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Author Topic: 97 Fleetwood Bounder Model 34J Electrical Issues  (Read 3693 times)

Ray O'Donnell

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97 Fleetwood Bounder Model 34J Electrical Issues
« on: July 23, 2009, 08:32:14 PM »
Hi.  My first post asking for advice.  My 34J has been in storage for 18 months now and I am just now getting it ready for the road.  As I would have expected, the batteries were all dead.  As they were many years old, I opted to just replace them rather than try and get a few more miles out of them.  I have them installed, fresh oil and lube, fresh gas, flushed the radiator, checked hoses and belts and done the once over for any animal damage or anything else out of sorts.  Time to start the rig.  Big surprise, nothing.  Just a click of a relay under the hood and the battery and seat belt light illuminated on the dash.  I have nothing else that seems to work on the chassis battery.  No headlights, wiper, blower motor, horn, radio, etc.  The connections at the battery are good.  I have not checked the connections at the starter yet, but will over the weekend.  Probably spend some time disconnecting and cleaning all the connections I can find.  Have also not checked for voltage at the starter yet, but don't expect I will find any there. 

I figured starting the engine was a lost cause for the day and went ahead and tried the generator.  The starter engages and turns the generator over with a vigor, but also no actual start.  I disconnected the fuel line and found it dry. 

  I am fairly certain the battery disconnect switches are operating properly.  I hear the relays shift when I hit the switches.  With the coach batteries turned on, I have interior lights, the fridge starts up, and all the 12V items seem to work, with the exception of the radio.  It will not operate on with the switch set to "Park".  I assume the travel-park switch on the dash switches the 12V power to the radio from the coach to the chassis battery.   

At this point you are all probably wondering what is my question.  Well here it is.  How about some advise on where to go first.  I notice several of you seem to have considerable experience with Bounders on the F53 Chassis.  Surely one of you can point me to the one thing that will only take a minute to fix, that will solve my problem. 

Seriously, I notice that Lou (Onanman??) has a 97 Bounder and I seem to recall mention that he has access to wiring information on the battery disconnect switches.  I suspect my problem is most likely corroded connections or perhaps a tripped circuit breaker in that area.  Problem is, I have no information, no schematics, wiring diagrams etc for that system.  I have the complete package of manuals that probably came with my RV new, and also have the Ford F53 Chassis manual, but there is no wiring schematic.  Any ideas?

I think the Battery Isolation box is that box in the engine compartment located just above the chassis battery on the driver's side.  What gives me doubt is that there are several fuses to systems in the coach (steps, solar panel, CO2, etc) that lead me to believe the box may be something else.  The circuit board inside shows some signs of surface corrosion.  I think I can unplug it and remove and would then have access to the main cables from the coach and chassis batteries that enter into it from the passenger side. 

Would I be on the right track by going into that box and cleaning things up?

My battery cables are also in pretty sad shape.  Does anyone know if I can just buy new battery cable assemblies or is that something I will have to manufacture?

I am sorry for such a long post on my first try.  I promise.  I will limit things to only one small item from now on.  And of course, I sincerely hope I will be able to provide just the right suggestion to a fellow RVer in need in the future.   

Ray

Ray O'Donnell

Just Lou

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Re: 97 Fleetwood Bounder Model 34J Electrical Issues
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2009, 10:39:20 PM »
Ray, where to start? :D

You are correct in that the box just above the chassis battery is the BCC.  It has the disconnect solenoids and the charge/aux start solenoid in it along with a few small relays and fuses for various things like the steps, sensors, etc.

Now, with that said, it has nothing to do with the path from the chassis battery to the starter or the headlights..  

The fact that your ignition/starter relay clicks says you have "some" chassis battery voltage.  The fact that neither the starter solenoid or the headlights will work says items with a large current draw are affected.

You might actually have two problems, but let's proceed as if it is one problem until we learn different.

First, will the coach engine start or even turn over if you hold down the aux start switch while turning the key?
The coach batteries (assisting) should crank the engine if they are strong enough to crank the generator.

BTW - you probably have less than 1/4 tank of fuel and that's why the generator fuel pump won't pull any fuel.  Try a shot of quick start in the carb to see if it is only fuel related, then fuel up before you worry further about the generator.

Back to the battery problem:

The fact that the headlights won't work (and the engine wont crank) indicates that there is still a problem with battery connections.  If you know the connections are good, I would check the cable terminals very closely.  It's possible that they are corroded inside the terminal lug.  Give them a good tug and twist.  They are standard Ford parts or you can get replacements at most auto parts stores.

Also check to make sure that there is not a wire/cable that fell off the positive post that was not replaced when you installed the new battery.  There should be a sizable wire (actually a fusible link) that provides power to all the things you say do not work.

The starter (not energizing) may be another problem, but we can walk through that when the time comes.

When you return with your findings we can proceed further.  Good luck.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 10:42:18 PM by Lou (onaquest) »
“You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
lou  ---  '97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Ray O'Donnell

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Re: 97 Fleetwood Bounder Model 34J Electrical Issues
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2009, 11:10:33 PM »
Lou, 

     Appreciate your reply.  To be honest, I had not done all that much symptom elaboration in this problem.  I can say, there is no change when I switch to Aux start.  I am naturally assuming that my problem is indeed related to the large current draw and therefor I have a connection problem.  I have only investigated the cable to battery connectors.  As both the chassis and coach batteries directly feed that battery isolator box, I was somewhat hesitant to start disconnecting connectors to get in the back and check the cable ends. 

I will double check to make sure I have not neglected one of those secondary wires that are sometimes connected to the battery.  I seem to recall a small wire should be connected to the negative side of the coach battery, and now that I think about it, I cannot positively recall that wire is in place. 

I will indeed return with my findings. 

Do you by any chance have the wiring schematics for the Bounder?

Ray
Ray O'Donnell

Jeff

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Re: 97 Fleetwood Bounder Model 34J Electrical Issues
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2009, 11:25:00 PM »
Ray:

I would check the voltage across the battery posts, it sure sounds like bad connections but could also be dead truck battery and a bad connection to the AUX start.

Just Lou

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Re: 97 Fleetwood Bounder Model 34J Electrical Issues
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2009, 08:38:56 AM »
Ray, like I said earlier, the cables going into the black box (other than the bridging for the aux start) have nothing to do with the voltage/current path to the starter.  Anything driven from inside that box was added by Fleetwood and is "house" related, not chassis.

I do have diagrams for the '97V on the F53, but they are Fleetwood diagrams and only show wiring specific to their alterations for adding the house to the chassis.

I do have an F53 chassis manual, as well, that I can copy some simple diagrams from.  About the only electrical "stuff" the manual shows are fuse block location and fuse assignments.

Your problem is basic to the battery, battery connections and ignition circuits.

 
“You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
lou  ---  '97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX