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Old 10-15-2015, 02:39 PM   #1
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Engine temp/pressure and trans temp gauges are malfunctioning...

My Cummins ISC 350 runs perfectly. The Allison 3000 is functioning perfectly. So, I don't have any complaints about being able to get down the road without incident.

The problem I've got is my engine temp/oil pressure gauge/tach and the tranny temp gauge are malfunctioning in an intermittent way. At startup the gauges normally cycle in a predictable manner with the gauges making a click/click sound as they go to zero. I then start the engine and the gauges kick in and provide normal readouts. Sometimes, though, the gauges won't go through their normal startup routine and they get "stuck" midway through the cycle. The engine still starts normally and I can still get underway without incident, but the four gauges I mentioned give false readings and red lights illuminate at the bottom of their respective dials. Stopping and restarting normally has no affect on this gauge anomaly. This has happened maybe four times in the last four years. It happened recently when leaving Colorado heading to Santa Fe. Then, maybe a few hours from Santa Fe all the gauges "fixed themselves" and I was getting normal readings. Driving down to Tucson I didn't see anything negative occurring, either. I just started the engine while parked here in Picacho Peak and the gauges cycled normally, so what I'm describing is a truly an intermittent problem. The mechanical gauges like hydraulic pressures, voltage, fuel and speedo are not ever affected. This is a real head scratcher for me and I'm wondering if anyone else has ever had this experience and found the cure.

Thanks in advance for your kind attention.

John
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Old 10-15-2015, 03:09 PM   #2
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Ok, I'm no mechanic, but I play one in my garage from time to time. First, what do you mean by "mechanical" vice the suspect gages? None of your gages are "direct reading" gages, like the old gages were or are in my 55 Chev. Everything is electrical now, even the speedo and tach, it's usually so much more accurate, adjustable, easy and reliable. However, I digress....


Second, I have one word for you == Ground. I think you have an intermittent common ground for those gages. Either all the wires meeting together at the common ground are loose or corroded -- unlikely -- or the common ground wire is intermitten somewhere down the line where it meets the chassis. Can I guess that they are all grouped together on one side of your cluster? Your mechanic, who may or may not have flunked out of moron school, will say "Uhmmm, they seem to work now" while he scratches his arse and armpit and picks his tooth, all with the same greasy hand. Tell him "Clean the ground for those gages or I'll give you a Halloween to remember". And then check to make sure he did, have him show you his work. I bet your problems disapears like Casper the Freaking Friendly Ghost. I'd probably do it myself to eliminate some boofoonery and have a good excuse to dink beer in the middle of the day -- not that I need a good excuse, I just like to have one. G'Luck.
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Old 10-15-2015, 03:21 PM   #3
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I have a different suspicion on the problem.
If your dashboard is like mine, ALL the gauges are on the J1939 bus.
If you zoom in on the attached photo, you can see that all the gauges (including spedo & tach) are connected in series with a 4 wire cable.
This is the J1939 bus connection.

I think your saying the only two instruments are acting up. My guess is the daisy chained connection from the last "good" gauge might have a intermittent connection.
There are two connections on each gauge to allow you to daisy chain them.

It makes no difference in the order that these are connected, since each gauge is looking for its own PID number for what data to display.
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyMac View Post
Ok, I'm no mechanic, but I play one in my garage from time to time. First, what do you mean by "mechanical" vice the suspect gages? None of your gages are "direct reading" gages, like the old gages were or are in my 55 Chev. Everything is electrical now, even the speedo and tach, it's usually so much more accurate, adjustable, easy and reliable. However, I digress....


Second, I have one word for you == Ground. I think you have an intermittent common ground for those gages. Either all the wires meeting together at the common ground are loose or corroded -- unlikely -- or the common ground wire is intermitten somewhere down the line where it meets the chassis. Can I guess that they are all grouped together on one side of your cluster? Your mechanic, who may or may not have flunked out of moron school, will say "Uhmmm, they seem to work now" while he scratches his arse and armpit and picks his tooth, all with the same greasy hand. Tell him "Clean the ground for those gages or I'll give you a Halloween to remember". And then check to make sure he did, have him show you his work. I bet your problems disapears like Casper the Freaking Friendly Ghost. I'd probably do it myself to eliminate some boofoonery and have a good excuse to dink beer in the middle of the day -- not that I need a good excuse, I just like to have one. G'Luck.
I was trying to differentiate between electronic gauges and those that seem to be "other" than electronic. But, I may be way off the mark here. The only reason I was trying to differentiate between the various gauges is because not all of them at being affected when they are acting up or malfunctioning. Everything you wrote about common ground makes sense to me and that is exactly where I'll start my search when I can find a mechanic without a finger up his nose. Being a full-timer I don't want to have to check into a hotel to have work done, so a mobile guy would be best, but good luck finding a good one. They do exist in theory. I'd go out a buy a six pack right now, but we're under a severe dust storm alert in my part of AZ.
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Old 10-16-2015, 04:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
I have a different suspicion on the problem.
If your dashboard is like mine, ALL the gauges are on the J1939 bus.
If you zoom in on the attached photo, you can see that all the gauges (including spedo & tach) are connected in series with a 4 wire cable.
This is the J1939 bus connection.

I think your saying the only two instruments are acting up. My guess is the daisy chained connection from the last "good" gauge might have a intermittent connection.
There are two connections on each gauge to allow you to daisy chain them.

It makes no difference in the order that these are connected, since each gauge is looking for its own PID number for what data to display.
**************************************************

Four instruments are acting up, not two. Water temp, oil pressure, trans temp and tachometer are the culprits. Three are side by side across the bottom of the panel below the speedo and tach. The tach is affected, too. Judging from the picture you provided I'd say we've got similar instrument clusters. If each gauge is looking for its own PID number and are independent of other gauges also looking for their own PID numbers then why would four gauges be affected simultaneously? And when they "fix" themselves why would all act in unison then, too? It's a bit too confusing for me given I have zero electronics experience.

When I finally get into it I will make certain that all the connections are good and tight. And I'll also make certain that anything like a common ground has integrity, as well.

I'm going to seek out a local "expert" and see what we can find out together. If you happen to be in the Sonoran Desert between Tucson and Phoenix anytime soon let me know. lol
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Old 10-17-2015, 09:10 AM   #6
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John,
I had a similar problem. If your system is the NGI system made by Ametek, I may have some drawings and troubleshooting procedures that will help.
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Old 10-17-2015, 09:32 PM   #7
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John, each gauge is connected in a Daisy Chain.
So a bad connection affects all the down stream gauges.
Take the cable between the last good gauge and first bad gauge.
Swap it with the cable on the last gauge of the string.
i bet you will then only have one gauge not working.

or wiggle that cable a d the problem will likely appear.
a bad connection prevents the down stream gauges from seeing any data (lost J1939 data).

By the way, heading to Lost Dutchman Mine Nov 15th.....promise me dry weather

regards,
dan
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