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Insturment cluster (dash)
10-20-2007, 01:13 PM
Post: #1
MyBB Insturment cluster (dash)
I have a 1997 chrysler town/country awd. the dash gauges just quit working also the odometer and the gear selecter also quit the following day it started working it seems to do this more so when it is raining which makes it harder to troubleshoot i think there is a short but where under the hood or under the dash thank you i need all the help i can get[/color]

help where i can leave the rest up to the everybody else
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10-20-2007, 01:42 PM
Post: #2
RE: Insturment cluster (dash)
A short would blow fuses so more likely you have an open circuit or a failing component.... but first.....

Check all of the fuses with a test light and test BOTH sides of each fuse. Some will need to be tested with the lights on and others with the key in the on position. The fuse box is under the hood and next to the battery.

Check various grounds from the battery to the chassis and any other ground straps from engine / trans to the chassis. If the car shows any signs of rust then remove each ground and clean the metal before tightening it again. Add a drop of oil or grease to retard future issues with rust.

As with any older car look under the dash in the area where your feet may have kicked something loose. A low or hanging harness is trouble waiting to happen.

These cars are prone to intermittent ignition switch issues (radio or wipers working when this happens?) and something else called a "body control module" which controls most of the dash board. It's not only expensive (recalling $400 for the part) but needs to be programed by the dealer after it's installed. This part is VERY model specific and a unit from a junk yard can't be reprogramed to work as it stores the VIN and milage plus a few more things.

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10-21-2007, 10:00 PM
Post: #3
RE: Insturment cluster (dash)
Here are some articles I found online. This will not be a simple to-the-point fix.

_____________________ ORIGINAL MESSAGE _____________________

Unplugging and plugging the dash assy back in will allow it to
function for a week or so and then the dash goes dead again.
It will always reset when unplugged.


Instrument cluster was replaced with a factory reman unit.
Same problem with new unit.

__________________________ UPDATE __________________________

Hi--Seems like as hard as you try there is always something
that we forgot to put in our orginal request--This car came to
us from the dealer--the dash circut board has been
replaced--when the problem came back the customer went back to
the dealer and was told that he now had a bad ABS module to
the tune of $800.00--He balked-and came to us because he felt
like they were just throwing parts at it. He knew our motto
was ' Test don't guess'. The dealer did tell the customer that
un-pluging the ABS module would make the problem go away--but
so does un-pluging the main dash plug--Jim

__________________________ SUMMARY__________________________

The main problem with this system on the late Chrysler
products is the 'buss' system--everything plugs into the
buss--When the cluster fails it can be caused by one of the
modules attached to the buss--including the ABS--the BCM--etc.
With that in mins the customer choice to take it back to the

Affected Item: Instrument Cluster
Condition: Drops Out
More Info: Repair history included below

_____________________ ORIGINAL MESSAGE _____________________

Hello fellow technicians. I seem to have an issue that is
driving me and the customer crazy. This van has had 3 cluster
boards and 1 digital display changed due to dropping out or
showing half of the display. In talking with STAR and the
customer we have narrowed it down to the cluster getting
voltage spikes and locking it up. The display will not show
any gauge movement and it does not respond when scanned with
the DRB. We have found that disconnecting and then
reconnecting the battery creates it to clear itself. The
problem is what is SPIKING the board. The customer says it
will happen when the power locks are operated. We have
confirmed this by operating the P/locks . The cluster goes
through a reset. STAR has told me to look at the grounds under
the Battery and near the BCM. They have also told me there is
no real good fix for this condition. My question is has anyone
seen and successfully fixed this condition. I am leaning
towards the lock relays but am not sure if this is the right
direction. They advised me that the lock relays are supposed
to have voltage spike suppression built in but how would you
go about checking that. I am open to any suggestions on how to
resolve this matter. Thank you for taking the time to read


Replaced IC Board and Prnd3l/Odometer display

__________________________ SUMMARY__________________________

Well after many hours of research and looking over the
responses I cannot say this one is fixed although it is
better. We have released the vehicle to the customer and
advised him if it acts up again to bring it back. We could
regularly get the cluster to reset with the unlock button and
now after the unlock relays have been changed, we got it to
act up once.

Most responses had me looking at the actuators for excessive
draw when actuated. This is great but the circuits do not tie
into the cluster or the BCM. The control side of the relays
tie into the BCM. The BCM also feeds the cluster information
for guage functions and indicator lights. The control side is
where we think the spikes are being generated. We have
replaced the unlock relays because hitting the unlock button
about every fourth or fifth time would have the cluster reset.
After the relays were installed it only did it once. So this I
view as an improvement. Only time will tell. We also combed
through all grounds that tied into the cluster, BCM, and the
power lock circuits. Pulled them apart, cleaned them and then
put them back together. We even checked the pins at the
connectors to the cluster and BCM. Verified the grounds by
checking for voltage drop. None were over .01 volts even under

Other replies gave me great information on a TSB from 1992
that I read about the cluster and relays with part numbers
ending in 1001. This TSB had you replace all relays with PN
1001 to newer ones to prevent the BCM or the cluster from
getting spiked by high voltage generated by the relays

One reply gave me a webpage for Instrument Cluster repair.

One reply explained how the relay is much like a coil. When it
opens the contacts it generated a high voltage spike similar
to a coil firing. Most relays have either resistors or diodes
in them to keep the spike to a minimum. The diode does not let
it spike at all and the resistor brings the spike down to
acceptable levels but does not stop it.

Thank you to all who replied. I have responded to all 9 replys
and am grateful for this service to add to the arsenal of
information we have to review to fix these high tech autos.

Affected Item: instrument cluster and power locks
Condition: intermittent operation
More Info: Repair history included below

_____________________ ORIGINAL MESSAGE _____________________

Fellow Techs, we have this Town and Country that is making us
pull what hair we have left out. The problem started after the
instrument panel was R&Red for evaporator core replacment.
Intermittently while driving the cluster will start to flash
and the power door locks start locking and unlocking
themselves at random. Sometimes the locks go crazy. We have
pulled the instrument panel back, checked and cleaned all
grounds, checked powers and ground to the BCM and cluster,
checked and changed relays etc. The BCM was replaced with
factory unit at the suggestion of the local dealer service
manager. We are at a loss as to where to check next. Searched
the archives and found a few post with similar but not
problems and checked the items they mentioned. Looking for
some help from you Chrylser Guru's. Thanks in advance.


Instrument cluster tested, BCM replaced with factory unit, all
power and grounds tested

____________________________ FIX ___________________________

I recieved 4 responses to the help request. Three said to
check the grounds and connections. Grounds on bar under
cluster and behind radio checked, all seemed to be clean and
tight, 1 had star washer on backwards against star bolt.
Checked the 3 bulkhead connections in the drivers upper corner
of the dash, only accesable with the dash rolled back.
Tightened all pins in every connection and made sure that the
A pillar bolts were clean and tight. Cleaned the bulkhead
connector in the engine compartment. One post said heater
control head may need reprogrammed, but were having no HVAC
related problems, checked and ran through reprogram anyway.
Reassembled, took on 20 mile test drive with no further
problems noted. We also went back and checked the connections
on the sliding door contact which did have some corrosion on
them. For now it seems to be working properly, will update if
problem reoccurs.

Affected Item: Guages all
Condition: innop
More Info: Test results included below

_____________________ ORIGINAL MESSAGE _____________________

Hello, First time user here, I have reviewed on this site any
related data I can find and am still having trouble repairing
innoperative instrument cluster including all guages, and
digital segments for odometer and trans select. Abs and Srs
lights operate, no communication with BCM or cluster possible,
tried suggested reset with no improvement, replaced cluster
board, no help, at one point recieved code #66 "No BCM data",
have tried several scan tools, same results. All powers and
grounds checked and apper ok. Thank you in advance for any
help. Douglas

___________________ TEST AND REPAIR DATA ___________________


Scanned buss - trans, engine, abs present, no BCM, no Cluster

__________________________ UPDATE __________________________

In conclusion the Body Control Module was replaced and
corrected this condition.

_______________________ EXPLANATION ________________________

Automatically closed because the time limit for open requests
was exceeded. No additional information was provided.

________________ FIX ADDED ON Dec 13, 2005 _________________

Sorry I closed this the wrong way.

The Body Control Module was replaced and corrected this

Cary Joe York
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11-06-2007, 04:51 AM
Post: #4
RE: Insturment cluster (dash)
thank you Cary Joe York and guys it started working the next day after it dryed up so im putting it up to a cowl leak my drains were pluged and havent had a problem since so until next time thank you

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