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Old 03-03-2014, 09:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Finally fixed my intermittant speedometer/odometer problem

For the past half year I've been battling an intermittent problem on the aerocivic where the speedometer/odometer would stop working. On any trip it might drop out for a fractions of seconds many times during the drive, it might drop out for part to all of a trip, or might work fine during that trip. It seemed to be more likely to drop out during cold weather. But while it was dropped out, the SuperMID's odometer worked fine (which picks its signal at the ECU and which I started using to calculate my mileage once I discovered the problem), so the problem was either in the speedo cluster or in the wiring between the ECU and the speedo. I tried coating all of the external connectors and the interboard connector pins with conductive grease (which proved very successful at fixing connector continuity problems in the past) and reheated the solder joints on the connectors with no success. A 3X visual inspection of the back of the circuit board revealed no bad solder joints, but once I reheated every solder joint on the back of the board, the problem was fixed.

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Old 03-03-2014, 12:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yep, even though a crack wasn't visible under a magnifying lens, some solder joint must have opened up after 21 years of thermal cycling in the car.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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all of my older electronics get completely resoldered for this reason if/when they start doing odd things.

actually, newer ones as well. the only thing i've either lost completely or damaged further was a motherboard with a failing southbridge. i don't think resoldering it would have brought it back to being normal, i think the IC itself was the problem.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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very common on civics. when mine acted up i just smacked the dash above the cluster and it started working again haha. eventually i got tired of doing that and remelted the connections.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You need a 10x loupe to see those hairline solder cracks--or better yet, a 200x USB microscope, e.g. Supereyes.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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We used to do that on the circuit boards that controlled the digital dashes on the early 280ZXs 79-83 models. Customers loved the 1.5 hour labor charge versus replacement costs.

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Old 03-03-2014, 10:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The bad solder joints are rather common on the 1999 and 2000 F 150 to the point that owners take to beating the top of the dash to get the odometer to read. There is even a YouTube video on how to take the dash apart and re-solder the failing connections.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great info! I've got the same problem with my VX cluster.
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Old 03-04-2014, 04:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Another common one is the late 90s early 2000 chrysler vans. Except on those it'll cause a no start. Smack the dash and it'll start.

I've used the magnifying glasses that old people use for sewing lol. Hangs around your neck and leaves your hands free.
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Old 05-21-2017, 10:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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What joints need to be resoldered?
Does anyone have an image or video they could share?

I have a 1995 Civic EG Hatch.
The gauges do not work, initially the speedometer did not work.
I replaced it with a used speedometer from another cluster, but then the fuel and temp gauges stopped working, they are stuck maxed out.
I read on a honda forum that this may mean that the needles were moved manually, supposedly this causes ruins the calibration.
Do you if this is true?
Do you know how to fix this?
If not is there a replacement full cluster I could buy?

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