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Discussion Starter #1
Hey,

I got a 1996 Dodge Caravan LE from my grandfather and unfortunately He's not the best with maintenance. I've got many things to do in the next couple of days and was wondering if you guys could help me out on a couple of things.

Problem number one is the gauges....this is the most important one since I cant tell how much gas i've got! I did some fishing around the forums here and done most everything.

Gauge reset with the trip button and removing the IOD fuse for 5 min hasn't worked either.

I'm at the point where i have the instrument panel out and i am looking at the soldering but i'm stuck on what it is supposed to look like if it is cracked or not behind the red connector.

I'm going to upload some pictures of the solderings, can anyone tell me if they are good or maybe i have to put it back in and move onto replacing the BCU :(

Much appreciated!
 

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You are looking primarily for solder joints that are made at the ground plane. These are the really wide traces on the circuit board where the wave solder process may have applied insufficient heat because these wide traces quickly conduct heat away.

In your first photo (the darker one), the solder joint shown at the extreme lower right corner looks like a good candidate for a "cold joint" needing a re-flow.
 

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I'd resolder the entire top row (farthest from the camera) in the darker picutre. In the lighter photo the top row furthest right and the third from right both appear to have complete circualr cracks. What the hey, solder is cheap. Redo them all and then you'll know for sure that they're ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did them all, first time solderer....i know they are all different shapes and sizes, can anyone tell me if they will work or which one i should model the rest off of?

thanks
 

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Try the self test again - hold cluster knobs in then turn key to on. Should start the test sequence with a few seconds. Once started let go of the knobs. Still no joy? Get a meter or test light and head to the cluster connector. Should see power at pins 2 (pink wire) and 11 (red/wht wire) with key on. Check pin 7 (violet/brown) for ground. If all is well there you need a new cluster.

Just to clarify, the entire cluster is dead and not just the fuel gauge correct? Don't recall if this will make the cluster fail the self test but Inspect the HVAC connector. It can melt and effect the data bus, killing the cluster.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
"Just to clarify, the entire cluster is dead and not just the fuel gauge correct? Don't recall if this will make the cluster fail the self test but Inspect the HVAC connector. It can melt and effect the data bus, killing the cluster."

Correct, lights work on the cluster. Once i turn the key, the fuel and temp. gauges shoot up to half way but the speedo and the tach do nothing...
 
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