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Old 08-25-2009, 01:18 PM   #1
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Red warning light on Voltmeter! Flashers lighting at same time as Brakes!

Hi All -

I bought my 2001 Ultimate Freedom 40WD in April, 2009 and love it - I had a 1995 Vectra 37RW before and the difference is night and day...of course!

I have had a number of little issues that I have been able to search this forum and read and repair them thanks to the wealth of knowledge that resides in the reams of threads!

I do however have a couple of issues that, to date, I have not been able to find any information on!

- My Voltmeter seems to show a overcharge condition after running for about an hour - the needle stays around the 14v mark and works it's way up to about 17v and the red warning light comes on and it drops back to normal (@14v) and then starts the cycle again - my initial suspect is the alternator (internal regulator) but I thought I would ask before replacing!
I installed a Trik-L-Charger recently and have it installed on the batteries...it was installed on the solenoids, so I moved to the batteries when the problem started. Everthing is perfect when attached to shore power! House batteries hold at 13.2 volts and chassis at 13 volts (now that Trik-L-Charger is installed). Any ideas would be appreciated!

- The other issue is the Amber (flashers) light up when I step on the brakes (the red brake lights also light up, along with the 3rd brake light) Otherwise, the flashers light up as they should. Someone said it may be a problem with the flasher unit giving feedback when the brakes are used?? I don't get that one....anyway, maybe one of you Electrical Guru's out there may have experienced this! Again, any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Gary
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:30 PM   #2
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All of these issues can be caused by a bad chassis ground. Check all the ground lugs for rust or just loose.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:42 PM   #3
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Haven't seen the voltmeter overcharge indication -- I presume you are talking about on the dash with the engine running ... but read on for a possibility...

I am curious about your installing a Trik-L-Charger/Trik-L-Start. The Ultimates I am familiar with came with a Intelitec BIRD (bi-directional isolator relay delay) device that serves to keep both battery banks charged whether running on engine power or shore power. With a BIRD, a Trik-L-Charger (to keep the chassis batteries charged along with the house batteries when plugged into shore power) would not be necessary as the BIRD already does the job AND MORE. On my Ultimate, there is a BIRD connector box, plainly labeled, in the electrical compartment under the driver position. It is possible your 2001 may not have come with the BIRD, but I would not count on that!!

** IF YOUR ULTIMATE ALREADY HAD A BIRD (remember it keeps both engine & house batteries charged while driving as well as when plugged into shore power) when you installed the Tril-L-Charger, I am wondering if they are interfering with one another and causing your overcharge indication???

As for your amber flasher (turn signal) lamps lighting when the brakes are applied, I would suspect a bad or crossed connection in the towing light setup. When a coach with separate turn signal lamps is connected to a car that does not have separate turn signal lamps (brake & turn signal uses the same bulb) -- or vice versa -- the tow setup has to have a adaptor to take that into account. If the tow setup is not wired properly, your problem is one of several that is likely to happen with or without the toad hooked up. Strange things could happen with the toad lights also when it is hooked up.
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Old 08-25-2009, 04:07 PM   #4
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Bagger97 - I thought I had been around most of the grounds - will try grounding the taillights independantly - there is one ground in the front near the generator that I haven't cleaned up - will go there next!

AFChap - Yes on the dash while running - Do not believe I have a BIRD system b/c that is why I was putting on the Trik-L-Charge.....my coach batteries would not charge when I was plugged into shore power.....I have seen the battery isolater in that compartment however - I'll double check!
The first thing I did was to check the towing light setup - all appeared in order the same thing happens....flashers come on with brakes!
It sure is a mystery!!
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Old 08-25-2009, 05:47 PM   #5
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AFChap -

Is a BIRD short for Bi-Directional Isolator Relay Delay (with low threshold)?
If so, then I have the BIRD (I hate it when it does that...hahaha) any idea why it wasn't charging up my Chassis batteries when on shore power??

Thanks,
Gary
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Is a BIRD short for Bi-Directional Isolator Relay Delay (with low threshold)?
That's the BIRD! You should able to find info/diagrams/manuals online with a search for "Intellitec BIRD." I do know of some owners who have had to replace the relay when it went bad and no longer switched between the two battery banks. Since you are having the over voltage indication on the chassis batteries when the engine is running, and the chassis batteries were not being charged when on shore power, I would suspect the relay is stuck linking the alternator to the chassis battery side, and won't allow shore power across. It is no longer doing the "bi-directional" thing.

When I am parked, mostly/normally when not on shore power, I will hear the relay kicking out and in. I don't know for sure which relay it is in that compartment, but my coach has two relays on the forward wall of that compartment. The outer one is ALWAYS very warm to the touch, so I have assumed that is the one that is working the BIRD system.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:30 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info - there are two solenoids on mine also - neither one of which is even lukewarm - on shore power - haven't tried any other way - any idea how to find out if the solenoid(s) are defective or the BIRD?
Appreciate your input!
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:23 PM   #8
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Gary

I've never had to trouble-shoot mine. Best suggestion I can make is to dowload the service manual at http://www.intellitec.com/PDF/5300362.100.pdf -- it has some trouble-shooting steps to follow depending on what is indicated.
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:21 PM   #9
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Paul -

Thanks again - I glad you mentioned that our U/A & U/F Winnies are different than the rest of the coaches because of the BIRD.....I have done a lot of searching and reading and the more I read the more I think that one (or both) of the culprits are the solenoids! I'll let you know how I make out!

Kudos,
Gary
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:57 PM   #10
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AFChap - Hi Paul thought I would give you an update - did the troubleshoot on the BIRD and low and behold - no Coach voltage at the terminal - so I jumped it from the solenoid (Coach side)and now all is as it should be - everything is charging normally. I looked at the wiring diagrams and can' t determine where the coach lead to the BIRD comes from - any ideas?
Thanks Again for steering me in the right direction,
Gary
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:19 PM   #11
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Sounds like that may be the problem -- I am not totally sure which connection you are asking about, I really don't have much idea. My BIRD has four terminals labeled: Ignition, Coach Batt, Relay, Ground. The first three are yellow (power) wires and the fourth is white. Did you get the BIRD diagrams from online?
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:13 AM   #12
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I jumped the wire to the coach battery terminal and connected it to the coach side of the solenoid - it works fine now - I'm not sure where the original wire goes to check why I have no power to it - maybe I have a broken wire that could be affecting something else!
Thanks,
Gary
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:04 PM   #13
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Success!!!
Quote:
maybe I have a broken wire that could be affecting something else
May be ...or a circuit breaker tripped that also could be affecting something else.

I am a bit surprised no other Ultimate owners have jumped into this conversation ... there are several on the forum!!
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:18 PM   #14
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Maybe no other U/A or U/F owners have run into this problem before - I just bought mine in April, so I'm still sniffing my way around the coach - I had a Zanzibar and a Gas Vectra - so I know enough to be dangerous hahahaha. I love tinkering and repairing the stuff that I can - I did most of my repairs on my '95 Gas Vectra but didn't have the Zanzibar long enough to really learn much about it before I flipped it for the U/F - absolutely no regrets - but have not spent a lot of time around Diesels, so I am on a whole new learning curve now!
I should have a bit of time in the next few weeks to study the issue further AND try and figure out my Flasher Light problem! I'll let you know if I find out more!
Thanks Again,
Gary
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Old 09-02-2009, 06:22 PM   #15
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Well, I've not run into a problem with my BIRD, XXXXXX, but have been very glad to have it, especially when I found out other coaches do not have it!! This is the first diesel I have dealt with since driving tractors on the farm many, many years ago --- and I didn't have to keep them running. We got many nice to have features on our Ultimate that we had no idea we were getting/no one else was getting.
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