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Digital Dash Repair

BigRed

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Messages
948
Location
Edmonton
Corvette
1985 Bright Red Rocket
My friend at the Electronic shop can't help me for a least another week so Ive decided to repair the cluster myself.

Heres a picture of the cluster and the connector I can't get off. Also it show which pin is not making contact.

Id like also to go deeper into the LED area and change out the Gel's (Color) I might go blue or orange Lol we'll see.
 

BigRed

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Messages
948
Location
Edmonton
Corvette
1985 Bright Red Rocket
Ahh yes and can I buy this connector anywhere? From it arcing out its a little char-broiled.

"Come and get it! "

:beer
 

BigRed

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Messages
948
Location
Edmonton
Corvette
1985 Bright Red Rocket
Sorry to be chain posting

But Im doing this work tommorrow! Im acutally as a loss here with this connector and I really need some help.

Sorry for the repeat posting again.
;help ;worship ;help
 

billd

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
Messages
88
Location
Denver,CO
Corvette
2001 red convertible, 1985 wht
i fixed the same problem

There are two ways to solve this problem

1) remove the connector with solder wick (radio shack)and an iron

The problem with this is that while its a readily available connector it may not be on a Saturday but assuming you can cet it the problem becomes getting all the solder out so the connector can be removed. This is not a problem if you are good with an iron but can burn the PWB and ruin it if your not careful. The way to remove the solder is with a soler sucker but these are pretty expensive and generally dont work as well as solder wick.

2) solder in a long jumper (piece of wire) between the two connectors.

You can easily do this with a soldering iron and a small roll of electronic solder. If you remove the PWBs from thier housings you can solder the jumper in so that it is soldered to the display side on one board and the opposite side on the other board. This will allow easy reassy of the entire unit and will allow disassembly if maintenance is required again. It should require about 10 minutes with a hot iron.

Good luck,

PS my dash looked just like that in December and I used the jumper worked like charm and if you dont like it when its done just reheat the solder and pull it back off.
 

BigRed

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Messages
948
Location
Edmonton
Corvette
1985 Bright Red Rocket
Thats the soultion I feared Im TERRIBLE with a soldering iron!! (This coming from the guy who helped his parents run a computer store LOL)

Forget it I need to spend as little money as possible. In other words I'll wait the week for a pro repair instead of having the replace the whole board....I KNOW Im going to mess up... I was hoping that the connector was pressure/mechanicly mounted.

Thanks for the vote of confidence there Gus LOL
:J :crazy
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
Ship it to me

I'll do it...



Vig!

( Gives good FLOW )
 
M

mk842766

Guest
just wondering what kind of problems you were having with your dash...I have the same pin burnt, and my lights won't work....everything else functions. I tried the jumper wires, and all it did was blow my fuse. I'm wondering if maybe I soldered it wrong. I would be interested in your problem, and how you fixed it....:crazy
 

billd

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
Messages
88
Location
Denver,CO
Corvette
2001 red convertible, 1985 wht
Jumper wire

if you soldered it correctly it would not have blown the fuse. All tou are doing is providing an alternate current path for instead of the high resistance path that was there previously. Just make sure it is well insulated and I 'll bet it fixes your problem also make sure your going to the right pins
 
J

jnsampson

Guest
Dash Problem

I'm intriuged by what I'm reading. WHAT seems to be the problem? What are the symptoms? If they're loss of dash lighting (with the instruments still functional), and both directional arrows light up as well as the bright headlight indicator, and they all stay lit, the I want to know if there's an alternative fix.

Vigman, I'll be sending you the dash after the summer. I don't want to lay up the car for any length of time. I'm putting up with it as long as I can. But it is a pain.

Thanks,
 

BigRed

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Messages
948
Location
Edmonton
Corvette
1985 Bright Red Rocket
Dash is in the shop right now..

Symptoms are as follows..

Signal and Bright Light(s) are SOLID on. So when I use the signal lights they works but after use the light stays on. When I use the brights the light turns off when the brights are on and Vise Versa.

The 4 Halogen lamps are off...period they never turn on. So at Noon or Midnight its a REAL PITA to see how fast you are going.

Minor problem with the last pin on the connector I can see it is'nt making contact. I tried to simply bend it over as a Temporary fix and it worked but after enough bumps down the road it turned off again...

Minor hopefully I won't have to tear my dash apart as regular maitenence soon though LOL

:r
 
J

jnsampson

Guest
Dash Problem

Well, well, well. This is EXACTLY the same problem I've been experiencing. However, mine has been an intermittent problem. When the car is cool (engine compartment) from sitting overnight, there's no problem. I start the engine up and the dash lights are fully functional. After a while, the lights crap out and the directinoals and the bright indicator come on and stay on. After a while (again) the dash lights come on by themselves.

Occassionally, a very light tap on the bottom of the dash panel (on the carpet) brings the lights back up.

I've always thought that this was an electrical contact problem such as a short. I tried the "official" fix of running a new ground from the ambient light sensor override to the door pillar post, with no success. My local Chevy dealer diagnosed it as a bad "capictor". I've never quite bought off on that one. They wanted between $350 and $850 to have it sent out to be fixed.

When I read your problem, I wanted to find out as much as possible to see if I have the same issue. It appears I do. So, tell me, how did you find out it was a bad connector pin?

Thanks for responding to my question to you.
 
J

jnsampson

Guest
Digital Dash

Red,

Uh, just one small little problem. You mentioned in your original post that you wanted to change out the gels in the LEDs. However, they're NOT LEDs, they're LCD's. As in Liquid Crystal Display. That's why the instruments still function even though there's a short. And that's exactly what it seems we both have. A short. So, I don't think you can change out the colors.
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
Changing GEL'S

Yes it can be done....

but the trick is getting a graphics shop to lay em out on the same piece of plastic... AND picking colors that will be COOL... in the car when it's dark outside ... but visible during the day I like a DARK indigo color.... Playing in my lab... but turn on the room lights..... Bzztttttt cant see anything.. Ive tried an experiment with the Hi output BLUE LEDS to replace the halogen lamps... but the light is to pin point ( Need diffuser).. I think there is a fairly simple way to do this... but havent had the time nor interest to run down to the Grip & Set lighting dept to find some roscoline ( Lighting Gel's) to play with.

From a designer point of view
I think a medium blue would work in the dash 84-89 and match the DIC panel switches backlighting.... but that's gonna be tough to find the right balance between color/contrast/intensitity THEN find a shop that will fabricate the MANY different colors into a single sheet ( Red & Yellow for the tach, red for the Oil light/Charge light/Coolant temp etc etc)

It's a tough job!


Vig!
 

BigRed

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Messages
948
Location
Edmonton
Corvette
1985 Bright Red Rocket
Tomato TomAto.. LOL

Your right I used the wrong term. I haven't heard back from Dave yet so I guess it's not done yet.. As for the Gel's I'll ask about it Monday if its a Mission Impossible I won't bother.

As for diagonsis, I knew there was a problem close to the cluster. I of course figured wiring from the pretty nice job the previous owner(s) had done. But after cleaning the connection and making sure there was no shorts (LONG job) and the wires were pressed into the connectors good I felt it was time to open the cluster itself. (Not knowing what I'd find).

I originally didn't see the burnt connector but I did trace the route on the circuit boards and it led up to the 2 tier ciruit board thats when I found the burnt plastic on the pin connection DOHICKEY (LOL forgot the right term for it) I couldn't see into it to make sure it had a connection or not but its obvious really with the Arc burns.

Did that help you?
 
J

jnsampson

Guest
Digital Dash Problems

Yeah, it does help. When I take the car to the local Corvette Only shop, they'll be looking for a short or a connection problem.

Vigman, if it's the cluster itself, I'll have them pull it and send it to you for repair.
 

BigRed

Well-known member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Messages
948
Location
Edmonton
Corvette
1985 Bright Red Rocket
If the cars not in the shop already the cluster is acutally a joke to remove!

Use a flat-head screwdriver to press release in headlight switch knob.

Remove the frontal screws (Phillips) and side screws (Which the door hides)

Remove Bezel.

Now theres 4 screw/bolts ( Whats the size guys 6mm or 5/32?? I forget) you'll need a fairly long extension but again not to hard to remove.

Now that makes the cluster "Free" there will be two wire harnesses attached to the right side. Push up on the tin clip wire holders and firmly remove the harnesses (Trying not to tug on single wires)

Your done!

(Try not to do this when the halogens are hot or after you've been driving as they will Pop! and cost you something like 30 bucks to replace em)
 

vigman

Motor head!!!!
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Messages
3,471
Location
Valencia, CA,USA
Corvette
88 Convert ( SOLD ) /1973 coupe 4 speed/1964 Vert!
Dont forget

You have to remove the hush panels to drop the column.....

Vig!
 

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