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Old 08-24-2019, 08:45 AM   #1
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Sudden alarm/gauge loss

2004 Alpine 36 FDS with Vansco


Odd event yesterday with no known prior occurrence. Started coach, let it warm as I did walk-around inspection, etc. Started out, entered freeway on-ramp and accelerated to enter traffic lane while climbing a slight grade. Nothing out of the ordinary as this is the typical drive as I leave the storage yard.


Suddenly, the alarm goes off and three dash lights come on--oil pressure, temperature, and voltage. Quick glance at the gauges shows all three non-functioning. Immediately pull to the shoulder and shutdown. First thought, it's a blown fuse/connection to gauges as all three are in the same Actia unit. Could be a computer glitch so I tried just restarting. Everything came back to normal, all gauges worked, etc. No more problems on drive home.


I have the white faced Atica gauges.


I did some research here, and Engineer Mike's posts helped me get an idea of the role played by the gauges, dash lights, alarm, etc.



My main questions are, does anyone think this is a "one-off" random event, a bad connection to the ECM, or something else? Should I wiggle or disconnect/reconnect the gauge cluster wiring harnesses?



Is the Vansco involved in this or just the ECM?


Leaving on a trip tomorrow and I know this will be in the back of mind the whole trip. If nothing else, I'd like to muffle the alarm sound so I can tolerate it while driving. From all the previous posts in this forum, I could not find the definitive location of the alarm! Suspect it's in the Speedo cluster, but not too sure as it sounds like it's behind the steering column shroud.
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:12 AM   #2
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Rarely is something like that a random one time event. But the first year I had my '04 coach the fuel gauge stopped working for a few days. Then started working again. And has never happened again in 15 years! So random event is possible.

Sorry, but I have never had a similar problem. And I never found the buzzer either. (But I didn't look that hard.)

Have a good trip!
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Old 08-24-2019, 01:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim A View Post
Rarely is something like that a random one time event. But the first year I had my '04 coach the fuel gauge stopped working for a few days. Then started working again. And has never happened again in 15 years! So random event is possible.

Sorry, but I have never had a similar problem. And I never found the buzzer either. (But I didn't look that hard.)

Have a good trip!
Thanks for the reply.



One thing I did learn was that the fuel gauge is separate from the system that controls the oil, temp, and voltage gauges--go figure.


I'm leaning towards an oxidized pin connector or a software hiccup, given that it all cleared up upon restart. I just hate having the worry of a repeat event sitting in the back of my mind. At least I know it's just the gauges and not really low oil, over temp, and no voltage all at once.



Gotta quiet that alarm though.
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:16 PM   #4
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First thing, reset the Vansco (turn both battery disconnects off for 30 seconds). I suspect it is a ground issue so make sure the ground post stud (behind panel in front of passenger seat) nuts are tight, I donít really think this is the issue, but it is good to check anyway). Then reach up under the dash and be sure the connector to the Actia cluster is tight. Gremlins like this are tough to find, but tenacity is the key.
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:33 PM   #5
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Is it a Workhorse W22 chassis with the 8.1 engine?
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDaveMA View Post
First thing, reset the Vansco (turn both battery disconnects off for 30 seconds). I suspect it is a ground issue so make sure the ground post stud (behind panel in front of passenger seat) nuts are tight, I donít really think this is the issue, but it is good to check anyway). Then reach up under the dash and be sure the connector to the Actia cluster is tight. Gremlins like this are tough to find, but tenacity is the key.
Thanks Dave. I already removed the dash panel to access the back of the gauges and disconnected/reconnected the plugs. I also suspect a ground that is common to just those three gauges, but not sure how to find it. Iíll try your suggestion. Problem is, everything works fine since the original restart so everything is really a shot in the dark.
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
Is it a Workhorse W22 chassis with the 8.1 engine?
Alpine used the Peak chassis, Western RVís in house design. Mine has the Cummins 8.9 ISL, 400hp.
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Old 08-24-2019, 10:50 PM   #8
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Ahhh. Workhorse used an Actia gauge which is famous for that exact same problem. I'm on my third gauge.

When mine would go off it work scare me but now we don't even raise an eyebrow. It sounds and flashes for about 15 seconds, resets itself and is fine for another month or two.
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:47 AM   #9
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You could check for stored trouble codes. The lower level of ECM warnings do not turn on a check engine light but there will still be a code stored.
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:54 PM   #10
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Thanks for the feedback guys. Left today for a Labor Day retreat, traveled 4 hours without a glitch of any kind, just like every time before. Donít know if it will ever show up again, but if it does, it wonít be the heart-stopper it was the first time! Iíll see if my mechanic can find some codes when I return.

Arch, was your gauge a single round gauge divided into quadrants with fuel, volts, oil, and temp?
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:07 PM   #11
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Arch, was your gauge a single round gauge divided into quadrants with fuel, volts, oil, and temp?


No. Big round speedometer and smaller round RPM. Small gas gauge and small temp Gauge.
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