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VIP Smart Wheel trouble


StephenW
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Hello all, 

I went out for my first trip of the year and after using the wipers for a short time lost all function in the smart wheel.  I replaced the controller last fall and everything worked well.  Going through the troubleshooting guide it looks like the control module needs to be replaced again.  I was wondering if there is a way to remove control of the headlights from this controller?  Going without cruise is ok and luckily got by without the wipers but No headlights was stressful. If possible I would like to control the headlights from the switch on the dash.  Thanks for any help on this problem.  This is on a 2001 Dynasty.

 

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I do not know if you have the same type smartwheel controller as shown in the diagram below (Check your wiring diagram book).  If it is, as a temporary fix you could unplug connectors and use the signal from pin 6 of J11 to control a 87 type relay wired to connect power between the Headlamp Source and Power (pins 1, 2 of J12).   Similarly J11-p12 could be used control marker lamps (tail) via J12-p3,4 and a second relay.   I recall being in a similar predicament many years back and made a temporary fix like that.  You'd still be without other functions of the smartwheel controller box which are controlled by the MPX signal to the box.  There's possible workarounds for those too, but I didn't explore that.

image.png.16f62796a806d1035d4d54e4fc8ea414.png

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I have a headlight switch on the dash that I often use to turn the lights on,  it sounds like you guys have that switch too. So have ya'll found that when your Smart Wheel malfunctions the manual sw ceases to work.   Is that the case?   Maybe I have been blissfully ignorant thinking that I had my dash headlight sw as a backup.

RainX rubbed on the windshield does wonders if the wipers stop.

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Thanks Rick and Ray,

I have the VIP SM 210 module and while troubleshooting I jumpered J 12 -1 and 2 and the headlights worked.  If I use just the headlight switch on the dash and both the dash lights and marker lights work but not the headlights.  I believe I read somewhere on this forum that others have had headlight problems at the VIP module.  If possible I would look at permanently separating the headlights from this potential problem.  If I need to replace wires and install relays I would appreciate any help I could get as I am a retired plumber and not an electrician. 

 

Thanks again for the help.

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6 hours ago, Ray Davis said:

I have a headlight switch on the dash that I often use to turn the lights on,  it sounds like you guys have that switch too. So have ya'll found that when your Smart Wheel malfunctions the manual sw ceases to work.   Is that the case?   Maybe I have been blissfully ignorant thinking that I had my dash headlight sw as a backup.

RainX rubbed on the windshield does wonders if the wipers stop.

Puzzled by your statement, I looked at my owners manual thinking 'is there a way to turn on the headlights from the smart wheel?'  there's no "Headlight On" button there.    ... sure enough I learned that any wiper function turns on the headlights until IGN is turned off or the headlight switch is operated to ON then OFF position.  (Still learning after almost 2 decades driving these; reminds me of how little I know about this coach.)

@StephenW, hoping this is not hijacking your thread.

 

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5 hours ago, StephenW said:

Thanks Rick and Ray,

I have the VIP SM 210 module and while troubleshooting I jumpered J 12 -1 and 2 and the headlights worked.  If I use just the headlight switch on the dash and both the dash lights and marker lights work but not the headlights.  I believe I read somewhere on this forum that others have had headlight problems at the VIP module.  If possible I would look at permanently separating the headlights from this potential problem.  If I need to replace wires and install relays I would appreciate any help I could get as I am a retired plumber and not an electrician. 

 

Thanks again for the help.

I recall doing this years back.  I just cut off the wires mentioned below.  (However, if you remove them from the connector you could always reinstall them if you decide to go back to 'factory'.  There is a tool used to install  & remove pins from these connectors.)

Remove wires p1 and p2 from connector J12 and also remove wire p6 from J11 (Wire from headlight switch).  Connect the p6 wire from headlight switch to the coil of an 87 type relay (see diagram);  pins 86 and 85 connect to the coil so you could connect headlight switch wire, P6 to 86 and 85 to ground.  Pin 30 of the relay should get the 12v power via the headlamp fuse in your front electrical box, that's p1 if I recall, and p2 would connect to 87 to power headlights.  I strongly recommend fusing both circuits: the coil (85-86) and power (30-87) just in case there's a short somewhere.

Hope this helps.

image.png.14140b3b80d58c203154245683f478db.png

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Thank you Rick P, I will be working on this project soon and I appreciate this explanation and diagram.I will look for a relay and in line fuses.  Always seem to be chasing Gremlins. While working in the coach tonight the house lights went out so I flipped the salesman switch on and off till they came back on. I will eliminate this switch soon also.

Thanks Stephen W

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Follow RPASETTO’S advice. He and others helped me big time. I had a headlight failure due to melted connectors at pin 1 & 2 of the J12 plug. Instead of using pin 1 to power the relay I ran a 10 gauge fused line to the big, always hot, line mounted on the left side of my front run bay. I also ran 10 gauge to ground. I crimped and soldered all connectors, and used dielectric grease at all connections to prevent corrosion.  Headlights work and are brighter than ever now too. 

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Thanks Moe , I have ordered parts and I like your recommendation on the connection to a power source.  I am studying some wiring schematics to try to understand the wiring a little better.  I believe the download file on wiring from a 1999 Executive will be close to my 2001 Dynasty.  I am also replacing my original fog lights with LED fog lights.  To get a break from scratching my head on these electrical problems I am in the middle of replacing the Not-So-Cold with a Samsung RF-18.

 

Thanks Stephen W,  2001 Dynasty 

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I have a feeling that the relays in the SmartWheel controller are either inadequate or fail with age.  The headlight relay in particular with the heaviest draw; connectors and wiring should be sized to handle the load, but wondering if they are.  The crimps on the mate&lock connectors could be the problem too.

Moe, can you measure the current draw on that new 10ga line?  I'd like to compare it to what the same headlights draw via the normal Smartwheel setup.  If resistance is nominal we should see nearly the same thru both... if not there may be significant resistance somewhere.

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1 hour ago, Ivylog said:

Helping 2 rigs with no low beam lights... high works. Does only the low beams run through the VIP smart wheel controller?

I think so. That is the same symptom I had...no low beam but high beams worked fine. I have seen no reference to the high beam circuit on the Smart Wheel controller diagram but I'll let someone else who's better at reading the headlights wiring diagram chime in on that question.

Are burnt connectors at pins 1 & 2 on plug J12 the failure points for the two rigs that you are helping?

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Yes #2 on the J12 pug is burnt. Soldered a wire from the board bypassing the J12-2 contact with no change. Can hear a relay clicking when switching from Hi/Low in the VIP controller.

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Years back the Smartwheel controller on my 03 Dynasty showed burning at J12.  At first I thought it was the connection but sometime later the headlight circuit went out.  When I removed the smartwheel controller the circuit board where the corresponding "25a" relay was mounted showed burns as well.  Some of the other circuits had been affected also.  That's when I decided to make the headlight circuit permanent; durability of the on board relay is questionable. 

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10 hours ago, Ivylog said:

Yes #2 on the J12 pug is burnt. Soldered a wire from the board bypassing the J12-2 contact with no change. Can hear a relay clicking when switching from Hi/Low in the VIP controller.

I haven't listened for that. I'll test it tonight when my wife gets home.

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16 hours ago, Ivylog said:

Yes #2 on the J12 pug is burnt. Soldered a wire from the board bypassing the J12-2 contact with no change. Can hear a relay clicking when switching from Hi/Low in the VIP controller.

If you hear the relay clicking but no current output, that sounds like burnt contacts on the relay.  Sounds like what happened to me years ago... I kept the old smartwheel controller ... somewhere... there were burn signs on the board at the relay as well as J12.

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I replaced the Smartwheel control module last October because of loss of control functions at the wheel.  After going through the troubleshooting guide I found that the module needed replacing.  Now I have lost control functions again and will need to replace again. I took a picture of the original control board and will try to attach it.  I changed the photo from .jpg to .pdf, so if it doesn't open please let me know.  Hope this helps confirm the problem with the headlight circuit burning the control board.

Smartwheel control module.pdf

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1 hour ago, StephenW said:

I replaced the Smartwheel control module last October because of loss of control functions at the wheel.  After going through the troubleshooting guide I found that the module needed replacing.  Now I have lost control functions again and will need to replace again. I took a picture of the original control board and will try to attach it.  I changed the photo from .jpg to .pdf, so if it doesn't open please let me know.  Hope this helps confirm the problem with the headlight circuit burning the control board.

Smartwheel control module.pdf 137.05 kB · 2 downloads

Hi Stephen, wow your board looks a lot better than mine. Mine was melted and crispy at the plug of J12 at pins 1 & 2.

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On 4/15/2021 at 1:06 AM, StephenW said:

Hello all, 

I went out for my first trip of the year and after using the wipers for a short time lost all function in the smart wheel.  I replaced the controller last fall and everything worked well.  Going through the troubleshooting guide it looks like the control module needs to be replaced again.  I was wondering if there is a way to remove control of the headlights from this controller?  Going without cruise is ok and luckily got by without the wipers but No headlights was stressful. If possible I would like to control the headlights from the switch on the dash.  Thanks for any help on this problem.  This is on a 2001 Dynasty.

 

I lost all functions in the steering wheel of my '05 Exec when I was leaving Carlsbad, NM and drove all the way back to Florida without Cruise, Wipers, Horn or the ability to flash my lights.  The headlight switch on the dash still worked though and I could use it to 'flash' if I needed to.  I discovered that hitting the wipers once will turn the headlights on and they pulled enough current to melt the connection to the VIP Control Module.  When I replaced it I upgraded to a heavier gauge wired connector that you can find on line and it has worked fine since.

 

20191008_085317.jpg

20191114_091116.jpg

Edited by Mike H
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42 minutes ago, rpasetto said:

I can find the mate & lock connectors, pins and sockets online but not the pre-made cable ends like that.  What is the URL where you found that?

 

https://pdxrvwholesale.com/products/vip-sm209-sm210-smartwheel-controller-j12-plug-harness

 

It was ridiculously priced at $39 but couldn't find it anywhere else.  It appears they have other connectors as well.

I could see where the connector on the other end of the cable assy had a hot pin but appeared ok so I reused it.  You just need to splice the new cable assy into the old assy before it splits off.

VIP SM209 Smartwheel cable.jpg

Cut redlines_02s.jpg

Edited by Mike H
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I just replaced the pigtail with the one above about a month ago.   It was still intermittent.  I rmoved the controller box and when looking at the board with a magnifying glass discovered that the pins on the board that handle the J2 were not solid due to overheating.  Touched them up with a soldering iron...viola!   All is well.

Had a call from the kids...we had done the same pigtail mod on their Dynasty and his SW is dead, expect I will be soldering his when we meet up in a week or so.

Currently in NC...new intake manifold, new colant hoses and pipe, new rear end gears.  $$$$

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1 hour ago, Twomed said:

I just replaced the pigtail with the one above about a month ago.   It was still intermittent.  I rmoved the controller box and when looking at the board with a magnifying glass discovered that the pins on the board that handle the J2 were not solid due to overheating.  Touched them up with a soldering iron...viola!   All is well.

Had a call from the kids...we had done the same pigtail mod on their Dynasty and his SW is dead, expect I will be soldering his when we meet up in a week or so.

Currently in NC...new intake manifold, new colant hoses and pipe, new rear end gears.  $$$$

If you are near Yadkinville, NC and need a ride or anything else just let me know. I'll be glad to help if I can.

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