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Old 01-08-2016, 11:00 AM   #1
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Tach stopped working

The tach/ hour meter in dash have stopped working. Tach sits on zero then makes a full sweep couple times a minute. Hour meter also flashes hyphens then after the tach sweeps full it reads LESE for a brief moment.Have checked ground and seems good. Anyone have any ideas, new tach is $145 but don't want to buy unless I am sure that is the problem. Gauge is a VDO programmable series 1 with led hour inside.
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Old 01-09-2016, 10:13 PM   #2
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Have you checked the plug that connects the wires to the gauge? It sounds like a loose connection on the back of the gauge. Any other gauges showing similar glitches?
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Old 01-10-2016, 04:15 AM   #3
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Yes checked the plugs and all seem good/ tight, Other gauges all work but do not read perfectly, volts read low and temp reads high according to the Silverleaf and monitor panel. That was why I was looking for a loose ground but have not found one. Everything seems to be connected and tight, spades are hard to pull off and slide back on. Voltage is low at panel with a meter and am now wondering if I have a drain/ positive wire problem. Will keep working on it and hopefully find something.
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Old 01-10-2016, 09:26 AM   #4
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The new facts you've added do tend to point to a poor ground. You mentioned you checked grounds and all seem tight. The only true way to 'check a ground' is to add a second ground in piggyback to see if it is truly conducting like it should. I keep a variety of jumper wires with alligator clip ends for testing.

According to where you test voltage at an instrument panel you might find low voltage. Often a voltage regulator is built in to the cluster to control voltage fluctuations.

You might also check connections at the ECU and the speed sensor on the engine. All places a bad Tach signal could come from.
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:51 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info, had not thought about adding another ground and couldn't hurt to try. I agree that ground is the prime suspect and it has reared it's ugly head up in the past..... Not sure where the speed sensor is, will have to get the schematics out and try to figure out what controls or how or where it gets its signal from. VDO calls these gauges programmable to get signals from different sources. Alternator, ECU, ect. Guess I will have to do some reading.
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:33 PM   #6
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waternut,
My 2000 Magna, same engine, has problems with gauges. The tach and speedo are OK but oil pressure & voltage read low, coolant temp reads high. Other owners of similar aged CC's say I need a better ground. I just rely on my VMSpc program.

On my coach there is a ground buss bar under the dash on the passenger side. You can access it by removing the panel in front of the passenger seat.
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:40 PM   #7
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Many tachs run off the alternator.

Knowing that with the low voltage and higher temps would have me looking at the belts and alternator.
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:51 PM   #8
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I ask if your rig uses a gauge driver at the engine area and multiplex cabling to the gauges. Freightliner has used this system for years and has had trouble with the vdm at the engine with bad solder joints. This will give problems as stated by you and phays. Mine had problems with the oil pressure gauge and I re soldered the main connector to board joints with no reoccurance
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Old 02-27-2016, 07:52 AM   #9
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I don't know if you have gotten this resolved but I had a similar problem and it turned out to be my alternator going out. It was intermittent for several months with associated drops in chassis voltage. In addition to replacing the alternator I added a digital voltage gauge to allow more accurate monitoring of the alternator voltage output. Fixed the problem in my case.
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Old 02-27-2016, 04:58 PM   #10
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No it isn't fixed yet. I ran a new ground wire to the chassis frame and didn't help.Am starting to lean toward buying a new tachometer as it seems like I have two problems both tachometer related. One is the hour meter and the tachometer itself. Alternator seems to be working like it should and all the wiring plugs seem tight. The Silverleaf works and and is telling me RPM no problem. So if they both get their info from same place and one isn't working am suspecting the gauge.
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Old 02-28-2016, 01:52 AM   #11
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If you can confirm that both get their rpm information from the same source that would be telling. I don't have the exact same system as you as my coach is an earlier '90 Concept. I know in my case the tach gets its signal directly from the alternator. For several months it was intermittent until it finally had a hard failure. When your tach acts up do you get any drop in the alternator voltage? I did get a drop in voltage but it not easily detected as my voltmeter gauge is analog and does not give much more than a general indication of voltage output. I added a digital voltage gauge which gives an accurate output indication. If you haven't already, you can test the output voltage of the alternator right at the alternator itself. My voltage is about 12.7 volts at idle and 13.7 volts at driving rpm's. Hope this helps.
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