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Old 08-25-2017, 09:06 PM   #1
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Transmission ECU - Power Interupt

I'm just kind of thinking out loud and seeing if anyone has had a similar issue. I'm looking for any hints on how to best go about inspecting some wiring.

I recently got a yellow engine warning light that, after research, turned out to be caused by a power interruption to the transmission ECU. This was determined after using the transmission control panel to read out the main error code 35 and sub-code 00. Using the Spartan panel I also got some code readings that supported that finding. BTW...the fault cleared out after an engine restart and didn't return during a couple restarts and short trips. We have been parked for 6 weeks since then.

I stopped by a Rush truck service place to chat with them about what I found. The service manager said that over 90% of the 35XX codes are caused by corroded power or ground connections. He was very helpful and provided me a block diagram of a typical code 35XX schematic drawing (See TCU WIRE DIAGRAM.PDF). He also mentioned that sometimes the wire loom can be the cause for wire chafe in some cases.

I should also note that right at the beginning of that same trip I had an unexplained sudden, significant downshift while doing a full throttle acceleration onto I-80 but it didn't throw any fault codes. Backing off the throttle let the tranny upshift as normal. The service manager wasn't surprised by that.

The diagram shows a VIM module. Spartan uses a Bussman module for that function. This is covered in the Spartan wire diagram which I have enlarged the pertinent parts. It includes the wiring from the battery to both components and between the Bussman and ECU. (See BUSSMAN ECU WIRE DIAGRAM.pdf and BUSSMAN WIRE DIAGRAM.pdf)

Looking at the Spartan diagrams I'm assuming SPL-XX means splice. I see that I have 2 splices I will need to find. I'm wondering if these are wire-wire splices or perhaps to some kind of post. I'm hoping they aren't buried in a wire loom.

Obviously, I will double check connections at the battery terminals. It could be that simple. I would also think I should look at use of some kind of contact cleaner as I remove to inspect some of the plugs.

It will certainly be a chore to trace wire bundles. I'm thinking that given the single event that I could go after the obvious and easily accessible sections of wiring to see if I find a problem. If it was something as simple as easily accessed connections then problem solved. If it returns, time to get real dirty. LOL

Any thoughts or suggestions?

TANX for listenning.

TCU WIRE DIAGRAM.pdf

BUSSMAN-ECU WIRE DIAGRAM.pdf

BUSSMAN WIRE DIAGRAM.pdf
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:45 AM   #2
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Sky Boss,


I had a wiring issue earlier this year that affected my dashboard instrumentation. As it turned out, there was a corroded wire that ended up being the culprit.
The corroded wire had been pierced by someone testing that wire.
The reason I mention this is for a couple of reasons.
1. Your coach is not brand new and I don't know if you are the original owner, so a previous owner may have done some troubleshooting and pierced a wire.
2. Having a problem like this is in my opinion likely to happen where the wiring is exposed to the elements, so it should be able to be gotten at. (And in my case it was. LOL)
3. I would be looking in places near the axles where the wiring goes over or around the axles as my first place to start looking. My rational is that crap is more likely to be sucked up as is road spray and it meets my criteria as in my item 2. LOL
4. When you find the problem, be sure to put a good sealer over any connections you fix or replace, so it doesn't happen again. :-)


Hope this gives you something to think about.


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Old 08-26-2017, 07:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
I'm just kind of thinking out loud and seeing if anyone has had a similar issue. I'm looking for any hints on how to best go about inspecting some wiring.

I recently got a yellow engine warning light that, after research, turned out to be caused by a power interruption to the transmission ECU. This was determined after using the transmission control panel to read out the main error code 35 and sub-code 00. Using the Spartan panel I also got some code readings that supported that finding. BTW...the fault cleared out after an engine restart and didn't return during a couple restarts and short trips. We have been parked for 6 weeks since then.

I stopped by a Rush truck service place to chat with them about what I found. The service manager said that over 90% of the 35XX codes are caused by corroded power or ground connections. He was very helpful and provided me a block diagram of a typical code 35XX schematic drawing (See TCU WIRE DIAGRAM.PDF). He also mentioned that sometimes the wire loom can be the cause for wire chafe in some cases.

I should also note that right at the beginning of that same trip I had an unexplained sudden, significant downshift while doing a full throttle acceleration onto I-80 but it didn't throw any fault codes. Backing off the throttle let the tranny upshift as normal. The service manager wasn't surprised by that.

The diagram shows a VIM module. Spartan uses a Bussman module for that function. This is covered in the Spartan wire diagram which I have enlarged the pertinent parts. It includes the wiring from the battery to both components and between the Bussman and ECU. (See BUSSMAN ECU WIRE DIAGRAM.pdf and BUSSMAN WIRE DIAGRAM.pdf)

Looking at the Spartan diagrams I'm assuming SPL-XX means splice. I see that I have 2 splices I will need to find. I'm wondering if these are wire-wire splices or perhaps to some kind of post. I'm hoping they aren't buried in a wire loom.

Obviously, I will double check connections at the battery terminals. It could be that simple. I would also think I should look at use of some kind of contact cleaner as I remove to inspect some of the plugs.

It will certainly be a chore to trace wire bundles. I'm thinking that given the single event that I could go after the obvious and easily accessible sections of wiring to see if I find a problem. If it was something as simple as easily accessed connections then problem solved. If it returns, time to get real dirty. LOL

Any thoughts or suggestions?

TANX for listenning.

Attachment 174394

Attachment 174395

Attachment 174396
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldHatt45 View Post
Sky Boss,


I had a wiring issue earlier this year that affected my dashboard instrumentation. As it turned out, there was a corroded wire that ended up being the culprit.
The corroded wire had been pierced by someone testing that wire.
The reason I mention this is for a couple of reasons.
1. Your coach is not brand new and I don't know if you are the original owner, so a previous owner may have done some troubleshooting and pierced a wire.
2. Having a problem like this is in my opinion likely to happen where the wiring is exposed to the elements, so it should be able to be gotten at. (And in my case it was. LOL)
3. I would be looking in places near the axles where the wiring goes over or around the axles as my first place to start looking. My rational is that crap is more likely to be sucked up as is road spray and it meets my criteria as in my item 2. LOL
4. When you find the problem, be sure to put a good sealer over any connections you fix or replace, so it doesn't happen again. :-)


Hope this gives you something to think about.


Drew
2003 Travel Supreme 40DS02
One of the issues we face in having a 10 - 15 Year Old Coach - just simple electrical corrosion.

Keep a multimeter/12 volt electrical tester handy to find most then, New wire ends or/and CRC 5103 Quick Dry Electronic Cleaner handy to correct/repair.

Hard to Imagine that a House can be driven all around the country with so Few Issues.

Thanks for the info, as we all, just try to keep them running down the road.

......
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busskipper View Post
...
Keep a multimeter/12 volt electrical tester handy to find most then, New wire ends or/and CRC 5103 Quick Dry Electronic Cleaner handy to correct/repair.

...
I'll get some of that CRC stuff and start with the obvious places I can access easily. The problem is that this was a one time event and there is always the possibility it was a fluke but it won't hurt one bit to clean up the obvious stuff.

THANKS!
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Old 10-11-2017, 08:41 AM   #5
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Since my last posting I did pull all connections to both the ECU and the Bussman (VIM?) modules. I cleaned all connectors with CRC 5103 and inspected as much wiring around them as I could easily access. I've run about 1000 miles since then without trouble until...

Yesterday we left Salina KS heading west and just as I was getting on the westbound I-70 ramp I get a yellow caution light and the transmission drops into neutral. The yellow caution light also goes out. I put it back in drive and we continued on up the ramp to see if was a fluke. We proceeded on westbound for about 30 miles and had a series of caution lights and once it kicked out my cruise control.

After stopping at a rest stop I makes some calls and opt to go back to Salina to Central Power Systems. They said they had a tech coming off of lunch about the time I would get back there. On the way back I didn't get a single caution and everything was "normal".

We did continuity testing on the power inputs to the ECM after the VIM and didn't find any problem there. We also jiggled every connection we could find on both the positive and negative side of things and never saw a loss of continuity.

See attached schematics...

The funny part is that the ECU is supposed to be (in effect) a direct connect to the chassis battery. Power to the ECU is actually provided from the VIM/Bussman module which gets it power from "clean" +12V and -12V sources. There are 4 direct connect circuits that we found on the batteries with each having their own fuse. (As you would expect.) The funny part was that when we pulled each fuse we never lost power to the ECU. We even found a fused circuit off of the chassis battery cut off switch in the engine compartment but that didn't change anything.

What we did was swap ECUs with the shop. The pulled my program off my ECU and uploaded it to the new one. At this point after a short drive back to the Salina KOA for an unplanned stay it seems OK for now.

I did call Spartan for any thoughts on where they connected the ECU to the battery system. They did say there should be either a direct connect at the battery or after after a big 100A main fuse. According to the schematics, if it does come off of the main fuse there is no indication of a fuse between that point or the ECU in the schematics.

You can also see a couple splices. SPL-31 provides dual +12V to the VIM and SPL-30 provides dual -12V directly to the ECU. BTW...the Spartan tech I talked to told me the SPL was a line/wire identification but I am not so sure about that. I admit I am ASSUMING "SPL" means splice but it could be a junction since there is a 2 AWG wire to SPL-31 but two 8 AWG wire connections leave SPL-31 to provide +12V to the VIM. Again, no fuse is indicated but the VIM provides fuse protection to the ECU. Also, there are clearly 3 identified circuit numbers and wire line identifications leading in and out of SPL-31 thus my theory that SPL-31 is probably some kind of junction terminal.

So, 3 questions are bugging me:

1. Where is that 100A main fuse located?
2. Where/what is SPL-31?
3. Where/what is SPL-30?
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:06 PM   #6
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What a day!

I've been plagued by intermittent check engine lights and the codes all revolved around power interrupt issues. For the most part they were nuisances but workable until I could get to a good shop. That ended today!

While driving south on I-25 about 100 miles north of Santa Fe the faults forced me to the side of the road. I was getting an "out of range" light and the transmission control panel had all kinds of weird things going on. It then dropped down to 2nd gear and the speedo went crazy. I got to the side of the road and shut things down. I then restarted and it wouldn't go into gear and I got strange thunking noises in the back as the tranny went in and out of gear.

A call to Spartan after hours support resulted in confirmation that there was a bad connection somewhere in the TCU system and that if I couldn't find it I would need a tow. OH BOY!

We were 3 miles from a rest stop so I decided I would pull and then reseat all connections to the TCU and the Bussmann. I also unseated and reseated every relay and fuse in the Bussmann. That seemed to fix the problem. I elected to go up to the rest stop and think things out a bit more. As I pulled into the rest stop I was again getting a check engine light but not the crazy transmission lights.

I then decided I would go back to the TCU and Bussmann. I again pulled all connections, relays and fuses but this time I used a quick drying contact cleaner on everything. I could see that the relay and fuse prongs were all showing tarnish. I didn't have something to further clean the contact points but it appeared the contact cleaner was removing some of the tarnish.

I also inspected as best I could the wires where they would contact pins and the harness connector blocks. I couldn't find any obvious problems and they all seemed properly seated. I did spray contact cleaner into all connectors. After a few minutes to ensure all contact points were dry I reseated all relays and fuses in the Bussmann and put the cover back on. After that I re-inserted all connectors in both the TCU & Bussmann.

After all of that I started the coach. Everything went very smooth. No check engine lights, the tranny pad performed normally and all codes on my command center were gone.

We drove the nearly 100 miles to our resort in Santa Fe without any problems. We even pulled off of I-25 twice and did a full shut down and restart to see if we could get it to fault. No problems. We even hit some rough road patches which had sometimes caused a fault but again, no problems.

I think I fixed it!

Now, I do plan to do some follow up activities. Given that I can't easily see the condition of the sockets in the Bussmann I am going to see how much a new one costs and preemptively replace it. If I can only get the Bussmann box without fuses and relays that won't be a problem. I can replace them with new ones.

I will also look into rebuilding all connectors to the Bussmann. The connectors to the TCU are a bit more foreign to me so I may leave them alone unless the problem returns.

Of course, there are a ton of other places I might need to look if the problem returns but I'm hopeful that I've corrected it.
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:06 AM   #7
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Transmission ECU - Power Interupt

Sounds like you have fix the issue.

When you mention the out of range issue I was wondering about the speed sensors connections on the input and output shaft of the transmission if you had checked those.

Hope things go smoothly now.

Richard
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
What a day!



I've been plagued by intermittent check engine lights and the codes all revolved around power interrupt issues. For the most part they were nuisances but workable until I could get to a good shop. That ended today!



While driving south on I-25 about 100 miles north of Santa Fe the faults forced me to the side of the road. I was getting an "out of range" light and the transmission control panel had all kinds of weird things going on. It then dropped down to 2nd gear and the speedo went crazy. I got to the side of the road and shut things down. I then restarted and it wouldn't go into gear and I got strange thunking noises in the back as the tranny went in and out of gear.



A call to Spartan after hours support resulted in confirmation that there was a bad connection somewhere in the TCU system and that if I couldn't find it I would need a tow. OH BOY!



We were 3 miles from a rest stop so I decided I would pull and then reseat all connections to the TCU and the Bussmann. I also unseated and reseated every relay and fuse in the Bussmann. That seemed to fix the problem. I elected to go up to the rest stop and think things out a bit more. As I pulled into the rest stop I was again getting a check engine light but not the crazy transmission lights.



I then decided I would go back to the TCU and Bussmann. I again pulled all connections, relays and fuses but this time I used a quick drying contact cleaner on everything. I could see that the relay and fuse prongs were all showing tarnish. I didn't have something to further clean the contact points but it appeared the contact cleaner was removing some of the tarnish.



I also inspected as best I could the wires where they would contact pins and the harness connector blocks. I couldn't find any obvious problems and they all seemed properly seated. I did spray contact cleaner into all connectors. After a few minutes to ensure all contact points were dry I reseated all relays and fuses in the Bussmann and put the cover back on. After that I re-inserted all connectors in both the TCU & Bussmann.



After all of that I started the coach. Everything went very smooth. No check engine lights, the tranny pad performed normally and all codes on my command center were gone.



We drove the nearly 100 miles to our resort in Santa Fe without any problems. We even pulled off of I-25 twice and did a full shut down and restart to see if we could get it to fault. No problems. We even hit some rough road patches which had sometimes caused a fault but again, no problems.



I think I fixed it!



Now, I do plan to do some follow up activities. Given that I can't easily see the condition of the sockets in the Bussmann I am going to see how much a new one costs and preemptively replace it. If I can only get the Bussmann box without fuses and relays that won't be a problem. I can replace them with new ones.



I will also look into rebuilding all connectors to the Bussmann. The connectors to the TCU are a bit more foreign to me so I may leave them alone unless the problem returns.



Of course, there are a ton of other places I might need to look if the problem returns but I'm hopeful that I've corrected it.


Where are these connections located? I would like to spray with silicone waterproofing.
Thanks David
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:38 AM   #9
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I'll get you a pic. Be a couple days as I'm away from coach currently.
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gasman 2 View Post
Sounds like you have fix the issue.

When you mention the out of range issue I was wondering about the speed sensors connections on the input and output shaft of the transmission if you had checked those.

Hope things go smoothly now.

Richard
Thanks for that added thought. That will be something I will follow up on next time I put it in the shop for my annual service. Of course, if that occurs again I will have that check sooner.

I'm keeping a close eye on my "fix". Here is why.

The issues I've had all occurred in conjunction with the transmission reporting a 3500 code. That code is shows a power interrupt to the TCM. That being said, sometimes I would be able to pull some other codes from the engine command center and my Scanguage on the dash and they were not consistent. The FMI numbers on some were indicative of valid but low electrical power. I'm having a problem with that not being entirely solved.

This is where things get interesting. I'm not sure if these power issues were a cause or effect. In other words, did my electrical system suffer a drop in power or were those codes the result of the sudden changes cause by other factors.

I've recently had my entire electrical system checked and my chassis batteries are only about 1.5 years old. Still, it is possible that a spurious drop in power could cause some or even all of the symptoms but that would require my batteries to also be shot to the point that any sudden drop in alternator output would or could cause under voltage. I suppose it could be something more simple like a bad battery connection but those have been checked. The only major connections I haven't checked are the ones at the 100A fuse.

The bottom line on all of that is there is still a possibility that something in the overall electrical system could be a factor. I should take some time to double check battery and alternator connections and perhaps performance of the 3 year old alternator.

Now, all that being said, it is also just as possible that the problem is/was centered around either the connections to and from the Bussmann and/or TCM or within the Bussmann itself. It is also circumstantial evidence that by cleaning up what I could that I actually corrected the problem HOWEVER, given the SHORT history of successful performance the jury is still out.
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:57 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
Thanks for that added thought. That will be something I will follow up on next time I put it in the shop for my annual service. Of course, if that occurs again I will have that check sooner.

I'm keeping a close eye on my "fix". Here is why.

The issues I've had all occurred in conjunction with the transmission reporting a 3500 code. That code is shows a power interrupt to the TCM. That being said, sometimes I would be able to pull some other codes from the engine command center and my Scanguage on the dash and they were not consistent. The FMI numbers on some were indicative of valid but low electrical power. I'm having a problem with that not being entirely solved.

This is where things get interesting. I'm not sure if these power issues were a cause or effect. In other words, did my electrical system suffer a drop in power or were those codes the result of the sudden changes cause by other factors.

I've recently had my entire electrical system checked and my chassis batteries are only about 1.5 years old. Still, it is possible that a spurious drop in power could cause some or even all of the symptoms but that would require my batteries to also be shot to the point that any sudden drop in alternator output would or could cause under voltage. I suppose it could be something more simple like a bad battery connection but those have been checked. The only major connections I haven't checked are the ones at the 100A fuse.

The bottom line on all of that is there is still a possibility that something in the overall electrical system could be a factor. I should take some time to double check battery and alternator connections and perhaps performance of the 3 year old alternator.

Now, all that being said, it is also just as possible that the problem is/was centered around either the connections to and from the Bussmann and/or TCM or within the Bussmann itself. It is also circumstantial evidence that by cleaning up what I could that I actually corrected the problem HOWEVER, given the SHORT history of successful performance the jury is still out.
Just My humble opinion - but you are working with - on - around the problem - get a really good Contact cleaner - https://www.amazon.com/CRC-Industrie...re-bullets-btf - re-clean the problems/connections put it all back to gether - and this should solve the issue.

If the actions you took corrected the Problem then ......IMHO it would Be the Problem -

Best of Luck,
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:36 AM   #12
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Just My humble opinion - but you are working with - on - around the problem - get a really good Contact cleaner - https://www.amazon.com/CRC-Industrie...re-bullets-btf - re-clean the problems/connections put it all back to gether - and this should solve the issue.

If the actions you took corrected the Problem then ......IMHO it would Be the Problem -

Best of Luck,
Yep...maybe you missed it but the CRC is what I used to initially clean some contacts up. I'm certainly hoping that I got it done. LOL
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:26 PM   #13
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Where are these connections located? I would like to spray with silicone waterproofing.
Thanks David

These are the input and output speed (RPM) sensors.

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Old 11-07-2017, 08:47 AM   #14
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To wrap this up...

I think I was chasing a red herring. It was perhaps a preference to find a more "simple" answer than tearing into the alternator, cables and ground systems. I'm comfortable with basic electronics but not so much with the more mechanical aspects of an automobile kind of system.

It originally appeared to me that the low voltage codes for both the engine and transmission were a symptom of low power to the Bussmann box. Instead it appears the root cause of these problems was chassis power. I'm not sure it was the alternator regulator, grounding or a little of both.

This thread covers what I did and how it appears to have fixed the problem. It also shows that I can learn new things. LOL

Fluctuating Alternator Voltage - Normal?
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