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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > my new to me1984 23' winnebago chieftain

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gusbratz

PA

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Posted: 04/16/12 02:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Finally getting around to working on it. Can’t get it to start so I Jacked it up and dropped the fuel tank. I am planning on replacing the rubber lines and fuel filter and flushing out the tank then attempting to start it again.


Gale Hawkins

Murray, KY

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Posted: 04/17/12 11:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would spring for a new fuel pump after investing that kind of labor.

Mike Hohnstein

Germantown, Wi

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Posted: 04/19/12 08:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do your self a huge favor, Napa has a Facet 4# electric pump for 50 bucks that you need to install just forward of the tank on the frame crossmember behind the rear axle. I prefer to wire "pusher" pumps key on so they bleed the fuel system automatically. I don't know how experienced you are with diesels but they have little in common with gassers fuel delivery wise, much more in common with hydraulic brakes, got to bleed that fuel supply, sometimes have to crack the lines @ the fuel injectors to get the air out. A good dousing of penetrant, NOT WD 40, would be wise on all the fuel line fittings just as a precautionary measure. Alway carry a couple fuel filters and a water seperator is another good thing to add to the mix.

gusbratz

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Posted: 04/19/12 08:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A little experience with diesels, in equipment though so they are a lot more simple and don’t have all the water detectors fuel heater and electrical what not. Why do you recommend adding an electric pump? To replace the mechanical lift pump or are they prone to failure or too weak? I have a new electrical pump in a box I bought for another project and didn’t use I could have put on and may if the mechanical pump is bad. I put all new rubber lines on everything and a new box fuel filter today. Put the tank back in and pressurized it with 2psi of air through the return line and bled the whole system out through the vent on the box filter. Then I went to start it and the battery was totally dead. Hooked the charger up and started cleaning up the shop while it charged. I kept hearing a very quiet humming noise as the batteries charged. I finally tracked the noise down and it was the generator rolling over! It must have started cranking in the night. Since the propane was shut off it just ran the batteries dead. I disconnected the batteries and put the charger on them. I wish I had a manual on how that system works or at least a schematic.
The moterhome came with a big pack of paperwork and I was excited a first but it all seems to be useless. Receipt for the installation of the roof AC in 1993 but no manual or instructions. Warranty card for the fridge but no instructions, minimum clearance dimensions for the range to meet fire codes but no useful instructions.

Mike Hohnstein

Germantown, Wi

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Posted: 04/20/12 07:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Electric pump is a 'pusher' pump. The lift pump can use a little help as the tank is way back there. There are check valves available to place in the fuel line to prevent fuel drain back that can be a problem in some cases. The pusher pump makes filter changing painless, air in the system can be challenging to get out. When you say the humm was from the generator, the Onan? I'd be looking at the battery splitter in the front, sounds disturbing. Vintage RV electrical issues are good for the character.

cbeierl

Nashua, NH

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Posted: 04/20/12 10:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Although the online Owner's Manuals only go back to 1994, Winnebago Owner Relations might be able to supply a copy of yours if you give them a call.


Chris Beierl
2005 Winnebago Vectra 36RD


gusbratz

PA

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Posted: 04/20/12 08:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’m going to have to contact Winnebago once I get my email working again. The wiring is a mess. I got a Robert Livingston motor home Repair and Maintenance Manual that I am using to point me in the right direction as to how this stuff is "generally" wired up but specifics would be nice. there are (2) 800cca batteries in series in the compartment just to start the engine and looks to be enough room for maybe a 3rd deep cycle. The battery isolator is just dangling from the wires and the alternator output is disconnected from the isolator. A friend of mine is a truck mechanic in the oil fields and says their big trucks take (6) 1000cca batteries. He has some kind of a deal where he can get 1000cca high cycling (not deep cycle) batteries in bulk for 60$ a piece with no turn in if I want to order them on his account. I may just get 3 of them and put them in the battery well. 1 for the engine and 2 for the coach, or vice versa.
Anyway I put 25 gallons of fuel in it today and got it running and there is a leak on the return line on top of the tank so I pumped the fuel out and dropped the tank again to try and track down the leak. While I had it running I checked the alternator output and it was 60 VDC. Almost enough to whack you. Guess that’s why they had it disconnected from the battery isolator. There is nothing hooked up to the E connection of the isolator either, maybe that is the sensing voltage for the voltage regulator? I thought a GM would have a 1 wire alternator. So not a great day. A whole day of work and I feel like I am right back where I started with the tank out and the wiring an uncharging rats nest.

2bzy2c

California

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Posted: 04/20/12 09:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I know this is not your situation, but there is a guy doing a total restoration of his Class "C". It goes on for over 300 pages. Let's hope you are not headed in that direction.

Remember, you didn't buy an RV, you bought a part time job.

Those wooden ramps look a little scarey to me. There is a lot of weight on them.

Topic here


My advice is worth exactly what you paid for it.

Gale Hawkins

Murray, KY

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Posted: 04/21/12 08:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad you got it to running. Old MH's can force one to keep using old brain cells.

gusbratz

PA

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Posted: 04/23/12 08:42pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good progress today. Got the electric fuel pump installed in the back and routed a wire up the frame into the cab then bled the fuel system again. Man this is crazy weather we are having. There is almost 12” of snow at my house. Last week my dear wife was laying out trying to get a tan. The ground is super wet. By the time I had that wiring under the coach I was soaked. Through 2 layers of carpet padding I drag around with me through my coveralls through my carharrt and through my flannel shirt. Wow. Got dry clothes on and started tearing into the wiring in the dash. I am bypassing all the no operable cold starting aids. The thermal switches and glow plug relay and fast idle solenoid and cold advance are all so corroded that none of it was working. I think that may be why I couldn’t get it running. It is about to get some buttons and switches on the dash so I can just manually turn the fast idle on and cycle the glow plugs with a button. I have a notebook and I keep following wires and writing down what they are and were they go. I feel like Cortez mapping uncharted territory. There is what looks like a temp sending unit on the rear outside of the passenger side cylinder head just above the exhaust manifold. The wires are arc burned right off of it. Does anybody know what switch this is? Temp sending unit?

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