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Old 10-16-2017, 07:22 PM   #1
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Comfort Drive intermittent

My comfort stear has not worked consistently since I purchased the coach. Gaffney Freightliner just tried to duplicate the problem but could find nothing wrong. It never works when we start out in the am but sometimes starts working later in the day. Any thoughts /suggestions?
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Old 10-16-2017, 09:22 PM   #2
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Wow, intermittent problems. They’re the worst. Probably a bad connection but if Gaffney can’t find it sounds like you’re in for the long haul until it finally breaks for good.
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Old 10-17-2017, 07:12 AM   #3
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First thought:
Are you shutting off the battery disconnect? The CD depends on knowing where straight ahead is and that gets lost at battery disconnect.

Second thought:
If you are not doing that, what fault codes did they find? If the CD itself is really shutting off sometimes, there WILL be a record of it and the diagnostic program will reveal the cause. If it's a wiring issue, the CD has no way of telling.

You really can't tell what's going on inside the CD without the diagnostic program. That's why I wrote it and give it away free. There is just no excuse for not using it.

Third thought:
Are you really sure it's the CD and not the hydraulic system? When it (whatever 'it' is) is not working, can you steer from one end of travel to the other and back again? If the hydraulic system is working, you should be able to steer while standing still but it might need a little more than one firm hand on the wheel. It will certainly take more than one finger in a spoke that the CD allows.
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Old 10-17-2017, 07:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenSherwin View Post
First thought:
Are you shutting off the battery disconnect? The CD depends on knowing where straight ahead is and that gets lost at battery disconnect.

Second thought:
If you are not doing that, what fault codes did they find? If the CD itself is really shutting off sometimes, there WILL be a record of it and the diagnostic program will reveal the cause. If it's a wiring issue, the CD has no way of telling.

You really can't tell what's going on inside the CD without the diagnostic program. That's why I wrote it and give it away free. There is just no excuse for not using it.

Third thought:
Are you really sure it's the CD and not the hydraulic system? When it (whatever 'it' is) is not working, can you steer from one end of travel to the other and back again? If the hydraulic system is working, you should be able to steer while standing still but it might need a little more than one firm hand on the wheel. It will certainly take more than one finger in a spoke that the CD allows.
Thanks so much for your contribution Ken. You would think Gaffney would understand all this. If they don’t, what hope do the rest of us have?
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Old 10-17-2017, 07:59 AM   #5
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Honest question here: What of what I wrote is unclear? I really want to write so that everybody who reads my posts can understand what I say.
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenSherwin View Post
Honest question here: What of what I wrote is unclear? I really want to write so that everybody who reads my posts can understand what I say.
I understood it Ken if you’re directing the post to me. What I was saying is that the chassis factory should be able to troubleshoot the OP’s problem, but they didn’t apparently.

If I disconnect the batteries, can I then point my steering wheel straight and reconnect and have it be centered? Mine is off center going down the road.
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
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If I disconnect the batteries, can I then point my steering wheel straight and reconnect and have it be centered? Mine is off center going down the road.
Second item first. How far off-center is the wheel? Normal tolerance is plus or minus about 15 degrees and it can be adjusted in 10 degree increments by repositioning the wheel. More importantly, how far off is the CD? The diagnostic program can both measure and repair that.

Now the battery restore procedure, as documented in the IRV2 files section at:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/downloads.php?do=file&id=150

That document also has installation and manual diagnostic procedures, in case anybody is interested.

And I quote:

Wake-Up Procedures
Normal Wake-up Procedure
that must be performed every time the battery is disconnected and reconnected.

Step 1:
Turn the ignition key on. You should hear a "click" in the ColumnDrive. If you do not hear the"click", turn the key off, listening for another "click". If the ColumnDrive does not "click" at key on or key off, electrical troubleshooting is required.

NOTE: Mechanical misassembly will not make the Column fail to “click”.
Step 2:
Start the engine. If the steering wheel is more than 90 degrees from straight ahead, position the steering wheel to straight ahead, then shut the engine off and restart it.

Step 3:
Slowly move the steering wheel about 45 degrees either side of straight ahead several times.

During one of the passes across straight-ahead, the torque to turn the wheel will suddenly get much lighter and the steering wheel will try to return to straight-ahead. The system is now awake and ready to drive.
If this procedure does not make the ColumnDrive operate normally, continue to the Extended Wake-Up Procedure.


Extended Wake-Up Procedure
NOTE: If the battery is reconnected with the ColumnDrive approximately two revolutions off center, it is possible for the ColumnDrive to wake up two revolutions off-center. If the battery is reconnected with the ColumnDrive more than ½ revolution off center, it is possible that the ColumnDrive will not wake up at all. The Extended Wake-Up Procedure recovers from both of these conditions.
Step 1:
Start the engine and steer to the full left steering lock then steer to the full right steering lock. One of these motions will erase any incorrect center position caused by starting it two turns off center.

Step 2:
Steer back to straight ahead and turn off the engine for at least 30 seconds.

Step 3:
Perform the Normal Wake-Up Procedure by restarting the engine and slowly moving the steering wheel about 90 degrees either side of straight ahead several times.

NOTE: If the system does not wake up, inspect the wiring and mechanical assembly before replacing the column.


This procedure was revised in 2013 and really ought to be in the manual for every coach but I was unsuccessful in getting that to happen. <sigh>
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:57 AM   #8
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Ken, thank you for the explanation. I could not figure out what the click click was and now I know. I always disconnect my batteries when in short term storage (less than a month). But, my wheels are always centered and straight before I do the disconnect.

Thank you again for the info.
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:15 AM   #9
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I assume we are talking about chassis batteries here and not house batteries.

I would also like to thank you Ken because I didn't have a clue about any of this. You also said you wrote a diagnostic routine or program, how do I get a copy of that and how do I load/run it? I have had ZERO problems with mine but always like to be prepared.
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Old 10-17-2017, 11:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I assume we are talking about chassis batteries here and not house batteries.

You also said you wrote a diagnostic routine or program, how do I get a copy of that and how do I load/run it? I have had ZERO problems with mine but always like to be prepared.
Yes, I meant the chassis batteries. Sorry that wasn't clear.

The diagnostic program is available right here on IRV2 at:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/downloads.php?do=file&id=217

To actually use this program, you must have the hardware adapter that connects the computer's USB port to the SAE J1939 diagnostic port on the coach. Anybody who can read Cummins engines or Allison transmissions already has this adapter. If all you did was to download the self-installing program, if you actually needed to use it, you could give the technician the program and let him install it on his computer. If I were you, I would not buy the hardware adapter (several hundred dollars!) just in case it might be needed someday.


and the instructions are right beside it at:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/downloads.php?do=file&id=216

You can download and read the instructions so you can see what needs to be checked when checking out the system. This program is all I used most of the time. If I wanted even deeper engineering details about the specific code, that software was several thousand dollars.

Thank you IRV2 for letting me put this up there.
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Old 10-17-2017, 07:44 PM   #11
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Such great info!

I am about to put my coach in for the long winters nap and was going to ask if there were any specific procedures regarding the CD, also if disconnecting the battery long term would adversely affect the CD at all.

So...thanks again for all your input and help on here Ken!
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:24 PM   #12
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It will enjoy being driven much more than being parked. Just keep driving. I'm kidding, of course.


To make the CD's task of finding straight ahead so easy it's unavoidable, park with the wheels straight before you disconnect the battery. This turns the coach into a shelf life test for the CD and it is VERY robust to such treatment. No problem at all.


But you could tell your wife that it really would like a nice trip to the Keys or perhaps Arizona from Thanksgiving to the end of basketball season.
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
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It will enjoy being driven much more than being parked. Just keep driving. I'm kidding, of course.


To make the CD's task of finding straight ahead so easy it's unavoidable, park with the wheels straight before you disconnect the battery. This turns the coach into a shelf life test for the CD and it is VERY robust to such treatment. No problem at all.


But it really would like a nice trip to the Keys or perhaps Arizona from Thanksgiving to the end of basketball season.
I definitely like that last piece of advice best of all!! THAT should be in the manual! At this chapter in our life, we have 3 small kids...so, that part of the CD's 'preventative maintenance' simply has to wait until the summer months. lol

As always, good stuff...thanks Ken!
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:20 PM   #14
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As always Ken thanks for the information and links this thread will be going into PROBLEM SOLVERS in QT's # 3.
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