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Old 09-20-2017, 12:28 PM   #1
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98 Tradewinds won't start

My 98 Tradewinds 7370 won't start. It won't even try to turn over. When I turn the ignition to on, everything comes on like normal.

I suspect the transmission could be the issue. It initially shows it is in neutral, but then this symbol appears (attached photo)

Does anyone know what that symbol means? Is it blocking the starter from turning because it isn't able to confirm it is in neutral?

Thanks for any help you can offer!



Additional info:
My RV had a small fire, caused by the tailpipe falling off, and exhaust blowing into the back wall. It melted the left tail light, and some of the insulation off the the wiring to lights and the back up camera, as well as some cosmetic damage. The fire didn't come anywhere near the engine compartment, other than the radiator reserve tank, which shows a little blackening.

It was loaded on a flatbed and hauled home by a professional towing company about a month ago. Battery levels seem to be OK, but just in case, I connected jumper cables from a Chevy Duramax pickup, and even tried connecting the house batteries (via the boost button on the dash). None of this made a difference.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:46 PM   #2
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That's the infamous 'cat's eye' symbol. It means an error code has been set or there's a problem with the Allison module getting power. Try turning on the ignition and waiting 10 seconds before starting the engine. You can search on Google for the Allison Transmission cats eye symbol. and find out more information.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:55 PM   #3
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I don't see that symbol in the codes file , but you could try pulling codes .
Also what chassis is your coach built on ? Freightliner ?
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Allison trans codes.pdf (425.7 KB, 7 views)
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:10 PM   #4
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I don't see that symbol in the codes file , but you could try pulling codes .
Also what chassis is your coach built on ? Freightliner ?
Yes, it is a Freightliner chassis.

I've heard there is a way to pull codes via the cruise control resume button. Does anyone have instructions for this?
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Old 09-21-2017, 12:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post


That's the infamous 'cat's eye' symbol. It means an error code has been set or there's a problem with the Allison module getting power. Try turning on the ignition and waiting 10 seconds before starting the engine. You can search on Google for the Allison Transmission cats eye symbol. and find out more information.
I did a search for the Allison cats eye symbol, and found it means low power getting to the trans. (batteries/ground wire/other wiring connections)

The batteries are old (7 years), so I took them to an auto parts store to test them. Yes, they are shot (even though they showed some charge).

Could it be as simple as swapping the batteries? I'll report back.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:40 PM   #6
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New batteries installed. Still has the "cateye" symbol. Still won't crank over.

I suppose I now need to try to find a lose wire or something?
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:09 PM   #7
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There are some Freightliner chassis that had issues with a poorly soldered splice in the battery power wiring to the Allison ECM , as to location , or the years involved I can't provide any info.
But with the heat involved in your other problems that splice may have been effected.
If you don't already have chassis wiring diagrams and schematics from Freightliner please call the help line , with your serial number, for those files.
Wiring splices show on the schematics and are located in the diagrams .

1-800-FTL-HELP
1-800-385-4357
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:39 PM   #8
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Update - working great now!

I had a Freightliner tech look at it. He found some "creative wiring" that was causing the problem. Apparently, a previous owner had jumpered a wire onto the transmission controller harness, to trip a relay when the vehicle ignition is turned on, to turn on something they had added.

The tech unplugged this jumper wire, cat eye symbol disappeared, and it fired right up!

Hooray!
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