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Old 12-05-2015, 01:10 PM   #15
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If it's not eating batteries (vehicle or coach), and the charging system is keeping them charged, I'd leave things as they are.
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Old 12-05-2015, 01:24 PM   #16
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Peter, as several have mentioned the headlight switch is marginal as well to the point that the switch can get super hot.

Driving back to Kentucky after a long race weekend as I was driving along the headlight hii beams started flicking on and off. I thought it was the headlight switch because I could reach up under the dash and it was hot to the touch. Eventually the high beams died and a short time later so did the low beams. The actual problem turned out to be the dimmer switch socket. It had melted!

After that I had intended to replace everything and add relays but didn't get around to it before it went to its new home.

Bottom line bad connections, undersized components and undersized wiring all lead to the problems you're experiencing.

Better start creating your upgrade list
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Old 12-05-2015, 05:38 PM   #17
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1982 31' Airstream 310
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I have made many of the changes suggested in this thread. LED tail lights, marker lights and headlights. Rewired the headlights so they are operated with relays and fed with adequately sized wire. The new wiring and LED headlights were a major improvement. Rewired my compressor with a significantly larger feed wire and a relay controlled by the original yellow wire that is switched with the ignition. I did feed my compressor from the coach batteries because it was easy to access the upgraded fuse panel mounted in the coach by the PO. I also had to rewire my rear marker lights to eliminate a short in the wiring somewhere in the ceiling between the front and rear lights. I have removed and cleaned many of my grounds, although I keep finding more to do all the time. I just discovered the ground for my compressor glowing red hot when I opened the rear compartment in the dark with the compressor running! Another project for the list.


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Old 12-06-2015, 06:20 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Peter, as several have mentioned the headlight switch is marginal as well to the point that the switch can get super hot.

Driving back to Kentucky after a long race weekend as I was driving along the headlight hii beams started flicking on and off. I thought it was the headlight switch because I could reach up under the dash and it was hot to the touch. Eventually the high beams died and a short time later so did the low beams. The actual problem turned out to be the dimmer switch socket. It had melted!

After that I had intended to replace everything and add relays but didn't get around to it before it went to its new home.

Bottom line bad connections, undersized components and undersized wiring all lead to the problems you're experiencing.

Better start creating your upgrade list
NO, no, not a another list
When I restored a 73 450SE, I was surprised to find that almost all circuits were relay driven.
Should have know that it was you coming at me on that dark road that night
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Old 12-06-2015, 06:39 AM   #19
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I appreciate everyone input and suggestions!
The headlight switch issue appears to be the most pressing.
My thoughts about the compressor feed wire going to the coach batteries is based on the fact that the compressor will come on when the ignition is switched on, since it is driven by the pressure switch.
Since most of us will not wait until it is finished, we start cranking the motor dropping the voltage of the engine circuit considerably.
There is a good chance that we will ruin our expensive compressors in a short time due to low voltage while cranking.
I know that the smart people at Airstream installed a relay in the early 80's that automatically combines the engine and coach batteries during cranking. Fortunately they stopped that foolishness in mid 80 and changed it to a operator controlled switch in the glove compartment.
so my question:
Would it not be prudent to install a time delay switch to keep the compressor from coming on for lets say the first 30 secs after ignition comes on? What kind ?
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Old 12-06-2015, 07:12 AM   #20
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I had no idea that Airstream added that switch in later years. On my '82, there was no switch or relay in the compressor curcuit. They made a great deal of changes on the 310 from '82 to subsequent years Im learning. Wasnt '82 the first year for the 310?
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:13 AM   #21
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I had no idea that Airstream added that switch in later years. On my '82, there was no switch or relay in the compressor curcuit. They made a great deal of changes on the 310 from '82 to subsequent years Im learning. Wasnt '82 the first year for the 310?
I'm sure the other diesel owners will correct me if I'm wrong but I think on all of the diesel models for starting all of the batteries are tied together to provide enough cranking amps for the diesel engine.

My 454 powered 84 310 had the toggle switch in the glove box.

My 2000 F250 Super Duty diesel has two batteries connected in parallel.

Brad
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:16 AM   #22
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Peter, face it. If you're going to own an Airstream motorhome you're going to have lists!
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:27 AM   #23
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Fuse protected Relays....
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:46 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH-Airstreamer View Post
I appreciate everyone input and suggestions!
The headlight switch issue appears to be the most pressing.
My thoughts about the compressor feed wire going to the coach batteries is based on the fact that the compressor will come on when the ignition is switched on, since it is driven by the pressure switch.
Since most of us will not wait until it is finished, we start cranking the motor dropping the voltage of the engine circuit considerably.
There is a good chance that we will ruin our expensive compressors in a short time due to low voltage while cranking.
I know that the smart people at Airstream installed a relay in the early 80's that automatically combines the engine and coach batteries during cranking. Fortunately they stopped that foolishness in mid 80 and changed it to a operator controlled switch in the glove compartment.
so my question:
Would it not be prudent to install a time delay switch to keep the compressor from coming on for lets say the first 30 secs after ignition comes on? What kind ?
Instead of a timer use a NC relay. Power the solenoid on the relay from the power wire for the starter solenoid. When you are starting the engine then the compressor will be off. If you are dead set on the timer you can find both types here...

McMaster-Carr

GL

EDIT: Or just put a switch in the compressor line then you have manual control. This would be much cheaper.
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:49 AM   #25
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Yes Brad, there is a solenoid that is activated by the ignition switch turned to the start position that combines the batteries.
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:01 AM   #26
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What Tuco said. Adding a relay with the coil connected to start position of the ignition switch with a N.C. contact that break the feed to the compressor would be a good approach.
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:09 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH-Airstreamer View Post
Should have know that it was you coming at me on that dark road that night
That wasn't me!

I was on I-64 an hour east of Lexington....

nice try though
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Old 12-10-2015, 09:17 PM   #28
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Looks like, I do have a problem with the alternator. The new coach volt gauge showed a similar voltage fluctuation as the engine gauge. It only seems to happen at rpms of 2500 and above. I see the voltage jump from 13 to 15 for a few seconds. The alternator is fairly new, but it must have a problem with internal voltage regulator?
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