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Old 05-26-2017, 02:01 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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2002 Thomas FE coach, died on the highway, hotwire it to get it going

I'll try and keep it short and sweet.

Day one of my trip halfway across Canada and I don't even make it to the next city over. I have a blown wastegate actuator, and was driving to the regional Cummins for the part and the bus died on me, radio goes off, key won't re start it.

I tracked down a Thomas ancillary loom that touched the exhaust and shorted out.

I tapped it up and repositioned it, then checked all the fuses with a multi meter (it took a while) they all checked out, so at a loss I read the diagram in the door, found the chassis relay and jumpered the coil, I here the beep and the fuel pump prime, I hop in the bus, turn the key and she fired right up. Appears to run and drive perfectly, BUT because I jumpered the relay, the ignition won't turn it off, I have to pull the jumper out.

I traced the wire back to the dash, but didn't take it apart yet.

Would anyone be able to point me in the right direction, or possibly have a schematic for the Start/ Run/ACC circuits?

Many thanks in advance, I'm stuck in town waiting on the wastegate actuator so I might as well try and tackle this wiring issue.
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Old 06-16-2017, 12:05 PM   #2
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update, its been a few weeks, and still have to jumper the chasis coil to start and stop the bus.

I'm still in need of the starting system schematic or line diagrams to diagnose this further
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Old 06-16-2017, 12:44 PM   #3
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Karl

It would help get you more answers if you list more information about your bus. Sorry but an '02 Thomas FE just doesn't tell anyone enough about your bus to give you advice.

I find your post confusing because your '02 Thomas FE generally indicates you've got a diesel, but you jumpering your coil says you've got a gas engine. Fill out your profile with bus information. Most people here don't care for asking numerous questions one at a time to find out basic information about people's buses.

It's not that anyone is trying to be mean about this, but many of us look at 50 or more "issues" a day and they tend to get mixed up if you don't have your basic bus information posted.
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Old 06-16-2017, 01:10 PM   #4
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Yes, it will be *VERY* helpful to at least know what engine is in this bus.

Imagine me asking an electrician to "Fix my lights" and offer a diagnosis over the phone - but forgetting to mention I haven't paid the power bill in 6 months ....
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Old 06-16-2017, 02:41 PM   #5
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Strange analogy, but somehow it works.
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Old 06-16-2017, 03:27 PM   #6
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Some of us are/were electricians, not magicians!
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Old 06-16-2017, 03:33 PM   #7
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Some of us are/were electricians, not magicians!
Same thing far as I'm concerned!
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Old 06-16-2017, 03:59 PM   #8
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That's why you guys should have taken that psychic 101 class in college.
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Old 06-16-2017, 05:14 PM   #9
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my apologies on missing key parts, I posted it on mobile, and in a bit of a haste.

The Bus has a 5.9 Cummins ISB190 matted to an allison 545
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Old 06-16-2017, 05:22 PM   #10
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Sounds to me like the coil needs to be checked with an ohmeter for continuity first of all. If jumping it makes it start then either the coil is bad or the contacts are welded shut.

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Old 06-16-2017, 07:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Krazyistkarl View Post
my apologies on missing key parts, I posted it on mobile, and in a bit of a haste.

The Bus has a 5.9 Cummins ISB190 matted to an allison 545
Alrighty, now we're getting somewhere! I re-read your first post. Something about some of the wiring melted/shorted out ... fuses (*NOT* breakers!) checked out fine (if you have breakers, they are usually self-resetting). Some of these buses (and many cars) have "fusible links" from the battery to the main electrical system, or in your case, from some intermediate connection point to feed the electrical system ... or a portion of the electrical system. What I would do is get a meter - even a cheap test light - see "where you *ARE* getting voltage" and "where you stop getting voltage". Start at the batteries. Great, your test light/meter works. Battery cables, good, they're working too. On to ... whatever the battery cables are bolted to. Relay, starter, whatever. Whenever you stop seeing voltage, that's what you want to check.

And yes, cables can fail. And that's what fusible links look like, a short section of cable (it will look all melted if it has blown; this is exactly how they are designed to work). Whether you replace it with an identical section (match current rating) or replace it with appropriately heavy wire and a fuse (again, matching the current rating) matters little - just be sure to have some sort of current overload/short circuit protection in place.
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Old 06-17-2017, 01:05 AM   #12
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Which way is it broken.

Think I get your problem, but there are two ways to jump a solenoid, so just to be clear...

One way is to take +12v and GRND to the control studs (or +12v if it is self-grounding and there is only one control stud) and it goes clunk and everything works. If that's the case, next step is to trace the wire from the control stud back towards the key switch and keep checking between that lead and ground until you pass a component and start to see +12v. I'm actually doing this right now on my Crown, and having some luck with one of the circuit-breaker-locater signal tracers like you use for building wiring.

I say some luck because I traced and it took me over to the auxiliary starting panel inside the engine compartment, and since that was easier to follow than the wires up under the dash I fixed the auxiliary starting panel in the engine compartment first. Works great.

The other way to jump is to take a lead and connect the two load circuit studs to each other -> everything works. Then it's a bad solenoid and you order a new one.

Of course you can also use a meter, or light, but a lead is enough to figure it.

Sounds like you have the first kind of failure, which is more work.

Mine was double broken, would always go clunk, but was intermittent contact across the load studs after it did.



I ordered my replacements from Del City

https://www.delcity.net/store/Switches/

and like the options they have and the look of the part I got. I tell you for sure how much I like it after I install it on Sunday.

Good Luck,

Adam
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Old 06-17-2017, 03:27 AM   #13
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Back on the first page, I saw the term coil used a couple times.

What're you guys talking about?
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Old 06-17-2017, 03:30 AM   #14
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Back on the first page, I saw the term coil used a couple times.

What're you guys talking about?
Lol. I thought it was just me.
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Old 06-17-2017, 03:37 AM   #15
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Lol. I thought it was just me.
Yeah, I saw it and thought "step-up pulse transformer, what the hell is that doing on a diesel?"

But I'm drunk, so maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about.
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Old 06-17-2017, 09:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Back on the first page, I saw the term coil used a couple times.

What're you guys talking about?
Ramses, I made post #10 in reference to the OP's decription of what he had hot-wired. Not sure which coil that is myself but maybe the term used should have been solenoid. One that is powered from the key to engage the starter relay which in turn would engage the starter.
That's my assumption, could be wrong as not many details were given. I flunked mind reading 101 so was just a suggestion to check the solenoid feeding the starter relay.

Great pic from upbeat of what I was thinking it is.

John
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:10 AM   #17
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Was guessing it was the actual wire coil inside a solenoid (that makes the magnetic field). Solenoids/relay/contactor/coil/ is like sandwich/submarine/grinders/hoagie. Causes lots of confusion but it's all lunch.


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Old 06-17-2017, 02:02 PM   #18
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okay I'm going to clear some things up, so much confusion haha,

I've got a good meter, tested all the fuses, and battery connection is fine from battery to the body solenoid.

I have jumpered from the battery lead on the solenoid to the coil and it pulls in fine, I hear the fuel pump prime, and the wait to start light/ alarm beeps, Then I go inside and turn the key and it starts.

The key will not turn is off after it's running either.

So... I traced the coil wire (purple with with stripe) around the front to the firewall (I guess not really a firewall on a coach??) It goes into a connector, and the other side goes up into the dash. I can't see any other fuses or fusible links.
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Old 06-17-2017, 02:42 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Krazyistkarl View Post
okay I'm going to clear some things up, so much confusion haha,

I've got a good meter, tested all the fuses, and battery connection is fine from battery to the body solenoid.

I have jumpered from the battery lead on the solenoid to the coil and it pulls in fine, I hear the fuel pump prime, and the wait to start light/ alarm beeps, Then I go inside and turn the key and it starts.

The key will not turn is off after it's running either.

So... I traced the coil wire (purple with with stripe) around the front to the firewall (I guess not really a firewall on a coach??) It goes into a connector, and the other side goes up into the dash. I can't see any other fuses or fusible links.
Alright, progress! Testing. Process of elimination. Just as an aside (and this probably isn't your problem here, I'm just tossing this out) I *HAVE* had a relay that not only had a tendency to stick in the off position, and make intermittent contact, but it would also stick in the on position, necessitating a bump to get it unstuck. Just in case that's the problem - or more to the point, if anyone ever encounters that problem.

So, if I understand your problem correctly, the solenoid isn't being activated by the key switch. If you apply power to the solenoid's coil with a jumper, you are able to start/run the bus. The key switch does not power off the bus, since you've essentially bypassed it with the jumper. It seems to me there's *Something* in between the fuses, key switch, and solenoid that has failed (and the solenoid itself may be fine). It's hard to tell without pics or wiring schematics if it's a +12V (more likely) or -12V (less likely) issue (I have no way, without a photo, to know if it's internally grounded; if it only has 3 terminals [Battery, "load" and "relay"] then it probably is).

Your key switch (and by using that term, I am referring to the actual electrical portion of it, in case it's separate from the actual lock cylinder) likely has multiple inputs and outputs, at this point the output for the "IGN" or "RUN" circuit needs to be checked. As I understand it, the start portion works as it should, once the solenoid is jumpered. *Some* ignition switches have separate inputs for these circuits, others use the same input (A photo will be extremely helpful if you ask about this), see if you are getting input and output voltage here.
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Old 06-17-2017, 04:32 PM   #20
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If you don't fully trace that purple wire out we won't be able to help you much. Tear the dash covers off and find where it goes. Likely to the start relay which makes the contact for the starter. To turn a diesel off you have to de-energize the fuel solenoid which it seems your key switch isn't doing.
It's time to get your magnifying glass out and go over all that behind the dash wiring.

John
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