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Old 11-24-2020, 08:59 AM   #1
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Newmar Owners Club
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Dash Electrical Issue

2005 KSDP Cummins ISC Spartan Chassis

This just started after I had roadside assistance replace the starter. Coincidentally, I had also run through the remnants of a tropical storm for several hours.

Whenever I turn the ignition key to the start position, all of the idiot lights light up (after having gone off when in the "on" position) and one of my air pressure gauges goes crazy, nearly going 360 deg around itself. The lights go off after the engine starts, the air gauge stays abnormal. Normally, when I turn the key to start, all of those lights except the parking brake and seatbelt are off and stay off.

Experimenting with it, it will sometimes act like it should, but 80%-90% of the time, what I am describing here occurs.
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Old 11-24-2020, 12:08 PM   #2
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A couple of things here that come to mind. You may have more than one thing going wrong. The idiot lights might be associated with the Tell-Tale panel, the rectangular box in the instrument cluster. I replaced mine after about 2-years of chasing an intermittent problem. It has not happened since. The T-T panel is available at Spartan. I do not know of a method of testing the T-T unit. Another thing you can try is to take the instrument cluster out and disconnect all the jumper wires and spray electrical cleaner on the contacts and reconnect, several times. Then check the functionality of the lights. You may have gotten just enough moisture from the storm to cause the signals to become an issue.

The air gauge is an issue that comes up with some regularity. It might be the air sending unit located under the front hood inline with the steering. They are two, front and aft, ball looking things about the size of your fist. Your location might be different. To check the functionality of the bad one disconnect the two-pin lead and switch it with the other lead. Be sure to mark the location of each so they do not become swapped. See if the problem follows the swapping of the leads. If they do, replace the sending unit. It is a Stewart-Warner sending unit with a Packard connector. They are available at Spartan ($100 +/-) or Summit Racing ($55.00 or so). While you are doing that, when was the last time you changed the air system purging filter? If not in the last year or two, it might be a good idea to change that also. The air problems seem to be tied to each other.
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Old 11-24-2020, 12:31 PM   #3
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Thank you for that excellent response, Don. Much, much appreciated.

One other thing I should mention. I don't know if it impacts your thinking, but thought I'd throw it in as well.

If I cycle the ignition between on and off several times, the pressure gauge will return to normal position, which is zero when the key is off. If I get a normal restart (no idiot lights), the gauge functions as it should. If the idiot lights come on, the gauge is abnormal again.

FYI, the dessicant filter was changed in '19. I have followed a schedule of every two years.
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Old 11-24-2020, 02:49 PM   #4
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Basing this response on my own experience with my air gauges and the T-T panel. I would have to guess that the problem might be in the T-T. What are the pressures on the gauges when things are operating "normally"? If the goofy gauge is indicating a pressure that is grossly different than the good one, then I would go with a bad air sending unit, under the hood.

In the meantime, take the instrument panel out. I think there are 4-screws and the panel will pull straight out with the gauges all in place. Then on the back of the instruments you will find twisted wires from the T-T panel, the Speedometer, and to the other two gauges. All those panel things will be daisy-chained to each other. Use some contact cleaner on each connection and reseat them. Check the function.

Now, do the swapping of the leads to the air sending units under the hood to see if the problem follows the swap.
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Old 11-25-2020, 06:04 AM   #5
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Don, thanks again. I will be giving your ideas a shot over the upcoming holiday. I’ll let you know how it goes.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:26 AM   #6
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Super, be safe and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:52 PM   #7
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Don, the next time I’m in the Dallas area, or you are in the Northern VA area, drinks are on me. I think the problem is solved. I’m amazed at how easy this was. This is how these Internet forums are supposed to work.
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:06 PM   #8
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That sounds like a good plan, I'm getting thirsty already.

Glad it all worked out and things are back to normal. I love it when a plan comes together.

Don
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