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Old 11-03-2018, 05:50 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Year: 1995
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Anxious!

I have had my bus for a little more than a year, and I thought by now that I would be further along with my conversion than I am, Unfortunately I have only completed the demo. I wanted to make sure that everything mechanical was addressed before I sank thousands of dollars into the conversion. One of the issues I am having is a parasitic battery drain. I took it to a local reputable diesel mechanic back in April, and he kept it for six months. I kept checking on his progress, but he didn't want to give up. After months of trying, he finally admitted that he couldn't figure it out. Fortunately he didn't charge me anything, but I lost my whole summer. Prime converting weather. I now have it at a local auto/marine electrical shop, and according to them, there are some weatherproof relays mounted under the bus that are the cause of the drain. They should have it fixed next week. Time changes tonight, so now it will be dark by the time I get home from work. Depressing. The thing that surprised me was how much I missed my bus while it was gone! Even though it still wasn't fixed, I was super happy to pick it up. I know that patience is virtue, but I hope I don't have too many more delays. There really is no point to this post, other than me being able to vent my frustrations. Thanks for giving me a place to do that!
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Old 11-03-2018, 06:24 PM   #2
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Location: Minnehaha Co., SD
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Year: 1996
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What a bummer. Sounds like you're at least on the right track now. Eyes on the prize, you'll get there!
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:37 AM   #3
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Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
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Year: 1996
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Engine: T444E 7.3L
Making sure any issues are sorted before sinking the money into it was very smart. Winter sucks, but I converted mine during the winter months last year and it was no too bad with a little heater and some light.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:50 AM   #4
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Install a battery cut off switch, also batteries will self discharge normally, but if the top of the batteries is dirty, they will discharge faster. How long was it taking to drain them?
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
Winter sucks, but I converted mine during the winter months last year and it was no too bad with a little heater and some light.

Same with us. We found that the bus warmed up by about 20-30 degrees above the outside temp, just from the solar gain. Our woodstove was one of the first things we put in, and with either that or our Mr. Heater portable propane heater, we were very comfortable inside the bus. And this was in a Chicago winter.
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Old 11-04-2018, 12:11 PM   #6
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Posts: 20
Year: 1995
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 3 people and 4,500 books!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
Install a battery cut off switch, also batteries will self discharge normally, but if the top of the batteries is dirty, they will discharge faster. How long was it taking to drain them?
The batteries will drop to 2 or 3 volts overnight, so I have a pretty good parasitic drain. They have been completely discharged 3 or 4 times, so I know they are damaged. Once the drain is fixed, I will replace them.
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Old 11-04-2018, 12:34 PM   #7
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Raleigh
Posts: 20
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 3 people and 4,500 books!
Thank you all for your words of encouragement. My bus is a former bookmobile, with lighting and electric heat, and I have installed a 50amp receptacle outside of my house, so I can plug it in, so heat and light aren't an issue. I was just hoping to do the major part of the conversion during the summer so I could actually enjoy being outside. No biggie though, I will still make it happen. I did get new tires in April, and I will have the electrical issues resolved this week, so I am making progress. The next step for me is removing the rivets in the ceiling so I can get ready for spray foam. I am SO ready to make this happen!!!
Thanks again!
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:05 PM   #8
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Year: 1997
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If one battery in the bank has a bad cell it will drain any good ones overnight. My friend just had this problem with his box truck. Easy way to test is the disconnect them, charge them individually to full, put a small load like a fan on them for a few minutes, and measure the voltage. A bad battery may show good voltage (12.9-ish would be good) right after charging but will quickly drop.

I bought battery cut-offs from Harbor Freight recently for my TC2000 and they don't quite work with my cabes.
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Old 11-04-2018, 04:47 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2017
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Year: 1995
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
If one battery in the bank has a bad cell it will drain any good ones overnight. My friend just had this problem with his box truck. Easy way to test is the disconnect them, charge them individually to full, put a small load like a fan on them for a few minutes, and measure the voltage. A bad battery may show good voltage (12.9-ish would be good) right after charging but will quickly drop.

I bought battery cut-offs from Harbor Freight recently for my TC2000 and they don't quite work with my cabes.
Thank you for the information, That is good to know.
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:40 PM   #10
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 93
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: Cummins ISC 8.3 Allison MD3060
Hello from one slow starter to another! I live in Zebulon, not far from Raleigh and am in the same boat. I work a ton of hours and have had my bus since March and have gotten the demo done.. We're very much alike! We should become accountable partners and help each other with out builds!

I am sorry to hear about the issues, but think it's a smart thing to get them sorted out before spending a bunch of money.

If you're ever needing a hand let me know. I am a self taught kind of guy but I will help however I can.

James
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