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Old 08-28-2018, 03:24 AM   #1
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2001 F53 overdrive problem

We bought our 2001 Fleetwood Southwind last summer and I admit I never paid much attention to the overdrive, I knew it was off since the light was lit, it didn't seem to function when I pushed the button. I was busy enough learning the coach and getting the feel for it's day to day needs and fixing stuff I found inoperative that it just didn't get a high priority.


This year we made a long trip out west and the overdrive worked sporadically, by that I mean it came and went like a cat using a litterbox. When I need it I can't seem to get it to work and when I don't need it to quit it will drop out and my rpm's spike.


I have the switch removed from the shifter and the wires are not broken and meter out showing continuity, I suppose it is easy to rule this out with a new button/light/switch as well which I may as well do, we didn't buy the coach to save money.



What else should a guy check on before throwing in the towel and taking it to a shop? What have others found that caused trouble with OD? Every search I have done no one seems to have had intermittent come and go function of their OD as mine is doing, could something be wrong in the transmission? It has 37K on it and is due a fluid service, I plan to do that as well but wanted to start a thread and ask for some input from folks along the way.


Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-28-2018, 04:36 AM   #2
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I'm following this post because I have the older O/D transmission.

No problems yet, but if they come up, I'll know where to look.

You may get a lot of posts mentioning the TOW/HAUL mode, because that's what the buttons been used for, after about 2004.
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Old 08-28-2018, 05:59 AM   #3
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Joe, This is a very common problem with Fords.

The OD (TOW/HAUL) button/light wires run up the inside of the gear shift stalk. These are small fragile wires. Where the wire bundle enters the stalk, they break. If I remember, I had to cut the wire bundles outer sleeve away to see the broken wires inside I was able to repair mine by pulling the wires out the end of the stalk, solder the broken ones, then pull them back into the stalk..

Repair overdrive button on shift column – 1999 Southwind 35S

Quote:
could something be wrong in the transmission?
I suspect your problem is with broken wires on the shifter, but since you mentioned the transmission..

There's a TSB for shifting issues on 1999 - 2000 F53 chassis.. This seems to effect shifting in 1st and 2nd gear.. As a precaution, I performed the TSB on my 1999 chassis.

http://www.1999southwind.com/f53-tra...-and-2nd-gear/
..
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Old 08-28-2018, 05:30 PM   #4
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Waiter I have continuity at all my wires and have them removed from the shifter. I drove the coach with my switch completely removed from the shifter and have noticed the same behavior. As I said I may as well try a switch first since they aren't terribly expensive as parts go, but I can't find anything wrong with this one. When it lights up the overdrive is off, and sometimes I can even push the switch and the light goes out as if normal. Then there are times when it jumps into overdrive on it's own, other times it kicks out of OD on it's own. I will dig deeper in the switch, you are a pretty good hand with a solder gun if you can slice them three wires and get them back in that shifter, not a lot of room.


I have also read nearly all your other F53/Fleetwood stuff you have done, you inspire new owners like me, thank you for the detail and taking the time to inform. The inverter is something I am looking hard at, I want to get one to have 120 vac power enough to run a tv and dvd layer as I drive so the kids can watch movies.
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Old 08-28-2018, 07:46 PM   #5
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Odrive on or off?

Joe , the wires usually break at the end of the stalk where the flexing occurs pull on the wires hard sometimes the insulation is the only thing holding . The ECM is looking for a voltage spike . So are you saying the Odrive light comes on by itself? Because if thats the case look for a short between the circuits. Heres diagram
Attached Files
File Type: pdf odrive circuit.pdf (217.4 KB, 30 views)
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Old 08-29-2018, 03:27 AM   #6
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It kicks in and out on its own is exactly what I am saying. I have removed the switch and wires from the gear shift lever and examined them finding no short or broken wires. Using my meter each wire shows continuity so unless the momentary switch is bad something else is causing the random on and off. I have been operating the coach with the switch and wiring unmounted, and the operation is the same as before, it comes and goes at random. Most recently it is locked out of overdrive and the switch does not re-engage it.


Thank you for the wiring diagram, seems the switch and a couple sensors are all I can check/replace short of the PCM being the culprit, my guess that is pricy.
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:59 AM   #7
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Joe; does the OD lite ever come on flashing? If so trans may fail safe . Have you ever checked ECM for codes ? I don't believe ECM has a problem, never replaced one for this. Jim
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
examined them finding no short or broken wires
Joe, did you cut the little bundle open and look at the wires? specif8ically in the area where the wires would exit the stalk.
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(www.1999Southwind.com)

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 08-29-2018, 05:44 PM   #9
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Jimbo the light does not flash, it is basically intermittent and the overdrive functions correctly when the switch is working.


I have to get a code reader to check for codes, my service engine soon light came on while driving in a rain storm and I had some water in my air filter and I am guessing that is why it came on, that is only a guess. Any recommendations on a decent code reader for a home repair guy?


Waiter I did just that very thing, stripped the insulation in that spot and then says to myself "Self, you may not be able to get that back in the gear shift lever with electrical tape on it" , which I cannot, I am going to replace all the wires and give it a go before I try anything else. I think phone wire is about the right size.



Thank you all for your input, very much appreciated.
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:55 AM   #10
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OK, I went thru my switch again, still have continuity and other than the light being on all the time the switch functions normally (provides a momentary closed signal) if I push the button, Being that the light is lit I didn't bother to check for incoming power figuring it is present or light would not be lit. I'm trying to locate the PCM and the two sensors shown in that diagram, I assume they are mounted to the transmission?



I reasoned that since my brakes lights also function, the brake switch must be functioning and can verify the power going to the PCM as soon as I locate it. I'm getting out the wiring diagram that came with the coach to check, anyone got some clues on the sensors and PCM locations?


Thanks.
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:38 PM   #11
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The PCM is almost directly in front of the brake pedal, down near the floor. You can see some photos here: If your going to remove the PCM, consider doing the TSB while you'r at it.

F53 Transmission shifting weird in 1st and 2nd gear – 1999 Southwind 35S


This should be a diagram of your switch. Its marked like its used as a TOW/HAUL, but on our year, its an OD on/off

http://2001mirada.com/DOWNLOAD/E1I03001.pdf


..
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(www.1999Southwind.com)

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 08-30-2018, 07:23 PM   #12
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Waiter thank you for hitting me back with that PCM location, I traced the wires into a big bundle under the dash and that is as far as I got. I have been kinda scattered since noon when I found out my father passed this morning but read your TSB thread previously and completely missed that location. I will spend a bit more time in diagnosing, and checking connections, but I'm leaning toward sensors needing serviced/replaced at this point.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:02 AM   #13
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Sorry to hear about your Dad. Take care of business then get back to this. Prayers for you and your family.
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:10 PM   #14
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Ok, so it is a year later and I am still dealing with no OD on this coach. To refresh things a bit, it worked intermittently at one point in the 8K I've owned it and it doesn't work at all now.



I have removed the switch from steering column/gear shifter and inspected wires for damages, found none, all three wires have continuity when tested and show no need for replacement. I am currently running it with all wires exposed and have gone down the road fiddling with the switch a lot and the light remains lit all the time, no blinking at all.



I have tried a different OD off button with the same results. I don't believe it could be anything in the button at this point.


I changed the rear differential sensor and changed the input speed sensor on the transmission with the same results. If it were the sensors, I believe it would show up in the diagnostics as both are listed in the codes as errors that can come up.



So I guess the net step is trace every wire I can looking for damage, probably once the humidity comes out of the air a bit more than it is this month, but I am open to suggestions on where else to look if anyone has any ideas, thank you.
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