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Old 03-10-2017, 12:47 PM   #1
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What Is This Wire MYSTERY???

I'm trying to figure out what this wire is on my 1998 3800 with 444E.
Its white, and looks like a ground in the electrical panel. It seems to be cut in a couple places.

behind the yellow panel, about in the middle of the bay-

Looks like a foot or so of the wire was cut, but here it is at the top left corner of the electrical panel bay-

and it seems to come out with the rest of the wires into the engine bay top right side of firewall, then it runs down the big wire harness across the back of the engine-



and on the other side where it comes over, its been cut again-


The only thing I can find near there that seems like where the wire may have run to is on the back of the alternator. a wire has been cut on the back of the alt. But it seems lot appear that the wire that's been cut was red?



What yall think?
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Old 03-10-2017, 03:20 PM   #2
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i'd have no clue other than to point out that it definitely wasn't original if it isnt in those tubes like the others. maybe...lol.
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Old 03-10-2017, 03:33 PM   #3
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is that the only thing on that alternator terminal?
Take the terminal off and open it up to see if maybe it actual was a white wire.
Maybe they painted the very end red for some reason.
Look up that alternator and see what that terminal is for as well.
Can't imagine why they would run a ground wire (if that is what that terminal is for) from that terminal all the way over and into the panel just to ground it.
Maybe someone added a "real" volt or ampmeter in the access panel instead of the dash?
Or maybe it was wiring for an onboard school com radio they removed before selling the bus?
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:57 PM   #4
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I have a battery isolator that gets a feed from the alternator to charge batteries. Does your bus have house and starting batteries on an isolator or could it have had one in the past?
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Old 03-11-2017, 12:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bstewrat3 View Post
I have a battery isolator that gets a feed from the alternator to charge batteries. Does your bus have house and starting batteries on an isolator or could it have had one in the past?
No- just the usual two g31's in the battery tray.

Weird electrical stuff happens on occasion.
Once in a while when I start it, the wipers come on and won't turn off for anything. I have to turn the bus off and restart it. then they're fine.
Never had any gremlins till we had the CC enabled. Probably just coincidence but may be worth mention.
Also the radio/pa stop working once in a while and don't work again till either a long time passes or the bus is turned off for a while.
Can't find anything that looks out of place other than that wire. Every ground I've found and checked out looks solid and tight and new. the whole bus is in really clean, remarkably solid condition.
Next time Christopher or anyone smart with electronics is available, I'd love to get this sorted out. Beer, money, you name it...
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:21 AM   #6
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could be the power for the old camera system
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Old 03-11-2017, 07:34 AM   #7
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could be the power for the old camera system
That's plausible. As you and Chris have noted- the camera/tv equipment, strobe, and flashers are all disabled or removed.
Guess I've been delaying the inevitable and need to pull the dash panels and stuff.
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:29 AM   #8
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I took out the tv power and ground completely. Took the switch panel off and stereo panel off. Nothing. No idea.

The wipers are now staying on if the bus is running.
Guys coming to possibly buy it tomorrow. God damn it.
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Old 03-11-2017, 10:48 AM   #9
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do the wipers change at all if ytou jiggle the wires or the switches around? if a short occured in the washer it could possibly cause the wipers to run also..

im in ohio or id run up to help you nail it before the buyer comes..
-Christopher
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Old 03-11-2017, 04:15 PM   #10
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do the wipers change at all if ytou jiggle the wires or the switches around? if a short occured in the washer it could possibly cause the wipers to run also..

im in ohio or id run up to help you nail it before the buyer comes..
-Christopher
Nothing i do at all affect the wipers. I start the bus and they come on automatically anywhere from instantly to about two minutes into running. Can't even use it like this, and can't find a fuse to pull to disable them. the right one is worse than the driver one. So weird. No probs the whole way from CO or at all till I decided I had to have Cruise.
Guy seems ready to buy and bus crapping out!

I've preached to everyone about electronic buses and I was right- they're friggin BS.
I want a bus like my 92 Ward but this size. My 92 has such little wiring even an idiot like me can get by.
I can't get over how many wires are in this 98. Its just silly.
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:31 PM   #11
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I've got quite a few folks wanting to buy this thing.
Any ideas anyone?
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Old 03-12-2017, 08:52 AM   #12
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I've been out there looking it over all morning.
I guess I just need to cancel all the appointments for folks to come look at it, and take it to a Navistar dealer and whoop out my credit card. God damn electronic nonsense.
I'll NEVER buy a non-mechanical bus again. Not even to resell. what a headache.
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:00 AM   #13
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dude. the wipers have nothing to do with the computer.. they are the same as in your ward... its a switch going to a motor.. its usually the auto-return that causes issues.. you took the bus from a dry colorado to a wet florida.. humidity and any electricals is a PITA.. trust me.. the PCM is not involved in the wipers..

-Christopher
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:05 AM   #14
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I believe you, man. I just know NOTHING about electrical stuff. NOTHING.
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Old 03-12-2017, 09:16 AM   #15
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My parents bought a 99 f150 awhile back and it does the ghost wipers too. Its weird as hell. Theyll randomly come on for any amount of time and sometimes it doesnt come on for weeks. It honestly has a mind of its own. We've grown used to it and will just end up changing wiper blades every so often. Lol.

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Old 03-12-2017, 09:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
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My parents bought a 99 f150 awhile back and it does the ghost wipers too. Its weird as hell. Theyll randomly come on for any amount of time and sometimes it doesnt come on for weeks. It honestly has a mind of its own. We've grown used to it and will just end up changing wiper blades every so often. Lol.

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I've found online that lots of vehicles have this problem, but nothing about how to fix it.
I just pulled the right dash panel off and am looking at the wiper motor. No red flags.
It was seeminly a random thing. But now it just will not stop!
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Old 03-12-2017, 10:57 AM   #17
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find the power wire to the wiper motor and install a simple toggle switch.
Leave it in the on position.
When it starts by itself, turn it off.
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Old 03-12-2017, 01:34 PM   #18
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I'll look into that.
Sounds like a fairly common issue-

Thomas Freightliner Wipers and delay switch prob - School Bus Fleet Magazine Forums
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Old 03-12-2017, 02:00 PM   #19
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So far the best I can do is unplug the motor from the harness.
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Old 03-12-2017, 06:22 PM   #20
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Have you got a multimeter? if not get one somehow, best thing you'll ever buy. You can fix this with our help.

See if you can swap the motor connection wires to the opposite motor first and then that helps test the switches themselves. Worth a try, cut a few tyraps off and make the switch.
Post results and we can follow your findings.
I was that way to with my first car but after many repair bills and my dad I learned this stuff.
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