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Old 12-24-2014, 05:42 PM   #1
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Engine won't turn over - 8.3 330hp

When I turn the key the starter relay clicks but the engine doesn't turn over. The batteries are charged and the generator started up quickly without any struggle.

About two years ago I had a similar situation. Back then I cycled the Allison transmission from N->D->R->N then the engine started up. So the problem back then must have been some type of interlock in the transmission so the engine would only starts in neutral and it must have thought it was in gear. I tried cycling the transmission this time and it still doesn't turn over.

About two months ago I had a new A/C compressor installed on the engine, new air springs and an oil change and everything worked after that service.

Any suggestions on the best path to follow to trouble shoot this proglem
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:09 PM   #2
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FWIW I'm electrical so I would clip an meter lead on the starter motor and see if it is getting power. If the starter motor is not getting power then work back through the chain of connections looking for power/signal.

There should be a neutral switch to prevent starting in gear. It may be on the linkage or it may be in the transmission. I do not know. I do think you will find it following the wiring. You can test by looking at the continuity through the switch with an ohmmeter or test light. There are several other things that could cause the problem so I would not automatically assume that is the answer. Off hand it could also be any relays in the system or the starter itself. That is why I would start there. YMMV.
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:14 PM   #3
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Don`t some leveling jacks block out the engine start?
Good luck
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Old 12-25-2014, 02:50 PM   #4
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Is the relay the problem? Also like said check the power going to the starter.

Once while under my coach doing some maintenance I noticed that the nut that holds the positive wire on the starter was loose almost to the point of falling off. It had a coarse thread so I put a double nut on it.
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Old 12-25-2014, 03:04 PM   #5
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If you are getting a clicking then it indicates that you are getting connection to start, but have insufficient voltage to the starter. It indicates that a lockout isn't the issue or you wouldn't get the clicking. This could be a loose connection and or a bad starter and or bad starter relay.
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Old 12-25-2014, 03:17 PM   #6
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I took my coach in for service on the 8.3 Cummins and it wouldn't turn over in their lot. It was a bad starter solenoid.
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Old 12-25-2014, 03:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nothermark View Post
FWIW I'm electrical so I would clip an meter lead on the starter motor and see if it is getting power. If the starter motor is not getting power then work back through the chain of connections looking for power/signal.

There should be a neutral switch to prevent starting in gear. It may be on the linkage or it may be in the transmission. I do not know. I do think you will find it following the wiring. You can test by looking at the continuity through the switch with an ohmmeter or test light. There are several other things that could cause the problem so I would not automatically assume that is the answer. Off hand it could also be any relays in the system or the starter itself. That is why I would start there. YMMV.
I agree with clipping a meter lead to the large terminal on the starter. I would also chech for voltage to the small terminal to the starter solinoid. If you get voltage to the small terminal at the solinoide and voltage at the cable terminal then starter or solinoid problems. If your cable terminals loose power then you have a cable problem.
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Old 12-25-2014, 05:43 PM   #8
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I took my coach in for service on the 8.3 Cummins and it wouldn't turn over in their lot. It was a bad starter solenoid.
The 5.9s also have this same problem.
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:18 PM   #9
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I second checking the starter connections for loose nuts. I drove my ISC to Speedco to get it's annual and then went to start it to leave. Only clicking.....like crickets in the night.

Managed to jiggle it enough by trying several hundred times and it started. Limped over to an engine guy who was under the coach for 30 seconds before he said 'hand me a wrench'.

He tightened the nut and it started, but unfortunately, that loose nut also means starter is going bad.

$600 later....all is good.
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:49 PM   #10
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On my Alpine there is a secondary starter solenoid that feeds the primary solenoid mounted on the starter. There was 12.78v coming into this secondary solenoid. When my wife tried to start the motorhome the voltage on the input side of the solenoid dropped to about 11.8v and the output side of this solenoid was 10.5v. The solenoid was letting power through but there did appear to be a loss.

With this type of voltage drop what would you think is happening? The other solenoid is bad or the starter is dead?

In the morning I'll check all the connections on the starter and the chassis ground connection.
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:02 PM   #11
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330hp 8.3 Engine won't turn over

The engine won't turn over.

At rest the batteries are at 12.78v When I try to start the engine the voltage drops to 11.8v. The secondary solenoid output was reading 10.8v when trying to start the engine. There was a drop in voltage with this solenoid but was it enough to keep the engine from starting? The chassis batteries are about 6 years old and the house batteries are newer. Pressing the boost switch to tie in the house batteries didn't make any difference.

Today I cleaned every battery connection and in the morning I'll check all the connections on the starter solenoid and the starter itself. I'll also check the ground.

Any ideas what the problem may be?
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by slickest1 View Post
Is the relay the problem? Also like said check the power going to the starter.

Once while under my coach doing some maintenance I noticed that the nut that holds the positive wire on the starter was loose almost to the point of falling off. It had a coarse thread so I put a double nut on it.
Had the same situation with the "loose cable" except we were at a rest stop on I-39. Tightened the nut and everything was fine. Now use lock tight.
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:23 PM   #13
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Shorted cell or cells on chassis battery?
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Old 12-26-2014, 01:38 AM   #14
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Few questions...

1). What exactly do you mean "won't turn over"? Do you mean the starter is not spinning the crankshaft, or the starter is spinning the engine, it just won't start?

2). Is your motor a C8.3 or an ISC8.3 (what year)?

3). If outside temps are below freezing, are you using your block heater?
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