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Alternator Issue - The mystery deapens
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userFiat Ducato
Posted: 8 January 2019 7:57 PM
Subject: Alternator Issue - The mystery deapens
 


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Location: Dover, Kent


So following my last post on this, I had a few very good comments from forum members. And a few tips and pointers to get me started.

But delving into the problem a bit more, seems to have opened a can of worms like all jobs on this very unlucky motorhome or owner (me) or more likely just down to the motorhome not been well looked after by previous owners.

When I purchased the motorhome 3 years ago now. A 1997 Fiat Ducato 1.9TD Autoroller. The starter battery tray in the engine bay was completely rusted through and barely supporting the battery. I removed it and tried to get a replacement fabricated. But locally nobody was interested. So I ended up filling it sanding it and coating it along with the surrounding area with stone chip paint. 2 years on and due to the constant water leakage from the cab over hang top bed, which every time it rains the water pours off the roof and seems to drip into the engine bay over the electrical cable and battery. The battery tray is all rusted out again and on removing it, I noticed quite a lot of oxidisation and corrosion on quite a few major cables.

Reading previous stories from owners of Fiat Ducato Motorhome even the newer models thi seems to be a common issue.

Today I disconnected the fridge cable and leisure charging cable from my starter battery and it was still only reading 13.30V from the alternator (engine running) Tested the Alternator and for some weird reason the multimeter wouldn't settle on a figure it was just going eractic. This is with the engine running, pos terminal of multi meter touching the B+post and the neg terminal touching the engine.

Also noticed that after I switched off my engine with the multimeter still connected to my starter battery, the voltage carried on increasing only by 0.3V at the starter battery. which I though was weird.

Not sure how to solve the constant water leakage to the engine bay on to the battery and electrics, thought about fitting a battery box so it would be sort of sealed water tight, or some sort of cover over that area.

Ideally I'd like to relocate the starter battery from the engine bay altogether and fit it under the passenger seat, mounted, vented properly, this way it would be always dry and inisde away from the cold temps. Just wondering if it is at all possible, some of the cables like the Alternator cable, starter cable would be easy to relocate but other components fuses etc from the engine bay are not so easy.

As anyone ever done this? is it even possible?

Edited by Fiat Ducato 2019-01-08 8:24 PM
usercolin
Posted: 8 January 2019 8:16 PM
Subject: RE: Alternator Issue - The mystery deapens
 


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Location: Bedfordshire, Globecar 636SB


IIRC the water leak over the battery problem was eventually 'solved' by Fiat adding a cover, but owners of older Fiats might wish to confirm this.
BTW stating model and year may help with replies.
p.s. I vaguely recall reading that the corrosion was made worse by battery acid being flushed out, but not sure how that would happen.

Edited by colin 2019-01-08 8:19 PM
userFiat Ducato
Posted: 8 January 2019 8:26 PM
Subject: RE: Alternator Issue - The mystery deapens
 


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Location: Dover, Kent


colin - 2019-01-08 8:16 PM

IIRC the water leak over the battery problem was eventually 'solved' by Fiat adding a cover, but owners of older Fiats might wish to confirm this.
BTW stating model and year may help with replies.
p.s. I vaguely recall reading that the corrosion was made worse by battery acid being flushed out, but not sure how that would happen.


Wonder if you can purchase these covers online? I wonder if any members on here have ever had one fitted I'd love to see a pic of what they look like.

Updated my post now to include model, year etc. Thank you for mentioning that makes a lot of sense.
userspospe
Posted: 8 January 2019 8:47 PM
Subject: RE: Alternator Issue - The mystery deapens
 


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Location: Stockport Autosleeper Warwick Duo 2.2 130bhp


colin - 2019-01-08 8:16 PM
p.s. I vaguely recall reading that the corrosion was made worse by battery acid being flushed out, but not sure how that would happen.


Seemingly by rain water running under the bonnet and over the battery and trickling into the battery through the vent caps, this overfilling said battery. Over a period of time this would flush enough acid out of the battery to rot the carrier (not so good for the Specific Gravity of the acid either).
userFiat Ducato
Posted: 8 January 2019 8:59 PM
Subject: RE: Alternator Issue - The mystery deapens
 


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Location: Dover, Kent


yes you are correct I found evidence of this happening on my battery, there was rain water all over the battery casing close to the vents, after an heavy nigh tof rain I always try to park on a hill now if it;s raining.
userBasil
Posted: 8 January 2019 10:58 PM
Subject: RE: Alternator Issue - The mystery deapens
 
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The flooding over of water on this age of vehicle is common and is caused by the drain from the 'scuttle' being via the heater air inlet. On motorhomes in particular because they stand still for longer periods than typical 'white van man' vehicles and also if parked so that water collects on the offside (drivers side RHD that is) it freely runs into the engine bay via the bonnet rubber that actually is not a water tight seal.
The cure, and I have done this myself on my old van for this specific reason, is to drill through the bottom of the plastic 'scuttle' and glue in a flexible pipe e.g. large bore windscreen washer pipe available from Halfords and the like., that is then fed down through the bay to roughly bottom of bumper level and so drains both ends of the scuttle.

In my case this was a 100% successful cure.

Bas
userFiat Ducato
Posted: 9 January 2019 10:54 AM
Subject: RE: Alternator Issue - The mystery deapens
 


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Posts: 198
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Location: Dover, Kent


Basil - 2019-01-08 10:58 PM

The flooding over of water on this age of vehicle is common and is caused by the drain from the 'scuttle' being via the heater air inlet. On motorhomes in particular because they stand still for longer periods than typical 'white van man' vehicles and also if parked so that water collects on the offside (drivers side RHD that is) it freely runs into the engine bay via the bonnet rubber that actually is not a water tight seal.
The cure, and I have done this myself on my old van for this specific reason, is to drill through the bottom of the plastic 'scuttle' and glue in a flexible pipe e.g. large bore windscreen washer pipe available from Halfords and the like., that is then fed down through the bay to roughly bottom of bumper level and so drains both ends of the scuttle.

In my case this was a 100% successful cure.Bas


Thanks Basil for that, good to hear someone who had a similar problem who actually found a cure. Yes I know exactly where you mean, I tried using silcone in a few places where the water was seeping through, the screw holes for the scuttle, and used some rubber draught excluder with a large bulb, the sticky back stuff and stuck it around the edge of the scuttle and sides to try and channel the water off to the sides of the wings where there appears to me a gully that runs down to the front near the headlights. But this only partially worked and eventually I removed it and cleaned up the area.

will have to try your cure, how did you get the pipe to stay in the hole, you mentioned you glued it, with what, hot glue, silcone adhesive or some rubber glue?
userhallii
Posted: 9 January 2019 7:11 PM
Subject: RE: Alternator Issue - The mystery deapens
 


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Location: Worcestershire Hymer Van 522 2007


The meter reading is inaccurate, the meter is high impedance and can give such readings under certain conditions. It is why I still have a moving coil meter for some applications.


My guess is that there is not a real voltage there, and that there is an alternator fault. An auto electrician will be able to test the alternator under load and give a verdict.


Rebuilt alternators are not to expensive and are, in my opinion, as good as new ones.


H
userBasil
Posted: 12 January 2019 8:31 PM
Subject: RE: Alternator Issue - The mystery deapens
 
2000500


Fiat Ducato - 2019-01-09 10:54 AM

Basil - 2019-01-08 10:58 PM

The flooding over of water on this age of vehicle is common and is caused by the drain from the 'scuttle' being via the heater air inlet. On motorhomes in particular because they stand still for longer periods than typical 'white van man' vehicles and also if parked so that water collects on the offside (drivers side RHD that is) it freely runs into the engine bay via the bonnet rubber that actually is not a water tight seal.
The cure, and I have done this myself on my old van for this specific reason, is to drill through the bottom of the plastic 'scuttle' and glue in a flexible pipe e.g. large bore windscreen washer pipe available from Halfords and the like., that is then fed down through the bay to roughly bottom of bumper level and so drains both ends of the scuttle.

In my case this was a 100% successful cure.Bas


…………...
will have to try your cure, how did you get the pipe to stay in the hole, you mentioned you glued it, with what, hot glue, silcone adhesive or some rubber glue?



I used a plastic spigot, as used for plastic heating/plumbing pipework to maintain the shape of the pipe inside the plastic fittings, and glued this into the plastic scuttle using pvc drainpipe adhesive and then used silicone sealant to hold the clear washer tubing inside it. This does give a slightly raised plastic piece above the scuttle but it allows sufficient water to escape to stop the flooding over, as an unintended benefit it also helps to prevent dirt from blocking the tube!
One thing you do have to be aware of is the windscreen wiper mechanism sweeps that area below the scuttle so you need to ensure this does not contact the new fitting.

Bas

userTravelbob
Posted: 14 January 2019 10:12 AM
Subject: RE: Alternator Issue - The mystery deapens
 
Just joined

Posts: 14



You can buy small Fiberglass kits, everything you need in one box for about £18.00.
make your cover and rivet velco straps to the box
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