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Old 08-19-2018, 09:16 PM   #1
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Rear Air pressure gauge almost zero-Dutch Star

Hello
Was going to drive the MH from my house to storage today and noticed during warm up that the rear air tank gauge was just above zero and did not rise at all.
I thought it the tank was less than a certain amount (75psi?) the audible low air warning would sound. There was a read light on in the gauge but no sound.
I released the parking brake and checked to see if it would move forward and it did twice. I thought below that threshold (75psi?) the spring brakes would apply themselves.
I shut off ignition and restarted and had same reading. I turned it off and applied brakes until the front gauge was at 50psi and restarted engine and watched the front brake pressure rise with buzzer on but not the rear which stayed at the same mark the whole time.
Not knowing it is a gauge issues or something wrong with the system I shut down and left it here.
When I got the MH the front gauge wouldn't go over 100psi so had the filter replaced and some valve replaced and then both tanks would read 115-125psi.
I just picked up from shop 2 weeks ago and did a 360 mile round trip with no issues. Just thinking I did have them replace a solenoid for the air horn.
Any ideas of what is going on?

Thanks
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Old 08-19-2018, 10:15 PM   #2
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I have a test bulletin for gauges and pdf on dash communication system repair .
For Freightliner chassis .
Is your coach on a Spartan or Freightliner chassis.
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Old 08-20-2018, 01:26 AM   #3
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Rear Air pressure gauge almost zero-Dutch Star

What I read in your post is that the indicators are strangely screwy, but everything seems to be operating properly. This sounds familiar.
If you’re on a Freightliner chassis in that vintage DS, check into your Vehicle Data Computer (VDC).
The VDC handles feed from both electrical and air sources, and sends data to the dashboard gauges and warnings. There is a well known electronic failure in the VDCs of that era (cold solder joint). I had the same issue in my ‘02 Dutch Star. Air gauges would jump around, but the actual air systems acted normal.
Have someone check it out. If there’s a local Freightliner shop that’s done a lot of motorhome chassis work, they’d probably be ok. If they‘re just a truck shop they may be fishing blind, too. Might be your best bet to make an appointment and take it to Newmar in Nappanee. It’s only a couple of hours from you. The focus on the coach part, but they may have a couple of old timers who know their way around, or could point you at somebody there or up around Elkhart.
Good Luck!
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:26 AM   #4
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You might try changing the connectors on the air gauges and see if the problem follows to the other gauge and if it doesn’t then probably the gauge. Usually if the VDC is the problem on one of the air gauges you will also get an audible warning.
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:16 AM   #5
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Oops I’m sorry it’s a Spartan chassis.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rowekmr View Post
Oops I’m sorry it’s a Spartan chassis.
Contact Spartan Motor Home Support, with your chassis serial number , and ask for an air system diagram .
That diagram will help with the low air sensor locations.

1-800-543-4277

There has been a post , about similar issues , I'll try and track it down .
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:22 AM   #7
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Here are a few posts from other members with similar problems .
One has a contact name for info from Spartan ; another pictures of sensors .
The pdf in one, may not be of any help , because for the reasons I mention in my posts , it doesn't appear to be the right one for the member's chassis.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f25/spora...rm-390557.html

Parking Brake light

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f25/parki...ht-398057.html

The names of the 2/3 posts are the same but both are from different members.
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Old 08-21-2018, 04:59 AM   #8
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I had both of our sensors replaced and the wiring fixed in 2016 after purchasing our coach. Last summer after having the air springs replaced we had a failure that the air spring company was adamant that I hit something to cause the failure. My one sensor must have been damaged with the sudden loss of pressure so it shows no pressure but everything works fine, with about 5-6k miles since the failure. I have not gotten around to replacing the sensor again yet. I figure I will take care of it later this year or next year if it was alarming I would have fixed it already. A previous owner must have had an alarm issue with this because my mechanic told me that someone jumped the one sensor to the good sensor to shut the alarm down. He spend at least a day fixing the wiring.
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Old 08-31-2018, 05:41 PM   #9
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Well I got a chance to check some things out and here is what I found:
I raised the jacks and MH sat on deflated air bags. I started the engine and let idle.
After idling the front tank went slightly above 125psi when governor kick in.
Rear tanks stays at 25psi with a red light in the gauge but no buzzer sound.
Low air buzzer goes off after about 70psi in front tank
MH air springs raised at all 4 wheels.

I found the lanyard for the tanks and pulled on the one on the passenger side and it sounded strong. I pulled on it for awhile and check both air gauges (left ignition switch on engine off) and the air in the front tank was at 75 psi rear was still at 25 psi.

I started engine again until the front tanks reached 125psi and I heard the governor kick in then shut off engine and left ignition on. I then pulled the lanyard on the other tank for the same length of time (90 seconds) and it sounded the same as the other tank. After 90 seconds I checked air tank and front was 75psi and rear 25psi.

I started engine and ran it until the air tank was again at 125psi then shut it off and put the jacks back down.

I am thinking it might not be the threaded rod for the height sensor if the rear suspension raises and lowers. Also from the sound of the air being released from the air tanks I am hoping it is just now a gauge issue.
I am wondering if it is safe to drive it to the shop.
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:27 PM   #10
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It sounds like a gauge issue.

The compressor cuts out with a signal from a un-gauged, wet tank. That wet tank supplies the 2 gauged tanks thru a double check valve tee.

Can you swap wires on the senders to see if the problem moves to the other gauge ?

That, or screw in a Schrader valve and check pressure with a tire gauge.
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Old 09-01-2018, 01:24 AM   #11
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You have a bad sending unit. You will find them on the trundle (brake pedal) under the floor. I've had 3 of them totally quit on me. I'm adding a link to Summit Racing. They sell the part that you need. There are 2. One for the front tank and one for the rear and they are side by side. Open the Generator compartment and look at where your brake peddle comes through the floor and you will see them. Swap the connectors and check your gauges. If the situation flips then its the sending unit. Let me know it this works.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/sw...Stewart+Warner

I carry a spare just in case and I installed regular gauges in the compartment so I can check my electric gauges against what they say. They are easy to change, only takes a few minutes. Do not call Spartan. If they have them in stock they'll charge you $120 for the same exact product. Believe me, I know.
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:01 PM   #12
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This sounds exactly like my brand new to us 2001 Dutch Star 3883 FL 300HP CAT. I was driving it home last Wednesday from the sellers and the issue is both air pressure gauges go up then down, then normal, then full then empty, then normal. Every time they go wonky the "low air" red light comes on but no audible sounds. The gauges also do not necessarily go wonky at the same time either. Sometimes the front is registering just fine while the rear is empty then full then normal then full then empty etc etc. The speedometer is also out on accurate speed readings and its got a little tiny jump to the needle while travelling. I don't mind spending parts money on it. I would just like to fix it with no labor money on this issue. haaaaa. You think it's the VDC?

Thanks
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New 2 Newmar View Post
This sounds exactly like my brand new to us 2001 Dutch Star 3883 FL . You think it's the VDC?

Thanks
I'm surprised you didn't find this info in the forums ; as VDC low air gauge issues are common for Freightliner chassis of our vintage.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Freightliner gauges operation , testing.pdf (127.9 KB, 7 views)
File Type: pdf vdcrepair.pdf (292.8 KB, 6 views)
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:27 PM   #14
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Hi Skip, awesome thanks. You talked about a pdf in post 2 but I didn't see any links and in post 7 you talked about spartans. I did find the 54-12 wiring info at this link
http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/go...44_sbu5412.pdf earlier but this vdc repair you just gave me looks amazing and I'll definitely give that a try. I was only wondering though if my defects added up to the VDC cause Randy says in post 4 the VDC error usually comes with audible warnings which I haven't heard yet? And then theres post 11. Maybe that's my prob but that's a spartan?
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