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Old 09-17-2013, 07:29 PM   #1
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Unhappy Engine won't crank ---sometimes

1998 Airstream MOHO on a XC chassis, Cat 3126. Sometimes when I turn the key to start, nothing happens. Sometimes if I hold it in the start position for several seconds it will crank OK. Today I noticed a “do not shift” light was on the dash but it did start. Is there a “neutral safety switch” or a relay in the circuit between the key and the starter solenoid? I have a “Silverleaf” VMS that shows no faults. Does anyone have a schematic of this circuit. The manual only shows a single line from the ignition switch to the starter solenoid.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:32 PM   #2
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I don't have a schematic, but I'm thinkin' you have a start relay solenoid close to the battery(looks like old Ford 4 post starter solenoid) and a neutral start switch. Wires could be loose.

If you "rock" the shifter does it make any difference?

Did this just happen? Give some background on when/how the fault occurred. Not enough info to "guess" more than I have.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:34 PM   #3
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Does the engine have Glowplugs? If so, then the glowplug timer could be activating. Again, more info needed?
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:22 PM   #4
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It is a push button shifter. It has a large battery cable from the batteries directly to the starter solenoid the solenoid is mounted on the starter, it is like most GM starter circuits but I don't know where the neutral safety switch is located. It may be inside the transmission.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:46 AM   #5
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I suggest clean each connection at starter and solenoid. It is amazing, they can look fine. Check grounds at both ends too. (Block and chassis) Grounds can give all sorts of false positives and even send trouble codes.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:36 PM   #6
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I second the suggestion that you clean ALL cable connections from the batteries to the starter.

If you do this yourself disconnect the ground cable on ALL batteries before you start. It is very important that you remove and clean the cable directly at the starter.

Yes there will be a solenoid between the batteries and the starter. If you have someone by the engine while you turn the ignition on they should hear the solenoid click. I doubt it is the solenoid because you say that sometimes it will crank if you hold the key on. That indicates a dirty connection in the cables.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:45 PM   #7
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Neutral Switch issue assuming it has one.
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:08 AM   #8
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Corrosion strikes again. Found some minor corrosion on the start relay terminals, once I found the relay. It would energize when I turned the key to start but it would take up to 5 seconds before the starter would kick in. All OK now. This is the first I have found corrosion causing a delay in the passage of current. Usually it is all or none.
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:33 AM   #9
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Welcome to the Air Forums lew. How about some pictures (we like pictures) and other information on your unit.
Also interested in how that "SilverLeaf" is preforming for you. Did you have it installed or was it done by the previous owner???

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Originally Posted by lewengel View Post
Corrosion strikes again. Found some minor corrosion on the start relay terminals, once I found the relay. It would energize when I turned the key to start but it would take up to 5 seconds before the starter would kick in. All OK now. This is the first I have found corrosion causing a delay in the passage of current. Usually it is all or none.
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:48 PM   #10
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Silver Leaf is good. I like all the information available on it. I installed it myself. Not much work, one connector under the dash. I mounted it on top of the dash so I could reach it and see it well.
My unit is a 98 so the Silver Leaf doesn't get all the parameters available on the newer rigs. But enough for me.
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