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Instrument cluster turns on and off while driving.

ochoam

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Well title says it. My instrument cluster goes on and off while driving. Here's a link to videos and photos I took of it: . When it goes into this mode the turn signals, brights, gas gauge, tps warning all work fine. Otherwise nothing else works. Outside of the instrument cluster everything works fine with the car (lights, fans, a/c radio). It seems only the instrument cluster is effected. It goes out on me on the highway, at a red light, or driving residential areas nothing seems to trigger this, and nothing seems to stop it I have tried to fix this myself, and taken it to Ford with no luck. The Ecu and instrument cluster is new, replaced by Ford with oem parts.


Now here's what makes me sweat, I tried turning the car off and on once in this mode to stop it and the car bricked. The car went into antitheft mode and would not start. This is why I ended up at Ford replacing the ecu and instrument cluster. The car eventually started at ford and I haven't turned it off in this mode again.


Any help is appreciated, thank you for reading.
 


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Uncle Gump

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I'll be the first... Have you tried cursing at it?

Seriously... I've never seen that.

@RonD
 

RonD

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It reads like the micro-processor in the Cluster is losing power, OR ground(same as losing power)

The oil gauge and gas gauge have external senders so are still analog, all the other stuff on cluster is Digital so micro-processor controlled
Turn signals, and hi-beam are also direct feeds to dash, but should use the ground in the cluster

And since cluster has been changed, I would rule out cluster circuit board issue as far as power and ground

There are KNOWN issues with Smart Junction Boxes(SJBs) and their large wiring connectors getting corrosion
Cab fuse box is part of the SJB
If you pull off the passenger kick panel you will see the SJB and it multi-wire connectors

This article doesn't have to do with your problem but has GOOD pictures of SJB: https://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/short_burst_horn_mod.shtml

It shows how to remove the connectors so you can inspect the wiring pins and slots
The SJB is what powers the cluster and lights in the cluster
SJB is the "body control module", it runs all the powered devices in the cab, from wipers to dome light
 
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ochoam

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It reads like the micro-processor in the Cluster is losing power, OR ground(same as losing power)

The oil gauge and gas gauge have external senders so are still analog, all the other stuff on cluster is Digital so micro-processor controlled
Turn signals, and hi-beam are also direct feeds to dash, but should use the ground in the cluster

And since cluster has been changed, I would rule out cluster circuit board issue as far as power and ground

There are KNOWN issues with Smart Junction Boxes(SJBs) and their large wiring connectors getting corrosion
Cab fuse box is part of the SJB
If you pull off the passenger kick panel you will see the SJB and it multi-wire connectors

This article doesn't have to do with your problem but has GOOD pictures of SJB: https://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/short_burst_horn_mod.shtml

It shows how to remove the connectors so you can inspect the wiring pins and slots
The SJB is what powers the cluster and lights in the cluster
SJB is the "body control module", it runs all the powered devices in the cab, from wipers to dome light
Got the connectors removed, found what looks like corrosion by the circled pin
 

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RonD

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Yes, that's corrosion, isopropyl alcohol and Q-tips

on both board and connector
maybe scotchbrite the metal pins

See if you can find out where the moisture came from, looks like it "pooled" at the bottom
Can just be condensation, most likely is

Make sure your AC is always working, charged, and use Defrost in winter, lol, that turns AC ON
AC DRIES the air in the cab so less condensation

Google: Ford ranger SJB corrosion images

Its not uncommon issue and did see one that mentioned dash going out

Its here: https://www.ranger-forums.com/general-technical-electrical-18/parking-taillights-dashboard-out-help-158575/
Looks similar to yours

Found this one as well: https://sparkys-answers.com/2016/10/2005-ford-ranger-gauges-not-working-transmission-shifter-stuck.html

2004 to 2011 Rangers used the SJBs
 
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ochoam

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Ok, weirdly enough I found these diagrams you posted


My corrosion looks to be on connector A, and the cluster is on connector B (guessing on reading those diagrams). I think this may be why occasionally my headlight flicker once in the morning, but not not the ic. After I figure out which pin is the instrument cluster how do I check if it is working?
 
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RonD

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I don't have a 2011 cluster wiring diagram but do have 2008 which should be the same since Ranger was being phased out at this time so Ford wasn't doing much "redesign" work on it
2008 diagram below

This shows the wires from SJB to the cluster

The top right shows "ignition key switch" in the clockspring, not sure what that would be, clockspring is under steering wheel for horn, airbag and cruise buttons, and should have no connection needed to "ignition key", so perplexed by that

In any case maybe pull out one of the fuses powering the cluster and then turn on the key, see if losing power from that fuse duplicates the power cut you experience when driving, its a long shot
 

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ochoam

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Well its not looking good moisture wise. I took the sjb out and it looks like theres corrosion between the layers. (Attached photos)

Any advice on getting what I cant reach with qtips out?
 

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RonD

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Yes, I think thats the problem

You can buy deoxidizer in a spray can, comes with a tube like WD-40 can, it can clean off corrosion residue without leaving minerals behind, corrosion is minerals(salts) that can conduct electricity causing shorts or lower the conductivity causing lost voltage
You need to spray it and let it drip out so you are not just transferring the salts to another part of the board


I think there were only 2 kinds of SJBs used in Rangers
Base model, no keyless entry, and premium with keyless entry

So you might check on car-part.com to see if a local wrecking yard has one, have a good look at it FIRST, lol
Its under "Computer not engine"
Then multifunction(RH kick panel) ...............and what you have i.e. keyless entry , "running lights"(DRL) is up to you
 

ochoam

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Well I put an entire 5 oz can of Deoxit through the board, so if it doesn't work then it's replacing time.

I think the qtip rubbing alcohol helped a bit, either that or luck made it happen less today.
 

ochoam

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Well day 2 of no issues. I think this fixed it, but I'll still knock on wood everytime I say that.

Thank you for the help.
 

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ochoam

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Well, I spoke too soon. Car is currently bricked again. The antitheft is on and the car wont start. Back to Ford again we go..
 

RonD

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Well at least you can point them at the SJB, show them the pictures
 

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