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Old 06-13-2010, 07:47 AM   #1
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Re: Dome lights trouble shooting

You could try seeing if they have a wiring diagram online, http://service.blue-bird.com/wiringschematics/ (you'll need the body number, which is on that ID tag on the compartment over the windshield, just above the entrance door). In a 94, usually the lights would have a positive wire going from the fuse/breaker to the switch, then to each light. The lights are then grounded to the body. If the wiring's that simple, it could be that the switch is bad (try disconnecting the wires from the back of the switch).

However, you mentioned the rear door - if it's normal for the lights to come on when that's open, there will be extra wiring. I'm not that familiar with Blue Bird wiring, but there may be a separate relay that's grounded by the door switch, or the lights could be wired with ground-side switching (positive wire directly to the lights, and a ground wire to each switch). With the key on, does the emergency door buzzer stay on? That could mean either a bad door switch or a short somewhere along the body wiring.

Also, I'm not sure if you meant you checked the chassis or body fuses, but all the wiring for the dome lights would be behind the left-side switch panel. Chassis wiring is in the dash near the gauges, body wiring (bus warning lights, dome lights, clearance lights, connections for stop/turn/tail/backup lights, and all heaters, defrosters, and fans) is behind that switch panel.
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:24 PM   #2
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Re: Dome lights trouble shooting

I asked my friend Luke. Your chassis fuse panel would be near your left foot. However, he's positive that a dome light issue would have nothing to do with the Ford wiring. If you've disconnected the switch and the emergency door, then you must have a short somewhere that's sending power to the dome light wiring. It must be a circuit that's always hot (as opposed to those powered by the "accessory solenoid" that turns on when the key is turned). The stop sign motor has constant power. The large battery cable going to the accessory solenoid is hot all the time. Any aftermarket wiring might be hot. I know it's a mess in the body electrical panel, but try to trace the wires from the dome light switch to see if they're chaffing on anything. You should also be able to find the body fuse/breaker panel in there. Your dome and warning light circuits would all be wired in that switch panel, there should be nothing on the Ford side.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:39 PM   #3
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Re: Dome lights trouble shooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
It's been a while, and this may not apply here... but aren't car dome lights being switched (by the door buttons) on the ground side. Opening the door simply completed the circuit to ground. So if a plunger switch stuck, the light stayed on.

Smitty
That's kind of what I was thinking with the emergency door switch, but Blue Bird never used ground-side switching on the dome lights. With that wiring in a car, a short anywhere between the light and any door switch would also cause the light to stay on.

If you want to disconnect the power at the lights, you'll have to disconnect each light separately. It will make the lights go out, but if you have a short, that means that a circuit somewhere is energized, and you'll still have a draw. If you can't see anything obvious, try poking around with a test light in the switch panel. Get a good ground, and touch every terminal you can find (switches, fuse blocks, splices, junction blocks). Anything that lights up with the key off could potentially be shorted to the dome lights. If it's a terminal you can disconnect, see if that makes the lights go out.
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:11 AM   #4
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Re: Dome lights trouble shooting

Dome lights staying on ONLY when the key is off sounds even weirder. Maybe there's an accessory that was installed at some point. Some of the sleeping child reminder systems put the dome lights on when you're supposed to be walking to the back to check. Is there anything that looks like it was added aftermarket? Any switches or buttons in the back over the emergency door or rear or side windows? Any switches or buttons on the panel that look different from the rest? Any wires behind the panel over the windows that look separate from the main harness?

The buses I drive for First Student have the "Child Check-Mate/Theft-Mate" sleeping child reminder system, which turns on the dome lights during the check cycle. It uses a computer control module, which powers a standard 5-prong relay for the lights. We've had to replace several of those relays, they used a cheap brand that get stuck on if a single drop of water gets in the electrical panel, causing the lights to stay on all the time.
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:24 PM   #5
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Re: Dome lights trouble shooting

do they shut off after 10-15 minutes?
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