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Old 12-26-2014, 03:53 PM   #1
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Question Engine shut down while driving

I have a Freightliner chasis and Cat 3126 in Class A motorhome (2003). The last 2 trips I've taken, it seems there is an electrical disconnect somewhere while I'm driving. After about an hour of driving, the volt meter on the dash goes to 0 and the speedometer drops to 0 and there is a hesitation in the engine, though the engine keeps running. In a couple seconds, all goes back to normal. This problem repeats more often and lasts longer as time goes by. After a couple hours of driving, the engine starts to shut down and then start up again by itself. Then later on, the engine shuts down and does not start up by itself. I have to turn the ignition and it will start up. The last trip I took, the engine finally stopped and did not start up again. Got towed to a Freightliner service center. They replaced the fuel pump and filter. Got on the road and within 10 minutes, the engine shut down again. I could start it with ignition and drove back to service ctr. They discovered that the main cable from engine to battery was loose, so they tightened it. Then I made a 5 hour trip back home, no problem.

Now on 2nd trip, having same symptons. Checked the battery cables -- all tight. Parked in an RV parking ground. The engine stopped running while I was doing the routine getting ready to settle down for the evening, jacks down, etc. Next day I start up the engine, let it run in idle for about 45 min. Nothing
went wrong. I jiggled the ignition key, nothing happened. It ran fine for the whole 45 min. Seems to be something electrical that is loose, but I don't have a clue . . . I'm not an engine or electrical knowledgeable person. Have a call into another mobile RV repair co for tomorrow. But so far, it's only been a guess as to what the problem may be.
Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.

Karen
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Old 12-26-2014, 04:36 PM   #2
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Call 1.800.FTL. HELP and they will walk you through problem, trouble shooting and possible fix. Have your vin number ready. If you don't get through first time, leave your number and message. They pride themselves on 100% call back.
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Old 12-26-2014, 05:02 PM   #3
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There is a Mexican made 100 amp relay located on the rear passenger side opposite the transmission on the frame that is known to fail and gives the symptoms you describe.... ....It is a little hard to find so follow the positive (red)chassis battery cable and it will lead you to it... It is on a bracket with the starting heater relay and starter solonoid and has two red cables attached to it. Test it by jumping the 2 posts on the relay with a heavy jumper and take it for a ride or check continuity between the posts..if that solves your problem you found the culprit...Call Freightliner and they should know about it and its location....
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Old 12-26-2014, 06:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by movin-on View Post
There is a Mexican made 100 amp relay located on the rear passenger side opposite the transmission on the frame that is known to fail and gives the symptoms you describe.... ....It is a little hard to find so follow the positive (red)chassis battery cable and it will lead you to it... It is on a bracket with the starting heater relay and starter solonoid and has two red cables attached to it. Test it by jumping the 2 posts on the relay with a heavy jumper and take it for a ride or check continuity between the posts..if that solves your problem you found the culprit...Call Freightliner and they should know about it and its location....
movin-on,
If you're talking about what I think you're talking about, it's the secondary starter relay system and, it's only in operation DURING the starting of the engine, not running. I'm also no expert but, when I called Freightliner on what I found, which, looks kind of what you're describing, she (Freightliner assistant) explained the system and, the components to me. You'll see it all in the pictures below. The first ones will be as I found it when doing some repair/maintenance on my basement A/C and it was out of the coach which, presented a prime opportunity to maintenance that starter relay system which, needed it badly as you'll see. The last couple of pics show it all cleaned up with new relays, 100 Amp fuse assembly, new solenoids etc.

Without that basement A/C removed, it would have been impossible to do any kind of quality work on that system. But, again, I'm not sure this area has anything to do with his running/not running problem.
Scott





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Old 12-27-2014, 05:40 AM   #5
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Thank you all for your comments / ideas. I will share these with the rv tech who will come over today. Appreciate it!
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Old 12-27-2014, 07:00 AM   #6
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Scott...You may be correct if that is what Freightliner told you but that relay has caused engine shutdowns and erratic operation...It is/was my understanding that the relay powers the engine ecu and the allison...I even keep one in my spare parts bin just in case..By searching the forum I have found that it is a problem item...It's worth a try...
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by movin-on View Post
Scott...You may be correct if that is what Freightliner told you but that relay has caused engine shutdowns and erratic operation...It is/was my understanding that the relay powers the engine ecu and the allison...I even keep one in my spare parts bin just in case..By searching the forum I have found that it is a problem item...It's worth a try...
Well Sir,
You could be right too. As stated earlier, I'm no expert. This is one of the issues I had with the Camp Freightliner class I and a friend attended last June. Since mine and my friends general knowledge and repair capabilities were way beyond the majority of that class, conditions and situations like what you see in my pictures was too far over the head of 99% of the class so, the instructor would really not delve into complicated components and systems like I was hoping for. I wanted to learn more about what you see and, the air system, the electrical system and much more but, that was not the "jist" of the class. Oh well, I'll just continue to hunt and peck for knowledge on this kind of stuff.
Scott
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:48 AM   #8
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Thanks for all your ideas, suggestions. The RV mobile tech thought it was a loose battery cable to the on/off switch which he tightened. So off I went . . . in about an hour, same problem . . . all the way home. Had to stop several times to let RV sit for 45 min to an hour before driving further.
Talked to Freightliner dealer in northern FL where they worked on it a couple months ago (replaced Huei pump and fuel filter) . . . suggested take it to another F/L dealer. Called local F/L dealer; they said take it to Cat dealer. Cat dealer said take it to RV service ctr. Went to RV center, they said take it to Cat dealer. Cat dealer finally said ok, bring it in here. Have appt for later in January.
So, still dealing with problem . . . . Later.
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:23 AM   #9
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Kkquilter I am sure you are in great hands but did you happen to notice what the transmission indicator was doing when this happened?
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:30 AM   #10
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Can not say on your unit but on some of the Nationals power to the ECM is taken
directly from the batteries.
They have a Red wire coming from the ECM with a 20 amp fuse in line that connects
to the positive post of the battery.
Any bad connections in this line and all kinds of problems occur.
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:36 AM   #11
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I also had a problem similar to yours and it was a loose wire on one of the relays in the rear passenger side, opposite the transmission like MOVIN ON was talking about. It wasn't the large starting one but one of the smaller relays.
When it acted up, I had NO power to the drivers area , instruments, etc.
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:28 PM   #12
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Call Freightliner and ask them about the relay that I was alking about....
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:50 PM   #13
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Why did you have to have heui pump replaced?
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:10 AM   #14
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I don't know . . . . the Freightliner dealer determined that this should be replaced. ??
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