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1996 Odometer and trip meter stopped functioning


tanker

New Member
Joined
May 20, 2010
Messages
14
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1
City, State
Out west
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 XLT
On a run up to the north bay ( I'm in the SF - east bay area) I noticed my odometer and trip meter were not registering any change in
my 1996 Explorer. This just happened during my last tankful of gas. I always reset the trip meter and I noticed the trip mileage was
a bit low the last time but just chalked it up to spirited driving. I reset the trip meter after filling up and drove the 1/4 mile home and
didn't pay attention to it until today. To give you an idea how little I drive this truck I've owned it since new and have less than 57k miles on
it( plus the ~200 miles since the odometer stopped working. The speedometer seems to be working normally. No other gauges appear
wrong.

I've read the threads or most of them about the the worm gear failure that is usually the cause of this problem but could it be anything else?
I must confess I OD'ed on car work years ago and avoid it like the plague. I know that sounds odd but after rebuilding an engine, transmission,
doing head jobs, clutches and all manner of car stuff on several other cars I just had it and prefer if possible to call in reinforcements whenever
possible! I really don't like the prospect of taking my dash apart to fix this although I'm willing to give it a go since the dealer ( original dealer
I bought it from) won't touch the instrument panel- too old.

Basically my questions boil down to this: If I do this what parts should I arm myself with before hand? a new worm gear or gears? What else should I
consider replacing while I'm 'in there'? Are there any cool mods or LED light changes I could install while having the instrument panel out? Any other parts
in there prone to failure I could replace while it's out? So far this odometer issue is the only instrument type issue I've ever had. I really love my old girl
and don't want to drive her around much without this working... and lastly I don't want to run afoul of any laws having to do with mileage and instruments!
Lastly I'm assuming disconnecting the battery negative side should be good to eliminate issues with the airbags?

Sorry for the rambling nature of this post. Any constructive suggestions would be appreciated..

Jerry
 


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96eb96

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 20, 2004
Messages
3,183
Reaction score
140
City, State
Albany, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 EB V6 OHV 4WD
On a run up to the north bay ( I'm in the SF - east bay area) I noticed my odometer and trip meter were not registering any change in
my 1996 Explorer. This just happened during my last tankful of gas. I always reset the trip meter and I noticed the trip mileage was
a bit low the last time but just chalked it up to spirited driving. I reset the trip meter after filling up and drove the 1/4 mile home and
didn't pay attention to it until today. To give you an idea how little I drive this truck I've owned it since new and have less than 57k miles on
it( plus the ~200 miles since the odometer stopped working. The speedometer seems to be working normally. No other gauges appear
wrong.

I've read the threads or most of them about the the worm gear failure that is usually the cause of this problem but could it be anything else?
I must confess I OD'ed on car work years ago and avoid it like the plague. I know that sounds odd but after rebuilding an engine, transmission,
doing head jobs, clutches and all manner of car stuff on several other cars I just had it and prefer if possible to call in reinforcements whenever
possible! I really don't like the prospect of taking my dash apart to fix this although I'm willing to give it a go since the dealer ( original dealer
I bought it from) won't touch the instrument panel- too old.

Basically my questions boil down to this: If I do this what parts should I arm myself with before hand? a new worm gear or gears? What else should I
consider replacing while I'm 'in there'? Are there any cool mods or LED light changes I could install while having the instrument panel out? Any other parts
in there prone to failure I could replace while it's out? So far this odometer issue is the only instrument type issue I've ever had. I really love my old girl
and don't want to drive her around much without this working... and lastly I don't want to run afoul of any laws having to do with mileage and instruments!
Lastly I'm assuming disconnecting the battery negative side should be good to eliminate issues with the airbags?

Sorry for the rambling nature of this post. Any constructive suggestions would be appreciated..

Jerry
I can say your 96 will have a very long life ahead, especially in the bay area with no rust. After 10 years there are no odometer laws, and if you aren't selling the truck, it shouldn't matter regardless.

Disconnect the battery cable and you will be fine with the airbags.

I have LED lights, but you have to find ones that have a lens that emits light like a regular bulb, or you will have dark spots.

I'm not sure if you have to take the instrument needles off to do this repair, maybe someone else will know.
 




fast_dave

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Joined
June 6, 2005
Messages
1,006
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274
City, State
East Bay - Nor Cal / PRK
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 Spt 4.0 OHV 5 spd 4x4
@tanker

Welcome to the forum!

Pretty common problem on early Ex's - 95 & 96 had a odometer gear made out of a material that over time disintegrated due to heat.

Despite your low miles, Bay Area dry heat has finally gotten to yours.

The odometer gear material was upgraded for 97 ->Explorers.

Everything you need to do this 2 hour job (and that's a stress free pace with a cold beverage break or two) is listed below :chug:

RE: Instrument Panel Upgrades i.e. Bulbs
I recommend keeping everything stock - stock incandescent bulbs work well enough and are ultra-reliable; but your mileage may vary :)

Hope That Helps, let us know how it goes, and welcome!!!

2nd Gen Instrument Cluster Removal Link: How to: - 2nd Gen Gauge Cluster Removal and LED Conversion V2

2nd Gen Worm Gear Repair Link: Speedo works but odometer doesn't? I fixed mine..

$8.13 UPGRADED MATERIAL Worm Gear Part Link: Amazon.com: For 1994-1999 Speedometer Trip Odometer Ford Explorer Taurus Ranger Sable Gear CC05-2 94 95 96 97 98 99: Automotive

$6.99 (10) Pack of 194 Instrument Panel Bulbs Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HXL1DT0/?tag=serious-20

NOTE: If you can't see the pics in the instruction links, install Google Chrome web Browser, and add the FREE Google Chrome Photobucket Hotlink/Picture Fix Link: Photobucket Hotlink Fix
 




allmyEXes

Active Member
Joined
February 6, 2016
Messages
959
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242
Location
Lickskillet
City, State
No. Alabama USA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 Merc "MO" the 5.0
Callsign
KAGG 3611
I too have replaced the worm gear in my '97 mountaineer that was built mid year '96 (IIRC). The old material that the gear was made of was sort of a rubbery plastic. The replacement gears cost very little but I only used the worm gear out of the kit. The other gear wasn't broke. I just kept remembering saying to myself "delicate, delicate" It was working fine the last time I drove it.
"and if it's broke we fix it" Colt and Jason!
 




96eb96

Well-Known Member
Joined
October 20, 2004
Messages
3,183
Reaction score
140
City, State
Albany, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 EB V6 OHV 4WD
@tanker

Welcome to the forum!

Pretty common problem on early Ex's - 95 & 96 had a odometer gear made out of a material that over time disintegrated due to heat.

Despite your low miles, Bay Area dry heat has finally gotten to yours.

The odometer gear material was upgraded for 97 ->Explorers.

Everything you need to do this 2 hour job (and that's a stress free pace with a cold beverage break or two) is listed below :chug:

RE: Instrument Panel Upgrades i.e. Bulbs
I recommend keeping everything stock - stock incandescent bulbs work well enough and are ultra-reliable; but your mileage may vary :)

Hope That Helps, let us know how it goes, and welcome!!!

2nd Gen Instrument Cluster Removal Link: How to: - 2nd Gen Gauge Cluster Removal and LED Conversion V2

2nd Gen Worm Gear Repair Link: Speedo works but odometer doesn't? I fixed mine..

$8.13 UPGRADED MATERIAL Worm Gear Part Link: Amazon.com: For 1994-1999 Speedometer Trip Odometer Ford Explorer Taurus Ranger Sable Gear CC05-2 94 95 96 97 98 99: Automotive

$6.99 (10) Pack of 194 Instrument Panel Bulbs Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HXL1DT0/?tag=serious-20

NOTE: If you can't see the pics in the instruction links, install Google Chrome web Browser, and add the FREE Google Chrome Photobucket Hotlink/Picture Fix Link: Photobucket Hotlink Fix
I agree about the bulbs. I ended up putting the LEDs in the domelights. There were dark spots in the cluster, and it made the cluster blue. The leds also had a single "lead" and sometimes it would not make a good connection and go dark.
I recently found one that looks more like a 194 bulb, I may try it.
 




tanker

New Member
Joined
May 20, 2010
Messages
14
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1
City, State
Out west
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 XLT
Thanks for the info Fast_Dave. It seems like something I could have a go at. I have an after market sound system in the truck so I'm not sure how that will affect removing the center console section but that's the only variation to the procedure you referenced. I might check with the guys who installed it to ask their input. Not having seen the electric motor/gear in question I imagine it's some sort of press fit possibly with a flat on the motor shaft? I'll just order the gears- when I see it it should likely answer that question.

We've had gawd awful heat out here for months really and my Explorer although covered with a really good cover is in that heat nearly day in and out. Based on what you guys have said I'm sure that heat just cooked that gear.

I'll be sure to post what I end up doing. I really appreciate the info!

Jerry
 




fast_dave

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June 6, 2005
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City, State
East Bay - Nor Cal / PRK
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 Spt 4.0 OHV 5 spd 4x4
@tanker Jerry,

Yeah - it's been extremely hot and ash from the fires is everywhere...

It's a simple "plug & play" job - just set aside some extra time for it if it's your only vehicle.

The first gauge cluster removal instructions are great because the author "red circled" every location where there is a bolt that needs to be removed.

The bolt under the hood latch is the one I always forget (but he marked it)!

Make sure you have a couple of zip-locks to mark up w/ a sharpie and put your bolts in so they don't get lost.

Yes - the gear that disintegrates is a simple slip on/press fit to the gear motor.

The only gear that goes bad is the one on the motor (the one I linked).

Aftermarket Radio:
Depending on how your aftermarket radio is installed, you might actually have it a little easier, and get away with just removing the black surround bezel.

Take a look at this thread, specifically the 5th picture from the beginning - although it's a 2002, they're similar in construction and you'll get the idea:

Link: Mountaineer Cluster installed - Pics, problems, fixes, walk-thru WARNING! 35 pics!

HTH & good luck!
 




EB4X

Active Member
Joined
December 28, 2016
Messages
378
Reaction score
73
City, State
Orange county, Ca
Year, Model & Trim Level
95 Explorer 4X 4.0 ohv
On a run up to the north bay ( I'm in the SF - east bay area) I noticed my odometer and trip meter were not registering any change in
my 1996 Explorer. TJerry

Not so obvious to the eye... at least wasn't to me ...but when feeding Gauge cluster/ display BACK in it has to be tilted with TOP half slanted back in FIRST....
Some pics...although Fast Dave did great thorough response.... You can find them on Ebay too with free shipping...
-- It says speedometer on package but is same part / # for odometer motor worm gear
--Pic showing proper spacing of worm gear on shaft - tip of pen gap.

GEAR PART NUMBER.jpg


MOTOR W NEW WORM GEAR.jpg
 




fast_dave

Well-Known Member
Joined
June 6, 2005
Messages
1,006
Reaction score
274
City, State
East Bay - Nor Cal / PRK
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 Spt 4.0 OHV 5 spd 4x4
@EB4X

Good info about also being able to find Gear "CC05-2" on Ebay Motors for the same price/free shipping!

Also - a great pic showing the proper spacing for gear installation!

Great first hand experience tip about tilting the top portion of the gauge cluster inwards to get it back in.

@tanker is good to go!
 




RangerNutt

New Member
Joined
February 12, 2015
Messages
14
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5
City, State
N-half I75
Year, Model & Trim Level
96 Ranger XLT
How did you get the OEM gear to last so much longer than average? (Heated garage maybe?) Or could be they skipped the Vaseline lube on yours at the factory. (I recall reading it caused the worm gear material to degrade.) Mine crumbled as I was replacing it some years ago. Paid, IIRC, $4 on fleaBay. Seems like they'd be on liquidation by now. Anyways, it's not a hard job and can always get the real mileage from the BT dongle.
 




tanker

New Member
Joined
May 20, 2010
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
City, State
Out west
Year, Model & Trim Level
1996 XLT
BT Dongle? Ah I just looked that up. I have a ODBII reader but I've been curious about the
wireless adapters and the apps that interpret the output.

I'm waiting for my replacement gear to arrive...
 




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