454 starting problem

Discussion in 'Talkback' started by melreck, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. melreck

    melreck New Member

    I recently purchased a 1993 Fleetwood Coronado, 32'. I drove it to So. Calif. from Tucson, Az. with no problem. Yesterday I made about a 100 mile round trip and pulled into my property. After shutting the engine off, I discovered that I needed to pull it up further on the property. When I hit the starter, nothing happened. I have re-charged the engine battery to no avail. I also replaced it with another fully charged battery. I am presently hooked up to shore power and everything in the coach works. When I turned the battery disconnect switches on and off, I can hear the solenoid click with the coach battery switch, but the chassis switch causes a solenoid to just hum constantly as long as you hold the switch on or off. When the ignition switch is turned on now the speedometer starts to register and climbs to full speed. My son crawled under the coach to check wiring connections and stated that everything was loose. The main cable and 3 little 12v wires. The post that had two of them on it was loose even and he tightened that. The starter does not engage at all now and it was working just fine on the way home as I had made several stops at mkt etc. and it restarted just fine. I am really confused by the five solenoids in box under the hood up front. Even when I hit the coach battery boost button when trying to start, nothing happens. Could this be a bad starter or solenoid that suddenly crashed and how do I test it?? AThanks in advance for any help anyone can come up with for an old 79 yr old would be mechanic.
     
  2. team3360

    team3360 New Member

    454 starting problem

    You can jump the solenoid by arcing from the hot post(battery cable side) to one of the small post with a screw driver. It will bypass the ignition switch, DOES THE STARTER SPIN, JUST DOES NOT ENGAGE IF SO CHANGE THE STARTER , bad bendix. IF not then check to make sure the starter has a good ground.It can be tight but still not be grounded. You could take the starter out and have it bench tested at local auto parts store. You can bypass each of those solenoids the same way but I think they are using them as battery isolaters. Check to see if you have power to the dash ,and check each cable end to make sure they are not corroded inside the end.let me know what you find and I'll try to help some more LEE
     
  3. melreck

    melreck New Member

    454 starting problem

    Thanks for the input Lee. I will check out your suggestions as soon as the snow stops. I will take the starter out and have it bench tested. There is juice to the dash. Thanks for the help, and I will keep you informed of the status. Mel
     
  4. s.harrington

    s.harrington Senior Member

    454 starting problem

    Get you kid to crawl under and tap the starter with a hammer (old trick). If it will start afterwards get you a new starter and install it.
     
  5. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    454 starting problem

    Bet the light hammer trick will work. The 454 also was notorious for no start after a trip and the engine hot. You can get a baffle that will direct air over the solonid if you ever have this problem. Be careful if you try to bypass the solenoid from the hot post which is hot all the time. Alternators don't like archs in there system.
     
  6. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    454 starting problem

    You may also find that the starter will work fine when cold, but not when the engine is hot. The 454 was well known for the old "hot start syndrome." What is happening is that the insulation of the field windings is begining to break down and when hot it draws too much current. Once cold thers is a good chance that it will start just fine, with out the hammer trick. I would try that first, then the hammer. In either case you still need a starter as the hot start problem will in time get to where it will not start cold either.
     
  7. melreck

    melreck New Member

    454 starting problem

    Still too much snow to get under motorhome at this time, but I did "jump" from hot side of solenoid to small post - nothing. I guess it is starter time as you all seem to agree that even if it would start after hammering it, it is a good sign the starter is on its way to its own trip. Thanks guys for all the input. I will change the starter and let you know the outcome shortly. :blush:
     
  8. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    454 starting problem

    Melreck, check to see if you have voltage at the postive post at the solenoid before replacing the starter. You really need a voltage meter to ck for voltage drop. Try the hammer tap first. You should be able to remove the doghouse (engine cover) and tap the starter w/out crawling underneath if this is an a class. I have seen them work a long time after this. try jumping from the hot post on the solenoid to the post going into the starter. This bypasses the solenoid and the starter will just spin if it is ok. Bendix won't engage. If it spins the solenoid is bad. Turn your headlights on and have the grandson watch them when you hit start. If they go out you have a poor connection somewhere.
     
  9. Krazeehorse

    Krazeehorse New Member

    454 starting problem

    A bad starter can draw enough amps to dim the headlights too.
     
  10. Krazeehorse

    Krazeehorse New Member

    454 starting problem

    The solenoid on the GM is on the starter. So if you are jumping a solenoid like on the fender of a Ford then that is probably only a battery isolator. The positive cable of the battery goes directly to the solenoid on the starter.
     
  11. melreck

    melreck New Member

    454 starting problem

    Well guys, thanks for the help so far, but I have replaced the starter and the battery and still no start. Also, the confusing thing is the speedometer going to 120 MPH and is staying there. What can that indicate? I have also checked the ground cable to engine blocl amd is good and tight. Any suggestions??? I am at a total loss as what to check from here. Mel
     
  12. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    454 starting problem

    Start checking your postive cable back to the starter. Do you have voltage at the big post on the solonoid? You really need a volt meter if you don't have one. Radio Shack sells some inexpensive meters. Are you sure you are turning the chassis battery disconnect on? Check to see if voltage is going through it. A 12 volt test light will work. Check to see if you have voltage at the sol small wire from ignition when in the start position. Might have a neutral switch problem. Try wiggling the gear shift while holding the ign on start.
     
  13. team3360

    team3360 New Member

    454 starting problem

    If you have a test light, (small 12v with clip at end of wire and a steel point at end of light) check to see if you have power at the starter,(hot battery cable,check small wire on solinoid to ground with key turned to start should light up if not I'd check the ignition switch. LEE
     
  14. melreck

    melreck New Member

    454 starting problem

    Thank you Lee and Chelse, I checked the positive battery cable, has voltage, the small 12v wire to solenoid does not have fire to it and I noticed when I go to the panel over the entrance door marked "battery disconnect" and turn on chassis switch, I hear a constant "buzzing" noise and not a solenoid "click". Same thing with the "coach" switch. Also I found out tonight when it started getting dark, that my headlights do not come on anymore either and as I mentioned earlier in my first post, the speedometer needle climbed to the max and is staying there with ign switch on or off. I am totally baffled by all this. I replaced starter and chassis battery and the inside panel indicates full charge on all batteries. My 12v test light shows no voltage to solenoid. HELP!!! Mel
     
  15. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    454 starting problem

    Melreck, locate where the buzzing is coming from.
     
  16. melreck

    melreck New Member

    454 starting problem

    It won't buzz now. The battery isolator when checked with a 12volt light at the back of the switches will light all six terminals when you put the switch in either on or off position. This happens with both main battery switch and coach switch. Headlights will not come on at all. There is no juice going to the small wire to the starter solenoid. (the one with the fusible link. Still no start, speedo says I'm doing 129 AND
     
  17. melreck

    melreck New Member

    454 starting problem

    It won't buzz now. The battery isolator when checked with a 12volt light at the back of the switches will light all six terminals when you put the switch in either on or off position. This happens with both main battery switch and coach switch. Headlights will not come on at all. There is no juice going to the small wire to the starter solenoid. (the one with the fusible link. Still no start, speedo says I'm doing 129 AND I am driving without lites.
     
  18. team3360

    team3360 New Member

    454 starting problem

    Well if it wont start and your flying at 129 MPH throw out the rope and anchor :laugh: :laugh: check that fuseable link on the little starter wire. with key on in start position stick wife, :eek: no I mean wire ,on both sides of the fuseable link to see if you have powerIf not cut fuseable link out .Also Trace down your wires to the alternator ,I believe there is a fuseable link in the supply wire to the alternator(large wire) if no power to alternater you wont have lights or power to the ignition, I think, somebody correct me if I'm wrong . LEE
     
  19. C Nash

    C Nash Senior Member

    454 starting problem

    The fuseable link could very well be the problem. Forgot about them little devils. If it is blown your local parts should have the fuse wire. Do not go by the looks of the outside wire because most of the size is insulation. The wire will be smaller than the circuit wires.
     
  20. melreck

    melreck New Member

    454 starting problem

    :laugh: Hurrah!!!! Finally a young mobile mechanic came to my house and checked out my motorhome no start/run problem and in about a half hour he told me how the anti-theft device had failed. He pulled the little chip out and showed me where one of the commutators had a burned spot on it. My dealer never told me the coach was equipped with one. It had the front part of the housing broken off, so I never even noticed the thing mounted under the lip of the dash.
    Does anyone out there know if a new chip can be ordered? And may I say a MILLION THANKS to all of you that were trying to help me. I learned a lot of things to look for in the future. Thanks again, I consider you guys true friends. Mel
     
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