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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 98 base model shorty caravan w/ a 3.0. The other day while just riding down the road my instrument cluster started to power on and off randomly. The only thing the cluster did would do was bounce all over..fuel working and temp and speedo not, indicator lights on and off, and now it does nothing other than the rare occasional jumping to life and back off. Smacking the dash had no impact on the functions.

I checked the pins at the red connector behind the cluster and had power to the pink at the top and the red and white at the bottom, and a ground at the brown and violet. I also pulled HVAC and plugs look brand new. I re-soldiered the connections of the red plug, although I could not locate any cracks. I even went over the whole circuit board after pulling the cluster 5 times.

All other functions of the van work as they should (other than no LEDs in my HVAC buttons, and that has been like that since I bought it) so I thought I could rule out the BCM. Is there anything else you can think of before I try to locate a new cluster?

Thanks!

David Rhoades
 

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Have you tried a cluster test? Sometimes that alone will correct it. Here's how:

DIAGNOSIS AND TESTING - SELF-DIAGNOSTICS
The instrument clusters are equipped with a self diagnostic test feature to help identify electronic problems. Prior to any test, perform the Self-Diagnostic Test. The self diagnostic system displays instrument cluster stored fault codes in the odometer display, sweeps the gauges to the calibration points, and bulb checks the warning indicators. When the key is in the ON position with the engine not running, the MIL will remain illuminated for regulatory purposes.

To activate the Self-Diagnostic program:
With the ignition switch in the OFF position, depress the TRIP ODOMETER RESET button.
Continue to hold the TRIP ODOMETER RESET button until Sof and a number (software version number (i.e. Sof 3.2) appears in the odometer window then release the button. If a fault code is present, the cluster will display it in the odometer display. When all fault codes have been displayed, the cluster will display “end” in the odometer display. Refer to the INSTRUMENT CLUSTER DTC'S table to determine what each trouble code means. INSTRUMENT CLUSTER DTC'S DTC DESCRIPTION
100.0 LOOP-BACK FAILURE
100.1 ABS COMMUNICATION FAULT
100.2 BCM COMMUNICATION FAULT
100.3 EATX COMMUNICATION FAULT
100.4 FCM COMMUNICATION FAULT
100.5 ORC COMMUNICATION FAULT
100.6 SBEC/DEC/MCM COMMUNICATION FAULT
200.0 AIRBAG LED SHORT
200.1 AIRBAG LED OPEN
200.2 ABS LED SHORT
200.3 ABS LED OPEN
200.6 EL INVERTER TIME-OUT
200.7 EATX MISMATCH
400.0 EEPROM READ/WRITE FAILURE
400.1 IMPROPER POWER DOWN DETECTED


CALIBRATION TEST
The CLUSTER CALIBRATION table contains the proper calibration points for each gauge. If the gauge pointers are not calibrated, a problem exists in the cluster. If any gauge is out of calibration, replace the cluster.

CLUSTER CALIBRATION SPEEDOMETER CALIBRATION POINT
1 0 MPH (0 KM/H)
2 20 MPH (40 KM/H)
3 60 MPH (100 KM/H)
4 100 MPH (160 KM/H)
TACHOMETER
1 0 RPM
2 1000 RPM
3 3000 RPM
4 6000 RPM
FUEL GAUGE
1 EMPTY
2 1/4 FILLED
3 1/2 FILLED
4 FULL
TEMPERATURE GAUGE
1 COLD
2 1/4
3 3/4
4 HOT


ODOMETER SEGMENT TEST
If a segment in the odometer does not illuminate normally, a problem exists in the display.

ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION RANGE INDICATOR SEGMENT TEST
If a segment in the transmission range indicator does not illuminate normally, a problem exists in the display.
__________________


***If this passes I would suspect the BCM.***
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The test had no results. There was no activity in either display.

Since my original post I have replaced the cluster with one I know is in working condition. Also I have noticed my door locks wont auto lock until I get the random flicker of the active cluster. Another thing noticed is the lack of the park function of my wipers.

I checked for loose connections, checked the body ground under the battery, and cleaned the battery cable ends. No results.

Strange thing, when I pull the IOD fuse the relay for the for the park tail lamps starts popping like a machine gun? If I unplug the relay during the popping the horn will blow once.

The van still drives normal.

Im leaning towards the BCM now... thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
While trying again I waited until the cluster came to life and quickly tried the test. Just pushing the two buttons together with the key in the off position, had no results. Holding both then turning the key to run started the calibration test. Code 999 showed and all gauges swept like it should. Once done I tried the wipers and they parked like they should. Then the cluster died and wiper function resumed its lack of proper function.
 

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Looks like you're down to the BCM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I replaced the BCM today with a donor from the junkyard. Same part number. Everything seems good so far with the exception of the abs light is now on. Makes me wonder if the donor had abs? Anyway, all seems great.

Since I dont have abs, do you see any reason why I cant remove the bulb?
 

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Not a problem.
 
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