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Old 02-26-2015, 12:43 PM   #1
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Dead Coach – Stranded

2005 Alpine Coach 36' FDDS


Dead Coach – Stranded
Does anyone know how to start the engine when the Actia Guage LED shows “ENGINE COMM ERR” & TRANS COMM ERR”
There is no voltage getting to the ignition. The Actia LED shows a -V where it normally shows the battery voltage.
The batteries are good. I have checked as many ground as I can.
On the fuse box in the battery compartment there are three 5 amp fuses marked for Ignition power. There is zero voltage at there base.
What supplies power to the fuses?
I have other post:
Engine Won’t Start or Even Crank
Trans Comm Err - Engine Comm Err - HELP
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:00 PM   #2
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did you take all the battery cables off the batteries clean the terminals and reapply the cables?
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Old 02-26-2015, 04:20 PM   #3
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I had a similar problem on a post back around 2-8-15 you can check out. I do not know how you checked power at the switch. The power to switch comes on when you turn switch to run position which comes from the Vansco. It powers up the 3 white wire on the ignition switch Accessories, Ignition and start. All three should have voltage. The black wire is the Ground which is connected to the battery terminal on the switch. When you turn key to start, it seeking ground to start. To get power at three fuses in engine compartment, the key must be in the on position.


On mine with key on Rear Vansco inputs 1,3,4 are on. Outputs 3,4, 13, 14, 17 , 20 and maybe 19 goes on and off. 13 and 14 are ignition power.


To start the power returns back through the Vansco and the start solenoid (5) should be lit.


Hopefully you have a list of the Vansco numbers and what they go to.


There is also a twisted pair of wires to communicate between both Vanscos.


Once Vansco's are programmed they do lose their memory.


The ignition switch part number is Pollack 31-322


Do you measure voltage coming in to rear Vansco. On the upper right plug there 2 12 volt wire coming in and there is no ground wire there.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:56 PM   #4
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Yes, I have all the VMM LED numbers and what they do. I have photos of the PDM & both VMM’s with the ignition on & off. That’s 6 photos. You mentioned the three 5 amp fuses in the rear come on when the ignition is turned to the on position. Thanks, I didn’t know where they received their power from. But turning the key on does nothing except make the Actia Dash needle swing back & forth. And the LED on the dash reports “engine comm err & trans comm err”, plus it shows a –V where the normal battery voltage is displayed. I think –V means zero voltage however all the checked out OK.
On the rear VMM led 13 & 14 are flashing indicating a problem with engine comm & transmission comm. I simply don’t know how to redouble shoot the “engine comm err & trans comm err” errors.
The Vansco VMM is doing the correct thing in that it is reporting a problem, now I need to figure the errors. Also, when the key is turned to “start” absolutely nothing happens. Because the is no voltage returning to Rear VMM 5 to power the starter solenoid. Is it possible to jump start an Alpine Coach with a Vansco System? I don’t know if it is possible but if it is I sure need to know how. The airbags are down and the HWH jacks are up – so the coach is very low to the ground and I don’t think anyone can get under it. I’ll see tomorrow – I’m only 170 lbs. Is it possible to Jump wire the HWH Jacks so I can get them to raise the coach? I’ll call HWH tomorrow. Well, as you see, I’m in a real fix. If you can find out anything give me a call. 513-383-8946 Thanks, TJ
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:04 PM   #5
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Could be/probably is unrelated but my buddy's 05 had an intermitten engine/tran comm error issue. Local Cummins shop analysis showed a faulty/shorted coolant level sensor. Hard to say if sensor was the problem or a problem but something like this may be the issue for you----good hunting.....
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:23 PM   #6
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Are you near a Cummins shop, they are familiar with their engine and Vasco? Maybe you can give them a call.


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Old 02-26-2015, 08:50 PM   #7
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TJ, I wonder if this has something to do with the J-1939 bus? Perhaps a call to Cummins Coach Care in Coburg, OR? My contact there is Steve Scott. They are familiar with VMM equipped Alpine Coaches.


Steve Scott
Coach Care Supervisor
Cummins Northwest .
Phone # 541-687-0000 Ext 5023
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:07 PM   #8
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As far as putting air in the system, I just opened the holding tank compartment and put tee in with a quick disconnect and it airs up the coach fine. I put the tee in where the manual air drain is.


As far as jump starting my coach has the Cole Hersey starter solenoid on the back side of the battery box which is easy to bypass to starter to turn engine over.


Do you have power to the 3 fuses. I am guessing maybe one of those fuses could supply power to the Cummins ECM, which if the ECM does not have power to start and run the engine. Also there would have to have power to the neutral start switch.


I did not see where you said if checked the 12 volts on the two wires coming into the Vansco? I was just wondering if there could be a power problem coming in. Also since the ignition switch and the Vansco system seeks ground to connect. You could check grounds at the ignition switch and the Vansco.


Vansco does have a trouble shooting guide, I think found in the library. Quotes below


5. Output LED's will turn on if the output is active based on Ladder logic. If an output short circuits, it will flash approx. 1 per second.


6. If an output light is off(based on ladder logic) and flashing approx. one per second, this means it is being Backdriven by something on that pin.
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:56 PM   #9
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Recently I had a dead 2006 Alpine Apex. Long story but symptoms were, 1) no start, 2) no rear brake or turn signal lights, 3) no NET indicator at front Vansco.
I was able to start coach by turning ignition to run position and jumping across starter solenoid on rear fire wall with a heavy wire. A little sparking but it did crank and start the Cummins. I was able to drive short distance without rear brake/turn lights.
Final fix was a bad wire connection at the 35 pin connector (pins 32, 33 red and green ?) at front Vansco. I could make NET light turn on/off by flexing wires going into 35 pin connector. I found a diagram/description of the 35 pin connector on the internet. It describes how to release the 35 female connectors by twisting each wire. I released no. 32, 33 and cleaned, tightened and lubricated w electrical connector grease. Now all is well. If interested in more call me at 520-207-8408.
Tom
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Old 02-27-2015, 09:37 AM   #10
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Thanks to everyone who are trying to help me. This situation just keeps getting crazier. I’m at an RV repair shop in Lake Wales, FL getting a panel fixed and painted. I’m parked in a gravel parking spot (50 amps, water, sewerage) at there place. I started the coach and pulled forward 50 feet and shut it off while they did something. I restarted the coach and backed up to the parking spot. No over the road vibrations or anything. It just won’t start and nothing works. A lot of RV’ers on IRV2.com seem to think it’s just a bad ground wire. That was the last time the coach started. However, at that time, everything else worked. Front slide, HWH. Then all that stuff stopped working and today, after one week, the front slide, HWH started working again. I just thought I’d give it another try because I need to get under the coach to check ground wire and the ECU. Like Engineer Mike sometimes says, “Brain Fart”. Go figure. Well I have the coach jacked up and I’m out to check all the grounds I can find. I know this is rambling on but – I’m an “Old Fart” dealing with a “Brain Fart” kraig, Thanks for the input. The Vansco seems to me to be working OK but I’m not an electrical engineer. Like I said, I have photo of what LED’s should be on or off in both key on & off situation. The LED’s seem to be OK from my photos. They are powered up & NET is flashing however rear 13 & 14 are flashing and they are IGNITION POWER are per the Vansco chart. So what they are reporting is correct – I have no ignition power. There is no power getting to the three 5amp fuses and one 10 amp fuse marked Ign Air in the battery compartment. Maybe the get powered from the ignition through the Vansco. I have the Vansco troubleshooting guide but it doesn’t help much. Like if there is no power to the ignition, is the Vansco stopping it or just reporting it? I can’t seem to make sense of the ladder logic chart. tomaryj, Thanks for the input. Do you know where the three 5 amp fuses get there power from? My , Vanso’s are both flashing NET as they should, so that is not the problem.
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Old 02-27-2015, 10:01 AM   #11
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Since you have no power to those fuses you obviously need to find the source. As you are finding that can be a miserable task.


Beg, borrow, or buy a Fox and Hound. Do a search for the devices. You can apply a tone to the fuse circuit that does not have power and then use the wireless device to sniff out the path. You may have an ignition relay that is not functioning or has its own fuse blown.


Since you are in a pinch you could fuse your own wire and apply power to those circuits. Use a 10-15 amp fuse in case there is a short somewhere.
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Old 02-27-2015, 03:02 PM   #12
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This is just a guess as mine is a 2000. Since the fuses are so close to the battery's. I would check the wires off the positive post on the engine batteries for a good connection or off the main disconnect switch if its near the battery compartment. This would be a smaller wire on the + post, not a large battery cable. Be very careful. Good luck.
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Old 02-27-2015, 04:01 PM   #13
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Just a thought, do you have battery voltage "and" do the head lights come on? If headlamps come on, attempt to crank the engine. If it is a bad battery connection, or ground, the headlights will go out and then come back on in a few seconds after you release the start key or button. That is a quick observation test without volt meter, etc.
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Old 02-27-2015, 08:39 PM   #14
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The Coach Is Running -- BUT!!!!!

THE COACH IS RUNNING --- BUT, I spent 4 hours cleaning all the grounds I could find but I am sure that was not to problem as they all looked good and tested good with a needle point continuity tester – but I cleaned them all anyway. I have 4 Vansco VMM's, two that were on the coach when it was new and two WRV sent me on a recall. I never sent the original two back because they would not send me a prepaid UPS sticker. So I started changing them around, old one in the back, new one in the front, etc., etc., etc. Finally I got the coach started. Oh! Yeah, The 4 fuses in the battery compartment have no power to them until the ignition get turned to start (maybe run also), but they have no power to them with the ignition off. But, yes BUT, and a big but. The coach started BUT No Gen Slide Out, No HWH and maybe other things, but the engine ran. So I started changing the Vansco around again and again and finally, with a different combination, I got the Gen Slide Out and the HWH to work. But another BUT. With this combination of VMM’s the engine will not start. So now, I can run but when I need fuel I will have to change the VMM’s to the GEN/HWH RUN configuration and after topping off the fuel I will have to change back to ENGINE RUN CONFIGURATION. One of the other VMM’s does nothing, absolution nothing – no led lights at all. It was an original and worked perfect when I removed it due to the recall – now, after just setting in a box it does nothing. Should I ask why? So I am going over to Tampa, FL to Cummins Coach Care and see if they can figure it out – if it keeps running. The thing I cannot figure out is it “The Horse of The Cart”. I mean if a coach part caused the VMM’s to flash (or fail) then why when I change it for a different VMM do the same LED’s not flash and different things work – or – is the VMM the culprit and causing the coach to fail. It’s been a real experience and I don’t wish it on anyone else. BUT it’s not over – on to Cummins Coach Care. Thanks to everyone who helped, I will post the results from Cummins. Thanks again. TJ
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