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Thread: Instrument cluster failure for everything except speedo and tachometer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Posts
    72

    Default Instrument cluster failure for everything except speedo and tachometer

    Hi everyone, so my instrument cluster (Gen1) was working great after changing the 5 usual capacitors.

    Suddenly during winter it started failing to start when starting the car, only speedo and tachometer work the rest (display, temp, fuel, mileage) is dead. Backlight does work for everything except check panel which is off.
    Then after a while it would come back online (it reverted to the fatherland initially with language in german, then it switched to the usual spanish).

    Lately, it has stopped starting up completely. Not only that, after having the car without battery for a few days, the OBC went into PPPP state. I googled and i says that this may happen when the OBC fails to communicate with the instrument cluster.

    I tried disassembling it, all caps look good. i dont see any indication of humidity, or any defective component.

    Any ideas what may be causing this? Regards
    Last edited by Coyote_ar; 03-01-2020 at 09:01 PM.

    E34 525i '88

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    9,113

    Default

    check the board for bad/cold soldering points, I once had that on my E32 750 with a grey backplate cluster (first generation), my wrenching buddy, which is an electronic engineer, checked it and found bad soldering points on the pins of the connectors, here some pics when we did that long time ago http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/569942/
    t found with the wayback machine an old instruction, here the link, download it. Refers to instrument cluster before redesign 01/1989. http://web.archive.org/web/200407041...rlycluster.jpg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
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    Default

    ok, that makes sense. i will check that.

    i will need a new soldering iron, the one i got has a hard time melting that solder.

    E34 525i '88

  4. #4

    Default

    I had this problem once. I removed all conectors from the back, and with a needle, forced the contacts one by one towards the center of hole in which each of them was mounted. This allowed the contacs come to hold each pin of the incoming connector better, and the speedometer worked normally again.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
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    i will try that first, it seems to be easier than resoldering those contacts. plus i did fiddle with this instrument cluster quite a lot, its possible some pin is not making contact.

    E34 525i '88

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote_ar View Post
    i will try that first, it seems to be easier than resoldering those contacts. plus i did fiddle with this instrument cluster quite a lot, its possible some pin is not making contact.
    The instruments are also contacted by sort of pinching clips, isn't that right? May consider doing the same on them. ALSO there is a type of compound that aides electrical contacts at retaining connections. I am not sure, I think Jeff "Regal" knows the name, and shared it once.

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Posts
    72

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    yes, basically just check that all plugs/pins are good. i will tear it appart during the weekend and see if i can get it sorted. will come back with an update later on

    E34 525i '88

  8. #8

    Default

    Yeah, I think the speedometer and the tach have thicker pins and engage with their contacts better, unlike the smaller dials. Getting back with the update is a great idea. Good luck!

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Eastern Tennessee USi
    Posts
    14,708

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    Check the solder points and all electrical contacts going to the cluster.

    As Rustam mentioned the contact cleaner is called Stabilant 22. It is VERY expensive these days. I still have some left that I bought from a member here a million years ago. Works very good in a dropper bottle.

    For most of the electronics that I work on I use Deoxit D5 in a spray can which is a cleaner and lubricant. Used mainly in component repair such as slides, dials and switches. It is expensive but in my case it has paid for itself many times over on the first use.
    95 E34 530I V2.34
    ===========
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  10. #10

    Default

    Jeff is the man.

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