1978 Four Star Motor HOme With 440 Engine Ignition problem - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
 
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#1 Old 12-06-2004, 07:05 PM
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1978 Four Star Motor HOme With 440 Engine Ignition problem

Can someone identify the wires running to the ignition system at the connection point of the firewall? Thanks.
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#2 Old 12-07-2004, 06:08 AM
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Is this motorhome on the van chassis?

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#3 Old 12-07-2004, 10:03 AM
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motor home with ignition problem

this is not my Dodge but a neighbor of mines that is quite elderly and i wanted to help him out. i would imagine this was on a special frame because of it's size. i will get a digital pic of it if it will help. he has a manual but it dosen't explain or show which wires go where. he took it to a mechanic some years ago and they re-wired this part of the motor home, while i have'nt watched him move this vehicle i get the feeling that the present wiring won't allow the starter to disengage. sorry to be so vague. year's ago i had a Dodge Charger with a 440 and a Challenger with a 318, also a van with a slant 6, but i have'nt messed with Mopar since the 1970's. i would appreciate any help, thanks, JOHN
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#4 Old 12-07-2004, 11:13 AM
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I see.....does the front of the motorhome look like a Dodge van. In other words, is the nose of the motorhome just a B-300 Dodge Van front end? This way I can TRY and get you some answers. I can try and find a 1978 Dodge Van service manual source for some wiring diagrams.

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#5 Old 12-07-2004, 11:50 AM
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Thumbs up Yes, It's A Regular Dodge Van Front End

THANKS NATE ,for your time, yes, it's a regular Van front end,just got off the phone with the owner, he said the problem is that when he keys on the ignition that it starts but then as soon as he lets the key return to the run position the engine dies. NOW to me that sounds like a switch problem, but he says the last mechanic that worked on it just cleaned up the connectors or wiring(sorry, he's 82 yrs old and rather vague) and told him he did'nt need a new switch.he said the wires in question are BLUE and connect into a "BLOCK" on the firewall....thanks again, JOHN
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#6 Old 12-07-2004, 08:39 PM
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That "block" on the firewall is probably the ballast resistor for the ignition coil. When the key is the START position, the resistor is bypassed and voltage goes directly tot he coil, but when the key is the RUN position that circuit to the coil runs through the ballast resistor.

If the resistor is fried the engine will not stay running when the key is released to the RUN position. Since a ballast resistor isn't that expensive, try that first. Then go after the ignition switch.

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#7 Old 12-08-2004, 12:32 AM
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Talking motor home ignition problem

THANKS AGAIN NATE!.......i will see about getting him a new resistor, sounds logical......i'll keep you posted.....JOHN
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#8 Old 12-08-2004, 06:02 AM
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No problem John, hopefully that's the problem. Here's some pics of the ballast resistor, and ignition switches. First switch is w/o tilt column and the second switch is w/ tilt column.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RU12.jpg (11.6 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg US92wotilt.jpg (12.7 KB, 37 views)
File Type: jpg US91wtilt.jpg (17.7 KB, 36 views)

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#9 Old 12-08-2004, 11:17 AM
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THANKS FOR PICS!.....you are awesome!

This will make our search alot easier. my neighbor is a little hard headed and i may just offer to buy the new ballast , that way he MAY let me proceed with this diagnosis. By the way, is that your Dodge van in the photo? as i said, ever since the film VANISHING POINT i had a love affair with Mopar. My plan was to take the 440 out of the Charger, which i got for about $250 and put it in the Challenger which i had picked up for just towing fees! ARE YOU BORED YET?.....so the day before i go to pick up the Challenger , LEGALLY, from a dirt parking lot, someone steals the rear end and axle housing! Shortly there after i moved to a new house and got a job in the Middle East and had to give up on the project. Because i was hurting for space and leaving town i traded both cars for a 1968 Triumph Bonneville which i still have. NEXT TIME i'll tell you about my 1966 Dodge van that i rolled on a freeway on ramp!........thanks again Nate,.....John
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#10 Old 12-08-2004, 11:39 AM
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Looking at that engine bay area reminded me of what a BITCH it was to get the old engine out and the rebuilt 225 installed. hell of an engine though, only problem was the oil seapage around the spark plug cups..but it ran like a top!...Speaking of TOP , after i rolled mine and it was all twisted i cut the roof off, since i live in San Diego, took me forever cause i did it with hack saws and tin snips! Never could get the new windshield to stay in place cause there was'nt any real support once the roof was gone...........memories...JOHN
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#11 Old 12-12-2004, 01:01 AM
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Any progress on the motorhome, John?

Nate Breece

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#12 Old 12-12-2004, 09:43 AM
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sorry......i told him about your BALLAST idea but he said he had already replaced with a new one and there was no improvement.......thanks again, John
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#13 Old 12-12-2004, 11:37 AM
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It may be in the ignition switch then.

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#14 Old 12-12-2004, 03:54 PM
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DITTO NATE, he replaced that as well.....sorry, but thanks again...John
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#15 Old 12-13-2004, 11:09 AM
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Okay now you'll have to start checking wires. Get a multimeter and test for voltage at the coil "+" terminal when cranking the engine and when the key is just in the ON position. Let me know what you get.

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#16 Old 12-13-2004, 01:16 PM
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thanks Nate, it won't be soon cause he needs a new battery and i re-screwed up my back over the weekend.......just found out this past summer i have artheristist in the lower back...it's nasty!......regards, John.ps. i actually did my back in trying to find a bad spot in the wires running to the drivers side window switch on my wifes 93' Mustang.......i know, stay away from those Fords, right?...trivia; my late uncle owned the FIRST Ford agency in Franklin, Ind.....all of my family were Hoosiers, i was the only PRUNE PICKER.
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#17 Old 12-13-2004, 04:27 PM
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Not necessarily...I like the Torino GT Fastback.

Heck with that motorhome, get your back well again.

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#18 Old 12-13-2004, 04:36 PM
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thanks for your wellwishes!!!......a few months ago i sold my other house and had to get rid of two 1960 Rancheros. really liked the vehicle was like a car with small truck carrying space. i just had the 170, 6 bangers, with a three speed which WAS it's Achelles heel. i tried to rebuild that tranny but was'nt smart enough and did'nt have the THIRD arm and hand required! my buddy with the motorhome also has a 1953 Ford four door he will probably sell if you know anyone interested....bye,JPB
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