Woodalls Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: WFCO 8945 converter issue
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 > WFCO 8945 converter issue

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fishmantx

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Posted: 11/29/09 05:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi all, first post but longtime lurker. I have an issue with the electrical system on my 2005 Zeppelin which is stock with no added inverters or generator connections. We camped all last week connected to shore power and I was able to get a pretty good record of the symptoms. After running a couple of coach lights for a couple of hours they would gradually dim and the idiot lights in the camper would show one led. Overnight the batteries would recharge and things would be fine until a light or two was run for a while and then the same problems would surface. I should note here that we had issues on a previous camping trip but as it wasn't as lengthy, I didn't realize the full extent of the problem.

I did some troubleshooting, starting with the battery. It's 5 months old and the acid level was correct. After charging all night, voltage at the battery was a little over 13.1 which is the correct float charge for that converter according to the description at bestconverter.com. Voltage is the same 13.1 at the battery and converter contacts on the fuse panel. After a couple of lights are switched on voltage drops to 12.4 at the panel almost immediately. Turn them off and voltage is restored. Parasitic loss at the battery when disconnected from shore power and everything I can find turned off is 0.12 amps. Plugged back into shore power and the negative disconnected from the battery, voltage measures 13.6 at the converter contacts, which is correct for the "absorption" mode for this converter. However, when a light is turned on, it's very dim, the converter hums loudly, and voltage drops to about 6.0!

I also checked the relay (I think that's what it's called)at the trailer tongue and cleaned it well. Voltage to the battery is the same from either contact, indicating that it is open and flowing current, I think. I also duplicated these readings at home on a dedicated circuit of known quality, so campground electricity problems can be ruled out I believe.

All 120 volt stuff works fine, and voltage at the panel measured at the campground was 118.2.

The only thing that I haven't been able to check is the ground from the panel to the frame, as it is buried up somewhere past where the weatherproofing panels on the underside are fastened. I can't see a way to remove them without damaging them, and it seems unlikely that the ground would be causing an issue with only the 12 volt.

So it sounds like a bad converter to me, based on reading many other posts, but I'm obviously not sure. Any help would be appreciated. I would also appreciate some suggestions on a replacement converter (if it is bad) that will fit in the same space. The WFCO 8945 is a three stage charger so I guess I could just buy another but I've seen more than a few posts with people having issues with WFCO products. Maybe that generalization is unfounded. Anyway, please help if you can. Thanks!

skipnchar

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Posted: 11/29/09 06:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like you've already done a pretty good job of checking MOST things that need checking. I'd check the converter itself by measuring the voltage across the positive and negative leads, while connected to shore power AND with the battery disconnected. If you have no voltage there then the converter is not charging and needs to be replaced. If you get good voltage with that measurment I'd bet on a bad battery. Lots of auto places will load test it for free.
Good luck / skip


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fishmantx

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Posted: 11/29/09 06:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well buried in my "manifesto" is the fact that voltage across the converter leads on shore power and battery disconnected is about 6 volts. So it is operating, just not properly. The battery voltage tests good and it's full of water. I haven't done a load test on it. Maybe I should?

Jerry9n

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Posted: 11/29/09 06:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not sure if this is any help but here is the link to the instructions for the 8900 series converter. On page 8 they give a tech support number. You may want to give them a call.

Link for WFCO


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Learjet

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Posted: 11/29/09 06:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

fishmantx wrote:

Well buried in my "manifesto" is the fact that voltage across the converter leads on shore power and battery disconnected is about 6 volts. So it is operating, just not properly. The battery voltage tests good and it's full of water. I haven't done a load test on it. Maybe I should?


Sounds like you need a new board. look at this link for Bestconverter


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09FLSTC

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Posted: 11/29/09 06:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bestconverter I would call or email them for an answer. It appears to me the WFCO is in most units since 2004 and their might be an upgrade availble or you can just get a new board.

fishmantx

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Posted: 11/30/09 12:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, Cheng USA which apparently makes WFCO converters has nonexistent technical support. I was unable to reach anyone in technical support or even the general operator at 1:50 pm central standard time. Looks like a call to BestConverter.com is in order.

I really appreciate everyone who responded so far.

fishmantx

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Posted: 11/30/09 01:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Talked with Randy at BestConverter.com and he was very helpful. My choices were buying a new board for my WFCO or purchasing a replacement kit PD 4645 for $214. After reviewing the specs for the PD as well as the instructions for retrofitting, I went ahead and took the plunge because it all looked better. 4 years seems like a short interval to replace a converter. Randy indicated that in his experience it was a fairly common problem with WFCO boards and that I likely wouldn't have the same issues with the PD.

Learjet

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Posted: 11/30/09 05:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

fishmantx wrote:

Talked with Randy at BestConverter.com and he was very helpful. My choices were buying a new board for my WFCO or purchasing a replacement kit PD 4645 for $214. After reviewing the specs for the PD as well as the instructions for retrofitting, I went ahead and took the plunge because it all looked better. 4 years seems like a short interval to replace a converter. Randy indicated that in his experience it was a fairly common problem with WFCO boards and that I likely wouldn't have the same issues with the PD.


Good move !!!

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