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Chasing electrons


rickeieio

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Recently, I've been getting ready to depart on our first voyage with our "new to us" 5er. For the past week, I've been trying to get the truck started, unsuccessfully, until yesterday.

 

We park our truck in a place out of the way on the farm. "Out of the way" means not near an electric outlet, but on gravel. My normal plan is to go out at least once per month and start the truck and if I don't take it for a drive, at least let it run for 1/2 hour or more. This time it's been sitting for about 45 days, so I wasn't surprised when it didn't spin over fast enough to fire. Okay, stretch out 150' of extension cord and put on a smart charger overnight.

 

Next day, I climb in, turn the key, and get exactly the same response as 24 hours earlier. Hmmmmmm. Switch charger to 50 amps and try again in an hour. No change. Two hours later, same slow revolutions. Dang. Been suspecting this charger had taken a dump, so switch chargers and come back tomorrow.

 

Tomorrow comes and she rolls over at the same slow rate as before. Remove all cables, find two that are glazed and dark, one being the main ground. Ah-ha! now we're getting somewhere. Let it charge on 50 amps for an hour and.......disappointment.

 

Get out the home brew jumper cables. Yes, those 50# 25' monsters made from 4/0 welding cable. Hook up to pick-up and let it charge for 20 minutes before trying it again. Same......slow......response........

 

Go home and stew about some more.

 

Yesterday, after another all night round of charging, I got more of the same, so decided to raise the hood and start tracking cables. The very first one I grabbed, that big one going to the starter, was loose. Turned the nut 1 1/2 turns to snug it down and we have liftoff.

 

So, for years, I've been a broken record, "It's always the ground". Well, I stand corrected. IN all my years (45) of owning machinery and vehicles, this was only the second time I've had a starter wire come loose. But it does happen.

KW T-680, POPEMOBILE
Newmar X-Aire, VATICAN
Lots of old motorcycles, Moto Guzzi Griso and Spyder F3 currently in the front row
Young enough to play in the dirt as a retired farmer.
contact me at rickeieio1@comcast.net

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Recently, I've been getting ready to depart on our first voyage with our "new to us" 5er. For the past week, I've been trying to get the truck started, unsuccessfully, until yesterday.

 

We park our truck in a place out of the way on the farm. "Out of the way" means not near an electric outlet, but on gravel. My normal plan is to go out at least once per month and start the truck and if I don't take it for a drive, at least let it run for 1/2 hour or more. This time it's been sitting for about 45 days, so I wasn't surprised when it didn't spin over fast enough to fire. Okay, stretch out 150' of extension cord and put on a smart charger overnight.

 

Next day, I climb in, turn the key, and get exactly the same response as 24 hours earlier. Hmmmmmm. Switch charger to 50 amps and try again in an hour. No change. Two hours later, same slow revolutions. Dang. Been suspecting this charger had taken a dump, so switch chargers and come back tomorrow.

 

Tomorrow comes and she rolls over at the same slow rate as before. Remove all cables, find two that are glazed and dark, one being the main ground. Ah-ha! now we're getting somewhere. Let it charge on 50 amps for an hour and.......disappointment.

 

Get out the home brew jumper cables. Yes, those 50# 25' monsters made from 4/0 welding cable. Hook up to pick-up and let it charge for 20 minutes before trying it again. Same......slow......response........

 

Go home and stew about some more.

 

Yesterday, after another all night round of charging, I got more of the same, so decided to raise the hood and start tracking cables. The very first one I grabbed, that big one going to the starter, was loose. Turned the nut 1 1/2 turns to snug it down and we have liftoff.

 

So, for years, I've been a broken record, "It's always the ground". Well, I stand corrected. IN all my years (45) of owning machinery and vehicles, this was only the second time I've had a starter wire come loose. But it does happen.

Happy you was able to fix it. Got to love the Farming Life.

Planning Nanook version 2.0

Nanook "When we made ready to depart, after a few days, Nanook was beside himself with joy. Hudson Stuck

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Happy you was able to fix it. Got to love the Farming Life.

In the end, my message is that we need to check all the little things occasionally. This starter was changed in 2010, so it took a while to be an issue. How long was it just being an anchor, causing slow starting?

 

Yes, I've been lucky, growing up, and old, on a farm. We've had our share of struggles, and some hard times, but the past few years have mostly made up for it. I'm looking forward to doing this because I want to, not because I need to.

KW T-680, POPEMOBILE
Newmar X-Aire, VATICAN
Lots of old motorcycles, Moto Guzzi Griso and Spyder F3 currently in the front row
Young enough to play in the dirt as a retired farmer.
contact me at rickeieio1@comcast.net

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Had a similar experience last summer. Truck had been sitting in the barn with the batteries disconnected for 75 or 80 days. Hooked up the batteries, no crank. Put it on the big charger and let it run and hour or so, still slow crank. Put the charger on 50 amp boost and it started.

 

Reason for starting was it was heading for the Volvo dealer for a check over. 30 mile drive and park it at the dealer, when the tech went to move it 15 minutes later - no start.

 

Told him how it had gone in the morning he opened the battery door, stuck his hand in and came out with the main ground cable - connected to nothing! Well DUH!

More than a little embarrassed, but glad the problem was so small.

Dennis & Nancy
Tucson, AZ in winter, on the road in summer.

1999 Volvo 610 "Bud" 425 HP Volvo, Super 10 spd.
2005 Mountain Aire 35 BLKS
2013 smart fortwo CityFlame riding on Bud
(Replaced '05 smart first loaded in '06

and '11 smart that gave it's life to save me!)
Our Travel Blog

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I am convinced that unused equipment deteriorates faster than equipment that is used occasionally. Particularly if it is parked outside. I define occasionally as 2-3 week intervals. And use is defined as a start-drive cycle long enough to get all systems to operating temperature for at least 30 minutes. In other words under load.

If you can't do that, find a place under cover, disconnect the batteries and put it in dead storage. Electrics are going to go away the fastest.

Jeff Beyer temporarily retired from Trailer Transit
2000 Freightliner Argosy Cabover
2008 Work and Play 34FK
Homebase NW Indiana, no longer full time

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Let my truck sit for three months came back to a bad circuit breaker and leaking hub seal.

 

DRIVE IT

 

X2

 

The only time that I put my truck into long-term storage mode I had to replace a front hub seal to leave town, and a rear seal went out after the 1,800 + mile trip home. DRIVE IT!

Phil

 

2002 Teton Royal Aspen

2003 Kenworth T2000 - Cat C12 380/430 1450/1650, FreedomLine, 3.36 - TOTO . . . he's not in Kansas anymore.

ET Air Hitch

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