1977 Winnebago D23C Chieftain Rewired by Satan Himself

Started by tschotland, November 24, 2021, 11:34 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.



So after many months away, I recently resumed my wrangling with this insane RV.

I determined that in addition to the red/black swap of the battery wire colors by the previous owner that caused my friend to install a new battery with reverse polarity, and also all the wires and tubes and chains that are just disconnected/cut and dangling in the breeze, the previous #$%&!*, er..., owner also removed the ignition control module, distributor and coil and replaced them with a points distributor and coil with internal resistor.  I also determined that there was no voltage running to the alternator wire, which in turn feeds damn near everything else in the electrical system.  So I patched in a new wire and hey, presto, the entire electrical system came back.  The problem is, there is no way this vehicle EVER RAN without that wire there.  This increases my confidence that demonic possession is what made this baby run.

I still have two problems, one practical and one philosophical:

Problem ye first: THE %$^#@!#%(&#$ING THING STILL WON'T START!!!  I have: good cranking of the engine, spark from the center wire to the distributor, and I can smell fuel as the engine cranks (is that normal???).  Things to check that I can think of:

   (1) Is there spark at the actual spark plugs?
   (2) Is there fuel actually getting into the carburetor?
   (3) Is the spark coming at the right time in the cycle?

Am I missing anything else?  I know a lot about electronics, a lot less about cars.

Problem ye second: It is driving me nuts how this thing ever ran.  Please see the attached image, which is an excerpt from the wiring diagram around the starter relay.  Everything in the red box was missing until yesterday.  In sequence: a 14 gauge red wire runs from the starter relay into a 16 gauge fusible link into a connector (possibly through another wire) into the alternator battery wire (10 gauge black).  Now there is NO red wire, NO fusible link, and NO wire leading into that connector!  Perhaps there was just a fusible link there.  Do they just vaporize leaving no trace?  And could a reverse battery polarity burn one out? 



There is no fuel reaching the carburetor.  The fuel filter cartridge is empty, and when I sprayed starter fluid into the carburetor the engine roared to life the instant I turned the key.

Vehicle has a new fuel pump and filter.  I don't know how to tell if the pump was properly installed and is operating.  I assume if it was pumping fuel the filter cartridge would have gas in it, no?

Could be a blocked fuel line.  Could be out of gas if there is a leak somewhere (my friend says he put gas in both tanks).

Anything else I should check?


Check any hoses in the fuel line between the main tank and the fuel pump. A small leak will prevent the fuel pump from creating enough vacuum to get the fuel from the tank to the pump. I say the main tank because regardless of the tank switch position, it will draw from the main tank while cranking.
Rick and Tracy Ellerbeck


 W% W% W%


If I were you i would take an external feed for fuel. and see how it goes then. If it starts and runs fine with the eternal feed you know you have problems in the internal feed.

Now so you say you understand electronics but cars not so much, I advise you to take a wobble pop (or two) and watch the next video. It will be a lot more entertaining for you then me putting a lot of words on the screen and you will learn a lot how to get a dead car running and driving again. As he can get a car like that running and driving, the tips will help you out with your devilish RV, I guarentee it!



Thanks, I see one rubber hose leading from the fuel pump to a metal line, which presumably leads back to one or both of the tanks.  Which tank is the main one, the front one or the back?  I am going to pour a gallon or two of gas into both just in case.

I was thinking I would also run a hose from the inlet of the fuel pump into the gas can; if the pump gets that gas into the carburetor then I know the problem is back of the fuel pump.

I appreciate the help - this forum is invaluable!


I was thinking I would also run a hose from the inlet of the fuel pump into the gas can, is that what you mean by an external feed?  If the pump gets that gas into the carburetor then I know the problem is back of the fuel pump.

You have a vehicle rewired by Satan, too - did you get it fully operational?

I can't believe I am one small problem away from this thing running again!


I think we have pretty much the same kind of vehicle, completely destroyed by the paws of the previous idiot, and i'm far from done. I have however invested way to much time and effort in it allready to give up right now, but that it's going to cost more than the vehicle will be worth eventually is a no brainer.

I did get the electronics to work, but it was months and months of work, cutting away coroded (parts) of the wiring and bringing everything back to the original setup, but yes, I got everything working again.

Watch the video, you really wil be learning a lot and also understand what i mean with external feed. Nothing is better than learning by seeing it for yourself.


The fuel pump lines were swapped in for out!  I reversed them but still no fuel to the carb.  Removed the lines and checked for suction or air flow from either port - nothing.  Ran a line from one port into my gas can and another to an empty container - no fuel transfer. Tried swapping in and out again just for good measure - same result.

This is a brand new fuel pump!  I am guessing my friend may have installed it incorrectly somehow.


It seems that the fuel pump push rod is not placed correctly. You will have to remove the pump and check if it was installed properly. I have always found that putting some grease on the pushrod to hold it up in the block while putting in the fuel pump really eases the installation.
Rick and Tracy Ellerbeck


Ya beat me to it!  I was doing some research last night and that seems to be the likely culprit.  Found that grease trick to keep it from falling down, too. 

I'd be out there now having a look except it's pouring here!


So I am putting the fuel pump back in and it just so happens that even when fully pushed up, the push rod extends down about half an inch from the engine block.  This makes it nearly impossible to seat the fuel pump as I have to fight against the spring in it.  So my plan is to rotate the engine manually until the camshaft permits the pushrod to move up further.

Noob question: I have never done this before -- does it matter if I do the rotation clockwise or counterclockwise?  I *think* the engine rotates clockwise from my perspective when facing it, but having the engine running has not played a big role in things lately!



It's strange how sometimes post do not show or you miss them.

I hope you figured it out by now. I've bought a new fuelpump myself but since the old one seems to work fine since I let the engine running a few times I getting skittish to place the new pump reading all the problems after replacing the fuelpump.

Now if you didn't figure it out, maybe this is helping. Now the engine in the video is a Chevy 454 and not a Dodge, but maybe Dodge has the same deal.

Rod window.l