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View Full Version : instrument cluster problems


prsch914
03-02-2011, 10:25 AM
2004 6spd Cummins 4wd. My problems seemed to start after I removed the instrument cluster to replace a couple of dash light bulbs. Since that time I have an intermittent gauge failure. For less than a second a gauge/instrument will 'drop' to 0 then immediately return to a functional state. The most common offender is the fuel gauge. The low fuel 'chime' will sound once. The low fuel light may come on, might not. The gauge may or may not drop to empty. But all of this very brief - as second or less; then back to normal. Sometimes the tach or speedo may do the same thing - if so, they usually precede the fuel gauge in their action (drop to zero and immediately back to normal function). More rarely the temp gauge may falter or even the air bag or check engine light may flash on. The engine never stumbles or misses - runs fine. Very intermittent, but occurs about every 2-5 minutes on the average. Again, the fuel gauge seems to be the most frequent, but other gauges can stumble with or independent of the fuel. BTW, the fuel tank is well over 1/2 full.

I've pulled the instrument cluster 'codes': 2b (?), A4 (?), A5 (TCCM message not received), AA (PCM messages not received), Ab (TCM messages not received), AC (ABS messages not received), Ad (FCM messages not received), AE (ACM messages not received), and AF (ACM messages not received). sounds like a LOT of problems - but again, truck runs fine and instruments act fine 99.9% of the time. Unhooked battery (reset computer ?), removed instrument cluster and cleaned contacts and reassembled - no help. Tried to download OBDII codes, but no communication between truck and reader - reader works fine on other vehicles. Was able to get OBD codes by cycling ignition switch 'on' / 'off' several times: 0191 & 0483 are probably not associated issues, but the 1652 (communication bus) certainly could be.

Truck is functional, but obviously not right - and annoying. I'm pretty mechanically savvy, but admittedly am electronically ignorant. Sounds like some kind of communications error (intermittent). What to do? Where to look? Seems that the instrument cluster itself is okay?

If I've sent this request to the wrong forum, will someone who knows better please forward to the appropriate audience?

Thank you in advance,

WBrown

sk8noregon
03-02-2011, 03:15 PM
Hello and welcome to the ForumZ !

CdnoilRAM
03-02-2011, 03:57 PM
Moved the thread for ya :smileup:

Sounds exactly like the issue I had in the spring. Primarily mine was the tach, however after a while, the other guages started following suit. I made a video of mine, it got progressively worse until I took this video (at it's worst and MOST annoying). My solution was to replace the entire cluster and all was good in the world.

http://s83.photobucket.com/albums/j296/Aerohead_418/Truck/?action=view&current=MVI_1224.mp4

prsch914
03-02-2011, 05:18 PM
that 'ding'-ing and the gauges dropping out are very similar - mines not that bad / constant . . . yet. did you record any instrument cluster or OBD codes? thanx for the feedback.

WBrown

CdnoilRAM
03-02-2011, 05:30 PM
Only codes I remember were the same, TCM/ECM not receiving etc, but I never had a problem getting my OBDII scanner to read. For me, I just went to a yard, ordered a cluster, got it reprogrammed to my correct mileage, and it still came out to less than ordering one from my dealership ($250+$75 vs $500). Did all the work myself as it's all plug and play, just pull the 3 panels, swap out clusters, put back together, done.

prsch914
03-02-2011, 05:39 PM
certainly an easy enough fix. just want to make sure I'm replacing what NEEDS to be replaced. don't want to replace the instrument cluster only to find out that it was actually a computer module, wiring, plug, etc. do you know if instrument cluster for diesel is the same as for gas models? or year interchangeability? thanx again.

CdnoilRAM
03-02-2011, 05:46 PM
The cluster is not interchangeable between the diesel and the gas, guages are calibrated differently (different RPM range). If you're getting drop out from more than one system, then the most likely scenario is what's receiving the info packets, not what's sending them.

brad12kx
03-03-2011, 12:40 AM
I can't offer any ideas of great wisdom, other than ensuring that all the ground are in place. However, I have attached the 2004 Ram service manual and wiring sections related to the instrument cluster. There is some great troubleshooting information, procedures, etc. that may assist you in your effort. Enjoy! :smileup:

senake2
03-13-2011, 10:18 AM
I am running dodge ram2500 year 2005, yesterday suddenly my intrument cluster digital number not working, remote keyles entry not working,also left /right turn signals not working, if any body could give any suggestion from where i have to start troubleshoot this problem i will greatly appreciate, thanks for the feed back

CdnoilRAM
03-13-2011, 10:20 AM
Have you checked the fuses in the fuse panel?

senake2
03-13-2011, 11:08 AM
yes , i checked the fuse for interior illumination, and others which i may think could be cause and all looks good,
Is there are any perticular fuse or other areas which i have check?
thanks for the reply

brad12kx
03-13-2011, 01:09 PM
Have you run the EMIC actuator test? This is described on the 12th page of the attachment I attached to post #8 in this thread. This will be a great starting place to determine what's wrong. :smileup:

senake2
03-14-2011, 08:33 PM
Have you checked the fuses in the fuse panel?

yes, i checked all the fuses and looks ok,
does anybody knows where is the intergrated power module, there is one fuse which i want check :4-dontknow:

brad12kx
03-14-2011, 10:00 PM
yes, i checked all the fuses and looks ok,
does anybody knows where is the intergrated power module, there is one fuse which i want check :4-dontknow:

Under the hood, drivers side, about 1/2 way to the front. It's the thing with the fuses on top. :smileup:

erikz
08-29-2012, 12:17 PM
Hello, I'm new to this forum but not this problem. Has anyone figured out exactly what the cure is? Here's what I'm up against.It started with all my gauges going dead intermittently. Not all gauges would always go dead together either, also the brake, abs, CEL, and air bag light would come on and go off. Now occasioanlly the truck will not keep running. It will start and then after a few seconds stall, this is accompanied by the little red light coming on beside the temp gauge. Last night I could not keep the truck running unless I rapidly cycled the key once it started. I let it sit overnight and tried it this morning, it started and kept running, but now the brake and abs lights are on. I can't drive the truck like this because I don't know when it's going to not start. Currently the fan clutch is unplugged as I was told this might have been the problem, but it's not. Also, when it acts up like this my code reader will not communicate with the truck. I need help urgently and don't know where to go from here. Should I replace the gauge cluster ($600), or rip apart all the wiring? Does anyone have a wiring diagram for the J1850 communication bus? I know code P1652 means it's shorting out somewhere.

brad12kx
08-29-2012, 11:42 PM
There is an attachment in post 8 with 60 pages of service information on the instrument cluster including the 2004 wiring diagram.

Here is a link to the 2004 Ram Communications Bus Wiring drawings (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/3276258/Vehicle/2004%20Dodge/2004RamCommunicationsBusWiring.pdf).

bluewateradventures
02-15-2013, 09:35 PM
2004 6spd Cummins 4wd. My problems seemed to start after I removed the instrument cluster to replace a couple of dash light bulbs. Since that time I have an intermittent gauge failure. For less than a second a gauge/instrument will 'drop' to 0 then immediately return to a functional state. The most common offender is the fuel gauge. The low fuel 'chime' will sound once. The low fuel light may come on, might not. The gauge may or may not drop to empty. But all of this very brief - as second or less; then back to normal. Sometimes the tach or speedo may do the same thing - if so, they usually precede the fuel gauge in their action (drop to zero and immediately back to normal function). More rarely the temp gauge may falter or even the air bag or check engine light may flash on. The engine never stumbles or misses - runs fine. Very intermittent, but occurs about every 2-5 minutes on the average. Again, the fuel gauge seems to be the most frequent, but other gauges can stumble with or independent of the fuel. BTW, the fuel tank is well over 1/2 full.

I've pulled the instrument cluster 'codes': 2b (?), A4 (?), A5 (TCCM message not received), AA (PCM messages not received), Ab (TCM messages not received), AC (ABS messages not received), Ad (FCM messages not received), AE (ACM messages not received), and AF (ACM messages not received). sounds like a LOT of problems - but again, truck runs fine and instruments act fine 99.9% of the time. Unhooked battery (reset computer ?), removed instrument cluster and cleaned contacts and reassembled - no help. Tried to download OBDII codes, but no communication between truck and reader - reader works fine on other vehicles. Was able to get OBD codes by cycling ignition switch 'on' / 'off' several times: 0191 & 0483 are probably not associated issues, but the 1652 (communication bus) certainly could be.

Truck is functional, but obviously not right - and annoying. I'm pretty mechanically savvy, but admittedly am electronically ignorant. Sounds like some kind of communications error (intermittent). What to do? Where to look? Seems that the instrument cluster itself is okay?

If I've sent this request to the wrong forum, will someone who knows better please forward to the appropriate audience?

Thank you in advance,

WBrown

Before you get really frustrated there is two things you should check. The relay in the power distribution center for the alternator, (will effect the voltage to theguages. Second, on top of the motor are a bunch of wires wrapped. In there are two ground wires which are joined into one, Dodge does not solder this connection only crimps it and eventually the connction fails causing your computer to reboot for about 30 seconds. This why your guages fluctuate or freeze. Hope this helps.