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Old 06-14-2017, 01:34 PM   #1
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2001 INT T444E...just lost all power

2001 INT with T444E/5 speed Allison.. 130k miles. Hoping someone can point us in the right direction. Just bought the bus after it broke down on our property. Had just hauled 8 motorcycles from FL to WV, but then refused to leave the mountain. Bus just lost all power when pulling on to the street. Like the key had been switched off. No crank. Runs its sweeps, doesnt make another sound.

Owner stayed 3 days trying to fix it, and had a diesel mechanic on site for about 3 hours. here's a list of info about the situation:

1. ECM was taken to INT garage and checked. Said to be good. Last code was "low voltage to the ECM"
2. Checked fuses and started checking grounds and connectors. Then we decided to stop shooting in the dark, and do some research before going any further. This is a great resource so we hoped to save some troubleshooting time. Last night I downloaded a service man and diagnostics man.
3. Brand new batteries installed, made no difference. old ones checked out good.
4. Is there an inertia switch? IMMEDIATELY before stalling, the bus went down a short decline/ramp leaving our driveway. Ramp is about 25 feet long, with a drop of approximately 7 feet...with a small dip on the passenger side that created a slight rocking motion, before leveling out onto the street. The bus lost all power before the rear wheels touched the street. If this could be the culprit, is there a reset procedure? How sweet that would be!!!

Sorry to join the group and immediately start asking for help. But we've wanted a bus for 10 years and now we got us one. Just hoping to get some help so we can get it to our shop and start customizing it to meet our needs. Our mama just turned 67 and wants to go on a few bus adventures this summer...so we have work to do!

Thanks in advance to anyone who may have some insight!!!

-Travis
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Old 06-14-2017, 02:05 PM   #2
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That sounds a lot like the interlock system preventing you from starting the bus, but it doesn't make sense that it would simply die as you're pulling out onto the road.
In a couple days you'll have lots of answers.
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Old 06-14-2017, 02:26 PM   #3
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Hmmm.

There wasn't a big set of keys on the keyring swinging, by chance? Might have broken keyswitch.

The jolting shook something, it sounds like. Interlocks would be a good place to check- did you bypass the interlock solenoid?

Flaky ground connection? quick way to test is jumper cable negative post of battery to clean spot on frame for bonus ground.

Sweeps, meaning gauges only, or do you hear clicking solenoids?
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
That sounds a lot like the interlock system preventing you from starting the bus, but it doesn't make sense that it would simply die as you're pulling out onto the road.
In a couple days you'll have lots of answers.
Thanks so much! I see youre from Oregon. Absolutely love it there! Spent a week riding near Medford and up at Winchester/Coos Bay. On my bus bucket list to go back with some friends and ride the dunes/fish the Umpqua and Rogue!!!
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
There wasn't a big set of keys on the keyring swinging, by chance? Might have broken keyswitch.

The jolting shook something, it sounds like. Interlocks would be a good place to check- did you bypass the interlock solenoid?

Flaky ground connection? quick way to test is jumper cable negative post of battery to clean spot on frame for bonus ground.

Sweeps, meaning gauges only, or do you hear clicking solenoids?
Not 100% sure about the keys but I think it was only the ignition and door key on the ring. The dash lights up when switched on. Then we hear the solenoids clicking one at a time during the sweep. 2 clicks on the rear and 2 in the front. Click, click...click click. Not familiar with interlock system or what it does. Brand new to the bus game, or heavy diesel for that matter. Is there an angle sensor or rollover type switch that cuts power to the ECM during an accident? If so is there a reset? Thanks for the reply!
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:54 PM   #6
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I wish my bus had a reset button. Mine is actually a mechanical bus, but a reset button would still be great.

I'm going to drive around with a bike in the back of the bus for a while too. I originally planned to take a quad but it doesn't quite fit through the lift door, let alone the even narrower lift. I settled on a dual sport for simplicity and greater utility than a quad.

There are a few bus interlock videos on youtube that can give you an idea of how the system works and how to disable it. The interlock is a safety system that won't allow the bus to start if any of the roof hatches or doors are not closed properly. The roof hatches can be open to allow ventilation, but if they're unlatched it activates the interlock preventing you from starting. They are not designed to stop an engine after it's started and underway.
No tilt meter in the bus as far as I know.


This isn't heavy diesel. This is nearly just pickup truck size diesel.
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:08 PM   #7
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Welcome, nice way to start bussing!

If your fuses and relays are working then find wherever the relay panel is. Not sure of your bus layout but look for the starter relay and check connections for corrosion and power if possible. Yank it out and clean the contacts with a dremel wire wheel till they come shiney again and try to start again.

Clean up all cable connections like that too. If the electrical system isn't working not much sense converting till you get it fixed. Well worth the time and effort to eliminate any gremlins popping up. Then you know what you really got.

Have you checked the fuel? Might be out or need bleeding if it was low or on fumes. Will need bleeding of course.

What did the mechanic have to say about it all? Probably wanted to buy it himself.

John
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
I wish my bus had a reset button. Mine is actually a mechanical bus, but a reset button would still be great.

I'm going to drive around with a bike in the back of the bus for a while too. I originally planned to take a quad but it doesn't quite fit through the lift door, let alone the even narrower lift. I settled on a dual sport for simplicity and greater utility than a quad.

There are a few bus interlock videos on youtube that can give you an idea of how the system works and how to disable it. The interlock is a safety system that won't allow the bus to start if any of the roof hatches or doors are not closed properly. The roof hatches can be open to allow ventilation, but if they're unlatched it activates the interlock preventing you from starting. They are not designed to stop an engine after it's started and underway.
No tilt meter in the bus as far as I know.


This isn't heavy diesel. This is nearly just pickup truck size diesel.
Thanks Robin. We are into dual sporting as well, and love the versatility.

Whatever it is not only prevents it from cranking, but also killed the power while it had been running for several minutes and had traveled a 1/2 mile down our driveway. Plenty of fuel in the tank.


We'll get to the bottom of it sooner or later.
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:07 PM   #9
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Welcome, nice way to start bussing!

If your fuses and relays are working then find wherever the relay panel is. Not sure of your bus layout but look for the starter relay and check connections for corrosion and power if possible. Yank it out and clean the contacts with a dremel wire wheel till they come shiney again and try to start again.

Clean up all cable connections like that too. If the electrical system isn't working not much sense converting till you get it fixed. Well worth the time and effort to eliminate any gremlins popping up. Then you know what you really got.

Have you checked the fuel? Might be out or need bleeding if it was low or on fumes. Will need bleeding of course.

What did the mechanic have to say about it all? Probably wanted to buy it himself.

John
Thanks for the tips John. Plenty of fuel. I didnt talk to the mechanic, as he dealt with the previous owner. Bought it a couple days later once I found out the ECM had been taken to the International garage and checked out ok. From what I gathered, the mechanic didnt really offer much info that we didnt already know. Which isnt a lot. Everyone has kinda suspected a bad ground or relay from the start...the driveway isnt terrible but a little bumpy for a bus.Could have jiggled something. just thought maybe there was a common issue that rears its head frequently.

Appreciate the response!
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:15 PM   #10
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Since a running engine simply stopped I'd say it's fair to say the fuel stopped flowing. For lack of better suggestions could this be your fuel shutoff selenoid? They fail infrequently, but tend to get overlooked when they do fail. Some of us like the manual fuel shutoffs.
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:45 PM   #11
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Since a running engine simply stopped I'd say it's fair to say the fuel stopped flowing. For lack of better suggestions could this be your fuel shutoff selenoid? They fail infrequently, but tend to get overlooked when they do fail. Some of us like the manual fuel shutoffs.

It would still turn over Robin if that was the case. But it doesn't want to.

John
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:20 PM   #12
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Are you still thinking it's the ignitions switch? This one seems confusing because it acts like an interlock problem, but the bus shouldn't have shut down by itself.

It's always interesting to follow these threads because I'm so bad at electrical.
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:34 AM   #13
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It sounds an awful lot like the interlock for a fried positive battery cable. I have seen pictures of battery cables that rot from the inside out and look perfectly good. If the positive cable off the battery is shot you won't get power to anything. Unless there are secondary cables that go to the fuse panel and low voltage stuff

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Old 06-15-2017, 09:15 AM   #14
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Could also be a dead short across cells in the battery. Most "electronic" vehicles will respond that way. My 4 Runner is on it's way to the shop with that issue as we speak. Want to get the alt checked before installing the new batt.
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:24 PM   #15
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I have been have some small issues with my T444e (2000) - when driving. As I am accelerating - at times - it sounds like the engine stalls and then starts again.
Someone mentioned the fuel line - which makes sense - if the fuel filter clogs - will that cause the bus to seem to stall while driving?

I don't know where the fuel filter is - but is that an easy fix?
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:26 PM   #16
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I have been have some small issues with my T444e (2000) - when driving. As I am accelerating - at times - it sounds like the engine stalls and then starts again.
Someone mentioned the fuel line - which makes sense - if the fuel filter clogs - will that cause the bus to seem to stall while driving?

I don't know where the fuel filter is - but is that an easy fix?
That sounds exactly like a clogged filter. Should be a canister filter (like a big oil filter). May be 2 filters, trace the lines from the tank to the block.

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Old 06-18-2017, 11:45 PM   #17
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I have been have some small issues with my T444e (2000) - when driving. As I am accelerating - at times - it sounds like the engine stalls and then starts again.
Someone mentioned the fuel line - which makes sense - if the fuel filter clogs - will that cause the bus to seem to stall while driving?

I don't know where the fuel filter is - but is that an easy fix?
Easy fix??? That should be routine maintenance!!!

Fuel filters on diesel engines should be replaced on a regular basis, typically at least every other oil change (or every oil change, if you stretch out your service intervals). On my Volvo we have a 35K Mile oil change interval, and the fuel filters get changed every time (or should).

Signs your fuel filters need changing - starts up and idles fine, good acceleration up to a point, at which the engine give no more power - it might "drop to idle" or simply not rev any higher. Will achieve highway speed, but going up even a slight hill, power will drop drastically. Essentially, the engine is starving for fuel. Those with a clear canister type filter will see fuel all the way to the top.

Most engines aren't too difficult to do this, the trick is to do your best to avoid the system losing prime (getting air in the system). Naturally a certain amount of air is inevitable. For the spin-on filters, fill them with fuel before installation. For the cartridge (canister) types, especially the clear plastic types, there's a cap on top that you can remove to pour some fuel in, once it's reassembled. For some of the older engines, you'll have the "sock" type filters which retain quite a bit of fuel (only the cap comes off and not much fuel is lost). Many systems have 2 filters and some may even have 3. *CHANGE THEM ALL* (does this sound like the voice of personal experience talking?) Some systems also have a water separator, drain that too, if it has one. Those that don't, often the fuel filters serve as water separators (so don't worry about it).

Once all this is done (and everything is ready to go) start the engine. Give it some throttle. It'll run rough (and may take some starting) but soon it will purge all the air and run smooth again.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:04 AM   #18
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the fuel filter on the 444E is a dark colored canister on top of the engine right in the middle.. the cap is ribbed and unscrews.. there is an O-ring to make the seal.
*SOME* of them have a square hole in the center you can put a ratchet in and unscrew the lid.. many you just grab hold of the ribs and turn.. sometimes you have to take a a ratchet extension and set up against one of the ribs then tap with a rubber mallet..

if you have a choice get the new filter element that includes the lid and O-ring.. the lids can crack easily when removed.


as for the OP, when you turn the key to ON, im assuming you get the Wait-start light and the WARN engine light is also on for a time?

if the ECM is not properly powering up you wont have the WARN light show up...

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Old 06-19-2017, 10:54 AM   #19
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Excellent - thanks for the information - I have yet to do a service on the bus - I've only put on about 600 miles - and the fluids look to have been changed / filled before I got the bus.
I will take it in for a full service and then work on how to do most of it myself.

Thanks!
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:02 AM   #20
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I like a shop all the way up in Hudson called Feolas.. they did a full service on both my busses... they have various packages you can do.. I didnt have a good place in florida to work on my bus and 1100 miles to hoio was long so I had them do it all.. which I think was like $950, they checked and adjusted brakes, replaced coolant, oil, tranny fluid, diff fluid, fuel filters, trans filter, air filter(actually on red bus they deducted air filter stating mine was nearly new already).. they did a bunch of stuff... you can choose any or all... they seem like good peoiple there..
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