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rlbarkleyii

Help! Freightliner Chassis Dead No Power, Wont Start!

11 posts in this topic

Hi, Folks.

I am stuck here in the Easton MD area. My Journey 2002, Freightliner CCC, *** ISB 8.3, Allison 2000, pulled up to a stop light and without warning stalled, dead. The engine stopped like the key was turned off. No dash lights, no head lights, nothing that I can find on the chassis has power. Tried to switch my house batteries over to start engine, no luck, not even a light on the dash. Checked the engine and house batteries and they both read more than 12.6 volts. Checked that battery bay for loose battery cables as best I could in the middle of the road, nothing seemed loose. Checked the automotive breakers in the front cowl quickly while dodging cars and did not see any of them popped. Police towed me out of the road to a near by rest stop.

This unit never done this before, no previous electrical problems? If anyone has any ideas as to where to start to fix this it would be greatly appreciated.

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Do you still have 12 volts for the coach?

Check for a defective ground that connects the engine to frame rail. This is a braided cable that is often located near the starter.

Also check all the ground connections running between the coach and chassis negative battery terminals and the frame. Clean and tighten all of them.

Rich.

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Had a battery quick disconnect fail one time with the same symptoms. I took the disconnect out of the system, and wired around it. That worked for me. Hope yours is as simple.

Kay

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If all the items that normally operate only with the ignition ON don't operate, the likely suspect is the IGNITION SOLENOID. Likely in the dash or basement compartment in front of driver's wheel.

Easy to diagnose:

The solenoid has two large lugs-- one connected to chassis battery (always battery voltage), the other to all those things that run when the key is ON (battery voltage only when it receives its "signal" from the ignition switch. And either one or two small lugs. If one, it is the "signal" wire from ignition switch. If two, the second is ground (if only one, the body of the solenoid serves as ground).

With ignition off, verify battery voltage at one large lug. Turn on key. You should hear the solenoid "click" and will have that same voltage at the other large lug. If not, either the solenoid is defective or is not receiving the signal from the ignition switch. Check for 12 VDC on the signal terminal with key on. If not, you have a problem in the ignition switch, wiring from switch to solenoid or bad fuse. An alternate test is to remove the signal wire and use a small jumper wire from the "always hot" lug to the signal terminal. It will be carrying very little current, so a small wire works fine. If no click and no power to other large lug, bad solenoid.

NOW, THE WORK AROUND IF YOU NEED TO HIT THE ROAD. Carefully mark (tape, wire tie, etc) all wires on one large lug (choose the one that has fewer wires on it-- either one. Remove them from their lug and place them along with all the original wires on the other lug. All you have done is "closed the solenoid".

Be sure to restore wires to original position when you arrive at your destination.

Brett

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If all the items that normally operate only with the ignition ON don't operate, the likely suspect is the IGNITION SOLENOID. Likely in the dash or basement compartment in front of driver's wheel.

Easy to diagnose:

The solenoid has two large lugs-- one connected to chassis battery (always battery voltage), the other to all those things that run when the key is ON (battery voltage only when it receives its "signal" from the ignition switch. And either one or two small lugs. If one, it is the "signal" wire from ignition switch. If two, the second is ground (if only one, the body of the solenoid serves as ground).

With ignition off, verify battery voltage at one large lug. Turn on key. You should hear the solenoid "click" and will have that same voltage at the other large lug. If not, either the solenoid is defective or is not receiving the signal from the ignition switch. Check for 12 VDC on the signal terminal with key on. If not, you have a problem in the ignition switch, wiring from switch to solenoid or bad fuse. An alternate test is to remove the signal wire and use a small jumper wire from the "always hot" lug to the signal terminal. It will be carrying very little current, so a small wire works fine. If no click and no power to other large lug, bad solenoid.

NOW, THE WORK AROUND IF YOU NEED TO HIT THE ROAD. Carefully mark (tape, wire tie, etc) all wires on one large lug (choose the one that has fewer wires on it-- either one. Remove them from their lug and place them along with all the original wires on the other lug. All you have done is "closed the solenoid".

Be sure to restore wires to original position when you arrive at your destination.

Brett

Wolfe,

The OP clearly says: " No dash lights, no head lights, nothing that I can find on the chassis has power" therefore I fully suspect the main battery power feed cable failed or the main battery ground cable failed. Possible there is a main power distribution cut off relay that nay have failed. I would be looking at one of these 3 things.

I personally have had a battery short internally and have same result but not sure if that would be the same result on a dual battery set up like the pushers have.

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Yup, the critical question is whether anything that normally works from the chassis battery with the key OFF still works. If so, you are absolutely correct-- look for a problem before the ignition solenoid/ignition switch.

BTW, if a voltmeter shows no voltage on either large lug of the ignition solenoid, it is another indication that the problem is between the battery and solenoid/other fuses.

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If both house batteries and chassis batteries are not giving voltage, it sounds like main ground broke loose. Easy way to check is voltmeter from positive battery terminal to frame. If no voltage shows you got bad ground, if you got voltage trace positive battery cables until you find the broken circuit.

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If both house batteries and chassis batteries are not giving voltage, it sounds like main ground broke loose. Easy way to check is voltmeter from positive battery terminal to frame. If no voltage shows you got bad ground, if you got voltage trace positive battery cables until you find the broken circuit.

Depends as on mine the house - and the chassis - are two separate cables but as in my first post, check both sides of chassis connections and or the main chassis shut down switch system has to be one of these 3 things.

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rlbarkleyii,

Looking at the drawings I have, there is a 175 amp circuit breaker located on the starter relay mounting plate. This circuit feeds power to the front of the coach. Where there is a stud for the cable from this breaker that is the power feed for the chassis fuse panel(s). Drawing mentions that its the second breaker. So where the other one is I have no clue at the time and no drawings picturing what circuit its in.

It is a 4 gauge red wire. This breaker is under the coach and is exposed the the elements. I have cleaned the connections on the item, but must admit that I never took the time to find what circuit it was feeding, just cleaned things one day because it looked like it needed a little TLC.

If you have not found the problem yet, I hope this might help.

Rich.

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Thanks All : I was able to find and repair the coach with the able help and assistance of Freightliner Customer Assistance 24/7 hotline. 800-385-4357

After I described the condition, they steered me step by step to the 135 amp circuit breaker found behind the drivers rear axle wheel. The bracket with the circuit breaker it is mounted on is attached to the frame below the rail about even with the Allison pan. There are two heavy red cables one from the battery and the other to the engine and other components. Not to be confused with a second set of circuit breaker and relays on the passenger side which control the engine start heater.

I tested the driver side breaker with a auto electric tester and found that both were hot, indicating the the breaker was OK, but in the process the connection arched, When I touched the nut, "low and behold", it turned in my hand and arched again. It was just loose causing a intermittent situation. I cleaned the breaker lug, the cable ends and a single wire that apparently operates a relay in the dash area, put it all back together. Unit started right up and I am back on the road again.

A important thing for Journey owners, the yellow wire attached to one terminal of the 135 amp breaker operates a relay that powers all electronics up in the front end. Due to the size of it, I am sure it operates a relay to transfer power to the front circuit board. Any time there is a total loss of power to every thing on the chassis, the 135 breaker, the yellow wire and the relay it operates are probably the culprit. This relay on the Journey may be in the front fuse compartment. (Not verified)

Thanks Again!!!

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rlbarkleyii,

Thanks for your information regarding the loose connection on the circuit breaker. After looking at the drawings covering your model year, thought it might have been a short tripping the breaker.

A loose wire on the breaker is a new one for me, but things happen and also thanks for the feedback on the second circuit breaker.

I'm very aware of the one for the Engine intake heater grid, but did not put two and two together.

Rich.

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