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Old 04-19-2005, 10:42 AM   #1
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Attempted trip to Port Aransas via Dallas and Houston. When we tried to start the engine after the first night in Dallas, the dash was dead, without any lights, and the engine would not turn over (no starter click...nothing). The headlights would not light at all. Generator was running, and all inside "stuff" was working. Battery via volt meter was 12 volts. Coachnet sent someone to "jump" the engine which had no effect. Workhorse emergency assistance and Coachnet offered to tow us to a campground to spend Saturday and Sunday while waiting for someone in the Dallas area to open on Monday...
High under the hood is a clear plexiglass cover (about 12x14 inches) that covers a host of red (positive) wires. There is an ignition module of some sort that had 12 volts on both sides. I tried wiggling all the red wires and suddenly the dash was up, and the headlights were bright, but all went dead within 10 seconds...no dimming, just sudden darkness. I tried moving the main enine battery cables that were tight and suddenly alllights on dash and headlights came on... engine started. Spent the night in Dallas and started up next am without trouble.
Next am same routine...dead engine without dash lights. Wiggling the same cable...no result. Removed the cable from chassis battery, inspected (no cracks, no corossion) made contact with the cables and blot while reconecting and all was well. Started home...had to disconnect battery three more times when we stopped for gas, but not every time.. The headlights dimmed on two occasions briefly, and more worrisome, the dash went blank, the engine shut off for about five seconds and then all the colored lights/symbols on the dash showed up and engine spontaneously started. Arrived home 3 am.
Heading to dealer now.
Any similar experiences? Engine has 5100 miles.
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Old 04-19-2005, 10:42 AM   #2
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Attempted trip to Port Aransas via Dallas and Houston. When we tried to start the engine after the first night in Dallas, the dash was dead, without any lights, and the engine would not turn over (no starter click...nothing). The headlights would not light at all. Generator was running, and all inside "stuff" was working. Battery via volt meter was 12 volts. Coachnet sent someone to "jump" the engine which had no effect. Workhorse emergency assistance and Coachnet offered to tow us to a campground to spend Saturday and Sunday while waiting for someone in the Dallas area to open on Monday...
High under the hood is a clear plexiglass cover (about 12x14 inches) that covers a host of red (positive) wires. There is an ignition module of some sort that had 12 volts on both sides. I tried wiggling all the red wires and suddenly the dash was up, and the headlights were bright, but all went dead within 10 seconds...no dimming, just sudden darkness. I tried moving the main enine battery cables that were tight and suddenly alllights on dash and headlights came on... engine started. Spent the night in Dallas and started up next am without trouble.
Next am same routine...dead engine without dash lights. Wiggling the same cable...no result. Removed the cable from chassis battery, inspected (no cracks, no corossion) made contact with the cables and blot while reconecting and all was well. Started home...had to disconnect battery three more times when we stopped for gas, but not every time.. The headlights dimmed on two occasions briefly, and more worrisome, the dash went blank, the engine shut off for about five seconds and then all the colored lights/symbols on the dash showed up and engine spontaneously started. Arrived home 3 am.
Heading to dealer now.
Any similar experiences? Engine has 5100 miles.
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Old 04-19-2005, 12:29 PM   #3
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Docs', I see that the engine has 5000 miles, but what about the coach?. It sounds like a bad cable connection(s),at the battery. Dont go by the looks, scrub all the mating surfaces involved in both the negative and positive connections, ei: battery posts, and inside the connectors on the cables.. They MUST be shiny bright. You can use rough sandpaper, even a sharp knife will do.. These surfaces can look good, clean, and untarnished, but still have a "surface" on them that resists the flow of current..Bad connections will sometimes pass enough current for a light load,radio plays, or maybe the dash lights will come on, but a heavy draw, such as when the starter is engaged, or headlights turned on, or A/C is turned on, will cause the circuit to completly fail..After cleaning them, re connect them, tighten them properly, and unless you have some specific terminal sealer, coat the metal ends of the cables, and tops of the battery posts with ordinary vaseline..rgr..BTW,protect your eyes etc. when doing anything around the battery(s) as the acid from the battery(s), and external corrosion is very "hurtfull" If the battery shows any corrosion, or surface wetness, bathe it first with a solution of warm water and baking soda.. dont get any of this solution down into the cells..rinse thoughly with ordinary water..
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Old 04-19-2005, 04:36 PM   #4
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PairoDocs Hi Reading your post reminds me of a poor crimped battery lug on a cable I once had. Water an salt from road got into connection caused all kinds of havec. If you know a auto shop they may have the pliers to recrimp the bad connection. Before you work on cables to check them remove your positive cable on your chassis battery. Check your batt cables at buss bar where you have been getting the on an off conditions with loose cable. You will have to remove nut holding cable to buss to remake up a clean connection. Coat wire with some di- elect grease than remake connection, you may need a new batt lug also.

When ever you work on battery cables its a good idea to shut off your battery switch, spikes on battery disconects can cause your slides to activate an open up.

I believe from pass posts you had, you have a Newmar coach? Nothing in profile. There is a gnd post on your frame in front of your coach, it will have 5 or 6 white gnd wires on it, it should be checked also for loose wires an dirty connections. Let us know how you make out at dealers, keep the faith. ---"007'
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Old 04-20-2005, 02:20 AM   #5
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PairoDocs, your problem sounds like it might be a broken battery pole. Can either battery post be lifted or turned slightly by hand? If so, it's severed down inside the case.
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Old 04-21-2005, 05:08 PM   #6
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Just talked to the Workhorse authorized service center. He says the starter is ruined, caused by too much heat from the Banks headers we installed about 500 miles before the problem started. Says that when I would pull on the battery cable after disconecting, it pulled on the starter wires due to a common connection and that would fix a short in the wires. Says he tried to remove the starter but cannot get to it without removing the right headers.
I installed this system (power pac) to LOWER the temperature of the exhaust, especially around the spark plug wires due to personal experience with damaged spark plug wires, comments from several other RV'ers about their overheated spark plug wires, and comments about original exhaust manifolds turning white from the heat generated. I suspect that if heat were indeed the culprit in this situation it would be from damage caused by the original headers, not the Banks system.
City Chevrolet (the authorized Oklahoma City worksite) has initially told me this will likely not be a warrenied item, claiming the damage is from the headers I installed . (I installed them at about 5000 mies and the problem showed up 400-500 miles later?????)
I have read interviews with Gale Banks where he claims no damage to an engine has occured with the banks systems, and that they will stand behind that claim. I will be calling them in the AM.
Any other individuals who have installed the Banks system on the 8.1 Liter Workhorse gasoline
engine would be of interest to me, especially if they experienced any problems.
Any starter failures from heat on 8.1's without modifications such as Banks?
007...your thoughts would be helpful as well.
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Old 04-21-2005, 05:17 PM   #7
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One other thought... how would pulling on a starter coneection of a "fried" starter make it work? The Workhorse technician also told me that the battery cable was re-routed when the Banks installation was accomplished. He said the main battery cable was now rubbing against a sharp point and the coating was partially worn, but not to the point it was grounding out.
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Old 04-22-2005, 02:01 AM   #8
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I installed the banks powerpac on my 04 w22 myself. I spent a lot of time trying to get the starter wires angled away from the headers, it is really tight in there. I changed where the wires use to come around the starter which would put them between the starter and the headers and routed them straight forward so there are no wires between the header and started.

Banks even gives you some heat shielding to use to protect the wires (which I didn't use). I've put on 3000 miles so far and no problems.

I agree with you on the starter, it would seem if it worked, then it should be good.
also... my harness from battery to starter was well tied to the frame with tye wraps. I couldn't pull any of of the slack in the cable back to the starter that I needed so I could reroute by just pulling from the starter end, I had to loosen all the tye wraps first. I doubt you messin with the wire by the on the battery is doing anything down by the starter.

The battery wire to the starter is not the only wire connected to the starter. The schematics also show a fusible link connects to that starter post. The other end of the fusible link connects to the wire from the altenator output and also an additional fusible link to the main fuse panel that feeds everything. Any of these wires I guess could be bad....

john
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Old 04-23-2005, 01:23 PM   #9
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PairoDocs & John, The Banks system is put together to prevent heat from the pipes from causing problems with the surrounding components. The pipes will become cherry red when pulling a grade, thats why any shield or wire wrap shielding should be used an not "discarded".
The Workhorse starter has a shield on it as original equipment an all wires to starter are wrapped with tin foil up to the connections on the starter. I would call Banks to see if they supplied a larger heat shield to protect the starter. The original heat shield is small for the one exhaust pipe that is on my unmodifided exhaust system.
If your lucky the starter maybe ok an you may only have a fried battery cable. I would route all battery cables away from the exhaust an shield with wrap. You may have to get longer cables made up for this.
I have had two Banks sys installed on the Ford V-10 chassis an a large heat shield was supplied for starter protection. The Banks people are very helpful, when you call them just explain the problem an what has happened. If you have like you say, only put on 500 miles since install it may not be the starter, because it should have its original heat shield on it unless it was removed by someone.
I would also ask Banks if they have a "good" Banks dealer near you to check the installation out for you. Keep in touch. ---"007"
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Old 04-23-2005, 02:20 PM   #10
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PairoDocs,
Workhorse had to repalace the starter on my 02 Monaco at about 15000 miles. I think it was due to the heat generated by the manifolds.
I had about 4 sets of spark plugs wires replaced before Woarkhorse installed the air vents to cool the exhaust manifolds.
I have driven about 5000 miles since the air vents were installed have had no problems so far. I also did a couple of other things to help solve the spark plug wire problem.

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Old 04-23-2005, 06:14 PM   #11
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I Can't tell what year or engine you have but I will share my experience with a 454 that we put headers on, in a brand new 1 ton sedan dually that I was towing a 40 foot fifth wheel with.
Never a problem until I would tow and then only when I made my first stop at a Gas Station or a RV park and then everything was dead. Totally! I would have to wait an hour or two with the hood up until it cooled down and then it would start and everything worked again. I then learned to short across the solonoid with a screwdrive and crank it.
Finally two years later the chevvy dealer got a service bulletin that said the voltage was breaking down due to high heat and too light of gage wires. the fix was to add a cheap solonoid and some 6 guage wires. We did that and no more problems for the next 5 years until I sold it.
The only problems I had after that was I had to replace the starter every year or so because the headers would fry it. Then Chevrolet came out with a starter that had interior insulation in it for over 200.00 and that solved that problem.
End of report
Bill
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