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Old 11-21-2020, 02:59 PM   #1
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THOR #21299
Possible BIRD issue? Clicking relay sound in chassis.

Hello! I have a 2016 AXIS and recently have been hearing a clicking sound coming from the drivers side engine area. From other forum discussions it sounds like it might be the bird relay clicking over but I donít know why. It happens when Iím on shore power only and is intermittent and is just loud enough to wake me up every time and I need to stop it! It just started midway through a 3 week trip. I have a house battery monitor that is showing that my batteries are charged fully so could it be that the bird went bad?
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:42 PM   #2
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THOR #20289
It could be the BIRD cycling to keep the chassis batteries fully charged by connecting the coach batteries to the chassis batteries. Do you have any chassis loads that may be pulling down the chassis batteries causing the BIRD to cycle in and out to keep them powered?

David
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Old 11-21-2020, 04:57 PM   #3
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Thanks!
Yes I have a cell phone booster power plugged into my cigarette lighter but that’s about it. I don’t remember hearing the sound in the past however so I’m curious if there is something to check or if something is malfunctioning.
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Old 11-21-2020, 06:30 PM   #4
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Hook up a voltmeter to the chassis battery and watch the voltage. If you have a significant current draw the voltage will drop below 12.7/12.6 (the normal resting voltage of a lead acid battery) then the BIRD will click in and the voltage will rise to 13+ for a while as the coach system charges the chassis battery. Then the BIRD will click off and the voltage will drop again to below 12.6/12.7 and the cycle will start all over again.

David
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Old 11-21-2020, 06:49 PM   #5
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I really appreciate it! I’ll check it out ASAP.
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Old 11-21-2020, 06:58 PM   #6
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THOR #1765
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
Hook up a voltmeter to the chassis battery and watch the voltage. If you have a significant current draw the voltage will drop below 12.7/12.6 (the normal resting voltage of a lead acid battery) then the BIRD will click in and the voltage will rise to 13+ for a while as the coach system charges the chassis battery. Then the BIRD will click off and the voltage will drop again to below 12.6/12.7 and the cycle will start all over again.

David
Thatís all good info. The other thing is that you have to be plugged in to shore power or running the generator for this to work. The BIRD will not open the Trombetta until it senses 13.1v or more.
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Old 11-21-2020, 07:32 PM   #7
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Thanks again. So what is the trombetta in relation to the bird?
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:29 PM   #8
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The left hand one in the pic with the large wires is the trombetta which is a solenoid that the BIRD opens and closes. The BIRD is the black box next to the trombetta.
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:32 PM   #9
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Some more info on the BIRD and trombetta.
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Old 11-21-2020, 08:44 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info and the photos. Very helpful
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:26 PM   #11
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I am having this problem too!

reading this, I think this is my problem as well!
I am getting this clicking noise, same area. happening all the time, connected to shore or not, all the time. wakes me up at night, lights flashing, radio light on for 10 minutes. cycles about every 35 minutes. I disconnected the wires on the (BIRD?), mine looks different than pict above, and clicking stops. what ever it is, its draining my engine battery. or something is and this relay is engaging the house batteries to charge engine battery???
thanks for all the info, I had no idea what the thing is, now I have something to go on. I like this forum, thanks for everyones participation and support.
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Old 11-21-2020, 09:41 PM   #12
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Ok, you have identified the source of the clicking, so lets work on what is drawing down your chassis battery.

The easiest thing to do is buy a DC clamp on ammeter. Amazon has them from Klein and Extech (two Chinese brands that have been around a while) for about $90.

Otherwise umplug shore power and check the chassis battery's voltage. It should be near 12.6. Then wait for about 4 hours and check it again. If it is lower than 12.5 then you have a fairly significant draw on the battery, more than something plugged into the cigarette lighter. Then see what could be drawing more than an amp or so of current.

David
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by galOnTheGo View Post
reading this, I think this is my problem as well!
I am getting this clicking noise, same area. happening all the time, connected to shore or not, all the time. wakes me up at night, lights flashing, radio light on for 10 minutes. cycles about every 35 minutes. I disconnected the wires on the (BIRD?), mine looks different than pict above, and clicking stops. what ever it is, its draining my engine battery. or something is and this relay is engaging the house batteries to charge engine battery???
thanks for all the info, I had no idea what the thing is, now I have something to go on. I like this forum, thanks for everyones participation and support.
What year Vegas do you have? Thor has switched from BIRD/Trombetta to BCC (Battery Control Center to BIM (Battery Isolation Manager), so to start you have to know which you have. The house batteries should not engage to charge the chassis battery. The systems are designed to only operate when the engine is running or on shore power Or generator. That being said, it could be malfunctioning. If you disconnected “it” and that solves your issue, then you probably have isolated your problem. You could have a short in the BIRD that is engaging the trombetta and that is the clicking sound you hear. Replacing the BiRD (Trombettas seldom go bad - but they do) or the BIM is a lot cheaper than taking it to a mechanic at $125 per hour. Before I did that, I would reconnect to see if the system is working both ways. I.E. the engine alternator is charging the house batteries and the generator is charging the chassis battery.
Careful. There is a lot of energy coming out of the batteries thru the trombetta. Grounding one of the trombetta posts to the frame can melt medal and give you a serious burn.
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Old 11-21-2020, 10:45 PM   #14
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re : oneikeys, thanks for your reply. I have a 2017, build and sold in 2016. I am trying to figure out if BIRD or something else, will respond when I have more information, thanks again.
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