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Dash Temp. Gauge Problems - See Pics

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by badge49, March 5, 2008.

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    1. badge49

      badge49 Active Member

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      I replaced my thermostat today in an attempt to gain better fuel economy.

      Last time my truck was in the shop they said I needed a new "temp. sensor" to make my non-opperating temperature gauge work again. (The dummy gauge on the left side of the gauge bezel)

      Since the thermostat and the temp. sensors are next to each other, I figured I'd fix the problem and get my gauge back. Auto Zone sold me a $6 temp. sensor and I replaced the old one. Unfortunately, the temp. gauge in my dash still does not work/move. There is a smaller temp. sensor next to the one I replaced...could that be the defunkt sensor? Has anyone else had this problem? Any other ideas why a temp. gauge may not work?

      Old thermostat (190*), new sensor, new thermostat (192*)
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      Thermostat and sensor(s) location:
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      Old corroded sensor and new replacement sensor:
      [​IMG]
       
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    3. marragtop

      marragtop Well-Known Member

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      I couldn't view your pics, but assuming you have the 4.0, the coolant temperature sensor is above the water pump mounted on the intake. Follow this linkhttp://www.autozone.com/N,4294897631/shopping/locsSelect.htm.

      I'm not sure what AZ sold you. $6 seems too cheap for the temperature sensor. You can try grounding the wire on the sensor. This should peg the temp gauge to Hot. If it doesn't, your problem may be the gauge or the wiring.
       
    4. badge49

      badge49 Active Member

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      Autozone's site doesn't show temp. sensor locations for a '97.

      I got to thinking...why are there two sensors next to each other? Why not just wire both together and only have one? You can see my two coolant temp. sensors just behind the thermostat housing, in the picture above.

      I might just replace the smaller one ragardless, the price was cheap :)
       
    5. 96eb96

      96eb96 Well-Known Member

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      One reports to the computer, one to your dashboard. The one in the pic is for the computer. The dashboard SENDER has one wire. Why 2 sensors? Because electrically they have different resistance characteristics and the equipment has different requirements.

      Won't hurt to replace both, especially if you are DIY. one less thing to fail in the future. The single wire one for the dash is the one that usually has issues though...
       
    6. badge49

      badge49 Active Member

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      Cool, so I replaced the one for the computer, which may explain why my dash gauge still does not work.

      Replacing the other sensor should do the trick? If not, what's the easiest way to pull the actual gauge?
       
    7. 96eb96

      96eb96 Well-Known Member

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      Test your gauge by pulling off the single wire and momentarily touching it to the engine body. The gauge should pin all the way (the gauge has a delay so you dont really need a helper). If it pins replace the sender. They are a failure item.

      I did a bit of research I believe the thing you are holding is the temperature sender for the dash. How many wires are in there? The computer one is tapered. I have the OHV and it it looks a bit different.
       
      Last edited: March 5, 2008
    8. badge49

      badge49 Active Member

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      I think I'm a little confused. Is "sender" another word for "sensor," or are they two different parts? Also, both of the sensors I saw have two wires going into the plug. The plugs are slightly different, so you can't mis-match them. Thanks for the continued help:D
      [​IMG]
       
    9. 96eb96

      96eb96 Well-Known Member

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      A sender generally sends information to a gauge. Examples are temperature, fuel and oil. A Sensor senses information for a computer.


      Sensor for the computer:
      http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductDetail.aspx?MfrCode=BOR&MfrPartNumber=WT3058&PartType=290&PTSet=A

      Sender for the dash: ( I believe you replaced it)
      http://www.partsamerica.com/Product...IE&MfrPartNumber=TS83971&PartType=425&PTSet=A


      The sender has two wires. One is probably a ground. Remove the harness. I believe if the harness is shorted your temp gauge will max out if it is working.
       
    10. badge49

      badge49 Active Member

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      Ah, ha...I'm about to head out to work on some other parts, so I'll check that out. I'll report back tonight.
       
    11. badge49

      badge49 Active Member

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      Here's my update: Went to Autozone, they sold me what they said was the "other" sensor...turns out it was the wrong part. The second trip there yeilded the correct sensor. I tried to get the dash gauge to react by shorting the sensor's wire harness, but nothing happened. I replaced the sensor with the new one...and nothing happened. Check out the pictures from today; I'm open to ANY suggestions at this point. I mean, how hard can it be to make a little gauge work!!!:rolleyes:

      Tried short circuiting the sensor...no luck:
      [​IMG]

      Trip #1 to AZ ended with the wrong part, obviously:
      [​IMG]

      Trip #2 to AZ ended with the correct part:
      [​IMG]

      It's been dead ever since I bought the truck. The only part I didn't break!
      [​IMG]
       
    12. 96eb96

      96eb96 Well-Known Member

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      If the sensor never budges from that C mark it is likely that the gauge is fried.

      The manual states to check continuity from one sensor lead (R/W) wire to the instrument cluster harness. If that is ok, there are a few tests on the cluster itself to determine if the gauge or cluster panel printed circuit is bad.

      This is a very simple setup with no computers involved!

      I can post some wiring diagrams if you want.
       
    13. badge49

      badge49 Active Member

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      I should'a thought to check the continuity while I was in there. What do I do if there is none? Also, is there an easy way to just pull the gauge itself and make sure that it's not fried? (I'm tempted to just splice in my own bypass harness from the gauge to the sensor)
       
    14. Bill MacLeod

      Bill MacLeod Active Member

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      The temp sending unit for an SOHC engine will have a 2 wire connector. Red/white strip to gauge, black/white strip to ground. Needs the seperate ground because of the composite manifold.

      At low temp, there will high resistance and at higher temps there will be lower resistance across the terminals.
       
    15. badge49

      badge49 Active Member

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      What are my options after I test continuity? If there is cont., then what. If there isn't, then what? It's 1am here right now, so it'll have to wait till later either way.
       
    16. Bill MacLeod

      Bill MacLeod Active Member

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      Look for a ground wire in the harness on top of the rad shell. I think it is screwed in the vicinity of the rad cap and above the drivers side head light. You would be able to isolate the ground wire and verify continuity.

      Check for resistance across the sender terminals.

      I'll see if I can find some specs on the sender.
       
    17. 96eb96

      96eb96 Well-Known Member

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      Here is the cluster test. Pull your instrument cluster.

      Measure the resistance between the instrument cluster temperature gauge clip "B" and the instrument cluster temperature gauge clip "S."
      Measure the resistance between the instrument cluster temperature gauge clip "S" and the instrument cluster temperature gauge clip "G."


      Is the resistance 235 +/- 21 ohms between the "B" clip and "S" clip; and 100 +/- 10 ohms between the "S" clip and "G" clip?
      YES
      REPLACE the instrument cluster printed circuit. TEST the system for normal operation.

      NO
      REPLACE the engine coolant temperature gauge (10883). TEST the system for normal operation

      The first picture shows the cluster harness. The lead indicated is connected to the sender, you can check continuity. I believe it is a red/white wire:

      1)Measure the resistance between instrument cluster C287-3, circuit 39 (R/W), and water temperature indicator sender unit C163, circuit 39 (R/W).

      2)Measure the resistance between instrument cluster C287-3, circuit 39 (R/W), and ground

      Is the resistance less than 5 ohms between instrument cluster C287 and water temperature indicator sender unit C163; and greater than 10,000 ohms between instrument cluster C287 and ground?
      YES
      GO to B3 .

      NO
      REPAIR circuit 39 (R/W). TEST the system for normal operation.



      Second Picture tests the instrument cluster ground:

      Check the resistance between instrument cluster C287-2, circuit 570 (BK/W), and ground.


      Is the resistance less than 5 ohms?
      YES
      GO to B5 .

      NO
      REPAIR circuit 570 (BK/W). TEST the system for normal operation.


      The last pin (after those two) is cluster power, but I doubt that is the problem since your other instruments work.
       
      Last edited: March 17, 2012
    18. badge49

      badge49 Active Member

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      Thanks, I'll work on this and report back. What does a "printed circuit" look like? (If I do need to replace/repair it)
       
    19. L4CX

      L4CX Active Member

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      Ok, I'm kind of bringing this back from the dead...But is it possible to just buy a cheaper temp gauge/Sender combo and run the wire for the new gauge? I'm going to be digging into a project similar to this and was wondering if it would be possible.
      I have the OHV. So Basically I'm looking for the sender above the T-stat with ONE wire?

      Oh yeah, badge49, a Printed ciruit is the green Circuit board that makes up the guage clusters on our trucks. How's it coming? Did you get it figured out?
       
    20. 420Mud Devil561

      420Mud Devil561 New Member

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      Did anyone ever fix this?If so please post it.Thanks in advanced.
       

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