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OMG.....What did I get myself into?


Flyinhy
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Hi all, 

I'm a new owner of an 2001 executive 43ds. A 500hp cummins with an Allison 6spd. She's in decent shape for her age but I have to be honest. When it comes to electrical.....I'm not the greatest but I'm willing to learn.  I bought her to use as a second home while I'm out on job sites working instead of renting an apartment. Plus, I hope to one day retire and I wanted to travel......a win win right? Wrong!!

I'm an old mechanic and I can understand schematics (somewhat) ....

The coach cranks and runs fine.....but she's not charging. I took the alternator off ...a 200 amp leece neville.  Had it rebuilt and reinstalled it......nothing. I watched the man bench test this alternator and I know it's working like it should. What am I missing? I know this will be a working project but I didn't realize I would run into something the first week that made me scratch my head and say....huh?  I've been reading a lot of posts on here and I'm sure someone knows what I doing wrong. 

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If it worked on the test fixture, then it has to be wiring or sojourn connected to the wire that is bad.  I was going to ask if you took pictures before removal,  but if it didn't work before,  there is no guarantee it was wired correctly when you got it.  Do you have a wiring diagram for the alternator? Besides the large cables, you should have three smaller wires, often gray, yellow & red.   Is that what you have? 

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Charles:

What makes you think it's not charging? I guess you are not seeing voltage on the dash gauge . . . but the gauge could be the problem. Have you put a clamp on ammeter on the cable from the alternator?

Have you put a volt meter on the battery when the engine is running?

Dwight

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6 minutes ago, waterskier_1 said:

If it worked on the test fixture, then it has to be wiring or sojourn connected to the wire that is bad.  I was going to ask if you took pictures before removal,  but if it didn't work before,  there is no guarantee it was wired correctly when you got it.  Do you have a wiring diagram for the alternator? Besides the large cables, you should have three smaller wires, often gray, yellow & red.   Is that what you have? 

Yes.....that's her. I used my fluke to test while she was running with wires connected and without. Nothing. 

Yellow was on remote, gray was on the ground and red positive. 

I have every piece of literature of every component in this coach. 2 sets of schematics. I see where they're are the three posts but I don't understand how they work. 

21 minutes ago, Dwight Lindsey said:

Charles:

What makes you think it's not charging? I guess you are not seeing voltage on the dash gauge . . . but the gauge could be the problem. Have you put a clamp on ammeter on the cable from the alternator?

Have you put a volt meter on the battery when the engine is running?

Dwight

Yes...the fault light was on on the dash which made me think....no problem. I'll check the alternator and have it rebuilt if it isn't working. Brand new interstate house batteries and 31a screw tops for the chassis. The previous owner passed away and she's been sitting for a while....how long? I'm not sure.

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55 minutes ago, Dwight Lindsey said:

Charles:

What makes you think it's not charging? I guess you are not seeing voltage on the dash gauge . . . but the gauge could be the problem. Have you put a clamp on ammeter on the cable from the alternator?

Have you put a volt meter on the battery when the engine is running?

Dwight

I hooked up all the wires back the way they were when they came off. I used my fluke meter to check at batteries while it was running and I also checked on the back of the alternator itself while it was running. LN-2824LC-2.jpg.36d980aad13a05c914b24a278037cbcb.jpg

1 hour ago, waterskier_1 said:

If it worked on the test fixture, then it has to be wiring or sojourn connected to the wire that is bad.  I was going to ask if you took pictures before removal,  but if it didn't work before,  there is no guarantee it was wired correctly when you got it.  Do you have a wiring diagram for the alternator? Besides the large cables, you should have three smaller wires, often gray, yellow & red.   Is that what you have? 

192695196_DUVACsystem-LeeceNevilleorDelcoRemy.jpg.e3dbea456feab85a2c75223c7ca923b3.jpg

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Here is a diagram of how Monaco connected the Alternator.  The Red wire goes to the Chassis Battery Positive (or a terminal strip or circuit breaker connected to the Chassis Battery Positive).  This is the Remote Sense for battery voltage that controls the output voltage of the alternator.  The Yellow wire goes to the Ignition terminal strip which is +12 VDC ONLY when the key is on.  Make sure there is no voltage on this when the key is OFF.  The excites (turns on) the Alternator.  The Gray wire is connected to one of the AC Taps on the alternator and serves two purposes.  First, it drives the ALT-FAIL Relay and indicator.  Second, it drives the Tach in many coaches.  Hope this helps.

Alternator Wiring1.jpg

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I had almost the same problem on my 2004 Monaco Knight with a 300HP Cummings when I bought it almost a year ago.  I bought it knowing it had a bad alternator, took it directly to a shop and had it changed along with all the belts and hoses and everything else maintenance related that nobody had done during its lifetime.  On the ride home the alternator light came on again and I could tell from the volt gauge that the battery voltage was depleting, made it home ok.  Being really good with electrical and pretty good mechanical (and since the shop that repaired it was 4 hours away) if dug into it and i found a few things that might help you.  First on the wiring at the alternator there are two fuses in a weatherproof rubber box on the wires...both were blown, replaced both and still no luck but they did not blow again.  Long story shorter I determined that the wire from the dash to the alternator had a short in it somewhere (never could find out where) so I cut the wire loose at the dash (the wires are marked on the individual wire jacket) and cut the charge wire off before the fuse, ran a new wire from the front to the back under the coach and connected them together and it has worked fine ever since.  A lot of work and not easy, and something I doubt that the shop tech's would have figured out how to do and still would have cost me thousands in man hours trying to figure it out.  Good luck, hope this helps...wish I had insight like this to read before I started troubleshooting this problem.

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6 hours ago, waterskier_1 said:

Here is a diagram of how Monaco connected the Alternator.  The Red wire goes to the Chassis Battery Positive (or a terminal strip or circuit breaker connected to the Chassis Battery Positive).  This is the Remote Sense for battery voltage that controls the output voltage of the alternator.  The Yellow wire goes to the Ignition terminal strip which is +12 VDC ONLY when the key is on.  Make sure there is no voltage on this when the key is OFF.  The excites (turns on) the Alternator.  The Gray wire is connected to one of the AC Taps on the alternator and serves two purposes.  First, it drives the ALT-FAIL Relay and indicator.  Second, it drives the Tach in many coaches.  Hope this helps.

Alternator Wiring1.jpg

Any help is GREATLY appreciated.....I am in so over my head it's not funny. I have been reading as many posts on here as I can.  I work at night in as a tower crane operator. I sleep for a few hours and go work on this during the day. I will have the alternator bench tested again today and make sure I didn't burn up anything and try again this afternoon. I may also buy another regulator just to have as a spare.

23 minutes ago, Bob Wightman said:

I had almost the same problem on my 2004 Monaco Knight with a 300HP Cummings when I bought it almost a year ago.  I bought it knowing it had a bad alternator, took it directly to a shop and had it changed along with all the belts and hoses and everything else maintenance related that nobody had done during its lifetime.  On the ride home the alternator light came on again and I could tell from the volt gauge that the battery voltage was depleting, made it home ok.  Being really good with electrical and pretty good mechanical (and since the shop that repaired it was 4 hours away) if dug into it and i found a few things that might help you.  First on the wiring at the alternator there are two fuses in a weatherproof rubber box on the wires...both were blown, replaced both and still no luck but they did not blow again.  Long story shorter I determined that the wire from the dash to the alternator had a short in it somewhere (never could find out where) so I cut the wire loose at the dash (the wires are marked on the individual wire jacket) and cut the charge wire off before the fuse, ran a new wire from the front to the back under the coach and connected them together and it has worked fine ever since.  A lot of work and not easy, and something I doubt that the shop tech's would have figured out how to do and still would have cost me thousands in man hours trying to figure it out.  Good luck, hope this helps...wish I had insight like this to read before I started troubleshooting this problem.

That's the one gauge that isn't there. I will check the instrument cluster diagram to see if that is the one missing and make sure. Someone had  the dash apart at some point recently but I never thought that might have something to do with it. I appreciate every bit of advise I get....thank you!!! 

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My alternator should be wired the same as your. 

Have you checked all the fuses.  My wiring diagram shows three fuses total. 

In my case the DUVAC fuse is in the passenger side electrical bay, I believe it is a 20 amp fuse

The other two fuses are in line, I have a couple fuse holders, the type that you pull the cover off, mounted near the alternator.  These are 5 amp.

Attached is a screen shot of the alternator wiring off my chassis wiring diagram.  It shows the fuses.  When you open it it will be blurry, hit CTRL5 at the same time and it clears right up. 

 

 

Alternator wiring.pdf

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Hi guys, 

A quick update. I drove to the alternator shop and made sure the alternator was working properly. I reinstalled it on the coach and cut out the "weatherpak" connection( I will repair with another later) I hooked wire up per the schematics you guys sent and told me to do. I made sure the rocker switch was in the "front " position located in the engine bay. I tried to start from the front and nothing but a really strange clicking sound....more like a clunk really. I tried it three times more and the same....clunk. I walked to the rear....switched to the rear start position and she fired up. I checked my voltage and boom! 14.23 volts. I let her run for 20 minutes or so charging and checking gauge all the while. I switched to the front position while running on the rocker switch and cut her off in the cabin. Tried the key switch and it cranked right up. I was tickled pink for about 10 minutes......

Now....neither slides operate

Generator shows a code of 33 and won't start. 

I'm still really happy though. I at least know I'm charging now!!! 

I am running on about 3 hours sleep and I have to be at work at 5.......so the quest continues tomorrow as to why the slides aren't working. 

4 hours ago, jacwjames said:

My alternator should be wired the same as your. 

Have you checked all the fuses.  My wiring diagram shows three fuses total. 

In my case the DUVAC fuse is in the passenger side electrical bay, I believe it is a 20 amp fuse

The other two fuses are in line, I have a couple fuse holders, the type that you pull the cover off, mounted near the alternator.  These are 5 amp.

Attached is a screen shot of the alternator wiring off my chassis wiring diagram.  It shows the fuses.  When you open it it will be blurry, hit CTRL5 at the same time and it clears right up. 

 

 

Alternator wiring.pdf 37.4 kB · 9 downloads

I didn't see the fuses in mine like that. Could they be near the batteries? 

I'm not too far from you. I'm working at the lock and dam project at Chickamauga. 

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2 hours ago, Flyinhy said:

Hi guys, 

A quick update. I drove to the alternator shop and made sure the alternator was working properly. I reinstalled it on the coach and cut out the "weatherpak" connection( I will repair with another later) I hooked wire up per the schematics you guys sent and told me to do. I made sure the rocker switch was in the "front " position located in the engine bay. I tried to start from the front and nothing but a really strange clicking sound....more like a clunk really. I tried it three times more and the same....clunk. I walked to the rear....switched to the rear start position and she fired up. I checked my voltage and boom! 14.23 volts. I let her run for 20 minutes or so charging and checking gauge all the while. I switched to the front position while running on the rocker switch and cut her off in the cabin. Tried the key switch and it cranked right up. I was tickled pink for about 10 minutes......

Now....neither slides operate

Generator shows a code of 33 and won't start. 

I'm still really happy though. I at least know I'm charging now!!! 

I am running on about 3 hours sleep and I have to be at work at 5.......so the quest continues tomorrow as to why the slides aren't working. 

I didn't see the fuses in mine like that. Could they be near the batteries? 

I'm not too far from you. I'm working at the lock and dam project at Chickamauga. 

Glad you got it connected correctly and all is working.  I'm not familiar with the "weatherpak" connection, so can't help on that.  It sounds like your chassis batteries were a bit low and the starter solenoid was kicking the starter in, but didn't have enough voltage to crank.  I can't say why switching to the rear would make a difference, because it seems the starter relay was working, and the starter cables don't run to the front, only small wires that trigger the relays in the back.  It would be interesting to see what the voltage was when this occurred.  

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Charles:

The fault code 3 on the generator will repeat.  So unless you've pressed the stop once briefly to get the 2nd digit, it could be that the 33 you've mentioned is just the repeated 3.

Once you see a 3 fault code, press the stop side of the switch once quickly, then read the 2nd digit of the fault code.

Dwight

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Okay, I will recheck tomorrow. I also see where the engine needs to be off and the key on to extend slides. Hopefully that's the case. I think I have a few gremlins living in this coach. Thank you for all your help! 

1 hour ago, waterskier_1 said:

Glad you got it connected correctly and all is working.  I'm not familiar with the "weatherpak" connection, so can't help on that.  It sounds like your chassis batteries were a bit low and the starter solenoid was kicking the starter in, but didn't have enough voltage to crank.  I can't say why switching to the rear would make a difference, because it seems the starter relay was working, and the starter cables don't run to the front, only small wires that trigger the relays in the back.  It would be interesting to see what the voltage was when this occurred.  

The gauge said 10 volts at the time. But I had 12volts everywhere else. This what I've always heard referred to as a "weatherpak" connection31lAQB9lnIL._AC_.jpg.f029eca1ea3e579fec9f93f50de35fa8.jpg

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On 9/27/2021 at 9:02 PM, Flyinhy said:

Hi all, 

I'm a new owner of an 2001 executive 43ds. A 500hp cummins with an Allison 6spd. She's in decent shape for her age but I have to be honest. When it comes to electrical.....I'm not the greatest but I'm willing to learn.  I bought her to use as a second home while I'm out on job sites working instead of renting an apartment. Plus, I hope to one day retire and I wanted to travel......a win win right? Wrong!!

I'm an old mechanic and I can understand schematics (somewhat) ....

The coach cranks and runs fine.....but she's not charging. I took the alternator off ...a 200 amp leece neville.  Had it rebuilt and reinstalled it......nothing. I watched the man bench test this alternator and I know it's working like it should. What am I missing? I know this will be a working project but I didn't realize I would run into something the first week that made me scratch my head and say....huh?  I've been reading a lot of posts on here and I'm sure someone knows what I doing wrong. 

I have a Monaco and driving down the road sometimes I get the Battery light go on if I turn on my parking lights it goes off... Monaco has a relay kit to fix that I haven't done that but my coach is charging fine...

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17 minutes ago, Michael Powell said:

I have a Monaco and driving down the road sometimes I get the Battery light go on if I turn on my parking lights it goes off... Monaco has a relay kit to fix that I haven't done that but my coach is charging fine...

This will happen when running the generator while traveling…2 charging sources and it’s normal. Yes, putting a load will lower the voltage and make the warning light go out.

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