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Old 02-09-2016, 05:21 AM   #1
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2003 Journey - Not charging issue cont... :-)

After following another post in the Cat engine forum I thought I check over here with the Winne gang.

Having a charging issue again when all was well for a while last year. Here is what all I did to it:
  • New Coach batteries early 2015
  • New Alternator at the Cat shop Fall 2015 - Good charge afterwards
  • Regular service at Gaffney - New serpentine belt installed in Dec. Drove it home to Knoxville no bad charge indicators.
  • Got home and replace 3 house batteries
  • Took to RV dealer for winterizing and batter light came on - Low charge on ScanGuage.Thought it was just the cold weather.
  • Took to RV dealer for awning issue - Low battery again
When I drive ScanGauge shows barley 12 volts but when I turn on the genny it jumps to 13+.

So I'm thinking a loose belt, bad ground or bad isolator. Unfortunately I don't have anywhere to work on it so it's at the Cat dealer today getting looked at.

Could I have done wrong something when I changed the house batteries? I wouldn't think they would cause any issues with the engine charging system but thats when it seems like my troubles started.

Thanks for any insights!
Ben
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelm130 View Post
After following another post in the Cat engine forum I thought I check over here with the Winne gang.

Having a charging issue again when all was well for a while last year. Here is what all I did to it:
  • New Coach batteries early 2015
  • New Alternator at the Cat shop Fall 2015 - Good charge afterwards
  • Regular service at Gaffney - New serpentine belt installed in Dec. Drove it home to Knoxville no bad charge indicators.
  • Got home and replace 3 house batteries
  • Took to RV dealer for winterizing and batter light came on - Low charge on ScanGuage.Thought it was just the cold weather.
  • Took to RV dealer for awning issue - Low battery again
When I drive ScanGauge shows barley 12 volts but when I turn on the genny it jumps to 13+.

So I'm thinking a loose belt, bad ground or bad isolator. Unfortunately I don't have anywhere to work on it so it's at the Cat dealer today getting looked at.

Could I have done wrong something when I changed the house batteries? I wouldn't think they would cause any issues with the engine charging system but thats when it seems like my troubles started.

Thanks for any insights!
Ben
Ben,
May I ask? :

1. Forget the Scangauge, what are the voltage readings, right at both the house batteries and, the chassis batteries, while the engine is running?
2. Has there been any alterations to the shore power/generator/Inverter/charger side of charging the house batteries? By that I mean, in pre-'05 years of Winne and Itasca, there was no provisions for the shore power to charge the chassis batteries from either of those two makes.
3. After around mid to late '05, a "Trik-L-Start" unit was installed to take care of charging the chassis batteries while on shore power.
4. Is your coach starting fine, even when you see the "Low voltage" sign?

Now, there is an "Auxiliary Boost" switch (maybe) in or on your dash someplace that, does handle both linking up the house batteries to the chassis batteries for augmented cranking power if and when needed.

But, that Auxiliary boost switch activates a solenoid that does all the work. And, that solenoid also automatically closes, to provide charging to the house batteries from the alternator, when the engine is running.

So, with all that said, this is why I ask about what kind of voltage you see, right at the battery posts, of both sets of batteries, while the engines is running. There's more to check but, that's a starting point.

Scott
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Old 02-09-2016, 11:15 AM   #3
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If the scan gauge is reading 12 with engine running the alternator is not putting out.
When you start the gen you are getting what appears to be the same charge as the house batteries.
Check the voltage at the batteries both the house and chassis with gen off/on with motor running and off.
With engine running you should see 13+ at the scan gauge and the volt gauge on the dash and 13+ at the chassis batteries, and maybe at the house batteries.
With the gen running you should see 13+ on the house batteries and maybe at the chassis.
A quick guess is a wire from the alternator is loose or intermittent, either at alternator or battery end.

LEN
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Old 02-10-2016, 04:25 AM   #4
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Thanks guys! I'll report back what the CAT shop finds. I always forget to check at the batteries to verify the scangauge. It did seem like the needle on the dash gauge was a little below normal also. Oh well it's too cold here for me to work on it any way. Only 18 degrees this morning in Knoxville!
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Old 02-12-2016, 04:36 PM   #5
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Problem found - The Cat dealer said the newly installed alternator was only putting out 12 volts so it and the labor to replace it are under warranty. Whew!!

Stowers Cat in Knoxville TN is highly recommended! They are friendly and very trustworthy on what they charge. They are right off of I-40 near Turkey Creek shopping center.
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelm130 View Post
Problem found - The Cat dealer said the newly installed alternator was only putting out 12 volts so it and the labor to replace it are under warranty. Whew!!

Stowers Cat in Knoxville TN is highly recommended! They are friendly and very trustworthy on what they charge. They are right off of I-40 near Turkey Creek shopping center.
Kelm130,
I for one, surely thank you for getting with all of us here on the site and letting us know what you found as the problem. So many people never get back with an answer to a problem they've asked about and, maybe found a solution. Glad you got yours fixed. Good luck on the new part(s).
Scott
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:12 PM   #7
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Yes, thanks for the update. I'm happy the problem was resolved.
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:18 PM   #8
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Thanks guys. I agree finding out what fixed a problem and sharing that answer is what this forum is about.

These machines are very complex, well to some of us and there rarely seems to be one answer. I was convinced that the new belt Freightliner had put on in December was slipping or a ground cable had gone bad. I would have never guessed a 6 month old alternator would have gone bad. Have any of you seen that beast? It must weigh 20 pounds! Well seems like it anyway. I was going to get the old one rebuilt for a spare but it just looked in too bad of shape.

Hopefully we'll get our coach back next week so we can start outfitting it for our next phase in life.. retirement and then off to Workamp at DollyWood this spring!
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