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stanpack6

Start/Electrical Problem with Diesel

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Having a problem starting1992 Gulf Stream Sun voyager Diesel Pusher. We first noticed a week start while camping in October, warm weather. The next time we tried to start it, it would crank but wore down the battery.

This time we hooked it up to jumper cables and battery is maintaining a 13-14 volt charge, BUT when turning ignition, I may get 1-2 weak cranks, but then is followed by clicking noise from starter/solenoid, I think. I made repeated attempts over a period of an hour, the whole time with the voltmeter indicating full charge, but then all of a sudden, it stopped it's weak 1-2 cranks and clicking noise, and the voltmeter dropped almost to zero, and then after letting it sit for a few minutes, still being charged by jumper cables, the highest voltage indicated maybe 6-8, and dropping to about 2 or less when turning the key ... not even enough voltage to keep buzzer going for the key-ignition-on position.

When I bought the RV, the owner had his first ever problem with it not starting during our test drive in May 2013. He had a new starter, solenoid, and voltage regulator put on at Kenworth Trucks here in St. Louis.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Stanpack6,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

If the voltage at the battery is dropping like like that, the battery likely bad. Particularly if indeed it has a new starter. I guess it could be an engine problem, but easily eliminated as the cause by turning the engine over by hand (assume it is the Cummins B).

If the voltage at the battery is not dropping, but voltage at the starter is dropping, there is likely a loose connection on either positive or ground side.

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Stanpack6,

Brett Covered things well.

I will add, check all the Coach Battery connections at the batteries. Make some good drawings or take pictures of the battery cable connections before starting! Clean starter solenoid / Starter on the positive side and also check and clean all the ground connections.

With the ground connection removed from the battery terminal, what is the voltage reading of the Chassis battery(s)? How old are the Batteries?

Then read each of the battery cell with a Hydrometer. If you are not familiar with the process, suggest you get some help. Battery acid can cause severe burns !!!

Rich.

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This is great information. I am pretty good at replacing and repairing mechanical stuff as I do quite a bit of my own work ... I'm just a little inexperienced with diesels/rvs and diagnosing. I figured it had to be something in between the batteries and the starter, but if I had it towed to a place or had a mobile mechanic go out to the site, I know I could start to hemorrhage money.

It is a Cummins, and I was able to pull the fan blade to see if the motor was turning. The (2) 12v batteries are marked march 2012. With the input you both gave me, it gives me the confidence to pull the batteries, have them tested, and then replace if needed.

I really appreciate your input, as it might enable me to take my wife and 4 kids on a short spring break trip while the kids are off school and before I have to go on training with the Army National Guard. I will let you know how my troubleshooting turns out.

Thanks Again,

Blake Stanley, US Army National Guard, Warrant Officer Candidate

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How long is it between you using your RV? If you plug it in to shore power not all will maintain the chassis batteries. You can add a maintainer to your chassis batteries so it won't drain when sitting long periods of time. If batteries keeps getting run down it may sulfate and be no good.

Two years is very soon to be sulfate but can happen. A long slow charge is what you should do to those batteries before testing.

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