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Thread: Dash cluster, ign. switch, or what?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Morrisville, VT, USA
    Posts
    2,396

    Default Dash cluster, ign. switch, or what?

    Been having an intermittent problem with the dash cluster for a month or so. Well - maybe - the dash cluster. ???? The story is like this: I had the dash cluster replaced last June, NOT under warantee. So, the 12 - 12 is still good for a while.
    Now, the dang dash was making a clicking, scratching sound, one morning a month or so ago, even before I inserted the key. The frequency is about 2X/second, and it's not very loud. At the same time, the gauges were jumping just a little bit with each rep. Started the engine and the gauges went a little crazy for a few seconds and then settled down to normal - gauge/indicator lights, too. Since then, this same scenario has occured off and on a few times, but, starting yesterday, I can't get normal operation back.
    This afternoon, I got in and checked for the ticking before I inserted the key. No problem. So I inserted the key, and the cycling started up again. Started the engine, and the gauges went a little wonky for a couple seconds and then went down to zero, all around and stayed that way, except that they jumped just a little, off zero; the speedo, tach jumping more than the smaller needles, because they're bigger. Drove about 6 miles each way, and the gauges all went to normal, once, on the way out, for just a few seconds. Meanwhile, that pesky ticking/growling/scratching, (whatever), sound, keeps right on, just loud enough to be audible. Know what? It seems to me to be the same sound that the dash makes when you turn on the switch and the dash goes through it's regular routine, just before start-up.
    So, it makes me wonder if it is the switch, this time, since I can get it to start this little dance by just inserting the key.
    I called the dealer, back home, who did the dash, just to find out where I was, time and mileage wise, since I didn't see fit to record the replacement in my fule/oil log. He agreed with my thoughts on the subject, but, of course can't help me much from 2500 miles away. I intended to stop in Del Rio, on my way to OR., but I don't think I want to wait that long, now, with the thing acting up all the time. I'll wait for some advise from the DP guys and gals.
    Any chance that I could maybe find a loose connection around the switch if I took off the cladding and looked around. Whatch-y'all think?
    Man, I hate electronics! Even this dang compuker. Wouldn't surprise me any, if this thing went up in smoke for making a simple typo on it.
    2008 Jaco Seneca 35' motor home (Kodiak 5500 chassis). Pulling 18' Wells Cargo enclosed trailer, with 2016 Miata in it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Knoxville,Tennessee
    Posts
    2,634

    Default

    Mr. Wells,

    My first thought would be the switch, then the grounds. Neither are fun.

    Might try unpluging the switch and cleaning connector with electric contact cleaner first. Same for the plug going to the cluster. Then maybe clean and check grounds under dash. The cheap stuff first.

    Or come by here is San Jose and I'll help you tear it all apart! I have an ax and a couple large hammers! ~(;<) Still have open spaces here. Manager can be a little . . . . at times. But not bad.
    "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
    -Patrick Henry


    A5150nut
    2006 K3500 D/A
    94 6.5 4x4 5spd Sold

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Morrisville, VT, USA
    Posts
    2,396

    Default

    I (just may) have gotten a handle on the thing. I took off the plastic housing around the switch, and checked the connectors. Found nothing to indicate any bad connections, but did find that I could affect the cycling problem by fiddling with the key. So, I got my trusty can of dry-slide out and injected some into the switch mechanizm. By gently turning the key from the "Run" just a few degrees toward the "Start", I could replicate the problem. So, I cycled the clicking and flashing a few dozen times, by doing the above routine and keeping the key and internals well covered with dri-slide, until I couldn't get it to repeat any more. A trial run, last night and two more, today failed to make the dash mal-function again. Got my fingers crossed.

    Dri-slide is something that I used to keep around all the time when I had the Bultaco shop, and later, when I had the gun shop. Hard to find, nowdays; none of the auto supply outfits seem to know anything about it. Finally had to order up a bottle, on-line, last year, and it's gotten me out of electrical contact trouble quite a few times over the last year. There are probably some other conductive lubes out there that I don't know about, but with the moly-D in a good penetrating susension, Dri-Slide gets the job done for me.
    2008 Jaco Seneca 35' motor home (Kodiak 5500 chassis). Pulling 18' Wells Cargo enclosed trailer, with 2016 Miata in it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New Hampshire - Live Free or Die
    Posts
    6,052

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DickWells View Post
    Dri-slide is something that I used to keep around all the time when I had the Bultaco shop,
    Geez... Saabs and Bultacos? Are you sure we're not related?
    The Constitution needs to be re-read, not re-written!

    If you can't handle Dr. Seuss, how will you handle real life?

    Current oil burners: MB GLK250 BlueTEC, John Deere X758
    New ride: MB GLS450 - most stately
    Gone but not forgotten: '87 F350 7.3, '93 C2500 6.5, '95 K2500 6.5, '06 K2500HD 6.6, '90 MB 350SDL, Kubota 7510

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Morrisville, VT, USA
    Posts
    2,396

    Default

    Svenska Aeroplan Auchti Bolaget, Built To Go, and "Enemy of the State, too! It's a small World ain't it? I probably got the SAAB thing wrong, but that's the closest I could come from these many years removed from driving one.
    It's been nearly a week, and the dash seems to be behaving. Watch the darn thing act up again in the morning, just because I went and mentioned it.
    Man, I wish I had my Metralla back on the road! It's in storage and probably would need a complete re-build. My Sherpa "T" 325 sits right beside it, too, and hasn't been started in nearly 30 years.
    2008 Jaco Seneca 35' motor home (Kodiak 5500 chassis). Pulling 18' Wells Cargo enclosed trailer, with 2016 Miata in it.

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