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Old 09-06-2021, 12:36 PM   #1
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99 amtran RE battery hookup

So I feel kind of silly asking this question, I should already know this but I am too lazy to take off the engine/frame covers under the bus to look further into my dilema.

So I had to rebuild my battery box due to rust, replaced the rotted steel and re-fabricated the rollers under the battery tray. I removed the cheap black plastic wheels and used roller bearings instead.

My loss of memory has kicked in.
There are three battery cables in the battery box.
One is red and goes to the starter solenoid. Two are black. One of the black ones I had to re-attach to the frame so I know for sure this one is ground.

The second black one goes along the inside of the bottom of the frame, under the starter and from there I cannot see where it goes.

I am assuming it is the second ground that goes to the engine block but I just would like to hear a second opinion on that.
This second black wire has the ECM red and white power wires inside the loom.

So am I right assuming this is the second ground going to the engine block?

Thanks in advance...

ed..

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Old 09-06-2021, 01:45 PM   #2
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Nevermind...
I got Un-lazy and took the cover off.
Second black wire IS ground!

That is two ground wires and one hot wire!
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Old 09-06-2021, 03:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
So I had to rebuild my battery box due to rust, replaced the rotted steel and re-fabricated the rollers under the battery tray. I removed the cheap black plastic wheels and used roller bearings instead.
ed..
I'm looking at having to do this same repair. Do you have any pics, videos, or suggestions on materials, tips, etc.
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Old 09-06-2021, 04:16 PM   #4
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I'm looking at having to do this same repair. Do you have any pics, videos, or suggestions on materials, tips, etc.
I didn't take any pics but I will be glad to do so during the week.

If your looking into the batt box, I replace the left rear wall, corner and back wall, cut out about 3 inches from the bottom up.

The floor was rotted from the left wall to about 2 1/2 inches in to the center, both from the left wall and rear wall.

I removed the left side angle irons where the tray rollers were, replaced it with new angle iron but first I cut out a new floor piece reaching from the right side angle iron all the way to the left wall.

By doing it this way I avoided having to weld everything together.

How I repaired the left wall and rear wall, I took a 8 inch x 18 inch strip of scrap 16 ga sheet metal, folded it long wise into a right angle. I then folded it in half, lengthwise.

Then I cut a pie slice on one of the folds ( the bottom piece that will hold up the new floor piece) so I could fold the entire piece essentially making a new corner piece.
Think of roofing drip edging, long piece of sheet metal folded at a right angle lengthwise.

I put this new corner piece in from the underside of the bus, the outside of the box, put in lots of sealant and riveted in place with 1/4 inch rivets. Same rivets I been using for the entire job!

This left a small 3x4 hole in the floor but that is why I cut out a new floor piece. I placed it, from the inside of the box, sealed it and left it with sheet metal screws. It now cover 70% of the entire box floor, from the right side angle iron rollers all the way the the left side corners.

I used small roller bearings which I got at advanced auto parts for about 4 bucks each. NAPA wanted $30 bucks each...DO NOT GO TO NAPA for this!

The old angle iron with the roller wheels has a real tight tolerance so instead of trying to drill holes into the angle iron and get a really tight clearance, I cut V groves into the rail of the angle iron, slide the roller bearings onto what ever bolt I could find and tack welded the screws into the V cuts.

I plan to spray bed liner on the underside of the batt box in order to further seal it all up.

Battery tray rolls open and close real nice now!
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Old 09-06-2021, 04:50 PM   #5
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Thanks
I've also been looking at the roller bearings instead of the original system. Only one of my two boxes is shot but it's the one I need to keep and the other doesn't operate smoothly.

Not sure why but I have a single battery in each box and if one of them is disconnected it won't start but the other can be disconnected and it will. I haven't gotten to looking into that but it's just strange.
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Old 09-06-2021, 06:14 PM   #6
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Thanks
I've also been looking at the roller bearings instead of the original system. Only one of my two boxes is shot but it's the one I need to keep and the other doesn't operate smoothly.

Not sure why but I have a single battery in each box and if one of them is disconnected it won't start but the other can be disconnected and it will. I haven't gotten to looking into that but it's just strange.
In my bus I have 2 batteries in the box and they are wired in parallel which provides for more available amperage.

It sounds like yours might night be wired in parallel?

If I were not to have my batteries not in parallel, then the Ecm would only get power from one battery instead of 2 batteries and if you happen to disconnect that one battery that supplies power to the ECM then yes, bus will not start.

Do you have two positive red wires, one on each battery? Or just one red wire with two black wires.

Is what you are trying to say that your bus batteries not wired in parallel?
If so that might be why it will start when one battery is disconnected and not the other.

Did I understand you correctly.


BTW- I see we have similar busses.
I have a factory service manual and posted quite a few diagrams.
Let me know if you might need something else, I would be happy to share.

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f49/a...ams-25055.html
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Old 09-08-2021, 06:46 PM   #7
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I suspect it's a parallel wiring thing as you suggest though I haven't explored it yet (plenty of demo going on still) and I've never seen a parallel battery set up that wasn't disabled no mater which battery you took pulled (and I'm a military diesel mech with experience...just haven't dug in).
Not sure if the 99 stuff applies to a 96 as all the manuals I've found seem to indicate a post 96 major change. However, things are probably largely the same when it comes to wiring harnesses since that's a lot of work that probably got largely copied and transferred over. I'll check a few wires/wire numbers and hopefully they are largely the same.
THANKS
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Old 09-22-2022, 03:43 PM   #8
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Does anyone have a picture of 96 (+/-) AmTran RE 3XXX battery cables and their connections?


Well I done did it. Repaired the rear battery box and now I can't make sense of the cables for re installing two group 31's into the rear box instead of one in each box designed for 8D's. And while I thought I took a pic, I sure can't find one.
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Old 09-22-2022, 04:23 PM   #9
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Just crawled under and tried to trace everything.


REAR BOX (1+, 1- CABLE):
Positive goes to starter lug
Negative goes to frame lug behind batt boxes


FRONT BOX (1+, 2- CABLE plus ECM & IDM+ spliced to 1 lug and 1 IDM-)
Positive CABLE goes to starter lug
Negative CABLE goes to rear (suspect to starter but cannot trace 100%
Negative CABLE goes to frame lug behind batt boxes
ECM & IDM positives definitely go to the Front positive batt lug
IDM negative definitely goes to front negative batt lug.


QUESTION:
Why aren't the two positives simply connected and then a single positive to the starter?


Why does each battery have a positive cable going to the starter when the schematic in AE-2798 only shows ONE and with the batteries in parallel it should only need ONE?



Is it simply to split the current flow between the two cables?


Looking for responses from those that KNOW rather than speculation.
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Old 09-22-2022, 04:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
.

I used small roller bearings which I got at advanced auto parts for about 4 bucks each. NAPA wanted $30 bucks each...DO NOT GO TO NAPA for this!
When the world and I were both relativistivally younger: with me embarking on a lifetime's interest in combustion internal, and the world continuing to pretty much do it's own thing, NAPA was renowned for the quality of their help and their parts, and the quantity for which they required for you to part so as to purchase and purloin said parts.
(Wine, too, but that may be an alternative business unit for all I know bupkes 'bout...)
Back in the day when dinosaurs and cavemen like myself lived together in a happy atmosphere of harmony, happiness, increased O≤ levels, and unicorn flatus: their slogan was, "NAPA*Know How."
This was much later modernized. Given that they now hire counter people that seem deeply offended to do, yanno... thier JOB, as opposed to being compelled into taking a hiatus from thier video game/texting/TikTokking, to ACTUALLY be arsed to perform thier primary employment condition- Customer Service.
Nowzadaze, unless I'm stuck in between a rock and a hardon, I typically employ NAPA's modern slogan: "Get up and Go". Trust me: I'm already gone!!!
Unless I'm under time constraints, and similarly sooper desperate...
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:59 PM   #11
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Napa

I had a Napa Manager tell me I was better off going elsewhere..! As there were cheeper options for what I needed.. Don't ask I'm not gonna through him under the bus so to say.
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Old 09-22-2022, 08:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamSkoolie View Post
Just crawled under and tried to trace everything.


REAR BOX (1+, 1- CABLE):
Positive goes to starter lug
Negative goes to frame lug behind batt boxes


FRONT BOX (1+, 2- CABLE plus ECM & IDM+ spliced to 1 lug and 1 IDM-)
Positive CABLE goes to starter lug
Negative CABLE goes to rear (suspect to starter but cannot trace 100%
Negative CABLE goes to frame lug behind batt boxes
ECM & IDM positives definitely go to the Front positive batt lug
IDM negative definitely goes to front negative batt lug.


QUESTION:
Why aren't the two positives simply connected and then a single positive to the starter?


Why does each battery have a positive cable going to the starter when the schematic in AE-2798 only shows ONE and with the batteries in parallel it should only need ONE?



Is it simply to split the current flow between the two cables?


Looking for responses from those that KNOW rather than speculation.
I,m guessing here but me thinks there are two sets of positive cables is because the one that goes to the starter, required for the original build at the factory. How else can you start it and drive it off the assembly line while it has no bus body to the frame.

And then later, when they attach the body, it’s probably just easier to add the second positive cable???

I really don’t think it has to do with dividing current flow.

Do you still need the pics?

I can get it for you in the morning.
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Old 09-22-2022, 09:58 PM   #13
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Do you still need the pics?

I can get it for you in the morning.

I didn't think about the driveability of the chassis prior to bus build. Still, it would have been far simpler and cheaper (keep costs down to make a profit) to simply add the second battery by simple parallel but your theory does make some sense.


Yes, pics would still be super helpful.
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Old 09-23-2022, 01:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by HamSkoolie View Post
I didn't think about the driveability of the chassis prior to bus build. Still, it would have been far simpler and cheaper (keep costs down to make a profit) to simply add the second battery by simple parallel but your theory does make some sense.


Yes, pics would still be super helpful.
So I got 3 busses in the yard right now. 2-199 Amtrans, one is an RE the other is an FE and also a 2006 Amtran Re 300, all with dt466 engines.

1999 Re pics:
Attached Thumbnails
IMG_7414.jpg   IMG_7415.jpg   IMG_7416.jpg  
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Old 09-23-2022, 01:43 PM   #15
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1999 Fe bus pics
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IMG_7411.jpg   IMG_7412.jpg   IMG_7413.jpg  
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Old 09-23-2022, 01:44 PM   #16
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2006 RE 300 amtran

The 2006 has a wheelchair lift so you will see extra cables.

the '99 FE had a wheelchair lift but it was removed.
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Old 09-23-2022, 03:36 PM   #17
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So yours have all been converted to two in one box which is what I'm doing.
The pics confirm what I was thinking I could do with the wires.
I'm curious though, I only see one positive wire with in-line fuse holder while mine has two on the positive and one on the negative....I wonder if they changed that between 1996 and 1999.


Thanks it's helpful
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