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Old 12-16-2013, 03:24 PM   #1
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Rig won't run

2003 Class A 330 Cat - Allison trans.

About a month ago I ran the rig after replacing a transmission line. I ran it for about 30 minutes. No problems, no leaks so I shut her down.

Last week, as I was preparing to take the rig for it's annual State Inspection, I turned the key and it started right up but quit after about 20 seconds. Dash lights all went out when it shut down. Then it would not start again, in fact there was nothing when I turned the key.

I put the batteries on the charger and waited a while and tried again. Started right up then quit after 20 seconds, same as before.

I changed the fuel filter and installed two new batteries today. Tried again with same result. Ran 20 seconds then off & dash lights out. Turned key off then back on and nothing. Waited a few minutes, and it started up and died again as before.

Any advice?/Clues?
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Old 12-16-2013, 03:54 PM   #2
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You need to tell us a bit more about your rig, Is it gas...diesel etc.
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:10 PM   #3
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Sorry,

2003 Class A Diesel pusher. 330 Caterpiller. Frieghtliner Chassis. Allison Transmission.
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:21 PM   #4
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This would be a guess but could it be a bad ignition switch?
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:30 PM   #5
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I would start with determining where you do and don't have a solid 12VDC when it "dies" like this.

Depending upon the coach manufacturer and anything else previous owners may have added/subtracted along the way, my first instinct would be to look for some sort of 12VDC auto resettable breaker in the ignition system somewhere. If it's bad it's possible that it's tripping which is de-energizing your dash (and RUN) and then when it cools off it automatically resets allowing power through it again.

Start at the chassis batteries compartment and work your way around with a meter and a flashlight.
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:53 PM   #6
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First, thanks for your quick responses.

Sorry folks, but I'm not that much of a mechanic. I can do stuff, but the jargon is not familiar to me. Also, the rig is in my driveway and I doubt it could be towed out. If I can't fix it, I'll have to find a mechanic that makes house calls.

94-Newmar: We're original owners, so nothing has been added that runs off chassis batteries. All of the additions we've done are to the interior, and most of that is in the form of decorating.

I wouldn't have a clue where to look for a "12VDC auto resettable breaker in the ignition system". Perhaps you can explain for what, or where I should be looking.

I know how to put a meter on the battery terminal to see what it reads, but what do I do from there? Work my way around what/to where?

Alan Wilson: Is the ignition switch where the key goes? If it is, I've had the dash apart before to replace the speedometer (a plug in unit). Getting to the switch should be no problem. How do I check it? Or should I just replace it?

Thank you.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:14 PM   #7
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Coach stored outdoors? It's possible a rodent has chewed on the wiring and created a short that trips a circuit breaker that (as 94-Newmar said) auto-resets. When the breaker trips it cuts power to the fuel solenoid and a host of other items, which means the engine gets no fuel. Wiring problems are a real pain-for anyone regardless of knowledge and expertise. Such a problem must be approach logically and methodically. Do as 94-Newmar said, begin at the batteries and trace the wiring. Sure it will be slow, tedious work, but if you have the time to spend it will be much cheaper than a mobile technician @ $100/hr. or more.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03flstsi View Post
First, thanks for your quick responses. Sorry folks, but I'm not that much of a mechanic. I can do stuff, but the jargon is not familiar to me. Also, the rig is in my driveway and I doubt it could be towed out. If I can't fix it, I'll have to find a mechanic that makes house calls. 94-Newmar: We're original owners, so nothing has been added that runs off chassis batteries. All of the additions we've done are to the interior, and most of that is in the form of decorating. I wouldn't have a clue where to look for a "12VDC auto resettable breaker in the ignition system". Perhaps you can explain for what, or where I should be looking. I know how to put a meter on the battery terminal to see what it reads, but what do I do from there? Work my way around what/to where? Alan Wilson: Is the ignition switch where the key goes? If it is, I've had the dash apart before to replace the speedometer (a plug in unit). Getting to the switch should be no problem. How do I check it? Or should I just replace it? Thank you.
I asked my nephew about your problem as he is a master tech for Ford. He said it sounds like a bad ignition switch given the description of what is happening and he said to bypass it to see if it starts or just replace. His reasoning is that you are losing dash lights and they come back. I'm sorry but I can't tell you how to bypass the switch. Maybe someone on here can tell how so you don't just start buying parts to throw at it.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:58 PM   #9
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Just a thought - the oil, being colder and thicker, may be causing the pressure sensor to shut the engine down due to not sensing enough oil pressure at startup. Any way to warm the oil pan? (block heater or other source).
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Old 12-16-2013, 08:07 PM   #10
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Consider the possibility of an ignition solenoid failure. I've copied a post and pasted below from RV.NET by Brent Wolfe that describes some diagnostics. Maybe following these steps will help. If your ignition switch is not sending voltage to the ignition solenoid, or the solenoid is failing, you would probably get the symptoms you describe.

Also consider calling the Freightliner Help Desk (free service). Have the last 6 digits of your vin number available when you call. They are very helpful. 1 800 385 4357

Lastly, please tell us what the real solution turns out to be when you get it fixed....Fred
===============================================
First diagnostic: when this happens do any of the "only work with ignition on" accessories work? Dash HVAC fan, transmission shift pad illuminate, etc?

If not, suspect the IGNITION SOLENOID, ignition switch or wiring between them.

Find the solenoid. Troubleshooting is quite easy with a voltmeter:

One large lug will have chassis battery voltage all the time.
The other large lug will have chassis battery voltage only with ignition on.

If the second lug does not have voltage with the ignition on, the solenoid is bad, ignition switch is bad or wiring between them is bad.

SO, locate the small terminal(s). If only one, it is the 12 VDC positive from ignition switch and ground is through metal body of the solenoid. If two small terminals, the second one is ground. So, with ignition on, check for 12 VDC at the small positive terminal. If power, but no power to the second large lug, the solenoid is bad. If not power to the small terminal, problem with ignition switch, fuse for ignition or wiring between switch and solenoid.

3 minutes with a voltmeter will tell you.

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Old 12-16-2013, 09:00 PM   #11
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My 2001 330 cat did the same thing. Only difference is it would last about 2 minutes and turn off. The dash would come back alive if I waited for about 5 minutes OR if I wiggled the 12v circuit breakers in the panel with all the relays.

I finally figured it out...the relay for the ignition was bad and would cause the circuit breaker to overheat and shut off until it cooled down.

Call Freightliner to make sure you have the right relay for the job. There are at least 2 different amp ratings on these relays. They all look alike. In my case several relays had been change by the previous owner and he bought the lower amp relays and they didnt hold up.

Maybe this helps??
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:19 PM   #12
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When troubleshooting I try to start at the last thing touched or worked on.

Did you say this problem started after replacing a "transmission line". Not sure what a transmission line is in this case but there are electrical things in the Allison system that will stop the engine.

Good luck. Let us know the answer.
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffian View Post
When troubleshooting I try to start at the last thing touched or worked on.

Did you say this problem started after replacing a "transmission line". Not sure what a transmission line is in this case but there are electrical things in the Allison system that will stop the engine.

Good luck. Let us know the answer.
Very good idea.
Many vehicles has a low oil pressure shut down. Now in order for them to start there has to be a delay so that it will run long enough to make oil pressure. That might be the 20 seconds.
Did you happen to unhook a wire from anything when replacing that transmission line. ?
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03flstsi View Post
2003 Class A 330 Cat - Allison trans. About a month ago I ran the rig after replacing a transmission line. I ran it for about 30 minutes. No problems, no leaks so I shut her down. Last week, as I was preparing to take the rig for it's annual State Inspection, I turned the key and it started right up but quit after about 20 seconds. Dash lights all went out when it shut down. Then it would not start again, in fact there was nothing when I turned the key. I put the batteries on the charger and waited a while and tried again. Started right up then quit after 20 seconds, same as before. I changed the fuel filter and installed two new batteries today. Tried again with same result. Ran 20 seconds then off & dash lights out. Turned key off then back on and nothing. Waited a few minutes, and it started up and died again as before. Any advice?/Clues?
I had a similar problem with my 02 HR, same engine. It would only run for a few seconds then shut down. Found out that the alternator failed and the voltage was very low. Had it rebuilt and everything working OK now. Hope this helps...check the volt gauge on the dash when the engine is running.
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