instrument cluster repair

alancordeiro at alancordeiro at
Wed Oct 31 03:17:04 PDT 2007

On very old clusters ( needless to say , a perfect example is the 1991 
200q...) the spots
that show higher possibilities of solder deterioration failure include 
anything that has a large
vibrating mass attached to it. These include the connectors, especially the 
ones where
the gauges plug onto the motherboard.

So the quick and easy way is to "reflow" all these using a touch of good 
quality 60/40 solder.

For the check display, the connection to the LCD from the main panel is 
through elastomeric
connectors, (soft rubber with hundreds of copper threads imbedded). The 
rubber gets stiff
with age, and the connections do not make as well. My solution was to open 
up each
display-to-motherboard connection, clean it with a dry lint free cloth, and 
wet it with a thin film
of contact enhancer ( I have used Caig Laboratories "Cramolin oil" or "red 
oil" with good luck).
However, the fix is very temporary.....usually only a year or so...the 
rubber is just too far aged.

Currently, my center display shows hieroglyphics 80% of the time.......its 
been almost two years
since my last foray into the cluster.

I researched replacement elastomeric connectors, but was unable to find a 
source with an exact
dimensional match. ( in case you were wondering, cutting a larger 
elastomeric rubber to shape
with an X-acto will not work...rubber stretches, copper does not, 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "michael" <mdearing at>
To: <200q20v at>
Sent: Tuesday, October 30, 2007 5:36 PM
Subject: Re: instrument cluster repair

> yeah, me too.
> On Oct 27, 2007, at 2:00 PM, 200q20v-request at wrote:
>> Good luck!, I have did mine three times.  First time a few lights and
>> circuit board cleaner spray, everything fine until winter.  Second
>> time,  repeat of
>> the first and re flowed solder joints, no check engine stuff, but
>> cruise
>> control started working.  Third time repeat of first two and
>> everything else.  No
>> check engine stuff (still have undoable alarm but no  visual.
>> I gave up for time for more major issues.
>> good luck, Pete
>> 91 Avant 230
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