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Hello all,

I have been trouble shooting my instrument cluster for months!
2007 F250 4x4 XLT CCSB FX4 6.0L DIESEL

My gauge cluster, windows, radio would all come and go as they pleased for any amount of time you can think of. Seconds, minutes or days.
It would happen in every circumstance you can think of; key on engine off, engine running at idle, left turn, right turn, braking, or accelorating. The temerature outside did not matter (30f-100f)
At first dash slapping worked, then it didn't.

How it all started.

So, i had 239,000 miles on her. Bulbs were burnt out in the cluster to key gauges (fuel level, mph, etc...) and i wanted them to be on and better. Also, red.
I bought an led kit. Pulled the dash, unscrewed the cluster, left the two giant harnesses plugged in, unhooked the gear position needle and flipped that cluster up on the dash to have at it....bad move.
My theories; either i broke a foil on the pcb by applying tension to the harnesses i left plugged in, or the burnt out bulbs were burntout for a reason. Maybe after i installed the led bulbs, (which is when my problem started) i completed a bad circuit that had been surviving on the broken connections. This circuit would involve the battery saver. Which, also contains a voltage regulator and a capacitor, oh and a pcb style relay used to time the delay. Who knows. I tested and replaced all three of the main components to no avail. These components were very difficult to locate, but not impossible. I have read where technicians say, "the battery saver relay is controlled with a micro processor" this is false in my cluster. It makes it easy for a dealer to sell a cluster that way. Also, i have read that the circuit components are not servicable. Also false. Any electronic repair shop can swap out these components. For $100 or way less. (Free if you are a nice human with great friends).
So, after servicing mine, still no worky. The reason i attacked the saver circuit is because i figured everything in that full circuit was affected. (Windows,radio etc...) after everything was replaced on the pcb (circuit board) i still had the issue, but noticed when the board was flexed, even slightly, in that region where all those components were, it would work. You might be thinking, "bad/cold solder joint" somewhere...false. all joints were reflowed to ensure this would not be the case. What i had was a case of broken foil. The micro copper foil laid into the board had probably been stressed in the opposite direction it was used to, and caused a micro crack. Easy to do. Impossible to fix.(with my resources)

Now what?
Buy a used cluster. Which i did. I followed the XLT TO LARIAT GAUGE swap write up.minus the compass portion as it required the routing of 2 wires from an upgraded rearview mirror to the cluster. For what? N E S W? The girl who used to cut my hair had no idea what north east south or west meant...but she had beautiful tits, so she didn't need to. I don't have beautiful tits, so, i know where i am and why (most of the time)

Now, there are several causes for your cluster to act this way. Mine being i ####ed with it (electronics do not like to be moved) i never blew a fuse...why? Because the short on my pcb caused a voltage spike and the voltage regulator in the battery saver circuit would go into voltage overload protection. Nice.

If you are not blowing fuses, and you have symptoms with engine running or key on engine off you more than likely have;

Loose connection
Bad components on pcb in battery saver circuit
Broken PCB (circuit board)


Pull back dast trim (only need to pull out the top a bit) and you can see the 2 plugs on top (left is black right is blue.
Turn the key to run (no need to start)
If the cluster and windows and blah are all dead,
With 2 fingers lightly apply pressure to the face of the blue plug toward the front of the truck.
Did everything come on? Uh oh, bad connection or junk board.Try unhooking that harness and reconnecting. Still having issues? I would not waste the ridiculous amount of time i spent trying to replace components and just buy a used cluster. By flexing the board you complete/disconnect that circuit and its just not worth messing with. An alternative to a used board, is sending yours out to be fixed. I suggest US SPEEDO only because this is there niche and they represent Michigan :)

If you cant get the cluster to do anything by flexing it in either direction you may need;
A simple replacement relay for the delay accessory relay in fuse panel by your left knee
You may have a bad connection to the cluster from the fuse panel. Either a wire is broken or the plug is not making good contact. Possibly a pin is pulled out from either end of the harness, or even a bad connection of a fuse related to the devices involved in that circuit. I suggest pulling all fuses and replacing them. #19 i believe is a problem for a few folks as all it took was wiggling it or bending the tabs slightly to fix all their problems.
No luck? Remember this is key on engine off. Also, no blown fuses.
Chances are, the cluster is in need of repair or replacing.

If you are only having problems while the truck is on and running.
There is a great chance your alternator (more specificly) your voltage regulator in or on your alternator is toast. Here is a great way to check.
KOEO (key on engine off)
Open hood and using a multimeter or voltmeter check the voltage either battery (no need to unhook or isolate them) it should be 12-12.5 or even higher volts if good. Now start truck and go the that same battery and test it. This time check it while the truck is running for a couple minutes. That entire time, the voltage should rise to 13.5-14.1 volts and remain in that range. If you have someone help, have them run the truck up to 2000RPM and sustain it. Is the voltage still in range? (If you dont have a friend to help you can also check voltage in the 12volt charger/lighter outlets. Then you can see it while throttling it up)

In range? Get a new/used/rebuild cluster. If the voltage is spiking higher than 16 volts, the cluster is going into voltage protection (lucky you) and you need to get a new alternator or have the voltage regulator replaced in it. I am assuming the cluster is never the issue in the condition it continues to work koeo and you flexed the board, and it never stopped working in those conditions. If it is dead while running, voltage is killing it or THE CHEAPEST EASIEST FIX EVER IS NEEDED. read the next trouble maker.

So you keep blowing fuse (#43?) And the tow trailer overdrive deal is acting up...

On the steering column, underneath, there is a hole to release the ignition core. Insert key and turn to run (may want to unhook negative battery cables before hand) and insert a philips screwdriver into hole under column. Firmly press the screwdriver into the release mechanism and pull ignition core out (be carefull not to move key from its position)
Now disassemble the column cover (a few screw underneath) and seperate the halves.
On top by the shift lever there is a black cable with 2wires inside that run from the od button down to this little black clip. Is that cable chaffed by the clip? Or anywhere else ou can see?
Its chaffed? You found your issue. Remove it from the clip make sure wires arent shorting on eachother, and simply wrap that mother in electrical tape and dont put it back in the clip. Replace fuse 43, and you saved hundreds of dollars. Oh, reassemble reversed of disassemble.also, hook up battery and test. Yay, hundreds saved.
Fuses do not have to blow depending on the short. It could also cause other issues of parasitic draw leaving batteries dead.

Some folks found a short in headlined to the dome light. If that fuse is blown or even if it isnt but your batteries are dead in the morning, remove the domelight housing and check voltage at bulb. If bad or off from what everything else gets, remove the whole housing to reveal a shorted wire. Maybe.

Listen, i am the guy wondering why there is no write up on repairing the actual problems in tje cluster itself. Why wont anyone tell me or share the big secret about soldering some ####. I hate the "throw it away, buy new" mentality. However, after 9months of phone calls, emails, and $45 in parts / labor. I was at square one. Ordered a used lariat cluster (6C3T-10849-JA i think. I know it ends in JA.) Cost $115 shipped from new york to michigan. Wish i would have ordered it 9mo ago. I got the message center switch from a junk yard for $10 (remember to pull a handful of fuses and relays. My junk yard doesnt charge for them.

Not sure what else to say folks. I hope this helps someone. I spent so much time trying to isolate and solve this problem. Unfortunetly it can stem from a lot of other issues. If you have had problems with your truck running weird after starting it with a dead cluster, try shutting the truck off and try the step where you pull dash off at top and press the cluster harness to see if it comes on while the key is in run. If it comes on, try to only start the truck while cluster is on. If mine wasnt on while starting, the truck would idlr high and feel like trans was slipping while depressing gas made the truck nearly die. Limp mode. Truck has to be shut off and started with cluster on.

So many people have blown thousands on parts because of this. All because the cluster was not readable by the ecm. Poop.

Goodluck and ask stupid questions. I have stupid answers.
Nick
 

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Thank you for your right up. That cluster is the root of a lot of issues. It caused me to buy a $2300 transmission because apparently the trans reads the RPM to MPH and does the math based on the read out of the cluster. So when my cluster went out, the trans was soon to follow. So for anyone reading and are having cluster issues, do yourself a favor and get it taken care of asap. Because like nick said, it will save you tons of money in the end. Thank you again fit this write up. I stumbled along it looking for a fix for my battery gauge. My batteries died this weekend and I replaced them. But ofcourse I wanted to check my alternator to make sure it was working properly. And no it was not. It bounced around from 7.? To 14.2. Sometimes stay in the 14 range for a bit but would eventually drop back down. While checking all of this I bounced back and forth to the gauges to see if what I was seeing on my voltmeter was in coalition with my meter. And it wasn't. So I GA e my dash a good tap and with every tap it bounced up and up and up and now the needle is showing well above the 18v it has on the gauge. So now I'm trying to figure out how to fix that so when I swap out the alternator the I feel like that entire system is working properly. From batteries to alternator to gauge. Just because I want it all to work. Thank you again nick.

Tim
 

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i was diagnosing a simple ac problem last night and swapped a trailer turn/stop/tail relay under hood with the ac clutch relay and found that i needed to repair ac clutch.......cool, i shut truck off and go inside for the night with ac at rest in my mind, and truck acting fine. I get up this morning and no cluster all of the sudden and also no key on signal in the obd II port. truck starts and runs funny. I have checked all fuses and relays to no avail, and I have checked the connection on top of the cluster which is new last September thanks to a shorted wiper motor. I am about to pull my hair out here and need all the help i can get. thanks in advance.
 

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Update......I found fuse 45 blown for whatever reason. Not sure why it was blown as I find no indication of the cause. But anyways, problem solved.
 

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2002 powerstroke. Dash lights don't work, one night going to work, hit a patch of gravel a little bumpy and all of a sudden no dash lights, and smelled wire burning. Nothing was glowing orange or anything like that. Checked all fuses, all good. Still have dome light, did research found a lot of guys had headlight switch was culprit. Replaced didn't fix it. Double checked fuses again still nothing. I still have tail lights, plate lights, cab lights, parking lights. Headlights brake lights all work.radio even still works. Just no dash lights all gauges and ac/heat panel don't light up anymore, all the gauges still work and function like they are suppose to though just can't find the issue. I even tried to use a jumper wire for the headlight switch and when I do that it immediately pops a fuse but that's the only time. Any help or recommendations at all please please please don't hesitate. This is bugging the crap out of me. Oh I also unplugged the trailer brakes control box and still didn't fix. I do have an aftermarket radio but I checked all wiring and it's all good no loose ends or anything so I'm at a stand still.
 

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There is a few spots that are known to rub behind the dash. I would pull the cluster and start checking the harness.
 

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I have had the electrical issues for about two years now. 2005 F-350 diesel - 6.0 - 295,000 miles (owned since new).

Same as most I've read, power would suddenly stop to dash (instrument panel), radio and windows. After some trouble-shooting, I noticed that the issue centered around the blue electrical plug (top of the dash, there is a blue cluster plug on the right and a black one on the left); by pulling or pushing (toward or away from you) the blue plug, the power would work again, temporarily. I tried a spoon and a screwdriver, as wedges, to keep the plug in a forward or backward position, but with vibration, they would work themselves loose and power would go out again.

Yesterday, I figured I would actually pull the dash out and find something more permanent, to act as a wedge. After pulling the entire dash / instrument panel unit out, I decided to ask my brother, who is an electrician and works with circuit boards, about the theories I've read about causing the motherboard to "flex" (which is essentially what I was doing by moving the plug forward or back), he had me send him photos of the front and back of the board. Upon reviewing my photos, he said there were failures in the solder where the pins from the blue plug connected to the board. I took the board to him, he removed the old solder, cleaned the area, used flux and added new solder. While I had the panel apart, I also replaced all of the dash lights (1.4 watt bulb) and hooked everything back up. The entire dash lit up, the radio / nav system fired up and the windows worked. The 30 mile drive home was uneventful. I realize that the repair is new and I need to drive the truck for a couple of weeks to ensure the problem has been solved, but last night's drive home was the first trip in probably two years, where the power to the dash, radio and windows worked without failure.

If you are having the same issue, I would suggest pulling the motherboard out of your dash and having the solder points that connect the blue electrical plug to the board checked; if you can see that the solder has released from the pins, that may very well be your problem. Find someone who knows the proper way to remove and re-solder those points, then reinstall the board and see what happens.
 

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I know the original post is old but I'm having a related issue and I'm hoping someone here can point me in the right direction. After diagnosing a bad cluster (thanks to this post) I picked up a replacement from a local salvage yard. install went fine and when I started the truck SOME of the problems were solved. Radio worked and most gauges were working but the tach, spedo, and temp gauges were dead and the new cluster is showing "check gauges". Before the cluster replacement, at the times when i did have power, ALL gauges worked. I'm reasonably certain that the new (used) cluster is in good working order but I'm not sure why I would be having this issue. My only thought is that maybe it's a computer issue because the computer doesn't recognize the new cluster because of a difference in mileage.

Does anybody have any ideas?
 

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I have a 2000 Ford F250 SUPERDUTY 5.4L Triton after I put new rebuilt motor in my gauges flip to like the off position when the truck is off and then pops back on what can be this problem and also my cold/heat temparture gauge doesn't work what can be the problEM,Is it the gauge cluster or something else?
 

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Nick,
Thank god for great folks like yourself !! I love all the detail in your journey and all that was learned and shared. I am greatful for your knowledge and the willingness to take the time to share it with all who may have these daunting issues. Thank you ... thank you ... thank you.

Ray
 

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Hello all,

I have been trouble shooting my instrument cluster for months!
2007 F250 4x4 XLT CCSB FX4 6.0L DIESEL

My gauge cluster, windows, radio would all come and go as they pleased for any amount of time you can think of. Seconds, minutes or days.
It would happen in every circumstance you can think of; key on engine off, engine running at idle, left turn, right turn, braking, or accelorating. The temerature outside did not matter (30f-100f)
At first dash slapping worked, then it didn't.

How it all started.

So, i had 239,000 miles on her. Bulbs were burnt out in the cluster to key gauges (fuel level, mph, etc...) and i wanted them to be on and better. Also, red.
I bought an led kit. Pulled the dash, unscrewed the cluster, left the two giant harnesses plugged in, unhooked the gear position needle and flipped that cluster up on the dash to have at it....bad move.
My theories; either i broke a foil on the pcb by applying tension to the harnesses i left plugged in, or the burnt out bulbs were burntout for a reason. Maybe after i installed the led bulbs, (which is when my problem started) i completed a bad circuit that had been surviving on the broken connections. This circuit would involve the battery saver. Which, also contains a voltage regulator and a capacitor, oh and a pcb style relay used to time the delay. Who knows. I tested and replaced all three of the main components to no avail. These components were very difficult to locate, but not impossible. I have read where technicians say, "the battery saver relay is controlled with a micro processor" this is false in my cluster. It makes it easy for a dealer to sell a cluster that way. Also, i have read that the circuit components are not servicable. Also false. Any electronic repair shop can swap out these components. For $100 or way less. (Free if you are a nice human with great friends).
So, after servicing mine, still no worky. The reason i attacked the saver circuit is because i figured everything in that full circuit was affected. (Windows,radio etc...) after everything was replaced on the pcb (circuit board) i still had the issue, but noticed when the board was flexed, even slightly, in that region where all those components were, it would work. You might be thinking, "bad/cold solder joint" somewhere...false. all joints were reflowed to ensure this would not be the case. What i had was a case of broken foil. The micro copper foil laid into the board had probably been stressed in the opposite direction it was used to, and caused a micro crack. Easy to do. Impossible to fix.(with my resources)

Now what?
Buy a used cluster. Which i did. I followed the XLT TO LARIAT GAUGE swap write up.minus the compass portion as it required the routing of 2 wires from an upgraded rearview mirror to the cluster. For what? N E S W? The girl who used to cut my hair had no idea what north east south or west meant...but she had beautiful tits, so she didn't need to. I don't have beautiful tits, so, i know where i am and why (most of the time)

Now, there are several causes for your cluster to act this way. Mine being i ####ed with it (electronics do not like to be moved) i never blew a fuse...why? Because the short on my pcb caused a voltage spike and the voltage regulator in the battery saver circuit would go into voltage overload protection. Nice.

If you are not blowing fuses, and you have symptoms with engine running or key on engine off you more than likely have;

Loose connection
Bad components on pcb in battery saver circuit
Broken PCB (circuit board)


Pull back dast trim (only need to pull out the top a bit) and you can see the 2 plugs on top (left is black right is blue.
Turn the key to run (no need to start)
If the cluster and windows and blah are all dead,
With 2 fingers lightly apply pressure to the face of the blue plug toward the front of the truck.
Did everything come on? Uh oh, bad connection or junk board.Try unhooking that harness and reconnecting. Still having issues? I would not waste the ridiculous amount of time i spent trying to replace components and just buy a used cluster. By flexing the board you complete/disconnect that circuit and its just not worth messing with. An alternative to a used board, is sending yours out to be fixed. I suggest US SPEEDO only because this is there niche and they represent Michigan :)

If you cant get the cluster to do anything by flexing it in either direction you may need;
A simple replacement relay for the delay accessory relay in fuse panel by your left knee
You may have a bad connection to the cluster from the fuse panel. Either a wire is broken or the plug is not making good contact. Possibly a pin is pulled out from either end of the harness, or even a bad connection of a fuse related to the devices involved in that circuit. I suggest pulling all fuses and replacing them. #19 i believe is a problem for a few folks as all it took was wiggling it or bending the tabs slightly to fix all their problems.
No luck? Remember this is key on engine off. Also, no blown fuses.
Chances are, the cluster is in need of repair or replacing.

If you are only having problems while the truck is on and running.
There is a great chance your alternator (more specificly) your voltage regulator in or on your alternator is toast. Here is a great way to check.
KOEO (key on engine off)
Open hood and using a multimeter or voltmeter check the voltage either battery (no need to unhook or isolate them) it should be 12-12.5 or even higher volts if good. Now start truck and go the that same battery and test it. This time check it while the truck is running for a couple minutes. That entire time, the voltage should rise to 13.5-14.1 volts and remain in that range. If you have someone help, have them run the truck up to 2000RPM and sustain it. Is the voltage still in range? (If you dont have a friend to help you can also check voltage in the 12volt charger/lighter outlets. Then you can see it while throttling it up)

In range? Get a new/used/rebuild cluster. If the voltage is spiking higher than 16 volts, the cluster is going into voltage protection (lucky you) and you need to get a new alternator or have the voltage regulator replaced in it. I am assuming the cluster is never the issue in the condition it continues to work koeo and you flexed the board, and it never stopped working in those conditions. If it is dead while running, voltage is killing it or THE CHEAPEST EASIEST FIX EVER IS NEEDED. read the next trouble maker.

So you keep blowing fuse (#43?) And the tow trailer overdrive deal is acting up...

On the steering column, underneath, there is a hole to release the ignition core. Insert key and turn to run (may want to unhook negative battery cables before hand) and insert a philips screwdriver into hole under column. Firmly press the screwdriver into the release mechanism and pull ignition core out (be carefull not to move key from its position)
Now disassemble the column cover (a few screw underneath) and seperate the halves.
On top by the shift lever there is a black cable with 2wires inside that run from the od button down to this little black clip. Is that cable chaffed by the clip? Or anywhere else ou can see?
Its chaffed? You found your issue. Remove it from the clip make sure wires arent shorting on eachother, and simply wrap that mother in electrical tape and dont put it back in the clip. Replace fuse 43, and you saved hundreds of dollars. Oh, reassemble reversed of disassemble.also, hook up battery and test. Yay, hundreds saved.
Fuses do not have to blow depending on the short. It could also cause other issues of parasitic draw leaving batteries dead.

Some folks found a short in headlined to the dome light. If that fuse is blown or even if it isnt but your batteries are dead in the morning, remove the domelight housing and check voltage at bulb. If bad or off from what everything else gets, remove the whole housing to reveal a shorted wire. Maybe.

Listen, i am the guy wondering why there is no write up on repairing the actual problems in tje cluster itself. Why wont anyone tell me or share the big secret about soldering some ####. I hate the "throw it away, buy new" mentality. However, after 9months of phone calls, emails, and $45 in parts / labor. I was at square one. Ordered a used lariat cluster (6C3T-10849-JA i think. I know it ends in JA.) Cost $115 shipped from new york to michigan. Wish i would have ordered it 9mo ago. I got the message center switch from a junk yard for $10 (remember to pull a handful of fuses and relays. My junk yard doesnt charge for them.

Not sure what else to say folks. I hope this helps someone. I spent so much time trying to isolate and solve this problem. Unfortunetly it can stem from a lot of other issues. If you have had problems with your truck running weird after starting it with a dead cluster, try shutting the truck off and try the step where you pull dash off at top and press the cluster harness to see if it comes on while the key is in run. If it comes on, try to only start the truck while cluster is on. If mine wasnt on while starting, the truck would idlr high and feel like trans was slipping while depressing gas made the truck nearly die. Limp mode. Truck has to be shut off and started with cluster on.

So many people have blown thousands on parts because of this. All because the cluster was not readable by the ecm. Poop.

Goodluck and ask stupid questions. I have stupid answers.
Nick
 

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I am writing this for my husband who doesn’t do online stuff much. We have had problems with the instrument cluster in our 2006Ford F250 for several years. We have watched many YouTube videos and read lots of threads like this one. This thread was the one that got him thinking about this fix. First here’s all the stuff he’s tried: Sent the instrument cluster to Speedo for rebuild. That didn’t solve the problem. He went through all the wiring. Disconnected the battery saver relay and jumped it hot to make the radio and windows work. That didn’t work. Checked the wiring to the overdrive switch for frays or shorts. That didn’t work. Finally he decided to check all the grounds. The first one he checked was the one inside the drivers side toe kick. It had been installed over sound insulation and paint. As soon as he touched it the instrument gauges all jumped! So he cleaned it all up, sanded off the paint and reattached. Then he checked all the other grounds (2 under the dash, 1 in the back pillar on the drivers side behind the back door, 5 under the hood) and cleaned them up too. We’ve been driving for over two weeks (traveling pulling a 5th wheel - no problems at all! Think he fixed it. Hope this helps someone else!
 

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Hello all,

I have been trouble shooting my instrument cluster for months!
2007 F250 4x4 XLT CCSB FX4 6.0L DIESEL

My gauge cluster, windows, radio would all come and go as they pleased for any amount of time you can think of. Seconds, minutes or days.
It would happen in every circumstance you can think of; key on engine off, engine running at idle, left turn, right turn, braking, or accelorating. The temerature outside did not matter (30f-100f)
At first dash slapping worked, then it didn't.

How it all started.

So, i had 239,000 miles on her. Bulbs were burnt out in the cluster to key gauges (fuel level, mph, etc...) and i wanted them to be on and better. Also, red.
I bought an led kit. Pulled the dash, unscrewed the cluster, left the two giant harnesses plugged in, unhooked the gear position needle and flipped that cluster up on the dash to have at it....bad move.
My theories; either i broke a foil on the pcb by applying tension to the harnesses i left plugged in, or the burnt out bulbs were burntout for a reason. Maybe after i installed the led bulbs, (which is when my problem started) i completed a bad circuit that had been surviving on the broken connections. This circuit would involve the battery saver. Which, also contains a voltage regulator and a capacitor, oh and a pcb style relay used to time the delay. Who knows. I tested and replaced all three of the main components to no avail. These components were very difficult to locate, but not impossible. I have read where technicians say, "the battery saver relay is controlled with a micro processor" this is false in my cluster. It makes it easy for a dealer to sell a cluster that way. Also, i have read that the circuit components are not servicable. Also false. Any electronic repair shop can swap out these components. For $100 or way less. (Free if you are a nice human with great friends).
So, after servicing mine, still no worky. The reason i attacked the saver circuit is because i figured everything in that full circuit was affected. (Windows,radio etc...) after everything was replaced on the pcb (circuit board) i still had the issue, but noticed when the board was flexed, even slightly, in that region where all those components were, it would work. You might be thinking, "bad/cold solder joint" somewhere...false. all joints were reflowed to ensure this would not be the case. What i had was a case of broken foil. The micro copper foil laid into the board had probably been stressed in the opposite direction it was used to, and caused a micro crack. Easy to do. Impossible to fix.(with my resources)

Now what?
Buy a used cluster. Which i did. I followed the XLT TO LARIAT GAUGE swap write up.minus the compass portion as it required the routing of 2 wires from an upgraded rearview mirror to the cluster. For what? N E S W? The girl who used to cut my hair had no idea what north east south or west meant...but she had beautiful tits, so she didn't need to. I don't have beautiful tits, so, i know where i am and why (most of the time)

Now, there are several causes for your cluster to act this way. Mine being i ####ed with it (electronics do not like to be moved) i never blew a fuse...why? Because the short on my pcb caused a voltage spike and the voltage regulator in the battery saver circuit would go into voltage overload protection. Nice.

If you are not blowing fuses, and you have symptoms with engine running or key on engine off you more than likely have;

Loose connection
Bad components on pcb in battery saver circuit
Broken PCB (circuit board)


Pull back dast trim (only need to pull out the top a bit) and you can see the 2 plugs on top (left is black right is blue.
Turn the key to run (no need to start)
If the cluster and windows and blah are all dead,
With 2 fingers lightly apply pressure to the face of the blue plug toward the front of the truck.
Did everything come on? Uh oh, bad connection or junk board.Try unhooking that harness and reconnecting. Still having issues? I would not waste the ridiculous amount of time i spent trying to replace components and just buy a used cluster. By flexing the board you complete/disconnect that circuit and its just not worth messing with. An alternative to a used board, is sending yours out to be fixed. I suggest US SPEEDO only because this is there niche and they represent Michigan :)

If you cant get the cluster to do anything by flexing it in either direction you may need;
A simple replacement relay for the delay accessory relay in fuse panel by your left knee
You may have a bad connection to the cluster from the fuse panel. Either a wire is broken or the plug is not making good contact. Possibly a pin is pulled out from either end of the harness, or even a bad connection of a fuse related to the devices involved in that circuit. I suggest pulling all fuses and replacing them. #19 i believe is a problem for a few folks as all it took was wiggling it or bending the tabs slightly to fix all their problems.
No luck? Remember this is key on engine off. Also, no blown fuses.
Chances are, the cluster is in need of repair or replacing.

If you are only having problems while the truck is on and running.
There is a great chance your alternator (more specificly) your voltage regulator in or on your alternator is toast. Here is a great way to check.
KOEO (key on engine off)
Open hood and using a multimeter or voltmeter check the voltage either battery (no need to unhook or isolate them) it should be 12-12.5 or even higher volts if good. Now start truck and go the that same battery and test it. This time check it while the truck is running for a couple minutes. That entire time, the voltage should rise to 13.5-14.1 volts and remain in that range. If you have someone help, have them run the truck up to 2000RPM and sustain it. Is the voltage still in range? (If you dont have a friend to help you can also check voltage in the 12volt charger/lighter outlets. Then you can see it while throttling it up)

In range? Get a new/used/rebuild cluster. If the voltage is spiking higher than 16 volts, the cluster is going into voltage protection (lucky you) and you need to get a new alternator or have the voltage regulator replaced in it. I am assuming the cluster is never the issue in the condition it continues to work koeo and you flexed the board, and it never stopped working in those conditions. If it is dead while running, voltage is killing it or THE CHEAPEST EASIEST FIX EVER IS NEEDED. read the next trouble maker.

So you keep blowing fuse (#43?) And the tow trailer overdrive deal is acting up...

On the steering column, underneath, there is a hole to release the ignition core. Insert key and turn to run (may want to unhook negative battery cables before hand) and insert a philips screwdriver into hole under column. Firmly press the screwdriver into the release mechanism and pull ignition core out (be carefull not to move key from its position)
Now disassemble the column cover (a few screw underneath) and seperate the halves.
On top by the shift lever there is a black cable with 2wires inside that run from the od button down to this little black clip. Is that cable chaffed by the clip? Or anywhere else ou can see?
Its chaffed? You found your issue. Remove it from the clip make sure wires arent shorting on eachother, and simply wrap that mother in electrical tape and dont put it back in the clip. Replace fuse 43, and you saved hundreds of dollars. Oh, reassemble reversed of disassemble.also, hook up battery and test. Yay, hundreds saved.
Fuses do not have to blow depending on the short. It could also cause other issues of parasitic draw leaving batteries dead.

Some folks found a short in headlined to the dome light. If that fuse is blown or even if it isnt but your batteries are dead in the morning, remove the domelight housing and check voltage at bulb. If bad or off from what everything else gets, remove the whole housing to reveal a shorted wire. Maybe.

Listen, i am the guy wondering why there is no write up on repairing the actual problems in tje cluster itself. Why wont anyone tell me or share the big secret about soldering some ####. I hate the "throw it away, buy new" mentality. However, after 9months of phone calls, emails, and $45 in parts / labor. I was at square one. Ordered a used lariat cluster (6C3T-10849-JA i think. I know it ends in JA.) Cost $115 shipped from new york to michigan. Wish i would have ordered it 9mo ago. I got the message center switch from a junk yard for $10 (remember to pull a handful of fuses and relays. My junk yard doesnt charge for them.

Not sure what else to say folks. I hope this helps someone. I spent so much time trying to isolate and solve this problem. Unfortunetly it can stem from a lot of other issues. If you have had problems with your truck running weird after starting it with a dead cluster, try shutting the truck off and try the step where you pull dash off at top and press the cluster harness to see if it comes on while the key is in run. If it comes on, try to only start the truck while cluster is on. If mine wasnt on while starting, the truck would idlr high and feel like trans was slipping while depressing gas made the truck nearly die. Limp mode. Truck has to be shut off and started with cluster on.

So many people have blown thousands on parts because of this. All because the cluster was not readable by the ecm. Poop.

Goodluck and ask stupid questions. I have stupid answers.
Nick
Great post! Wish I had seen it a long time ago.. If it weren't for my Scangauge, I would not have noticed the 16V. Ended up being my alternator.. Voltage regulator was toast.. and probably was intermittently going bad over time. Thanks for this write up!
 
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