WTS light won't turn on and Bus won't start...
Before I got this bus I had ideas of cruising down the Coast but that all changed recently.
On top of trying to figure out why the bus is stuck on 2nd and reverse gear only, I recently bought and installed a new battery under the hood because it was low and wouldn't accept charge. I also borrowed an OBD1 from a friend but wasn't able to read the codes because it wouldn't connect. I also checked all of the fuses and sprayed electric parts cleaner. After turning the ignition on and off, I noticed the glow plug light wasn't turning on anymore and when I tried to start it wouldn't start. I've done some research in other forums but couldn't have an exact engine/electrical system to reference my situation.
When the bus started, it would emit White smoke that would disappear right away.
This is for a 1995 Chevy G30 Collins Super Bantam Diesel 6.5 V8 with 4L80E Transmission.
Here's what I found that sort of make sense in a diesel forum:
"The ECM mounted on the side of the engine (mine was relocated under the driver seat) is responsible for illuminating the "Wait to start" lamp. It goes through a self check when it gets a start signal from the key switch.
There are only a couple of reasons the WTS lamp takes a long time. One is the ECM is faulty and when doing its self check it will find a problem that can correct itself after several seconds. The other common problem is the ECM does not receive good 12 volt power and this may be fixed by replacing the relay in the power distribution center (fuse box) on the fender well.
If the problem is in the ECM it may eventually need to be replaced. In my opinion the ECM can become intermittent because of a part on the circuit board failing to make a good electrical connection or just changing value due to many heat/cool cycles. The ECM computer looks for nominal voltage values when it is powered up and if something is out of range will not pass the self test keeping the lamp off.
Try the relay first."
1. How do I find out if the ECM is not working.
2. If the glow plugs are bad would that keep it for illuminating the WTS light?
3. Is there a way to start the bus even with bad glow plugs. ( I need to move it for street cleaning next week or get an $84.00 ticket).
I thought i'd give it a shot myself before calling AAA and take it to a shop.
Thank you in advance.
Usually the glow plugs are only for starting in the cold.
On those engines the ECM has to be relocated to make it survive. they overheat in the factory location.
My work truck has that transmission. Mine only goes into R, 1, and 3. Bad solenoids in mine. They're inside the tranny, too.
Is the starter not spinning when you turn the key?
Not sure on the 6.5 but I had a 6.2 that I switched to a fully manual glow plug setup. it relied on a temperature sensor on the motor that wasn't very reliable. Hooking a button directly to the glow plug solenoid ended my glow-related problems.
If the starter isn't spinning, you may have an interlock issue, or you may just have a problem with the starter or starter solenoid. You can jump the solenoid with a screwdriver to bypass all the login upstream of the solenoid.
Similarly, you can use the same screwdriver trick on the glow plug solenoid to heat them up. My 6.2 needed glow even on hot days.
Disconnect your batteries and remove the ECM form its location. I would imagine you will find some rust on the hold down bolts, giving it a bad or no ground. Clean that up or relocate to another area, not so damp as that gets.
An easy place to start and go from there.
Hook it back up when grounding is good and try starting.
Thanks to all that responded.
The starter is spinning when I turn on the key.
I am starting to suspect that the glow plug might not be the issue because it is not that cold where I am in San Francisco and because I took off the injectors and it wasn't quirting diesel, checked the pump and diesel was going in the fuel filter but not coming out. Might be something electrical connected to fuel delivery.
As far as the ECM, it was already relocated under the seat connected by 2 wire harness and is not bolted down, basically just dangling.
I've attached some pictures for reference in case someone sees something I am missing.
Don't even want to think about the transmission issue at the moment and would be happy driving in "limp mode" like I have been the past couple of months.
I am glad there is a forum like this to keep my sanity.
Hadn't looked into it much as its not MY truck. I just drive it every day. In 1st and 3rd lol.
golfer is right.. the solenoids are in the valve body so you dont have to RnR.. ive also found on the 4L(80/60)E that sometimes the wires just come unplugged or the plastic connectors get brittle and crack in the constant hot trans fluid over the years..
and all it takes is for ONE of those solenoids to act wierd and the computer says 'You're gone!' and throws it to limp mode..
if the WTS light isnt turning on.. and the OBD scanner isnt even connecting, id begin to suspect the ECM or the power going to it.. I would start by measuring for +12 VDC at the pins on the ECM connectors to make sure its actually powering up all the way..
I was under the impression the when the "SERVICE ENGINE SOON" light was on the it's a sign that the ECM is working.
Here's more information regarding my situation. Again, thank you so much for all your input/help. This checklist might be useful for future reference.
The Diagnostic Checklist:
1. Describe the problem you are having in detail:
Bus will crank but won't start. First off when I bought the bus it was stuck on 2nd (and reverse) but wouldn't shift to higher 3,4th gear. Thinking it was due to low voltage or something electrical I had the batteries checked to eliminate that issue and replaced the one under the hood but not the second one since it was showing 13V. I installed it and it started fine. I checked the OBD1 scanner and it was not communicating with my ECM so I tried a couple of times again. I then noticed the the "WTS" wait to start light was not illuminating anymore and when I tried to start it again it would just crank and not start like it always did. Checked all the fuses and they were all good. I checked the fuel supply and it was getting fuel up the the fuel filter management and "t" handle drain but when I loosen the injection line at the injector It doesn't get any fuel when I crank it over. I also noticed that it was leaking fuel under the FFM due to a worn o-ring seal. It also sat for a month but started first click when I got back so I probably have to change diesel soon.
2. Year of truck/engine. 1995 Chevy G30 Detroit diesel 6.4 V8
3. Odometer reading (indicate miles or kilometers). 345k miles
4. Indicate the model number on the Injection pump (starts DS4 or DB2......). Will check.
5. Indicate if you know if it’s a 1500, 2500, 2500HD, 3500, 3500HD. Don't know
6. Do you have an EGR on the engine? (An F or an S engine code 8th VIN digit) "Y" (6.5 V8 Diesel)
7. Air Filter condition (visual check). Cleaned it
8. Fuel filter condition (freshly changed, mileage since changed). Don't know exact age but looks good.
9. Location of PMD/FSD? (ex. on pump/remote over intake, behind bumper). Will look for it.
9a. If remote mounted, describe wiring harness (homemade or purchased from which vendor). TBD
9b. Indicate the location and condition of the FSD/IP grounding wire. TBD
10. Outside Temperature (C or F). __65F___ °
11. Service Engine Light while running?- on/off/intermittent ON
11a. Service Engine light does glow during start/cranking/bulb check: Yes
12.Have you scanned for engine codes? Yes
12a. List exact results on engine codes. Didn't get any
13. Condition of Battery terminals (removed, cleaned and tightened). Clean and new
14. Known condition and age of Batteries. 1 is less than 4 years old and the other is new
14a. Are batteries a matched set of same age? No
15. Condition of Major Grounds (removed, cleaned and tightened) cleaned and tight.
15a Have the batteries been individually load tested? Yes
16. Does engine crank, or "turn over"? Yes
16a. Does engine start and run? no
17. If engine does not start- Crack injector line: do you have fuel? No
18. Does your Wait To Start light come on? No
18a.Number of seconds WTS light is lit. N/A
19. Engine Cranking speed (if you have an accurate tachometer). No accurate figure but cranks very strong.
20. Are you experiencing Stalling? N/A and didn't stall when it was running
20a. Describe the event (upon startup only, down the road, hit a bump, etc...)
20b. Do you notice loss of dash or instruments? Instrument cluster lights went off
21. Check turbo inlet and air filter for obstructions.N/A
22. In a no-hot start, pour a bottle of room-temp water on the injection pump. Does it start now? N/A
23. Lift pump test - Describe results. Working Fine
24. Upon cold start, does the radiator hose get hard quickly? No
25. Upon cold start, do you have excessive white smoke? Yes
26. Do you have excessive cranking time before the engine starts? N/A
27. Have you used the block heater? Does it affect engine starting? (only try for starting problems). N/A
28. Are all glow plugs in proper working order? All 8 glow plugs are new but not sure about the GP relay.
29. During hard acceleration, do you have excessive black smoke? Not when it started
30. Do you have any unusual exhaust smoke issues? Just when starting.
31. Turbo check out - Pass/Fail - N/A
32. Indicate fuel that you are using: Bio-Diesel, #2 Diesel, SVO/WVO, other Diesel
32a. If running Veggie Oil fuel setup, indicate details of your conversion (homemade or packaged system). N/A
33. Are you using any fuel additives? If so, please list.
34. Upon unscrewing fuel cap, do you have a large vacuum formed in the tank? Yes
35. Do you have any service history available that might pertain to the problem you are having? NO
36. Please indicate any modifications to the vehicle that might help us diagnose better. Moved ECM under the driver seat.
Please let me know if I am missing anything and thanks in advance.
PROBLEM SOLVED....well, at least for the first part. Bus starts and runs on 2nd and reverse.
Here's what I did:
Added 3 gallons of fresh diesel to rule that out but still no fuel in the injectors. Replaced 2nd battery with the the same brand (interstate MT-78) and replaced GP controller relay as well with OEM AC Delco, although still didn’t start and “WTS” light still did not illuminate. Fixed the leak under the fuel filter management by adding an extra seal. Tried spraying starter fluid but still wouldn’t start (I know I shouldn't but I was desperate). Was going to give up until I pulled the DRAC Module 16185965 VSSB Module Calibrator Reman Vehicle Speed Sensor thinking it was the PMD because I couldn’t find it, while moving it I saw the "WTS" light come on and then I fired it and it started. Wire got loose while installing the battery. Starts better with a lot less smoke with new glow plugs. learned a lot and it definitely was a great feeling to hear it fire up again and to know that the injectors didn't crap out on me.
There's a great site called acuratediesel that has a step by step procedure on how to diagnose a 6.5 diesel. I should have caught it on step 1:
" 1. Visual inspection solves a large percentage of problems that would take much longer to diagnose by conventional techniques.
Spend a minimum 10 minutes in the engine compartment going over everything. Do not rush. Pay very close attention to wiring connectors and grounds.
There are a number of wires grounded at intake manifold bolts near the rear of the intake. Be sure that these are clean, tight and not broken.
There is a large round 15-way connector near the back of the intake manifold which joins the injection harness (which contains all the wires to the injection pump) to the main engine harness. Open this connector and ensure that the terminals are in good condition and not corroded as is common in northern trucks. If corrosion is present clean the terminals with a good electrical contact cleaner. Do not spread the terminals by inserting objects into them.
Pay special attention to any wiring looms where they pass over other objects such as A/C lines. Pick them up and be sure that no wires have rubbed through."
I am going to spend some time off and enjoy my second gear and reverse before moving forward to the transmission issue - lol.
I can't thank you enough to all the responded. I truly appreciate all the input and help.
If nit only goes into 2nd and reverse...that would indicate it is possibly in "limp mode". A default status when some tranny issues arise. Cadillac (or a good trans mech) can probably tell you more.
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