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Thread: 2008 Instrument Cluster & OBD Port

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  1. #1
    Member BayouFlyFisher's Avatar
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    Default 2008 Instrument Cluster & OBD Port

    Hello, I joined the forum a little over a year and have visited almost every day. Well, now I need some help with my 2008 CVPI. Iíve had the car for a little over a year and have put about 22K miles on it. It has about 108K on it now.

    My problem is with the instrument cluster. It has started shutting off for anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. It seems to be occurring more frequently over the past few days. As soon as I had the problem I searched here and all over the web and found this to be a very frequent problem that was normally fixed by resoldering the board, or just sending it off to have that done. So yesterday I decided to run with the OBD scanner connected so if the cluster failed for an extended period of time I would be able to watch coolant temperature and such using the app Torque on my phone. So, this morning while running errands the cluster shuts off and much to my amazement the OBD port readings all shut off too. Both came back on in about 1-2 minutes.

    So, does this indicate the source of my problem is not in the cluster, but in whatever supplies input to both the cluster and the OBD port? Could this be ground issue with that something upstream of the cluster and the OBD port? Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
    Baton Rouge, LA
    My Daily Driver - 2008 CVPI
    Wife's Daily Driver - 2004 LS430

  2. #2
    Member BayouFlyFisher's Avatar
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    Default Update - additional info

    Well, I've been digging and have found that in some cases the instrument cluster actually can act as a clearing house for the various signals collected by the ECM/PCM's etc. Not sure if that's the case with my car, but it would explain what I've observed. Anyone have additional info? I think I'll probably go ahead and pull the cluster and send it be rebuilt. Any recommendations as to who to send it to?

    Thanks!
    Baton Rouge, LA
    My Daily Driver - 2008 CVPI
    Wife's Daily Driver - 2004 LS430

  3. #3
    Approaching 2 decades of DDing Box Panthers VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    Default

    If it's the bus master that would make sense. GM_Guy would know more on this topic. He can probably chime in later this evening.
    Vic

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  4. #4
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Could also be loose grounds under the dash. Not sure about the later models, but there's usually a cluster of 2+ wires going to the body behind the driver kick panel in a few places. Find any wires bolted to the body in that area and make sure the bolts are snugged down good and not stripped out.

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  5. #5
    Stow It! GM_Guy's Avatar
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    If your obd port is going dead that to me would point more to other issues. Not that the cluster isn't a problem itself however, and it might be related given your cluster is going completely dead. Also be aware that the instrument cluster is the hub for all the busses in the car (canbus & scp bus, any info that has to go from one to the other is done via the instrument cluster).
    When your obd port goes dead, does the horn still work? If not, change the fuse for the horn/obd power if you have already verified the ground.

    Instrument cluster ground goes to the passenger kick panel of all places,one of the large bolts by the passenger foot, you'll see the grounding spot as soon as you pull the kick panel (there are a few here). The cluster ground is a shared ground, with a splice in the most obnoxious place to get to (upper right corner UNDER the dash exactly IN the corner where the wiring harness goes. Next to impossible to get to. Its a welded splice, but I wouldn't look at it unless it is a last ditch effort).

    [if you decide to change clusters, and can't find one in a local yard, don't over pay on the forums, there is one or two people in the cv forum world that think their clusters are gold and asking a ridiculous amount for them]

    Alex.
    Last edited by GM_Guy; 02-03-2019 at 12:32 PM.

  6. #6
    Member BayouFlyFisher's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for everyone's response and suggestions! Here's an update:

    Checked grounds and found nothing. Pulled the instrument cluster out and removed the lens and the black gauge surround and then put the rest of the cluster back in. I did that so I could drive to the local Pull-a-Part and be able to test cluster's quickly and easily. I pulled two clusters from a couple of 2008 CVPI's and they failed to work when installed. I then pulled a cluster from a 2009 CVPI that had been very thoroughly stripped, but the dash was still intact! I pulled the cluster and was amazed at it's pristine condition. Checking the build date revealed it was manufactured in Nov. of 2015!! Home run!!

    This cluster worked immediately and I smiled all the way home. So, I got everything put together properly after a thorough cleaning. I even replaced two of the vent outlets that had missing foam sealant gaskets. So, on the third day of my new cluster, while visiting Ford dealers trying to find someone that could reset the odometer on this cluster (181K) to what my old cluster showed (108K), it suddenly failed!! It failed in exactly the same manner as the old cluster! I was despondent! It wasn't the cluster, it was my car. I had a few more errands to finish while in town and decided to have lunch and think. After getting my burger, fries and drink, I moved the seat all the way back for more room and the cluster snapped back on the instant the seat hit the rear stop!! Jumped out the car and peering under the seat I found a small coax cable (about 3/16" outside diameter) with an exposed shielding/ground and the center wire laying next to the seat rail. I touched it to the seat rail and watched the cluster go dead. I cut off the end to make it a little cleaner and then wrapped it with electrical tape. Problem solved!! When I got home I put the old cluster back in and it worked like a charm. All of that was about 3-4 days ago and all is still working well. Plus I have a pristine spare cluster now for $35 out the door at Pull-a-Part.

    This car was a Louisiana State Police commander's car and had a ton of old/redundant wire everywhere. I spent a whole day right after getting the car tracing wires and removing as much as I could. The wires that I had trouble removing I simply taped up the ends. I do remember the offending little coax cable, under the driver's seat that just disappeared under the carpet, and assumed it was an old antenna wire that couldn't cause any harm. So I just left it there and totally forgot about it. As is so often said, "Sometimes even a blind hog finds an acorn!!"

    Have a good day and thanks!
    Baton Rouge, LA
    My Daily Driver - 2008 CVPI
    Wife's Daily Driver - 2004 LS430

  7. #7
    Stow It! GM_Guy's Avatar
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    Right on! Want to sell a cluster? =-)

  8. #8
    Member BayouFlyFisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GM_Guy View Post
    Right on! Want to sell a cluster? =-)
    Think I'll have to give that a pass. I am a very typical "hoarder" when it comes to spare parts. I love having spares and specially such a pristine one as this cluster!!
    Baton Rouge, LA
    My Daily Driver - 2008 CVPI
    Wife's Daily Driver - 2004 LS430

  9. #9
    Stow It! GM_Guy's Avatar
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    Don't blame you. Did you try the horn yet when the cluster goes dead? (one of a couple shared ground points).

    Alex.

  10. #10
    Member BayouFlyFisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GM_Guy View Post
    Don't blame you. Did you try the horn yet when the cluster goes dead? (one of a couple shared ground points).

    Alex.
    Well, since if found that stray wire left over from when the car was decommissioned and all the cop tech was stripped out of it there has been zero issues. So the OBD port hasn't been dead since.
    Baton Rouge, LA
    My Daily Driver - 2008 CVPI
    Wife's Daily Driver - 2004 LS430

  11. #11
    Stow It! GM_Guy's Avatar
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    10-4. You got real lucky on that one.

    Alex.

  12. #12
    Member BayouFlyFisher's Avatar
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    Yep, that's why I quoted my Dad's favorite saying about a blind hog!! I came very, very close to sending my original cluster out to be rebuilt!! So, I saved a few bucks there. Now I got to figure out what I'm going to buy for the CVPI with the money I saved!!

    Quote Originally Posted by GM_Guy View Post
    10-4. You got real lucky on that one.

    Alex.
    Baton Rouge, LA
    My Daily Driver - 2008 CVPI
    Wife's Daily Driver - 2004 LS430

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