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upnorth

Electrical issue

26 posts in this topic

I am hoping someone here has an idea of what might have happened. Yesterday we started our RV and it started right up and then died and seems to be totally dead of power now. No radio, no lights etc. I checked the battery and it was giving out 12 volts so it seems to be good. I checked the connections and everything there seems to be good, I even threw the jumper cables on and tried that to no avail. There is voltage/battery condition checker on the dash and I can see voltage from the auxiliary batteries but not the starting battery.

1985 Chevy 454 in a "85" Winnebago.

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By not starting, what do you mean?

Won't crank?

Cranks but won't fire?

A single click?

Click,click, click when key is turned?

Headlights work?

Do wipers or radio work with key on.

Turn key and nothing happens?

Check and make sure cable are tight at both ends to start with.

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You probably blew the main power fuse. Or there is a main power switch that lost contact.

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It does nothing, no click, no power at all.

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I would think fusible link or fuse like 4.W.E, said. That or starting relay or starter.

When you turn the head lights on, do they come on?

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There is absolutely no electrical power anywhere. No lights, radio, wipers, heater, blinkers, etc.

I think I will check the fuses to start with.

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I would also pull off and clean terms on battery, even if they look good. If that does not work, start checking the wires coming off of the battery for breaks or corrosion.

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Dont forget to check BOTH ends of the battery cables, not just at the battery. My first guess would be the connection of the battery cable at the starter.

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Didn't GM stick a wad of fusible links off the starter in those years?

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Side post battery I'm sure. Like was said before. check cables, both end for tightness and the battery ends for corrosion inside the cable ends. The fusible links at the starter can be checked simply by pulling slightly on each one and see if they pull apart. If they are burnt sometimes the wire inside will burn but the insulation on the outside looks good.

Do you have 12 volts at the starter? Key on or off, the poitive cable goes directly to the starter I beleive. If you don't have 12 volts there your problem is in your cables or connections.

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Its this one right?

DSCF0003.jpg

Just to clear up that its a class A(?) not a class C(?) Chevy van conversion

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 Quote:

I would also pull off and clean terms on battery, even if they look good. If that does not work, start checking the wires coming off of the battery for breaks or corrosion

That was the first thing I did. I even pulled the quick disconnect out to be sure that wasn't causing a problem.

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I dug out the manual and it gives some trouble shooting tips. It says to check to see if the headlights work and I do get the headlights, and then it says to check the radio, wipers etc, none of those work. It says to check the bulkhead connector, or line fuse??? What is a bulkhead connector and where do I find it. I found the fuse panel and they look good, I am going to dig out the multi tester and test what I think is the main fuse. There is nothing in the manual about the darn fuse panel mad.gif So I don't really know where what is?

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The Bulk head connector will be located where the wiring harness meets the fire wall. That could be where the fusible links are located. The fusible link is a chunk of wire with two rubber studs at each end. Someone might have an image of one. Look and feel them for inconstancies or corroded burn marks.

How did you get the head lights to work?

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I hadn't checked the headlights earlier, just the interior lights, I probably should have.

I pulled out the multi tester and did some checking, at the battery I am getting 13 to 14 volts and I pulled the ignition switch apart and I am getting 7 volts across the red and black. Not sure what i should get there.

I am going to go out and see if I can find where the wires exit the cab now and see if I can find what you mentioned.

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13 to 14 volts at the battery? You should only get that when the eng. is running. It should be 12.3-12.8 volts (in general).

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It is the old sweep type multi tester I could easily be off 1 volt.

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That voltage drop could be suspect. I would check all connections (I know it sucks, I had to do it on my boat) and find the corroded/bad connection. Any add on item’s down stream of the battery? My voltage drop in my boat was a tether shut off cord I passed by a couple times. I added it in at one point. My voltage would drop below 10v at the CDI box and would not allow spar to occur. This is totally different from your situation, but when you brought up 7v, it made me think. I could be wrong.

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I am going to have to wait until it gets light out and find where the bulkhead is and the fuseable links. I have all the auxilary panels from under the dash off and still can't find where the wire head out of the cab. The more I check the more I really believe there is bad fuse some where. I am also going to go through where the batteries connect to the frame. I have my doubts it is just a poor connections there, but may just as well rule it out, and I can actually see those \:\/

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Does the positive cable go right to the starter? If so your fuseable links should be at that connection. If you have power there you should have power to most of the fuses with the key on.

If you don't, check and make sure you have a good ground on the negative cable. Also check the the single wire at the start solenoid for power with someone turning the key. If there is no power there it could be an ignition switch.

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You can't imagine have much of a pain it is to sort through the wiring on one of these things. I went through and pulled the negative and positive battery connections off and cleaned them both on the battery and where the terminate on the frame and the isolation switch. I did find one line with a fuse in it and checked out and it came out OK. I pulled the ignition switch out and checked across the battery to ignition, acc and solenoid and got resistance on all with the key in either the start or run position, so I assume the switch is good.

There is so much garbage that I still can't really find where the wires come out of the cab. I can find the wires but you can't get to where they come out in the engine bay or under the dash, it seems like they go out under the fuse panel and I can't even see how to get that off. I am going to have to try and jack it up and crawl underneath to find the starter and check for voltage there and the solenoid.

Bout ready to have it towed to a shop.

Worst thing is we are trying to sell it and when it failed a potential buyer was checking it out Grrrrr!

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upnorth,

This came to me yesterday when I was out fishing. For hits and giggles, try hitting starter with a hammer.

Maybe the starter is bad.

Shot in the dark, but worth a try.

Good luck

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It sounds like everything that does not work is controlled by the ignition switch. I would be starting there to make sure 12 volts is going in and out where it needs to be.

Just to be clear

-the engine stalled

-the starter will not work

-no interior lights

-no radio

-no wipers

-headlights do work

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One more thought just popped into my head. Didn't GM put some wires that powered that stuff on the back of the alternator?

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