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Old 06-25-2014, 09:22 AM   #1
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My 'cluster' is dead. Uh....whats that?

Im driving an 08 5.4L. We noticed a 2 yr old battery couldnt maintain a charge so we swapped it out. New battery - same problem.

So it goes to the shop and the diagnosis is the 'cluster' behind the dash is bad. I'm told (by a mechanic I trust) that he can measure a drain on the battery as it sits turned off. When he disconnects the cluster, the battery no longer is being used.

Its a $1,000 factory part that cant be bought anywhere in AZ.

Anyone heard of this?
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:25 AM   #2
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Re: My 'cluster' is dead. Uh....whats that?

It must be the instrument panel. I think it has something like a computer in it as well. Maybe get one from a wrecking yard?
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:34 AM   #3
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Re: My 'cluster' is dead. Uh....whats that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhally
It must be the instrument panel. I think it has something like a computer in it as well. Maybe get one from a wrecking yard?
That would be my guess too but the instrument cluster includes odometer so wouldn't you get a tamper light or something if you plugged a different one into your van, and also incorrect odometer?
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:14 AM   #4
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Re: My 'cluster' is dead. Uh....whats that?

i didnt get any lights when i swapped out my cluster and i actually kept my odometer from the original cluster as well so the miliage is accurate.

i bought my cluster from ebay, but found quite a few on www.car-parts.com prior. its a parts locator that salvage yards around the nation utilize. you can get stuff dirt cheap if you take the time to call all the places that dont list prices. they either dont care about going rates, or dont know. either way, it works out well for the end user.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:37 PM   #5
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Re: My 'cluster' is dead. Uh....whats that?

Shenrie, just curious, so what you're saying is the odometer part separates from the rest of the cluster? That's pretty cool if so. Seems like most people I've heard about get a tamper light, but I have no personal experience with it.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:34 AM   #6
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Re: My 'cluster' is dead. Uh....whats that?

newer clusters might have a tamper light, but my van is a 03 and i used a 99 cluster and neither had any kind of light to the best of my knowledge. I did the swap solely to gain the tachometer. I hadnt had any issues with the cluster prior.

and ya, the actual odometer is removable and swapable between the two. its a trickier procedure, but i read about another member doing the swap in the homebuild section and decided to give it a try. i pmed him for some specifics, gathered some wiring diagrams, and went to town.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:20 AM   #7
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Re: My 'cluster' is dead. Uh....whats that?

Given the nature of the clusters I can easily see how it would cause a battery-draining parasitic draw if it fails internally.

There is a compatibility issue with clusters to the degree they need to be within a few years of one another, donor to replaced part that is to say. I know Ford says we MUST swap in the exact dealer-bought cluster in order for it to be right but that's just not true. eBay has a ton of suitable clusters, most under $100 with some sort of performance warranty---its worth a try.

The odometers can indeed be swapped between different clusters--here's a link to FTE wherein I've dissected and successfully re-assembled a '99 cluster: http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/11...r-anatomy.html I hear even the digital display versions (beginning M/Y '04 or '05?) are very similar to the dial type odometers, can be potentially swapped out in a similar fashion.

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Old 06-28-2014, 11:40 AM   #8
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Re: My 'cluster' is dead. Uh....whats that?

In the end I'm spending $550 for a new OEM cluster and $250 in labor. Not a part is want to be dealing with out in the sticks.

I did find the cluster fuse so this weekend we'll park and disconnect. We are at Lockett Meadow (AZ) if anyone sees a Qvan with hood up.
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