and continued to try to lower the screen, though it was already down (the inverter was not inverting at the time and generator was not on), which has the screen pressing hard against the cabinets behind it. I had to turn the inverter on, and then off to get it to stop lowering. I will not go back up. My Kenwood monitor and NAV have no power, the key fobs no longer lock and unlock the main and basement doors, and perhaps coincidental, but the lower tail light housing directly above where the exhaust is (passenger side) has pulled loose on the outer edge and proximal plastic screw attachment appears to be pulled and bent, though no apparent indication on the lens that something was hit. Regardless, the housing is hanging by the wires, so had to tape it on.

When looking at the light assembly, I opened the engine compartment door to discover the electrical panel on the right side (above where the exhaust is/was) had no cover, which is did prior to the battery change. No other work was done on the coach involving that compartment, so my assumption is that it was removed during the battery change and not replaced. Now the compartment and electrical panel are covered with soot, and appears to have experienced high heat, as the plastic labels are curled up and brown, though it is hard to determine if there really was high heat issues or if it is soot from the exhaust, and perhaps both. I see many red lights on the panel and very few green (photo attached)

My question is whether this panel can be cleaned with electrical contact cleaner, such as DeoxIT spray, CRC Precision Contact Clearner, or WD-40 Specialist Electrical Contact Cleaner? If so, are there recommendations for this purpose. Second question is whether this could be the source of all the incidental issues. When I brought it to the service technician's attention, he was dismissive of the situation, and suggested he could have left it off, but could replace it with a plastic cover. My assumption is that this would likely be a metal cover to protect from heat as well as soot and moisture.

I would appreciate any feedback on this issue as I checked all the other sources of fuses and circuit breakers, and could find no failures in the panels I am aware of. Can the engine compartment panel be reset once cleaned off?

Thanks in advance
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Old 09-30-2020, 04:54 PM   #2
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Soot is usually a dead giveaway for an exhaust leak nearby. When you add to that things look as though they have been overheated that would be a second tell tale.
( exhaust is hot )
Yes I would try electrical contact cleaner but you need to find out exactly what the components in that box control. Do you have a wiring diagram ? If not, maybe someone here on the forum does & can get you a copy.
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Old 09-30-2020, 05:39 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forums! 2006 Monaco Signature is a beautiful coach! Glad to have another Sig owner among us.

The rear run box is usually covered by a plexiglass cover. There is not usually a lot of heat directly at it, however I imagine the hot exhaust soot has been blown into the box and that is what has caused the heat damage.

As you can see there are quite a few electrical devices here. One item is the battery cutoff solenoids. These control the 12V domestic power to the coach via the battery cutoff switch in your stairwell. If these solenoids have been damaged and not operating, they could affect power to many of the items you have mentioned. That’s probably where I would start.

Your rear run box has even more components then our 2001 does. I see some breakers, I would check those.

Incidentally the plexiglass cover that has gone missing usually has the wiring diagram on it, however there is usually another in the wiring diagram booklet. Do you have the wiring diagrams that came with your coach?

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Old 09-30-2020, 06:03 PM   #4
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Ditto on cover being plastic, I would use a air nozzle to blow out panel before using any cleaners, you might also think about using a low velocity yard blower on engine compartment, they help.
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Old 09-30-2020, 09:26 PM   #5
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On our 2005 Signature, the TV lift is controlled by the Intellitec multiplex system mounted in the bedroom closet above that area and unrelated to the rear run box in the engine bay.

I would be looking at that first.

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Old 09-30-2020, 10:50 PM   #6
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Thanks all for responding and recommendations

I do have the rather large spiral bound schematic diagrams, so will cross reference along with your recommendations. Great idea about the leaf blower on the engine and blowing the soot from the electrical panel before contact cleaner, perhaps much less gunk when wet, though the descriptions suggest no residue. The soot has to go somewhere.

So, for those contemplating a new muffler and exhaust, plan on $1000. Mine was just over that, and the coach seems to be smoother running as well as quieter. The old muffler was rusted in multiple places, so suspect it was affecting exhaust flow and not really muffling.

I will follow up with findings.
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Old 10-01-2020, 07:20 AM   #7
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You replaced 4 house batteries? Aren't there 8 of them, 4 in each compartment? The rear run bay cover on later models is metal instead of plastic as mentioned by the owners of earlier versions.

Many items you are having trouble with are part of the Intellitec Multiplexing system. The first thing to do is kill all power to the coach, disconnecting the batteries, shore power and solar. Reconnect the batteries and see if that helped. Sequence of events; after the battery exchange did you use any of the items that are not working now or did you leave on a trip immediately?
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Old 10-01-2020, 08:56 AM   #8
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On our '06 Dynasty the cover is more like a Micarta or Bakelite maybe ⅛" thick. It has two fasteners that look a lot like Piper aircraft cowl fasteners at the bottom. The top just slips under that top lip and the two fasteners keep it in place. Here are a couple of links to similar fasteners. I don't know if they are the same, but the operate on the same principle. I think the Pegasus link looks more like what we have. Hopefully others will share their input on this. NW RV Supply might be able to help, too.

https://www.skysupplyusa.com/487-719...hoCAogQAvD_BwE

https://www.pegasusautoracing.com/pr...RoC8egQAvD_BwE

I'm attaching two drawings that I made that may be helpful identifying what is in your rear run box and what systems the devices/boards operate. One is a very basic schematic of the chassis battery loads (both rear run box and front run box), and the other is a basic layout of what is in that rear run box.

I hope this may help. I really like the compressed air idea. To clean the engine compartment from time to time, I mix a pretty rich solution of Simple Green in a garden sprayer. I use a hose sprayer to wet the area, then spray everything down with the Simple Green solution and let it sit for several minutes. Then I spray it off with the hose sprayer, again. It really does a pretty nice job. (I do the same with the generator/front firewall area, both ends of the fuel tank compartment and the battery compartment.). I will use my "el cheapo" 120 volt pressure washer on those areas on occasion, but I absolutely try to avoid spraying it onto the alternator, or any cable connectors, and such. (These areas are at least somewhat water resistant, as they get pretty well "washed" by road water when driving on wet roads.). I would NOT use the Simple Green and hose sprayer on the run box, though.

I suspect that you won't have damaged components in your run box, but you will have a bunch of at least somewhat conductive contamination from the carbon soot all over a lot of it that could be causing you at least some of your problems. Once you've done all you can with compressed air, I also would be comfortable using an electronics spray cleaner on the box, using compressed air to as you go, starting at the top and kind of washing the contamination to the bottom, and see how much you can clean it up. Contamination on the back sides of the circuit boards could be a problem, but I'm not sure how much you can flush that area out.

BE SURE and open both of your battery disconnects while you are cleaning that area, and until it has dried off. You will still have a little bit of it that will remain energized by the chassis battery, but mostly confined to the upper left quadrant involving the start circuits.

Good luck to you. It looks just awful!! But I think you'll be able to clean it up pretty well and hopefully get back in full operation.
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Old 10-01-2020, 08:57 AM   #9
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It looks like the two drawings didn't make the trip. Here they are.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Layout - Rear Run Panel (Back 2).pdf (39.3 KB, 3 views)
File Type: pdf Single Line - Chassis Battery (Back 1).pdf (68.9 KB, 2 views)
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