Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The BoggsMobile Adventure Continues

This is a continuation of the BoggsMobile's electrical problems that I documented in this post nearly two weeks ago. My house batteries were receiving too much voltage when a warning light came on a few miles west of Effingham, Illinois.

Jeff Rowe from East Tennessee Luxury Coach told me what to do to be able to finish the trip and we drove 680 miles the next three days with no charge from the alternator. With out his help I probably would have been dead in the water until the situation was fixed.

Jeff concluded from the information I gave him that the external voltage regulator was bad. I mentioned I could not purchase one locally so I ordered one from Prevost and it was waiting on me when I arrived in Wichita. I put it on the next day.

Just for information and my future reference the Prevost part number for my voltage regulator is 563439 and the Delco or Detroit number is 10503805​.

It looks quite a bit different from the 20 year old one. I am told the new one is several generations improved and is a much better regulator. We will see if it lasts 20 years+.

I installed it and it did not solve the problem. That was not Jeff's fault because he did not know a crucial piece of information and I did not know it was important. On my conversion the alternator does not connect directly to the batteries. There is a multi-battery isolator installed between the alternat​or and the batteries with another lead going from the isolator to the house batteries.

Confused? Good.​

When I mentioned that to Jeff he knew exactly what the problem was. It had to be the multi-battery isolator.

When I checked the voltage I had 37 volts coming from the alternator, 37 volts going to the house batteries but only 24 volts going to the chassis batteries. Since 24 is not enough the voltage regulator was doing its job and telling the alternator that more power was needed. The alternator was cranking out more power but that power was not getting through the isolator so the house batteries were getting too much and the chassis batteries too little.​

That was on a Monday I did not have to roll till Saturday. Jeff got an isolator to me and it was a simple install Friday morning. I do have a "24 Volt Emergency Alternator D​isconnect" that cuts the connection between the isolator and the house batteries so with it off and the chassis batteries off the isolator has no voltage. 

The change out was easy. I labeled the leads, took pictures, removed the leads, taped the ends and tied them up out of the way.​ The isolator was fastened to the floor with two bolts with nuts underneath. Both bolts broke on the first turn which I half way expected. (I feel like I am going to break after not moving for 20 minutes and these bolts had not moved in 20 years.) I sent Kelly Jo to the lumberyard for bolts while I finished.

After the new one was bolted in I cleaned the leads and hooked it all back up.​

It was 30 minutes start to finish including Kelly Jo's trip to the lumberyard. It took longer to get my tools out and put them back than to do the job.

The really good news is that it worked. My friend in Tennessee, Jeff Rowe at East Tennesse Luxury Coach pulled my fat out of the fire again! Thanks much, friend.

Thank the Lord for surrounding me with good people that have the knowledge and skills I need to survive my Bus Induced Psychosis.


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