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Old 01-23-2011, 07:33 PM   #1
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Allison MD 3060 Shifter not Lighting

I own a 38' - 1993, American Eagle with Spartan Chassis, Allison Transmission, & an 8.3 Cummins engine. It has 84,000 miles on it. I have read every thread in this forum and found some great links to catalogs, manuals, etc. However, I have not found out why my MD 3060 Lever shift selector will not light up. When I turn the ignition key, the shifter blinks and flashes a short time (1-2 secs) and then goes blank. If I keep trying it over a period of hours, it will eventually come on with the typical "N" lit up, but after about 4-5 secs, that will go out and I have a blank shifter pad again. I believe I have a WT Series Shift Selector. Mine does NOT have a "Display Mode" button. It does have what appears to be an LED just below the "Mode" button. A couple of the manuals call this a "Display Mode Button", but it sure isn't a button! I read one posting that said their shifter came to life when heat was applied. I tried mine this morning - nothing. So I put a radiant heater between the seats aimed at the shifter. When I came back in an hour, the shifter was working normally. It is 55° here - not so cold you would need to heat the shifter to get going. Once it lights up, it works until it has been turned off over night.
I have located the VIM and after contorting into a pretzel, managed to dislodge it from under the dash and from behind a carpeted plywood barrier. The fuses are good and the relays look like new. Does heating a relay maybe make it open or close? Is the ECU the aluminum box behind the shifter itself?
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:35 PM   #2
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I'll reply to myself I guess. Yes - the ECU IS right behind the shifter. The "Display Mode Button" that I thought was an LED really IS a recessed button. You have to use something small enough to fit the hole to push the button. I used a retractable ink pen with the ink cartridge retracted.
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:32 PM   #3
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http://www.irv2.com/forums/f125/md30...tml#post572082
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:12 PM   #4
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I have heard that LED's do not function well in cold weather. Speaking of around freezing and below. Just hearsay.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94-Newmar View Post

The link seemed to be dead, until I logged in.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:48 AM   #6
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allison controls

Try here, transmissioncontrols.com, he has a good reputation and can tell you what is wrong with your ECU.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:25 PM   #7
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st687: Your URL is wrong, I posted it in the thread link above. it's John at Transmission Instruments
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Old 01-25-2011, 02:41 PM   #8
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My shifter is a lever type with two digit display. I was finally able to get a diagnostic code of d1-69-32. All other codes were blank -- --, proving once and for all that there really is a God! The d1-69-32 code says it is a "SPI Communications Link Fault in ECU". SPI stands for Serial Peripheral Interface. Does this mean the ECU is bad or that something it is trying to communicate with is not communicating? Maybe just a loose plug on a sensor or something? Several web postings from others with the same symptoms said that their Key Pad was dirty and once it was taken apart and cleaned, the trouble went away. I have tried clearing the code several times, but it appears to either never clear or it comes back immediately even when everything is working correctly. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, especially if you can tell me how to remove the shift lever from the ECU. It looks like they are directly mounted to each other. Needless to say, I have to twist up like a pretzel to get at any of the equipment crammed under the dash. I have taken the VIM out and checked the two fuses and relays and they appear to be functioning properly. However, I have NOT done a through OHM/Voltage check on each of the pins in the VIM. Could a bad relay in the VIM cause the "SPI Communications Link Fault in ECU"? Could a dirty Key Pad/Shifter cause this diagnostics code if it is unable to communicate with the ECU? Could a loose connector somewhere else cause this code?
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