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Old 02-22-2018, 10:45 PM   #21
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 6
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thor
Chassis: ElDorado National FE
Engine: Vortec 454 V8
The engine disengaged from the transmission on the highway an hour south of Dallas where I bought it. Pulled it over on shoulder, then noticed it shift into second, so drove it another mile to safety. Shut it down for an hour to charge batteries, because an issue with wiring or alternator, then drove it for 20 minutes directly to a shop with no transmission problems. Shop couldn't figure out the electrical problem, so I'm going to get it tomorrow and limp it to a mechanic in Austin. Any resources you could link me to regarding my chassis, which I think is the motorhome chassis, would be super appreciated. Thanks for the reply!

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Old 02-22-2018, 10:57 PM   #22
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Cadillac Kid can probably tell you more, but if it is only allowing 2nd gear, it sounds like it is going into "limp mode" and may be a tranny comm issue.
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Old 02-22-2018, 10:59 PM   #23
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Galt, CA
Posts: 27
Year: 1998
Coachwork: El Dorado Escort FE
Chassis: Chevrolet P30
Engine: 454 Chevrolet
Rated Cap: 20
My Escort FE went into limp mode when the alternator quit working and batteries did not produce enough power. Once the alternator was repaired and batteries were charged it worked fine
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Old 02-22-2018, 11:01 PM   #24
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Apparently there are a host of issues that can send it into Limp.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:33 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWes View Post
The engine disengaged from the transmission....
So it sounds like you major issue is with the trans. Sounds like just a charging issue with the electrical system? The trans being electronically controlled could obviously be affected by electrical issues. Penguin's low voltage issue is a good example. Checking and cleaning connections couldn't hurt.
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:14 AM   #26
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Texas
Posts: 6
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thor
Chassis: ElDorado National FE
Engine: Vortec 454 V8
Thanks everyone. It did it again yesterday while trying to drive it home from mechanic. Left with charged batteries (via extremal charger), made it almost 2 hours, then same thing happened on the highway like a limp mode; the voltage gauge was reading low. I'm pretty sure it's a charging problem. Since it has this giant rectifier inside, it may have a generator, vs alternator.
This is why wiring diagrams and manuals will be super helpful. I've left messages with ElDorado National with no response.

Penguin, what format are your service manuals and how did you obtain them? Thank you!
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:20 AM   #27
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Galt, CA
Posts: 27
Year: 1998
Coachwork: El Dorado Escort FE
Chassis: Chevrolet P30
Engine: 454 Chevrolet
Rated Cap: 20
I bought an Eldorado service manual (binder with about 500 pages) from Ebay. If you want I can scan the pages you need, put in a pdf and email it to you.
I have had the alternator fail twice, had the same alternator rebuilt twice now. I believe it is a 200 amp Leece Neville, so you cannot run down to the auto parts store and buy another rebuild
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:42 AM   #28
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Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,216
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
yes! you need to have a good electrical voltage to keep the transmission active.. the electrical solenoids within it require a good deal of power. as solenoids age they may require more power to operate.. low voltage may cause one or more solenoids to not engage when they are supposed to which triggers the computer into realizing it is not in the gear it expects to be in.. the GMC PCM wasnt too sophisticated.. theres no separate trans computer per se but you definitely cant just run on the batteries for very long until the computers start going wonky.. the transmission limp mode is a protection mechanicsm for the transmission so you dont damage it if its not damaged.. and since it drives fine right off with charged batteries its probably good...

many times on GMC they used SI alternators which require the sense lead to have battery voltage on it before the alternator would turn on and charge. a wiring fault results in the alternator not chartging.. also the 'i;' or iginition portion must work too.. you can google troubleshooting SI alternators.. it often is something simple.. even a blown fuse for the dashboard or dashboard warning lamps can result in a no-charge condition..
-Christopher
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Old 03-04-2018, 04:57 AM   #29
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Texas
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thor
Chassis: ElDorado National FE
Engine: Vortec 454 V8
Fixed it! It just needed an updated voltage regulator wired in! Charging like a bull! Thanks so much.

Penguin, I'd love to send you some money in exchange for your time in copying that service manual! Maybe even Kinkos would do it!! Pretty sure I sent you a private message about it! ����✌️
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Old 09-02-2020, 09:26 PM   #30
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JWES can you give me a shout if you don't mind. 9089075873
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