Author Topic: battery hook ups all wrong  (Read 10970 times)

Offline bitbyter

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  • Posts: 16
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440
battery hook ups all wrong
« on: June 07, 2012, 01:17 AM »
A little background first, I just got a 1976 23ft cheif.  The guy before me hooked all the battery cables up to one battery.  I went out and got a deep cycle to put in for the house battery.  I just used trial and error until i had power to the motor and to the house.  I thought I had everything right until memorial day weekend.  We went camping and had to run the furnace a lot.  We ran the house battery pretty close to dead, then someone left a light on.  So to get power to run the water, I started the motor and put the mon switch in dual mode.  Nothing, no power to the house.  I ran all the way home with the mon switch in dual mode.  When we got home the house battery was still dead.  So I must have something wrong.  When we got home, I got right up here on the website and found the diagram for the battery cable hook ups for the solenoids.  I just set it up that way and i seem to have the batteries running the wrong stuff.  House battery running the motor and motor running the house.  The mon switch doesn't seem to do anything.  I am thinking that the guy before me did more than just move the battery cable hookups.  The first pic is a diagram I made from how i understood the explinations of the solenoid hook ups from other post.  I guess first did I understand that part??  The second pic is from my battery compartment, I tried to label the battery cable the best I could.  I looked all over the site, if I missed a post that would have helped me out, sorry just point me in the right direction...lol 



Learn something new every day, otherwise it's the ssdd, why even get out of bed.

Offline DaveVA78Chieftain

  • 14 year member
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  • Posts: 3536
  • Member since: 2003
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1978
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge M400
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: battery hook ups all wrong
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 05:33 AM »
1st - the lower relay would never work because there is no control power (small wire) to it to turn it on.

2nd - You only need one relay to cross-connect the coach and chassis systems.



Dave

Offline bitbyter

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  • Posts: 16
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440
Re: battery hook ups all wrong
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2012, 10:25 AM »
ok, looks like the guy before me then really messed up the wiring.  There is another solenoid somewhere then for the starter right?  I was thinking that the top solenoid was for the starter, that's wrong? The confusing part is that the top solenoid has 4 terminals.  I was thinking the top one was for the starter/coil (because of it being a 4 terminal one, like a ford wiring setup).   The bottom one was  for the mon, but wasn't hooked up.  Your explanation of the wires explains why stuff isn't working the main starter wire isn't even on the right side of the solenoid.  Well time to crawl back under there and start moving stuff around.

Thanks
Learn something new every day, otherwise it's the ssdd, why even get out of bed.

Offline DaveVA78Chieftain

  • 14 year member
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  • Posts: 3536
  • Member since: 2003
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1978
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge M400
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: battery hook ups all wrong
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2012, 01:51 PM »


Starter Relay (above) is located on the inboard side of the drivers side frame rail outborad the starter and bell housing.  Like my drawing in post shows, the Battery cable from the aux solinoid goes to the large post on that starter solinoid.  A 2nd large cable goes from the large post on the starter solinoid to the starter.  Orginal chassis wiring (prior to Winnbago adding the aux solinoid) for starter solinoid/starter is shown below.

Dave


Offline bitbyter

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  • Posts: 16
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440
Re: battery hook ups all wrong
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2012, 11:17 PM »
well that didn't work out right..lol   I removed the wires going to the bottom solenoid.  I moved the main wire running to the starter to the left side of the solenoid.  I then figured out that the smaller black wire running to the left side of the solenoid was powering the house, so i moved it to the right side of the solenoid.  Now nothing charges the house battery, voltage stays the same at the house battery with the mom switch in the dual mode, also no change in voltage with the shore power plugged in, but the light do get alot brighter.  Did they wire the charging circuit through the main big wire headed back to the genny?  If so that could be a prob, as it is not connected to anything in the battery compartment.  Not sure what it is connected to in the genny compartment.
Learn something new every day, otherwise it's the ssdd, why even get out of bed.

Offline DaveVA78Chieftain

  • 14 year member
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  • Posts: 3536
  • Member since: 2003
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1978
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Dodge M400
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: battery hook ups all wrong
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2012, 12:00 PM »
I suspect you have a Progressive Dynamics power center that is simular to this:



There is a large relay in there that selects between battery and converter output to the coach (determines which source feeds the fuses).  It also has a seperate lead from the "BAT" fuse at the bottom that suplles charging voltage to the battery from the built in 6 amp battery charging section.  So, there are 2 wires from the converter to the battery (Coach Battery to selector relay; Charger section to Coach Battery).
http://www.progressivedyn.com/service_discontinued/discontinued_prod_basic_operation.html

Offline JayRoberts89

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  • Posts: 1
  • Member since: 2018
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1983
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: battery hook ups all wrong
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2018, 08:21 AM »
I am trying to hook my batteries up in my 1983 chieftain. I was looking for a diagram on how to hook the battery to the solenoid? 🤔 I have tried everything and I cant get any power. But just bought 2 new batteries for the house and for the power and a new solenoid. Also how to hook both batteries to eachother

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5351
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: battery hook ups all wrong
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2018, 02:18 PM »
Batteries will hook to each other positive to positive and negative to negative and then the positive to the solenoid and the negative to the chassis ground. Now, you will have a switch somewhere in  the coach, could be on the dash or hidden in a cabinet that says battery disconnect or Auxiliary battery disconnect. It will sometimes have a little light next to the switch. If this is not switched to the on position then you will get no power from the house batteries to the coach, nor will you get any charging to the batteries. That solenoid you are hooking to is a latching relay and disconnects the batteries from everything for winter storage. You have to have power in the house batteries for that relay to work. So hook up your new batteries and then find that switch if you still do not have power.

Offline svpets

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  • Posts: 4
  • Member since: 2018
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1988
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Superchief
  • Chassis: Chevy P30
  • Engine: unsure
Re: battery hook ups all wrong
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2018, 07:58 AM »
I have a similar problem. Just bought my first RV, a 1988 SuperChief. The coach battery is clearly the wrong one. What group size batteries will fit? Also, what is this switch for? Where is it supposed to be mounted?

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5351
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: battery hook ups all wrong
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2018, 10:29 AM »
The switch is a master cutoff switch to shut off all power to the coach. It is NOT factory and it REALLY needs to be attached to something if you plan on keeping it. If it falls down and those exposed terminals hit a ground you will have a fire! I can guarantee you that your 88 has a switch either on the dash (most likely near the radio) or if not there then somewhere in a cabinet that will shut down all of the electrics in the coach through a latching relay that is mounted on the firewall under the hood. Battery sizes are basically the biggest you can fit. That sounds condescending but really, it is true.

Offline tmsnyder

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  • Posts: 559
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: GMC Motorhome
  • Model: Eleganza II
  • Chassis: GMC
  • Engine: 455
Re: battery hook ups all wrong
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2018, 02:55 PM »
Wow, very dangerous.  That switch is supposed to be mounted to a panel, try using an L bracket to get it mounted solid on something, before you hit a bump and that + terminal makes contact with a ground = BOOM




Offline MotorPro

  • 5 year member
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  • Posts: 198
  • Member since: 2012
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1986
  • Make: Winnebego
  • Model: Elandan
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: battery hook ups all wrong
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2018, 04:54 PM »
Yes the switch should be mounted or eliminated. That tray should hold 2 batteries.

Offline TerryH

  • Full-time Adventurer!
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  • Posts: 741
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  • Year: 1992
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Brave 27RC
  • Chassis: GMC P30
  • Engine: 454 Dual Fuel
Re: battery hook ups all wrong
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2018, 05:31 PM »
Yes the switch should be mounted or eliminated. That tray should hold 2 batteries.

Agreed.
As well, every battery should have a hold down clamp.
Two wrongs don’t make a right, but they make a good excuse.
-Thomas Szasz  1973   (1920 - 2012)

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5351
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: battery hook ups all wrong
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2018, 07:04 PM »
One last item, take the ground wire off of the battery before working on that switch so that way if the wrench or switch touches it does not let out the magic smoke. And you probably already know you should have two batteries, it looks like just one in there. I would guess someone was testing stuff in there hence the really badly rigged setup. I would hate to think that someone actually used it like that!

Offline svpets

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  • Posts: 4
  • Member since: 2018
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1988
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Superchief
  • Chassis: Chevy P30
  • Engine: unsure
Re: battery hook ups all wrong
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2018, 08:00 PM »
Thanks for the advice. I'll take some measurements to find the two biggest batteries I can. I will look for that switch on the dash. I'll be sure to disconnect the negative terminal before working on it. The idea has been floated about eliminating the switch, which sounds good. Reading through the other posts, do you think this might have been where the relay or isolator switch belongs? Maybe the PO replaced it with this switch? If that is the case, any idea of a part number or source for the relay?

 

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