Battery Trouble

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Grant Grant 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #706
    Profile photo of Grant
    Grant
    Participant

    Hello All,
    Almost a year ago now, I acquired a 1972-73 Cortez that runs great, minus a few hiccups every now and then. I have been trying to fix her up here and there and found a mechanic to help me with some of the bigger issues I have encountered. I am excited now to have found this forum as a resource and figured I would try it out for my most recent difficulties.

    I am having trouble with the electrical system, specifically the batteries. There appears to be a parasitic drain on the starter battery that is leaving me stranded and killing the battery very quickly. I want to clean up and in some cases replace the battery wiring for both the starter battery and the auxiliary batteries. My question is do I need to install a switch of sorts between the two sets in order to keep the interior functions from draining the starter battery and where is the best place to start with this? Also, do your interior plugs run when the generator is off? I would love it if I could get the plugs working off the auxiliary batteries or the generator. Any idea how to do that?

    #707
    Profile photo of Moose
    Moose
    Keymaster

    Hey Grant! There should be a battery isolator between the house and engine batteries that allows the alternator to charge the house batts, but doesn’t allow the house to draw down the engine battery. The Clark models also had a disconnect switch to disconnect the engine battery when not in use (don’t know if this is true for Kents like yours).

    I suspect the interior plugs should already work when powered by the generator. If you want them to be run off the house battery bank, you’ll need to add an inverter into the system.

    Moose

    #708
    Profile photo of Grant
    Grant
    Participant

    Thank you, Moose! The plugs do work when the generator is running but other than that they do not. It seems my radio/speakers are powered from the starter battery and so are some of the interior dome lights, which leaves me wondering what the auxiliary batteries are made to power? Only the furnace fan, water pump, and AC?

    PS I have the original manual for the vehicle and some pretty cool Clark brochures that have been saved by the guy who bought it in the 70s. If you’d like to upload them to the site. Let me know and I will scan them in.

    #709
    Profile photo of Moose
    Moose
    Keymaster

    You’re pretty much right on. The house batteries are basically for most of the interior lights (but not all), the furnace fan, water pump, toilet pump (if its a recirculating toilet), the fan over the stove, and the rear porch light. House batteries won’t run an AC unit.

    I’d love it if you would scan in any docs etc. that you have!

    #710
    Profile photo of Grant
    Grant
    Participant

    Great. Thank you! How should I send or upload the manuals and old brochures?!

    I was out working on it last night and I realize that the electric issue may not be the battery, it is still fully charged but when I turn the ignition I get a few cranks and then a repeated ticking noise. Any ideas? I am about to replace the starter.

    #711
    Profile photo of Moose
    Moose
    Keymaster

    Hey Grant, that still sounds like a low battery to me. But, if you’re sure the battery is fully charged, I’d probably look to the starter solenoid first. Does it start when you jump or boost the battery?

    Probably the easiest way to get the brochures that you have up is just to email them to me and I’ll post them. My email address is moose@cortezcoach.com.

    #712
    Profile photo of Robert Kelsey
    Robert Kelsey
    Participant

    Hi Grant, check the battery cables for looseness and corrosion. The slightest amount of corrosion at the terminals can cause what you are experiencing. If the terminals are clean and tight at both ends of each cable, then the next likely cause is the starter and/or solenoid.

    #715
    Profile photo of Grant
    Grant
    Participant

    Thank you both! I think i have narrowed it down to the starter issue as well. The cables are old but intact and the battery is brand new and fully charger. If only the starter wasn’t located underneath the engine…

    Sorry for the delay getting those brochures and manuals to you. When i get a moment, I will scan them in and email over.

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