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Old 05-08-2016, 09:20 PM   #151
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Sure seems like low power to me as the dash lights dim to nothing .. The engine doesn't sound like its hydrolocked or anything .. When you say the batteries are fine.. Are you just testing voltage under no load or load testing them?

If you are sure the batteries are fully charged and good under load. Is check the main wiring from the batteries.. But for some reason you have voltage drop as I say watch your dash lights .. They dim to nothing after the first or second compression stroke
Christopher
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:30 AM   #152
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Thanks Chris!

I say the batteries are "fine" only because I checked the voltage (11.5v) under no load. I have not tested them under load. The weird thing is that I started it just fine ~10 days ago, and previous to that she started strong ever since I got her in October, including regularly throughout the winter (other than that recent rear door sensor issue that was resolved).

The electrical side is probably where I'm the weakest. My multimeter does not have a min/max function. So, at 11.5v, even though that's where they've been the whole time, I guess would indicate a low charge? Should I just have them charged?
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:41 AM   #153
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If you can, i'd take them/it to an auto parts place and have them/it tested.

Charging doesn't necessarily mean they/it will hold one.

Or if you're like me and love tools........

http://www.farmandfleet.com/products...&utm_campaign=[roi]+bing+shopping+-+code+1&utm_content=code+1+-+automotive+-+batteries&utm_term=686807
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:43 AM   #154
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You should have a charger of your own, with the automatic monitoring, that you leave in the bus to ensure it stays charged.

Do you actually drive it once in a while? It needs to go out and warm up on the road for a half hour or so as they don't get very warm in the driveway.
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:04 PM   #155
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11.5 is a bit low for no load.. a normal fully charged battery will read 12.6 or a couple tenths lower..

if you are storing your bus where there is power, I definitely second placing a battery tender on it which will keep a battery charged but not overcharge it.

I would also run the bus like mentioned too.. take it out on the freeway if you can, if you cannot because its torn apart to the point of not being safe or street legal then at least try to run the engine at 1000+ RPMs till you reach normal operating temperature..

im learning lots about warming up diesel engines and actually driving them long enough to warm them up..

my bus has a Main electrical cutoff switch that completely kills the power to the bus to help with battery anti-rundown..

in rare cases ive seen a bad alternator run a battery down dead when the engine was off but still charge when the engine was on.. the symptoms of this are usually a dead battery within a day or two..

the way I tested for this was turn OFF the engine and key. then on an alternator with a regulator-connector i unplugged it and tested for AMPS between the connector and the alternator.. on 1 wire alternators I disconnected the big red charging wire and tested for AMPS between it and the alternator.. if there was current flowing from the batteries to the alternator I knew I had a problem..

of course a bad alternator that doesnt charge properly results in dead batteries too.. thats easy to test for.. when your bus is running you should be able to measure at least 13+ volts at the batteries under no electrical load or moderate electrical load (lights , heaters..)..

-Christopher
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:04 PM   #156
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Thanks Docsgsxr! Looks like a good addition to my toolbox.

Robin97396: Normally I would do that regularly, but, I'm still in the process of retitling and insuring it, which requires the build-out to be "finished." Recently on my thread you'll see some discussion about what minimally qualifies as "finished," and I mean minimally. Once I have that I'll take her out for a spin instead of just running her for 20 minutes every two weeks.
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:06 PM   #157
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Thanks again Chris! I have a tender for my waverunner but doubt it would be sufficient for these bus batteries.
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:35 PM   #158
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Now see, there's your problem. You're making that into an RV instead of a maxi-van. You probably don't have enough duct tape on your bus to keep it running right.
If you're superstitious put a wooden clothes pin on your fuel line. The old hippies swore by it. I bought a truck from an old hippie and threw the clothespin way out into the pucker brush. I could not keep that truck running right regardless of what I did until I got a wooden clothespin and put it back on the fuel line. True story.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:19 PM   #159
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blue bird

Got a 94 Internashal school bus and it made a great rv
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:06 PM   #160
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The batteries tested out at ~11.5v, so, too low to start her up. They're charging overnight.

I also used one of those drill mounted large pencil eraser type discs but without the grit. It just rubs them out to great affect:
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