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Old 06-04-2014, 03:32 PM   #1
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Battery isolator

The house batteries are not charging from the engine and they should. Does anyone know what the isolator looks like on a 2004 Journey or is it some other type of electrical control? I'll be able to crawl around it tomorrow and try to follow the alternator wires to try to locate the isolator. Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:31 PM   #2
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Our coach uses a solid state isolator similar to this one.


I purchased my last one from these guys. Great Service!
https://www.ase-supply.com/Sure_Powe...FSMQ7Aod_yMA0g
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:49 PM   #3
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Texnet, thank you. I thought it would look like that but the RV guy I called said sometimes they use some type of relay system. If it is like yours I'll be able to find it.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:50 PM   #4
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Bob - open the front "hood". Untwist the cam-lock fasteners on the box that has fuses and relays in it. In the left side of that box are 2 big solenoids. One is the house battery disconnect. The other one links the 2 battery banks together when you push the aux start switch on the dash. That second solenoid is also closed when the engine is running to provide a charge to the house batteries. It's also a common failure point. Lots of old discussion on the forum.

Can't remember which is which, but it'll probably be obvious. It's also shown in the prints of the electrical system.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:52 PM   #5
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You don't even have to crawl around
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:12 PM   #6
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I looked to the left of the push button resetable breakers and there is one solenoid (that I see). If there are two the second one is well hidden. There are also several Bosch relays(?) to the left of the resetable breakers. I can hear the solenoid click when my wife pushes the dash connect switch but no difference in power at the solenoid cables. The solenoid has smallish yellow and a smallish white wire attached to different posts at the top of the solenoid. The base of the solenoid has two posts with two large cables to each post. One post has 12.7 volts and the other shows 11.8 which would be house batteries.

Of the smaller wires at the top one goes to 11.9 volts when the dash button is pushed. The other wire reading varies and does not stablize. Should I put a jumper between the two smaller wires to see if it activates the solenoid? Or do you suspect the solenoid is bad? I'll run searches on solenoid problems instead of the unsuccessful searchs I did for isolators. Thanks for your help. Yes, it's better than crawling around but if I going to remove that solenoid I'll pull the "hood" off so I can get closer.

Added with the edit: I just looked at the Winnebago drawings and there should be a second solenoid. I'll look in the same area and if I don't see it there I'll look under the dash.
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:26 PM   #7
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Bob, maybe I'm "misremembering", but I'm almost certain mine has 2 solenoids side-by-side in that box. Maybe it's a difference between the 36G & 39K??? Anyway, it sounds like you're looking at the right one. Sorry, I don't have any resources with me right now to help you diagnose the problem. As I remember there may be a fuse or 2 mounted right on the solenoid.

Here's a link to an old discussion of the problem with probably way more info than you want. Seems some owners have had to resort to a different solenoid and other mods to get longer life from the solenoid. Mine hasn't failed yet and I feel when it does, the 10+ years of perfect performance is good enough for me and I'll just replace it with OEM.
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:29 PM   #8
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One more thought - the fact that you see no voltage change when your wife pushes the switch would indicate to me that the contacts are burned and not making a good connection. If I remember correctly, that is the way this solenoid usually fails.

I just saw your edit - don't waste too much time looking for the 2nd solenoid. It's just the house battery disconnect. I'm sure you're looking at the problem solenoid. Still...it is strange that the 2nd one is not there.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:21 PM   #9
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Bob, I did a little more digging - the small white wire is ground. The yellow is the signal to activate the solenoid - it should go to ~12V when the dash button is pushed or the engine is running. So, definitely don't jump the 2 small wires. You'll ground the 12V signal and blow a fuse or breaker somewhere. If anything, jump the large cable from the chassis batteries to the yellow lead. That would just insure that you have a good 12V signal to the solenoid. However, since you hear the click, it sounds like the solenoid is activating OK.

Hate to say it, but it sounds like the solenoid contacts are toast.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:21 PM   #10
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A Pictue

1ciderdog, here is the diagram.
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:20 PM   #11
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Tom
I went out and located the second solenoid, very much in the location as shown in the drawing. It is below the fuse box and partially hidden. I also started the diesel and find the yellow wire gets 13.4 volts with the engine running but the voltage to the house batteries does not change. So I'll pull that solenoid and replace it.
Thanks for the help.
Bob
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:30 PM   #12
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Bob - Guess my memory gets a fail on that battery disconnect location. I remember thinking that it would be a bear to replace either solenoid. Seems like it was partially buried in foam insulation that would have to be dug out - or something like that. Please let us know what it takes to make the swap.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:46 PM   #13
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Tom - the face of that compartment comes off after removing about 10 (more or less) phillips screws. So remove the "hood" and the face of that compartment and access isn't to bad. More time consuming than hard. When I disconnected the batteries I found corrosion on the terminals so that adds to the repair time. I took the cover off the solenoid and it is burned black and charred on the metal inside upper surface. I don't know how to disasemble it without cutting the wires but I think it is well toasted. Reading the link you sent in a previous message these tend to get hot the longer you drive. I bought this RV in March 2010 and have put almost 82 K miles on it - it now has 113694 miles on it and we plan another probably 9-10 K on it later this year.

Thanks again for the wiring diagram. If you hadn't sent that I'd be crawling around trying to follow wires and that would be a real nightmare.
Bob
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Old 06-14-2014, 03:11 PM   #14
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As a follow up I ordered a new solenoid, installed it and now the house batteries are charging off the engine. As mentioned above I removed the "hood" and the outer panel covering the fuse box area. I had to cut/dig out some of the foam they sprayed in that area. Removing the old solenoid was not a problem. It was a bit of a problem getting the 1/4 inch mounting bolts back in - simply because the area is tight and my fat fingers could not fit in there to line up bolts. I finally got the bolts in using a nut driver but now thinking about it a socket on an extension would have worked well. The new solenoid was $57.65 including shipping and appears to be an exact replacement for the original. I ordered online from:
MurCal, Inc.
41343 12th Street West
Palmdale CA 93551
United States
661-272-4700

www.murcal.com

If interested the part number: TMT 114-1211-020
Description:
Bear - 12VDC Contactor; (2) non-grounded
10-32 studs, & (2) 5/16-24 contact studs;
continuous duty; silver alloy contacts,

flat-bracket
Again, thanks for the help.
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:35 PM   #15
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Bob - thanks for the followup. I'll probably be doing that job someday...
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:51 PM   #16
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You are welcome. Hopefully yours will last forever.
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