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Old 11-06-2015, 07:46 PM   #1
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5.9 cummins isb

I am having trouble starting my 2002 Bluebird CS bus. When I turn the key on, all the lights and buzzers come on. The grid heater works. When the light goes out and I try to start it, it does nothing. The starter does not even try to work. I can hear at least two solenoids working when I do this. I cleaned all the battery and major connections under the bus. The fuel pump sounds like it is working. Searches suggest maybe fuses or a broken wire. Can anyone tell me what maybe wrong.
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:29 PM   #2
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In "N" ? Had to ask....
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 2kool4skool View Post
In "N" ? Had to ask....
yup,I've had a brain fart and did that... called a tow truck for a jump, the driver is like uhhh... did you know your backup lights are on? At least he didn't charge me...
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Old 11-07-2015, 05:42 PM   #4
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i was sure it was. I checked anyway. The shifter has a lock for each position. I wiggled it and moved it thru the gears. No dice. It still will not start.
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Old 11-07-2015, 05:57 PM   #5
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Well, one more thing you can try maybe...

My bus won't start at the ignition. Won't even turn over. I have to turn the key on and go in the back and start it with the button in the engine compartment (while holding in the engine door safety switch).

Don't know if a Bluebird has a similar setup to a Thomas though.
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:19 AM   #6
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Mine is a front engine. Bluebird rear engines do that.
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:15 PM   #7
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Did you try to jump the starter directly? Also, time to get the test light out.
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:10 PM   #8
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No. Because it does not look like most starters I have dealt with before. It has two large cable clusters. 1 is positive and 1 is negative. I can't locate anything else because of large wire groups in the same area.
I have been checking circuits with my tester. So far everything has the same voltage as the battery. I also pulled all the dash fuses and check for resistance. All were good. I did find the high idle switch on and turned it off. Still nothing. I listened under the hood and heard a click and short buzz when I turned the key on. I am assuming that means the shutdown switch has turned on and the grid heater is coming on.
Thanks everyone for your help so far.
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Old 11-14-2015, 09:49 AM   #9
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Did you check you emergency exit interlocks? On some buses, if you have the door locked, you can't start the bus. Door must be unlocked.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:32 PM   #10
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This particular model has no true emergency doors. It has large windows that have bottom releases so you can swing out the whole window an escape. It does have a back door for a wheelchair lift. A buzzer sounds and some lights come on when it is opened. I removed the lift but, I have started it since then.It was sold as a passenger bus for city use or more commonly site seeing tours. Mine in particular was a ski bus for most of it's life. It transported skiers from parking lots to the base lodge.
I have made some contacts and it was suggested that the batteries were on the weak side. I have replaced them. Still no. I have been told by a former bus driver/mechanic that if I had corrosion everywhere than the starter is probably full of it. I am removing it now to test it and see. I need special torx wrenches to remove it. I've had to order them. Now I wait.
Thank you for your suggestion. It was much appreciated.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:46 PM   #11
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Thanks for the update Eric!
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Old 11-29-2015, 07:35 PM   #12
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I will start out by saying that I am grateful for everyone's help and suggestions on my problem. I have driven trucks, but buses have their own unique systems and problems. I received my wrenches and removed the bolt. However the hidden one on top had a stripped head. I tried various tools and methods. In the end I broke the starter ear with a chisel and bottle jack to remove it. I ordered 3 new bolts at my Bluebird dealer. I installed the starter and guess what? It still did not start. So $500 in parts and around $80 in tools and no go. When I removed the old starter I found a small wire attached all by itself. I hunted on the net and found a site that showed you how to rebuild the starter. On the site that wire was referred to as the start wire. I had asked everyone if there was a way to short the starter, but no one would tell me yes or how. I took the old starter and tried it. It worked!

So today I setup to try it for real. I plugged the bus in because it was about 25 here this morning and I wanted to make sure I gave it all the help I could. I had my wife run the key and preheat and watch the gauges. I shorted it and it fired and ran instantly despite sitting 2 months. I would guess that most likely the neutral start switch is gone or a wire is broken on it. I have seen this mentioned on other forums. I will track this down and let people know what I find later.

So in the future if someone asks about these starters please let them know you have to look for it but you can short them. Also refer them to me and I will lend them my knowledge about what I have learned.
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