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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #1  
Old 03-01-2011
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foxyfish1001 foxyfish1001 is offline
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Default Issue with Retarder and brake lights

I'm having a problem with my retarder switch-light. It stays on and for some reason when it is on the brake lights are on. Has anyone else ever had this problem? any ideas would be great as I dont know where to start looking.
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Old 03-01-2011
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Hi Robert,

I had a similar problem a few years back. I would let off the brake, but the retarder light and brake lights would stay on. Sometimes, I would even step on the accelerator and it still would not release. The Allison shop said that a spring had broken in the "modulator" on the retarder/transmission housing. After the repairs, they handed me a small 3" by 3" box with a few broken parts and a $$$$$ invoice. The part that needed to be replaced apparently senses the position of the air throttle or brake and is supposed to modulate the degree of braking force in the retarder. Before taking the coach to them, I made sure that the dash switch and Bosch relay in the generator battery compartment were OK. Once it was established that the electrical signal was getting to the tranny, I handed it over to them. Otherwise the bill would probably have doubled. Down in Delmarva, you may be able to get service at IG Burton in Milford, DE.
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  #3  
Old 03-01-2011
lcondosta lcondosta is offline
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Talking Retarder Light

Robert. I have had that problem since I owned that coach.The retarder was replaced when I had the tranny rebuilt .It was only a problem when it was cold. The retarder was not the same one that I sent because I had to modify the tranny mount to install it. Hope this helps. Lee Condosta Miss My bird.
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Old 03-01-2011
cemjam cemjam is offline
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Hello Robert,

If you look up FC Retarder, Radiator for sale on the forum, you will see that Michael Putz posted a few doctuments about the retarder that my help you fix your issue. I was trying to post the attachment but can't figure out how to do it. Go to post number 42 and you will see the attachements if you can not find them I would be happy to send them to you.
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2011
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Lee that light did go out when we left Florida. But after we left your place could never get it to go out. My main issue is that the brake lights stay on constantly. I'm afraid of getting rear ended. I havent had a chance to look into it yet was just fishing for any ideas. We love your old Bird you did a good job of taking care of her.
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  #6  
Old 03-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxyfish1001 View Post
I'm having a problem with my retarder switch-light. It stays on and for some reason when it is on the brake lights are on. Has anyone else ever had this problem? any ideas would be great as I dont know where to start looking.
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Hi Robert,

If your retarder stop light circuit works like the one I worked on in an 84 ½ PT-36 (and I suspect it does) there’s a proportioning valve that sends air pressure to the transmission retarder through a quick release valve. A pressure switch (stop light switch) mounted on that quick release valve is what picks up the retarder light on the dash as well as the retarder stop light relay.

The retarder stop light relay is a Bosch relay that is supposed to turn on the brake lights when there’s air pressure going to the retarder valve body. I would suspect that the stop light pressure switch mounted on the quick release valve is bad. If it's not the switch then for some reason there may be air pressure at the quick release valve even when you’re not calling for the retarder.

The Proportioning valve and the quick release valve with the pressure switch are mounted on a steel plate back near the tag axle.

Be very careful working under the coach especially when working on the air system. Coaches with air suspension can easily crush you to death. You should either use a pit or properly support the coach so that it can’t come down on top of you.

The attached pictures are not the whole retarder circuit - they are for reference only:
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1991 40' WLWB-WTB
Body Number F095567
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1991 40' WB ...From 2008 - Present
1984 ½ PT-36 .From 2000 - 2008
1973 FC-31 .....From 1991 - 2001
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  #7  
Old 03-02-2011
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foxyfish1001 foxyfish1001 is offline
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Thanks John Is it the pressure switch with the single terminal.
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  #8  
Old 03-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxyfish1001 View Post
Thanks John Is it the pressure switch with the single terminal.
Hi Robert,

No it’s the one that has two terminals - it’s called a “stop light switch” in the drawing.

I think it’s a Williams Air Controls “stoplight switch” Model Number WM777A Part Number 118150

For what it’s worth…. The single wire pressure switch in the picture is called the Air Throttle interlock pressure switch. It’s job is to disengage the retarder if the air throttle is actuated. Not all 80’s PT’s use the Air Throttle interlock pressure switch - some of them use a “pilot control valve” in place of the Air Throttle interlock pressure switch but it serves the same purpose.
 
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1991 40' WLWB-WTB
Body Number F095567
My Location: http://www.bbirdmaps.com/user1.cfm?user=4

1991 40' WB ...From 2008 - Present
1984 ½ PT-36 .From 2000 - 2008
1973 FC-31 .....From 1991 - 2001
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  #9  
Old 03-02-2011
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Thanks John I will not be home till next weekend but will definitely check that out. I really appreciate yor help.
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'85 PT40
'05 Road King
'08 Silverado Duramax
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2011
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John you were rite on the money switch is bad. Man I'm glad we have this forum without your help I would have never found that on my own. Thanks a lot guys
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'08 Silverado Duramax
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