PDA

View Full Version : Any mechanics here familiar with Freightliners?



Bball
11-26-2008, 04:13 AM
I'm taking a shot in the dark here seeing if anyone here might have some experience with this issue or even a wild guess.

I'm trying to troubleshoot an electrical problem with an 2001 Freightliner. It's developed a problem where a bump will cause the wipers to shut off and park (you can restart them normally), the radio to glitch, and sometimes the ABS light to come on.

If it's a sunny day and you aren't using the wipers a bump can still cause the radio to glitch (cut out for a microsecond) and possibly see the ABS light flash on for a second or two.

The radio and the wipers ALWAY happen together. Sometimes the ABS light doesn't come on BUT -IF- it does then it's guaranteed the wipers and radio will do as described then.

It's got to the point where it happens a lot. It doesn't take much of a bump. Even accelerating from a stop can sometimes do it now.

This started all of this late last winter and progressively got worse but after trying to find the source and tightening connections, shaking wires, etc it 'magically' fixed itself in early spring and was fine all summer. It all returned this fall when the temps dropped. I don't know if that's coincidence or a clue.

Since I'm a good 1.5 hrs from the dealer, AND I can't help but think the problem is probably an easy fix IF I could find the problem area, I'd like to avoid the dealer $$$ if possible. I've got a couple of things I want to check that I've researched via schematics but if anyone here has any experience with these vehicles and knows where a common denominator might be to narrow in on the problem, or even better... knows what the problem is.... Please let me know before I go crazy searching for the issue with no luck at all so far.

-Bball

Haggard
11-26-2008, 09:31 AM
sounds like it could be a fray in a wire.
I had something similar with my cruise contol once.

travmil
11-26-2008, 09:37 AM
I know nothing about this problem but a quick Google search turned up an electrical related recall on 2001 Freightliners. I don't know if it's the exact same vehicle you have or not. It doesn't match your symptoms though.

http://www.automotix.net/autorepair/recalls/1992-recall/

My father in law was a deisel mechanic, but has been retired since before your truck was made. I'll see him for Thanksgiving tomorrow and run it by him just in case.

travmil
11-28-2008, 02:11 AM
No Dice. He said he worked on the engines of really old trucks that don't even have the parts that cause your symptoms.

jeffg-body
11-28-2008, 02:15 AM
They have some problems with the wiring in the steering column from time to time that can cause all kinds of weird stuff. I saw one where the turn signals made the horn go off. I don't do too much wiring jobs though, my expertise is heavy truck drivetrain and engines.

travmil
11-28-2008, 02:23 AM
They have some problems with the wiring in the steering column from time to time that can cause all kinds of weird stuff. I saw one where the turn signals made the horn go off. I don't do too much wiring jobs though, my expertise is heavy truck drivetrain and engines.

Bball, I don't suppose this truck is one of those fancy ones with all of the radio/wipers/cruise buttons on the steering wheel is it? If it is that could be the one thing that links all of the various systems.

Bball
11-28-2008, 05:08 AM
I spent this afternoon (what better time to work on a truck than Thanksgiving) and I found this:

Where the feeds come into the starter there is a 3rd wire that attaches to some sort of funky lug on one of the cables itself. That wire is loose. I can get a socket onto the lug but it would only turn a smidge and not enough to tighten the connection.

So my next thought was to loosen the lug and put a shim in there to help clamp down on the wire. Once again, no dice. The lug would only turn a smidge either way and then be frozen again. I didn't want to twist it off so that's where I stopped BUT I did manage to at least snug that wire a little better. You can push it up and it comes loose again but with it at least temporarily snugged I gave the truck a test drive and saw no wiper, radio, or ABS problems. I intentionally hit some rough spots too (that was in about 5 miles... The time I drove the truck before this I couldn't get out of the driveway without triggering the problem).

That said, when I was under the truck messing with these wires I had the wipers going and they didn't cut out. I didn't have the engine running though and maybe that would've made a difference. Or maybe I just didn't wiggle it enough.

I've seen battery/alternator/starter wires with a second wire molded in but this is the first time I've seen a lug like this on one of those cables.

So I guess I need to figure out what is up with this lug on the cable and see what that gets me with my initial problem (no matter what I'm sure this wire needs to be tight). I'm guessing there's a trick to it that's probably obvious if it was laid out in front of me on a table rather than already mounted in the truck.

Bball
11-28-2008, 05:10 AM
Bball, I don't suppose this truck is one of those fancy ones with all of the radio/wipers/cruise buttons on the steering wheel is it? If it is that could be the one thing that links all of the various systems.

Nope, radio is above the windshield.... wipers on the dash.

-Bball