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Old 01-05-2021, 03:19 AM   #11
porschedpm's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 32
From my picture, I'll describe what the 4 different wires, sheathed in black split wire loom tubing, are. Moving clockwise and starting in the upper left corner, the first split wire tubing is for the wire (I think either 2 or 4ga) coming from the starter batteries and connects to the red-capped jump-start post. Going clockwise, the second split wire tubing goes from the jump post, through the floor of the van, and connects to one terminals of the battery isolator. My isolator is the SurePower 1315-200. The third and fourth split wire tubings in the background are for the negative and positive leads coming from the house batteries. My house batteries are located in front of the SMB 'basement' storage box and behind the rear axle. The positive lead from the house batteries goes up through the van floor and connects to the second terminal on the isolator. The negative lead coming from the house batteries originally was grounded to the body via a bolt on the underside of the right rear wheel well. Last year I eliminated this grounding point on the underside of the wheel well and instead ran the negative lead up through the floor of the van and connected it to a negative bus bar terminal block located under the rear bench seat and closer to the other house 12V equipment.

Looking again at your pic, because the red wire going from the jump post to the mystery solenoid is not sheathed in the black split wire tubing (as would have been done by SMB), my guess is that your mystery solenoid was added after the fact and not not part of the original SMB build.

Also, in your pic, can you confirm that your wire labeled 'To Bat isolator' carries only current from the starting batteries and not the house batteries? If it only carries current from your starting batteries, it appears the easy fix would be to disconnect the 'To Bat isolator' wire at the mystery solenoid and reconnect it to the jump post (it looks like it should be long enough). At the same time remove and eliminate the red, unsheathed wire altogether at both the jump post and the mystery solenoid. Then, using shrink tubing and/or elec tape, cap off the the white control wire and stow it out of the elements under there somewhere. Since that white wire is probably tied in to the van's run circuit it may save you time in the future having to pull a wire with 12v ignition-on power (such as for a DC-DC charger, rear camera, etc). You can then remove the mystery solenoid altogether. Lastly, you'll want to recheck your connections on and operation of your isolator.

2006 E350 SMB RB50 6.0 PSD
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Old 01-05-2021, 01:04 PM   #12
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 10,019
^^^ what porschedpm said seems very possible. For a few years around 2006, SMB made the Surepower separator automatically connect every time the vehicle started. It caused issues in masking starter battery problems because it automatically assisted the starting batteries during a start. If you can imagine the heavy amps in starting a diesel when the main source (the starting batteries) are at substandard levels in their state of charge. It would try to pull whats missing from the starting batteries from the house system. SMB used a small sized jumper between the separator and starting batteries. After SMB realized the problem they often installed a push button switch at the dash and the only way to actually connect the two systems was to hold the button in during a start that required a little help from the house system. After the vehicle started the alternator put out a charge and as soon as the separator felt a charge state, it automatically closed and charged both systems.

The surepower separators were problematic and why SMB replaced them with Blue Sea relays.

It sounds like either the original owner had reasons to be able to manually open the circuit between the two battery systems, perhaps for storage or they were having the Surepower blues and didn't understand how they worked. The same thing could have been accomplished by putting a switch on the Surepower's negative lead to the chassis grounding block. When I first got my van, I was startled in how hot the Surepower separator got. Mine also stuck often. SMB replace mine about 4 or 5 times. Finally I abandon Surepower to Blue Sea and never had an issue after.

I'd get rid of that extra solenoid as mentioned and trace any operation wires to the ignition or dash switch if they put one in and kill that circuit for good.

Lastly, that is only my guess and troubleshooting from the PC is difficult to do rather than actually seeing it. I wish you luck.

2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
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Old 01-05-2021, 10:38 PM   #13
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Covina
Posts: 1,308
Ok I have 2 starter batteries and one house with a sure power and yes it has worked for 20 years just fine. The only issue is it depends on what battery bank is low to get the relay to work so I have a jumper wire to pull it in and get the van going. Sure power is simple and works so don’t nock it.

Kelly, Claudine, Sophie dog, Bell the redheaded step child and Gooseberry RIP.

Most the time the Copilot is Now Sophie dog the noise maker.

2000 7.3 PS Quigley/RB30 with a 6 window poptop.
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