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Old 06-12-2015, 06:33 PM   #1
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1997 signature. Help.

1997 Monaco signature series. 8.3 cummins with Allison transmission.

We're broken down in Fredricksburbg, VA. I stopped at the target because the volts on the battery didn't seem to be charging while we were driving. We stopped and I flipped the main battery switch and everything died. Engine and generator. Tried to restart the engine and it was like the battery was too weak to start it. I took a measurement...one battery was at 12.0 the other was 13.0.

I ran into target, bought a little tool kit and swapped batteries. Still nothing. Except now it's not even trying. Like a fuse or something is blown. Lights work. Generator slide works. No power to either starter when the key is turned. Generator doesn't make a peep either.

I'm tracing everything with a volt meter. Power seems to be everywhere. Just nothing when the key is turned. Don't even get the "wait to start" light at this time.

Waiting for aaa mechanic. But in the mean time...any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-12-2015, 07:19 PM   #2
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Your probably on the right track with the volt meter. I would say corroded wire either positive or ground. Also I know from mine there are continuos duty solenoids that when activated power your accessories. These units are a wiring nightmare. Keep us posted when you find it. Networking is the key.


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Old 06-12-2015, 07:32 PM   #3
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You say you swapped batteries between the house and chassis batteries? Most house batteries are six volt batteries hooked up in series to give you twelve volts and chassis batteries are 12 volts. Count the battery fill caps. 6 volt batteries have three caps and 12 volt have six caps.

Also, sounds like when you swapped batteries you left a small battery cable off the positive post on the chassis battery. I bet if you look you will see it laying down behind the battery
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Old 06-12-2015, 07:52 PM   #4
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On this coach, both batteries are identical napa heavy duty 12 volt batteries. The smaller wire you speak of is on a separate wing nut screw which didn't have to be removed with the battery swap.
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:03 PM   #5
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I think I would trace the gen battery cable and get the gen running get a good 12 volt charger and a set of jumper cables or the cable both battery's together get the coach started with the battery charger then remove it and let the gen charge both battery's as it sounds like your altanator is not charging and make it to my destination and remove the alt and find a rebuild shop for the altanator then you can rewire the coach back as before.
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Old 06-12-2015, 08:23 PM   #6
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Sad part is the alternator is brand new. Just recently replaced. It sure looked like the alternator wasn't charging. I'll see if I can find the battery cable for the generator. It seems like it should be on a separate system from the main engine. If there is a particular solonoid or something they both use to start then that is likely where my problem lies. If I could get the generator running we could at least get some comfortable sleep. We started this day at 3am. Flew all the way up here and started the drive back at two. Ugh. I can't believe this is happening.
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Old 06-13-2015, 04:30 AM   #7
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Still dead in the water. Hoping for someone to show up today.
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Old 06-13-2015, 07:26 AM   #8
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If you have not already done so, recommend you post your engine problem on the RV FORUMS, POWERTRAIN GARAGE, Cummins Engines section of this forum.
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:21 AM   #9
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Okay, so I got it all figured out the following morning. Sleep deprivation, heat, dehydration, and the complete unknown are a real detriment to ANY sort of cognitive function. We finally just decided to go to sleep because we were beyond tired and I worked on the problem while we slept. Woke up at 5:30 the following morning and one comment made by someone on the Monaco Yahoo forums clicked the right buttons and we were rolling again by 6:30 that morning!

Thanks to all who helped and just read my words that I was basically pouring out trying to make sense of it all.
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by castrol View Post
Okay, so I got it all figured out the following morning. Sleep deprivation, heat, dehydration, and the complete unknown are a real detriment to ANY sort of cognitive function. We finally just decided to go to sleep because we were beyond tired and I worked on the problem while we slept. Woke up at 5:30 the following morning and one comment made by someone on the Monaco Yahoo forums clicked the right buttons and we were rolling again by 6:30 that morning!

Thanks to all who helped and just read my words that I was basically pouring out trying to make sense of it all.
What was the fix?

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Old 06-16-2015, 08:21 AM   #11
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What was the fix?

Joe
It's amazing what a little sleep will do for your brain.

There's a box in the back with switches so you can start the engine from the rear of the coach if you're working on it.

One switch is a three position switch. (Front - Off - Rear) The other is a momentary switch which engages the starter.

When I was working with it, the ASSUMPTION was the switch box would be able to start the engine. Switch it to the rear position, bump the momentary switch and the engine should start. However, in my case, this did not happen. I found out later, there's one caveat to that entire process...the KEY MUST BE IN THE ON POSITION inside the coach.

Now the switch is in the rear position, and the KEY UP FRONT WON'T START THE COACH.

So it was a basic misunderstanding of the concept of the system, along with a dead or dying battery, being stranded in a state 1200 miles from home on a time crunch to try and be home in 2 days, in the dark, with very little sleep.

The alternator still doesn't charge the chassis battery so there IS a problem, it just wasn't as big as it seemed in that Target parking lot.
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Old 06-16-2015, 06:46 PM   #12
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Glad it did not turn out so bad... Regarding your alternator, make sure all your battery related connections are tight... Please let us know what you eventually discover
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:08 PM   #13
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I will. Still troubleshooting that entire issue.
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