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 > Need help replacing charging circuit solenoid.

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maillemaker

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Posted: 01/16/20 12:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My model is a 1991 WF327RT My chassis is a 1990 E350.

I think this is me:

http://www.winnebagoind.com/diagram/1991/101059.pdf

Steve


1990 Winnebago Warrior. "She may not look like much but she's got it where it counts!"



dougrainer

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Posted: 01/16/20 12:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On your year model Winne
1. THAT solenoid you replaced should NOT have anything to do with the Chassis Alternator charging the Chassis battery.
2. That continuous duty solenoid you replaced does 2 things. When the inside dash switch is engaged on the DUAL indent, it sends a 12 volt signal to that solenoid to close and the chassis and Coach batteries are connected and the Chassis Alternator charges both battery banks. That DUAL position is energized ONLY when the Ignition key is ON.
3. The MOM spring loaded side of the switch is wired to the Coach batteries. When you push and hold MOM(momentary), it uses a 12 volt signal from the Coach batteries to engage that solenoid and combine the Chassis and Coach to start the engine when the chassis battery is low or dead.
4. Almost all motorhomes do not tamper with the Chassis maker Alternator to charge the Chassis battery when engine is ON. There are a few exceptions but very few. The add on controls and solenoids are to charge the Coach batteries when engine is running and to keep the batteries separated when the engine is OFF.
5. IF that solenoid you replaced also kept the chassis from charging, then I will bet someone has miswired the battery cables over the years. Doug

ksg5000

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Posted: 01/16/20 12:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Think that a simple battery isolator solenoid - if so the inexpensive continuous duty solenoid offered by Amazon should work fine (mine has been working fine for 10+ yrs). With that said - I am unclear on why a battery isolator solenoid has anything to do with your original problem of voltage dropping.


Kevin

maillemaker

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Posted: 01/16/20 12:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK, I've examined this wiring schematic, and I don't really follow what is going on. I know a little bit about wiring schematics, but I'm not able to follow here.

It looks to me like power comes to the Charging Relay from the Chassis Relay. The Chassis Relay comes with the Ford Chassis. I assume this is the starter relay? Or is this a different relay?

Anyway it seems to send power over to the Charging Relay.

The 3-way switch in the cab. If I hold it to the right, it is in boost mode. If it is in the middle, I think it is "off", and if you click it to the left, it should charge the house battery if the engine is running. (But I do not think it will discharge the house battery if the engine is off). I believe this switch is shown in View C-C.

The schematic references something called "battery changeover". I don't know what that means.

It looks to me like the Chassis Relay sends power to the left side of the Charging Relay (see View A-A).

The right side of the Charging Relay sends power to the 4 Circuit Breakers. So, when the Charging Relay is energized, it is then powering the 4 circuit breakers.

If I'm reading it right, wire LR is the center position of the 3-way rocker.

I'm not sure how to read the wire designations. LR, KE, LS, etc.

In view C-C, LR is shown as 16 gauge purple. But in view A-A. LR is shown as 14 gauge purple. I assumed these were the same wire (LR ?) but since they are different gauges I guess not.

So looking at this I still do not understand what is physically happening to the circuit in Boost mode, Charge mode, and the middle.

And I don't see how this is related to chassis battery charging, if at all. Maybe the Chassis solenoid is actually bad? Is this the same as the Starter Relay?

Sorry for being so confused here.

Steve

maillemaker

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Posted: 01/16/20 01:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

On your year model Winne
1. THAT solenoid you replaced should NOT have anything to do with the Chassis Alternator charging the Chassis battery.
2. That continuous duty solenoid you replaced does 2 things. When the inside dash switch is engaged on the DUAL indent, it sends a 12 volt signal to that solenoid to close and the chassis and Coach batteries are connected and the Chassis Alternator charges both battery banks. That DUAL position is energized ONLY when the Ignition key is ON.
3. The MOM spring loaded side of the switch is wired to the Coach batteries. When you push and hold MOM(momentary), it uses a 12 volt signal from the Coach batteries to engage that solenoid and combine the Chassis and Coach to start the engine when the chassis battery is low or dead.
4. Almost all motorhomes do not tamper with the Chassis maker Alternator to charge the Chassis battery when engine is ON. There are a few exceptions but very few. The add on controls and solenoids are to charge the Coach batteries when engine is running and to keep the batteries separated when the engine is OFF.
5. IF that solenoid you replaced also kept the chassis from charging, then I will bet someone has miswired the battery cables over the years. Doug


OK, I think I am getting a clearer picture, thanks Doug.

So the Charging Solenoid is used both when the switch is to the left AND to the right. So both left and right just gang the house batteries to the chassis battery.

The difference is, the DUAL option only works when the ignition is also on, but the MOM option works whether the ignition is on or off? Is that right?

I always thought there were two different circuits as the relay made a bigger "clunk" noise when in the MOM position than when in the DUAL position. But maybe I just couldn't notice because the engine is always running when I go to DUAL position.

It could be that it was just chance/luck that when I tapped the solenoid it started charging again.

When I first pulled off the road, I waited a minute, and suddenly it started charging again. Almost left to get back on the road and then the voltage fell off again. This is when I assumed it was a bad alternator. But when I replaced the alternator and fired up the engine, it was still at like 11.6V through the cigarette lighter volt meter. Then I went and whacked the Charging Solenoid and it jumped up to 14V. I had no other issues the entire drive home (6 hours).

It could be something else unrelated.

Also note I have purchased the Charging Solenoid but I have not yet replaced it.

Steve

enblethen

Moses Lake, WA

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Posted: 01/16/20 01:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On the left side of the relay detail, it shows a wire going to the chasiis battery battery solenoid. It does not indicate size of wire. Your photo shows it as one of the large red.


Bud
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maillemaker

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Posted: 01/16/20 01:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

On the left side of the relay detail, it shows a wire going to the chasiis battery battery solenoid. It does not indicate size of wire. Your photo shows it as one of the large red.


Yes, I agree. The Chassis Battery solenoid inputs to the Charging Solenoid on the left side of the relay.

Do these letter designations mean it should be the same wire? I'm confused why LR is 16 PR on one and 13 PR on the other. Typo?

[image]

maillemaker

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Posted: 01/16/20 01:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think I understand enough now to do some basic testing of the RV battery system anyway, so I can better understand what is happening. This whole thing has pretty much been a black box to me until today.

If I disconnect the chassis battery and hook up my volt meter to the free-hanging chassis battery terminals, and then I turn on the ignition and set the rocker switch to DUAL, no voltage should be seen at the chassis battery terminals since the chassis battery is disconnected, and thus it cannot power the Charging Solenoid.

If I then hold the rocker switch to MOM, I should see house battery voltage at the chassis battery terminals, since the house battery powers the Charging Solenoid in the MOM position.

If I reconnect the chassis battery and disconnect the house battery terminals, and I check for voltage on the house battery terminals, with the ignition OFF and the rocker set to DUAL I should get no voltage at the house battery terminals. With the ignition ON I should see chassis battery voltage at the house battery terminals.

Does this sound right?

Steve

enblethen

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Posted: 01/16/20 05:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes with ignition on and engine running, there should be voltage on the coach battery cable.
Check for voltage on each side of the circuit breakers in detail.
The KE wire should have power to switch.
The momentary switch is for temporary tying system together for emergency start.
The dual function is for charging the batteries.

maillemaker

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Posted: 01/16/20 06:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

The momentary switch is for temporary tying system together for emergency start.
The dual function is for charging the batteries.


Yes, I understood that much previously. But I thought there was some special or separate circuit for ganging the batteries together for charging vs. for boost.

If I understand correctly now, both ways the batteries are ganged together the exact same way.

The only difference is how the solenoid is switched on.

In the Dual position, the solenoid is only energized if the ignition is on. This way the batteries will not be ganged together if the engine is off, so your chassis battery cannot be depleted by running house things.

In the Momentary position, the solenoid is energized from the house bank, whether the ignition is on or off.

But in either case, the effect is to gang both batteries together. The only difference is which power source energizes the solenoid.

Does that sound correct?

Steve

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