Lots of tricks but generally without basis........
If your vehicle fails the emission tests, you will usually have been done a favor as you will have discovered an opportunity for fuel savings.
Post 1996 (OBD2) are usually better at setting a code (check engine light) in the event of a problem but would not conclude that you are in for bad news. Finding that you have an O2 sensor problem will save money.
Replacing failed catalytic converter is responsible as it reduces emissions which affect us all. Anyone who recalls large city air quality in the 1950's and 1960's needs no other indication of how much progress has been made. We used to see "pea soup" fogs in our valley as an on-going condition in cooler weather but never since the advent of vehicle emissions and heating system improvements.
Good luck with the test but don't let someone talk you into dumping a load of methanol(poisonous stuff!) or ethanol in to your tank. The high alcohol concentration may destroy "rubber" parts throughout the fuel system so is not unlikely to cost you some serious $. Keep in mind that those early fuel systems were not designed with the intent to run alcohol blend fuels so we're fortunate that we can get away without issues in so many cases.
It might be better to check to see if the engine battery is self-discharging as this is not uncommon. If you lack an ammeter, the simple method is to disconnect a battery cable (usually negative unless it's tough to reach) and leave it off for a few days. If the engine starts, it's most likely that the discharge is external to the battery and you will need to measure the draw and to disconnect things until you find what is on.
If the engine battery is dead when you try to start, you need a battery.
If you have and can use an ammeter, we can describe the testing if required.
A caution: your sample size will be too small to provide credible evidence as to lifespan. Combine that with the large unknowns regarding cycling, charger performance..... Creditable idea but IMO, more likely to be misleading than to be credible.
Adding knife switches/cut-off switches to solve short term battery drain problems is not the ideal solution, IMO. If I read the post correctly, your house battery is running down. I further assume that the water pump is the main consideration but there are likely other loads related to that battery. Correct?
Why not find the cause of the drain and correct or solve the re-charge issue as either draining excessively or not properly recharging will cause other inconvenience?
The rig may not be the same as manufactured after two decades+ so some inspection of your rig is the most reasonable course of action. The dealer may be able to advise as to where a second battery was located but you should be able to find that, and better understand your own rig in about the same amount of time by looking.
A fairly common problem causing low voltage at the furnace is bad grounding of the furnace's housing to the rig's chassis. Many installations depend on the two sheet metal screws attaching the front of the furnace housing to the floor. It is commmon for the screws not to be making a good connection between the furnace and the rig's metal chassis. We used to run a dedicated ground wire between furnace and chassis in service trucks and some RV.
Easy check and easy fix if is the problem.
Use your voltmeter to test voltage from the 12 volt+ power lead at the furnace to the furnace's sheet metal housing, with furnace on. It should match the voltage across the house batteries within 1/2 volt or so. An alternative is to measure voltage from the 12 volt+ power lead at the furnace to the house battery +. The result should be <0.5 volts. Less than 0.2 volts is better.
Check also the voltage between the furnace's sheet metal housing and house battery negative. Result should be close to zero volts, but certainly 0.2 volts or less.
It is very unusual for a house battery not to have a means to charge from the vehicle's alternator. Have seen some but, IMO, the installer requires a boot to the buttocks, to paraphrase Forest Gump.
Both this post and the previous one have made some assumptions which we will need to have confirmed before proceeding. The other poster seems to have assumed that you have been plugging the rig into shore power. I have added the additional assumption that you may be running the engine during periods between use of the water pump.
Please advise how the rig is used in this regards as we cannot go further.
Are you able to check battery voltage at engine battery and house battery? If don't know how, not a big deal as we can walk you through the procedure. Inexpensive multimeters are available from all sorts of sources for $20.00 or less.
A low cost meter having the following test ranges is all that you really require for simple testing so no need to buy a professional quality meter:
AC volts 0 - 250 volts
DC volts 0 - 30 volts
A common consumer grade meter will have many other scales but these are a distracter for most people.
What you will need to do is to measure voltage across the negative and positive battery posts of the engine battery and of the house battery with engine not running. Then repeat the voltage tests with engine running.
Next, measure voltage across the house battery with engine off and with shore cable unplugged. Plug in shore power and measure house battery voltage.
Post back and advise where we can begin and will try to get the questions settled.
I have a 1970 e-300 the battery that runs the water pump always drains down, I have not found any wire to help charge it where else can I look or what can I do?
nicpaige, would you mind defining what it is that you wish to discover?
I may be going at this from the wrong direction as am concerned that you may not be obtaining the information needed. Let's say, for example, that your rig has one engine battery + one house battery under the hood. OK, but your house battery capacity must be less than desired.
Not knowing your expertise or tools/test equipment available, it is impossible to suggest a course of action excepting in the most general sense. My concerns are that you are able to locate all batteries on the rig and to recognize the role(s) of each battery. It is not unknown for a second house battery to be located in another area on the rig which is used in conjunction (parallel) with the second under hood battery.
Having seen installations which had many different battery arrangements, this is not an unreasonable concern, from my perspective. If you fail to locate this second house battery, for example, it will go unserviced and also may create problems as it deteriorates/fails.
Having witnessed many campground problems, I urge everyone operating an RV to own and have a basic understanding of the use of a multimeter. Being able to take voltage measurements and resistance measurements (ohms) can be critical to getting going if one is reduced to help by cell phone. The difference between asking someone to make test and that of instructing how to set an unknown meter and to take tests for the first time is huge.
I belong to several motorcycle web groups, for example, and have done cell phone rescues of riders on the other side of the continent who were stranded. One fellow was on a by-pass highway going around Washington, DC after midnight in pouring raid. Guess whether he was glad to get going?
If one has a basic understanding of one's rig's systems, the ability to effectively communicate with technicians is hugely enhanced.
I also recommend that one does an on-going home work assignment with pen and notebook. List each of your rig's systems and describe where its components are located and how the system operates- theory, purpose/role of each part. As time goes on, add additional notes such as where that wire runs, and problems solved.
This information can be invaluable if one is stuck and as a review before or during discussions regarding service. One can check one's understanding in stages by asking a tech or someone on line whether the explanation is correct.
WD40 is one of the poorer long term rust inhibitors, IME. It seems to be a light oil/kerosene which departs in quite short order. You may wish to try a wax based product such as LPS or Fluid Film which contain a wax which tends to endure longer. Of course having dissimilar metals in contact which are exposed to corrosives makes the corrosion worse but not much can be done as aluminum nuts and studs are not an option, as likely the case with switching to steel wheels. ;)
Seattle, I was through there last spring and noticed an elderly Israeli gentleman who was engaged in collecting two of each species of animal, and in building a wooden boat. He said something about 450 cubits but don't know the significance......;) Is this a local Chamber of Commerce initiative?
Likely, they are in parallel switched by an isolation relay (solenoid) as there is almost always a means to charge the house battery from the engine alternator.
FWIW, some older rigs had battery isolation by means of a diode pair rather than a relay. These were widely advertised in the 1970's as being "solid state" and so superior to a relay. Bad idea. If you have one (diode type) you will be well advised to replace the unit with a relay. The problem with a diode is that the voltage drop across the diode is 0.7 volts at minimum. More than that, under load it is typical for the voltage drop to be closer to 1.2 volts.
The previous paragraph may sound "blah, blah, blah but I assure all that it is very important. The charge/recharge rate of a battery is (about) relative to the voltage applied, in other words the higher the voltage, the faster it charges. Above about 15 volts the heating and other effects are detrimental and below about 13.5 volts the rate of charge becomes insignificant. An important issue with regards house batteries is that of recharging, unless one spends significant amounts of time connected to shore power.
For those tinkering who own an ammeter and voltmeter, some important lessons & insight can be gained by draining a battery down 10% or so, clamping on the ammeter and voltmeter, then starting the engine (warmed engine so it goes to normal idle). Note the voltage and how many amps are flowing through the battery. Then speed the engine up, note the increased voltage and how much the amps have increased.
The difference in battery recharge rate at normal vehicle charging voltage of about 14.6 volts compared to the 13.4 volts resulting from a diode in series will reduce charging rate (amps) to almost nothing. Watching paint dry has a frantic pace compared to the rate of recharge of a pair of house batteries at 13.4 volts.
FWIW, I find that many RV owners have no means to understand various systems which creates many issues: ineffective diagnosis, distrust of technicians and technicians' advice, higher cost of repair/improvements. I encourage others to expand their contributions in order to share expertise/experience.
For me, the most valuable experience is for someone to correct an error in understanding or practice on my part.
Ford had a second battery under the hood option in the 90s on gassers. The battery on the driver's side it the engine battery and the one on the passenger side is the aux battery which is often used as an RV house battery. Ford put a circuit in to charge the second battery. My Chinook has this setup. They are neither parallel or in series. They are independent.
Unless someone knows this specific rig, one would assume that there may be a set of house batteries elsewhere under the rig. Checking would be most prudent.
Unless the two batteries are 6 volt which is very unlkely, they will be charged in parallel. 12 volt batteries are never wired into series for a 12 volt system as this would amount to 24 volts.
You will want to check to see whether both under hood batteries are wired into parallel directly as would be the case were they both engine batteries. Most gasoline engined rigs (all I can recall) used a single engine battery from the factory, however it was not unusual for someone to install a second battery onto the driver's side (assuming Ford chassis). If diesel engine rig, then two batteries (in parallel, of course) might have been originally installed to serve the engine starting.
If the two batteries are engine starting service, they will both be wired/cabled together from the positive terminals. Some installers ran a cable from the driver's side battery positive to the passenger side positive while others ran the driver's side cable to the starter solenoid. Depends on the installer.
You will need to follow the cables to see if they both go to the engine solenoid or whether the driver's side positive cable goes to an isolation relay or isolation diode. If to isolation, the driver's side battery is for house service. Hope not as one house battery is a PITA.
An easier alternative which usually works is to disconnect the driver's side battery negative cable then see if the engine starts and if the rig's 12 volt house lights operate with the rig unplugged from shore power. If lights don't work then the driver's side battery is for house power.
If the engine starts and house lights still work, it is likely that the driver's side battery is an additional engine starting battery. To check, disconnect the negative of the passenger side battery see if the house light still work. If they do, there are house batteries somewhere else which you need to find.
Reconnect the driver's side battery only, then see if the engine starts. If the engine starts on either side battery, they are both engine starting batteries. If they both start the engine and if house lights only work when at least one under hood battery is connected, you have the under hood batteries being use together for both house lighting and starting which is a bad set-up as it is likely to leave you stranded.
Another possible is that one under hood battery is for on-board generator starting as some older rigs used a separate, under hood battery exclusively for generator starting. We used to connect these batteries positive to positive to give extra starting capacity for engine starting.
I also recall seeing some older rigs which used one house battery in a under rig compartment with a second house battery under the hood so you are well advised to figure out what you have.
Please explain how this is pertainent to the question.....
Are you complaining about the amount charged?
It is not clear why your personal experience validates the incomplete representation of caster. Given that there is usually little use in attempting to address those who are convinced without a sufficient understanding of the system and conditions, but it may be that someone else can be spared problems if they recognize that the concept represented by "Caster Authority" is invalid.
Increasing caster angle will have the effect of increasing the amount of vehicle weight required to lift the front of the vehicle in order to effect a turn. This will cause the vehicle to tend to remain in the straight ahead steering position. It will increase the effort required to turn but this is seldom noticeable in RV's.
Generally, one sets greater caster to the side with lower road crown because the vehicle pulls to the side with least caster. The amount varies depending on the vehicle and amount of road crown typically encountered. One can also use caster to counter act the effect of road crown but since camber is a tire wear angle while caster is not, one usually prefers caster for this purpose.
Anyone can notice the effect of caster on the vehicle by noticing how the front end climbs on the side opposite to the turn direction.
As for laughing, it is very often a human reaction to something which cannot be taken to be serious. That someone may like or dislike a concept does not address whether it is correct. It always interests when someone makes a very simplistic or radically unusual representation of some concept. One's first question might revolve around the obvious which is that 100 years of engineering and experince in the field is most likely to have identified a valid concept and so one might wish to question the folk theory which claims to over turn well vaidated theory. ("Theory" is used in the context of a scientific theory rather than folk theory as the meanings are virtually opposite in effect)
Regardless, that's all the effort I'm willing to make regarding this as it seems to be moving into the area of "faith" where no reason can penetrate.
Well, I do want to thank Cloud Dancer for coining the term "Caster Authority" which I find to be very descriptive of my personal "layman" experience in increasing the caster by 2.0 degrees. As to what "might" constitute the wholeness of the experience I can only say, "The Devil is in the Details".
Will the "alignment specialist" laugh more then he does when he takes my $166.00 for tweaking the toe and declaring "all is within specs"?
I agree, jgorm1.
The term "caster authority" is not used to my knowledge in the automotive repair trade. I have Canadian Interprovincial journeyman status, 10 years + college automotive instructor, Bear Advanced Wheel Alignment, as well as manufacturer training under several marques. No one has ever used the term in my experience.
Caster is only one of the alignment factors controlling directional stability and, regardless, theoretical or static caster is not necessarily the same as dynamic caster as experienced under way. The rolling resistance of front tires and wheel bearings combined with toe place a varying thrust onto front suspension which effects some degree of deflection. Depending on the component and degree, the effect on alignment angles can be significant. This is one reason for which installed tires, road crown, and other factors can vary the amount of desireable caster and camber during wheel alignment.
Considering the simplistic equation, it is clear that this is a prank post, or at least it is to be hoped this is the case since it cannot be taken to be useful. Run it past an alignment specialist and be laughed out of the shop.
A person doesn't get very far on vehicles these days without metric tools. When I had my tool business, inch sized tools were on the wane excepting in the heavy truck, equipment & agriculture equipment fields. Not that people weren't buying some but the bias was in the metric direction for both new tool aquisition and replacement.
Not disputing j-d's posts at all but simply making an observation. In the larger sizes the sizing becomes so close to identical that it doesn't matter so many of we old timers are light in the metrics above one inch while the young guys are often the other way.
For the home hobby type wrenching, it might be worth while to emphasize j-d's excellent point regarding the ability of 13/16" to make a tight fit onto 21 MM as this technique can be very useful in both directions in dealing with rusted or partially rounded heads. One can often tap a smaller sized socket into place to deal with a damaged head.
Another trick which should be part of everyone's tool kit is to use a tin of valve lapping, sometimes called "valve grinding compound" which is carbide grit in a water or grease carrier. Go out to your local auto supply store and buy a tin! Also buy some blue Loctite as is at least as useful.
The valve lapping compound is a tremendous help in dealing with damaged screw heads, rounded bolt/capscrew heads, especially good when one has to use an open end wrench. The additional grip is equal to spreading sand onto an icy sidewalk. Seriously! Get some as a tin will last forever in normal use.
Have a tight screw in a plastic light housing or dash panel? Push hard enough to make the Phillips screwdriver grip and you will likely break the plastic. Dip the screwdriver into lapping compound and no problem to get enough grip without hard push.
How about all the different "Phillips type" screw heads? Add to that the likely that you don't own professional quality screw drivers. Use lapping compound. Done!
Brilliant when used on power screw driver or cordless drill bits.
Loctite (blue) is usually misunderstood as something which makes things very difficult to remove but on new threads only adds about 10% to the break away torque (the effort needed to start the screw turning). On used threads, especially when there might be some corrosion, the Loctite prevents corrosives from entering the threads and so often makes for easier removal.
I pull the wheels on our rig every year and clean + never-seize the pilot holes and wheel hub. Nasty to be on the side of the road, as you said, trying to force a wheel off the hub! Even nastier, as have seen many times, for someone to have to come 100 miles on a tow truck to have someone fight the wheel off at $100.00 per hour!
If we keep plugging away at this thread, we can add to CloudDriver's excellent foundation in the hope it will save grief for someone.
Good trick, j-d. It was common practice on Japanese car the small truck brake drums back when dinosaurs still walked the earth. If the wheel is thick enough, as with these Fords, it can work well. Never could figure out why the Japanese would thread tiny little brake drums (which was an obvious and good thing) but the North American makers ignored this on much bigger and tougher stuff. Don't even get us started on transport trucks! Whaling away with a big sledge hammer to release some of those wheels is not for the faint of heart. ;)