Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-04-2007, 03:55 PM   #1
Rivet Master
 
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,101
345 starting/power problem(s)

Hello all and HELP!(please, oh please!):
Our 1989 345 has been in a covered storage unit this winter, but the temperature has been in the single digits a few times. I went to start it last week, and the house batteries were dead, and I thought the start battery was, too, so I jumped it, and after a few problems keeping the cables clamped in place, it fired up. Initially, there was no power showing on the control board, and I was not able to get the generator to turn over, either.
Yesterday, I went to fire it up, again, and it was dead. I tried jumping the start battery, and that didn't work, this time. I pulled the battery so I could take it home(50 miles/2 mountain passes) and throw it on the charger...in the process of removing it, I painfully discovered that the start battery had a full charge. I reconnected it, and still had no power to the control panel, and neither the engine or the generator would turn over. The ingnition fuse in the glove box is not blown. As the temperature was about 16 degrees and I had reached my level of maximum competence in motorhome trouble-shooting, I came home, drank a beer, and began composing this plea for enlightenment. I should be assumed to be novice, but willing, and any suggestions and/or help would be greatly appreciated...Tracy's old man, Michael.
__________________

__________________
Michael & Tracy
1989 345 Motorhome
CHARTER MEMBERS: FOUR CORNERS UNIT, AND PROUD OF IT!!!
We live for the moment, 'cause when you get there, it's gone...
ScrapIrony-2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 04:14 PM   #2
Rivet Master
Commercial Member
 
ViewRVs's Avatar
 
1977 20' Argosy 20
Charleston , West Virginia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,226
Images: 9
Send a message via Yahoo to ViewRVs
I'm no expert but I did have a 345 once before.

1) See if you have a battery disconnect switch. My 345 had a disconnect switch in the battery drawer. It might have gotten switched off (never overlook the obvious). I flipped the switch off (disconnect) when I left her in storage.

2) I usually jumped the gen set rather than the engine. I then started the engine from the gen set power. I just thought it was easier with my weak mini-van.

3) The other common failure point is the starter soleniod. Mine was failing and made starting difficult.
__________________

__________________
Fred H.
1977 Argosy 20' Motorhome
Fred's Airstream Archives @ ViewRVs.com
ViewRVs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 04:15 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
ALANSD's Avatar

 
1966 26' Overlander
Woodstock , Georgia
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 8,462
check the starter wires and all near there, mine had a short from the manifold burning thru the wires and nothing would work, although intermittently. I ended up replacing the wiring and covering everything in heat proof wrap, including the starter...just a place to begin your check anyway. good luck
__________________
1966 Overlander
AIR #005
Please visit our blogs and web pages:
OUR AIRSTREAM PASSION! BLOG
RESTORING AN AIRSTREAM
Our AIRSTREAM and TIN CAN TOURIST Rallys
ALANSD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 06:13 PM   #4
Rivet Master
 
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,101
Thank you for your prompt replies. I did not mention that I do have a disconnect switch on the starter battery. I also know about the two battery switches located on the inside wall to the right as you enter, behind the chair. Also, the wiring will be a focus of attention next viewing, as I will be better dressed for COLD cement slab temperatures. I do not understand why the control panel won't show a good battery charge level on the starter battery...do I need to have the house batteries charged to operate the control panel? Last week when I somehow got it started, I immediately started the generator and I ran everything for about an hour to charge things up...the control panel showed full charge on all batteries after shut-down. Does the solenoid somehow act as a sort of relay for power to the generator? Also, how do I jump-start the generator...I mean, WHERE do I hook up the wires? I have one of those 12V power packs with jumper cables, and I'll have a set of jumper cables(20ft) that I can run from the truck. I also have an EU 2000 portable generator left over from the '68 Overlander days(which are becoming fonder as the mechanical frustrations occur). Could I plug in the landline to the generator and maybe that would help...? I don't want to sound really as stupid as I feel, but I'd rather SOUND that way than fry something by ACTING that way. I'm sure I'll have more questions as I get help, and one of the reasons is that I have to drive a long way to get to the storage unit, and any solutions left at home won't be solutions. I wish I had WiFi at the location, but I guess that would be too easy......................Michael
__________________
Michael & Tracy
1989 345 Motorhome
CHARTER MEMBERS: FOUR CORNERS UNIT, AND PROUD OF IT!!!
We live for the moment, 'cause when you get there, it's gone...
ScrapIrony-2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 06:33 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
str8strm's Avatar
 
1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Tujunga , California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,969
Images: 6
keep the faith!

We had a whole bunch of electrical problems which were all solved by replacing the 3 batteries.. a lot of frustation problem solving which was gone with new batteries. We were told no more than 2 years on the batteries is realistic. We are coming up on that date now and will see if it is true.
__________________
Ron and Debbie Lawrence
1985 345 Motorhome...... delightfully tacky......yet unrefined
AIR 7992
str8strm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 09:26 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
buckwheat's Avatar
 
1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Hendersonville , North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 88
Not sure about your '89 control panel, but the one in our '87 345 runs solely from the 2 house batteries (or Univolt) and monitors only those 2 batteries. Even though it has a switch to show the chassis battery level, that indication is actually wired to the 12v output of the genset and only shows that the chassis battery is being charged when the genset is running.

1. Get yourself a digital voltmeter (even a $12 cheapie from Radio Shack is adequate for most purposes). Use that as your basis for battery levels and forget the control panel (unless yours is digital!). You should have 12.5 volts (75% charge) or higher (12.75 is fully charged).

2. Physically disconnect the house batteries if necessary to jump start the engine. If the house battery levels are below the chassis battery level, and somehow connected in series (such as through the emergency connect solenoid) then they will suck the juice right out of your chassis battery and anything used to jump it.

3. If it still won't turn over, verify that you're getting 12v to the starter solenoid and start troubleshooting from there.

4. Something is draining your batteries, I would physically disconnect them while your unit is in storage. Better yet, remove them and take them home and keep them on a good trickle charger. As inconvenient as it is, it's better than what you're facing now.
__________________
BubbleHead Fred
"Underway is the only way!"
buckwheat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2007, 09:42 PM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
2005 22' Interstate
Afton , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 226
Quick Check

If your "start" battery is OK, it might be worth trying this:
When you try to start the engine, have you turned on the headlights? If the battery has enough energy to light them, it should run the starter motor.
It also indicates that the ground lead, etc is OK. If no light then you have either a dead batt or bad wiring. I remember when I lived in New Mexico some corrosion would form between the batt posts and the clamps. Had something to do with the dry climate. Removing them and using a wire brush fixed this.
And, don't forget to whack the starter solenoid with a rubber mallet. Sometimes it sticks.
I see it is too late to try this tonight. "Morgen Fixit"
regards
__________________
herrgirdner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2007, 11:17 AM   #8
Rivet Master
 
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,101
OKAY...I'm loading the generator, chargers, power pack, jumper cables, rubber mallet, and portable heater. I will stop at Radio Shack and buy a meter. I will pack my thermal pull-overs, and I will practice holding my tongue 'just so'...I'll let you all know what does ar does not happen, and I thank you, again, for all yopur help............michael
__________________
Michael & Tracy
1989 345 Motorhome
CHARTER MEMBERS: FOUR CORNERS UNIT, AND PROUD OF IT!!!
We live for the moment, 'cause when you get there, it's gone...
ScrapIrony-2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2007, 01:45 PM   #9
The Hawk's Lair
 
cooperhawk's Avatar
 
1985 34.5' Airstream 345
BACK WOODS , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 922
Images: 9
I was having similar problems a year ago so I pulled the entire battery compartment out and sand blasted it and then refinished it with undercoat and black paint. I found that the ground strap from the battery compartment to the frame was badly corroded. I cleaned it up to a bright shine, and my problems went away.

The cut-off switch kills all power to the coach. The engine still starts. If I leave the cut-off switch on, the batterys will drain from different sources. One is the TV signal amplifier, another is one of my thermostats won't fully disconnect and when the temp drops below the lowest setting it will try to start the furnace even though I have the furnaces turned off. (I need to replace that one). Another drain is the co2 detecter and also the smoke detectors. Each of these use a small amount of power, but over a period of time they will drain the coach batteries.
__________________
AKA THE GUNNER
There is no "I" in the word "team," but there are four in "Platitude Quoting Idiot!"

AIRSTREAM 345 TURBO-DIESEL
VFW, LEGION, NRA


cooperhawk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2007, 12:59 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,101
Going prepared was just barely enough...I started the portable generator, plugged in BOTH battery chargers and put one on coach batteries and one on the atarter battery. After about ten minutes, the engine started. I let it run while I put away all the stuff, and then tried to start the onboard generator, and the engine dide, and...I had to hook all that stuff up again. I drove it around on the highway for about 40 miles, parked it, turned it off, and ...it wouldn't start...SO...since we were planning on leaving for Arizona for 2 plus months on Monday, I will pack it all up, start it as I know it will, and drive it to Farmington and add the electrical to the tune-up/oil change/fuel pump replacement list at the repair shop...my next, and probably last post to this board will be to let you all know what they found. I thank all of you for your help and sharing of experience...we'll see you down the road.......michael
__________________
Michael & Tracy
1989 345 Motorhome
CHARTER MEMBERS: FOUR CORNERS UNIT, AND PROUD OF IT!!!
We live for the moment, 'cause when you get there, it's gone...
ScrapIrony-2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 10:25 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,101
Okay, well, 8 days(and nights) in Farmington, New Mexico IN A MOTEL, and the problems that were fixed were:
1.) BOTH solenoids behind the battery drawer were fried.
2.) The Power Off Battery Disconnect circuit board(inside the door to the right as you face the door from the outside^^^behind the chair)was fried.
If anyone knows where I can find a spare board, I would appreciate knowing...luckily, the place I went to(Sweetland's Auto/Truck Repair)was able to fine-solder the burned spots back to life.
She now starts, runs well, and all systems are GO. They were even able to fix the dash heater-the drive TO Farmington was really c-o-l-d. We're on our way to Tucson...thanks, again, for all the input.......Michael
__________________
Michael & Tracy
1989 345 Motorhome
CHARTER MEMBERS: FOUR CORNERS UNIT, AND PROUD OF IT!!!
We live for the moment, 'cause when you get there, it's gone...
ScrapIrony-2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2007, 11:06 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
str8strm's Avatar
 
1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Tujunga , California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,969
Images: 6
Thanks for the update. Good luck with the rest of your trip. Ron
__________________
Ron and Debbie Lawrence
1985 345 Motorhome...... delightfully tacky......yet unrefined
AIR 7992
str8strm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2007, 07:14 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
GlenCoombe's Avatar
 
1984 28' Funeral Coach
Belleview , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,635
Images: 27
Sure sounds like somebody reversed polarity to fry that much stuff. You picked a very cold time to do your trip. Hope the rest is uneventful.
__________________

__________________
Glen Coombe AIR #8416
1984 28' Funeral Coach
Former Rolling Showroom & PuttLab (now party bus)
"I'm not an expert. But I did sleep in an Airstream last night."
GlenCoombe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Winterizing a 345 Motor Home winner Airstream Motorhome Forums 11 09-29-2007 01:56 AM
Shower door. Has anyone put one on a 1987 345 or similar airstream with curtain? MacInDaBox Airstream Motorhome Forums 2 05-17-2007 01:06 PM
Classic 345 davidz71 Our Community 1 07-26-2002 09:54 PM
Fridge Cooling Problems 68International Refrigerators 6 07-10-2002 04:53 PM
345 Hill Climbing ViewRVs Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 12 04-18-2002 12:52 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.