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hdrich

NO Start

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I have a 2000 R- Vision Condor Class A motor home with a Chevy 454 in it. My coach is currently in storage. I have been starting the engine monthly to exercise various items. Last week I started the engine and ran it for about 20 minutes the shut down. Engine would not restart. Prior to this it was starting every time without fail. The  starter was removed and  bench checked  as good. New battery installed along with battery cables. Alternator test checked good. Checked all fuses I could find and all good. Checked engine fuse box for power and good.  Looking for suggestions as to what I may have missed. I am now lost for a solution.

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Exactly how far into the "start process" does it get:

Dash lights up as normal when key turned to first notch.

Key to start position results in:  nothing, a click, tries to turn over but doesn't

 

Have you measured voltage at the battery and then again at the starter when someone is trying to start it?

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The  starter was removed and  bench checked  as good. New battery installed along with battery cables. Alternator test checked good. Checked all fuses I could find and all good. Checked engine fuse box for power and good.  Looking for suggestions as to what I may have missed. I am now lost for a solution.

Are you saying the engine is not turning over or Not starting?

            Is there fuel in the tank?  And Does the fuel pump run ? 

              Low oil pressure will keep the engine from running by shutting down the fuel pump. 

Rich.

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One other item, if the engine will crank but not start it could possibly be the electronic ignition module. But it  will not turnover it it could be a starter solenoid. But the OP said the starter was bench tested. And it may have been a bad test.

Wish we knew more about the details. 

Herman 

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Hopefully he has it started now, but would sure be nice for more details about not starting. But I guess that he means the starter is not doing anything since he said that he had the starter tested. As Herman said could be a bad solenoid, but most Chevy 454's had the solenoid on the starter in those days and if so whoever bench tested the starter surely tested that as well, if not and it is like my old 454 was back then the copper button may need some work. Other places to think about is the transmission in park or neutral, even I have forgot to place the shift lever in park or neutral and felt like a nut when I realized that it would never crank without being in the proper location. Of course there is a chance that the neutral switch has gone bad and caused no activity. Since this started earlier today and the OP has not returned, I hope that he has discovered the reason that it didn't crank by now.

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Thanks for all the replies. I will attempt to detail my situation a little more. When I said the engine will not start I meant that the starter does not engage the flywheel so the engine does not turn over.  I hear a clicking sound every time. The solenoid on my starter is built into the starter. I bought a new starter and installed it with no improvement. I then removed that same starter and had it bench checked at the auto parts store and the results were "good starter. "

When I turn on the ignition switch the battery voltage drops from 13.65 to about 10.4 while the starter is trying to engage. I have checked for power at my engine fuse box and all readings show power is present into the fuse box along with the fuses checking good. My transmission is in park when trying to start.

My Onan generator fires up with no problem so my fuel is good. Power is available at my starter using a voltmeter. My oil is good in the engine. Battery voltage measures 13. 65 with no load. Alternator test was good when I had engine running.

The sound that I am hearing is a rapid clicking sound such as you might hear if the solenoid was bad but again this is a brand new starter and it did start the engine once.  I have no idea where the starter relay would be located if there is one. If it is on or near my engine fuse box power checks out good to that box and the associated fuses. I am beginning to think that there is a bad ground somewhere preventing the starter from full engagement. I have a second person helping me with all my checks. I have replaced both battery cables and still same situation.

I will update later if I find the problem. Thanks again to all for your replies.

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If it started once and then not again, I'd suspect the wiring going to the starter from the ignition switch. What I'm thinking is that maybe your first starter wasn't bad, but the connection from the switch failed. When you installed the new starter it made enough of a connection to start it once, but not again.

If memory serves me correctly, your starter has the solenoid built into it. Hopefully someone else can confirm that. If so, you can try jumping to the post which normally gets the 'start' signal from the ignition switch and see if it turns over. Could be something as simple as a failed ring terminal on the end of the wire.

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obviously a clicking GOOD starter motor indicates the solenoid not engaging. I would confirm a bad connection somewhere between the ignition switch to the starter relay. As mentioned obviously it is a bad connection. One option is to directly run 12v from battery to starter to engage it. If motors starts and runs then trace your wiring. Obviously a bad ground or short. 

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This part is important: "When I turn on the ignition switch the battery voltage drops from 13.65 to about 10.4 while the starter is trying to engage."

Do you have a boost switch to allow house batteries to aid chassis batteries?  If so, what happens when using boost?  If not, try jumping from a known good battery to the chassis battery and also to the starter large lug directly.

A bad battery will cause your symptoms, as will poor connections on either the positive or ground side of the current flow.

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I would start by cleaning the battery terminals.  Measure the voltage drop from the center of the plus battery post to center of minus battery post. Then measure from center of Plus to Chassis, voltage reading should be very close to same. Now measure from the Plus cable (near the post) to Chassis. If reading differ by more than a few millivolts, you have bad connections. If the readings are not 12+ volts, charge or replace battery.

 

Good Luck

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Also a bad ground from chassis to the engine can cause these same symptoms. The drop in voltage from 13.65 to 10.4 concerns me the most, so as Brett pointed out, try a known good battery source.

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IMO. the only way for battery voltage to be 13.6 is to be on a battery charger. The voltage drop to 10.4 is normal when the starter is engaged; however you said the starter will not engage-only click. To me this means the cable from battery to starter may have very high resistance, which should be checked anyway during diagnosing this problem. Usually battery cables for gas engines is #6 which has a resistance of .4 ohms per foot.Then it may not be the cable, but instead the cable terminals causing the high resistance; your ohmmeter is your friend here. I am assuming you have already cleaned and tightened battery cable connections. What are the individual battery cell hydrometer readings, or lacking those, what are the results of the battery load test?

This is me just thinking out loud, hope it is of some use.

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hdrich,

When you said the starter is new, do you mean it is brand new, rebuilt or remanufactured?

Just my opinion, it's the solenoid. It is stuck and will not move causing the clicking noise. You have checked all connection, the battery is good and you said the generator will start off the same battery which means you have fuel ( if you were out of gas it would turn over but not start).

Solenoid.

But heck I have been wrong more than once. 

Herman

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Here's what I get from this thread...

Engine was starting fine for months. Then it didn't. Starter was replaced, and after that it started once. Now it makes a rapid clicking sound instead of starting.

This leaves me wondering what caused the starter to fail in the first place. Maybe it wasn't the starter, but something related to it. A sitting vehicle is prone to corrosion in the strangest of places, as well as mice damage.

Battery cables were replaced, according to the initial post. What about the cable bringing power to the starter? What about the grounding strap between the engine and the chassis? Either of those could cause this problem, as they'd prevent the starter from getting proper voltage. They can look good on the outside but be nothing but rot inside the cable jacket.

Have you gone through the engine compartment and underneath to inspect the wiring harness for signs of rodent damage? One piece of insulation chewed through could cause a short when you turn the key, causing all kinds of problems.

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Update:

Upon additional troubleshooting, discovered the location of starter relay along with house battery relays. Items are located inside engine fuse box which required removal of the fuse panel and all connections from inside the fuse box. I carefully took pictures of all connections before removal.

Starter relay was checked with voltmeter and appeared to be bad as voltage was erratic and the relay was very hot. Removed and replaced starter relay and also removed & replaced starter again as it was defective.( Starter dragging when load applied).

The engine will now start sometimes and at other times I still get a rapid clicking sound when attempting to start. The clicking sound almost sounds like a relay sticking then releasing. It will click several times before the engine will finally start. Once running everything appears normal, etc., battery voltage is good, alternator charging normal, starter voltage stable, new starter relay voltage also stable.

If the engine is cold(setting overnight) it will start without the clicking sound. Once started and run for several minutes then shutting down the engine I will get the clicking sound like a relay clatter when I attempt additional starts.

Part of the problem has been resolved because the engine would not start at all before changing the starter relay and the starer( Starter is new not rebuilt).

Am now considering taking coach to a shop to run a diagnostic check as I am not able to resolve the issue using my own tools.

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I know this is not your problem, but it sound just like the older GM cars and trucks where the exhaust pipe was too close to the starter and when after driving for a while the engine would not turn over till the starter cooled down. Sorry just a bit of nostalgia.

Herman 

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Sure sounds like a battery with at least one weak cell, or still a poor ground between engine and chassis. Either will produce the symptoms described, and of course there other things that can happen, but these are the simplest of all and many times can be the major culprit.

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1 hour ago, kaypsmith said:

Sure sounds like a battery with at least one weak cell, or still a poor ground between engine and chassis. Either will produce the symptoms described, and of course there other things that can happen, but these are the simplest of all and many times can be the major culprit.

And don't just do a visual inspection of the ground straps/cables - give them a good tug to make sure that the inner conductor is still intact and not rotted out. There might be multiple ground straps/cables: between the battery bank and the chassis, between the engine and the chassis, and sometime between the transmission and chassis.

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Use an ohm meter between the engine and chassis, should read 0 or very close to it. Have someone try to start engine while it is hot and don't want, same test with ohm meter if the reading goes up that means poor ground, hot situations tend to weaken the ground conductivity.

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2 hours ago, kaypsmith said:

Use an ohm meter between the engine and chassis, should read 0 or very close to it. Have someone try to start engine while it is hot and don't want, same test with ohm meter if the reading goes up that means poor ground, hot situations tend to weaken the ground conductivity.

Good point about testing under load...Ohm meter might read absolute 0 at rest, as there may be enough of a ground to the little current used by the Ohm meter. Try and start the engine, and things are much different. That might show where the fault is.

I'd still want to do a thorough physical examination - I've seen too many cables that looked great but had considerable amount of the conductors rotted away inside the housing.

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Update: Problem Solved
I had to take my coach to an RV repair shop to get the problem resolved. After several hours of searching and testing it was found to be a bad connection behind my engine fuse panel. The RV tech had to completely remove the engine fuse panel to locate and repair a ground wire coming from ignition switch through the firewall to the fuse panel. The wire had a loose connection and once repaired the coach started without issues. I would have never been able to do the work myself do to the difficulty of access. Thanks again to all the suggestions for repair

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