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Old 06-24-2009, 11:45 PM   #1
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Alternator not charging house batteries

I know this topic has been discussed at length, but need to know how to diagnose this a little better in my own mind. My coach is a 03 W20 Suncruiser. Just installed new batteries and when checking voltage into the batteries found good charge on shore power to coach batteries, but not when engine is running.

In the step area above the batteries are the solenoid and relay. I have found the relay for the "aux" battery switch by listening and feeling it engage. It is on the right side of this compartment. On the left I assume is the solenoid in question, or is it really a relay?

Can I diagnose this solenoid by having a second person press on the MOM power boost switch on the dash while I measure the voltage at the house batteries? If it is charging then it is the solenoid. If no charge, is it the switch on the dash?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-25-2009, 05:25 PM   #2
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Hi Greg,

Actually, itís still probably the tie contactor. I found out from the rep. at Trombetta that Winnebago specified that holes be drilled in the end of the contactor for venting because it gets so hot. Problem is that this also lets dust particles into the contact area. As these particles are pinched under the contact area, the contact resistance starts to go up until it is finally open. When this occurs, the only solution is to either buy a new one or disassemble the old one to clean the contacts (drill out the rivets, unsolder the coil, clean the contacts, re-solder the coil, then use small bolts to hold it together again).

The problem with the second solution is that you will find that the contactor has been severely burned from overheating. My recommendation is to contact Trombetta, order a replacement contactor with silver (better) contacts (and no air holes), and then install it with a 2.5 Ohm 25 Watt resistor in the coil circuit. There will be plenty of voltage (read current) to energize the contactor yet the power on the coil will be reduced from over 25 Watts to a more reasonable 15 Watts.

I have a Winnebago contactor that ran for over 2 years with just 2 Ohms of additional resistance and any overheating is barely noticeable. Without extra resistance, the coil will have all the paper burned off of it and the white plastic coil spool will be dark brown from the heat. Good luck.
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:31 PM   #3
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Here's a link to an earlier looooong thread on this subject, with various pictures and connection diagrams, etc.: Yet another solenoid bites the dust!
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:26 AM   #4
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Ignore this post. I got the numbers from the other thread. Thanks for the reference Chris .


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTransistor View Post
Hi Greg,

Actually, it’s still probably the tie contactor. I found out from the rep. at Trombetta that Winnebago specified that holes be drilled in the end of the contactor for venting because it gets so hot. Problem is that this also lets dust particles into the contact area. As these particles are pinched under the contact area, the contact resistance starts to go up until it is finally open. When this occurs, the only solution is to either buy a new one or disassemble the old one to clean the contacts (drill out the rivets, unsolder the coil, clean the contacts, re-solder the coil, then use small bolts to hold it together again).
.
You don't happen to know the Trombetta part number do you?

I am starting to get some intermittent problems with my Aux relay.
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:11 PM   #5
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I believe 114-1211-020 is the preferred gizmo, silver alloy contacts used in that part #.
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:45 AM   #6
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Chief You should be able to read the voltage across the solenoid with the engine running. If less then 14.* volts it is bad
Replace with a continuous duty, 100 amp/500 amp solenoid. Check CarQuest for part number 56-2432

I also installed a volt meter on the dash to keep an eye on the weak link of the system.
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Old 06-27-2009, 02:23 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. I noticed that the Trombetta part is only $30 for the silver contacts. At that price, I am just thinking about buying two and having a spare.

But I am curious about the constant duty solenoid. how would you wire it compared to the Trombetta. Can you still use the Boost switch (not that I have ever had reason to use it)? I appreciate your thoughts.
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