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sebring gauge lights not working

  #11  
Old 04-16-2013, 09:24 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3
Default Inverter for chrysler

12V Power INVERTER for EL Glow Gauges
OR
UNIVERSAL EL GLOW GAUGES

from ebay or wherever you can find them

The only difference is that some come voltage regulators so u could dim the lights from their source
Some come with multiple power leads because some el glow gauges have multiple power ports.....In our case, we only need one power connection lead

So i bought an el glow inverter with one output lead and a voltage regulator.....the reason for the voltage regulator is to fine tune the output of your gauges with your existing dimmer. when you have the desired brightness, you tape it off with electrical tape.
 
  #12  
Old 08-09-2013, 05:49 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 3
Default Chrysler Sebring instrument cluster lighting not working

I had the same problem with my car and it had a bad inverter. I found a video on youtube done by vehix411.com. This might be helpfull. Here is the video.

 
  #13  
Old 10-25-2013, 09:20 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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Default

Just so people don't get this mixed up. The inverter people keep refering to is a DC-AC inverter which actually is only used on sebring clusters 2005 and below. For 2007-2009 Sebring clusters, a tiny electro lamp IC driver is used to supply illumination to the el lamp. This IC is very hard to solder and is very heat sensitive. Using too much heat will severely damage the IC survivability. When I replace this IC, I solder the new one on in 10secs or less. Any more and you risk damage to the IC. Even if it does work, It will quit working after a few months-year if too much heat is applied. The input signal to control illumination level is actually a clock signal coming from the main microprocessor, not the MC33888 IC that someone has suggested. The MC33888 IC supply the Bus signal/5V supply throughout the PCB and doesn't have much to do with illumination other than the fact that your cluster would be DEAD if the MC33888 isn't working. However sometimes, the IC isn't the only bad component. Sometimes the El lamp behind the guage is bad themselves and have to be replaced. This component is harder to replace and requires you to get behind the guages(not to mention having to recalibrate your guages if you pull them off). How do I know this? I'm a former engineer/technician with chrysler and have intimate knowledge and schematics of many chrysler instrument panel design for many different type of chrysler and dodge vehicles. You're welcome to pm me any message to help you repair your cluster.
 
  #14  
Old 10-28-2013, 04:29 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 12
Default

Thanks for detailed explanation. This idea using the IC for EL panel is worst on the planet. In fact I think Chrysler (now Lancia?) should recall these panels and send them directly to hell.

Dealer asks for approx $1000 US for the new cluster, so I started to dig myself. The IC (Rogers D306A with different marking) seems to be bad soldered and my guess is the heatsink area in the middle of IC has bad contact with PCB so it keeps unsoldering itself (random pins) from the board every 3 months. The- Rogers paper shows in figure 3 the circuit used in Chrysler dash with external control signals to pins CLF and CHF as shown in figure 4. I got free samples from Rogers as I believed the IC is dead and it has to be replaced, but when I found lose solders, I thought fixing them would solve the problem.

I'm about to disconnect the IC and use external inverter, just fed up with disassembling, soldering, assembling, calibrating gauges and all this stuff - have done it 4 times and helps just for couple of months.
The most difficult part would be to get the voltage to dim external inverter from the pulse that is used to "dim" the IC. Maybe the external piece can be dimmed via VCC voltage change - that I could get from clock backlight, have to try. Of course, the last option is to put somewhere on the panel one more potentiometer for dash dimming (which is dodgy in my opinion).

ddff
 
  #15  
Old 10-28-2013, 08:22 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 59
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If you wire it to the analog clock, it will still dim with the stock dimmer switch. Don't over complicate it. It just needs to be wired from the analog clock to the stock EL glow clip on the cluster, and assuming you don't wire the wrong polarity, it will work.
 
  #16  
Old 10-29-2013, 05:48 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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I don't understand why you have to mess with the clock signal at all. It was and is never bad on the circuitry. All you have to do is replace the IC(if you have one) and your problem is fixed if your El Lamp Dial assembly is not bad(most likely its not, only about 5% comes back bad). This can be done w/o touching or re-calibrating the gauges at all. Just make sure you move the el lamp connected to the J3 connector out of the way so you don't burn it during soldering. I typically use a hot air soldering gun to remove and solder the IC. Bad solder isn't really the issue although it may looks like it. The IC of choice for illumination is just poor and is not capable of handling the output longer than 3-5 years. If you want, send me your cluster and I can repair it for you for less than $50. only parts/shipping cost. Leave your email here if you prefer that option.
 
  #17  
Old 10-30-2013, 06:14 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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This is something I haven't tried yet, but sounds great if the things dim via input voltage change.

ddff

Originally Posted by fhadso View Post
If you wire it to the analog clock, it will still dim with the stock dimmer switch.
 
  #18  
Old 10-30-2013, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by chrysler_cluster_expert View Post
I don't understand why you have to mess with the clock signal at all. It was and is never bad on the circuitry. All you have to do is replace the IC(if you have one) and your problem is fixed if your El Lamp Dial assembly is not bad(most likely its not, only about 5% comes back bad). This can be done w/o touching or re-calibrating the gauges at all. Just make sure you move the el lamp connected to the J3 connector out of the way so you don't burn it during soldering. I typically use a hot air soldering gun to remove and solder the IC. Bad solder isn't really the issue although it may looks like it. The IC of choice for illumination is just poor and is not capable of handling the output longer than 3-5 years. If you want, send me your cluster and I can repair it for you for less than $50. only parts/shipping cost. Leave your email here if you prefer that option.
Well I would have to mess with clock signal if the external inverter would not dim by changing supply voltage - there are circuits with current sources that are pretty immune to input voltage. In that case I had to extract dimmer voltage from the clock. The panel itself is fine, the chip location is not really convenient and with my tools and skills it is likely I will unsolder half of the board I don't really think the issue is so important to ship the board half way around the planet, I will just ditch the IC and use external inverter.

ddff
 
  #19  
Old 10-30-2013, 03:07 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 59
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The external inverter is still able to be dimmed, if it's wired to the illumination and ground wire of the analog clock.
 
  #20  
Old 11-09-2013, 12:25 PM
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OK, there is an update- after losing dash light once again, I decided to leave the IC circuit alone and use external inverter. In the beginning the result seemed to be fine, just the colour seemed to be bit blueish comparing to original, but no big deal. The problem came later - the panel takes about 1 hour to go from full brightness to total darkness. It dims with the rest of panel via DC change that is supplied to clock backlight. It's just the whole range of brightness shifting towards zero over the time. After couple of hours I start the car and whole story begins again. Now I don't know - is the panel defective or the inverter from the e-bay is no good. My guess something heats up and loses ability to operate correctly, just no idea how to check what exactly.

ddff, does not believe simple backlight can be so complicated
 

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