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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2014 :  05:32:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have been having funny electrical problems on this 2010 IC. It started with the driver's dome and am/fm radio not coming on until later in the route. Now we have moved on to the driver's side domes (the length of the bus) not wanting to come on. Then after about 30 minutes on the route all the dome lights came on without the switch coming on.

This unit has a sister bus that has been having some funny electrical issue as well. They are; cruise not working intermittently, turn signal not canceling (you would think this has to be mechanical but I can't duplicate it in the shop), and the bright lights not working. Mind you, I can not duplicate this in the shop but the engine module has a "lose of body module CAN signal" in stored memory.

I have not gotten the codes from the dome light bus.

The drivers and I were just commenting yesterday how they all wish we could just go back to the old Chevy B7 chassis. I have several of them still on the route and I don't have these kinds of issues with them. When I loan one from my spare fleet to one of the drivers of a newer IC it takes a little smooth talking to get them back into their bus. lol

Any ideas?

Fastback
Top Member

972 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2014 :  08:14:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As far as the lack of bright lights go, are you sure the driver is actually turning on the headlights? Or are they just the daytime running lights that come on when parking brake is released?

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3320 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2014 :  10:17:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Its been said before and I will echo it...

As an industry, WHY do we have these issues? Motor coach operators, trucking companies, and private auto consumers would never put up with this sort of nonsense.

Can you imagine buying a $90,000 car and having these sort of problems? No, and not just because none of us can afford a $90k car ;)
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second.flood
Advanced Member

USA
355 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2014 :  10:21:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Low bid
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3320 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2014 :  11:40:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would accept the low bid as an answer, but all three big players have these stupid problems. If one could truly stand out, it would change things once we make a solid case to the bean counters that life-cycle costs would be lower.
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Fastback
Top Member

972 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2014 :  2:08:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As far as I know, on an IC bus, the dome lights, radio and heaters are not part of the multiplex wiring so no sense blaming the new fangled computer stuff for faults there or wasting time checking for codes.
Why the dome lights and radio would be less problematic on a "B7" chassis is beyond me.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback

Edited by - Fastback on 01/31/2014 07:16:13 AM
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JRob
Senior Member

182 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2014 :  4:01:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit JRob's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
I would accept the low bid as an answer, but all three big players have these stupid problems. If one could truly stand out, it would change things once we make a solid case to the bean counters that life-cycle costs would be lower.


Please note that automobile manufacturers have much less option variability than do the school bus manufacturers. You have essentially 50 states with different specifications and then you have local preferences too. There is a great deal of variety even in the way warning lamp activation works between jurisdictions. A Honda Accord has maybe 4 different trim levels. If you want the sunroof, you get the leather package and the upgraded radio system whether you want it or not.
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3320 Posts

Posted - 01/30/2014 :  5:39:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I accept and understand that we do have more options. I do not accept that we should have substandard reliability to operate those options.

I liked it when you flipped a switch and the feature worked. Every time. And if it didn't, there was no $500 module that took a dump.
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JRob
Senior Member

182 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  04:57:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit JRob's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
I liked it when you flipped a switch and the feature worked. Every time.


....except it didn't. I've been in this business for 40+ years and there was never the ironclad reliability that folks remember in the "good old days". Connections were bad, wiring was stretched around pinch points, you had issues with body mounting pinching wiring harnesses on the chassis, and on and on.

Take a look at a bus that is 10 - 15 years old and see how many things just aren't there. Radios were rare, fewer window and roof emergency exits with electric buzzers, child reminder systems, noise suppression systems, power adjustable mirrors, heated mirrors, light check features, daytime running lights, crossing control arms, power (air & electric) entrance doors, camera systems, and so on. Those are just the body items. We all know the chassis have become more complex. Some things mandated and some not.

I would agree that issues are harder to trace and correct. It isn't as easy as it used to be. I would use the analogy of the typewriter and the computer. Typewriters were great and they were simple. Computers are complex and not easy to fix but the productivity they facilitate make sure no one is going back to the typewriter.

Surely the product is more complex but still remarkably reliable for the price it is sold. The comparison to a $90,000 car is invalid. A $90,000 car really looks good but it is, in many ways, much less complex than that frumpy looking old yellow school bus. Commercial buses and fire trucks that are more analogous the modern school bus sell for prices up to 3 to 4 times more. They are not 3 to 4 times more reliable. You are paying $18,000 per passenger (or more) for a high end sedan. You are paying $1,250 per passenger for a $90,000, 72 passenger school bus. That is an amazing level of cost per passenger expense.

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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  07:43:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

As far as the lack of bright lights go, are you sure the driver is actually turning on the headlights? Or are they just the daytime running lights that come on when parking brake is released?



I have thought about that but this driver has had this bus for a couple of years, so surely she knows. But you never know do you? I usually let things like this float for a while just to see if they are actually a problem. I usually have plenty to keep me occupied anyway, lol.

Bryan
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Fastback
Top Member

972 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  07:58:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bwest

quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

As far as the lack of bright lights go, are you sure the driver is actually turning on the headlights? Or are they just the daytime running lights that come on when parking brake is released?



I have thought about that but this driver has had this bus for a couple of years, so surely she knows. But you never know do you? I usually let things like this float for a while just to see if they are actually a problem. I usually have plenty to keep me occupied anyway, lol.



Our IC CEs have a headlights on with wiper feature, I try and get my drivers to just turn their wipers on for one stroke during their pretrip and the headlights will stay on till they shut the key off. That way they don't even need to touch the headlight switch so they can't drive with parking lights on or forget to turn the headlights off.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  08:34:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah, we don't have that option but it sounds like a good one. I don't like the location of the headlight switch on the CE though. You have to really look for it. lol

Back to my issue, do you think I've got a relay not wanting to engage until it warms up a little?

Bryan
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second.flood
Advanced Member

USA
355 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  08:49:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Do your breakers reset automatically or manually?

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Fastback
Top Member

972 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  09:02:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bwest

Yeah, we don't have that option but it sounds like a good one. I don't like the location of the headlight switch on the CE though. You have to really look for it. lol

Back to my issue, do you think I've got a relay not wanting to engage until it warms up a little?



I don't like the location of the HL switch either, someone will fumble around down there and next thing you know they are complaining because they have no dash lights because they dimmed them down to nothing.
I just looked at our 2010 and did note there is a circuit breaker for left hand dome lights and another for right hand dome lights, even though they are both controlled by the same switch. I do not believe there is any relay in the dome light circuit and the sometimes troublesome noise suppression solenoid does not control them although it would control the heater motors and radio.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3320 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  09:04:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You guys must had different experience than I have since 1997 when I got my start. Maybe I was blessed.

The stuff I had from the 70s, 80s and 90s was leaps and bounds more reliable electrically than this garbage made today.

I am just going to disagree and leave it at that.
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  10:24:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by second.flood

Do your breakers reset automatically or manually?





They are fuses.

Bryan
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  10:31:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thomasbus24

You guys must had different experience than I have since 1997 when I got my start. Maybe I was blessed.

The stuff I had from the 70s, 80s and 90s was leaps and bounds more reliable electrically than this garbage made today.

I am just going to disagree and leave it at that.



I agree with you. There were some issues that we had with Carpenter but our Birds were top notch. We have three BB/ Chevy left on the route and have 4 out of 5 spares that are BB/ Chevy. I would love to just keep them and build them up just like the military does with their stuff but the boss says no dice. So, I just keep on keeping on the way I'm doing things and hope we are all propane before I get old enough that I dread pulling an engine or trans. I just hope the Ford trans holds up as well as the 2000 series Allison has.

Fastback, thanks for the hint there. You might be right on the breaker. I know she said one side of the domes would come on before the other. Strange, just like most electrical problems are.

Bryan
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second.flood
Advanced Member

USA
355 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  12:40:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So is it breakers or fuses?
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second.flood
Advanced Member

USA
355 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  1:10:55 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bryan, the second bus you reference... try a new turn switch.
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second.flood
Advanced Member

USA
355 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  1:14:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Call me crazy, but give me an fleet of International chassis with a 9.0 liter with a Wayne body, circa about 1989.

Maybe with the 9.0 head bolts designed better. hahaha



quote:
Originally posted by Thomasbus24

You guys must had different experience than I have since 1997 when I got my start. Maybe I was blessed.

The stuff I had from the 70s, 80s and 90s was leaps and bounds more reliable electrically than this garbage made today.

I am just going to disagree and leave it at that.

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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2014 :  2:29:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by second.flood

So is it breakers or fuses?



Sorry, I'm working an two buses with electrical issues. This one is breakers the other one is fuses (FS65 Freightliner). I need the little smiley face that has it's eyes going around and round. I feed a little stressed and crazy most days lately. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Bryan
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C.HARDY
Advanced Member

350 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2014 :  12:53:02 PM  Show Profile  Click to see C.HARDY's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
DT360s.........fuel them and keep oil changed....lol
quote:
Originally posted by second.flood

Call me crazy, but give me an fleet of International chassis with a 9.0 liter with a Wayne body, circa about 1989.

Maybe with the 9.0 head bolts designed better. hahaha



quote:
Originally posted by Thomasbus24

You guys must had different experience than I have since 1997 when I got my start. Maybe I was blessed.

The stuff I had from the 70s, 80s and 90s was leaps and bounds more reliable electrically than this garbage made today.

I am just going to disagree and leave it at that.




"Hardybusman"
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Trailboss
Senior Member

United States
149 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2014 :  03:30:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree DT 360 was the best school bus engine ever made. I was at the bus plant in Tulsa last week and we talked about how good that engine was. It was pulled to make the 7.3 for Ford.
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Oldiron
Active Member

15 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2014 :  03:42:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit Oldiron's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Check the body solenoid located on the flasher plate, we have had issues with ours emergency exit lights on dash come on and dome lights inop. After bus warms up solenoid closes and everything works as it should. I have experienced this multiple times with our IC CE300's

Hope this helps
Denver
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Fastback
Top Member

972 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2014 :  05:08:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Trailboss

I agree DT 360 was the best school bus engine ever made. I was at the bus plant in Tulsa last week and we talked about how good that engine was. It was pulled to make the 7.3 for Ford.



No that's not correct, the 6.9 production began in 1984, it morphed into the 7.3 in 1987.
The DT 360 came into production in 1987, replacing the 9 liter, it went away after 1993 because of emission standards and was replaced by the DT408 at that time. As a cost saving move, the DT408 was eliminated and the DT466 became the only inline six on the option list mid year 1994.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback

Edited by - Fastback on 02/03/2014 05:16:44 AM
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2014 :  05:27:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Oldiron

Check the body solenoid located on the flasher plate, we have had issues with ours emergency exit lights on dash come on and dome lights inop. After bus warms up solenoid closes and everything works as it should. I have experienced this multiple times with our IC CE300's

Hope this helps
Denver



Thanks, I'll check that.

Bryan
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grape1
New Member

2 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2014 :  1:41:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit grape1's Homepage  Reply with Quote
i am having same problems on 09 ic bus also now the gauges have stopped working alarm sounding and flashers and stop sign inop
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Oldbus
New Member

4 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2014 :  07:16:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit Oldbus's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Some of the comments about electrical problems are interesting. People comparing a 90,000 dollar car with a 90,000 dollar school bus. These people need to look at cost per passenger? My calculations say that a 90,000 dollar car caring 5 pass. cost 18,000 per pass..A 90,000 dollar 66 pass school bus cost 1,364 dollars per. pass. I understand electrical problems once being a mfg. However the school bus is the safest, most reliable and cost effective transportation in the world..

Next look at the electrical options on a school bus. Try building 40 buses per day with each bus having different electrical options. This is a challenge . Believe me the mfg dose not like this problem any more than you do.

It is time that the customer State Gov. and school transportation people agree to some uniformity on the electrical requirmentsn.mAsk your bus dealer how many electrical options they have??? Old Bus
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2014 :  08:18:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Oldbus

Some of the comments about electrical problems are interesting. People comparing a 90,000 dollar car with a 90,000 dollar school bus. These people need to look at cost per passenger? My calculations say that a 90,000 dollar car caring 5 pass. cost 18,000 per pass..A 90,000 dollar 66 pass school bus cost 1,364 dollars per. pass. I understand electrical problems once being a mfg. However the school bus is the safest, most reliable and cost effective transportation in the world..

Next look at the electrical options on a school bus. Try building 40 buses per day with each bus having different electrical options. This is a challenge . Believe me the mfg dose not like this problem any more than you do.

It is time that the customer State Gov. and school transportation people agree to some uniformity on the electrical requirmentsn.mAsk your bus dealer how many electrical options they have??? Old Bus



You're preaching to the choir on the safety record of a school bus. Some, such as myself, have been around long enough to understand that there was a slight progress in reliability at one point in time a few years ago. It seems as if we aren't making much ground lately. It shouldn't be a stretch to ask for improvement. However, I will say (you all know my brand preference, so take this as you will)that Blue Bird seems to be gaining ground on reliability in the past few years. I could point out at least one or two points to change that would improve them even more though.

Furthermore, I would argue that a luxury car is nothing more than a shortened bus. Or to say it another way, a bus is a stretched luxury car. How much does it really take to add a few feet between the front seats and the rear axle.

Lastly I think I know why we have reliability problems, at least in part. These companies are trying to find a balance between reliability and economy. Many, maybe even a majority, of the school bus buyers are purchasing buses and trading inside of the 3 to 6 year window. If that behavior was changed to a 10 to 15 year trade we would see a bullet proof bus that wouldn't be showing trouble until closer to the 10-12 year mark. Either that behavior has to change or the manufacturer has to change. I theorize that if the manufacturer would slowly change toward the better bus then the behavior would follow. The trick would be not to break your company in the process.

I could go on and on about such things but for our part in this we need to look outside our normal thought processes we have. Thus the reason I have chosen to go toward an all propane fleet. There are some other factors in my consideration of this but these words will suffice for today.

Bryan
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second.flood
Advanced Member

USA
355 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2014 :  09:09:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
About the dome lights.
Open the electrical compartment and the uppermost relay furthest right should be for the dome lights. On my bus they are not labeled.The relay supplies power to each side separately.
With the condition active, remove the relay and make sure the terminals at the pigtail are all good. Replace the relay and let us know what you have.

Also, from my perspective, the propane blue bird stuff gets old....you only have one fairly new bus. Maybe it is the answer, I'm glad you are willing to be the guinea pig. Time will tell.

Scott
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BUS DOC
New Member

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2014 :  09:13:43 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have found on my 2010-2013 CE's that the bar coming from the sol to the fuses the lock nut at the fuse bus bar has come loose just enough to lose contact until it gets hot. On my buses they used lock nuts with plastic inserts. the plastic melts and the nut will not stay tighten.
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2296 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2014 :  09:37:06 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the info guys. Going to get this one in soon. Lots here to do for one guy. I'll give the propane a rest for a while. It's kind of like when you find a good food or drink and you want everyone to know. But I know where you're coming from on being tired of hearing it. lol

Bryan
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mik
Senior Member

USA
60 Posts

Posted - 03/06/2014 :  3:21:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
With IC I have found a few that either missed the ground stud , or left a wire or 2 off the stud completely in the top of the electrical access panel . you know the one with all the gold goop pasted all over where everything grounds. ( center top of the panel )
resulting in intermittent radio , heated mirrors , dome lights , you name it .

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