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Old 09-27-2021, 05:01 PM   #1
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No trans engagement, high idle

I have a 2003 Freightliner with the Cummins 5.9
In the past my trans would not go into gear ,forward or reverse ,at times.
I just came back from a trip and as I pulled up to my house and shut it off ,then tried to restart and move. The panel just flashed D or R when I tried to move it after a couple minutes.
I finally noticed it was at high idle [900].
After shutting it down and restarting a few times it came down to normal idle.
I looked on the net for the causes of high idle with no success.
throttle pedal was free to move ,cruise[high idle] was on but not engaged.
I did not shut of the cruise by the switch ,but light was on the dash ,so ready to use.
Now that I see its the high idle not letting it engage the trans ,I believe its not trans or engine related.
Has any had this issue ,Im leaning towards a wire that has rubbed a bare spot around the steering column or under the steering wheel and makes it go to high idle.
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Old 09-27-2021, 05:25 PM   #2
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My 99 with the throttle pedal on the floor , I had issues with rusted hinge pin on the pedal . If your coach has a floor pedal and carpet that's been shampooed , the hinge pin deserves a close look .

A grounded wire in the cruise circuit should not increase the idle speed ; but some questions .

Does your coach have a " Smart wheel " ?
Cruise switches on the spokes of the wheel , or are the switches on the turn signal arm ?
Do you know the fuel injection system that's on your 5.9 Cummins ?
Is it one of the last engines using the VP-44 injection pump or one of the first with the HPCR fuel system ?
Holding the brake pedal down should over ride any call for high idle from the cruise system , but not from the throttle pedal .
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Old 09-27-2021, 08:51 PM   #3
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Turn off the cruise switch to eliminate that possibility, you will not need it now anyway.
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Old 09-28-2021, 06:26 AM   #4
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It goes to high idle sporadically.
No smart wheel ,cruise is on directional.
No carpet , first year for the better fuel system and holding the brake makes no difference to the high idle .
Throttle pedal is free and would make the rpm,s . much higher if hanging up.
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Old 09-28-2021, 08:25 AM   #5
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Your vintage coach my have a Throttle Position Sensor on the throttle pedal which actually provides the signal to the engine.

Here's a link to one similar to mine showing the position sensor
https://www.ebay.com/itm/174371324101
The sensor is mounted to the throttle assembly and can be replaced fairly easily and cheaply.

See if you have a similar set up.
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Old 09-28-2021, 12:01 PM   #6
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The newest wiring schematic I have for Freightliner chassis is for a 2001 , that would be for the VP-44 on the ISB .
The schematic shows two connectors to the TPS , including an " Idle Validation"
connector ; separate from the actual throttle signal connector .

Call the Freightliner free help line and ask for wiring schematics for your chassis ; have your serial number handy , it's the first thing they ask for .
If you see the separate connector in the schematic , then it's possible that part of the TPS on your coach isn't working properly .
Actual testing for ; Idle Validation ; signal to the ECM would involve having the coach hooked up to a shop scan tool .

Freightliner help line .
1-800-385-4357
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Old 09-29-2021, 07:05 AM   #7
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Thanks guys, for the suggestions.
I will call Freightliner and see if they have the wiring drawings..In the past when I called them ,they had limited info ,but Ill call.
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Old 10-05-2021, 09:23 PM   #8
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If it happens again turn off cruise. If it drops to normal the "set" switch may be the culprit. Cruise on and hit "set switch" raises idle by 200 rpms. Not unheard of for switch to be damage and close its contacts or maybe had something spilled in it ,in its lifetime on the road.
EDIT... I suppose my thought about set switch may make cruise to "set" while driving as well. Have you ever noticed any symptoms of that . If it happened at lower speed and you were on the pedal it might be harder to notice before you braked. Or if you then set at wanted speed. Just seems like more than a coincidence if it's exactly 200 over idle.
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