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Old 09-23-2020, 01:09 PM   #1
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Intermittent gauge activity on 97 Intrigue

Hey all, new here! Recently bought a 1997 CC Intrigue with 98k miles and everything (thus far) works great! And have been loving it on the road. Just one quick question: Are the gauges suppose to jump around a little?

The manuals say it is a DynoMax chassis, but the schematics say the gauges come from the Gillig wire harness. What happens is they will all be working fine, then either while just sitting there at idle, or while driving, they will "spaz" out a little bit. The temp will go from 180 to max (240), hold there for a moment, then fall back to 180 almost instantly. The voltmeter sits around 13 most of the time, then will suddenly drop to 8, the gauge beeps at me for a moment, then it jumps back up to 13. Oil pressure will do the same as well (hover around 60, suddenly go max high or 0, then jump back to 60). Sometimes just sitting at a light, or idling to air up, the speedometer will hop between 0 and 5 mph. As for the tach...no issues there. They are all the Datcon gauges.

But they don't do it all at once. I was thinking it was a ground, but they do this by themselves, independent of one another. Are these gauges being controlled by a box of some sort? I was thinking about just replacing those gauges and senders, but if there is a ECU in the middle of all that, then a simple gauge swap might be a problem?

It has the engine protection module installed, but the schematics just show that the switches connect to it vs the senders...so I don't think it is that.....that I know of. I temp gunned the thermostat housing and got 188F after a trip, and the gauge was reading roughly that, so at least the temp gauge is accurate enough, when it is not having a seizure.

Everything else is perfect so far. No rust, water damage, leaks, the 8.3 is the 325HP version P pump, and allison 3060, which also runs great. And she holds air for about 3 days before falling to around 60 psi.

So yeah! If anyone knows what might be causing this, let me know where to start probing first.

Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2020, 03:38 PM   #2
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I have no clue, but I would take a look at my alternator early on. If it is failing it could affect the gauge readings.

Check the alternator voltage at the chassis battery with the engine running.

Also check the chassis battery connections.

I have replaced my alternator twice.
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:09 AM   #3
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I have a 1999 Intrigue (going on 6 years now). Just turning past 100,000 miles on our last (7000 mile) trip this summer I have the Silverleaf system on a PC to monitor most all engine systems. And yes, it has always blinked to Zero every so often. Cummins dealer says very common. Oil pressure will also go to Zero on the monitor but then I glance over at dash oil gage and it’s fine. 60-70. Psi
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:20 AM   #4
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This sounds like an intermittent ground issue. Your coach is at the age where the ground start getting corrosion around the screw that grounds them to the frame. It is a very easy fix once you find out where the ground is. You simply take the screw out, clean the frame and the ring connector and put the screw back in. You should also add a little electrical grease to protect the bare metal. The trick here is finding where the ground, it could be just about anywhere. Good luck.
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:12 PM   #5
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After some poking around, I think it could be related to the alternator.

I let her idle for about 15 min today to pump up the air bags, and do some other general checks, and the gauges, independently from each other did their thing. I then threw on a charger to the chassis battery and it ramped up to 14v. I let it idle again for about 15 min, and no issues!

I unplugged the charger, killed the engine, and began to do the diagnostic to the leece neville alternator. Voltage to alt, 12.6. Key on, 2.68. Engine running at idle, 12.4-13.2. Engine at 1000 rpm, 12.4-13.2. Engine at 1800 rpm...12.4-13.2. The max it would hit was 13.2. I then went to check the turn screw and found the plate has a lot of surface rust (the coach frame, hoses, and engine compartment are incredibly clean and rust free. It was a WELL taken care of coach...minus the clearcoat. The Arizona sun destroyed that...end of ramble).

I don't think I'm going to bother with trying to adjust it. The date code on the sticker is 0597. So, this is the OEM alt, with 96,977 miles and 2350 hours.

arcaguy, you would be impressed with the connections. They have all been greased, and no corrosion, rust, ect. I have been going around checking the bolt tightness.

EDIT: One of the shop guys here said the Delco 28SI (8600308) would be a perfect replacement. This true? He is a Cummins guy on boats.
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:12 PM   #6
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Photo of the current alt's tag.
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Old 09-25-2020, 03:27 AM   #7
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The Delco replacement may be fine, if you don't have a diode type battery isolator.
With them, the alternator needs a sense wire run to it from chassis battery.

You say you have 12.6 volts at the alternator. If that's the large positive wire on it, then you most likely don't have a battery isolator, you more likely have a isolator solenoid. That fine with the Delco.
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Old 09-30-2020, 05:00 PM   #8
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Well that seemed to be it. I was only able to idle test, but with the new alternator installed, I'm getting 14.10 at the alternator studs, and 14.02 at the chassis battery. The dash voltmeter is now showing 14 also, which is the highest I have ever seen it. And the gauges seem to be better! They jump a little bit, but no where near like before!

The alt used is a 200 amp (vs the stock 160 amp as trying to get a 160 was near impossible up here) Delco Remy 28SI model 8600307.

I'll keep the old Leece alt and perhaps do a repair on it later. The brush springs are worn out, and I'm sure the regulator is dead or dying. At least the bearings spin freely!

Thanks everyone for the pointers!

EDIT: twinboat, yep, it is the solenoid isolator.
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