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Old 06-24-2022, 08:13 PM   #1
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Shake down....break down

Well... decided we would take the new to me 97 Fleetwood Pace Arrow Vision for an overnight trip a couple of hours from home on our first trip to see how things went.

Started the coach got the generator up and running ACs all on (98 outside) drove to get gas and when I got home I let her run and idle while we loaded up. Took about an hour and a half total. All went well....got on the road and drove an hour....had to stop at toll booth. While paying the toll it died...and did not want to start again. While trying to start acted like I had no battery...but not like it drained down from cranking...more like when an alternator goes out.

Luckily generator kept coach cool for wife and dogs while I tried to figure out the issue.

Battery:
There is no clamp or anything holding it in place...and the jarring of driving broke the ground cable bolt off the terminal and melted a little. There is an actual post next to where this bolt was. So son is on his way with a universal clamp and that should solve that issue.

Engine dying:
This seems like some sort of fuel issue. It's an EFI engine...so not vapor lock but seems similar. Google shows some people with similar experiences...hot day, AC running, and all is good until you allow down or stop....and then it's like a low pressure situation. Let engine cool and should work. So we let engine cool 30 minutes and I held the battery cable while wife started it and it started....but cable didn't stay connected and so when I tried to drive she stalled.

Hopefully when son gets here it will have been 1.5 hours cool down and we will fix terminal...strap battery in place so it's doesn't move as much and the cool down will allow me to get home....then I have to figure out the issue that actually caused the stall.

Not a fun night...but hopefully I can get home ok and sort it out.

If you have brilliant ideas on the what I believe was a fuel issue....I would appreciate an idea how to solve it.
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Old 06-24-2022, 08:15 PM   #2
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Pics...don't know if you can see what I mean about the battery
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Old 06-24-2022, 08:27 PM   #3
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Pics...don't know if you can see what I mean about the battery
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Old 06-25-2022, 06:50 AM   #4
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This is a, "New to you 1997 RV." Do you know any of its history or have any maintenance records? Did you verify your fuel pump pressure?

Don't know why you have moved on from a loose battery connection to a fuel shortage before fixing the negative battery connection. That seems like a big leap in diagnosis. The engine dies while waiting at a tool booth. Losing your negative or ground battery connection will shut off the fuel pump.

First fix the negative battery connection and secure the battery to keep it from bouncing. Which you said you did. The age of the battery IMHO because of how it looks may also be in question. Not being secure can and will break internal plates causing shorted cells. That is based on how long the battery has been loose and bouncing around. Again that's part of its previous history. It would be best to have the battery load tested to determine if it can consistently and reliable supply enough cranking current. Is there a date on the battery? Try to determine the date it was put into service.

What ever your chassis engine is I'll assume it's gas engine and those engines usually have an internal fuel pump. Based on it being a 1997 chassis the pump might need replacing. Maybe the maintenance history will show it's been replaced and when. That can be determined with a fuel pump pressure test.

That's my 2 cents worth.
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Old 06-25-2022, 07:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCompton1973 View Post
Well... decided we would take the new to me 97 Fleetwood Pace Arrow Vision for an overnight trip a couple of hours from home on our first trip to see how things went.

Started the coach got the generator up and running ACs all on (98 outside) drove to get gas and when I got home I let her run and idle while we loaded up. Took about an hour and a half total. All went well....got on the road and drove an hour....had to stop at toll booth. While paying the toll it died...and did not want to start again. While trying to start acted like I had no battery...but not like it drained down from cranking...more like when an alternator goes out.

Luckily generator kept coach cool for wife and dogs while I tried to figure out the issue.

Battery:
There is no clamp or anything holding it in place...and the jarring of driving broke the ground cable bolt off the terminal and melted a little. There is an actual post next to where this bolt was. So son is on his way with a universal clamp and that should solve that issue.

Engine dying:
This seems like some sort of fuel issue. It's an EFI engine...so not vapor lock but seems similar. Google shows some people with similar experiences...hot day, AC running, and all is good until you allow down or stop....and then it's like a low pressure situation. Let engine cool and should work. So we let engine cool 30 minutes and I held the battery cable while wife started it and it started....but cable didn't stay connected and so when I tried to drive she stalled.

Hopefully when son gets here it will have been 1.5 hours cool down and we will fix terminal...strap battery in place so it's doesn't move as much and the cool down will allow me to get home....then I have to figure out the issue that actually caused the stall.

Not a fun night...but hopefully I can get home ok and sort it out.

If you have brilliant ideas on the what I believe was a fuel issue....I would appreciate an idea how to solve it.
the engine dying as you describe sounds just like the ignition control module on the older fords when they go bad. I'm not sure if your year suffers from that same issue. I looked and it appears yours uses a different module from the older years so I can't say for sure that is your issue. BUT the only reason I even post is because. On the older ICM's they would get hot, vehicle would stall and would not restart until the ICM cooled down.
I'm not positive that could be your issue but it's something to look at possibly.
The only other thing that comes to mind is the fuel pump is on its way out, I am assuming you are running a gasser.
You could hook up a fuel pressure gauge and monitor it while letting it idle.
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Old 06-25-2022, 07:48 AM   #6
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Please, do yourself a favor....get some red tape and wrap every wire attached to the positive post on your battery. Do the same on the ground post wires but using black tape. You wouldn't believe how many times folks new to RVing decide to replace a battery only to find they have no idea what wire goes where. BTW, yes that ground battery post is unusable as is and battery replacement is in your future.
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Old 06-25-2022, 08:13 AM   #7
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Update...
Son got there with battery clamp. We moved all the connections over to the negative post instead of that bolt and secured it. We also use a heavy black bungee to strap it in place. This along with temps outside cooled dramatically since it happened and 2 hours of letting the engine cool before he got there allowed me to get home.

I guess you could be right that it is not a fuel issue. When this first happened it seemed like a vapor lock....but it's an EFI so I was thinking that wasn't possible. When googling I saw others that had a similar situation with fuel and heat. For the first few minutes after it occurred it would start and sputter and die right away. I was able to sort of nurse/drive the RV about 50' to get it out of the toll booth area and out of the way of traffic. After trying to start a few more times is when it suddenly acted like no power.

At first I thought this was me trying to start to often and drained it, but then I found it odd that it went from cranking fine to just nothing and that's when I checked the battery. So it's very possible it was only a battery issue. I got stuck on fuel issue as the first idea of what happened....and THEEEEENNNN I found the battery issue and felt like it was in addition to the fuel issue and not the primary problem.

It is a 460 gas engine.

I picked up a fuel pressure tester and the little quick release tools to remove the fuel line...and a fuel pump.

Tried to remove line off the filter to test pressure but apparently doing something wrong as it didn't come off easily. Also had the thought that if I DID test normal...that wouldn't help me again if it's an issue that only occurs when temps are super high and driving for a few hours. Not sure how to diagnose that.
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Old 06-25-2022, 08:30 AM   #8
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I’d suggest that you start again from scratch and thoroughly go over every system, chassis and house, of a 25-year old “new to you” RV before you even think of going for a shake down trip.
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Old 06-25-2022, 09:38 AM   #9
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That last picture seems to show that the battery terminal has actually MELTED off. Loose terminals don't do that. Something like a very high amperage draw or a very local dead short will. Something very near the battery, usually other wiring would smoke first if it were further away. There's a small possibility of a manufacturing defect of the battery but I'd be looking really hard at the big battery cable wiring and how the starter is working. Damage like that would instantly burn any smaller wiring so focus only on the large stuff.

My battery got loose and the positive terminal touched a metal bracket that was grounded which then knocked out my charging system. I was able to get the short way home by holding down the "boost" button the whole time. Luckily I was only on a test drive. Yours couldn't have done exactly that as it's the ground terminal. Ground is ground. Except what are those solenoids or whatever right behind it?
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Old 06-25-2022, 09:49 AM   #10
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Congrats on the new coach- I really liked those tag axle ones. I hope you solve your issues but I'm not going to suggest anything except to ditch that old battery! -And, follow the advice of marking all the connections+taking a a few pictures before hand. Good luck!
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Old 06-25-2022, 11:04 AM   #11
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Your battery connections are a mess. Looks like someone used the stud terminals for the chassis connection which is a no-no. For a reliable system the connections need to be clean, tight and with the proper terminals. I wouldn't assume that the engine stopping and failed connections are not related. Fix what you know is broken first, and go from there.



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Old 06-25-2022, 11:09 PM   #12
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Smart to do a shake down trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCompton1973 View Post
Well... decided we would take the new to me 97 Fleetwood Pace Arrow Vision for an overnight trip a couple of hours from home on our first trip to see how things went.

Started the coach got the generator up and running ACs all on (98 outside) drove to get gas and when I got home I let her run and idle while we loaded up. Took about an hour and a half total. All went well....got on the road and drove an hour....had to stop at toll booth. While paying the toll it died...and did not want to start again. While trying to start acted like I had no battery...but not like it drained down from cranking...more like when an alternator goes out.

Luckily generator kept coach cool for wife and dogs while I tried to figure out the issue.

Battery:
There is no clamp or anything holding it in place...and the jarring of driving broke the ground cable bolt off the terminal and melted a little. There is an actual post next to where this bolt was. So son is on his way with a universal clamp and that should solve that issue.

Engine dying:
This seems like some sort of fuel issue. It's an EFI engine...so not vapor lock but seems similar. Google shows some people with similar experiences...hot day, AC running, and all is good until you allow down or stop....and then it's like a low pressure situation. Let engine cool and should work. So we let engine cool 30 minutes and I held the battery cable while wife started it and it started....but cable didn't stay connected and so when I tried to drive she stalled.

Hopefully when son gets here it will have been 1.5 hours cool down and we will fix terminal...strap battery in place so it's doesn't move as much and the cool down will allow me to get home....then I have to figure out the issue that actually caused the stall.

Not a fun night...but hopefully I can get home ok and sort it out.

If you have brilliant ideas on the what I believe was a fuel issue....I would appreciate an idea how to solve it.
Smart to take a shake down trip
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