View Full Version : offroad trip with a surprising (dead) end

12-01-2002, 08:56 PM
well, to make the story short, I was coming down off the mountain when all of a sudden the truck just shut down without warning. no instrument panel lights, nothing. none of the pre-&quot;ignition&quot; sequence happens (idiot lights, wait-to-start, chime, etc.). I looked for blown fuses, took off my EZ box, unhooked the batteries and re-connected, all without success. I was able to coast down the hill to pavement and cell phone coverage, where I had DC come tow me to the dealer. <br><br>11,500 miles and the engine hasn't missed a beat until this. This isn't the dreaded VP44 thing is it? it happend after about 30 minutes of decending, where about 50% of the time I was idling and braking, and the rest of the time I was pulling against the engine (zero fuel delivery). I slipped into neutral and stopped to take my coat off and the thing just shut down instead of idling. <br><br>I'll follow up as I get more information from the dealer, but I thought I would see if anyone else has experience something like this. --Doug

12-01-2002, 10:15 PM
I have had this happen when fuse #3 in the Power Distribution Center (under the hood) rattled out. I just shut down my entire ignition system.

12-01-2002, 11:17 PM
Not too helpful, probably, but I had this happen in a Jeep TJ last year. Bad computer. <br><br>Dealer said, &quot;Always carry a spare.&quot; [laugh] ::)<br><br>Price we pay for the new technology. Long time ago my International Scout went dead on top of Teton Pass in Wyoming during a snow storm. Managed to rebuild the carburator with nail remover (solvent), a can opener, pocket knife, pliers, two paper clips, and cut-up felt from my hat. Job lasted three years, swear-to-God. <br><br>GP

Lary Ellis (Top)
12-02-2002, 12:17 AM
I was in Mexico on a 2 week fishing trip. I was driving a Cadillac Eldorado towing a small travel trailer. I was out in the middle of nowhere when the caddie sputtered and died.
I look it over and determined I wasn't getting any fuel.
I just happened to have a boat fuel tank in the trailer and siphoned fuel into it. Strapped it on the roof and hooked up the feed line to the carburetor. I had the squeeze bulb for the boat tank just outside my window and with some timed squeezes and a few stops to refuel I made the 70 miles to town. Of course no caddie parts but I did find an old electric fuel pump that worked well enough to get me back to the states. Bad place to breakdown for sure.

12-02-2002, 07:00 AM
Oh yeah? Well how about this:

Demolished the spider, ring, and pinion gears in the rear axle of my 1963 one-ton IH 4x4 on top of the Wah-Wah Range in southwestern Utah, 55 miles from the nearest pavement. Hiked out to the road, flagged a biker, got a ride to Baker, Nevada, and there hooked up with a trucker who took me on in to Ely, where I waited five days for the parts to arrive. Packed everything into an extra knapsack and thumbed back to the access trail in Utah. Hiked back in. Replaced everything, but realized I didn't have the one essential thing -- a lube gun to fill up the axle. ::) :-[ :( &gt;:( [yuk] :o

Hike out to Ely again? NOOOOOO!!!! Took me a couple of hours to figure out the obvious -- pack the lube in plastic sandwich bags, and stuff the sandwich bags inside the axle/gear housing.

Good thing I was young and stupid and strong and a student on summer break and didn't have a job at the time. Took nearly two weeks. That one made me a legend in the area.


Lary Ellis (Top)
12-02-2002, 09:44 AM
I guess I should save my story about smelting and fire forging my own U-Joint from raw minerals I dug up in the backwoods 50 miles from town ;D<br> That plastic bag idea is a real winner! Sure beat the heck out of that long hike out and back!

12-02-2002, 11:12 AM
&quot;I guess I should save my story about smelting and fire forging my own U-Joint from raw minerals I dug up in the backwoods 50 miles from town.&quot;<br><br>And I'll save mine about white-water rafting down the Colorado River in a Jeep with garbage-bag floatation collars, after the bridge was washed away. Or the one about using a mixture of cactus pulp and my own blood as axle bearing lubricant to get me back to Tucson. Or the story about . . . . [laugh]<br><br>GP

Lary Ellis (Top)
12-02-2002, 02:44 PM
Looks like we found officers to run the Liars Chapter [laugh]

12-02-2002, 06:47 PM
I think we've pegged the meter. [laugh]

Lary Ellis (Top)
12-02-2002, 06:51 PM
<br>I think we've pegged the meter. [laugh]<br> [laugh]<br><br> Sorry Doug we kind of got off the thread there but I did rather enjoy it ;D

12-02-2002, 07:27 PM
And interesting reading, too! ;D

12-03-2002, 12:17 AM
So much to learn here ;)

12-03-2002, 10:46 AM
wow, talk about thread drift. fun reading though, indeed! Well, it turns out that the #11 ignition/run fuse (under the hood) blew. If you all promise to be nice to me I'll tell you what really happened, so that someone else doesn't commit the same stupid error :-[. <br><br>ok, here goes: It turns out that I was twice an idiot. my first error was to hook up the comp box 12V supply wire to the wrong side of the #17 fuse inside the cab. my second error was a lack of proper routing of the wire itself. <br><br>With the comp box 12V wire hooked up to the supply side of the #17 in-cab fuse, everything works fine but this connects the box directly to the 50A #11 (ignition/run) circuit out under the hood. Take my advice and hook that little fuse pigtail thingie to the TOP of the #17 fuse, not the bottom (on the 02s that is). I must have been daydreaming when I hooked that one up 'cuz I thought I had it on the correct side. Anyway, hooked to the top of the #17 fuse in the cab, the comp box will take power from the 10A fused circuit (making use of the #17 fuse itself). Hooked to the bottom of the #17 fuse, the box will take power directly from the 50A fused circuit. In case anyone is still reading This is a fire hazzard!<br><br>About the wire routing. turns out that my offroad bouncing around caused the excess (slack) in the 12V wire to fall down into the emergency brake mechanism. One engagement of the brake, and the 12V wire shorted directly to ground. This blew the 50A ignition fuse and shut everything down. Had the comp box been connected to the fused side of the #17 circuit, the in-cab 10A fuse would have blown and I could have recovered (I had spares of those). Had I routed and secured the 12V wire better it would not have fallen down into the emergency brake and nothing would have happend at all. But then I wouldn't have discovered I was connected to the wrong side of the #17 fuse either ;D. In that sense, I actually feel fortunate, because of the fire danger created by hooking up an 18 gauge wire to a 50A circuit. Those with a knowledge of electronics will recognize that a high-resistance short circuit will cause a #18 wire to melt and catch fire without blowing the 50A fuse.<br><br>Anyway, all is well now. The dealer replaced the fuse yesterday under warranty and I didn't discover the above details until today, when I put the comp box back on.<br><br>So to summarize, here's what I wish to recommend to y'all:<br><br>1. go re-check your comp box 12V supply connection. If you're on the supply side of that #17 fuse, then you have a potential fire hazzard just waiting to happen. To find out which side is which, pull the fuse out, turn the ignition switch to &quot;run&quot; and hang a voltmeter on the two terminals that receive the fuse. If you measure 12V, that terminal is the supply terminal. Don't use it.. hook the comp 12V wire up to the other side of the fuse. <br><br>2. go re-check the routing and physical integrity of your 12V wire. make sure that any slack in the wire length is secured with tie wraps so that nothing can fall into the emergency brake.<br><br>

12-03-2002, 10:57 AM
Sandwich bags... saw that on a &quot;Junkyard Wars&quot; episode. They filled up a large bag with gear oil and stuffed it in the diff, then put the cover on.... said &quot;the gears will grind it up...&quot; [laugh] <br><br><br>Tony

12-03-2002, 01:22 PM
Thanks Doug,<br> It takes a honest man to tell the real story of what happened, in hopes that someone else will bennefit from it. You could have made up some bogus story to shift the blame onto a fault with the truck or someone else. I would be willing to bet that every person who has ever turned on wrench on their vehicles,,,, somewhere in the past or yet to come in the future,,,, has or will make these kind of mistakes. I know I have! ::)<br> The only thing you left out is,,,,,,,, What kind of lie did ya tell the dealer when he asked,,,, &quot;What in tarnation did ya have hooked up in there?&quot; [laugh] [laugh] Glad ya got it fixed. ;D

12-03-2002, 02:43 PM
well, it turns out that I haven't had to answer that question, but I would tell them the truth if they asked. I actually think they would let it go. So far they've been real straight with me and treat me real well, so I rather like to foster the win-win thing there. I've talked extensively with the service manager about fueling boxes and he knows I'm putting one in (he just doesn't know when or which one. they sell the bully dog box there in the dealership).<br><br>But, as far as they know, the #11 fuse blew, and it was the fuse itself that caused the problem. I didn't actually figure the whole thing out until after I got the truck home from the dealer. I had already signed the $0 paperwork and, at my request, they released the truck to me with some extra fuses &quot;just in case&quot;. The warrenty paperwork is already started, and it would get kind of messy and raise all kinds of you know what with DC itself if we were to pull back the paperwork, just for an hour's worth of shop time and a fuse. I'm an honest man, true, but I don't want to enable DC's bad behavior either or jeapordize someone else's dealer experience -- so I'm not willing to risk having them slap a restricted warranty on my vehicle just because, or to raise all sorts of visibility over this. I can just see the next TSB... <br><br>Anyway I believe I've taken the right course. and hopefully I'll get all the guys with comp boxes to make sure they're connected to the correct side of the fuse. thats the main thing.

Lary Ellis (Top)
12-03-2002, 03:14 PM
Doug I am glad you got your truck problem worked out. I hate when I do something backwards like that, and to tell the truth I seem to do it more often as I get older. <br> <br> But had it been me I would have taken off my shoes and stuck my foot through a hole in the firewall to make contact with the battery and held the hot lead from the burnt out fuse in my teeth, thus making contact and bypassing the fuse long enough to get me home off the mountain. ;D<br> Or I could have walked out looking for a tow truck I do not know which ::) [laugh]

12-03-2002, 06:38 PM
OHhh,,,,brother,,,,,,,,, ::) ::)

Ya know Top,,,,,,
It's a good thing that you live in the mountains,,,,,,, cause at any lower elevation,,,,,,, you would have covered yourself completely up by now!
You don't sleep in hip-boots,,,,, Do ya? [laugh] [laugh]

Lary Ellis (Top)
12-03-2002, 07:18 PM
hehehehe big sale on fertilizer!

12-25-2002, 07:19 PM
thanks for story, most of time its the mods that get ya in trouble if not done right. ;D