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Old 10-26-2022, 03:28 AM   #1
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Location: Bend Oregon
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New to me, Coach ignition nightmare.

Just Bought A 97 Beaver Patriot. It Made a 400 Mile journey to meet me 140 Miles from my home. I took it back home. It made 540 mile trip in all, Ran great. 84000 miles On a Caterpillar. Once parked, I started it several times to jockey it in to position before starting an all systems check list. Heating, water, electrical. I went to start it and nothing. the previous owner had only one chassis battery with loose and corroded terminals But still showed 13+V. I bought all new terminals. Added a second battery from my other motor home to give that Cat a kick, still nothing. Of course I just completed electrical system's check to add confusion to the mystery. I found a coach disconnect switch but no chassis switch. I disconnected the chassis battery and gave up. Late last night I decided to see if the two battery systems where isolated, they were not. The coach batteries lit the chassis up. Headlights, dash, ignition switch, pre heated the engine and still nothing. I start tomorrow by checking Neg. cable to chassis, solenoid's, isolate-rs, and that crazy fuse panel w/Enclosed fuses. Anybody have some awesome input. Thanks.
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Old 10-26-2022, 05:51 AM   #2
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Location: MI
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I have a 93 Beaver, the conditions of the 2 at purchase sound very similar. The battery tray had shag carpet on the bottom but no hold downs. There were probably as many loose connections as tight, everything was corroded. It was approaching 30 years old, at that age insulation begins to break down, internal cable corrosion can become a problem, it had reached it's useful life.

The old modified sine wave inverter was going to be replaced, the BIRD system didn't work and I'm not a fan of them. I had other upgrades in mind. The battery tray was rusted and someone had put cement in it. I wanted different batteries that would need real hold downs and support.

Rather than go through and find problems one by one it's easier to me to start over. I made new cables, did the upgrades, cleaned up the battery tray, made hold downs and supports. No more worries about starting problems, and shouldn't have for a lot of years as it was done right.
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Old 10-26-2022, 07:59 AM   #3
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Thanks Argosy! Definitely the battery tray is next. And inspecting cables down the line.
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Old 10-27-2022, 08:26 AM   #4
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Batteries do not show 13+ volts unless there is an external charger feeding voltage to them - batteries should read 12.6-12.7. You may need to disconnect the positive terminal let the batteries sit for 15 minutes to allow the charge voltage to bleed off and then take a reading.

Assuming the batteries are really charged. You could try using heavy jumper cables from the negative of the starter batteries to a known good chassis ground point (scrap the dirt and paint). If the motor turns over/better you probably have a bad ground in the battery compartment - you can do the same trick at the starter since that ground can also corrode.
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Old 10-28-2022, 05:46 AM   #5
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The previous owner does have a after market charger charger hap haphazardly Dangling with tie wire. It was hooked to a single car battery. I bought the correct batteries cleaned all the cables to batteries "two of them" for a fresh start. so I will proceed with your suggested trouble shooting path of the associated grounds. Thank you very much Domo, For the sound advice.

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