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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2005 Elise and have the issue with my gauges cutting in and out. I took the cluster out and cleaned the connections and plugged everything back in - and it seems somewhat better - but they still cut out sometimes. I've searched around on this site and it appears what I need to do is "disassembe the cluster reflow the solder with some extra" - but I don't see any details on what exactly to reflow or what needs to be disassembled or anything for that matter.
Good news is that I have a friend that is an engineer and solders stuff all the time and says he can do this. But what exactly is it that needs to be reflowed? Do I really need to take the cluster apart - or is it the stuff on the back of it that I can see without taking the thing apart? If anyone can give me some clues here that would be great - my friend is coming over in 2 days to do this and it's a looong drive each way for him, so I kinda wanna have my ducks in a row before he comes all the way out here.
Thanks guys!
 

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The solder points around the back side of the connectors are usually the problem points. These are on the inside of the cluster, so you will need to take the screws out and disassemble the cluster. My recollection is that you will end up having to reset the gauges when you put it back together:
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f259/how-reset-speedo-tach-82805/#post1754439

On the cluster I last soldered, there were no visible cracks, but it fixed the issue to reflow the solder.
I had fixed numerous cold solder joints previously, so the only thing new for me was taking the cluster apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok thanks! This is what I assumed needed to be done. I talked to my friend again last night and he assured me that this would be no problem for him and he would be able to figure out what all needed to be reflowed. I sounds like taking apart the cluster is just a few screws - and that was what I was mostly worried about - I've taken the itself out before and that was a pretty simple task. I will let you know how it goes after we're done :)
 

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Ok thanks! This is what I assumed needed to be done. I talked to my friend again last night and he assured me that this would be no problem for him and he would be able to figure out what all needed to be reflowed. I sounds like taking apart the cluster is just a few screws - and that was what I was mostly worried about - I've taken the itself out before and that was a pretty simple task. I will let you know how it goes after we're done :)
I can't recall exactly, but it may have required removing the needles. That might be why I recall having to reset the cluster after it's installed. Or maybe they just flop around or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thought I would give an update - ...
He reflowed all the connections probably 25 or 30 of them - had to take apart the cluster and remove the needles to do it. Everything went back together and didn't even have to reset the needles. Good news is that for the most part, everything seems to be working. Only odd things I've noticed is that now the temp doesn't show up until after the engine has been on for a few minutes - but it's colder here now than before so maybe this is normal. The other thing that has happened is that the buzzer for open door and seatbelts no longer seem to work - pretty sure I saw that buzzer on the cluster too. I haven't driven it hardly at all since I did all this - but I will start doing that Monday - hopefully this actually fixed it. As for the buzzer - well that is the least of my worries so I am willing to live without that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
$300 to do that? I wouldn't do that - what a rip off. If you do not want to try to reflow the connections yourself you can always just send it to me and my friend and I will do it for you for free if you pay the shipping for it. Now if it's something other than the connections bad then we can't fix it for you - but heck I would at least let us try first. I would check to see what it is this guy does - for example does he replace parts in it if they are broken or something? I seriously doubt that because where would he get the parts for that? As far as I know you can't by new electronic parts for it. I would also try taking it out and cleaning the connections that hook into the cluster from the car - a lot of guys have found that the only real problem they had was that the plug was just loose.
 

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Thank you, Techno! That sounds like very good advice. Although I'm not so mechanically proficient, I'll try cleaning and re-seating.

If that fails, I'll contact you, but insist on compensating you for your kind offer.

Best regards,

Leo
 

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It ended up being loose connections in the loom side connector for me.

I did this repair recently and still had gauge cutout after the solder reflow. I would have the cluster connected to the loom but not fixed to the dash and it would work; only to have it cut back out once I fastened it back to the dash. The fix that finally worked was to re-bend the 3 pins inside the white can/bus connector on the wire loom so that they would really clamp down on the mating pin. I also cleaned all pin contacts as well as I could with methanol lens cleaner (just what I happened to have at hand). I haven't had a cutout occur since doing that; probably 100 or so miles. It was cutting out on every drive before the fix.

One side benefit I found to diving into this repair myself is that I will no longer fear going back into the cluster to change out LCD and LED colors if the desire should ever strike. For me, this was definitely one of those repairs I "leveled up" on.
 

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The solder points around the back side of the connectors are usually the problem points. These are on the inside of the cluster, so you will need to take the screws out and disassemble the cluster. My recollection is that you will end up having to reset the gauges when you put it back together:
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f259/how-reset-speedo-tach-82805/#post1754439

On the cluster I last soldered, there were no visible cracks, but it fixed the issue to reflow the solder.
I had fixed numerous cold solder joints previously, so the only thing new for me was taking the cluster apart.
+1
My speedo/tach wou;ld cut out intermittently. I resoldered all the connector pins on the pcb for both connectore. That seems to have corrected it
 

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$300 to do that? ... I would check to see what it is this guy does - for example does he replace parts in it if they are broken or something? I seriously doubt that because where would he get the parts for that? As far as I know you can't by new electronic parts for it.
The servo motor that runs the tach and speedo is available, thanks to some sleuthing by an LT member.

$300 is about what a used cluster runs in the for sale area, which would be another option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The servo motor that runs the tach and speedo is available, thanks to some sleuthing by an LT member.

$300 is about what a used cluster runs in the for sale area, which would be another option.
Ok so the servo motor is avail - assuming that this guy is even fixing that (which I doubt) - still $300 is a rip off if you ask me.

Like I said - if anyone out here wants their stuff reflowed I will be happy to do it for free as long as they pay for the shipping. It only took us a few minutes to do it - really the hard part was getting it in and out of the car, and even that was pretty simple. I hope that anyone considering giving this ebay $300 takes me up on this offer first. I haven't been a member here too long - but I did join before I bought my Elise and everyone out here has really been a great helping me from the time before I bought the car and even now I'm still learning things. Other members here have sold me some goodies like a carbon fiber center console and an OEM supercharger for good deals - so anything I can do to help other members is great - heck everyone has helped me out so much it would be nice to return the favors to other members here.
 

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So I have to tackle this soon because my gauges keep cutting in and out every drive. This just started a few months ago. Do you guys know if this also affects the ABS light because that has also been intermittent? If anyone one knows please chime in.... Thanks!
 

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So I have to tackle this soon because my gauges keep cutting in and out every drive. This just started a few months ago. Do you guys know if this also affects the ABS light because that has also been intermittent? If anyone one knows please chime in.... Thanks!
The ABS light is most likely a separate issue. The gauge cluster issue affects the speedo and tach needles and the fuel level indicator.

The ABS light is most likely either a sensor wire that's broken or not seating fully, or the ABS module is failing.
 

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The ABS light is most likely a separate issue. The gauge cluster issue affects the speedo and tach needles and the fuel level indicator.

The ABS light is most likely either a sensor wire that's broken or not seating fully, or the ABS module is failing.
Thank you!
 
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