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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I wasn't able to post on the "how to section"...so move if needed please.

This write up will be based on how to fix your instrument cluster dashboards lights. Sometimes they are intermittent and in some they complete just don’t work. Anyway, the solution is simple, but actually going in there and doing it can be pretty hard. Here we go…

First, we will start by taking off the positive wire on the battery. Disconnect the positive wire and set it aside where it cant jump back up and hit the post lol
Next, take your black dash cover off. Disconnect the trunk button. Theres a clip on the back side when you pop the black dash off.
Make sure you pull off the big rubber piece by the steering wheel off the black dash cover and careful not to rip it![nono]
And tada, pops off just like that.
Next, go to the oil cluster, the oil temp and pressure gauges. The inverter sits inside of it.
Unbolt it. 3 bolts on it, take it off and disconnect the one harness on the back of it.
Pic1

Next, we open it, should be 3 clips IIRC. Be careful to not break any clips and be careful with the needle, you don’t want these to move.
Once you have it open, you should be looking at this. Right where the red arrow is pointing, inside that red circle is the inverter.
Pic2

We will replace this tiny microchip. Yes it’s a PITA to take off and resolder on there.[bash]
Once you take it off, I recommend snipping one leg one by one slowly and very carefully. Or if you have the actual solder tool to grab all the legs and pull the whole microchip off then even better. Just whatever you do, DO NOT DO WHAT I DID. I managed to break off two legs! [mecry]
Pic3

I had to re-solder new legs on there and it looks like a hack job, but it worked. [thumb]Take your time and DO NOT BURN THE BOARD. I recommend some solder flux to help you have your solder flow better. And stick to the legs better. And pay attention to the direction of the chip on how it mounts, notice the little dimple on the chip goes top right.

Here is the part link. Get the HV809 SG version.
http://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts/Devices.aspx?product=HV809
Pic4

Here is a final picture of how I did my hack job. Lol[cheers]

Pic5


After you are done, test your lights by pluggin in the small oil cluster gauge back up, hook up the battery and turn your lights on, you should see everything light up. If it doesn’t, then you have not soldered a leg correctly. Good luck guys! I will post pictures of the dash soon as I get the odometer light fixed, this one is just a bulb.
 

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Old Phart
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Think this is a first, I've only seen instructions on adding a separate inverter before as a fix.

Where did you get the replacement chip?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Workin on it. Lol it took me forever to get the pictures right.

Yes it's a first. The actual fix to this problem. Instead of adding a separate inverter and splicing into wires. Also most of the inverters they sell do not provide enough AC voltage of 180 VAC. Most only supply 120 VAC.
 

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Taciturn. Your turn.
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Nice, at least we know what goes bad now. Could be too fiddly for some to do, but an excellent how to for those who would give it a go.

For the few SMD things I've soldered I cut slithers of solder and placed them at the legs, that way I don't get too many globs and keeps it from merging to another leg.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Alright, I replaced the odometer bulb and everything is back to normal. Looks like this chip does indeed fix the EL lights. That's that. Good luck guys.
 

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Ordered some samples from the linked site, and did this fix the other week. I will say I ended up using very small gauge wire and making jumpers between the chip legs and the holes. Once I verified it worked I globbed a lot of RTV to prevent shorts and the chip from moving. As someone who hasn't had functioning lights for over a year, this almost brought me to tears. This should be stickied for others. THANKS JEFF!
 

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Taciturn. Your turn.
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Using the little holes was a good idea...

Some RTV is acidic (that smells kind of like vinegar) and can break electronics down. Be sure to look for "non-acidic", "low odor", or "neutral cure" on the label. Probably not critical if acidic RTV was used here, but I think most Permatex RTV is low odor (sensor safe) nowadays, which is probably what most of us use anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You can't fuse the metal without soldering.

And if you wrap the metal somehow or just make it touch, it will eventually lose connection. So soldering is strongly advised.
 

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Taciturn. Your turn.
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I'll take one. I've noticed with mine if car is off the gauge lights come on no problem. When car is running is when they dim to where u can't see them and flutter
Sounds like it could be dimmer symptoms, mine did that with bumps in the road. The potentiometer in the HL switch goes bad and sends static feedback to the inverter. The pot could be replaced like this chip though. I just swapped in a junkyard switch and it has never given me a problem in years.

I've opened many headlight switches and almost all have a different brand of pot in them, total crap shoot, like they took what they could get. I've always had the theory that some of the pots aren't kind to the SVT inverter and causes the (apparent) chip to blow over time. My original and JY switch have different pots in them.
 

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I'll take one. I've noticed with mine if car is off the gauge lights come on no problem. When car is running is when they dim to where u can't see them and flutter
Sounds like it could be dimmer symptoms, mine did that with bumps in the road. The potentiometer in the HL switch goes bad and sends static feedback to the inverter. The pot could be replaced like this chip though. I just swapped in a junkyard switch and it has never given me a problem in years.

I've opened many headlight switches and almost all have a different brand of pot in them, total crap shoot, like they took what they could get. I've always had the theory that some of the pots aren't kind to the SVT inverter and causes the (apparent) chip to blow over time. My original and JY switch have different pots in them.

So switch out the headlight switch and dimmer first then?
 

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So switch out the headlight switch and dimmer first then?
Try jiggling the wheel to recreate the problem... after that I got another switch.

The old solution to the SVT gauge flicker was to turn the wheel down a hair.

When the car is running and the gauges are not lit. I will move the dimmer switch and all they do is flicker and do not get any brighter what so ever. So maybe it's the dimmer switch?
 
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