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mswmckeown 03 Signature


Rob M cKeown
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Intermittent Starting Problem on 03 Signature with a Cummins 525 ISX. Batteries are good. Dash Warning lights do not come on when Ignition is in the on position. The 'Travel Alarm light and the Compass lights come on. When I turn the key to the start position the Travel Alarm and Compass Lights go off and the engine will not start. The Travel Warning Light and Compass light are on when the key is in the Accessory position.  I have replaced the Ignition Switch with a new one, checked to see if power is getting to the relay in the Engine fuse panel and it is getting power.  I have had the coach since 2006 and it has always been a sluggish starter. 

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We've owned two ISX coaches and they were both tough to crank over.  I installed two of the larger 1125CCA  NAPA group 31 batteries and it was still tough.  I then read about the new gear reduction ISX starter and installed one.  That was the best thing ever.  It now cranks over faster and starts easier.  

However, you need to double check all your battery cable connections and make sure they are clean.  

Hope this helps!

Edited by vito.a
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Grounds!! Bad or weak grounds are responsible for so many intermittent issues as well as destroying electric motors.   So many people check positive connections and not negative.  Chassis, frame etc grounds.  Pull them off, clean them, reattach and seal with battery connector sealer. 

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I would also check the voltage drop at batteries while cranking it. Load test would be nice to prove them, not just voltage reading while idle. That would give better idea where to look next. Big drop or just a little or no drop? Starter solenoid,  ground, who knows at this point. Don't know about a travel alarm, maybe just a green travel indicator? Either way, the lights may be going out due to a low voltage while cranking or due to the ingnition switch turning them momentarily off for the start just like some accessories.

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I don't get to the cranking stage. There is no power when the key is turned to the on position and nothing when it is the start position yet there is when in the accessory position, any thoughts?

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Since you get power to the ignition switch (you say accessory position works), there is possibly a misplaced connection at the switch or a bad connection, broken wire etc. I would check that again. Once you get the dash to light up, it may just all work again.

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I do not get any dash warning lights at all. I spoke to Dave Pratt and he gave me some ideas on things to check so will do all that and go from there, will keep you posted on cure. (once I find it!!)

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We have owned the same coach since 2010, lots of the same ISX starting experiences as noted in the responses. We've added a 3rd hi amp battery in the tray and yes it's a very tight fit! That helps however I learnt over time, the only way to 'help' the ISX cranking is to push and hold the battery boost for at least 30 seconds before starting, works very well every time.

In so far as the ignition wiring, we did have an similar issue as the OP. It was an ignition wire that no longer had continuity from the main run panel to the ignition switch. Rather than disassemble the harness, I ran a new wire, all was good again.

Hope these experiences help those with the same coach..... Malcolm

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We also added a third battery and used the larger NAPA Group 31 with 1150CCA. 

What really helps is one of the new Denso gear reduction starters.  For your Cummins CM870 engine the part number is:  Denso R5 428000-4440

It will crank the engine over so fast you will not believe the difference.  And that is without pressing the boost switch. 

Be careful not to get one of the knock offs.  Not hard to change but it is heavy.

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Malcolm,

Could you give me a call at 863 602 4685.  I would like to find out a bit more on your problem and symptoms. Thanks  to you and Vito for the response, I will measure up for a third battery and look into that starter. Right now I am looking at a tow somewhere which I want to avoid like the plague so needless to say I would like to get it started.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I bought a Signature with an ISX engine new in 2006 and it had slow cranking problems from day one.  Monaco replaced the apparently good Lifeline starting batteries twice under warranty with no improvement in the slow cranking.  While at Camp Monaco a fellow 06 Sig owner told me that his coach had a similar issue and that the problem was with the main ground wire lug which was welded to the frame on the passenger side behind the tag axle.  I told the Service Center guys about it and they ground off the poorly connected stud,  welded on a new one and the problem was solved.  Remember guys and gals that the ISX is 15 liters of high compression diesel engine and you cannot expect it to crank over like your old 289 Mustang

Ken,

2009 Dynasty

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Problem solved thanks to Malcolm and Bill Pratt. Malcolm supplied an Ignition Wiring Diagram for the 03 Signature and Bill good suggestions. The problem was caused by a bad wire from the Ignition Switch (Ignition Terminal on the Switch) to the  Front Run Board.  I ran a new wire and all was well. During the course of this episode I did clean every terminal associated with the batteries both house and Chassis. I also installed a 3rd Chassis Battery (tight fit) and it made a big difference to the sluggish starting. As a result of all this I certainly learned a lot.

Thanks to you all for the suggestions and help, much appreciated 

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  • 5 months later...
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Hi Rob, we too have a 03 Signature, 525 ISX 45 ft.  We are having lighting issues. Intermittent ones don't want to light up, we have changed bulbs and they still won't light. The ones under the kitchen counter, a couple over the hall way kitchen area. We have checked fuses and to no avail.  Have you had issues? What was your solution.  Thanks for your feedback.  The delay in this is just due to cleaning out email. Moving all of Monaco ?? over to a folder.

 

 

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You probably should start a new thread with the lighting problem. 

Almost all of your lights are 12v.  The fuses are the small blade fuses in your bath or closet.  

If a fuse doesn't fix it, then get out the voltmeter and start checking for voltage at the switches and work backwards.  

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