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Dials acting up


Niallo

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Afternoon all 

 

Was sitting in traffic this morning and noticed I was flat out at 100 plus ūüėāūüėāūüėā

Any idea why my speedo was reading over a ton when i was stopped 

I've attached a photo to show it 

On another note it went back to normal around lunchtime 

 

Thanks in advance 

Niall

IMG_20220407_093051.jpg

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Are my dials knackered or should I be looking at the VSS

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Have you considered it might be the well-known problem with cracked solder joints on the cluster? Your year puts it in the range of years affected. Elsewhere on the forum it's been suggested that a slap on the dash over the cluster can sometimes temporarily fix the problem - or make it worse, either way it can pin it down.

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19 minutes ago, mjt said:

the well-known problem with cracked solder joints on the cluster? Your year puts it in the range of years affected

totally agree.

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To save some dolphins, Ford in older cars, removed the lead in electrical solder, which worked great for a while. Though after time, the removal of this vital ingredient  meant that joints eventually dried out, and caused all sorts of weird electrical faults! Thankfully, they went back to solder that actually worked, but not before leaving a whole generation of their cars with a ticking time bomb of faults. Hope that darn dolphin appreciated it!!

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So long, and thanks for all the fish . . . . . :biggrin:

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So the question is 

Is it an easy fix with the solders ie can I do it myself or am I better off getting it out of the dash and brought somewhere 

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It's not that easy of a job, the removing the pointers from the dials and then getting them back on in the right place is a problem. Also every single solder joint needs to be fully reflowed using good quality solder and a very fine temperature controlled soldering iron.

Check out companies on eBay who do this, typical cost is about £85

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5 minutes ago, Niallo said:

So the question is 

Is it an easy fix with the solders ie can I do it myself or am I better off getting it out of the dash and brought somewhere 

I did mine on my previous focus and it lasted 2 years at least (I sold the car as I bought another Mk2.5 focus)

It is really simple to do, well I thought it was.

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1 minute ago, unofix said:

It's not that easy of a job, the removing the pointers from the dials and then getting them back on in the right place is a problem. Also every single solder joint needs to be fully reflowed using good quality solder and a very fine temperature controlled soldering iron.

Check out companies on eBay who do this, typical cost is about £85

My soldering iron is either on or off, it has no temperature settings. Like I said I had no issues with mine after re-soldering it myself. The dials are quite simple to put back in the correct positions, I just made sure all mine was turned to the off positions then placed them back in the off positions.

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6 minutes ago, stevejwalford said:

I did mine on my previous focus and it lasted 2 years at least (I sold the car as I bought another Mk2.5 focus)

It is really simple to do, well I thought it was.

Did you do every solder on the board or specific ones 

I'd rather try myself, is there a YouTube video on it around 

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9 minutes ago, unofix said:

It's not that easy of a job, the removing the pointers from the dials and then getting them back on in the right place is a problem. Also every single solder joint needs to be fully reflowed using good quality solder and a very fine temperature controlled soldering iron.

Check out companies on eBay who do this, typical cost is about £85

I'd have to find an Irish company if I was to send it off, will every solder need redoing 

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34 minutes ago, Niallo said:

I'd have to find an Irish company if I was to send it off, will every solder need redoing 

Just the 32 pin connector needs doing but a professional company would reflow most of them.

If you've got some experience with soldering then you should be fine reflowing the 32 pins, but if you've never done it before then leave it to the professionals

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...but before we get to that stage, you need to make sure there is actually a problem with the cluster. 

Bash the top of it and wiggle the wiring harness behind it to see if it acts up. 

If that doesn't affect it, it's not the cluster, so the fault is either elsewhere or it was just a blip and there's no underlying fault

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30 minutes ago, Niallo said:

Did you do every solder on the board or specific ones 

I'd rather try myself, is there a YouTube video on it around 

I did all the solder points on the rear of where the wiring loom connects to the instrument cluster.

I think what causes the issue is not just down to using lead free solder. When mine started going faulty banging on the dash did help but I found that there is a little movement on the instrument cluster. If you can get your finger nails in at the top of the cluster you will find it moves ever so slightly. When I came to removing my instrument cluster I found the connector and wiring seemed to be pulling on the board quite a lot. 

So my theory is the lead free solder would not have helped but also years of the connector pulling on the board and the fact the instrument cluster moves ever so slightly when just driving results in the solder cracking / braking.

Here's a video (Not mine)

 

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1 minute ago, Focus_ said:

...but before we get to that stage, you need to make sure there is actually a problem with the cluster. 

Bash the top of it and wiggle the wiring harness behind it to see if it acts up. 

If that doesn't affect it, it's not the cluster, so the fault is either elsewhere or it was just a blip and there's no underlying fault

Exactly what I was going to suggest. If you remove the two screws at the bottom of the cluster you should then be able to fully rock the cluster back and forth. If rocking it back and forth whilst the car is running (Not being driven) does not replicate the fault then yeah it's not an instrument cluster issue.

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9 minutes ago, stevejwalford said:

Exactly what I was going to suggest. If you remove the two screws at the bottom of the cluster you should then be able to fully rock the cluster back and forth. If rocking it back and forth whilst the car is running (Not being driven) does not replicate the fault then yeah it's not an instrument cluster issue.

I went a step further than that ūüôā

I undid the two screws and physically detached the cluster but left the wires connected. Started the car and physically wiggled and twisted the harness and sure enough it acted up for me (mine is a 2006, but the procedure is the same for them all)

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OK 

So first of all I wanna thank everyone who replied to my post, I've more info now than ever before 

So tomorrow I'm gonna remove the cluster and mess around with the wiring while driving to see if it acts the goat again 

Failing that I've found a local enough company who specialises in dash repairs so worse case scenario I'll go to them 

 

As I said, I can't thank you guys enough for the help, this forum is awesome 

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6 minutes ago, Niallo said:

OK 

So first of all I wanna thank everyone who replied to my post, I've more info now than ever before 

So tomorrow I'm gonna remove the cluster and mess around with the wiring while driving to see if it acts the goat again 

Failing that I've found a local enough company who specialises in dash repairs so worse case scenario I'll go to them 

 

As I said, I can't thank you guys enough for the help, this forum is awesome 

No, don't fiddle around with the wiring while driving lol, that's what we've said not to do ūüėā

Remove the cluster, leave the wiring connected, start the car then fiddle with the wires, but don't drive it as there's no need to. 

Without trying to sound rude, do you know what you're doing? If not I'd suggest leaving it to someone who does 

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7 minutes ago, Niallo said:

OK 

So first of all I wanna thank everyone who replied to my post, I've more info now than ever before 

So tomorrow I'm gonna remove the cluster and mess around with the wiring while driving to see if it acts the goat again 

Failing that I've found a local enough company who specialises in dash repairs so worse case scenario I'll go to them 

 

As I said, I can't thank you guys enough for the help, this forum is awesome 

Please please PLEASE do not do this whilst driving, being parked with the engine running is suitable enough!

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Just now, Focus_ said:

No, don't fiddle around with the wiring while driving lol, that's what we've said not to do ūüėā

Remove the cluster, leave the wiring connected, start the car then fiddle with the wires, but don't drive it as there's no need to. 

Without trying to sound rude, do you know what you're doing? If not I'd suggest leaving it to someone who does 

Exactly my thoughts, I don't wanna hear about a focus driving who crashed whilst fiddling with wires!!!

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8 minutes ago, Focus_ said:

No, don't fiddle around with the wiring while driving lol, that's what we've said not to do ūüėā

Remove the cluster, leave the wiring connected, start the car then fiddle with the wires, but don't drive it as there's no need to. 

Without trying to sound rude, do you know what you're doing? If not I'd suggest leaving it to someone who does 

Sorry i didn't mean driving around, my bad last thing I want is too wrap myself around a pole 

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OK so quick update on the dials, I took out the cluster, started the car (but didn't drive it) had a look at the harness and fiddled with the cables and................... Nothing happened, dials worked fine, no glitching or needles jumping

Left the cluster out and drove back and forth in the underground and all worked as they should 

 

Gonna keep an eye over the next few days to see if the dial gremlins come back 

 

On 4/12/2022 at 10:52 PM, unofix said:

It's not that easy of a job, the removing the pointers from the dials and then getting them back on in the right place is a problem. Also every single solder joint needs to be fully reflowed using good quality solder and a very fine temperature controlled soldering iron.

Check out companies on eBay who do this, typical cost is about £85

I'd have to find an Irish company if I was to send it off, will every solder need redoing 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another update 

Turns out 2 of the abs/speed sensors where knackered, so I'm picking up 2 new ones after the Bank Holiday 

 

Hopefully that sorts that issue out 

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