Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: 1977 Dodge Van Class B Conversion Restoration Thread
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 > 1977 Dodge Van Class B Conversion Restoration Thread

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Traveler7

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Posted: 12/09/14 12:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi to All Class B and Restoration Fans out there!

I started a thread on my Camper Van at

Pics of My 77 Dodge Vandicraft Class B & a Tire question

Link Camper Van Pics

on the General Class B Forum so please check that out for more Pics-
This thread is about the work I need to do to make it My Future Home.

One of the few problems with the van is the windshield wipers don't work [emoticon]

The PO (Previous Owner) believed that the motor was bad and replaced it with a junkyard motor that also did not work and he assumed that was the problem and advised me to buy a new motor. Instead I had a friend bench test the motor and found it works fine- the problem unfortunately is ELECTRICAL [emoticon] [emoticon]

I've been using a multimeter to check continuity and voltages and found that the motor was not receiving a fixed voltage- it was ranging from 0- 3.3 volts. I pulled the main firewall connection and probed it for continuity and when I plugged it back in I lost voltage to the motor plug- dropped to .2 volts (ouch). My preliminary diagnosis is failure of the fusible link from the battery- this would explain why the PO would say the motor turned slowly at times (low voltage condition)and why my messing with it caused more failure. Anyone who know electrical please PLEASE chime in here with any advice!!![emoticon]

My next step is to probe the fusible link for continuity and get a tool to push the contacts out of the waterproof connector. What do you think????

As usual with any project I found more problems that needed to be attended to- the wiper linkage bushing were broken or missing in some cases and the linkage was bread wired together. I purchased new bushings and removed the linkage and installed them with lithium grease. The first one took about 1/2 hour to figure out and then they went much more quickly using a closed end wrench and a hammer on some and a vise to press the bushings onto the wiper rotors. Re-installed and it looks great! pics[image][image]][image][image][image]
[image][image]

I also cleaned a wasps nest out of a vent over the stove....

[image][image][image]

and cleaned it out!

Thanks for viewing and I appreciate your comments!

* This post was edited 05/28/18 04:29pm by Traveler7 *


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ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 12/09/14 01:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If your having low or no voltage issues the first thing I would check is that diode based isolator in your first pic on the right side. Put all three connection on one stud and see if things start working right. If so then I would scrap that thing and change to a 100% duty cycle solenoid relay ($20 NAPA).
On second thought, I'd scrap it no matter what. They always fail at the worst times.


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Robert78121

Washington DC Area (NOVA)

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Posted: 12/09/14 03:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's been my experience when tracing low voltage problems (especially with a vehicle of that age) they usually end up being a bad and/or corroded ground. I would start with that, because it's something you need to clean up anyway on a nearly 40 year old van.


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Traveler7

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Posted: 12/09/14 05:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Robert, I agree and I'm cleaning grounds as I find them....cleaned the ground on the wiper motor itself...everything else is working well- starter, fan, lights, charge from the alternator to the battery is 13.80 volts, battery is 13.2 so I am a little afraid to do somethings because of my inexperience with 12 volt electrical systems (or any for that matter). I do not have a wiring diagram, I'm working from a Chilton manual that covers 21 years of vehicles...I intend to buy the actual 1977 Bishko Shop Manual that I should have bought in the first place [emoticon]

Scott- thank you for the suggestion- I will try it! Do either of you think my fusible link theory holds water though??? Wasn't able to test it today....

Thank you so much for your suggestions!!!!!!!

bsinmich

Holland, MI

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Posted: 12/10/14 02:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think that you may find that wipers and headlights have circuit breakers rather than fuses.


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ol' grouch

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Posted: 12/10/14 05:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When ever you clean a ground, cover it with dielectric grease to prevent future corrosion and make future disassembly easier.


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Traveler7

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Posted: 12/10/14 06:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you for the responses- I will read up on the electrics in Chilton and try to find all the ground circuits and circuit breakers for this system! I purchased dielectric grease and contact cleaner and will get to it on Saturday and let you know what I find!

Traveler7

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Posted: 12/14/14 12:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bad weather today so I worked inside. I did some measurements to figure out how to add an upstairs bed and tried to clean up a little rust on the stove with aluminum foil and water. Bright stuff cleaned up nice, but it didn't work as well on dull finished metal. A family friend who is a pro mechanic has offered to help me fix the wipers electrical issue in a couple of weeks so I think I will wait and get some instruction to help me with future electrical projects I have planned.

There will be at least three phases to this remodel and one will involve adding solar panels and a third dedicated house battery and adding some electrical outlets. Other major projects involve adding a shower with hot water and a full electronics suite with backup camera, GPS, wifi extender and probably a cell phone extender as well. Of course a new paint job and all new interior look are on the agenda as well. This is a 4 year project so I have lots of time to make it right, just need to learn the skills and save the money [emoticon]

So stay tuned and chime in with your thoughts each step of the way, I appreciate it very much!

Traveler7

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Posted: 12/14/14 04:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here are some pics of what I did today [emoticon]

I found a ground that seemed appropriate so I took it apart and cleaned it-
(2 black wires attached to the silver head screwed to the firewall)[image]

Also cleaned the battery terminals while I was at it.

I finally checked the fuses and found that the PO had an odd red wire jammed into the bottom of a fuse [emoticon] [emoticon]
[image]

WTH????

I pulled the wire off and checked and replaced the fuse and suddenly my heater fan and the radio wouldn't turn on?!?!?! I traced to wires and they start under the steering column and run under the dash to the right side of the van and into the frame???? (next two pics)

[image]

[image]

Hmmmm...this may be related to my problem with the wipers if they are on the same ACC Circuit....the headlights worked no matter if the RED wire was jammed into the fuse or not....Wipers with headlights?

I jammed the wire back in and the radio and fan worked again. Definitely something that needs attention when my friend helps me in a couple of weeks.

Good news- found out the freezer will make ice cubes on house power [emoticon]so the fridge is working great. It is a Trav'lr Model. The stove is a Duette with three burners an oven and a furnace setting with blower fan. Works well! Also both of my 110 power points work so I have a total of 3 outlets for 110 power [emoticon] [emoticon]

I want to add another one high to use in the bunk when I make it.

That's it for today folks!

Traveler7

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Posted: 12/17/14 10:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok....Monday spent time trying to get the rearview mirror reattached. The PO had given me the mirror in hand, there is a button still on the windshield and a button stuck in the back of the mirror support. I used a hair drier to heat the button on the mirror so I could pull it out and clean the old adhesive off with a dremel tool, then cleaned the button on the wind shield. I tired Gorilla Glue and used a garden rake wedged in the van to put a clamping pressure on the two buttons. After three hours it became apparent that the 40 degree temperature was too cold for the glue to work so I will try it again after cleaning the pieces up again and put a space heater in to get the interior temp up. This time will work!

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