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Old 09-29-2019, 09:01 PM   #1
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Failure of Smart Wheel controller??

I think my Smart Wheel controller is bad but would really appreciate confirmation. My issue started with the smell of an electrical short, followed within seconds with the windshield wipers coming on and the air horns blasting. Restarting the engine did not stop the horns. Eventually I pulled the horn fuse which addressed that problem. Later I found two fuses for the
smart Wheel were blown.

My question is does all this sound like a bad controller or does to more sound like a simple short somewhere. Apparently getting a replacement controller is problematic.

Thanks for any thoughts or recommendations.
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Old 09-29-2019, 10:43 PM   #2
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Do you have the troubleshooting guide? It may or may not help you diagnose what's wrong. The one attached below is the one I'll assume is for your unit ...it's for the older SmartWheels.

The general tips will state as follows:

The most common problem with any electrical device is usually related to interconnections: wires and connectors.
  1. If the system does not function properly the first thing to check is that all connectors and wires are properly installed and fully seated making good contact.
  2. If the system is partially functional, i.e., the horn, cruise and lights work but the wipers do not then the problem is likely not with the multiplex system but with the wiring between the Master and the wipers or the wiper system itself.
  3. If the system is completely nonfunctional, start by checking the power, ground and wiring to the master and from the Master to the Steering Wheel.
  4. If the system functions intermittently, the problem is almost certainly with the wiring in general or with connections in the steering column.
It then goes on to give you step-by-step procedures for testing.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf VIP Products SmartWheel Troubleshooting Guide.pdf (331.0 KB, 6 views)
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Old 09-30-2019, 06:26 AM   #3
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I've had an intermittent problem with my horn, cruise control, and wipers not working. I called Spartan and the tech told me to reset the wheel control module (I think that's what he called it) and directed me to it's location. I reset it by unplugging the module but it did no good.
This happens so infrequently, perhaps 10 times in the past 2 years that it's hard to diagnose. When it fails, it usually starts working within a few hours.

According to the above trouble shooting guide my problem may be a loose wire in the steering column. Since all three fail at the same time and recover at the same time, perhaps a power supply issue to the module????
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Old 09-30-2019, 03:29 PM   #4
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It sounds like a short to me, but now maybe the controller is damaged as well. You are going to have to step through the procedure in the Troubleshooter to sort it out.
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Old 09-30-2019, 08:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
It sounds like a short to me, but now maybe the controller is damaged as well. You are going to have to step through the procedure in the Troubleshooter to sort it out.

Yes, but the failure is so infrequent it's hard to troubleshoot.
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Old 10-01-2019, 01:49 PM   #6
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I am going through the troubleshooting guide. Thanks to all for the suggestions.
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:46 PM   #7
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Just call VIP and order a new controller, if that is the problem. They are quite good to deal with and have tech support.
The controllers are not too expensive.

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Old 10-03-2019, 10:38 AM   #8
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I have ordered a new one. The old one fried for sure. Why is now the question.
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Old 10-03-2019, 11:06 AM   #9
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On the older coaches (pre-2005 I think) the headlight power ran from the headlight switch through the Smartwheel controller then to the headlights. This high amperage through the Smartwheel controller caused it to fail.

However you would not smell electrical smoke/short in the cab if the controller failed. Regardless, if yours is setup this way, you would want to fix/modify it.

The fix is to install two relays (one for low beams, one for high beams) so only low-amperage "relay control" amperage goes through the Smartwheel control box. The Smartwheel controller "controls the relay" which then sends the power straight to the headlights and bypasses the control box.
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Old 10-14-2019, 07:28 PM   #10
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Problem solved. Today I installed a new controller, including replacement of the plug for the J12 circuit, which is the headlight circuit. Everything now works fine. In retrospect, CountryB nailed what apparently was the issue. The headlilght circuit overloaded and shorted at the controller, which then caused the horn to blast, wipers to start, etc. The folks at VIP --Victor I thinnk--were also helpful in suggesting the likey culpret was the headlight (J12) circuit. A pain in the ___ to replace the controller and the J12 plug, but the good news is the issue was not a short somewhere is the hardest place in the coach to access. Thanks for everyone who assisted. Russ
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Old 10-15-2019, 04:45 AM   #11
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Russ-

Glad you fixed the problem.

Here is a link that describes the problem and fix for the high-current headlight circuit that overloaded your J12 connector:

Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply - Relays

(per "Country B's" suggestion).
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Old 10-16-2019, 04:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l1v3fr33ord1 View Post
Russ-

Glad you fixed the problem.

Here is a link that describes the problem and fix for the high-current headlight circuit that overloaded your J12 connector:

Daniel Stern Lighting Consultancy and Supply - Relays

(per "Country B's" suggestion).
Thanks for the informative link, but the procedure far exceeds my capabilities.
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