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Old 03-30-2008, 03:54 PM   #29
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any more feedback on alternators for MoHos?

Our is a 135 amp unit and is only putting our 11 amps now so it is going in for diagnostics. It was party central at the Dodger game last night but on the way home lost all the running lights, brake lights, radio, etc. Guy---how is the 250 amp unit working? I think we are also having a similar problem to Guys with our converter----batteries started in good condition game day, had the genny running on and off during the day and after the game the coach batteries were dead and even running the genny did not help. We have had many trouble free trips-----the gremlins all ganged up at once! At least we were close to home!!
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:57 PM   #30
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Ron,

How new is your DC converter? I replaced the original failed DC converter on our SOB and found that while running on generator it wouldn't charge the batteries. I found out the hard way that some DC converters don't work well running off generators. This was an Onan generator. That caught me by surprise. I figured if someone was making DC converters for motorhomes they would work with a generator.

Live and learn .

Just a thought.

Brad
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:03 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler
Ron,

How new is your DC converter? I replaced the original failed DC converter on our SOB and found that while running on generator it wouldn't charge the batteries. I found out the hard way that some DC converters don't work well running off generators. This was an Onan generator. That caught me by surprise. I figured if someone was making DC converters for motorhomes they would work with a generator.

Live and learn .

Just a thought.

Brad
Yikes. That doesn't sound good. We replaced the converter about 5-6 months ago. Our generator is also a new Onan (2 years). I guess we will know whats' up in the next couple of days. Ron
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:02 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str8strm
Our is a 135 amp unit and is only putting our 11 amps now so it is going in for diagnostics. It was party central at the Dodger game last night but on the way home lost all the running lights, brake lights, radio, etc. Guy---how is the 250 amp unit working? I think we are also having a similar problem to Guys with our converter----batteries started in good condition game day, had the genny running on and off during the day and after the game the coach batteries were dead and even running the genny did not help. We have had many trouble free trips-----the gremlins all ganged up at once! At least we were close to home!!
Sorry, I didn't see this yesterday. My new alternator has been working just fine since it was installed almost two years ago. (Wish I hadn't noticed that, it has a two year warranty ). I can recommend the service it has provided but I suspect there may be more economical alternatives if you search locally. I imagine that the high end auto stereo shops would know about high output alternators. It takes a lot of power to rattle the windows of all the cars around you.

I had three or four alternators fail before I put in the high capacity unit. Apparently, most alternators are only capable of producing their rated max output for brief periods. If you start the rig with depleted house batteries (If you have two group 27 batteries discharged to 50%, you need to provide 100+ amp hours of charging), you are likely to overheat the electronic components and produce a failure. I have a friend who has a big diesel SOB with a 135 amp alternator. His owners manual tell him to run his generator if he needs to drive with depleted house batteries.

Regarding your converter. The symptom of my converter failure was that if, while I was plugged in, I shut down (almost) all the loads, I would get a 13+ volt reading at the batteries but as soon as I turned on the lights, the voltage at the batteries would drop to 11 volts or less.

My suggestion would be to check the voltage at your batteries with the rig turned off, the generator off, and no shore power. Then plug in to shore power. If the voltage goes up, your converter is putting out something. Now turn on all the lights. If the voltage goes way down, your converter is not putting out the needed amperage and needs to be repaired/replaced.

If the battery voltage doesn't go up when you plug in, check that you have power to the 120 volt socket that your converter is plugged into. If it is hot, but your converter isn't putting out 13+ volts, converter needs to be repaired or replaced. If you don't have 120 volts to the socket, figure out why. I'd start with the circuit breakers.

On the subject of converters not liking to run from the generator, my original Univolt, my Progressive Dynamics 9180, and my current WFCO converter all ran fine on my Honda 6010 generator.

Good luck and let me know if I can answer any questions.

Guy

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Old 08-06-2008, 08:23 AM   #33
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After installing the new alternator, my volt gauge still was reading 12.5 or so but the shop assured me that alternator output was between 13.8 and 14.4 so I asked them to figure out why the bad reading on the gauge. They poked around and ran a new wire but the reading was still low, so I ordered a new gauge from, you guessed it, Home Page. Shop installed it and it read the same as the old one. They determined that for some reason the voltage they were getting from the output side of the ignition switch did not correctly reflect the voltage at the batteries, so they put in a wire from the battery terminal to the volt gauge which is controlled by a relay which closes when the ignition is on. (so the the gauge is only energized when the key is on). The gauge now read 13.8 to 14.4 as it should.

I suspect the low voltage going to the dash has something to do with the intermittent and nonsensical illumination of my low coolant light. But more on that in another thread.
Guy,

I was poking around searching Airforums for possible solutions as to why our 310 dash volt meter always reads 1 to 3 volts (or more) lower than I thought it should. I would check the battery voltage and would always get 13.7 or higher even when the dash was reading 11.5 or so. Your mention of the ignition switch now makes me wonder if that's not where our problem is.

If I remember right all of the dash wiring goes through the ignition switch, even the blower for the heater/ac unit. I finally rewired the blower power to be fed from a relay that got power directly from the battery. That allowed the fan blower to run propproperly erly with no drop in voltage.

I think what I will do now is run ALL dash voltage through a relay that has its feed directly from the battery. Maybe that will solve the low voltage condition on the dash.

As for the low coolant light, you're not the only one with that problem! I also have problems with the water in the fuel indicator that comes on sporadically as well as the one for low fuel level.

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 08-06-2008, 10:58 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
probpro

Guy,

I was poking around searching Airforums for possible solutions as to why our 310 dash volt meter always reads 1 to 3 volts (or more) lower than I thought it should. I would check the battery voltage and would always get 13.7 or higher even when the dash was reading 11.5 or so. Your mention of the ignition switch now makes me wonder if that's not where our problem is.

If I remember right all of the dash wiring goes through the ignition switch, even the blower for the heater/ac unit. I finally rewired the blower power to be fed from a relay that got power directly from the battery. That allowed the fan blower to run propproperly erly with no drop in voltage.

I think what I will do now is run ALL dash voltage through a relay that has its feed directly from the battery. Maybe that will solve the low voltage condition on the dash.

As for the low coolant light, you're not the only one with that problem! I also have problems with the water in the fuel indicator that comes on sporadically as well as the one for low fuel level.

Thanks!

Brad

Brad,
I suspect you are on to something. I ended up running a dedicated line (through a relay controlled by the ignition) to my volt meter in order to get an accurate reading.

Guy
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:55 PM   #35
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Well, I just bought a "large frame" 250 amp alternator from them.
Guy,

Would you happen to know what the case style is for the alternator you bought? Delco made 10SI, 12SI, CS130 and CS144 alternators. The first three all have the same mounting dimensions. The CS144 has a larger case and comes from Delco with a 140 amp output. The aftermarket companies then take this case and up the output to as high as 250 amps.

I picked up a CS144 140 amp alternator at a local pick-a-part yard for use in our Argosy motorhome.

Since you used a larger alternator in your Moho would you happen to know it was mounted?

As near as I could tell the CS144 will likely bolt in place of the smaller 10SI alternator that was in the motorhome but I will have to tweak the brackets some. I've been unsuccessful so far this evening searching google to try and find mounting info for a 454 engine.

Thanks,

Brad
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:08 PM   #36
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Brad,
My MH is not here at the moment, I'll check it out next week (I hope) when I get it back.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:16 PM   #37
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Brad,

The part number I have is 8112-5-250A SP-W1201 from (Alterstart Systems Inc - ) Alterstart Dallas Texas
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Old 09-28-2008, 08:42 AM   #38
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Guy,

I tried searching for that number earlier at 4alterstart.com and it appears to no longer be a good number .

Thanks for checking.

Brad
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:26 AM   #39
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Sorry I don't have any more information just now. It was a 'large frame' unit. If only I could say exactly what that means. I bet people who work with them all the time would know. I don't recall needing any special brackets but the shop who did the work and the vendor communicated directly so I might have missed something.

I can try to get pictures when I get the MH back.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:06 PM   #40
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Guy, I don't know that you would be able to get pictures of the alternator mounts since they are pretty well hidden.

I went back to the pick-a-part yard this morning and test fitted a CS144 (large frame?) alternator onto an engine that had the smaller 10SI alternator originally. Fit was pretty good. It appears the only adjustment that will be need is going to be to the top mount. I might have to bend one tab slightly to allow it to raise up a bit. Other than that it appears to be a pretty good fit. I will have to run heavier wire from the alternator to the battery but that shouldn't be to difficult since the front of the motorhome is dismantled and there is easy access .

I find that I have a bunch of time on my hands right now so I've been cruising the pick-a-part yard for bits and pieces that are needed for various vehicles we own. Kinda like going to the Mall .

Thanks,

Brad
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Old 09-28-2008, 02:22 PM   #41
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Brad,
I recall that immediately after one of my alternator replacements (on the road in North Dakota) I had a lot of trouble with belt slippage. I fought it for a couple of days but it finally glazed the belt so I bad it needed to be replaced.

Turns out that the pulley on the new alternator was not in line with the crank pulley. This was corrected by adding spacers to the bottom mounting (to move the alternator forward, I think I recall). That solved the belt problems but the alternator soon failed because it was under capacity.

I too sometimes enjoy wandering through "U-Pull_It" yards when I'm trying to piece something together. Always seems like I end up doing it in the heat of summers (We're still getting highs in the 90's).

Good luck.
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