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Ferrara/GMC 8500 electrical troubles

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  • Ferrara/GMC 8500 electrical troubles

    I'd like to start addressing some problems we have with our 2004 GMC 8500 Ferrara Tanker Pumper. It has the Cat C7 300HP, Allison EVS3000, 1500 gallon poly tank, and a Hale QFLO1250 midship pump.

    Here is the first issue I'd like to address. When the truck is parked, brake set and the pump engaged...the ABS light on the dash cluster illuminates and remains illuminated during all of pumping operations.

    Ferrara says its OK. The story I got was that the trucks computer is sensing driveshaft rotation with no wheel rotation...thus telling the GM system that the brakes must be locked up...and thus the ABS is malfunctioning. Or at least the ABS light is constantly on...I don't know if it means there is a malfunction. But its on.

    Is there no way to prevent this? Ferrara didn't have any explanation to solve the problem...and said it actually was not a problem. Are these trouble lights stored as codes or ??? I don't like it.
    Assistant Chief

  • #2
    I do believe that you have just hit upon one of the reasons I don't like electronics and the added problem of having someone trying to make their stuff work on a commercial chassis. I do beleive that Ferrara is correct in there telling you that it is just that way and okay. The only way around it is if they could rig a switch to turn that portion off during pump mode. The problem was not an issue with them so they left it as is.

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    • #3
      I have had that problem before on a couple of units I have sold to departments. I have had it on Fords and GMC. They do the exact same thing. I was told it was in the computer brake box that Bendix or whomever makes for the units. So far the units have been in the field for 4 years or so with no issues tied to this.

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      • #4
        I have commercial chassis equipment with ABS and the light does not come on. Most electronic component manufacturers have special modes to prevent these sorts of problems. My guess is Ferrara just didn't figure it out.

        First step is to figure out what kind of ABS controller the truck has and get the codes out of it. Usually a very simple process.

        Next step is to call the manufacturer and ask them about a fire pump mode, I would not be surprised if it was a simple wire that needs to be hooked up.

        Birken

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        • #5
          It is indeed the fact that "fred"(Fabulous,redundant electronic device/computer) sees the driveshaft turning with NO wheel speed sense.The fact that the ABS light is on merely indicates that the ABS is "disabled" and you have standard brakes only.Like Birken says it MAY be possible to change a wire,if not when you're done pumping,once you've gone back to "Road" position,merely shut off and restart the vehicle.The code may still be in memory but the light will be out. T.C.

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          • #6
            Between GMC, Caterpillar, Bendix, Allison, Class1, FRC etc...there are some electrical "flaws" in this truck. It was a hurried build...but I didn't expect this from Ferrara.

            The light goes out instantly when I shift to road. My only problems are that A. it occurs and I don't like warning lights B. When confronted...Ferrara says no others they've build does this (as if that helps the problem) C. They don't know what to say other than tell me whats happening.

            Thanks for the replies. The answers I got were my guess...I just needed some input from other knowledgeable folks.

            I need to collect my other problems for posting. Much will have to do with the electronic throttle. We battled over this one for over a year. I got so sick of running down wires, checking pins on the Cat ECM, reading about the logic of products...etc etc. FRC throttle people didn't agree with how Ferrara is hooking up their products. And Ferrara told me their engineers know best. Meanwhile we have problems.

            In my opinion...Ferrara's got a problem with their software for troubleshooting. The factory supposedly cleared a bunch of codes for me before we left after inspection...but it didn't happen. The field techs didn't know which program to use to troubleshoot from their laptop. They were letting me do whatever I wanted and show them what it does. And according to the local CAT dealer...if people are not using their proprietary software...there is little anyone can do without it. But Ferrara don't believe me on that.

            Thats another story. Thanks for the replies. I wish I had the money to get all the software and plugs I needed for these trucks. Its so hard to get a tech in the building that really truly knows a great deal about OEM electronics and such for a specific vehicle.
            Assistant Chief

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            • #7
              Send me your e-mail address, I may have a solution for you.

              [email protected]

              Thanks

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              • #8
                send me an email with a list of youre problems, we had a ferrara that went nuts at the wrong time also.

                [email protected]

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