Digital dash issue

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Mkweaver1958
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Digital dash issue

Postby Mkweaver1958 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 7:46 am

Any help with a digital dash is appreciated.
2 days ago half the dash (Fuel, Temp, Oil) display went out, tapped the top of the dash and they came back on.
Now, occasionally they come back on when I hit a bump or rough road surface.
Does this sound like simply a bad bulb or do I need to worry about something more serious?
Let me know what you guys think.
Thanks



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Re: Digital dash issue

Postby heavywoody » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:52 am

This is a fairly common issue with these gauges. The solder joints get loose over time and it needs to be repaired.
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Re: Digital dash issue

Postby Mkweaver1958 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:18 am

Ugh, so I guess its time to pull the cluster and find someone to repair it. I'm not that good at electrics, I'm more a "wrench it" guy.



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Re: Digital dash issue

Postby Rettax3 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:08 pm

...Well now, that depends. I've got three of these cars with these digital gauges, and I've had a couple of them apart over the years. First, let's define 'went out'. These are back-lit LCD displays, similar to an old digital watch, but reverse of that as the crystals in MOST watches are polarized to be transparent unless triggered, our clusters are polarized for opacity unless triggered, so the backlighting does not show through. So, either the bulb in that section is not lighting up properly, OR, it is truly malfunctioning. Here is a method for testing/possibly fixing these clusters. Remove the hush-panel under the dash, if your car still has one. Use a 13mm socket to loosen the two bolts holding your steering-column up -you just have to lower it enough to get the instrument surround/bezel out, not much. Hopefully. that satisfies your wrench-using self... Remove the surround, unplug your instrument-control buttons from behind, and get it out of the way. Unscrew your cluster so you can move it around a little -unlike the base analog clusters, you can actually move the digitals around a little with them still plugged in, since they use an actual harness/plug, instead of the socket-type connection on the analogs. Now, turn on the ignition and look for the lights in all three sections -you may have to turn it around to see if all the bulbs are working, I think there is enough harness to do this if you are careful. Don't scratch your lens!

Good chance you actually have a bad section though. As Heavywoody said, you may have a bad solder connection to that section of the cluster. HOWEVER, if you can't find anything wrong with the wires you can fix, there is a third possibility -much less likely if the whole section is failing at once, but still possible. Like an old calculator or watch, these clusters use small soft grey continuity-tranfer strips between the circuit-boards and the glass displays. Fairly commonly, these strips lose their connection to the actual glass of the LCD, and the strips and both surfaces they contact need to be cleaned, isopropyl alcohol works well. Re-assemble and re-test. Worst case, you still have to have it fixed... Plan on a few hours to remove, test, and attempt this repair the first time.


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Re: Digital dash issue

Postby Mkweaver1958 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:06 pm

Thank you Heavywoody and Rettax3 for the advice. I'll be pulling the cluster this weekend.



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Re: Digital dash issue

Postby Mkweaver1958 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:34 am

YEA!!! It looks like it's just a bulb out. I shined a high intensity light across the dash at an angle to avoid glare and the gauges in the dark section ARE still functioning.
I'll pull the cluster and replace all the bulbs and maybe change the color while I have it apart.
Very relieved that it appears to be a simple problem.



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Re: Digital dash issue

Postby Rettax3 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:26 pm

Mkweaver1958 wrote:YEA!!! It looks like it's just a bulb out. I'll pull the cluster and replace all the bulbs and maybe change the color while I have it apart.

Great to hear! I personally like the idea of LED -less heat, longer life, usually brighter options too. If you want to change the color though, a bulb-change won't really do that for you. The digital clusters have three opaque orange plastic panels tucked between the back of the glass dislay and the hollow back-housing that the bulbs sit in to act as a color filter. On my Yellow Indy, I pulled those panels and replaced them with a white gauzy packaging material that I liked the look of. Although the filter is now white, I retained the incandescent bulbs (can't remember why, but I am glad I did), and they shine through with this warm, yellowy-golden glow (it fits the car's color and interior 'Indy' accent trims nicely). I intend to do a similar treatment to the GTU someday, but will replace the bulbs with white and red LEDs, so I can choose which instrument color I want just by switching polarity. It is easy enough to do an RBG setup too -these are actually really cool clusters!
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1989 SuperCharged 3800 Srs-II (First)Six-Speed GTU
1990 Turbo 3.4 5-Speed T-Type
1990 4.0L 4-Cam 32-Valve V-8 5-Speed Indy GTi (Project)
1990 Stock(!) 3.1 MPFI Auto Indy
1995 LA1/L82 4T60E Z-26
1995 3.4 DOHC Turbo 5-Speed Z-26

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Re: Digital dash issue

Postby Mkweaver1958 » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:09 am

Thanks Rettax3.
I read the instructions to change the color filters of the dash right here on Beretta.net.
The idea of all led is something to think about, and I agree these are really good looking dash clusters.



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Re: Digital dash issue

Postby Mkweaver1958 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:56 pm

OK, so I pulled the dash last weekend and replaced the bulbs so far so good ..... put the dash back in and the panel with fuel/temp/pressure lights up great, but now the mileage side has gone dark. I'll pull it again soon to see if there is a bulb problem on that side now.
Changed the color filters too, the blue/green tint looks SO much better and matches the other lighted areas.
Is the wire harness supposed to be SO tight in the dash?
I had a hard time getting enough finger room to disconnect then reconnect the cluster.



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Re: Digital dash issue

Postby Bapsu » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:33 pm

Wellwell... as I might have warned you guys, I said I might get my hands on Beretta some day. Now its the day. Im making own thread of that car soon, as I will get it onto my yard...

But a little question: For me too got some burnt bulbs (digi dash), BUT also i lost pixels on the other side (where you can choose between mileage, ouside temp etc.). Are these pixels recoverable anyhow and what kind of stuff is responsible for those pixels to be visible? A ribbon cable?



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Re: Digital dash issue

Postby Mkweaver1958 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:14 am

There is only one (1) main cable running to the back of the cluster to feed everything. Each segment (right , center and left) are individual glass LCD plates with a polarizing film covering. They slide into the main board. If you are missing pixels it may be that that segment needs to be replaced.
My polarized film is blistered and my speedo is barely readable but working. I'll see if I can do something about that when I pull the cluster again.
If your car is like mine (1990), its a tight squeeze to get the main cable off and back on.
Good luck with yours!




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