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Motorhome won't start - suggestions?


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#1 Jim/Alona

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:48 PM

Key will turn it over but not enough to start it even with the power
booster. Changed the ignition switch and voltage regulator, started
for 10 sec then died and won't restart. Yes, it is getting gas, even
used starting fluid. +side of coil is getting 6.5v (which is why I
changed voltage reg) but even after that it still gets same voltage.

Any ideas? Need to change locations tomorrow and we're stuck!
Jim & Alona traveling with River, Rocky & Indy.
Our home, a 33' 1988 Southwind which we love!

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#2 kelowna

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:01 PM

Did you check the voltage at the batteries? I think that low voltage problem is the issue. I think you need to start at the batteries and find where the voltage drop is, if it is at the battries i would think that would be the problem. And check all the grounds. I find almost always when i have an elecrical problem it turns out to be a ground issue. a test light works good for checking grounds.
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#3 SCClockDr

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:04 PM

Is it points & condenser in the distributer?

What I would check:
  • Fire at any convenient plug.
  • Rotor, points, & condenser inside distributer.
  • Is rotor turning?

If you have fire & fuel & no run then:
  • Water in fuel.
  • Timing chain/belt.
  • Burnt valve/s
  • Bad head gasket.


If Electronic Ignition:
  • Fire at any convenient plug.
  • Is rotor turning?
  • Codes.
  • Same above Mechanical issues.

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#4 Jim/Alona

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:18 PM

He ran a jumper wire from the battery to the +side of the coil which was
only getting 6.5v and now it gets 12v. Started right up, ran smooth and
better than it has for years. Can't leave the jumber wire hanging so
still have to figure out why the low voltage without it.
Jim & Alona traveling with River, Rocky & Indy.
Our home, a 33' 1988 Southwind which we love!

http://arjrontheroad.blogspot.com
http://gatewatchers.blogspot.com

#5 RV

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:31 PM

Bad connection in the wire the jumper replaced. I just had the exact same thing with my tractor, drove me nuts. Follow the wire and redo any connection until the voltage is right. Also tell us if it has a ceramic resistor in line with the 12 volt to the coil.

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#6 rvpopeye

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:34 PM

Great! It WOIKS! Put a switch on that jumper for now and,,,,,,,
Now to figure out what is causing the problem .

How about posting the year,maker and size of the engine ,,,(for starters :rolleyes: couldn't resist the pun) electronic or point distributor ? External or built into alt. volt regulator?
stay tuned
popeye

#7 Harry Thorn

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 10:28 PM

Somewhere on your motorhome is a resistor pack. One lets 6 volts go to coil and one lets 12 volt go to coil. I would guess the 12 volt is burnt out. They used to be white ceramic bars about 3/4" by 3/4" by 3"'s with wire coils running through them, but I don't know what they look like now.
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#8 Dwayne and Shara

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 12:39 PM

the year and make would help alot. type of motor gas I'm thinking trace the wire from the coil checking with a volt meter every 3" or so then when the volts go up to 12 volts or more you found the problem just replace the wire from that point back to the coil some have fuseable links that looks just like a normal wire but it can break down over time and will give only some voltage threw it also a resistor could be the problem if it has one but not knowing who made the motor hard to tell. but I would say track the wire and replace it. not hard just takes time.
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#9 Paul Stough

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 01:25 PM

Somewhere on your motorhome is a resistor pack. One lets 6 volts go to coil and one lets 12 volt go to coil. I would guess the 12 volt is burnt out. They used to be white ceramic bars about 3/4" by 3/4" by 3"'s with wire coils running through them, but I don't know what they look like now.
Harry


If memory serves, when the engine is running ~6 volts is normal at the coil. When the engine is cranking before it starts the resistor is bypassed and a full 12 volts goes to the coil.

Paul
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#10 geysergazers

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 12:49 PM

If memory serves, when the engine is running ~6 volts is normal at the coil. When the engine is cranking before it starts the resistor is bypassed and a full 12 volts goes to the coil.

Paul


This. When the resistor fails it will start but as soon as the key is released from the start position the engine stalls. Some makes used an actual ceramic resistor while some used a resistance wire in the harness. You can runs short distance of 12V but the Coil will heat. Go to the parts store and buy a ceramic ignition coil resistor and run 12V to it, then a wire from it to the + Coil terminal until you find the OEM resistor.

Lew



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#11 Mike57

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 01:01 PM

This. When the resistor fails it will start but as soon as the key is released from the start position the engine stalls. Some makes used an actual ceramic resistor while some used a resistance wire in the harness. You can runs short distance of 12V but the Coil will heat. Go to the parts store and buy a ceramic ignition coil resistor and run 12V to it, then a wire from it to the + Coil terminal until you find the OEM resistor.

Lew


If you do that then the engine will not turn off. The 12V line to connect to the resistor MUST be one that is only on when the engine ignition is switched on and off when the key is turned off.

Once that is done you may not have to find the bad part, the problem is fixed.

Happy Trails,


#12 Paul Stough

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 01:51 PM

He ran a jumper wire from the battery to the +side of the coil which was
only getting 6.5v and now it gets 12v. Started right up, ran smooth and
better than it has for years. Can't leave the jumber wire hanging so
still have to figure out why the low voltage without it.


Once the engine starts, you should disconnect the jumper, if you are getting 6.5v at the coil, it should keep running. If that is the case, and you have replaced the ignition switch, then the problem is in the 12v wire from the ignition switch to the coil.

Paul
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#13 geysergazers

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 03:12 PM

Once the engine starts, you should disconnect the jumper, if you are getting 6.5v at the coil, it should keep running. If that is the case, and you have replaced the ignition switch, then the problem is in the 12v wire from the ignition switch to the coil.

Paul


Yup. I was forgetting there is 6V to the coil. So the resistor and wiring to it are OK and it is the “starting” 12V circuit that is NG. Since it did start and he is in a hurry (must leave on the morrow) all he need do is start it and then disconnect his 12V jumper and the engine should run fine until shut off. Then the jumper would need reconnected. As a temporary measure it will work.

Lew



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