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Old 05-17-2019, 07:42 PM   #1
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Exclamation 2005 Fleetwood with C7 - No dash lights, won't start, ECU lost?

Oh hey, here I was thinking the trip was going well....AND THEN....

I'm in a truck parking lot, ready to get back on the road, and when I try to start the coach I get the following messages on the Info Center (that little screen beside the steering column):

PARK SET IN GEAR
ENG ECU NO DATA over 25 seconds
TRANS ECU NO DATA over 25 seconds
ABS

Additionally, no idiot lights on dash, shifter is blank, and my odometer mileage is flashing.

Gages work (shows PSI, fuel, etc). Dash air works. Friggin low PSI buzzer works [side note: anyone know how to disable that??].

I called Freightliner, nothing useful to contribute. After I kept hammering on the fact that it looks like maybe something is loose??? they said perhaps there is something wrong with the J1939 communication wires. I might try taking the batts offline and then back on, IDK yet.

This exact thing happened last October in Illinois at a rest stop, but magically resolved 4 hours later while I was waiting for the tow truck. I still drove it into the Freightliner shop there, and $1000 later still had no answers.

Any suggestions?!?!?! Legit ones. Thanks.

Stuck in southern Wyoming until this gets resolved - guess I get to watch the wicked storms roll through
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GearGirl View Post
Oh hey, here I was thinking the trip was going well....AND THEN....

I'm in a truck parking lot, ready to get back on the road, and when I try to start the coach I get the following messages on the Info Center (that little screen beside the steering column):

PARK SET IN GEAR
ENG ECU NO DATA over 25 seconds
TRANS ECU NO DATA over 25 seconds
ABS

Additionally, no idiot lights on dash, shifter is blank, and my odometer mileage is flashing.

Gages work (shows PSI, fuel, etc). Dash air works. Friggin low PSI buzzer works [side note: anyone know how to disable that??].

I called Freightliner, nothing useful to contribute. After I kept hammering on the fact that it looks like maybe something is loose??? they said perhaps there is something wrong with the J1939 communication wires. I might try taking the batts offline and then back on, IDK yet.

This exact thing happened last October in Illinois at a rest stop, but magically resolved 4 hours later while I was waiting for the tow truck. I still drove it into the Freightliner shop there, and $1000 later still had no answers.

Any suggestions?!?!?! Legit ones. Thanks.

Stuck in southern Wyoming until this gets resolved - guess I get to watch the wicked storms roll through
Well Geargirl,
I could write you pages of what I think is wrong. WE had an almost EXACT same situation, with the EXACT same message on the "Medallion Information Center" (just in case you didn't know the wazoo name for that little screen). Freightliner is normally quite good in analyzing problems from afar, based on what customers are inputting to them, based on what the customer sees and or hears, or, DOESN'T see. Just in case you're interested, here's how things work, in your era coach.

We'll start with what's called the MMDC. Multi-Module-Data-Controller. It's a fancy name for a small black box, about 6" x 6" x 1.5" thick. That black plastic box is the primary brain for ALL information that's processed for you to see on your gauges. In Winne and Itascas semi-top-tier coaches, the Vectra and the Horizon of that model year, the MMDC is located inside the left front compartment, on a back wall.

In the next lower units, i.e. the Journey and Meridian, it's located up under the dash in various spots.

What the MMDC does is, receives data from:

1. Engine ECM
2. Transmission TCM
3. ABS module
4. Both primary and secondary air pressure inputs.

The MMDC receives ALL it's data, from all of those inputs (except the air pressure inputs, those are manually inserted via air lines), from what you mentioned. It's called the J1939 Data link. The J1939 Data link is nothing but, three wires, all twisted together, for the full length of the coach. You have TWO diagnostic ports tied to the J1939 data link. One is at the rear of the coach, visible by looking above the radiator and the second one is normally attached to the firewall, just to the left of the steering column. That one can be a bear to find since there's normally enough wiring and looms in that area to mimic the Los Angeles freeway system.

As stated, those three wires, a green, a yellow and a black, are twisted together and link all those components to the MMDC. The MMDC receives all input from all those components and then, like an interpreter, it interprets all the data and, then changes it to a media that can be sent to all your gauges and, your "Annunciator panel". Incidentally, the annunciator panel is the multi-colored light bar that has all the icons on it that flash at different times with different messages.

The Engine ECM and Trans TCM talk to the MMDC and, to each other, only on a different data link. The J1939 not only receives and translates data for your gauges AND YOU to read, but, it also processes input FROM THE DRIVER. Things like CRUISE CONTROL, EXHAUST BRAKE etc. are inputs the driver requests every now and then. When all parameters for any of those "requests" are in place, the MMDC, engine ECM and Trans TCM all work together to provide for your request.

Now, so much for a basic schooling on what and how things work. Now, here's "Potentially" where your problem lies. Those three wires, in that J1939, are one big loop. They travel from the rear of the coach, to the front, as stated and connect all the components as stated. But, and this is a big but, if one of those two colored wires breaks, the yellow or the green, becomes disconnected in some form or fashion, that will trigger EXACTLY what your annunciator told you when one of it's colored icons showed:

Check info center

When you looked at your Medallion information Center, it read, No engine ECM data for over 25 seconds and, No Transmission TCM data for 25 seconds. One potential cause for this message is as stated, one of those two colored wires has either broke or, has a bad connection. Another cause is a faulty ground in the gauge system. Although, normally if a bad ground is the cause of faulty gauges, it normally does not involve the MMDC or, the Medallion Info Center and, you wouldn't receive the message.

As for a remedy for your situation, well, this is the BIG dilemma. This could be just a bad ground. But, in many cases, it's not that easy to find where the bad ground is. But, if it's a defective connection in the J1939 data link system, this could be a NIGHTMARE to fix. How do I know, I'VE BEEN THERE!!! The J1939 data link system is actually a simple system. But, if and when it BREAKS, even the best of the Freightliner techs get taxed on it's repair.
Scott
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:37 PM   #3
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Call Freightliner back and have them send you wiring schematics and diagrams for your chassis . Available as pdfs , you want to save them, print them do whatever necessary to make sure you keep them and pass them on when you sell .
Question does the engine crank over and not start , or not crank over ?

I know there will be differences between our chassis , built 6 years apart , but two things to look for .
Once you have the wiring schematics , see if they show an inline fuse as the battery power for the engine ECM ; find and check that inline holder , between battery + and the ECM.
Look for the two boxes shown on either side of the Allison ECU in the photo below , in my coach passenger side of engine bay , but due to the length of wiring they could be different in yours) the control box on the left is the VDU communication hub between the engine and dash on my year , your chassis has a MMDC doing the same job and I believe they look similar . The box to the right has fuses and relays involved in transmission control as per the second picture .
All connections to these devices need to be checked for your intermittent condition.

A web site that may be of interest .

http://www.rvtechlibrary.com/electro...c_overview.php

EDIT: I see Scott posted while I was typing ( boy I type slow) sorry for any duplication, and hope you can track down your issue.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post

Well Geargirl,
I could write you pages of what I think is wrong. WE had an almost EXACT same situation, with the EXACT same message on the "Medallion Information Center" (just in case you didn't know the wazoo name for that little screen). Freightliner is normally quite good in analyzing problems from afar, based on what customers are inputting to them, based on what the customer sees and or hears, or, DOESN'T see. Just in case you're interested, here's how things work, in your era coach.

We'll start with what's called the MMDC. Multi-Module-Data-Controller. It's a fancy name for a small black box, about 6" x 6" x 1.5" thick. That black plastic box is the primary brain for ALL information that's processed for you to see on your gauges. In Winne and Itascas semi-top-tier coaches, the Vectra and the Horizon of that model year, the MMDC is located inside the left front compartment, on a back wall.

In the next lower units, i.e. the Journey and Meridian, it's located up under the dash in various spots.

What the MMDC does is, receives data from:

1. Engine ECM
2. Transmission TCM
3. ABS module
4. Both primary and secondary air pressure inputs.

The MMDC receives ALL it's data, from all of those inputs (except the air pressure inputs, those are manually inserted via air lines), from what you mentioned. It's called the J1939 Data link. The J1939 Data link is nothing but, three wires, all twisted together, for the full length of the coach. You have TWO diagnostic ports tied to the J1939 data link. One is at the rear of the coach, visible by looking above the radiator and the second one is normally attached to the firewall, just to the left of the steering column. That one can be a bear to find since there's normally enough wiring and looms in that area to mimic the Los Angeles freeway system. }

Mine looks like DTLA after an earthquake....

{ As stated, those three wires, a green, a yellow and a black, are twisted together and link all those components to the MMDC. The MMDC receives all input from all those components and then, like an interpreter, it interprets all the data and, then changes it to a media that can be sent to all your gauges and, your "Annunciator panel". Incidentally, the annunciator panel is the multi-colored light bar that has all the icons on it that flash at different times with different messages. }

Yes that's what I called the idiot lights lol...

{ The Engine ECM and Trans TCM talk to the MMDC and, to each other, only on a different data link. The J1939 not only receives and translates data for your gauges AND YOU to read, but, it also processes input FROM THE DRIVER. Things like CRUISE CONTROL, EXHAUST BRAKE etc. are inputs the driver requests every now and then. When all parameters for any of those "requests" are in place, the MMDC, engine ECM and Trans TCM all work together to provide for your request.

Now, so much for a basic schooling on what and how things work. Now, here's "Potentially" where your problem lies. Those three wires, in that J1939, are one big loop. They travel from the rear of the coach, to the front, as stated and connect all the components as stated. But, and this is a big but, if one of those two colored wires breaks, the yellow or the green, becomes disconnected in some form or fashion, that will trigger EXACTLY what your annunciator told you when one of it's colored icons showed:

Check info center }

Here's the rub: my annunciator panel is dead. No lights. Nada. I checked the Medallion IC because when I turned the key and got not a dang thing, I remembered what happened in Illinois and my heart sank.

{ When you looked at your Medallion information Center, it read, No engine ECM data for over 25 seconds and, No Transmission TCM data for 25 seconds. One potential cause for this message is as stated, one of those two colored wires has either broke or, has a bad connection. Another cause is a faulty ground in the gauge system. Although, normally if a bad ground is the cause of faulty gauges, it normally does not involve the MMDC or, the Medallion Info Center and, you wouldn't receive the message.

As for a remedy for your situation, well, this is the BIG dilemma. This could be just a bad ground. But, in many cases, it's not that easy to find where the bad ground is. But, if it's a defective connection in the J1939 data link system, this could be a NIGHTMARE to fix. How do I know, I'VE BEEN THERE!!! The J1939 data link system is actually a simple system. But, if and when it BREAKS, even the best of the Freightliner techs get taxed on it's repair.
Scott
So, given the current darkness, high winds, low temps, and chances of rain, I think this means I need to put in ear plugs (semis idling 4 feet away from my bedroom window) get some sleep and hit this in the daylight tomorrow. Thanks for the descriptions!

The disconcerting thing is there is not even an attempt at turning the engine over. I turn the key and absolutely nothing happens. Might as well be plugging it into my shoe and turning it.

I'm betting one of those wires is loose or otherwise compromised.

If I can get the rig started tomorrow, I'll head to one of the Freightliner shops in Utah and park it until I can be seen Monday. If no start, guess I'll be crawling around under this beast for a bit. And quite possibly using one of my AAA tows...

~Melissa
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Call Freightliner back and have them send you wiring schematics and diagrams for your chassis . Available as pdfs , you want to save them, print them do whatever necessary to make sure you keep them and pass them on when you sell .
Question does the engine crank over and not start , or not crank over ?

I know there will be differences between our chassis , built 6 years apart , but two things to look for .
Once you have the wiring schematics , see if they show an inline fuse as the battery power for the engine ECM ; find and check that inline holder , between battery + and the ECM.
Look for the two boxes shown on either side of the Allison ECU in the photo below , in my coach passenger side of engine bay , but due to the length of wiring they could be different in yours) the control box on the left is the VDU communication hub between the engine and dash on my year , your chassis has a MMDC doing the same job and I believe they look similar . The box to the right has fuses and relays involved in transmission control as per the second picture .
All connections to these devices need to be checked for your intermittent condition.

A web site that may be of interest .

www.rvtechlibrary.com/electronics/mmdc_overview.php

EDIT: I see Scott posted while I was typing ( boy I type slow) sorry for any duplication, and hope you can track down your issue.
Thank you!! I'll be using your photos and suggestions as well!! My engine doesn't do jack when I turn the key. Nothing. No attempt at starting. Just silence.
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Old Yesterday, 07:22 PM   #6
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Well, today has been fun.

I've checked every relevant fuse I can get to. At Freightliner's suggestion, disconnected neg on chassis batt and reconnected 15 mins later. I've located some sections of the J1939 wires and checked the connections I could find.

Nothing is solving the problem.

I'm 225 miles from the nearest Oasis center...and they don't have RV hookups. They did say they will try to do a quick diagnostic on Monday but soonest they can even try to work on the coach is Thursday.

We havin' fun yet??

At least I've got a full tank of diesel and 90% of my propane. Only half tank of fresh though, eeeeep.
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