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2005 HR Ambassador/330 Cummins/Warning Beeping


StarlifterFE

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2005 Holiday Rambler Ambassador
330 hp Cummins

While climbing several hills yesterday I started hearing a slight ticking which progressively got worse until the sound turned into a loud beeping. This actually sounded like some kind of warning.

I pulled over, checked all the gages and warning lights but everything was normal. While driving all temperatures were normal with no warning lights. When stopped I let the motor idle for a while and then shut it down leaving it off for a few minutes. When started the beeping came back on.

We then continued on and during the next 10 minutes the beeping continued but progressively weakened to a ticking and then it stopped.

I looked in the manual but could not find anything on this problem. Does anyone know what that noise might be? Could it be a EGT warning?

Thanks for the help.

 

Barry

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  • 2 weeks later...

2004 HR Endeavor 38, Cummins ISC 330

 

I noticed something similar climbing Vail pass from the West two weeks ago. I was doing about 36 mph, in third gear, trying to use only part-throttle and higher rpm, with the A/C off. The water temp slowly climbed passed the 200 degree mark where it usually sits, and near the top of that long climb, my wife heard something beeping. As with your situation, there were no warning lights, tranny temp was within limits, and the water temp was a little above the 200 mark. Since the temp gauge has marks only at 200 and 250, with about 3/8ths of an inch between them, it was pretty hard to tell if the water temp was above 212. However, since the engine didn't start to de-power, the temp must have been below 220 degrees. Descending from Vail Pass, the beeping gradually trailed off. When we got to the climb to Loveland Pass, I slowed a little to 35 mph using even less throttle in 3rd gear and about 2000 rpm. My wife heard no beeping until we got stuck in stop-and-go traffic at the top and I couldn't keep the rpms up. It stopped pretty quickly going down through the tunnel. I later checked that all my fluids were within proper ranges.

 

I have since discovered that I probably had NOT turned the A/C off. The manual states that the A/C itself goes off only in Vent, Off, or Defrost and I had it set to one of the positions other than AC or MAX AC, but not Vent (the upper-body dash outlets).

 

I concluded that increasing water temperature PROBABLY was what caused the increasing beeping. I tested that when we climbed the 10% grade up to Teton Pass out of Jackson, WY. I couldn't get much above 25 mph on this grade, so I kept it there in 3rd gear, part throttle and about 1700 rpm. The A/C was definitely off this time. The temp got a tiny bit above the 200 mark, but we never got the beeping.

 

The Manual actually recommends climbing long hills at lower speeds, part throttle, and higher rpms. Who knew that the manual writers actually knew what they were talking about! Of course, they COULD have mentioned the warning beeper . . .

 

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it! YMMV, of course. :D

Tom

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Why would you not go down a gear and let the engine rev up a bit....it should run cooler. I usually have mine in the 2000 to 2500 rpm range on hills . Lugging it will not do it any good. Running it hot definitely does not do it any good. Cummins 8.9 ISL 375 - 400 HP.

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Jim,

Ah, the differences in engines!

My Cummins is redlined at 2300, max HP at ~ 1900, and max torque at ~1400 RPM.

If I were in auto, my tranny would be continuously shifting between about 1600 and about 2100 rpm if I were at full throttle -- and my coolant temp would be spiking. I'd love to have, say, 1100 pounds-feet of torque, 400HP, and 2600 RPM, but, sigh, I don't.

:)

Tom

ISC 330, 950 lb-ft, 330 HP, 32,000 lbs with toad.

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I see. didnt realize there was that much differene in engines. yes it is nice having the ISL. I can usually outpull the trucks and a lot of motorhomes except for the big Prevost and 500 hp Foretravels.I just wish it had a 2 stage jake instead of an exhaust brake. I beat the trucks going up but they fly by me going down...lol

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Yep, different era ISC's and ISL's behave differently. Our ISL is a 2003 generation, in a 2004 model year coach. It is the ISL370 CAPS era engine. It does not have the Common Rail and the higher boosting Variable Geometry Turbo (VGT) the many 2004 and on ISL's have. It did come order by Country Coach with the 2 Stage Jake Compression, which I like. And I did have Cummins update the ECM to the 400 configuration.

 

I've had two other things that are different then stock, that has helped, as far as hill climbing:

1) Aero Turbine XL5050 Muffler (On our coach, not a great improvement, as the OEM muffler was good to start with. But, it does seem to allow a little less back pressure then the OEM. So I noticed slight easier spooling of the Turbo. (Again, this could be different for the VGT era ISC/ISL.)

2) We had the Three Speed Fan Module Controller bypassed by adding the Source Engineering Wax Valve solution. (This is KISS. No more problems with the Fan Module Controller. And, as the S.E. Wax Valve is completely variable, the fan is only drawing as much power from the engine (And thus the wheels.) that is needed to keep in temperature range.

 

We find that hill climbing is handled best by maintaining RPM's in the 1800-2200 range. If on a long hill climb of 5% and over, I'll downshift when the RPM is in the 1900-1950 range. These Mid Size Block ISC/ISL engines do not have reserve HP/Torque to reclaim speed/RPM's once lost.

 

On the sound warning. I've seen many reports of dash temperature gauges being not too accurate. Ours is pretty good, as I compare it to the Silver Leaf. But, I know other owners with Silver Leaf and Aladin(SP?) systems that say the dash gauge can be way off from what the computer is showing them. You might want to have your gauge tested for accuracy.

 

Best of luck to you, and please comeback and share if you find out what was causing the noise:)!

Smitty

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I am now almost certain that the beeping is a coolant temperature warning. Two days ago, we climbed Lookout Pass, west-bound, to the Montana/Idaho border on I-90. A/C off for sure this time, I had been running about 190o on the flats and the temp gradually climbed to about 1/8" past 200 when my wife said she was hearing the ticking sound that was gradually turning into a louder beep. I had been in 3rd gear, part throttle, about 1950 rpm, and about 36 mph. I slowed slightly to 35 mph and even less throttle, and the beeping held steady. We were already near the top, and once headed down the other side the beeping slowly subsided to the ticking and stopped as the temp gradually dropped to a little above 200o and continued down. At no time did I get any other warning lights or indications. (However, I have since found that not all of my warning lights are working, and replacing light bulbs doesn't fix the problem!)

 

I can't say that I am exactly thrilled with what I've found, I would have thought that by 2004, overheating of a load considerably under GCVWRating would have been a thing of the past. But then every mechanical thing in my cooling system (except the thermostat, which was changed 7 months ago) is 12 years old and might just be getting tired (kinda like me).

Sigh.

Anyway, Barry, I think this might be your answer.

Tom

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Suggest going thru the basics on cooling system check:

 

-Is the radiator clean? Rear radiators, I believe this coach has a rear, can build up grime that will greatly reduce cooling.

-Condition of the coolant? If this has not been changed over one of the later coolants, sometimes they coolant can cause a problem. As FYI, when I changed over forms the normal 'check the SCA' level coolants, to in my case Final Charge (I went with FC, as it is usually in most truck stops.), my temperature levels dropped by about 5-7 degrees. Also on coolant, one problem I've seen over the years, is when the coolant level looses say it's 50/50 mix having too much coolant vs water. (People will top off with 100% vs 50/50 mix, and over the years the levels get out of whack:)!)

-Radiator itself, has it been flushed?

-Thermostat? I know a gent with a C7 that was having intermittent overheating problems. After about 5 months of trying different things, he removed the thermostat and found it was no longer opening. New thermostat, and no more heating problem.

 

Finally, is the fan working as it should? Assume this is a direct drive rear radiator fan?

 

Best of ongoing luck on your search for root cause:)!

Smitty

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I have what seems to be the definitive answer to the original question of the alarm: I looked at the wiring diagram for the instrument panel and at the Owner's Manual for the oil pressure sender and the water temperature sender. In the Instrument panel there is something called a "Cole Hersee Dual Rate Alarm." The water temperature sender (a simple analog device in which the "signal" increases as the water temperature increases) is connected to it through a diode. Once the signal from the temp sender gets high enough to pass through the diode, the alarm begins to sound. As the signal continues to increase, the alarm sound increases and decreases as the temp goes down and the signal decreases.

But the plot thickens.

It seems that the oil pressure sensor is ALSO connected to the same alarm! So, if EITHER the water temperature increases above a certain level OR the oil pressure decreases below a certain level -- OR BOTH -- the alarm will sound! Since the markings on either the oil pressure or the water temp gauges are pretty useless and there are no warning lights for either, this design makes it pretty tough to figure out what's really happening.

I am currently looking into gauge add-ons that can provide numerical values of various system parameters. So far, I know of ScanGage and SilverLeaf but haven't researched any more.

Tom

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Smitty: thanks for the inputs! I had all the fluids, filters, cleanings, drain/refills, and periodic mx done at Cummins Northwest just after I bought the rig last October. They also steam-cleaned the radiator(s). I will recheck what I can.

And thanks again, good stuff to know!

A 2004 Cummins 8.3L ISC 330 is a LOT different from a 2012 Duramax 6.6!!

Tom

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Could it be the warning for low fluid level in your leveling jacks? Going up/down hill could make the fluid tilt enough to sound the alarm but no on level ground as it's not really low. Ours doesn't have to be very low for the alarm to sound and it is a beeping.

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P&P: Hmmnn, good thought, but probably not. The beeping comes on after climbing for a long time, and on mine, the hydraulic-fluid-low/gear-down/air-pressure-low warning is so loud I had to muffle it to stay sane and not freak the animals out.

 

(StarlifterFE: as a pilot -- of planes a bit smaller and faster than a 141 -- I'm used to having a warning when the gear is NOT down!! Not to mention flashing red lights and calls from the tower controller.)

 

Tom

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Think I would install a Scan gauge D, plug and play. About $175 and if you can plug in a 120 volt power cord you can install it, it's not 120. Now you can have a choice of 4 items to view from oil pressure, coolant temp, speed, RPM, Boost pressure, trans temp and on and on. These are what the motor is seeing digital not a swinging needle. Plus it will view codes and clear them. Best $$$ I spent on the diesel and now I'm gas but have the gas model.

 

LEN

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Jim, Diesel motorhomes don't have the automobile OBDII port, but they do have a different system that does the same thing. These ports are usually beside the steering wheel and in several other locations around the rig so technicians can test systems. These ports have either 6 or 9 pins and you'll have to specify which one you have when you buy a monitor. And there are at least two companies that make monitors that plug into the ports, Scangauge (http://www.scangauge.com/products/scangauged/), and Silverleaf (http://www.silverleafelectronics.com/node/6). Silverleaf has a version of their monitor that connects to a Windows PC, but theirs is more expensive than the Scanguage D. From what I can tell, they both just plug into the port.

 

(I think Len was just using the 120 power cord plug to illustrate how easy these monitors are to get started. Although once plugged in, you do have to tell the device what you want to see on the display.

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