1996 Ford Explorer Odometer and Trip Odometer

Tiny
PANDORAS
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 FORD EXPLORER
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 133,381 MILES
Each time I fill up my tank with gas, I reset my trip odometer. I gives me an idea of how many miles per tank I am getting. The last time I filled up, I noticed that the trip odometer had stopped at 76.1 and that the odometer had also stopped. I tried resetting the trip odometer back to 0 and jiggling the knob to see if it was loose. Anyway, neither are working. Everything else in the instrument cluster is working, i.E the speedomter, fuel guage, tachometer, battery charge, fuel temperature and engine temperature. I looked in my manual for a fuse to replace or somethig to tell me what might be the problem and couldn't find anything referring to this situation. The car is, as shown above, a 1996 Ford Explorer Sport, 2 wheel drive, 4.0 6cyl, 2 door with 1333381.1 miles on it. I have also had all the regular scheduled maintenance done as required in the manual and have all the paperwork for that. I had never had any problems with this car and REALLY like it. The newer ones are not made as well. Ford and my regular mechanic say that I need a new "instrument cluster" costing no less than $600.00 (maybe more) installed. If this is true, should I try to find one at a car salvage or junk yard instead of ordering a completely new one (if I can even get one - according to one mechanic, it might be hard to find on a 14 year old car). Any suggestions, help, instructions, direction would be so greatly appreaciated as I don't have $600.00 or more and would have to put it on a credit card, which I would hate to have to do. Thanks so much for your time, consideration and any information you might be able to share.
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Thursday, March 25th, 2010 AT 8:57 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The salvage yards are full of vehicles this age. The problem is the mileage will not be the same as on your truck. When the dealer orders a replacement cluster, the supplier programs it to the mileage they specify.

The odometer is no longer run by the speedometer cable. That was too reliable and simple, and worked really well for most of a century. Now they are run by the instrument cluster which is a computer module onto itself. The computer drives a "stepper" motor to turn the odometer. That is not a regular motor that spins. It is a motor that slowly is pulsed to different positions. Either that motor or the circuit that drives it is defective. The cluster uses information from the speed sensor. That is working properly if the speedometer is working.

Caradiodoc
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Thursday, March 25th, 2010 AT 12:55 PM
Tiny
PANDORAS
  • MEMBER
So are you saying I can get just the motor replaced?
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Thursday, March 25th, 2010 AT 1:00 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The motor can be replaced on Chrysler clusters. I've had them apart, but I never autopsied a Ford cluster. The problem is you will not be able to buy the motor. Authorized repair centers don't sell parts, and dealers can only order plug-in replacement assemblies. You will only be able to get a motor by buying the entire cluster from a salvage yard.

The other problem is the motors rarely fail. They consist of nothing more than four coils of wire wound around a magnet on a shaft that can spin and drive a gear. You can look for a broken gear, but more than likely there is a defect in the circuitry that runs the motor.

You might be able to transfer your odometer assembly to the new cluster so your mileage will be closer to the correct number, but again, I never had a Ford cluster apart.

Caradiodoc
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Thursday, March 25th, 2010 AT 2:56 PM

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