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2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solved

Discuss anything related to the interior here - e.g. seats, audio system, etc.
lbw87
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2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solved

Post by lbw87 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:30 pm

First off, I'm not sure if this thread belongs in this forum ...I'm somewhat new and apologize if it is.
Second off, I haven't found a single thing online regarding this fix nor instructions/photos on how to fix this so I apologize if I am just repeating something that I haven't come across.

Anyways...just what the title says...after years of having my 05 Five Hundred's Cluster constantly short out, freeze, and meters pin to 0 a few times every couple of minutes like so many others have...I've finally gone ahead and tried to diagnose the problem on my own. I'm quite good at electronics and component level soldering therefore I figured I'd give this a shot.
And just like the Ford TSB 06-17-9 diagnosis said "possible bad solder joint" this actually turned out to be true.

Sorry for the pics...I tried my best to get the best pics possible with an iphone but you know how that goes sometimes...

Here's a look at the back of the Cluster. There is a plastic cover that covers the electronics. It's hot glued onto the circuit board. In certain points, quite literally, its hot glued over components...so be careful not to yank to hard. Carefully and slowly peel away....take your time!
Image

This is the zoomed in view of the circled section in picture 1. The circle in this photo indicates the pad with the bad solder joint. This component has hot glue covering it, so you will need to peel it off carefully to gain access to the solder joint.
Image

Here's the "best" photo I could get of the cold solder joint. The black shadow where the component's lead protrudes out of the solder joint is where the fault occurs. It's really hard to see with the naked eye but you could feel the component itself has a slight movement to it...indicating that there isn't a secure solder connection.. Therefore any vibration while driving will give you these intermittent dropouts
Image


Throw some solder on that guy to make sure that the connection is solid and you've fixed the issue!! It's worked for me ever since..and it's been a few months. No dropouts whatsoever.
There goes your 500 dollar (or whatever it costs) bill to replace the cluster and have the Ford technicians program it. It took me about an hour to an hour and a half to take the dash apart, diagnose, solder, and reconnect everything back up. Should take you less than a half hour now that you know what to look for.

The only recommendation I have is that you be very careful not to move the gas and speed dials on the front...or else you'll have to recalibrate those...which are a real pain to do. So word to the wise, be careful not to touch them
Hope this helps! :)


reeg420
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Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solve

Post by reeg420 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:07 pm

Dead On...

Had a 500 come in today with a cluster not working. Google searched.. Found this post...

Looked at the solder joint on my cluster. It looked good but I still threw a little solder on there... And voila works beautiful.

Thank You. Thank You. Saved $500+

Mattglandorf
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Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solve

Post by Mattglandorf » Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:36 pm

I'm curious, we have had this problem off and on for years and just had it happen quite a few times in a row, has it seemed to work?

lbw87
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Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solve

Post by lbw87 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:35 pm

for some reason...I get emails of private messages on this topic but when I sign into the forum they don't show so I don't know who sent them or how to contact them. Maybe I'm missing something...but I figured I'd respond here.

Yes ...since I fixed the solder joint, I've never had an issue again. It's been over 2 years.

warment
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Location: Virginia

Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solve

Post by warment » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:33 pm

Nice thread. I had mine cut out a couple of times since I owned the car. For me, the problem was caused by a harness connector under the dash that was not snapped together properly.
2005 Ford Five Hundred SE
6-spd auto

shankster
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Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solve

Post by shankster » Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:10 pm

I was about to dive into this. My '05 Freestyle Limited AWD has this exact issue. Just wanted to get all my ducks in a row before I start. My question is - when you re-assemble everything is it necessary to glue the plastic cover back onto the circuit board? If that's necessary I'm thinking I'd use a few dabs of silicone and just leave it overnight to set up. Does that make sense or does anyone have any better suggestions?

Also I thought I'd post the instructions from the shop manual to remove the instrument cluster as I wasn't able to find those after a quick search here.

1. Depower the supplemental restraint system (SRS) (i.e. the airbags)
To do this you turn ignition off and at the smart junction box located below the LH side of the instrument panel remove the cover and the restraints control module (RCM) fuse 21 (7.5A) from the SJB. To check you removed the correct fuse turn the ignition on and the air bag indicator should remain lit. Turn ignition off and disconnect the battery.

2. Remove the 2 screws and the instrument cluster finish panel (The screws appear to be on the inside top of the instrument cluster right in front of the clear plastic lens covering the instruments)

3. Remove the 4 screws and the instrument cluster (the picture only shows 2 screws and they're on the bottom of the cluster - one below the speedo and the other below the tach. There may be 2 more somewhere - hopefully obvious)
Disconnect the electrical connector (picture shows a connector coming in from the top of the cluster).

4. To install, reverse the removal procedure.

shankster
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Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solve

Post by shankster » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:30 pm

I tried this repair on my '05 Freestyle - unfortunately didn't work. The solder joint in question looked good but I resoldered it anyway. A good visual inspection of the board didn't reveal any other bad solder joints. I got it all back together and the problem is as bad as ever.

Can anyone answer these questions - did Ford fix the issue by 2007? and if so is a 2007 instrument panel compatible with a 2005. So if I found a 2007 in a salvage yard could I intall the 2007 in my car? I presume the Ford dealership would download the programming from my current panel and upload it to the 2007 for a price.

I have not been able to find compatibility info anywhere but may not be looking in the right places.

Thanks
Robert

shankster
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Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solve

Post by shankster » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:42 pm

After going through the process I just thought I'd follow up on these two comments I'd made:
shankster wrote:- when you re-assemble everything is it necessary to glue the plastic cover back onto the circuit board?

3. Remove the 4 screws and the instrument cluster (the picture only shows 2 screws and they're on the bottom of the cluster - one below the speedo and the other below the tach. There may be 2 more somewhere - hopefully obvious)
My plastic cover was not glued onto the circuit board - there were several press-on clips holding it on. 2 of them were a bit of a challenge to get undone (they'll be obvious - leave them till last to disconnect). They all clipped back on easily when I was done.

There are indeed 4 screws - the other 2 are on the top of the cluster and they screw in vertically upward.

Getting the cluster in and out was very easy and was less than 5 minute's work. As you can see from my earlier post the repair didn't work for me though - considering sending it to a repair service ($120 - $185) or maybe swapping in a 2007 cluster if that's a possibility.

BKW
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Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solve

Post by BKW » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:16 pm

Great post, your fix saved me $750-$1000

Bought my used 2006 Five Hundred two years ago and started having the flickering instrument panel syndrome about 4 months afterwards. It was very intermittent. About eight months ago the instrument cluster flickered on and off for a week straight so I finally took it to the Ford dealership. As is the case, all was well when at the dealership. They had it for a week and found nothing even with a mechanic driving it home every night. They did recommend changing out my ignition switch which they said had a lot of play in it and could be causing the problem. For what it's worth the problem went away until last week. Out of nowhere I started my car one morning and had no instrument cluster. Also as mentioned in other posts, no AC and reverse light stayed illuminated. I drove the car several hundred miles and the panel never flickered on.

After reading this post and watching a video on how to remove the instrument panel http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=L8FtzSstQ1Q
I decided to try your fix. The pin in question looked secure but I applied new solder to it and reinstalled. After a week of no instruments and AC, I'm back in business.

I had an appointment with the ford dealership in a couple of days which I'll now cancel. Their plan was to change out the cluster ($750.00 for a new cluster) then I'm sure a few more hundred dollars for labor and to reprogram the part.

Thanks again for your information. Hope it holds and becomes the permanent fix.

Tamiy
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Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solved

Post by Tamiy » Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:48 pm

Hi! I am having the same issue with my 2005 500 with 184,000 miles. I will try this fix but can someone tell me what solder is? Is it something I can but at an auto parts store? Also, do you just put some on there and is it suppose to tighten up? I am trying to avoid the dealership at all costs since I've spent so much money on this car in the last couple of months but I'm not ready to trade it in. Thank you

bscappell
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Re: RE: Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solved

Post by bscappell » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:50 pm

Tamiy wrote:Hi! I am having the same issue with my 2005 500 with 184,000 miles. I will try this fix but can someone tell me what solder is? Is it something I can but at an auto parts store? Also, do you just put some on there and is it suppose to tighten up? I am trying to avoid the dealership at all costs since I've spent so much money on this car in the last couple of months but I'm not ready to trade it in. Thank you
I would say soldering might be over your expertise level. I would find someone competent in doing small electrical repairs or post on Facebook asking your friends if they can solder.

Jimupnorth
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Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solved

Post by Jimupnorth » Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:36 pm

Thanks to all who contributed to this discussion! I have an '05 Montego that has had the same problem all its life. Recently, the instrument cluster completely died and the back-up lights came on. I re-soldered the connection as suggested but it didn't work. I took the cluster back out and re-soldered the connection just above it and now it works! AWESOME!! Remember that there are usually two connections for the components of a printed circuit board. Neither of these looked particularly good. Again, thanks. Couldn't have fixed it without y'all!

Jons500
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Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solved

Post by Jons500 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:49 am

I have had the same issue with my Five Hundred. Like others, the solder joints in the picture looked good. I re-soldered them anyway. This did not fix my issue. I found the ebay listing for repair. Ebay seller: mandigital. It appears the problem was at the solder joints for the micro-processor. He fixed the joints, but I still had the issue. He told me that may be the case. The thought is the loose solder joints on the microprocessor and the constant connection loss has damaged the microprocessor. He has found another entire cluster which he is QC'ing to make sure there are no issues before getting it programmed for my miles, VIN, etc.
I will keep you updated with the results.

kecso
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Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solved

Post by kecso » Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:17 am

Great post, based in this I also managed to fix my dash.

Justmefromstrout
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Vehicle: 2005 Ford Fivehundred Limited

Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solved

Post by Justmefromstrout » Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:54 pm

This solution worked for me the first time. It saved me a ton of money and grief on a dashboard that was essentially dead. Repair was plenty easy. Thank you for posting this!

Alexrangel
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Vehicle: 2006 Ford 500

Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solved

Post by Alexrangel » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:12 am

I was about to sell my 2006 500 for 1000 less 'cause I tough fix for panel cluster was going to be expensive....I just got done changing throttle body, rebuilt ac compressor, and lights started going off right at 95000 miles....ugggg! Thanks to post on this forum and a bit of sweat (took me 15 min) resolder points on back of panel and I will let y'all know if it solved my problem so far its been two days with no issues. I'm taking car off sale and going to drive it until next issue arise. Lol. But sincerely Thank you all for excellent help

rtinindy2003
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Vehicle: 2007 Ford 500

Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solved

Post by rtinindy2003 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:16 am

2007 Ford 500 Instrument Cluster:
Started having the above issue. Followed the diagram above, soldered it, and still had the issue. Then I bought one off of a wrecked Taurus and still had the problem. Now what? Anyone have a suggestion what to do now?

warment
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Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solved

Post by warment » Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:23 am

Did you check the harness connector under the dash? From what I remember, it was right near the cent between your legs.
2005 Ford Five Hundred SE
6-spd auto

warment
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Location: Virginia

Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solved

Post by warment » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:04 am

It's funny...my gauge cluster starting acting up again a few days ago. I could probably live with the lack of functioning gauges (for a short period of time), but not having blinkers when the cluster is out is NOT acceptable. I plan on removing and re-soldering soon.
2005 Ford Five Hundred SE
6-spd auto

rtinindy2003
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Vehicle: 2007 Ford 500

Re: 2005 Ford 500 Intermittent Cluster/Dashboard Issue Solved

Post by rtinindy2003 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:16 pm

I took the cluster out and had the solder done. Did not work. Bought a use Cluster and replaced it. Did not work. Took it to a a Ford dealership and was told the Cluster need replace at a cost of $1,200.00. Wouldn't pay that much. Found a mechanic who cleaned and filed down all my negative points. Guess what..it works!! Yay..no cost to me! Good luck with yours.

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