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Old 10-16-2017, 04:35 PM   #1
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F-53 2003 Fleetwood Flair 33R shuts off

My Flair will shut off (engine) completely, intermittently , after hitting bumps. Not every bump, but it seems to be at a bump. That may be coincidental but I'm not discounting it totally.

It happens in the cold (Tucson cold that is) or the hot, no difference. It happens about 10 minutes after starting to drive, and it's happened after an hour or so of driving. There is no rhyme or reason, and I really have no idea, and I'm not totally ignorant when it comes to mechanical, and electrical issues on auto, trucks and RV's. I've been a technician for a few dealerships here in Tucson, so I have at least an idea. This has me stumped. My son is stumped too, and he is an electrical whiz on computer controlled vehicles, and wiring.

We thought, after a good bit of talk, and thought, that it may be the RV Custom Products chassis battery disconnect. It will turn off, and loose power to almost all the chassis side, but the engine will still start after shutting it off. I've never seen a gas coach do this, or any of the luxury coaches either.

Is this a common issue for the F-53 chassis'? Does anybody have any knowledge of this issue? I can't find anything, in all the places I've looked for this. So if you have anything, I'd really appreciate it, and thank you very much.
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:42 PM   #2
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Tank-

This is not a Ford problem, if it involves the RV Custom Products Control Center. See this current thread for a problem with that box on a Thor coach.
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
Tank-

This is not a Ford problem, if it involves the RV Custom Products Control Center. See this current thread for a problem with that box on a Thor coach.
Thanks, my box is different, but still RV Custom Products. That has always been our thought. I have most all functions, although lights are not very bright at all. We jumped what we thought was the correct terminals, and the lights were brighter, but it still shut off, so I can only assume it was not correct. I will go to the storage lot in another day or so, and get busy.

Thanks again for the info, I searched, but used some incorrect terms (?), or wrong forums/areas (?) I guess.
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:38 PM   #4
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Update?

We recently went camping a little over an hour away from home. This thing shut off on my 3 times on the way there, and twice on the way home. My son and I are both heavy in the automotive background (race cars, street cars, engine building, sand cars, motorhome technician for almost 10 years), so we are familiar with a good bit of drivability issues. But, trust me, this is not an every day issue. This has stumped us for a while.

On this last trip him and I were talking on walkie talkies, and decided it almost has to be the electrical portion of the ignition switch, not the key and rotary portion. So, I went to Ford and got the switch and installed it.

Well, as I took it apart, the bolt in the middle of the wire bundle was broken off at the switch. If I did that ok, fine, but if it was done over time, that would allow the wire bundle to wiggle and possibly loose contact.

Reasons for this diagnosis:
Speedometer is the only gauge that goes to zero.
brake lights get very dim, sometimes.
4way flashers also get very dim.
Won't start until I stop and put it in park.
When it does restart, the lights are all bright again.

Right or wrong, that's where I'm at right now. I plan on travelling the same route this weekend to recreate the last times it quit on my. As they say in the news.....film at 11!!!
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Old 01-24-2018, 01:55 PM   #5
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I hope we found it...

Well, yesterday we took the old Flair for a test drive. And we went back on the same path that we took last time, and it shut down 5 times total, there and back. We went almost as far, but turned around and came home.

There was no bobbles, no hiccups, no burps, no nothing. It ran just fine all the way there and all the way back. I even took the longer way home to go on 2 other roads that it has shut off on before. And, nothing on those 2 roads also.

So, if you have this problem, look at your electrical part of the ignition switch, not the rotary key portion.

I'm not 100% convinced yet, maybe next trip, but it sure seems IT WORKS!!!!

BBTank
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:40 PM   #6
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Just a quick question for you. When the engine died, but restarted soon after, did you notice if your trip odometer went to zero?

Twice we've had our coach shut off. The conditions seemed to be after hitting a light bump and while it was still cold. Each time it happened I was able to shift to neutral and restart before coming to a complete stop. I found that the trip odometer had reset itself to zero after each incident.
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Old 01-27-2018, 07:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DryCreek View Post
Just a quick question for you. When the engine died, but restarted soon after, did you notice if your trip odometer went to zero?

Twice we've had our coach shut off. The conditions seemed to be after hitting a light bump and while it was still cold. Each time it happened I was able to shift to neutral and restart before coming to a complete stop. I found that the trip odometer had reset itself to zero after each incident.
No sir, didn't happen on mine. All the gauges would still show proper responses, except the speedometer, it would fall to 0. If I put it in neutral, the tach would also fall to zero, and it wouldn't start until I stopped for a minute, maybe, and in park. Then it would light and take off.

One of the diagnosing points for us, was when the engine would shut off, the tail lights were ok sometimes, and barely visible others. Radio played, gauges worked, power steering was tough, and brakes were tough. I almost didn't make a turn once right after it shut off. Thank goodness nobody was in the way when I turned.

I'm not at all saying that this is the definitive answer for every F53 chassis motorhome that shuts off while traveling, or after bumps, I'm sharing what I think, and hope, has fixed ours. This has run us around and around, and about to make me go crazy for about 3 years. (The first 2 I didn't really care or diagnose it, it didn't happen that often)

Take care all, and keep the shiny side up. Above all, have fun, life is short.
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