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Old 03-19-2023, 09:34 AM   #1
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Instrument cluster gauges quit intermittently

Hello everyone!
We have a 2006 Damon Daybreak F53 chassis class A. The instrument cluster will drop out and come back intermittently. Hereís the weird part. Sometimes I press the brake pedal or push the generator start button and they will come back.
I sent the cluster out twice to see if they could find a broken solder. No go
Iíve ran new grounds from the battery to chassis and to the steering column area but still no help.
I have wiggled, pulled on wiring under the dash while running to attempt to get it to drop out.
I would like to run new grounds to the cluster itself but my wiring diagram information conflict.
Does anyone have any recommendations and or the correct diagrams?
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Old 03-19-2023, 01:16 PM   #2
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Since the dash gauges are all run these days on a CAN bus, and since you've already inspected and cleaned the grounds, it's time to go under the RV and check those giant connectors that interconnect all the vehicle computers to the dash. And modern vehicles have lots of computers. They all communicate with the dash via the CAN bus.

If you have an intermittent group of readouts on the dash, it's very likely a corroded or damaged connector. So start your search where it's likely that road water splashed up onto a connector. Look for the nastiest connector and clean that first. You may need to find the MoaB (Mother of all Boxes) under the chassis where all the connectors come together. As that is often the CAN controller that interfaces all the incoming signals. Remove, spray clean, and re-seat every connector there. And all of them in the bundles of wires going way back to the rear of the RV too.

Note there are big connectors on most engines and transmissions these days too.

I know, it sounds like a lot of work, but would you rather pay a shop to find it? Or do it yourself. With a bit of brain work, shouldn't take too long.
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Old 03-19-2023, 05:58 PM   #3
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Thank you Jim. I will take a look into it.
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Old 03-20-2023, 06:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
Since the dash gauges are all run these days on a CAN bus, and since you've already inspected and cleaned the grounds, it's time to go under the RV and check those giant connectors that interconnect all the vehicle computers to the dash. And modern vehicles have lots of computers. They all communicate with the dash via the CAN bus.
......

Minor correction, back in the early 2000s Ford was using SCP (Standard Corporate Protocol).
Not every vehicle or even every module was implemented at the same time but in stages over the years as changes were made.
The concept is basically the same.

OP, does the cluster have flex circuit (traces on film) in the back or a solid circuit board? That's an easy way to tell if SCP or all hard wired.
Sure sounds to me like a bad ground(s) somewhere when everything drops out at the same time.
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Old 03-22-2023, 04:52 PM   #5
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On my 2008 E150 van I had the same problem. Beside the gauges dropping to zero my radio would die and the power windows stopped working. The problem was in the instrument cluster. I spent a few hours soldering the back side of the cluster and fixed the problem. It is like a laptop computer back there. There are some videos on you tube that show guys soldering the boards and for the most part that seems to be the majority of the issues.
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Old 04-02-2023, 10:39 AM   #6
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Update

We started smelling an electrical hot smell only for a few minutes after starting the RV. Investigated but could not locate. During our trip and we found the culprit. Alternator shorted out and quit. Replaced it. Gauges worked the entire 1200+ mile trip. Mustíve been spiking voltage? Not sure but glad itís repaired. Just something else to check if someone is having similar issues.
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Old 04-03-2023, 10:18 AM   #7
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Glad you got it sorted out . Props for closing out the thread with solution.
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