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Old 02-26-2021, 12:01 AM   #1
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Bus work?

Hi! We have a 2000 Ford e350 dieswl mini and after not knowing why the replacement battery isn't holding a charge enough to start without a jump we read about a second battery. We just want to take it somewhere to have them replaced for us at this point. Any suggestions where to bring a bus for repairs or maintenance? Thanks!
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Old 02-26-2021, 12:07 AM   #2
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Where are you located?
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Old 02-26-2021, 12:08 AM   #3
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If you are in northern Ca I can do it. Pm me for at an appt at my shop
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:47 AM   #4
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If you're in the area, take him up on that! But it seems like the issue isn't the battery not "holding a charge"...because batteries tend to store the pixies pretty well, especially when new. Something is drawing energy. Phantom loads. If you have a DC ammeter, you can figure that out on your own with a little diagnostic work. But if you're near ISAF, go see him.

Every bus we have either came with, or we installed, a battery cut-off so that when we're not driving it we can disconnect the battery and keep the pixies where they belong...in the battery.
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
If you're in the area, take him up on that! But it seems like the issue isn't the battery not "holding a charge"...because batteries tend to store the pixies pretty well, especially when new. Something is drawing energy. Phantom loads. If you have a DC ammeter, you can figure that out on your own with a little diagnostic work. But if you're near ISAF, go see him.

Every bus we have either came with, or we installed, a battery cut-off so that when we're not driving it we can disconnect the battery and keep the pixies where they belong...in the battery.

To add to this, my bus was the same way but removing the bus flasher system and re-wiring the lights to work fixed the issue, as it has for others. If you’re parked for longer than a few days at a time I highly recommend getting those flasher boxes and monitors (if equipped) removed
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Old 02-26-2021, 01:20 PM   #6
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We just figured it was the battery because it ran no issues like the week before. Good to know though, if the battery doesn’t fix the issue. I’m all the way in New York,headed towards Cali as soon as we can get the bus running! I really appreciate the offer though.

Can you bring a bus to any mechanic or is it specialized?
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:29 PM   #7
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its nothing but a normal van with the van body cut away. but alot shops just dont like working on vans.
what year and make of van.
if we can help you figure out where your second battery is then most auto stores will help you swap in a new one if its not super hard to get to.
i have not installed a disconnect on any of mine yet but i always disconnect the battery while it sets.
what kind of bus.
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Old 02-26-2021, 02:30 PM   #8
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sorry i missed the make and model in your first post?
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:47 PM   #9
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Any mechanic is fine
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:57 PM   #10
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Any mechanic is fine
For small buses like the OP's profile pic, yeah. For large buses you should look for a diesel or fleet mechanic.
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:06 PM   #11
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Some batteries are just dead and won't hold a charge. Or you could be draining it.
Use a voltmeter that shows dc amps connected to the battery to see if current is flowing when off.
You can track down any parasitic draw (discharging the battery) by remove fuses to see if any of them stop the current flow shown in the voltmeter.
If you find a fuse stops it, see what its for and track down the wires for that function.
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:14 PM   #12
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ok in my research and talking to my ford mechanic son he is thinking that you should have a dual alternator setup for a heavy duty chassis and two batteries.
one high output and one low output alternator.
when you had your flooring out did you see a floor cover near the front near the transmission cover but more near the stepwell?
that is a guess?
it would be nice and could be a drop down box under the bus behind the first stepwell and tucked up to the second stepwell.
just giving ideas.
with two batteries a weak battery will equalize itself off of the new battery.
which is why you always replace batteries in pairs
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:33 PM   #13
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Dedicated diesel and fleet mechanics often charge more. Any actual mechanic is capable of working on light diesel vehicles.
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:45 PM   #14
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Go to youtube and look up diagnose parasitic draw, charge the batteries on a charger, get a good meter with a 20 amp fuse, and follow the diagnostic procedure, test alternator charging voltage, clean your grounds, check the resistance and continuity on your cables, bend your cables, if they crackle they need replacement. Work slowly and methodically, eliminate all circuits that you don’t need. Or you can pay me $139.00 an hour to do the same thing minus the youtube part.
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:21 PM   #15
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Our E350 has both batteries under the hood, one on the driver's side and one on the passenger side, linked with a crossing cable to parallel them. But this is an ambulance, not a bus, so it may be different. But I'd think Ford (who makes the front end) would make all those partial chassis vehicles the same. Of course, you'd see both batteries if you raised the hood so your second battery may be hidden... When you find it, show us too!
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:31 PM   #16
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If you have two batteries it’s a good idea to replace them at the same time. If one is bad it will draw down the other.
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:37 PM   #17
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And you can take that bus just about anywhere unless it needs to go on a lift in which case you’ll probably have to go to a truck mechanic. But assume it doesn’t need to go on a lift.
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:39 PM   #18
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Just test and charge both if they test good. Otherwise replace both of them with The best batteries possible you can go optima yellow top 27 Or 34/78 on the driver side and an optima 51r on the passenger side. Otherwise the stock is a group size 65 on the driver side and a BTX-50 on the passenger side. I recommend a cutoff switch as well. Good luck
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:14 PM   #19
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As I recall my e450 shuttle had a second battery under the bus in a tray but it was not isolated from the starter battery, just had a big cable going to it from the starter battery.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
As I recall my e450 shuttle had a second battery under the bus in a tray but it was not isolated from the starter battery, just had a big cable going to it from the starter battery.
I seem to recall seeing this on a thread about a bus in Alaska.

OP: you should crawl around under your bus
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