April 2016: DC Electric Assembly and Radiator installation

Posted in : 2016, April, Catching up to speed, Electrical, History on by : Tai , freemiumfreemiumfreemiumfreemium Comments: 0


So April was a slow month as far as visual progress goes.  I reinstalled the two front heaters and re-wired almost all of the dc components.  At first DC electric didn’t work, I had about a week of troubleshooting but once I started using a multimeter (and my brain) I was able to figure it out.

Grounds and Solenoid

Earlier it may’ve been mentioned- the primary problem was that I didn’t have a good ground for my electronics.  Once again to clarify, a ground in DC systems is the frame of the vehicle:  which is connected to the negative battery terminal.  Much like most electronics that run off batteries, they need both positive and negative connection to a battery to function.  For vehicles there is a positive wire which runs to the appliance, and the appliance is then “grounded” to the frame of the vehicle -thus completing the circuit.

I skipped some unnecessary fluff in my posting, if anyone wants pictures of ratnests of wires they can be provided.  Below is a picture which highlights two very important aspects of the electrical reassembly:  The Ground and the Solenoid.

Ground: As mentioned above the ground is the equivalent of the negative power terminal on a battery.  In the case of the picture below, I have various electronics hooked up to a few relay points (one on the BUS bar), one on the flasher panel


Solenoid:  As far as I understand, a solenoid is basically a switch which activates(or closes)a circuit if certain conditions are met.   In the case of a vehicle or my bus, the conditions which activates a solenoid are 1.  When the key is in the ignition and turned to accessory mode.  2. When the key is in the ignition is turned to the on position.  Depending on which of these conditions are met, the solenoid will give power to various appliances (and the vehicle).  This is a very simplified explanation of equipment I barely understand, but I hope it helps noobies like myself visualize the basics of a solenoid.

After I grounded all of these electronics to the frame of the bus, everything began to operate as expected.  After 3 days of trouble shooting, it was very nice to have everything work.

I also reinstalled the two front heaters (but did not install the rear heater).  It didn’t seem to matter a lot but since I seem to be documenting these minor details I felt I should share.    If anyone wants my rear heater it could be useful for a waste vegetable oil conversion.



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