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How to: Kill the Dinger (and some Icons)

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by Number Twelve, April 27, 2016.

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    1. Number Twelve

      Number Twelve Active Member

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      How to: Kill the Dinger (chime) (and some Icons)

      This mod kills the dinger, once and for all.
      Some people won't approve of this, but I do!
      You will need a soldering iron.

      It dings when the key is in the ignition and I'm trying to work on the car. It dings about the seat belts when I'm just moving the car to get the other end on the concrete. It dings because my tires aren't low, but it won't quit until I throw hundred dollar bills at it. You can't even turn off the Tire Pressure Monitoring System from inside the computer!

      The dinger is in the instrument panel, just right of center (above the "60") on the speedometer and right at the top of the circuit board. There are two holes in the white plastic already. One more won't hurt, right? Or you can put a piece of Post Office Approved packaging tape over the hole when you're finished.

      Pop the radio (center) trim off by feeling for the tabs and levering it off gently. Two on the left, 2 on the right, and 2 at the bottom.
      Pull the drivers knee panel, left and right trim pieces...blah blah blah instrument panel. Watch out about breaking off the PRNDL indicator adjusting nut! Very delicate and can't be glued back together. The red pointer comes out with 2 tabs which you approach from the bottom. They are about 3 inches apart.

      Now that you have the instrument cluster in your hands, remove the flimsy plastic sheet on the back by removing about 8 torx bolts. Use tiny wire cutters or similar to eat a hole about 30 mm square above the 60 on the speedo. You're looking for a round thing about half an inch tall and 1 inch diameter with a small hole in the top. You can also locate it by finding its two solder pins coming through the circuit board. One is larger than the other and about 0.43 inches apart from each other. They are horizontal in orientation.

      After you get the hole made, pry under the dinger while heating the solder on each pin, one at a time. Alternate back and forth to wobble the pins out of the circuit board. About 3 heats on each pin and the dinger will pop out. Turn the instrument cluster upside down and shake until the dinger falls out.

      While we're in there, you can take the front (clear) cover off and use Rustoleum on the seat belt icon and the flat tire icon. I used Bar-b-cue Black. Spray some in a saucer or a shot glass and dab it on with a Q-tip. I did 3 coats, and it wasn't a perfect job. Try at least five coats. It doesn't take all day because spray paint dries really fast and the residue in the shot glass is thickening all the time so you finish by dabbing a sort of black mud on the icon. Clean your glass container with Xylene or Toluol if you have any. If you don't, guess. Maybe mineral spirits, acetone, gasoline. It doesn't matter. Solvents don't hurt glass.

      I don't think you can get the instrument cluster any further apart because the front needles are connected to the back motors and they just won't come apart without breaking something important. That doesn't matter. You can kill the dinger by cutting a hole and you can kill all the icons you want to kill from the front. I wouldn't paint out the Message Center because it displays several bits of good information after you "Reset" the Low Tire Pressure warning.

      This will not stop the Low Tire Pressure words from displaying every time you start the car, but they are a lot easier to ignore without the dinging and the flat tire Icon.

      Other people have drilled through the chime with a 1/8th drill bit and some have stuffed it with electricians putty.

      Three more unnecessary, over designed, normally broken, expensive-to-repair options, killed today.
       
      Last edited: May 23, 2016
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    3. TechGuru

      TechGuru Well-Known Member

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      Dumb and unnecessary to do in my opinion.

      The seat belt ding can be easily turned off by following the procedure that is in the owners manual.

      The ding can also be turned off while working on the car with the driver door open and key in by taking a screw driver and using it to latch the latch in the door to make it think the door is closed. Just don't forget to unlatch it before attempting to close the door. Usually have to help it unlatch all the way with the screwdriver.

      I don't have TPMS on my Exp but it sounds like yours just needs to be re-calibrated and/or the sensors replaced AKA replace the batteries (which is normally done by the tire shop when you buy new tires).

      Showing low pressure when pressure is correct is usually a calibration issue. Showing flat when it's not is usually a dead sensor battery.

      Sensors (batteries) are supposed to be replaced every 100K miles.

      http://www.tirereview.com/changing-tpms-sensor-batteries/

      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: April 28, 2016
    4. Joe in NY

      Joe in NY Active Member

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      yeah but tire sensors are easily $100 a pop when you get them replaced at a tire store. If you buy them your own they just charge extra for labor cause they can.. And when you can get a set of tires for $500 to $600 it's hard to justify spending another $100/tire for a little sensor...

      I agree with OP. Ford message center sucks. "Door Ajar" I know! I want to see other messages! "Close door reset" Stupid Ford! GM has it right. It dings at you once or three times depending how serious, you hit the trip or info button and it goes away and onto to the next item.
       
    5. TechGuru

      TechGuru Well-Known Member

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      Wow, what rip off shop do you go to?

      DiscountTireCo would surely swap them out for you during the tire change for free or at the standard dismount/mount cost if not buying new tires.

      You could even swap them yourself, the tire does not need to been fully removed, you could press down just that one side to get to it.
       
    6. Number Twelve

      Number Twelve Active Member

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      Even if you have plenty of cash flow, which I don't, this is about personal beliefs. Some people believe they want all the bells and whistles working ('cuz it's so POSH) and some people believe they don' need to pay extra for a machine to act like their mother.

      "Fasten your seat belts. I just know some percentage of personal injury collisions happen in the back yard."
      "Your tires are low. I just know your tires are low. I can feel it in my Tire Pressure Sensor modules. I'm going to keep telling you that until you give me at least a hundred dollars. If you do that, I will let you know if I need some more hundred dollar bills to replace another microprocessor module."

      I have been checking my own tire pressure, closing the door when I leave, and taking the keys with me, for 50 years. (I must admit, I didn't start wearing seat belts until cars came equipped with them.) As far as I'm concerned, some 17 year old feather head might need several computer modules to give instructions on the simplest and most obvious things required to operate a car, but I'm neither young nor stupid.

      So there is the choice. Either pay extra for a car to inventory itself and announce that it wants you to act like you always have, or eliminate a bunch of useless, expensive, half of them don't work, microprocessor modules.

      For my next act, I will be going for the Brown Wire Mod so I don't have to wonder what went, "thunk" when I'm doing a tight turn in a parking lot. Then I'm going to see if I can design a Dark Car mod so this beast won't announce to the world where I am when I'm trying to hide from a weirdo in a ratty looking car that followed me home from the drug store.
       
    7. Number Twelve

      Number Twelve Active Member

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      Update: Dark Car mod accomplished by removing light flasher wire at the Vehicle Security Module.;)
      While I was in there, I removed the horn beeper wire so this one will never wake the neighbors over a sticky door switch.:cool2:
       
    8. lincolnshibuya

      lincolnshibuya Active Member

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      if you have ForScan you can turn off the "Belt Minder" in the programming/configuration section. I haven't tried the Dark Car Mod using ForScan but some forum members were able to do it in their cars (newer than mine) using ForScan.
       
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    9. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      How about finding a way to turn off the ABS light, DTC "VIN MISMATCH" without configuring the replacement ABS Module? imp
       
    10. lincolnshibuya

      lincolnshibuya Active Member

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      you could try re-connecting the old abs module first, save the ABT file (as built file) then put in your new one and load the saved ABT file. The issue you have is that the modules were tied to the VIN and you need to reflash the new one with your original.

      I haven't played with my mountaineer because I don't have these kind of issues yet, I did however played with some areas of my navigator (can't do Advancetrac recalibration - IVD initialization currently) and mustang (fuel pump check)

      http://forscan.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2062
      http://forscan.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2012&start=60

      if you can access the as build data from Ford, you don't need to re-install/re-connect the old module.

      https://www.motorcraftservice.com/AsBuilt
       
      Last edited: November 27, 2016
    11. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      @lincolnshibuya

      My OEM module was found to be stone dead. Aside from that, what equipment readily available other than a World-Wide Diagnostic Device, can access and configure? I have no idea. The cost to have Ford replace the ABS Module would be absolutely outrageous, over a thousand bucks for the new module! Worst part is, at least in Gen 3, you cannot keep driving, nor disable the ABS in any way possible to the "shade-tree" guy, as the ABS has the power to disable the vehicle, which it did (Forced Engine Idle). Pull fuses, cut wires, disconnect module, etc., Uh, uh, won't work. 1990s vintage, yes.
       
    12. lincolnshibuya

      lincolnshibuya Active Member

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    13. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      @lincolnshibuya
      Gosh, you make this sound so simple.......how does one obtain the ABT file? I have a Bosch 31603 scanner which provides a laptop connection, but have not yet been able to figure out exactly what it can do for me.
       
    14. lincolnshibuya

      lincolnshibuya Active Member

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      click this url https://www.motorcraftservice.com/AsBuilt
      it will ask for your VIN, then save it to you computer. Once you have forscan installed (with the adapter) load it to reprogram your abs module.
       
    15. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      @lincolnshibuya
      Thank you kindly. Now, would I want the "WINE" edition or "EXTENDED LICENSE" version of ForScan?
       
    16. lincolnshibuya

      lincolnshibuya Active Member

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      Use the windows version if you have a windows laptop, WINE is for non-windows. Use the Extended License, it's free but you have to do some registration and loading some keys (it's a simple process) You can do more stuff with the extended license especially configuration and programming.
       
    17. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      @lincolnshibuya
      How can I adequately thank you? Really appreciate the help! imp
       
    18. Number Twelve

      Number Twelve Active Member

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      Probably worth a Thread of its own:
      How many, "Pay the ransom or tow it to the junk yard" systems does this car have?
       
    19. lincolnshibuya

      lincolnshibuya Active Member

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      new cars right now are designed that way, the cost to replace the infotainment or recalibrating the failed parts costs more than to replace your transmission. "planned obsolescence" to keep the car manufacturers alive...and they want you to bring it back to them not to the independent shops. just like our phones or appliances.. they become disposable than easily repaired..
       
      Last edited: November 29, 2016
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    20. Number Twelve

      Number Twelve Active Member

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      1) I'm keeping a spare Aerostar behind the shed and,
      2) paying attention to Uber coupons.

      Retired people can't be dropping most of a thousand dollars every time a computer fails.:(
       
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    21. imp

      imp Elite Explorer

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      buya
      @lincolnshibuya
      Hit a snag with the motorcraft link: "This product is only available to automotive security professionals that are registered with the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) Vehicle Security Professionals "Registry
       

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