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Old 05-24-2018, 09:11 PM   #1
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Question Lights and horn

Good evening;
Prepping for our first trip (to camp) since picking up our coach.
Checking over stuff and found the running lights (head, tail and marker) will not function, nor will the horn. Instrument lamps, directional and flashers work fine.
Can anyone tell me if there are permissives cor these circuits?
I have checked all fuses and swapped out all relays in the unswitched fuse box. I have wired around the box and made the headlights come on. Power and ground to the unswitched fuse box show good with a test light. I do not have a print of the chassis lights.
Oh. Changed out the light switch.
Everything else seems to work.
Suggestions?
Thanks,
Lazybyrd
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:43 AM   #2
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...based on your last post, I see you recently acquired a 2003 36ft Alpine. You need to help us help you by including the model year and model type in your posts. Suggest updating your profile and signature block so info always appears with your posts.


So, did any or all of these circuits work when you were buying the coach? Although I recently learned that at least one 2003 was built with Vansco comm. modules, but sounds like you have traditional 12v automotive-style fuses. My 2003 has three separate black fuse boxes. The fact that some things work and others don't, makes the diagnostics harder to do. If you have confirmed 12v power to all three boxes, only thing I could suggest is testing each circuit. Perhaps other owners will have some suggestions....

PS--not sure what "permissives" are but you have switches in the smart wheel and control module [eg horn, high beam lights, etc] and the light switch on the dash. If all fuses check out, guess I would check the light switch and connections next--easy to do and cheap to replace.....
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:21 AM   #3
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You should also look at the grounds
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Old 05-26-2018, 05:35 AM   #4
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Lights and Horn

By permissives I meant are there any conditions that must be satisfied before an event will occur.
An example would be the key must be on before the HWH will power up.
I had a very extensive inspection performed on the coach before I made the purchase.
I do have the fuse boxes that are inside the panel in front of the passenger seat.
I have checked all fuses and swapped out all of the relays.
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Old 05-26-2018, 06:27 AM   #5
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OK--I see what you mean. On the 2003, one fuse box is "switched," one is "un-switched," and the other is perhaps accessory or a combination [all controlled by the position of the ignition switch]. Accordingly, my recollection is that exterior lights work with ignition off; signal lights work with ignition on, HWH works with either ignition in "on" or "accessory" position. However, this doesn't seem to explain all that you say isn't working????? So none of this came up during the inspection?
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Old 05-26-2018, 10:05 AM   #6
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Lights and Horn

No sir.
I attended the inspection and the lights as well as the horn worked fine.
I am thinking along the same lines as Dr. Dave.
Seems since the structure is fiberglass every circuit needs a dedicated ground.
I appreciate the discussion. Helps me think it through.
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:01 AM   #7
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...yup, grounds are important for this application but as a result, almost every appliance I can think of on an Alpine has a separate ground and 12v feed wires so they don't depend on contact with the mounting bracket, or whatever, for a ground to the body... this is a weird one--keep us posted.....since apparently everything worked during inspection??????
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Old 05-27-2018, 06:06 AM   #8
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Lights and Horn

The inspection showed only one clearance bulb not functional all others as well as the horn worked fine.
Thanks.
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Old 05-27-2018, 07:29 AM   #9
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Check all the grounds going to the chassis. Not just that the grounds going to the studs are clean and tight BUT that the stud itself is making good contact with the chassis. I had this problem and it took 5 professional guys 15 hours to find one stud that was not making contact even though all the connections to it were good. 2000$ labor and .50cent part!

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Old 05-28-2018, 06:32 AM   #10
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Lights and Horn

I suspect something just as you describe.
I have them working for the time being but cannot definitively put my finger on the cause.
Without the knowledge of the cause I have a worst case scenario on a reoccurring problem.
Fun stuff!
Thanks
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:17 AM   #11
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I have the same problem on my 05 American Coach Tradition. No marker lights or tail lights, but my headlights, turn signals, brake lights, and reverse lights all work.

Spoke to Spartan today and the tech asked if I have a smart wheel. yes I do. He told me to go to the Smart Wheel Decoder box and disconnect the black wires (big one first, then small one) then do the same for the white wires. Check for dirt and grime in the connections and clean. Then plug the wires back in, in reverse order.

He says that since the place these decoder boxes under the entry steps that they get a lot of dirt and grime. He was pretty adamant that this would solve the problem.

I have not tried this yet but will do so tonight when I get home.
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:17 AM   #12
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Lights and horn

I did check all of the connections for the wheel that are in the steering column. I had concerns about one wire that is open ended.
If I am not mistaken the box for the smart wheel for my Alpine is under the dash on the driverís side.
I will give this a shot and see what happens.
Thank you for sharing this info.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:06 AM   #13
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......the smart wheel can be problematic--often impacts cruise control or wipers. S/W does control high beam/dimmer, exterior light blink, horn, etc, but don't recall reading about S/W as a problem in this area. I was having trouble with cruise so took the buttons on the wheel apart [mounting screws underneath wheel] and cleaned multi-connector--issue resolved. S/W also has a small digital control box inside steering wheel that can also be problematic. Again, not sure the S/W is the issues here but cleaning the keypad connectors on the wheel might help??????
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:10 AM   #14
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The solution offered to me by Spartan did not work. Damn encoder was stuffed in the dash and difficult to get to. Nothing wrong with the connections. Tracking down the schematic and will be checking continuity at the encoder.

Have plan B setup with taking it into a Truck & RV repair shop on Monday. Will report back.

Thanks.
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