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Old 01-15-2014, 10:45 PM   #1
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Found some UGLY important stuff, time to go to work

Gents,
Well, I've got my basement A/C unit out right now to do some "tune up" on fan bearings and, anything else inside that big box that needed attention. But, what I found when I removed the A/C is some electrical components that, I'd seen before, maybe a year or so ago, laying on my back, looking up, between the back of the A/C unit and the frame. I remembered that when I saw them, they were in very sad shape and, I figured, "how in the he.. am I going to get to those to clean them up"?

Well, now that the A/C is completely out of the way and, so is the cradle that holds it. So, that gave me great freedom to sit on my little Craftsman roll-a-round chair and get in there and clean that stuff up. First off, I had no idea what all that stuff was. It has some serious sized battery cables and some other electrical items I'd not seen before. I had ideas what they were but, wasn't sure.

I dug into the Winnebago wiring schematics that are on this website but, none even came close to disclosing what these were or, what they're for.

Well, I decided to start with the cleanup process. First off, every nut that you see in the pics, is seriously rusted which, includes not only the nuts that attach the components to the steel plate but, also all the nuts that attach the wiring to each component. I used a ton of "Kroil" to attempt to penetrate that rust. Then, I had to "work" each nut, a tiny bit at a time, back and forth, to get them to break free. In the end, of all the nuts, I only broke one stud. No biggie. I just ground it flush and then, drilled and tapped that area for a 1/4-20 bolt.

But, in an attempt to start re-installing one of the components, I broke it. CRAP! Now what? I don't even know what I broke. So, a quick call to the Freightliner Customer Assistance hot line and, a description of what it looked like and where it was, and the lady on the other end knew EXACTLY what it was. It is a 135 amp Automatic resetting circuit breaker. Wow, that's one serious sized circuit breaker. So, while I had her on the phone, I asked her for the part number and she spit that right out. Cool. Also, while I had her on the phone, I asked her what the other component that was there that I'd not seen before.

She told me it is a "Remote start relay". Hmmmmm. There was one more component that I had seen and it was in very sad shape. It is a 250 amp Bussman fuse holder. I damaged one of the poles trying to remove one of the nuts to remove the cables so I could clean all of it. I got lucky on that one. Our local NAPA auto parts had that one in stock. Off to NAPA! As you see in the pics, it was very ugly. I'm surprised the big beast actually started each and every time. I've since ordered the Remote Start relay too because I cannot get the small, 3/8" nuts off the posts to clean the controlling wire terminals. The posts just start to turn, CRAP!

Oh well, a new fuse holder, a new 135A Automatic Circuit breaker and a new Remote Start Relay, some now, very clean terminals and cables, and, it should be good to go. But, I tell ya folks, get under there and take a good look at yours and check the condition. That is if your coach has the same terminals/components in the same location. With that A/C unit installed, it would be impossible to service those, especially if they're as rusty/corroded as mine were.

One more thing, getting that A/C unit out of the way, which, I can now do in about 10-15 minutes, sure opens up a semi-clear field of view for that back side of the radiator and the CAC. You can inspect the belt and other items while in there too. It sure seems that Freightliner might have put such valuable components in a better and more accessible spot. Where, who knows but, better than that spot for sure. Just thought I'd share some maintenance with you boys and girls.
Scott
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:56 PM   #2
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Scott

A little more info on your coach please? Cat or Cummins? It looks like Cat yellow in there. Do you think the Cummins has the same set up. Yours sure looks nasty and you are in sunny CA.

Sure appreciate all the good info you post.
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Old 01-16-2014, 03:14 AM   #3
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Looks like some of the Battery Isolation terminal and possibly the Battery cutoff switch terminals.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:33 AM   #4
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I wonder if sheet rubber could be draped over those connections to keep road grime away???
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:09 AM   #5
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Always funny to see what someone outside the rust belt calls "serious rust".
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgvtexan View Post
Scott

A little more info on your coach please? Cat or Cummins? It looks like Cat yellow in there. Do you think the Cummins has the same set up. Yours sure looks nasty and you are in sunny CA.

Sure appreciate all the good info you post.
rgvtexan,
Well Sir, first off, thank you for your nice comments. I do try and post info that's helpful to others. As for the coach, it's an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330 CAT. And yes, we do reside in "Sunny CA" but, that coach, as we're lead to believe, spent the early years of it's life running around the east and Midwest. Yep, there's a bit of rust and corrosion in multiple spots but, nothing that's structural. It's all a bit of "surface rust" to varying degrees. Some is, not too bad while other spots are deeper. My fuel tank "looks" nasty but, I've picked around on it prying off rust scale etc. and, it's not as bad as it looks. I'm pretty confident it ain't gonna fall out as we travel down the road.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperGewl View Post
Looks like some of the Battery Isolation terminal and possibly the Battery cutoff switch terminals.
SuperGewl,
Yes Sir, I kind of thought that too, the first time I looked at it. But, when I started digging around and cleaning things up and broke that 135 amp circuit breaker, that's when I called Freightliner Customer Assistance and she squared me away on what all that little "electrical village" was. I kind of also had thoughts that it might be related to the starter and, it was confirmed by not only her, but, while I was cleaning and maneuvering some of the free floating cables that I had detached from various points, I managed to touch just the right cable ends to a tool and that starter engaged for a fraction of a second. Talk about a frightening micro-second, whew! I guess I was just lazy and should have disconnected the chassis batteries before working on that system.

The solenoids for battery cut off (house batteries anyway) are in the opposite side of the coach.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt46 View Post
I wonder if sheet rubber could be draped over those connections to keep road grime away???
Lt46,
Well, I kind of thought about rigging up some sort of protection for that little village when I got it all "purtied up" but, based on it's local, the complexity of cables in and out, the structure(s) around it and more, trying to actually "Protect" that electrical village from further contamination, rust, corrosion from the elements, road grime, rain etc. would be real tuff to do, at this point in the game. As I see it, about the only real way of doing a bang-up job of sealing that system from outside influences, would be to actually "move it" to an "in compartment" location where, nothing could get to it and, it would be way more serviceable and one would be able to analyze it considerably easier if any starting issues would arise.

In my opinion, Freightliner really screwed up on this one. Putting such important items, wiring, fuse, circuit breaker and remote start relay in such an almost impossible location to analyze and trouble shoot, was by far, not a very smart move on their part. Can it all be moved to a better local, sure it could. In reality, all it would take is elongating the all the wiring i.e. cables and wires, to a preferred local as stated earlier, in a compartment where they'd be free of weather related grime and elements.

Would it be easy you ask, he..............LLLLLL NO! It would be one big pain in the a$$ to get in there and disconnect those cables at where ever they go, on the other side of the frame. So, I think as much as I'd like to move that setup to a better local, I'll just leave it there. I've got the system of removing the A/C unit down to so fast that, even if it does "crud-up" again, it first, won't be any time soon and, I can get to it with the A/C removed.

If, I should run into starter/relay/135A circuit breaker problems on the road, I still could simply undo a few small screws and, lower the A/C unit via it's lowering bolts to the point that, I can slide it out to make enough room to do whatever work would be needed.
Scott
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:02 PM   #7
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Scott,

As always, great write up. I'm always impressed with your attention to detail and your willingness to tackle just about everything. Even though we swapped our C-7 this summer for a Journey ISB 360, I still find your projects interesting and thank you for sharing your project in such detail. Excellent photos, too.

cheers,
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:05 PM   #8
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As always Scott, Nice Job!
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:18 PM   #9
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One thing leads to another huh bud! We're so glad to hear that our basement A/C unit is end user serviceable but once you're
"in there" you begin to find more & more projects! Lol!! Great photos and DIY guide as usual.

See you three in a few weeks!
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Gents,
Well, I've got my basement A/C unit out right now to do some "tune up" on fan bearings and, anything else inside that big box that needed attention. But, what I found when I removed the A/C is some electrical components that, I'd seen before, maybe a year or so ago, laying on my back, looking up, between the back of the A/C unit and the frame. I remembered that when I saw them, they were in very sad shape and, I figured, "how in the he.. am I going to get to those to clean them up"?

Well, now that the A/C is completely out of the way and, so is the cradle that holds it. So, that gave me great freedom to sit on my little Craftsman roll-a-round chair and get in there and clean that stuff up. First off, I had no idea what all that stuff was. It has some serious sized battery cables and some other electrical items I'd not seen before. I had ideas what they were but, wasn't sure.

I dug into the Winnebago wiring schematics that are on this website but, none even came close to disclosing what these were or, what they're for.

Well, I decided to start with the cleanup process. First off, every nut that you see in the pics, is seriously rusted which, includes not only the nuts that attach the components to the steel plate but, also all the nuts that attach the wiring to each component. I used a ton of "Kroil" to attempt to penetrate that rust. Then, I had to "work" each nut, a tiny bit at a time, back and forth, to get them to break free. In the end, of all the nuts, I only broke one stud. No biggie. I just ground it flush and then, drilled and tapped that area for a 1/4-20 bolt.

But, in an attempt to start re-installing one of the components, I broke it. CRAP! Now what? I don't even know what I broke. So, a quick call to the Freightliner Customer Assistance hot line and, a description of what it looked like and where it was, and the lady on the other end knew EXACTLY what it was. It is a 135 amp Automatic resetting circuit breaker. Wow, that's one serious sized circuit breaker. So, while I had her on the phone, I asked her for the part number and she spit that right out. Cool. Also, while I had her on the phone, I asked her what the other component that was there that I'd not seen before.

She told me it is a "Remote start relay". Hmmmmm. There was one more component that I had seen and it was in very sad shape. It is a 250 amp Bussman fuse holder. I damaged one of the poles trying to remove one of the nuts to remove the cables so I could clean all of it. I got lucky on that one. Our local NAPA auto parts had that one in stock. Off to NAPA! As you see in the pics, it was very ugly. I'm surprised the big beast actually started each and every time. I've since ordered the Remote Start relay too because I cannot get the small, 3/8" nuts off the posts to clean the controlling wire terminals. The posts just start to turn, CRAP!

Oh well, a new fuse holder, a new 135A Automatic Circuit breaker and a new Remote Start Relay, some now, very clean terminals and cables, and, it should be good to go. But, I tell ya folks, get under there and take a good look at yours and check the condition. That is if your coach has the same terminals/components in the same location. With that A/C unit installed, it would be impossible to service those, especially if they're as rusty/corroded as mine were.

One more thing, getting that A/C unit out of the way, which, I can now do in about 10-15 minutes, sure opens up a semi-clear field of view for that back side of the radiator and the CAC. You can inspect the belt and other items while in there too. It sure seems that Freightliner might have put such valuable components in a better and more accessible spot. Where, who knows but, better than that spot for sure. Just thought I'd share some maintenance with you boys and girls.
Scott

Hey Scott,
Back when you started this project, I assumed that the battery cable connections on the frame were ground connections like on my 2006 Journey. Well I guess as usual, you can't assume anything. On my Journey ( in the same location as your pictures ) is a battery ground connection on the frame as shown in the picture below.



Now being the curious one that I am, I was wondering just where the heck would my 250 AMP fuse holder and other chassis electrical components be? Well I started looking around and following battery cables and low and behold I found this "Chassis Electrical Connection Box" on the driver side of my coach in the same bay as my inverter/converter and power cord.

I haven't yet opened up the box to make sure of what's inside, but I'll bet a dollar to a donut that the components you are referring to are there. I guess if they are, I'm just plain lucky.



Sammie
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:32 AM   #11
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Project complete, all is better now.

Well Gang,
I most certainly want to thank you all for your nice comments. My goal is always to make things better although, I manage to screw things up sometimes in the process of making it better. Well, because I could not get all the wires off of the Remote Start Relay, I was not going to put it back in there with corroded, rusted wire connections. So, I ordered up another one. All total, the new 250 amp Bussman fuse holder, $12.00, the 135 amp automatic reset circuit breaker, $25.96, and the Remote Start Relay, $35.09 and, the Bearing for the out side fan support in the A/C unit, $20.00 from Grainger, I got about $98.00 in the whole shebang.

Of course this does not include new bolts, 1/2"x13x3" (four of them) that replaced the ones that were used to lower the A/C unit. I purchased Stainless Steel versions because the old ones were so seriously rusted that I was almost dead sure I was going to break them off while trying to tweak them, inch by inch while trying to lower that A/C unit. So, I figured I'd just replace them with Stainless ones. And, when I put them in, I coated them with Anti-seize compound, the nickel based stuff.

All of the electrical contact points, on all the cables, the fuse connections, etc. were all coated with Copper based Anti-seize. We used that in the FD on all the battery connections. It not only prevents corrosion but, it makes for great connections.

Now, in the pictures below, you'll see the finished product of my labor. All the while this was all going on, I finally achieved admittance to "AccessFreightliner.com". What a pain that was. Anyway, I managed to look up that start relay/fuse/circuit breaker system. And, guess what, in the schematic, it shows it WITH A COVER over all those components. Hmmmmm. Where's mine?

Well, anyways, it's all done. And, another thing you'll see in the pics is some black nylon "Nut covers". We also had those in the FD in all the drawers/ shelves/racks etc. on the fire trucks to protect the ends of nuts and bolts holding things together in all the compartments.

Sammie,
Those cables you show in your picture, I have the same exact ones, in the same exact spot. But, where they are is, on the back side of the frame (actually inboard side) just behind the battery compartment. The plate with that little electrical village, is on the opposite side of the frame from the ground plate.

One more thing here. There are Phillips head screws that attach the main duct to the A/C housing. Those, as most of you know, get corroded/rusted and after 10 years, (yes, our coach is 10 years old, to the day, today) and, in the environment those screws reside in, the Phillips bit almost did not fit in most of them to remove the duct from the A/C unit so it could be lowered and slid out.

Well, I replaced all those crap screws with hex head, self drilling sheet metal screws. I would have used Stainless but, I could not find any in my haste. I wanted this thing back together. Now, those new hex heads will come out much easier, should I need to do this job again.

Anyway, thanks to "Duner" for the original write up and photos, I was able to develop confidence in attacking this A/C job. The electrical fiasco and rebuild was just a bonus while the A/C unit was out of the way. I urge all of you that possibly have those same components, in the same location, to get a good look at them to see what kind of condition they're in.

If they're as bad as mine were, in all reality, the only way to service that entire system is to remove the A/C unit and pivot it out of the way. Now, if Sammie and anyone else has that start system, in a cabinet, then you're good to go. Anyway, hope this write up and photos helps some of you "do it yourself" types out there. It was a bit of work but, well worth it. My A/C unit is 3-4 times more quite now. That un-lubed bushing was really noisy.

But, the sealed, brand new bearing really quieted things down. That was all done on the outside fan. The inside fan and bearing/bushing was fine. So, that's another job done.
Scott
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:58 AM   #12
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Scott, you da man! I thought I was one to not be afraid to dig into most anything on my old Journey but you got us all beat.

I never got around to pulling the AC unit out of the Journey so not sure if I had the same array of stuff in that location. I seem to remember seeing the 135 amp fuse link mounted to the top of the chassis rail. It seems Freightliner is highly variable in how they locate stuff from year to year.

Like many of us here, the coach is a hobby along with being a great way to travel. Fixing stuff on it yourself is really rewarding.

I believe if either of us runs out of money during retirement, Pusherman might hire us to work for him .
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:15 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by smlranger View Post
Scott, you da man! I thought I was one to not be afraid to dig into most anything on my old Journey but you got us all beat.

I never got around to pulling the AC unit out of the Journey so not sure if I had the same array of stuff in that location. I seem to remember seeing the 135 amp fuse link mounted to the top of the chassis rail. It seems Freightliner is highly variable in how they locate stuff from year to year.

Like many of us here, the coach is a hobby along with being a great way to travel. Fixing stuff on it yourself is really rewarding.

I believe if either of us runs out of money during retirement, Pusherman might hire us to work for him .
Hey SML,
I surely appreciate your nice comment. You know, each and EVERY time, I go down and get up from a creeper, I MEAN EACH TIME, I tell myself, "I'm getting TOO old for this crap". You're absolutely right. These rolling Kleenex boxes are a sort of a hobby as well as way to enjoy life beyond the "Working" world. They can, at times, be a bit over taxing.

Projects like this one, definitely new to me, are always a bit "scary" in the onset. I've always got that feeling when start loosening the first screw or nut and bolt of, "What am I getting into"? "Am I over my head"? Well, it's kind of one of those things just like a line in the movie "The Score" with Ed Norton and Robert Deniro, where Rober Deniro tells Ed, "If some can build it, someone can UN-BUILD it".

I look at things much the same way. At least the mechanical stuff that is. When it comes to the high end electrical, I KNOW I'm over my head there. I can fix tail lights and bad grounds but, computer ECMs and all that, I'm out!

So, if Pusherman needs a "tail light fixer", I'm in.
Scott
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:32 AM   #14
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Very nice work Scott! And I just knew you'd use fire engine red paint on that backing plate!
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