LEARNING TO DRIVE:

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Ray D

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Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
I am learning to drive. I used to own a small trucking company in Los Angeles, and I have more than a million miles under my belt. You?d think I could drive a truck. But, last time I drove a truck was 32 years ago. We did have a 91 Allegro, that was more like an old truck. Trucks have changed.

To start with, we used to have a ?Driver?s Seat? and a ?Dashboard.? Now, my truck - motorhome - has a cockpit and an instrument panel. Well, I used to fly, also, so if you?re going to have a cockpit I suppose you ought to have an instrument panel. I?ll get back to that.

Our Damon Challenger is about the length of some of my former trucks - 36' 8". It?s wider, by a few very important inches and a bit taller. Just enough to make me nervous in an underpass or on a narrow street. Rarely, in the ?good ol? days? did I watch my sides and lid, so carefully.

That turkey has 13 feet of tail sweep! That?s from the axle to the ladder on the back. Turning a corner on a residential street, I need all of both streets! I can?t share! I don?t remember 13 feet of tail, in the good ol? days - on anything! I had a Ford Cabover that overhung 8 feet, and thought that was atrocious! Do these get shorter, as you get used to them? Do they get narrower? Do you get used to them? Does anybody but me duck, when you go through an underpass?

You wouldn?t believe the manual that came with the old trucks. That was OK. Nobody needed a manual, anyway. But this came with a manual, a suitcase full of manuals, most of them in two or more languages. I found the operating manual. It tells how to operate just about anything they make, today, gas or diesel! Hard to figure out what applies to me and mine. But, I have read the manuals, all of them. I have read most more than once and the OM several times. That brings me back to the cockpit and the instrument panel. I said I?d get back to that.

It isn?t like this is the only thing I don?t understand, but it?s the one nagging me, lately. (Other issues, other posts - stay tuned!)

It?s the lights. No more pull the knob and the lights go on. No more step on the button and they dim or brighten. I have a lot of light switches! I have more or less figured out what most of them do.

If you can turn them on, the bright/dim is on the turn indicator. Piece o? cake. My car does that, too. Below the panel, to the right of the steering column, there is a two piece switch that turns on the headlights and/or the running lights. I can do that! The manual says it is to the left of the column, but I figure the manual was written in the Orient, so it?s a translation problem.

None of the illustrations show MY instrument panel!

There is a column of switches above that. Three of them have light symbols on them. Of them, the top switch is always on. Best I can figure it turns the running lights and dash lights off, briefly, when the switch is depressed to off. The switch returns to ?On? when released. How come? What?s it for? I suppose I could use it to signal a passing 16 wheeler that it is safe to change lanes, but what is it really for?

Next one down, is a fog lamp switch. The manual had that one right. I can deal with that. Used to be an add-on, if you wanted it, and the switch was a toggle, anywhere you could find room for a hole. Checked it. Turns the fog lights on or off. No problem.

Next one down is for causing headaches. According to the manual, the symbol on it is for bright lights. That symbol is inside a little circle on the switch. But, the switch that dims the headlights is on the turn indicator. The one on the turn indicator does brighten or dim the headlights. We checked. This switch does not turn on (or off) any lights that I can find. we?ve looked everywhere! To the best of my ability, it turns on a little blue light in a circle around the little symbol for bright lights, in the center of the switch, in the on position. In the off position, it turns the little blue light off. I like blue, but I wish I knew what else, if anything, that switch does! Anybody know?

One more, on the next column of switches to the right. I got all but one down, in that column. It has a symbol - I?ll do my best, here - that looks like a sawtooth wave on the front of an oscilloscope, all sitting on a backwards L. Best I can figure, pushing this switch gives my finger some exercise. Other than that, it does nothing I know about. The one above it has a lightning bolt, and starts the Onan. It ain?t the Onan starter!

I went back to the dealer. The guy they sent out, scratched his head. Then, went and got another guy. They think these switches are on all instrument panels, but are non-functional on mine. I?d hate to think I have been beating my head against a wall for non-functional switches.  No, I can take it! Somebody tell me what those switches do.

Sorry! Next time, not so wordy. I?ll cut it down, somehow.

Ray D.
 

John From Detroit

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Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,122
Location
Davison Michigan
There is at least one non-functional switch on that panel.  Where are you? I have a Damon Intruder, workhorse chassis, 2005  I can likely figure out all the switches if I can see them

Option 2: Photograph, Post, (Click on Additional options just below the box you type in)

There should be an indicator on your dash that looks a bit like a headlight (not a switch) that comes on whenever your headlights are off... Daytime running lights (if it's new enough) GM puts these on all its products now days and if your chassis is a workhorse with a vortec engine it's a gm insturment cluster and computer

ON my rig this switch; "Of them, the top switch is always on. Best I can figure it turns the running lights and dash lights off, briefly," 

Is labeled ICC, it's for thanking the nice trucker for letting you in of course  and does exactly as you suggest
It only works when the marker/running/tail lights are on however

The one that turns on the little blue light may well do nothing,, Or it may be isle lights inside the motor home, Or it may be an aux switch that turns on an interior light.. I do have an isle light switch

The one with the sawtooth wave form I don't know,,,, but I have a switch to control an optional air horn on my chassis.. I got to ask him where the connections are

If your chassis is a workhorse I may be able to get you some help... If not, write damon, I ahve a couple of addresses and one of them is good at returning E-mail




 

Ray D

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
I am in Boise, Idaho. A bit of distance from Detroit.

It is a 2005 Challenger, Workhorse chassis, Vortec engine.

I do have daytime running lights, with the indicator on the display, just as you suggested. They turn on of their own volition. None of the switches affect them.

So, I got one switch right! That's all it does? On my switch, the symbol is two "headlights" aimed to the right and left. No letters on that switch.

I wish I had isle lights, but I don't. I didn't think of that switch operating inside lights. I'll check for that.

It's looking like maybe I have one or more non-functional switches. I do have the Workhorse chassis, but would still appreciate a useful E-Mail address for Damon.

I'll get a picture and, if I can figure out how, I will post it. May be a day or two as I have to take it in early tomorrow for maintenance.

Thank you for responding.

Ray D.
 

Ray D

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
OK, decided to do the picture, tonight. Never done this before.

If this works, I added little red numbers:
1 is the blinker.
2 is fog light
3 is a puzzle
4 is the Onan
5 is a puzzle
 

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Ray D

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
Terry: I asked them, on the walk-thru, where the switch was for the mirror defogger. It was important to me, with no other way to see back, in the winter. The "walk-thru" guy told me they were automatic, operated by thermostat. I like the switch idea better, but weather being what it is, right now, cannot check that. At least, any way that I can think of.

Missed the chance, last winter. We had it winterized. We didn't get to use it much, before winter, due to problems. (All fixed under warranty but several of them.) So, with so little experience, we winterized and started again this spring. So far, so good, if I can learn what everything does.

We had done several short trips, when I realized that I still didn't know how the lights worked. We hadn't driven at night! Decided I'd better get that figured out!

Ray D.
 

Ned

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Posts
25,107
Location
USA
Why would you thermostatically control the heater mirrors?  Just because it's below freezing doesn't mean the mirrors need heating, and they can fog up when it's warm, and need heat to defog.  One of those switched is most likely the mirror heater.  And rule no. 1 is don't believe anything a dealer tells you.

The switch that flashes the running lights is the ICC Switch and it is for just that, flashing the running lights at night.  Generally, it won't work in the daytime, i.e. it won't turn the lights on when they're off.
 

John From Detroit

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Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,122
Location
Davison Michigan
I think Five is the mirror heater.  3 looks like a light, head light, fog light or isle lights, can't be sure which

I'll visit my Intruder later today and look at the symboles there

The sawtooth wave you see is mountains in the rear view mirror
 

Ray D

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Posts
1,963
Location
Boise, Idaho
"The sawtooth wave you see is mountains in the rear view mirror."

Of course! Man, I should have known that!

The Sawtooth Mountains are in Idaho and I go there frequently! Who would know Idaho would inspire an international communications symbol? Internationaleeze is confusing to me.

Two down. One to go. 3 has to have something to do with lights. Why else would they use that symbol?

Ray D
 
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