91 Ranger 3.0 Tach Stuck - Resolved | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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91 Ranger 3.0 Tach Stuck - Resolved


September 17, 2013
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City, State
Dallas, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 Ford Ranger XLT
So Here's the deal. My father In-Law brought over his 91 Ford Ranger 3.0 XLT for a simple idle issue.
While looking in to it, I found a host of issues that I have resolved with the help of these forums and the interwebs.
However, many posts I reviewed did not often end with resolutions or feed back of a solution.
This is one of several posts I'm making to log my problems and fixes on this truck in hopes to return the help I've received.

Tachometer "stuck" at ~3K RPMs.
Well, not really stuck, when the key is off, the tach reads 0. When the ignition is on, the tach jumps to about 3K RPMs and doesn't budge unless the RPMs exceed this value, then the tack needle moves forward accordingly.

Many solutions were to simply replace the tach and/or gauge cluster. I found these for reasonably cheap on ebay (~$50-75). However, the greater cause of this issue is a simple solder bond between two points on the tach's circuit board that have a tendency to break.

I found this extremely informative walk through post on another forum site that walked through the removal/repair procedure in great detail.
This worked like a charm and only took maybe an hour to do. One thing, on step five, the narrator states to use your fingers to pry the tach out of the cluster.... I found it easier to slip in a long thin slot head screw driver and pry up from more of the center of the gauge rather than prying from the edges... What the write up failed to mention was that the tach is held in to the cluster by 3 metal "prongs" that press in to corresponding retainers, and it is a snug fit.. Pull from the side may damage the plastic backing or mar the background of the gauge readout.

I wound up replacing my tach after soldering failed me (probably my fault).

From the extent that I saw other Ranger/Explorer owners having this issue, the initial failure seemed to be a bad factory solder. Correcting it yourself is free and will likely last the life of the panel.

Replacing it with a used one could find you in the same predicament at some point.