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1992 Town & Country dead guages

  #1  
Old 10-08-2006, 01:59 PM
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Default 1992 Town & Country dead guages

Hi. I am in the process of getting a 1992 Town & Country from a friend who's father had the van in Florida. I need to get it inspected (in Rhode Island). Currently, the digital gauge portion of the dash does not light up (speedometer, gas guages, etc). The van drives fine, and the overhead display (with MPG, compass, tripometer) also works fine, as do any of the lights and such not specifically part of the central dash layout (ie blinker display which is in a seperate thing above the gauge area). The van can obviously drive, as he just brought it on the 1000+ mile trip from Florida to Rhode Island.

Any suggestiond on what to check? I do not know if the panel is actually dead, or if it lost a connection somewhere. I'd rather avoid a costly repair if it is something fairly easy to fix. Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 10-09-2006, 03:17 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Default RE: 1992 Town & Country dead guages

Sounds like the broken solder joints on the gauge PC board problem. What throws me is that yours is a 92 and as I understand it, that's a 3ed gen problem So it's possible that this fix may not work for you. I would think it's worth taking a shot at it as it only costs time (about 2 hours), a bit of electricity and a small bit of rosin solder. You will have to get to your gauge board and remove it. The socket contacts must be re-flowed by heating them with a low temp soldering iron. As the solder melts you add a small bit of new rosin core solder. Replace the board, plug in the module and replace trim. You probably need a manual to figure out how to get the gauge board out. pentabob posted this series of pics/instructions on another forum.
I hope that this suggestion works for you. Other wise you're trouble shooting all the wiring harness, relays, and possibly the BCM, if so equipped.
Another thing to check is your main key switch. First see if the gauges come on with the key in other positions than run. If they do then it may be worn contacts inside the electrical part of the switch. If there isn't dash activity in any of the key positions then it probably isn't the key switch.
One other thing to try is pulling the fuse that feeds the BCM to reset it. You could also remove the ground on the battery terminal for a bit and accomplish the same thing. You will lose your radio presets when you disconnect your battery so plan ahead. This sometimes works on 3ed gens and may not apply to yours.

As always, good luck with your project!
 
  #3  
Old 10-15-2006, 02:24 PM
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Default RE: 1992 Town & Country dead guages

Sounds like the broken solder joints on the gauge PC board problem.
Well, I finally had time to take the dash out today... sadly (or maybe good?) I found that the solder joints are all intact. My dash is all digital, so the board setup is different from the pictures, but the main wire harness connections are all still firmly attached, and I didn't notice any visually damaged components.
Another thing to check is your main key switch.
Naturally I tried this first before taking everything apart :P Wasn't the problem.
One other thing to try is pulling the fuse that feeds the BCM to reset it.
Hmm, not sure what the BCM actually is, buuut, the battery is disconnected at the moment anyway, so I am going to re-assemble eveything in a bit and see if it somehow magically works again. If not, I may end up having to bring it to a repair shop.

Thanks for your help.
 
  #4  
Old 10-15-2006, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Default RE: 1992 Town & Country dead guages

I hope the battery disconnect works.
BCM is body control module, which you may not have. Sorry I can't be of more help. I have a 99 Caravan so it's not the same generation as yours. You seem to have all the 3ed gen problems in a 2nd gen van. I about hate computer/wiring problems as they are all about tedious trouble shooting.
When you fix it, please post the fix, as it may help someone else down the road.
As always, good luck with your project!
 
  #5  
Old 10-15-2006, 04:13 PM
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Default RE: 1992 Town & Country dead guages

ORIGINAL: webbee
I hope the battery disconnect works.
Nope, didn't. I put everything back together and it still is dead. So I think either something died in the instrument cluster, or there's a bad connection elsewhere. I'm going to try finding a service manual to see if it would have any suggestions, and if that does not help, I let someone else fix it
 
  #6  
Old 10-16-2006, 07:07 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 54
Default RE: 1992 Town & Country dead guages

Drat...I suppose you could get another instrument cluster from the junk yard, since you now know how to get it in/out. This is what makes electrical problems so hard to fix. I guess if you can't find a connector/relay ahead of the dash you will have to get familiar with a volt-ohm meter and the wiring devices. Wish I could help you more but I'm out of ideas.
 
  #7  
Old 10-23-2006, 09:58 PM
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Default RE: 1992 Town & Country dead guages

I've ordered a "new" cluster, just waiting for it to arrive. I'll let you know what happens. It was a lot easier taking it out the second time, now that I know how to do it
 
  #8  
Old 10-26-2006, 08:02 PM
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Default RE: 1992 Town & Country dead guages

The new gauge cluster arrived, and popped right into place, and...

It works! Ahhh.

Now I have a check engine light that's on, because now it can turn on. Does the check engine light normally turn on when the key isn't even in the ignition? I'm thinking perhaps there is a connection somewhere that is sending a false signal if this is the case.

I tried doing the error code check by flipping the ignition on-off-on-off-on, but the check engine light only flickers slightly a few times, instead of turning off and then blinking any error codes, and the "maintainence required" light in the information center is not on, which I imagine it would be if the check engine light was showing a valid error.

But if it will pass inspection, I think I'm good to go for the moment..
 
  #9  
Old 10-30-2006, 10:44 PM
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Default RE: 1992 Town & Country dead guages

https://www.chryslerforum.com/m_5902/tm.htm

That explains my new problem, but also that it's fixed. Thanks for your help!
 
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