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Discussion Starter #1
I've dealt with my gauge cluster going in and out after hitting bumps for over 2 years, tail end of last year being the worst, I'd say it worked 20% of the time. Doing some searching on the board I've found many people reflowing the solder joints for the pins on the cluster board which I intend to do while making repairs, however I don't feel my trouble is truly in the board/pins.

I've been able to maneuver the smaller connector (can data feed) back and forth to allow the cluster to come back on and off.. therefore I feel I have an issue with loose terminals in the plug connector. Does anyone happen to have a terminal part numbers or part number for the micro pack that would source these pins out? Lotus of course wants to sell a whole dash wiring harness in order to fix the issue.. I'm not exactly hip to that.

While on this topic, ever since i purchased the vehicle the lighting for the HVAC and Cluster have been inop, I'm not sure if I will be covering two birds with one stone or having to dig in deeper. Anyone had common issues with that?
 

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Send a PM to SirLotus - he is the resident electrical expert but may not have seen this thread.
 

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Same issue here - there was talk in the '08 cluster swap thread that the correct pins had been identified but details have been secret so far... My CAN wires are still plugged in without the plastic plug around them, dash hasn't cut out once since. FYI in case you weren't aware, the HVAC backlight wire is the 3rd wire on that CAN plug. The instrument cluster generates the 0-12vDC on that wire based on the brightness set by holding the trip odometer button. Then the HVAC panel converts that to 20-100vAC for its electroluminescent sheet. Not entirely sure if the 0-12v is up-converted for the instrument cluster EL AC power, or if the AC is down-converted to the DC...

Does your trip odometer button work right? It's odd that both lights would die at the same time, but possible. My HVAC lights up fine, but my instrument cluster EL circuit is only putting out 20vAC max so it's barely on.. I'd suggest measuring the 3rd wire on the CAN plug and seeing if you get 0-12vDC while holding the trip odometer button first.. Probably the easiest first step.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry for how long it took to respond, went through a large job change, craziness.

So yes, my trip odometer button does work, the back illumination on both the HVAC and Cluster were inop upon purchase of the vehicle. I've had the cluster out and performed resoldering of the pin joins and anything that looked dull and needed touched up on. Now that i have moved to another dealership I'm going to be sourching through our micropak bins to see if I can find any connector that may work.

So you've had success with them holding tight without the plastic connector block? I was considering bringing the cluster here to work and test fitting different connectors for the most snug fit, cremping and solder the connectors onto 3 inches of new lead wire, and then splicing those in place of the connector as a termporary repair.
 

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Interesting.. So far I haven't had any problems since removing the white plastic part of the connector.. (Don't know exactly what was going on, but thought maybe the female pins were getting "perfectly" centered around the male pins and not touching?? Don't know if that's even possible..) Kind of risky of course, they could theoretically pop off and short against something.

That said, since I've been removing and reinstalling clusters a fair amount in the car due to the illumination / faceplate work I've been doing I have re-installed the white plastic housing on the wires. I took a sharp screw and slightly dented the side of the pin first though - just put it against the metal and gave it a tap with a screwdriver handle. Juuuust enough to give it a little extra 'grab' against the pin in the cluster. Only driven it for 2 days so far since, but so far so good? Would be nice if we could just figure out what the dang pins were.. I'd identified the vendor (it's on the connector I think) but not the series..
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update here for those concerned (Riceburner98 mainly) I have found the correct identical terminal replacement in one of the gm micropak service kits. The Manufacturer is Lear and the part # is 173630-7. Only difference between the Lotus one and the Lear is a tip metal coating.

On another side of things, I did find fretting on the 3 terminals for that connector, a bit of magic with a pencil eraser, terminal cleaner, and patience has the terminals pretty clean. With a bit of dielectric grease I think this may be up and functional again. The weekend will tell all!
 

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Nice! It looks like they're made by TE Connectivity / AMP, and you can get them in either tin or gold platings.

Unfortunately all their documentation consists of scans of printouts using a 1980s scanner, so it's not searchable.

Here's the different models though: http://download.siliconexpert.com/pdfs/2007/05/15/pemco_a/manual/tyc/ds/eng_cat_124962_0304_550_.pdf

Mouser has the gold ones for $0.29 each - P/N 571-173631-2 as long as 16-20gauge works. Of course the correct crimp tool is $800.... :)
 

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Almost 9 month later update... I bought a few of the gold plated terminals, and the other day decided I'd had enough of my cluster cutting out. I've had it 'naked' for months now, just sitting by itself on top of the steering column. Partly because of experimentation with EL panels, faceplates and LED rings, partly because I could easily reach behind and wiggle the CAN bus wires to get the cluster to work again every 2 minutes...

Anyway, finally chopped off the original crimps and replaced them today. Got all excited that the cluster didn't cut out on the way to the Post Office; thought I could finally put the car back together. NOPE! On the way home it started cutting out every 2 minutes... 'Barely' touch the cluster or the CAN bus wires / plug, and it comes right back. WHAT GIVES??? :)

You can buy the male header (Mouser P/N 571-1-174957-1 I think...) but the damn thing only comes in tin plate like original, no gold option. I can't see anything wrong with the existing pins under the microscope though. I may just solder the wires from the car directly to the pins! (kidding)
 
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