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Transit instrument cluster problem
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usercruiser
Posted: 28 February 2012 7:04 PM
Subject: Transit instrument cluster problem
 
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Location: Skibbereen, County Cork. 2004 Rimor Europeo


Help! I have a 2004 Rimor on a Ford Transit base vehicle. A few years ago, the odometer and clock displays failed (odd digits and part-numerals etc.) I removed the cluster and cleaned the back, both were working again although I couldn't zero the trip-meter or the clock. I was happy enough with that and decided to let sleeping faults lie.
Today I went to start up for the fortnightly off-season run. No diesel heater light, no clock, no odometer or trip-meter, no speedo, no rev-counter and no temp gauge or fuel gauge. The other dash lights are OK, and it starts and runs fine.
I've taken the cluster out ready for a look, but before I start, has anyone any thoughts or past experience with this sort of fault? Would it make sense to re-solder every joint on the circuit board...or would it be enough to wipe the whole area with WD40 or similar? Or maybe even stick the cluster in the airing cupboard for a few days? I vaguely recall that this is a known problem with Transits of this age.
And if I can't fix it....where's the best place to get a budget-conscious replacement cluster?
(I'm still recovering from having to replace the fuel injection pump whatever last year...1200 euro. Another known fault apparently......)
Lord, Mister Ford as the song goes.
usercolin
Posted: 28 February 2012 8:07 PM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 


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Before taking the unit out did you ensure the battery was well up on charge? as thats a known (by some ) ford problem on cars.
usercruiser
Posted: 28 February 2012 11:24 PM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 
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Location: Skibbereen, County Cork. 2004 Rimor Europeo


Battery in excellent condition. Looking at the PCB there's way too many tiny joints to re-solder....i might give it a light tooth-brushing with WD40 over all the solder joints, there's a bit of discolouration here and there.
userroger s
Posted: 29 February 2012 7:23 AM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 
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I would have a look on the the Transit owners forum and see what info you can get there
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 29 February 2012 8:08 AM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 


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I've scanned through some of the Transit Mk 6/7 instrument panel/cluster-related entries on the Transit forum

http://fordtransit.org/forum/

and I note that your WD40 suggestion is mentioned and seems to be successful occasionally. The airing-cupboard ploy might also be worth trying. (What have you got to lose?)

As you are probably aware, the instrument panel of Transits manufactured from July 2003-onwards is a single sealed unit and cannot be dismantled. As it's a Ford component, I would have thought a new replacement would only be available through a Ford dealership.


usercruiser
Posted: 29 February 2012 9:15 AM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 
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Location: Skibbereen, County Cork. 2004 Rimor Europeo


Thanks all for responses. One last question... before I take the WD40 plunge....would it be worth investing in a proper contact cleaner, or is good old WD just as efficient?
userBrambles
Posted: 29 February 2012 10:55 AM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 


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You would be extremely silly to take the WD40 route. The solvents in it and the oil is not suitable at all.
It will leave residues which will evaporate in time ( its a very light oil) and condense on inside of the lense etc. No no no.
Do teh jo prperly if cmdensation and dry out in airing cuboard.
IIf you cabn laquer the circuits with 2 or 3 light coats and if you can not mask compents not suitabel for having laquer on them ( Conectors, switches and power resistors) then mask them or brush on selectively so conductors and soldered joints are insulated from moisture condensing inside.

It maybe there are residues of fluc on the board. Condensing moisture is not usually a problem for circuits but the flux residues when damp can conduct so clean then off. Also there could just be coolect dust making teh moisure comductive. Warm water with a little washing liquid and stiff brush should suffice but better to get a proper PCB cleaning spray.
Something like this... http://www.chsinteractive.co.uk/view_product.html?product=117548?utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=ppc&utm_term=117548&utm_campaign=froogle

I just grabbed the 1st one i found on google so no suggesting you but this one. Just gives an idea of what you need.
Do traet the cluster like a delicate instrument, as if it was your £1000 gold watch. It may get vibrated to hell and back in a van, but it is still and instrument and should be treated with respect as does contain some fragile or delicate parts. Take care dismantling to get access to Circuits etc and enjoy doing it because it is actually quite fun and satisfying working on instrument clusters when they are all back together working and looking like brand new. Often it is worth replacing the illumination lamps at same time if they look remotely blackened at all. Use exactly the same wattage 14.4 volt bulbs.
usercruiser
Posted: 29 February 2012 12:36 PM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 
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Thanks, I'll proceed as suggested and post the results.
usercruiser
Posted: 29 February 2012 2:12 PM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 
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Sorted! I had some pure alcohol in the medicine cupboard ( I can explain,,,) and I gently 'washed' and tissue-dab-dried the back of the circuit board with a toothbrush. Then I repeated the procedure, then went out to the cab used a soft hobby paintbrush to rinse out the socket on the loom. Gave it 5 minutes, plugged the cluster back in and nervously turned the face towards me (you know the feeling...if this doesn't work etc) Everything back in order and lit up like a Christmas Tree. The only previous and continuing fault is that the clock and trip-meter won't reset. It's no big deal, certainly not worth stripping the unit down. I just dial in the start mileage on my phone like a phone number and recall it at the end of the journey. And setting the time? You'll like this. I'll leave the unit un-plugged, and nip out before 1 a.m. (allowing for the clocks going forward!) and plug it back in at exactly 1.00!
Yes officer, I can explain everything. It's MY motorhome. Yes, I know I'm wearing pyjamas...I know it's one in the morning etc etc...
usercolin
Posted: 29 February 2012 2:19 PM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 


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Sounds like the typical Ford undervoltage to me as do many on ford forums
userBrambles
Posted: 29 February 2012 2:28 PM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 


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I think it is the pink fluffy slippers which attract attention.

Glad it is is working again. Probably had some damp getting into teh switches, They are usually reliable as sealed for bath washing ( don''t ask) so again may be shorting between connections.

If it held together with screws, rather than being moulded clips (pain in the neck), they are easy to take to bits..no harder than using a technics lego set and everything inside is modular and bits do not fall out everywhere.


Edited by Brambles 2012-02-29 2:35 PM
userBrambles
Posted: 29 February 2012 2:43 PM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 


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colin - 2012-02-29 2:19 PM

Sounds like the typical Ford undervoltage to me as do many on ford forums


What is this Ford undervoltage thing, not heard of that. Have tested many of these with low voltage (when new), only test vehicles , and never seen an undervoltage probem. Not saying it does not exist but not on vehicles I have been involved in testing. As to damp getting in I would not have been involved as seperate environmental testing for this, but does not surpise me as many dashboards get quite a lot of condensation in cold weather building up and in a Motorhome is very common to see quite a bit of rust on metal parts under dashboards from damp.
usercolin
Posted: 29 February 2012 3:39 PM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 


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from memory this started 10years ago the instrument panels, particaly on deisel fords would have 'temporary' failures, typical would be on a cold damp winter morning, ford took two years to work it out, at first thinking it was component or cb failure, with many ip's replaced, eventualy it was found that the load of starter, blower, heated screen, wipers and lights meant voltage dropped very low and alternator struggled, answer was on some models to increase size of battery and/or alternator.
userBrambles
Posted: 29 February 2012 5:01 PM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 


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Now why does that not surpise me.
usercruiser
Posted: 1 March 2012 10:20 AM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 
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Location: Skibbereen, County Cork. 2004 Rimor Europeo


And finally......getting back to plugging in the cluster at exactly 1.00 am (as the set button doesn't work) to start the time at midnight ( allowing for when the clocks go forward).....thanks to no-one for pointing out that only an idiot would have been sitting in his motorhome at exactly two minutes to one a.m., ready to plug in the instrument cluster and start the dash clock.....when I should have been there at 11 p.m. (Spring forward, Fall back!)
Oh, she'll get some mileage out of this one (pardon the cluster-related pun)
userBrambles
Posted: 1 March 2012 10:59 AM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 


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LOL, I guess no one really thought about it and assumed you were correct. You have to laugh.
usercolin
Posted: 1 March 2012 2:29 PM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 


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cruiser - 2012-03-01 10:20 AM

And finally......getting back to plugging in the cluster at exactly 1.00 am (as the set button doesn't work) to start the time at midnight ( allowing for when the clocks go forward).....thanks to no-one for pointing out that only an idiot would have been sitting in his motorhome at exactly two minutes to one a.m., ready to plug in the instrument cluster and start the dash clock.....when I should have been there at 11 p.m. (Spring forward, Fall back!)
Oh, she'll get some mileage out of this one (pardon the cluster-related pun)

Had the Suzi abs rings replaced t'other week, as I drove home noted mpg had become lpkm and radio code was flashing spent hour in car on drive with two manuals,niether of which had correct instructions, till I got it sorted, still at least garage got time correct, next morning I arrived at work at 20:00 acording to clock, doh!
userjohnburr
Posted: 22 July 2020 3:42 PM
Subject: RE: Transit instrument cluster problem
 
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Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum and I know this is an old thread but I thought I would post what I found as I also had similar issues with my 2005 Transit instrument cluster. I got told I could get a second hand unit but I didn't want the mileage to be wrong or get any coding problems so that was not the route for me. I then saw that spraying WD40 on the circuit board could work, I tried this and it also ended up failing again. I did some more research and found a company in Hampshire called Cartronix who said they could repair the unit

https://cartronix.co.uk/

I drove my vehicle to them and they repaired the unit within a couple of hours and its been perfect since! It was a very reasonable price too. They also informed me that spraying it with WD40 is not a good move and they cleaned it all off for me (oops)! Hope this helps!
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