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Old 08-02-2020, 01:15 PM   #1
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Electrical gremlins

We're 3853 miles into our first trip. The Alpine has been running great and mostly trouble free. Except for the electrics.
We have enjoyed a series of small idiosyncrasies like the speedo being off by 10mph and overhead fans only working every 2nd cycle of the ignition key.
A couple of days ago, the voltmeter started showing charging in the 10 amp range. We have not experienced any difficulty starting and batteries seem full charged.

On today's drive the volt meter went to zero. And now I have lost all of the check engine, wait to start, etc idiot lights.

Any thoughts on where to start diagnosis?

Multimeter on batteries show 13.5v
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:18 PM   #2
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Another thing to consider. Our towed vehicle has a stay in play duo system.

In last couple of days, the turn signals have started pulsing the brake lights as well as turn indicator lights
. When I have turn signals on, the whole gauge system jumps and twitches in time with flasher. But it definitely cycles the brake system.
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Old 08-02-2020, 01:31 PM   #3
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Please tell us what year and model you have so we can begin to help.
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:54 PM   #4
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:22 AM   #5
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From your description, the items showing problems seem to all be on the chassis battery system. They also seem to indicate a possible bad ground in the chassis circuitry and that's what I would first inspect it this were an issue for me. The behavior of the turn signals on the gauges makes me think it's a ground issue rather than voltage as the current is trying to reach a ground through other devices, like the gauge lights.


You might begin by inspecting and cleaning all ground connections in the battery bay, including the battery posts and cable connections to the frame.
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Old 08-03-2020, 03:05 PM   #6
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I had a dually GM pick up that had crazy electrical control problems. Wipers would stop and speed up,gauges and lights would be up and down all over the place. It turned out the engine wasn't grounded properly. I got a 6 gauge wire and put 2 connectors on. Found a bolt on the engine block and another on a solid piece of the body and bolted the wire on. Presto.Everything went back to normal. I think you can test it by attaching one end of a jumper cable to the negative terminal of the battery and touching the other end to the engine block.
If you see a little spark it's not grounded well
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Old 08-25-2020, 03:41 PM   #7
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finally returned home from our first trip - 70 days and 6600 miles later.

We gave up on the gauges a little over half way into our trip. Drove the last 30 days with zero information center lights, gauges and turn signals.

I have removed every battery cable in the cradle. I cleaned every contact point with deoxit and wire brush. I dont see specifically where chassis ground is located. I checked every fuse in the electrical center and all are good.

Next step i believe will be to install VMS pc to see if i am getting communication from the main computer.

Any other recommendations? Going to dive heavily into this over the next 3 days.
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Old 08-25-2020, 04:16 PM   #8
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X2 on chassis ground. You need to find where the chassis ground cable is. Also, you could consider getting a Scanguage D which connects to the coach's computer and gives you readouts on all guages and other stuff.
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Old 08-26-2020, 08:30 AM   #9
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Look into Bluefire......Under $200 and it hooks into the diagnostic port under the dash.....Bluetooth to any Andriod or iOS device and works great!
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Old 08-26-2020, 10:11 AM   #10
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...not sure if this adds to the discussion...my 2003 Alpine has a "VDM?????" module that converts std Cummins comm. protocol to support the dash gauge cluster. Module on my 2003 is on the reverse wall of the rear battery compartment bulkhead--its about the side of a tablet computer. Connections on the VDM and on the Cummins engine are subject to corrosion.
WRV use several brands of dash gauges over the years so this may not apply to OP's situation. There was also an extensive thread on internal VDM issues. This component is no longer in production and there is no supply chain. Thread suggested that VDM was susceptible to vibration based on poor internal solder technique on mother board--but easy for qualified semi-conductor tech to identify and correct....so did you clean the VDM connections too?
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul65k View Post
Look into Bluefire......Under $200 and it hooks into the diagnostic port under the dash.....Bluetooth to any Andriod or iOS device and works great!


Paul, I left the VMSpc in the coach when I sold it. His best bet is to use it without added expense right now.
My BlueFire in the BB screwed up my gauges. I have yet to retry it.
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Old 08-29-2020, 08:45 PM   #12
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Electrical gremlins

Noblesville, there are grounds on the back side of the battery tray
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Old 08-30-2020, 09:53 PM   #13
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Thanks for the help, our coach predates the vdm issues I think.

We took a short 4 day trip and I had some chance to play with vmspc but I cannot get it to communicate yet. I'm getting no data.

I have yet to find chassis ground to remove and clean. That will be next few day's project.

If I am still stuck ill try to get pics of the area.
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Old 08-31-2020, 08:12 AM   #14
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The key to the VMSpc system is getting the COM port assignments to agree. I assume you installed the drivers. Once you plug in the PC with a USB the Pc opens and assigns the drivers to a COM port typically COM3 or COM4. You can go into the VMSpc setting and look at &/or assign the COM port to agree with the PC.
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