Vacuum Solenoids

wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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#1
Anyone know how to tell if your vacuum solenoid is bad? My actuator that opens and closes my exhaust diverter is not being activated properly and I think it's the vacuum solenoid, but not certain. I changed out all of my vacuum lines to rule that out and I believe the temp control module is not the problem. The Temp control knob on the front of the machine seems to be working too since I can tell it is opening and closing the Dema solenoid. The exhaust diverter is working hit and miss with mostly miss. Sometimes it will open and close like it's supposed to and other times it just won't work. My machine has 2 vacuum solenoids that are original with the machine so they're very old. Am I on the right track? Could I be overlooking something else? When this thing doesn't close the actuator the diverter stays wide open so I get almost no heat at all. I did find I can remove a vacuum line and manually close the diverter for a temporary fix.

Here are the solenoids to be clear what I'm talking about. https://www.jondon.com/ea-valve-primary-vac-sol.html
Btw, the actuator is definitely fine and the temp control module is fairly new. That almost leaves nothing but the vacuum solenoids as best I can tell.
 

Common janitor

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#2
Just checked and there are YouTube video’s on this Randy . Only thing I ever messed with was on a tractor or car etc.
Hope that helps and maybe someone with more knowledge picks this up .
All the Best , Ed
 
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wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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#3
Just checked and there are YouTube video’s on this Randy . Only thing I ever messed with was on a tractor or car etc.
Hope that helps and maybe someone with more knowledge picks this up .
All the Best , Ed
Thanks Ed, I will check that out and see if I can find something. I'm almost sure this is the problem.

I decided to go ahead and buy 2 new ones since if you buy them anywhere but Jondon you get a fair price. I found the exact brand name vacuum solenoids on E-bay new and shipped for about 19.00 each. They're 104. EACH + tax and S & H at Jondon so easily 220. for the same solenoids. I found out these solenoids are a lot more common than I imagined and come in different volts. I imagine they're on most Hydramasters and probably some other brands as well as numbers of other machines. I had no trouble locating numbers of places that sell them for under 25.00 each.

I don't mind supporting my supplier, but I don't like to get taken to the cleaners either. They price gouge VERY seriously on some of their parts. I'm not talking a few extra dollars either. I'm talking 2 to 4 times RETAIL value. This part exceeds over 4 X retail from what I can tell and probably over 5 X retail. This is NOT RIGHT! Kind of makes me angry. Sorry, had to rant since this has been an ongoing problem with buying needed parts from Jondon. There is no excuse for what I've seen them do numbers of times in just the past few years. I won't spill my guts about the several other times this has been an issue or this post would get out of hand! Normally I just go online and locate someone else to buy from, but with proprietary parts, you can't do that. My diverter valve on my Boxxer 421 comes to mind.
 
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wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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#4
Nobody knows anything at all about these vacuum solenoids? This is my first experience with them and hopefully my last. I'm thinking I might be able to bypass the vacuum solenoid temporarily by putting a vacuum line right on the actuator until I get my new solenoids in.

@Todd the Cleaner
@Jim Davisson
@anybody who knows more than I do about these things!:)
 

Jim Davisson

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#5
Are you getting good steady power to the solenoid when it's being called for? Not sure how easy it is to check without it running. If power was an intermittent issue does it default to a normally open or closed situation for your actuator/diverter?
 

wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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#6
I haven't checked it for voltage, but I might try that tomorrow. With the machine on idle, I think it would be safe enough. The solenoids are right next to the belt which is shielded. I am not really sure if they're normally closed or open, but I imagine closed. I think the temp control somehow sends the 12 volts to it so it opens putting vacuum on the actuator so it goes down and closes the diverter valve. It appears power goes to the vacuum and Dema solenoids simultaneously and I can tell the Dema is working when I turn the temp control on the machine. The actuator only works sometimes so my diverter remains open.

I guess with the Diverter switch on the vacuum solenoids should both be getting 12 volts right? I'm still not sure why there are 2 of them and both are identical.

20181130_172352.jpg
20181130_172417.jpg
 

Jim Davisson

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#7
I looked it up, you have 2 relays one for each vacuum solenoid. One for the thermostatically controlled solenoid and one labeled manual. I would check voltage in and out of them as well. You should be able to swap them and run it to see if the thermostat side relay is breaking up/bad.
 

wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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#8
Thanks, I'll try that tomorrow too. Those things have been sitting in there for years doing their job w/o a hitch so I've never really paid any attention to them. They have my attention now though!
 
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wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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#10
The relays are a common auto store part, common use is for A/C's in autos, about $15 should you need one.
Thanks, that's good to know. I thought I couldn't get them locally and ordered some on e-bay. I didn't realize when I ordered that the shipping was over 3 weeks off! Anyway, I ordered 2 of them for 36 bucks. They're 104. each at Jondon. I'll check my local auto stores and see if they carry these. I bet just one of them is bad, but doesn't hurt to have a spare for the future.
 
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#11
I would try what Jim recommended and I would also check for any loose connections, cracked hoses and if the little filters on the face of them. If you pull the hoses off and flip the heat switch you should feel the vacuum pull or push from one or the other depending if heat mode is on or off. Check all horses for leaks one side should draw from you blower box and the other side usually pushes from
The engine manifold. Hope this helps
 
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wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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#12
I would try what Jim recommended and I would also check for any loose connections, cracked hoses and if the little filters on the face of them. If you pull the hoses off and flip the heat switch you should feel the vacuum pull or push from one or the other depending if heat mode is on or off. Check all horses for leaks one side should draw from you blower box and the other side usually pushes from
The engine manifold. Hope this helps
I changed all the vacuum hoses. I was wondering what that vacuum hose coming off the engine was for so I'm glad you mentioned it. (y) I'm guessing one solenoid must be acting to close the actuator and the other one opens it. Does that sound right? That would explain why there are 2 of them. Evidently, the one that opens it still functions perfectly, but not the one closing it if I'm understanding this right. I may go ahead and remove those filters and see if I can clean them. I was thinking they could be clogged up after so many years.

Thanks for the post that definitely does help. There is nothing whatsoever in the Boxxer manual about these things.
 
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#13
Yes the one connected to the blower vacuums and the one connected to the manifold pushes. Make sure to check your actuator as well because if they take on any water it’ll blow the diaphragm inside and sometimes only work in one direction
 
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The Magician

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#14
In picture 2, you have brass mesh filters probably 2 of them. Pull them out and Clean them They could be blocked. I spray them with starting fluid and blow them dry. Its part of maintenance. Also make sure your diverter shaft is not sticking.
 

Lau

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#15
You might want to check the 2 check air valves on the vacuum tubes near the water pump. I think you can check the actuator by removing one vacuum hose and covering the hole with one finger. If the actuator moves easily might be broken. Also one technician recommend me to always lube the Piston part of the actuator. I had the same problem last year but I had to change the engine (not because of this problem)and after that I had no problem with the diverter. I agree that some times Jon Don tries to make too much money of people. Even the water pump for my boxxer is double ($300) than other places online. Good luck
 
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