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Old 05-27-2011, 08:01 PM   #1
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Clipper, Alternator, Delco Remy, Land Yacht

Applies to Clipper but other models may have similar equipment.
The Clipper OEM Freightliner Chassis was supplied with a Delco Remy HO 100A 21SI 3 wire alternator that was adaquate at the time of production, but marginal as more electronics and gadgets were added to the unit.
In 2008 I upgraded the original 21SI alternator to 130A and again in 2009 when it failed, (probably due to high temperatures in the engine bay, and aging house batteries), I had it modified to a 22SI 130A.
To help contain the engine bay temperatures on the heavy and hot mountain pulls, I installed two, two way vents, on the rear compartment doors to help airflow over the batteries and the transmission cooler, and on into the engine bay.
On the road last week, the alternator failed again. Post inspection revealed a burnt and broken winding. Weather was cool, so that was not the problem, and no excessive load was applied, as we were on the move. May have been the age of some of the rebuild components?
Decided to purchase a new HO 160A to start fresh. Had the previous one rebuilt to 160A specs and will carry it as a spare. (that should insure no more problems right?)
If you have problems in the Ottawa, Ontario area give Raymond @ K A R Auto Electric in Scotch Corners a call for great service.
Dave

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Old 05-27-2011, 10:58 PM   #2
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Dave have you ever run a check to see how many amps your coach is actually drawing while going down the highway? Most of the new electronic toys being solid state don't really draw that much. If the original 100 amp was adequate when new it would be interesting to see just how much was added to require that much more alternator.

If your original alternator lasted 12 years and you lost 2 upgrades in 3 years I might suggest a long talk with your re builder

Cheers, Dan
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:26 AM   #3
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Dan:

Canada requires DRL (daylight running lamps) which are an additional load that was not part of the original design specs. My battery capacity has almost doubled over OEM setup, and we use less full hookups than what the design team at AIRSTREAM envisioned I'm sure. The upgrade on the Delco Remy is internal and the external physical size is not altered.
I am disappointed also at the short life of the rebuilds, but all have been done on the road and you have to take what you can get. The 2009 effort was a scabbing together of what the lad had on the shop floor. He did inform me of what he was doing and I had to make a decision on a Sat. morning, in Eastern Canada, or wait till the Wed. of the next week to receive a new one shipped. He also charged less than $100 for his efforts and gave no guaranty.
That was why I elected to go for a new one at this point.
What I had rebuilt for a spare now is basically a new unit, so I should be in good shape.
Dave


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Originally Posted by Smartstream View Post
Dave have you ever run a check to see how many amps your coach is actually drawing while going down the highway? Most of the new electronic toys being solid state don't really draw that much. If the original 100 amp was adequate when new it would be interesting to see just how much was added to require that much more alternator.

If your original alternator lasted 12 years and you lost 2 upgrades in 3 years I might suggest a long talk with your re builder

Cheers, Dan
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
Dan:

Canada requires DRL (daylight running lamps) which are an additional load that was not part of the original design specs. My battery capacity has almost doubled over OEM setup, and we use less full hookups than what the design team at AIRSTREAM envisioned I'm sure. The upgrade on the Delco Remy is internal and the external physical size is not altered.
I am disappointed also at the short life of the rebuilds, but all have been done on the road and you have to take what you can get. The 2009 effort was a scabbing together of what the lad had on the shop floor. He did inform me of what he was doing and I had to make a decision on a Sat. morning, in Eastern Canada, or wait till the Wed. of the next week to receive a new one shipped. He also charged less than $100 for his efforts and gave no guaranty.
That was why I elected to go for a new one at this point.
What I had rebuilt for a spare now is basically a new unit, so I should be in good shape.
Dave
That's one of the problems with the Delco's is there are so many of them that there are a lot of aftermarket parts available and many aren't worth carrying home. High quality parts are available if you have the time to look for them.

Are the DRL laws applied to the older vehicles? I thought they only applied to vehicles that came equipped with them. Aside from that I would think Airstream designed these things to be driven at night so having the lights on shouldn't too much of a problem. Anyway now that you have a new spare alternator you won't have any more problems at least until you get tired of carrying it and decide to leave it home.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 05-29-2011, 02:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
My battery capacity has almost doubled over OEM setup, and we use less full hookups than what the design team at AIRSTREAM envisioned I'm sure. The upgrade on the Delco Remy is internal and the external physical size is not altered.
Hi, alternators were designed to recharge a battery after start-up and maintain the electrical power while driving; They were never intended for use of massive charging of house batteries. [boon docking] Many alternators died because of people running their car batteries completely dead, jump starting them, and cooking the alternator because it is running at full max for hours. You need solar panels with a controller or a generator through a converter to charge those house batteries. [or shore power]
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Old 05-29-2011, 06:43 AM   #6
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Clipper Electrical

Robert:
Don't know what else I can do here. I have all bases covered. This was the situation before my upgrade to the 160A Delco Remy.

Here is what I did on my CLIPPER. (Cummins CT300)
I have a upgraded Delco SI 22 130A alternator, charging 2 X HD wet cell starting batteries, bank #1, (soon to be replaced with the same type), and have removed the ISOLATOR because of the voltage drop.
I have installed a SurePower 1315-200 SEPARATOR.(replaces the isolator) and allows charging both ways over 13.2V.
I have installed a cockpit controlled solenoid between the chassis and the ISOALTOR so I can manually control the combined or separate charge.
I have 4 X 6V T105's for the house bank #2.
I have one Trojan deep cycle wet cell 12V up front for the electronics. This has a charge line from the house battery circuit and another tie to the chassis circuit, which both have manual switches in the cockpit that I control as needed.
Xantrex Freedom Inverter Charger 2000 Watt 12 VDC 3 stage charger for the house #2 battery bank. (will charge all if switches and solenoid activated. AUX diesel 7000W slightly used.
All system are monitored in the cockpit with DIGITAL VOLT GAUGES.
SOLAR: 20W polycrystalline, charge controller, manual switch (to feed chassis or house depending on the need) Can be left on either, depending on solenoid setting between battery bank #1 or #2.
253W polycrystalline panels (4) run thru a MMPT controller to the #2 battery bank.
2 X 5.5W monocrystaline panels (no charge controller) to the #3 battery up front. Powers a 400W invertor for the electronics.

My experience with this setup is:
While camping, if the sun is shinning next day, I can boomdock overnight and leave the house batteries on all the SOLAR and they will completely charge. (in this case I have the solenoid between 1&2 bank connected so that any solar over capacity goes to the chassis battery. If not using the #3 invertor I will tie this panel in also to the house.

When travelling during the sunny day after boomdocking, I will separate the #1, #2, #3 banks. This allows SOLAR to charge the #2 and #3 and the Delco to run the chassis load of DRL, AC, fans, etc.
In theory I should get better fuelmileage as the alternator is not running the # 2 or #3 if not necessary.
NOTE: THE SOLAR WILL NOT PRODUCE IF YOU ARE CHARGING FROM THE ALTERNATOR AT THE SAME TIME AS THE CONTROLLER WILL SIGNAL THE BATTERIES ARE AT CAPACITY.
ALWAYS DOCUMENT UPGRADES SO THAT FUTURE SERVICE WILL BE POSSIBLE WITHOUT UNNECESSARY EXPLORATION COST.


Dave





Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, alternators were designed to recharge a battery after start-up and maintain the electrical power while driving; They were never intended for use of massive charging of house batteries. [boon docking] Many alternators died because of people running their car batteries completely dead, jump starting them, and cooking the alternator because it is running at full max for hours. You need solar panels with a controller or a generator through a converter to charge those house batteries. [or shore power]
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Old 05-29-2011, 06:56 AM   #7
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D R L, Daylight Running Lamps

Dan:
From Wikipedia
[edit] Canada

"Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 requires DRLs on all new vehicles made or imported after January 1, 1990. Canada's proposed DRL regulation was essentially similar to regulations in place in Scandinavia, with an axial luminous intensity limit of 1,500 candelas, but automakers objected, claiming it was too expensive to add a new front lighting device, and would increase warranty costs (by dint of increased bulb replacements) to run the low beams. After a pitched regulatory battle, the standard was rewritten to permit the use of reduced-voltage high beam headlamps producing up to 7,000 axial candelas, as well as permitting any light color from white to amber or selective yellow. These changes to the regulation permitted automakers to implement a less-costly DRL, such as by connecting the high beam filaments in series to supply each filament with half its rated voltage, or by burning the front turn signals full time except when they are actually flashing as turn indicators."

Dave

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Originally Posted by Smartstream View Post

Are the DRL laws applied to the older vehicles? I thought they only applied to vehicles that came equipped with them. Aside from that I would think Airstream designed these things to be driven at night so having the lights on shouldn't too much of a problem. Anyway now that you have a new spare alternator you won't have any more problems at least until you get tired of carrying it and decide to leave it home.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:40 AM   #8
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Hi, so the way I see it, with the Isolator the secondary charge rate is low and slow. But this is what kept your alternator from over working.

Let me tell you a little story about a truck I used to have. I was a Mac Tools Distributor. My truck was a Grumman Olsen / Chevrolet P-30. It was made with one chassis battery and one house battery. The chassis battery was charged by the engine mounted alternator. The house battery which was also the starter battery for my Onan generator, ran my display lighting. This battery was charged by the engine alternator through an Isolator. Before the end of each business day, my house battery was dead. I needed to fix this. First I had my house battery mounting bracket modified to hold two deep cycle batteries instead on one. Next I trashed my Isolator. When my Onan was running, it put a trickle charge into my house battery and powered a converter to run my lights and also charge my house battery. I installed a 120 volt receptacle on the outside of my truck that was connected to my converter to charge my house batteries at night. [plugged into my house] I went to a junk yard and picked up a few pieces that I could modify and I made some brackets to mount a second alternator on my engine. One alternator for my chassis battery, and one alternator for my house batteries. And finally, I installed a solenoid connecting all three of the batteries, activated with a push type starter button, to help start my engine or generator, if their perspective battery was weak. This worked well for many years. Maybe if you are able to mount a second alternator like I did, as long as you don't run your house batteries too low, this might cure your problem too.
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Old 05-30-2011, 02:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
Dan:
From Wikipedia
[edit] Canada

"Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 requires DRLs on all new vehicles made or imported after January 1, 1990. Canada's proposed DRL regulation was essentially similar to regulations in place in Scandinavia, with an axial luminous intensity limit of 1,500 candelas, but automakers objected, claiming it was too expensive to add a new front lighting device, and would increase warranty costs (by dint of increased bulb replacements) to run the low beams. After a pitched regulatory battle, the standard was rewritten to permit the use of reduced-voltage high beam headlamps producing up to 7,000 axial candelas, as well as permitting any light color from white to amber or selective yellow. These changes to the regulation permitted automakers to implement a less-costly DRL, such as by connecting the high beam filaments in series to supply each filament with half its rated voltage, or by burning the front turn signals full time except when they are actually flashing as turn indicators."

Dave
Thanks for giving me the straight scoop. I was under the impression the DRL law started around 2000 not 1990. I guess it doesn't affect me too much as all of my vehicles are way older than 1990 except for my two smarts which are 2005 and 2006.

When your Airstream was imported to Canada did the DRL's have to be automatic or did you just have to drive with your lghts on?

The only DRL law we have here is for motorcycles but I honestly don't know if it's retroactive to older bikes or not. All the bikes I see around here are pretty new.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:30 AM   #10
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D r l

Dan:
A DRL module must be installed so that it is automatic. It is part of the inspection required to aquire registration in a Canadian Province. All vehicles now have the wiring harness there. Its just a matter of buying the module and plugging it in. If you buy from your dealer it is expensive. A universal one is available but will not fit your plug, so has to be scabbed in to the harness. If you are in an accident, you may be accessed 100% of the blame if running illegal.
Dave


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When your Airstream was imported to Canada did the DRL's have to be automatic or did you just have to drive with your lghts on?
Cheers, Dan
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:52 AM   #11
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Bob:
Sounds like you did all the right things to solve your problem.
With the serpentine belt on the CT300 a second alternator would be difficult.
I have, what I believe is, an efficient installation now and any future improvement (as indicated in this post http://www.airforums.com/forums/f313...ply-77097.html) would be to add larger solar panels as the price becomes more reasonable.
Dave


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Maybe if you are able to mount a second alternator like I did, as long as you don't run your house batteries too low, this might cure your problem too.
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:36 AM   #12
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We need some more clipper owners on this site.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:40 AM   #13
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Powertron hd31p

Update on the Clipper #137
As indicated in previous posts I had reduced my battery "pull,clean,inspect,test" maintenance cycle to annual from semi-annual as I was not having any issues with any of the 3 battery banks on the CLIPPER.
In Jan. 30, 2011, I experienced poor start in the cold weather and found a loose positive post connection on the outside battery. I had, at this time, done a full maintenance on the chassis batteries and the one that had the loose post showed a marginal weak cell with the hydometer. Battery dates are Jan. 05, on the 2 X POWERTRON HD31P. After reinstalling, inside out, and overnight charge, all seemed acceptable on the voltage digital tests.
However, Sunday June 5th evening, the engine start was laboured, and Monday the 20W solar dedicated chassis panel could not recharge the chassis bank above 12V in full sun.
Pulled the batteries and the weak cell had now failed.
Reinstalled the good battery and will run with one until I find a deal or get back to base where I have a good 8D in the shop.
After 6 years, I guess I can't complain.
Dave
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:22 AM   #14
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Clipper, Batteries

Update on batteries on the Clipper.
As posted, I ran a few days with the one chassis start battery. The weather was hot and I planned on running the 3500 miles to my home shop where I had a good 8D battery on the shop floor.
However, I was having some minor problems with slow start, smoking exhaust on start, transmission shift problems on start, etc.
What I think was happening, was the single aged battery was completely maxed out on each start, causing the ECU on the transmission/engine to reset????? These problems only appeared when I tried running with the one dated battery.
I attempted to aquire a matched pair of new GP 31 batteries in NY state but few outlets carry stock anymore.
I returned to Ontario and purchased 2 new HD GP 31 in Kitchener, at a good price, and all the other problems were corrected.
Brought the old batteries home and will use the good one in the MH 555.
Dave

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Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
Update on the Clipper #137
Pulled the batteries and the weak cell had now failed.
Reinstalled the good battery and will run with one until I find a deal or get back to base where I have a good 8D in the shop.
After 6 years, I guess I can't complain.
Dave
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