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Old 12-22-2020, 10:31 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: southeast Iowa
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Starting issues.. 2000 Thomas Cat 3126

Hi all. Been reading some and trying to learn but I don't think I have ever posted. Please keep it simple... most of you are much more technically savvy than I am!
OK, anyway, this bus did start and run just fine. Sometimes the batteries would need a charge, or we disconnected them when not using. Lately it has not been starting, just a click in the solenoid area. Charging wasn't working. I did replace the solenoid, and it started a few times, then won't. A few weeks later, someone else got it it and it started, several times, then won't. I bought new batteries, it started right up. Started it every few days, like 4 times, then it won't start again.
Charged up the batteries, nothing.
Something is draining them, but even on a fresh charge it won't do anything... I do have my door in the emergency position, I unplugged the ignition switch, cleaned terminals and plugged it back in, nothing.
I am in the very first stages of this, seats out, and had to paint it in order to license it here in Iowa.
I am not a mechanic, but not afraid to tackle simple things. Any ideas?

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Old 12-30-2020, 02:33 PM   #2
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Manual or Automatic?
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Old 12-30-2020, 03:18 PM   #3
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Open and close all the doors, emergency exits and roof exits making sure they're closed and latched and try again
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Old 12-30-2020, 03:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DtotheAmbrose View Post
Manual or Automatic?
good question to help us start but probably automatic tranny.
you said new batteries with a full charge.
do you still get the solenoid to click?
you said that you still have a door in the emergency position?
close it or depending on the type of switch tie it closed and try?
if thats not it check all emergency exit switches like windows and roof hatches.
the roof hatches are notorius almost like if you ever open it then the hatch needs to be replaced.
if all of that checks out and you still get a click when you turn the key.
block/chock your wheels have someone inside turning the key and tap on the starter with a hammer while the other person is holding the key in the start position.
check the cable ends from battery to starter/signal and ground for cleanliness.
and you could also pull the starter and have it tested. its a heavy little thing so dont be under when the last bolt comes out but dont want to drop it either.
i assume you have a vandalock system on your bus?
do you have child check buttons front and back that have to be pushed,have you clipped any orange wiring???
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Old 12-31-2020, 02:29 AM   #5
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Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
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Bear in mind that a CAT 3126 likes fully charged batteries. It also wants to spin fast before it will start. I understand you are not now getting to the "spin" stage of the starting sequence. Just keep in mind it does work better on fully charged batteries with good electrical connections.
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Old 12-31-2020, 08:14 AM   #6
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Thanks so much for the replies!
It is an automatic.
Nothing was changed from the day it did start to the day it didn't as far as doors, etc.
Did not think about the roof hatch, but one is leaking, so maybe?
No child check light or switch
Something clicks to the left, the solenoid I did replace, but that may not be the starter solenoid?
Several of the safety things I have noticed the bus would still start, but not move until things were closed properly.
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:48 PM   #7
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That clicking to the left of the driver set is the accessories power solenoid. That is a good thing. Your condition is sounding much like either batteries, cabling, or the starter.
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Old 01-01-2021, 12:32 PM   #8
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Got enough of it painted to license, now waiting for warmer weather to finish
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:54 AM   #9
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That is an interesting paint effect. How did you do it?
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Old 01-02-2021, 10:38 AM   #10
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Thank you!
Well, I am a pretty fearless DIYer, and can't afford a body shop. Also a Tiny House fan, so I decided to try to make it look like a log cabin. That way brush strokes won't matter, LOL. Bought a couple of gallons of Rustoleum, and invited my sister over. Started with the dark brown, went lighter and did some stokes, then lighter again. Used some dark and some black for extra shading, Turquoise for the windows. Used a cream color stripe for "chinking" and then had fun with some knotholes
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Old 01-02-2021, 10:41 AM   #11
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https://www.skoolie.net/forums/membe...ture25448t.jpg
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Old 01-02-2021, 02:12 PM   #12
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Old 01-02-2021, 09:49 PM   #13
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That's just KNOT fair!
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