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Old 06-20-2017, 10:23 AM   #911
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Been on the road now for a couple weeks, having an incredible trip so far! Left Denver a couple days ago and are now camped on the banks of the St Vrain river in Lyons Colorado. Wish you could hear the water!
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Our son gets married this coming sat. Great trip!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-20-2017, 06:17 PM   #912
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I guess they weren't kidding about the snakes!!!!!
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:30 AM   #913
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I guess they weren't kidding about the snakes!!!!!
Keep in mind snakes like to slither up into dark places......
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:56 AM   #914
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Heyyyyyyy fellas!
We are still out on the road in Colorado having fun. Sons wedding went well and dear lord I'm glad its over with.....PITA!!!!! I know, I shouldn't say that. But I need some advice, I'm out of ideas.

I thought I had cleared up this overcharge problem with my voltage regulator but it still persists. I'm getting readings up to 15.6 at the battery with my meter. If I turn on the lights it drops to 13.65 at idle but when RPMs are increased it will rise up to 15v or so at the battery. Here is what Ive done so far

Installed new OEM voltage regulator
Added a ground wire from voltage regulator direct to frame
Super cleaned battery terminals n cables
Super cleaned ground strap from batteries to frame
Tested voltage while running with battery disconnect to coach batteries turned off

Any ideas guys??? If I run with my lights on I think I'm ok as far as not exploding a battery but something obviously is amiss. Read and read on the internet and the only info that keeps popping up is bad grounds, bad voltage regulator, bad battery. My battery is holding a good charge and isn't reading high. Consistantly around 12.6 - 12.8 after it sits.
But I've tested the voltage at the battery while running at 60 mph and without the lights on it's well above 15v. Hasn't pegged out or reached 16v but still way too high.

Any ideas on what you would do next?

Thanks guys, I appreciate any help

Mike
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:36 AM   #915
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Heyyyyyyy fellas!
We are still out on the road in Colorado having fun. Sons wedding went well and dear lord I'm glad its over with.....PITA!!!!! I know, I shouldn't say that. But I need some advice, I'm out of ideas.

I thought I had cleared up this overcharge problem with my voltage regulator but it still persists. I'm getting readings up to 15.6 at the battery with my meter. If I turn on the lights it drops to 13.65 at idle but when RPMs are increased it will rise up to 15v or so at the battery. Here is what Ive done so far

Installed new OEM voltage regulator
Added a ground wire from voltage regulator direct to frame
Super cleaned battery terminals n cables
Super cleaned ground strap from batteries to frame
Tested voltage while running with battery disconnect to coach batteries turned off

Any ideas guys??? If I run with my lights on I think I'm ok as far as not exploding a battery but something obviously is amiss. Read and read on the internet and the only info that keeps popping up is bad grounds, bad voltage regulator, bad battery. My battery is holding a good charge and isn't reading high. Consistantly around 12.6 - 12.8 after it sits.
But I've tested the voltage at the battery while running at 60 mph and without the lights on it's well above 15v. Hasn't pegged out or reached 16v but still way too high.

Any ideas on what you would do next?

Thanks guys, I appreciate any help

Mike
Mike, have you cleaned the connections for the engine to frame ground cable and if it's present the engine to body ground cable? If the engine to ground cable connections are corroded that would provide a voltage differential between the engine and the frame.

The only other idea I can think of is to replace your alternator with one that has a built in regulator, if that's possible for the diesel rigs that is.

Oh yeah, have you tried a different hand held meter to see if you get any different readings?

Brad
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:54 AM   #916
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Hey Brad,
No I haven't cleaned the engine to frame strap, good idea. Ill look for it today, see if I can find it. I haven't tried a different hand held but I've got a spare with me so I'll try that too.
Good ideas. I wonder where that ground strap is? Ill poke around.

Thanks Brad
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:12 AM   #917
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Sounds like it would be the alternator. If the voltage regulator has been replaced with an oem.... When rpms are up and am overcharge suggests to me that you should take that alternator in for servicing. I took mine in and my biggest culprit was how dirty it was inside my diodes were completely covered in oil and dirt, couldn't function properly so I was getting the opposite as you,with mostly a drained battery. It was 4-5 hrs of shop rate and they changed my bearings etc. If you do go this route go to a seal store get s new high pressure seal for the hydtoboost off the back they are only $6
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:33 AM   #918
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Thanks for the input. I carry a spare OEM alternator so if it comes to that Ill change it out. Sure hope its not.
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Old 06-27-2017, 12:19 PM   #919
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Whoa, spare alt, spare starter, etc and plenty of Tools. May need a small shop trailer to tow along soon. 😃👍

Like most here, I struggle with under charging especially at night.
Hope you are able to find the issue soon Mike.

Great being on the road isn't it. I'm in central Calif in the cool of the coast right now.

This has not been a confidence inspiring trip for me, first the starter ordeal.also lost the speedo, blown fuses, had the engine just cut out on me yesterday while driving into strong winds, it started up a short while later. Before I even got greasy. No idea yet what caused it, but running fine again.

We are just coming up on 25 thousand miles since I've had the coach, so hopefully this trip is just keeping me on my toes. For more carefree adventures.

Congrats on getting your sons wedding behind you.
Have fun on your open ended trip Mike And Lynn.

Cheers Richard
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:07 PM   #920
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Thanks for the input. I carry a spare OEM alternator so if it comes to that Ill change it out. Sure hope its not.
It's possible the alternator is causing the problem but typically if the alternator is putting out voltage/current then the issue is the regulator in some form or fashion.

Considering the difficulty of removing/replacing the alternator I would consider that a last resort test.

If I read your previous emails correctly you're not seeing the high voltage readings at the dash volt meter. There are several potential causes for this. The grounding point for the dash instruments is somewhat corroded or the grounding point for the alternator is somewhat corroded. Same goes for the positive connections to the dc volt meter and the alternator. Also on the positive side if the connections for the dc volt meter + are a long distance away from the alternator + connection then there could be a large voltage drop between them. This last one is what I believe is the main reason the Airstream dash volt meters always seem to show a lower voltage than at the battery.

Does your alternator have a grounding lug where you would run a cable from the alternator to a ground point on either the engine or the chassis?

As I rewire my Argosy I'm running ALL grounds back to a central bus bar so they all have the same reference point. Most older vehicles, including Airstream's, just used any convenient chassis screw as a ground point which then relies on every connection to be clean with a tight connection. This to me is a major problem and is difficult to remedy on a vehicle without a massive amount of work. Since I'm rewiring the entire vehicle it was a perfect time to correct this age old problem.


Brad
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:17 PM   #921
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Awww thanks buddy! As always on the road we are having fun around every corner so far. Our next stop is up in the mountains a bit at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Should be really fun. First time for me driving the rig up to that elevation so hold on! Not worried at all about going up its coming down that should be interesting. Gotta do it eventually right? This old Allison should keep us at a safe speed.
You sound like youre livin the life there Richard!!!! Good on ya! We have to do it while we can, especially in these old beasts. You came in in conversation yesterday, cant remember the context.
We gotta cross paths here eventually!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, cleaned the ground strap to the motor to frame, both ends.....tested with my spare meter......no joy yet. BUT! Ive sure got a lot of shiny new ground connections so no wasted time in doing what Ive done so far. Ill find it....eventually. Ill keep plugging along and in the mean time Ill just drive with my lights on all the time, it keeps the voltage at a safe reading. Its got me puzzled though. Alt is putting out plenty of juice.....


Any more ideas out there please send them my way. There mat be more than one strap to the motor to frame....if I find it Ill clean it up.

Could the isolator be a part of this??? I could bypass it I think. Head scrathin here.
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Old 06-27-2017, 05:19 PM   #922
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Mike I don't believe your regulator has a separate 'Sense' lead as some other regulators have. It just reads voltage from the 'Battery' lead which no doubt comes from somewhere under your dash. It might be interesting to get some voltage readings at your isolator, all three leads to ground and somewhere under the dash or fuse panel with the engine running. My long-shot theory is you have some voltage drop from the actual battery to the general wiring under the dash. If this is so your voltage regulator would be reading the lower voltage under the dash causing it to put out a higher voltage on the lead going to the isolator and batteries.You may be cooking your house batteries as well as the engine start battery. If this isn't the case at least you will have some more information that may solve the problem. Happy hunting.
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:30 PM   #923
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Mike I don't believe your regulator has a separate 'Sense' lead as some other regulators have. It just reads voltage from the 'Battery' lead which no doubt comes from somewhere under your dash. It might be interesting to get some voltage readings at your isolator, all three leads to ground and somewhere under the dash or fuse panel with the engine running. My long-shot theory is you have some voltage drop from the actual battery to the general wiring under the dash. If this is so your voltage regulator would be reading the lower voltage under the dash causing it to put out a higher voltage on the lead going to the isolator and batteries.You may be cooking your house batteries as well as the engine start battery. If this isn't the case at least you will have some more information that may solve the problem. Happy hunting.
The volt meter on the dash is corresponding with the meter reading at the battery. Ill test a couple spots under the dash and get readings from the isolator. The chassis battery is reading normal while sitting and the engine off. Coach batteries read normal while plugged in, maybe I should unplug and let them sit then take a reading. I was thinking about removing the coach batteries from the isolator and then moving my chassis battery connection over to the alt lug. I think that would essentially bypass the isolator, just to take it out of the equation. Ill wait on that. I'm starting to think on the "load" side of this thing. Like the reg is trying to keep up with a load of some sort.....heck I don't know!
Ive got several days before we need to move on from our present spot.
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Old 06-27-2017, 06:52 PM   #924
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Sorry Mike I thought you had a lower voltage at the dash. More readings can't hurt. We're not giving up on this.
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