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Old 06-06-2014, 10:17 PM   #1
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Fuel Gauge & Annunciator Panel stopped working.

Hello folks, new to this forum as of a couple of minutes ago. I have a 2004 Fleetwood Discovery 39J. Yesterday we returned home from a camp-out, after I shut the engine off, I went to restart, I turned the key on as always and waited for the annunciator lights to come on, nothing happened, I also noticed that my fuel gauge was not working. All other gauges, air, volt, temp, are working fine. I check the fuse for the ICC and it is ok. Any suggestions??
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:39 AM   #2
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Sorry you hear with problems , I have test info that should cover your chassis, and gauge package. I'll post it right away.
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Old 06-07-2014, 01:44 AM   #3
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Here's the test info I have .

Also keep this number handy. Freightliner' s free help line , have your serial number handy when you call.
1-800-FLT-HELP
1-800-385-4357
Inquire about joining Access Freightliner , for online access to wiring and parts info for your chassis.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Freightliner gauges operation , testing.pdf (127.9 KB, 86 views)
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar1957 View Post
Hello folks, new to this forum as of a couple of minutes ago. I have a 2004 Fleetwood Discovery 39J. Yesterday we returned home from a camp-out, after I shut the engine off, I went to restart, I turned the key on as always and waited for the annunciator lights to come on, nothing happened, I also noticed that my fuel gauge was not working. All other gauges, air, volt, temp, are working fine. I check the fuse for the ICC and it is ok. Any suggestions??
Radar1957,
Ours is an '04 Itasca Horizon, 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT and, that same thing, almost exactly happened to ours about 2 years ago. I didn't have a clue. I called Freightliner help and, the nice FEMALE tech on the other end of the line, walked me though a series of checks. It all lead and pointed to, a loss of ground for that part of the system.

I found the correct ground wire for that part but, not the end where its' supposed to pick up the ground. I asked her if it would be ok to simply "build" another ground (from a suitable point) and, tie it into that wire. She said, "yep, that would work perfect). So, while I had her on the line, I did a super fast test of my idea by grabbing a piece of wire, clamped it to a suitable ground and then stripped tiny section of insulation off that ground wire and clamped it to it.

I then went in a turned on the key and, vuuuuuuuaaaaallllllllaaaaa, I had annunciator panel lights/icons, air buzzers etc. just like I was supposed to have. Yahoooo!

Now, does this mean it's the answer to your situation, maybe and, maybe not. But, it certainly might be worth looking into. Bad grounds are the most common automotive electrical problem. Good luck and, please come back and post what you find was/is the answer to your problem.
Scott
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:45 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Radar1957,
Ours is an '04 Itasca Horizon, 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT and, that same thing, almost exactly happened to ours about 2 years ago. I didn't have a clue. I called Freightliner help and, the nice FEMALE tech on the other end of the line, walked me though a series of checks. It all lead and pointed to, a loss of ground for that part of the system.

I found the correct ground wire for that part but, not the end where its' supposed to pick up the ground. I asked her if it would be ok to simply "build" another ground (from a suitable point) and, tie it into that wire. She said, "yep, that would work perfect). So, while I had her on the line, I did a super fast test of my idea by grabbing a piece of wire, clamped it to a suitable ground and then stripped tiny section of insulation off that ground wire and clamped it to it.

I then went in a turned on the key and, vuuuuuuuaaaaallllllllaaaaa, I had annunciator panel lights/icons, air buzzers etc. just like I was supposed to have. Yahoooo!

Now, does this mean it's the answer to your situation, maybe and, maybe not. But, it certainly might be worth looking into. Bad grounds are the most common automotive electrical problem. Good luck and, please come back and post what you find was/is the answer to your problem.
Scott
Thank you for your reply Fire Up! Where did you find the ground wire? Under the dash or by the VDC? I also spoke with Freightliner help this morning, the person was very helpful and gave me lots of things to check out. Turns out I have a VDC model, so now I just have to find it!
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Old 06-07-2014, 04:30 PM   #6
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Thank you for your reply Fire Up! Where did you find the ground wire? Under the dash or by the VDC? I also spoke with Freightliner help this morning, the person was very helpful and gave me lots of things to check out. Turns out I have a VDC model, so now I just have to find it!
Radar,
I wish I'd have taken pictures for help on your answer. I removed a small amount of screws that attach the domed dash cover and lift the entire cover, forward towards the windshield. That exposes the dash wiring and more. Once in there, it's not hard to determine that, at least in my case, where there's a group of black wires, usually clumped together, that make up the grounds, coming from various instruments, gauges, and more. They went to a central structure point of steel that was/is a ground point. I found this "AFTER" I fixed it with my fix, several months later. But, my fix was still working just fine, as is today, so, I just left things alone.

I don't know if yours is built in the same manor but, again, it's maybe worth a try in investigation into your issue. The "VDC" or, Vehicle Data Computer, is the Pre-version of the unit I have which, is called the MMDC, or, Multi-Module-Data-Computer. They both kind of, do the same thing. They take info from all the sending units like the Engine ECM, the Transmission ECM, and, the ABS or, Anti-lock Braking System and, then they receive and convert all that info and then send it to the various gauges and annunciator Icons.

There are also at least TWO grounds emanating from that MMDC or, VDC. They must be intact for the gauges for function correctly.
Scott
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Old 06-07-2014, 06:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Radar,
I wish I'd have taken pictures for help on your answer. I removed a small amount of screws that attach the domed dash cover and lift the entire cover, forward towards the windshield. That exposes the dash wiring and more. Once in there, it's not hard to determine that, at least in my case, where there's a group of black wires, usually clumped together, that make up the grounds, coming from various instruments, gauges, and more. They went to a central structure point of steel that was/is a ground point. I found this "AFTER" I fixed it with my fix, several months later. But, my fix was still working just fine, as is today, so, I just left things alone.

I don't know if yours is built in the same manor but, again, it's maybe worth a try in investigation into your issue. The "VDC" or, Vehicle Data Computer, is the Pre-version of the unit I have which, is called the MMDC, or, Multi-Module-Data-Computer. They both kind of, do the same thing. They take info from all the sending units like the Engine ECM, the Transmission ECM, and, the ABS or, Anti-lock Braking System and, then they receive and convert all that info and then send it to the various gauges and annunciator Icons.

There are also at least TWO grounds emanating from that MMDC or, VDC. They must be intact for the gauges for function correctly.
Scott
Thanks Scott, will start where you suggested. Appreciate the quick response! Bruce.
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:03 PM   #8
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Bruce,
Well, all we can hope for is, it's a simple fix like a ground that's gone south. Electrical issues are not the most fun when it comes to repairs on these rolling gymnasiums. Repairing anything is not usually fun but, electrical ones are for the most part, usually harder than mechanical ones. Anyway, good luck, again, please post if and when, you find the root problem.
Scott
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Old 06-08-2014, 05:34 PM   #9
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Bruce,
Well, all we can hope for is, it's a simple fix like a ground that's gone south. Electrical issues are not the most fun when it comes to repairs on these rolling gymnasiums. Repairing anything is not usually fun but, electrical ones are for the most part, usually harder than mechanical ones. Anyway, good luck, again, please post if and when, you find the root problem.
Scott
Hi Scott, well I got lucky, I found the VDC and wiggled a few connections but that didn't make a difference so I pulled out the the instrument cluster in the dashboard and the annunciator had two connectors going to it. I disconnected them both, turned the key on and I could hear the VDC click twice. Then I plugged both connectors back on to the board and everything started working again!! So I guess I can cancel my appt. at the Freightliner shop here in Calgary, probably saved a few hundred dollars by attempting it myself. Thanks to everyone for your kind advice!!
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Old 06-08-2014, 09:45 PM   #10
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Hi Scott, well I got lucky, I found the VDC and wiggled a few connections but that didn't make a difference so I pulled out the the instrument cluster in the dashboard and the annunciator had two connectors going to it. I disconnected them both, turned the key on and I could hear the VDC click twice. Then I plugged both connectors back on to the board and everything started working again!! So I guess I can cancel my appt. at the Freightliner shop here in Calgary, probably saved a few hundred dollars by attempting it myself. Thanks to everyone for your kind advice!!
It's always nice to hear of a cheap and working cure for an electrical issue. I've had some real PITA ones. But, I've had some simple ones too. That's great. Hope it continues work well now. Good luck. Glad to be of any assistance.
Scott
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:33 PM   #11
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Tell me it still works:)

I have my dash out and it's been out for a week. I have gauge problems similar to yours and have had them for 6 weeks with more fixes than I can list here. I have tried what you just did with no results and now feel like it is the ground or the VDC which I already replaced once this year:( I am having a tough time finding the ground wire for the gauges or the warning light display. Anyway is your fix still working now ?
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:04 PM   #12
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Hello, yes my fix is still working, haven't had a problem since. You should have all the ground wires under the dash?
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