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Old 03-26-2021, 06:26 PM   #1
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Year: 2002
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Dog Nose 2002 Bluebird3800 T444E Not cranking

Hello I hate that my first post here is that our bus will not start but here we are. We have not started our conversation yet so nothing has been taken out. The bus makes a loud click from the heater box area when the key is turned but won't crank. Ive checked the fuses and the battery are not even a year old. I charged them and took them back to the parts store which confirmed they are good still. I'm suspecting the neutral safety switch because I had this issue one other time and I got it to start after going through the gears several times th3n back to neutral. This doesn't work now. I do not know how to bypass the switch to test if this is the issue. Any tips or help would be extremely appreciated thank you.
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Old 03-26-2021, 07:14 PM   #2
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If it is, in fact, a school bus there's probably a starter interrupt circuit to prevent you from driving away when one of the doors or hatches is open. Go around and check all the emergency exits, roof vents and such.
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Old 03-26-2021, 08:49 PM   #3
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Year: 2000
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Is there a wheelchair lift?

Depending on the year, there will be various safety checks that will cause a no-crank or no-start situation. A defective neutral switch could be one of them, but so could a defective neutral relay switch, or simply (as previously mentioned) one of your emergency hatches or door locks is the issue.

When you said you "went through the gears", is it a mechanical shift or electronic?

What transmission do you have?

Does it go through it's self check when you simply turn the key on, but don't crank?

Details are good!

Best of luck.
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Old 03-29-2021, 08:20 PM   #4
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Hello sorry for the delay and thank you for the info. There is no lift on this bus. I also checked all windows and exits. It does go though the checks and everything looks normal and when you try to crank it just makes that click. Someone tried to give me info on bypassing the netural switch but it was vague and I'm not sure how to do it. I have the allison 2000 transmission.
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Old 03-29-2021, 11:02 PM   #5
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When was the last time it ran?

Where is the clicking noise coming from? track it down. It could be a relay or your starter solenoid.

If the clicking is coming from your solenoid, using a multimeter, bus in park, wheels blocked, have someone try and crank the motor while you measure voltage across the solenoid terminals? if you get 12v, good.

You need to make sure you keep your batteries charged up, 12.6 - 12.8v is good, as this testing will drain them. Don't just put them on charger and leave them, as they could overcharge. Make sure you use a charger/maintainer that automatically goes into float mode.
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Old 03-29-2021, 11:15 PM   #6
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Is it a manual trans or auto?
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Old 03-30-2021, 08:50 AM   #7
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It's an auto.
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Old 03-30-2021, 08:56 AM   #8
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I ran it in January but had an issue starting it at that time. I made sure the battery's where charged but it just kept making that click or clunk sound from the left side sounding like the breaker panel. I ended up getting it started by going through the gears and back to neutral and it fired right up. Which is why i keep suspecting the neutral safety switch. I bought a brand new battery charger that has the smart charge feature that goes into maintain mode once the battery is back up to full. It also tells the volts/amps on the battery. Two weeks ago I pulled the battery's and went to the part store just to see if they are bad but they tested each one and said they are good. One thing as I was looking at it yesterday i noticed is the yellow flashers will not turn on. I cannot remember if the motor needs to be running for the yellows to be turned on or not. The rest of the lights work no issues, the stop sign, the red flashers and the inside/head lights etc. Not sure if this is related or not.
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Old 03-30-2021, 02:04 PM   #9
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Per the flashers, are they the ones up top alongside the reds, or the ones down below that are your hazard flashers? If they are your hazard flashers, they should definitely work when the engine is not running.

Are you confident in being able to do the solenoid test? If so, I think you should do this because it will tell you whether or not you're getting any power to the solenoid. if there's no power to the solenoid, it's not going to crank no matter what.
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Old 03-30-2021, 02:24 PM   #10
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Not the hazard flashers but the yellow's next to the red flasher switch. I have a cheap multimeter and to be honest just starting using them. I'm not 100% familiar on how to conduct the test you are referring to but I'm using this project to learn a lot of new things this included. I work on our cars etc but have not done a whole lot of wiring etc.
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Old 03-30-2021, 10:08 PM   #11
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First, watch this.

I have the 2000 T444E, so this should be the same for you.

Your starter is on the passenger side of the engine.

The solenoid is mounted on the starter. There's a large wire that comes from the battery to the solenoid. Then, there may be a more medium size bolt and nut which is a bracket that holds the solenoid to the starter. Then there should be a small terminal. This is your ground to the starter.

Set the multimeter on DC volts 12v, or the smallest number above 12.

follow my previous post instructions. the red meter lead goes to the large + terminal, the black lead to the small - terminal.

What was the voltage reading?
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File Type: jpg Starter_Solenoid.jpg (52.8 KB, 1 views)
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Old 04-09-2021, 03:22 PM   #12
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Thank you for the information. I've not been able to do my checks with a combo of the weather and the Easter holiday etc. I will post a response after I do. Thanks for all the help i really do appreciate it i have no clue where to start with a bus.
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Old 04-19-2021, 12:14 PM   #13
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I did the test and I'm not getting any voltage to the starter. This pretty much confirms my thought it's the neutral safety switch giving the issue i had last time it ran. Has anyone replaced this on an Allison 2000? It looks like it's on the outside of the transmission and shouldn't leak any fluid but I would love to know for sure to prevent any surprises.
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Old 04-19-2021, 12:42 PM   #14
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On Allison's website there's a section called "My Transmission". Enter your info and you should be able to get the service manual for it.
How many wires on the neutral switch? If it's two you can either unplug it or.. jump them together to test.
I'm not a fan of parts changing unless I'm sure
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Old 04-19-2021, 01:24 PM   #15
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There are two connections on it. So if I remove the wires that should bypass it? That would be amazing I've been looking into how to bypass it and I've not found anything.
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:19 PM   #16
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Knowledge is power. Watch these. It may not answer your questions directly, but it will build your knowledge and you will probably be able to piece together your answer. Then, after watching them, you go to the last link for the parts, if any are needed.

https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/H...Neutral-Switch





https://go4trans.com/transmission/allison-2000/
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:22 PM   #17
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Year: 2000
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Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Duplicated...ignore.
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Old 04-20-2021, 03:24 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicity View Post
Knowledge is power. Watch these. It may not answer your questions directly, but it will build your knowledge and you will probably be able to piece together your answer. Then, after watching them, you go to the last link for the parts, if any are needed.

https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/H...Neutral-Switch





https://go4trans.com/transmission/allison-2000/
Pretty much what I said without the "good 'ol boy" narrative
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Old 04-20-2021, 11:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicity View Post
The solenoid is mounted on the starter. There's a large wire that comes from the battery to the solenoid. Then, there may be a more medium size bolt and nut which is a bracket that holds the solenoid to the starter. Then there should be a small terminal. This is your ground to the starter.
The small wire is the "trigger" signal that activates the solenoid. It is not a ground. The starter either (a) grounds directly to the engine block, and the block is grounded to the battery by a large cable, or (b) the block and starter will be grounded by a large cable to the battery (as it is on mine).


The big wire/cable going to the solenoid is power (+12V) and should always be hot. The small wire should be hot (+12V) only when the key switch is activated to start the motor.
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Old 04-30-2021, 02:56 PM   #20
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Hello Everyone,

It's been a bit but I have news on the situation. I was able to get the bus started last weekend. The issue is that my dash shifter is not actually changing the gears. I was able to change the gears under the bus manually moving the linkage. Now I need to see if the issue is the with the cable or with the gear selector on the dash. Thank you to everyone who has given suggestions they really did help. Also my yellow flashers are still not working I need to figure that out as well.
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