1984 continental digital cluster on and off

Lincoln Continental

  1. Chrisorbics

    Chrisorbics New LVC Member

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    I'm trying to find out what is wrong with my digital gauge cluster that works beautiful when it's on but goes on and off. It seems like it goes off when you open the door and the lights come on or when you put the car in gear and the idle goes down.

    Any ideas or is anyone had any similar issues. I have not been able to find any information. I am not against replacing the whole cluster but I would like to keep my original 49,000 miles. There is also the consideration that it could be a power supply problem.
     
  2. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    Probably a failing solder joint on the cluster PCB, and/or loose/oxidized contact(s) on one of the connectors to it.
    It's also at the right age for the electrolytic caps to be drying out, but that doesn't really seem to fit with your symptoms.
     
  3. Chrisorbics

    Chrisorbics New LVC Member

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    Yes I agree it does seem like a loose connection but I have been in this situation before and had successful repairs with loose solder joints on other boards in gauge clusters. I'm not seeing anything yet. I'm looking on all data and saying something called an instrument cluster voltage regulator. No idea where it's located or what it looks like. Tomorrow I'm going to try to back probe the connector in the back of the gauge cluster and see if I'm losing power when the gauge cluster goes off. I'm also going to check two different fuses that seemed to be powering the gauge cluster.
     
  4. Chrisorbics

    Chrisorbics New LVC Member

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    I would like to add that it does not seem like tapping the gauge cluster or slamming the door makes a difference. Although opening and closing the door does make a difference because the lights go on. Bringing the RPMs up seems to be the Surefire way to get the gauge cluster to come on.
     
  5. Chrisorbics

    Chrisorbics New LVC Member

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    What is a PCB?
     
  6. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    Printed Circuit Board
     
  7. Chrisorbics

    Chrisorbics New LVC Member

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    Happy fourth to everyone. Yesterday morning I stopped in at my shop and decided to first check that the battery terminals were tight. Positive terminal was slightly loose but very clean so I just tightened it up. I then started the car and watched the voltage with a multimeter. As the engine was cold and the high idle was working properly the voltage was between 14 4. and 14 V and as it slowed down it went to 14.3 which is obviously right where it should be. The gauge cluster was working excellent and very bright. Once the idle started to go down as the engine warmed up I put the car in reverse which brings the idle down even lower and the voltage went much lower and as soon as it went to 12.2 the gauge cluster would kick off and then the voltage would go down to 12.0. obviously the voltage should not be dropping down that low at the battery well running. Looks like the alternator needs a new voltage regulator which appears to be internal and I only looked at it very quickly since it was the 4th of July. I'm a lucky guy since the shop next door is an alternator generator Rebuilder. I plan on pulling the alternator out tomorrow and having my neighbors put it on their test bench. It just shows you sometimes you have to take a big step back. I thought for sure it was the gauge cluster itself
     

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