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Old 08-10-2013, 09:26 PM   #1
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Help! Stranded in SD - '86 345 Classic won't start!

Stranded in Kadoka, SD heading back to Mich from Sturgis. Running fine until I heard a weird hissing noise & voltage dropped (10-11)for about 20-30 mins. Noise stopped & voltage went back up to 13-14. Drove for another hr. pulled into gas station to get coffee. Went out to start & she is dead. Battery good, connections good, voltage to starter good - have lights on dash but starter won't click or turn over. Tried hot wiring from Solnoid above altmator - no luck. Tried jumping power to Isolator in front - no luck. (There is no power going to isolator). Please help or call my cell 305-503-1354 cell. Thanks!
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:49 PM   #2
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Not having any experience with 345's (I have a trailer) my immediate thought with "hissing noise" and 10-11VDV for 20-30 minutes is perhaps the starter solinoid engaged while driving and drove the starter motor until it overheated and the windings opened. Based on engine flywheel speed the starter drive gear probably never engaged and freewheeled. Check the continuity across the starter motor.

Just a thought.

Brad
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:18 PM   #3
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Thanks! Might be stranded til Monday before I can get something. UGH!!!
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:05 AM   #4
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could the hissing been a wire burning somewhere. do you smell/see/feel any burnt wires?

could someone please post how to make sure the neutral safety switch hasn't failed?

check your ground wires and bolts that hold the starter to the engine.
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:39 AM   #5
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you have headlights?
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:43 AM   #6
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The easiest way to start it would be to turn on the ignition key, and jump the solenoid connection with a screwdriver. The connection will have a wire smaller than the main battery cable. If it starts, you can finish driving it home.
Just make sure the motor home is in park and the emergency brake is set before doing this, and keep your fingers clear of anything that will begin moving if it starts.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richinny View Post

could someone please post how to make sure the neutral safety switch hasn't failed?

With the brakes applied...

Swing the shifter from park to low while in start mode, no help, try the solenoid jump.

Bob
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:31 AM   #8
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Are you running yet?
In Ford of that vintage, there is a set of two chips in the distributor: start & run. If the run chip fails, the engine will only run on the start chip (it will fire when cranking, but as soon as it catches shift from park or neutral into drive with brakes applied (while still holding the key in the starter position) and the engine will run as long as you hold the key in start position driving down the road--hand tends to get tired.
If the start chip fails, you get nothing.
It took the Ford dealer in Houston 3 days to figure this out.
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:04 AM   #9
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If you engine is GM take a look at the cable connected to the starter. GM used to feed all electric from that point and that connection tended to open over time to the point that it would not pass power to the starter. If it is loose disconnect the battery before attempting any means of tightening or you will have a problem.

Can't account for the hissing but have had this problem at the starter
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:13 AM   #10
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On other vehicles, I have been stranded at the pump (in Ohio of all places for a Texan) with a bad ignition switch.
I also had problems once with a starter that was inoperative when the internal joint from the stator windings to the cable connection lug expanded due to heat and created an open.
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:51 AM   #11
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On other vehicles, I have been stranded at the pump (in Ohio of all places for a Texan) with a bad ignition switch.
I also had problems once with a starter that was inoperative when the internal joint from the stator windings to the cable connection lug expanded due to heat and created an open.
Now there's a thought. I drove a 67 chevelle for about 6 months with an intermittent starter. I had a friend or any bystander turn the ignition switch while I tapped on the starter with a wrench. The internal open wires would touch, arc and weld together long enough for a start. Finally the gap in the stator wiring got too wide and that trick didn't work any more. Worth a try though.
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:16 AM   #12
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That hissing noise is usually something electronic going. I was told that when either the alternator or the battery isolator goes, one takes the other with it. I lost both on my way home from Falluminum one year. I have since replaced the alternator, but not the isolator. I just put the charge wire from the alternator on the same output post as the vehicles battery. I was bought some battery adapters at the Autozone near where I broke down. This allowed me to use the house deep cycle batteries to get home. I've since bought a 2nd set of adapters so all of my top & side post batteries are interchangeable. Maybe this will get you where you have to go temporarily. You'll have to stop somewhere to charge the batteries via the converters in the moho if you lost the alternator. Hopefully its just the isolator that's your problem.
There won't be any power going to the isolator unless the engine is running. Power goes from the alternator to the isolator. The isolator charges the engine battery 1st, then the house batteries. Here's how to test the isolator. With the engine off, the will be 0 volts at the input post, 12 volts at the the 2 output posts. This is because the input from the alternator is 0, and the batteries are reading 12. Next with the engine running, the input (alternator) will read 13.8 volts approx. So should the outputs to the batteries. If you are only getting 13.8 at the alt. post, bypass the isolator like I did in the photo. Good luck

I tried to call you at the number listed, but I got a law firm answer machine instead. Maybe a typo perhaps?
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:30 AM   #13
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If it is the starter post don't just tighten it but rather remopve it and clean everything before replacement. That stud is held on the inside in a Bakelite casting isolator that will strip if you put too much on it. So clean to regain the connection rather than just tightening.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:53 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone. Starter is fried! Noise I heard was starter kicking on and running ... while driving. Got new starter - but theres constant power to solenoid. Had to put a makeshift switch to start & stop the starter w key on on position (otherwise starter stays on). Ignition switch is where I think the problem is. I also now have no tach, fuel, temp, oil pressure & volt! Will check fuses - but I'm back on the road and in MN now! Ugh - what a nightmare of a trip!
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