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Old 12-21-2013, 11:56 AM   #1
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Dash gauges go crazy

I have a 04 American Tradition and have had electrical issues pretty well since i bought the MH 4 years ago but this is a new one!! Whether I am driving or sitting still in a rest area(motor running) all of a sudden for no apparent reason the gauges will start sweeping and continue maybe for just a few minutes or continue until i shut it off. I notice on the dash that it shows my voltage of 13.7v if that indicator goes blank then the gauges start sweeping.This makes me think of a ground issue but as i said the gauges will just start sweeping back and forth.Beepers come on as well.It does not affect the engine while driving.I have looked for loose wires,had and electrician look at it and have contacted a deisle shop.The shop cant get me in for 2 weeks and i am travelling and at the present i am in Pheonix az.Has any one ever had anything similar to this and what did you find was wrong?There is a fault code comes up J 1939.

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Old 12-21-2013, 12:38 PM   #2
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I have a different MH but had the same sort of problem. I had dimming dash lights and waving gauges. The problem was a poor/bad ground connection from the dash cluster to the MH frame. I located a ground on the dash cluster and ran a new 12ga wire to the frame and solved the problem.

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Old 12-21-2013, 12:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ted sparkes View Post
......................There is a fault code comes up J 1939.
A forum member, FIRE UP, has some good experience with the J1939 code. From reading his posts I think he would welcome any questions on the J1939 system. Good luck.

Here's a post on the J1939 subject Engine lights coming on
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Old 12-21-2013, 12:59 PM   #4
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Your gauges are designed to read the data they Telegraph to you off the J1939 data buss. They are loading that signal somehow. Bad ground for the whole Gauge cluster isn't likely or gauges would act like the Kay was off. More likely a bad connector contact on the J1939 twisted pair (should be bright yellow & green if it's same as mine for ASE color standard & twisted ~1 twist/inch. You should see these buss wires on connector at back of gauges & have to trace from there. Pair should have 120 ohms between wires iirc.there are likely several buss splices between front of rig & back so it could be a splice.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:19 PM   #5
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As a mechanic I have seen this several times & 99% of the time it is a ground issue. However I have never seen it on a motor home. Anytime someone tells me the car is running fine but the gauges go wild for a split second, the first thing I do is remove the battery cables from the battery, clean them, then re install them securely, and 99% of the time it fixes the problem. The cables do not necessarily feel loose just not making a good enough connection. The reason you feel the engine is working fine because for that split second the ground is lost the computer compensates for the misfire & you never see or feel it.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:42 AM   #6
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Most all DC problems originate from a bad ground, yours included.

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Old 12-22-2013, 11:15 AM   #7
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I,ll start with the batteries.I feel it is a ground issue for sure but where to start under the dash is a dogs breakfast!

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