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On the road ? Broke down ? Need help fast ?
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Broken down in Belle Fourche SD

Unread postby monarch on Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:33 pm

Driving along for the second day of our journey home, slowed down for a bump in the road, lost power immediately after the mild bump and unable to restart. Any ideas?
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Re: Broken down in Belle Fourche SD

Unread postby RobC on Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:34 pm

Monarch: welcome to forum. At least you are getting your broken down experience over with right away!

Blunt trauma to the coach sounds like the distributor wire. Try the choke also. Mine was loose and with 40 years of dirt/what not got stuck closed maybe it got bumped closed. The ignition modules can go bad also. Mine is on the bell housing, driver side.
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Re: Broken down in Belle Fourche SD

Unread postby monarch on Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:05 am

Thanks RobC, for your ideas. I forgot to say that the engine cranks but will not start post bump in the road... Someone suggested this could be a ballast resistor, or spark control unit. Since we are new to this 440 engine, we find ourselves in the fast lane of the 'learning curve'.
Does anyone have any manuals for 1973 - 220? Or know good places to read up on the 440 Engine, Electrical and other systems of these babies? I was hoping we could learn a few things from the seller but he did not offer much information, other than he changed the master cylinder and made sure the brakes were good, and put in new batteries. The only info about working things is a large page on the back of the closet door that gives you a few instructions of how to turn things on and off. There seems to be an adaptor on the umbilical cord, but the ground plug is loose, and the cord is scary looking with a lot of electrical tape wrapped around in in places. Was hesitant to plug it in when we camped the first night, so we did without. Also, there is a red dial under the drivers seat that looks like it controls electrical systems. We have just left everything as is, until we can find out the functionality and how to use.
Thanks so much for any insights and all teaching anyone here can share.

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Re: Broken down in Belle Fourche SD

Unread postby RobC on Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:31 pm

The red dial is probably a perko switch but not sure. The cable and hook-up should be separate from the chassis electrical. The battery is below the step by the door. you definitely have a spark issue or fuel delivery issue. concentrate on spark. Might have to have an RV mechanic diagnose it.

Brace yourself for a potential towing bill.

The 440's are pretty simple any of the Mopar hot rod sites will have a thread on electrical. there is also an ignition relay (on my 76) below the driver side on the left frame rail. I don't know how to diagnose it but take a look and see if there is a loose wire.

There is also a neutral start relay that can go bad. I don't know much about it but some of the other guys on the forum have replaced them. Pretty sure it is in the steering column.

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Re: Broken down in Belle Fourche SD

Unread postby 77Travco on Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:34 pm

Sounds like there could be a 12 volt wire that came off somewhere... Do you have a test light and/or cheap multimeter?

- Hold a spark plug wire near the engine and see if you are getting fire.
- Visually check inside of cap and rotor for broken metal tab, etc.
- Are you getting voltage at the coil + terminal with the key on?
- Ohm out the coil and ballast resistor.
- Just change out the ignition board if you can get another.
- Is there gas squirting down into the carb? (I wouldn't try to start it without the air cleaner in place for fire safety sake)

These parts are all pretty cheap in price but you may have to wait for the parts store to attain them.

When ordering ignition parts, you may have to just tell them it's for a same year 1 ton Dodge truck. Most parts store kids don't understand the motorhome chassis thing. I see there is a Car Quest located at Grant Street and 5th Street in that town. I may have a helpful friend back in Rapid City but that's a ways south of you.
If you can describe other symptoms we may be able to help... Keep us posted!
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Re: Broken down in Belle Fourche SD

Unread postby Acesneights on Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:57 pm

Sorry Monarch, seeing this late. I have to ask Private Pilot if we can have this thread email us when someone posts in it.
Pretty much everything 77Travco said. Not sure of your mechanical knowledge but a gas engine needs 4 basic things to start and run
Fuel,air.compression, and fire(spark)
The ballast resistor is the most common fail on old mopars. It is located on the rear of the motor. you can jump it and can run with it jumped for a sort period of time to get it ho,me but eventually you will fry the coil. Also the Ignition box goes bad on these alot. Look for signs of melted plastic running out from behind it. Most autopats stores carry those or can get them quickly. In fact you should carry a spare. It NEEDS to be grounded. if you plug in another one without bolting it down, it will not work. Do what 77Travco said and look for spark first. Easiest way is pull a spark plug wire off any cyl and stick a screwdriver in the end and hold it extremely close but not touching any grounded surface(the block, intake whatever) and look for a spark to jump from the screw driver to the metal ground. If no spark then test the coil for 12v on the positive+ side. If it has power connect the ground of your test light(don't have a test light ? Buy one right now. it is your friend. Keep it in the rv) to the neg side of the coil and see if it blinks as you crank it. If it does not light up at all or does not blink your Ignition box is shot. If it does blink your coil is shot.
I'll PM you my number. There is too much to type.
1975 Travco 270
1974 Travco 220 Parts unit
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Re: Broken down in Belle Fourche SD

Unread postby Acesneights on Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:04 pm

This is a pretty good write up on the resistor.
So you know what it looks like. You probably have the 4 prong one.
http://www.mymopar.com/index.php?pid=115
1975 Travco 270
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Re: Broken down in Belle Fourche SD

Unread postby Acesneights on Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:11 pm

some basic diagrams. Don't confuse the Ignition module with the Voltage regulator. They look similar but the ignition module is next to the ballast resistor. It has a transistor on it.
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1975 Travco 270
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Re: Broken down in Belle Fourche SD

Unread postby Acesneights on Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:12 pm

If you do have spark then we can discuss fuel but it sounds to me like an electrical problem.
1975 Travco 270
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Re: Broken down in Belle Fourche SD

Unread postby Acesneights on Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:22 pm

Sorry I stink at photoshop but hope this helps.
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1975 Travco 270
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