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Chris Preston

The Price of Darkness strikes......again !!

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'Afternoon All,

 

We had our Ferret out for a local Canada Day parade yesterday, with a highway road move to the parade forming-up point - with no problems at all during the transit to the parade or during the parade itself. As we started our return trip home, the vehicle just died - suddenly. No power to the motor, but lights, signals, horn, and intercom all still worked. The Red indicator light for the ignition was out, with nothing going to the starter switch. After a few minutes of trying everything, including tapping the horn, the Red light came back on and the engine would start, the vehicle would move a few feet, and quite again. This happened several times, and each time, noting that the red light was flickering and going out, I'd tap the horn, and the red light would restore itself and the engine would restore itself and keep running - for another few seconds and repeat it's stalling. Each time, tapping the horn would (for some un-explainable reason) bring back the red indicator light.

 

This problem has only happened a couple of times recently, but at the time didn't cause any issues as the vehicle was parked. The batteries are fine so it's not a battery problem. I think it's a starter-switch problem but any advice would be appreciated.

 

Cheers,

 

Chris Preston

Victoria, BC

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Sounds like you should get some Anti Gremlin spray. Maybe he hadn't got ear defenders and the horn stunned him? :nut:

Got to be a loose conection somewhere, surley.

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My Ferret suffered from electrical gremlins, although mostly the lighting circuits. Try taking out every one of those plugs either side of the steering wheel and cleaning the contacts. Then try the ones at the back near the generator panel. My problems turned out to be corrosion inside the ignition switch box which was solved by replacing the insides with a later modification kit and changing all the wires and plugs. Hopefully yours is just a loose connection.

 

Chris

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The other one with electrics, same old mantra, check the earth to the switch. Years ago my Dodge started simliar antics, turned out to be a loose screw holding the wire on to the ignition switch. Again looked fine till you physically shook the wires.

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Judging by the comment about the horn, I'd suspect a poor earth connection somewhere.

 

Andy

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I agree with Andy - poor earth or contact breaking down somewhere my red light came on with generator panel brushes but no doubt Richard will be on soon to help

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Chris when this fault occurs the things that still do work like horn, lights & turnlights are supplied through the 30A circuit breaker.

 

The things that don't work when you have this fault are the starter switch & red warning light, these are supplied through the 10A circuit breaker.

 

So to me it points to the thermo-magnetic 10A circuit breaker housed in the Distribution Box No.1 Mk 1. This box is not as waterproof as you might thing & it is not uncommon to find corrosion on the contacts. Bear in mind that even if it has tripped or the contacts are corroded there will still be a through resistance of 165-191 ohms. This means if you are testing it for a voltage through it will still give a reading on a voltmeter, but this will drop dramatically once a meaningful current is drawn.

 

The other thing that would cause your fault are the connections of course to the starter switch. The internal contacts of the ignition switch in the Switchboard No.1 Mk 1 are not very robust & with time arcing of the contacts can make it very unreliable. The switchboard No1 Mk 6 was the upgrade that provided much more robust & reliable contacts in the ignition switch assembly. If you still have a Mk 1 an upgrade to Mk 6 would enhance reliability & peace of mind.

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Have you tried to sacrifice whiskey and cigars while chanting 'Oh Lord of Darkness, your unworthy servant begs for your help'?

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Chris what was the outcome of your investigations? Did any advice on here help resolve the issue or are you still stuck with the problem?

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i Clive,

 

Apologies for not replying sooner. The problem is very intermittent - it's actually only happened on two occasions, but it was enough. Our vehicle is fitted with the later No.1, Mk. 6 Switchboard, so we're leaving that alone - for now! Based on your advice (which is greatly appreciated), I ordered both the 30A and 10A Circuit Breakers from Banisters (great service and people to deal with), along with a new Ignition Noise Filter, and were working on installing the new parts today. I leave this work to those knowing more than I do - our lead electrical chap is a retired Naval Officer with a degree in electrical engineering, and he's been great at sorting out electrical issues. I wasn't in today but get regular updates on progress, so I should be able to confirm how things went shortly and advise.

 

Many Thanks again, for your help, and to all the others who've helped as well.

 

Cheers,

 

Chris Preston,

Victoria, BC

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Ok Chris thanks for the update, I always enjoy following through these problem posts whether I'm involved or not. A bit like detective story & you are waiting to see what's on the last page, although sometimes there is another chapter unexpectedly & it runs on a bit further.

 

Yes best to stick to the Mk6 switchboard, it is much better constructed than the Mk 1 which has rather poor design of contacts on the starter switch that tend to arc away.

 

Intermittent problems are a pain. On my B60 a year ago I had an oil pressure waning light problem that disappeared, then reappeared yesterday on a final test run before a show. The insulation on the OP wire into the shunt/junction box had abraded some years ago I slid a piece of rubber sleeving down over it & it has been fine.

 

Just like the distribution box no longer being waterproof, there was leakage around the old rubber seal on the junction box cover. Water was ingressing down the metal collar housing the end of the sleeve & setting up corrosion that could then be activated by a tiny amount of moisture.

 

When I've rewired it I'll smear silicone sealant over the much squashed rubber seal, might be worth you doing the same on your seal on the distribution box when the new breakers are in.

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