Escort Odometer

Hi there - I have a 1999 Escort Wagon and I have recently had a problem with my odometer - it stopped work. The speedometer, just like everything else, works perfectly well. The odometer (including the trip odometer)
just simply stopped working. I took it to a mechanic and he told me that everything is electronic there and therefore I would actually need to replace the entire instrument panel. That obviously seemed excessive, and so was the price ($400 for the panel alone).
Before I made any decisions, I decided to search online and it seems like cleaning up the battery's ground contact would be a possibility (since the PCM uses that). I haven't tried that yet... is it actually a possible solution?
Any other suggestions?
Thanks!
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Correction:
I think the technical name is not "instrument panel", but rather "instrument cluster". And the part is actually $527, which seems absurd
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Any suggestions are welcome... I would be thrilled to avoid a $700 repair for a $2500 car.
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Go on eBay and search for a used escort instrument cluster. They're about $40-80 each. Make sure you get the correct one for your model year. You have the option of upgrading to one that has a tachometer, they're plug compatible with the non-tach version.
Bob
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Thanks for the suggestion. In that case, what would happen with the mileage? Do I need to re-program the new one, or do I get a special document from the department of transportation?
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wrote:

If you want, you can get a sticker from a Ford dealer (or any dealer for that matter) that says that the odometer was changed on a certain date and doesn't reflect the actual mileage. Or you can make up your own, laminate it and stick it to the driver's door frame somewhere. When you sell the car, there's an odometer mileage statement and a box to check that the mileage is not accurate.
In any event, keep a record for yourself as to what the difference is between the actual (old) mileage and the new one so that you know when things like timing belt changes are due.
Bob
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