93 Caravan Speedo/tach problem. Help?

Hi.
I need to pick some brains regarding an odd intermittent problem.
I have a 1993 Dodge Grand Caravan SE with a 3.3 L engine. Everything
works excellently except for the speedometer and tachometer "freezing" at random intervals. On a perfectly smooth road [no bumps appear to be a trigger] the speedo and tach will both stop right in their tracks and stay stuck at whatever speed/rpm I was traveling at the moment, even if I speed up or come to a complete stop. The odometer will also stop dead too. The other gauges appear to keep working fine. If I stop then shut the key off, the speedo and tach will then drop to 0. Upon an immediate restart, they usually will remain at 0 no matter what I do. Then, while driving for a few minutes, they will suddenly start working just fine. At that point the power door locks will realize that I am moving and will lock the doors, as they are supposed to. Sometimes, the speedo/tach will "freeze" for a few minutes then suddenly start working as I am driving, without me stopping or shutting off the key.
This does not happen often but often enough to be a concern, about once or twice a week. Today, however, it happened twice within a 15 minute span. Hitting any bumps in the road makes no difference one way or another.
I would really like to fix this problem, as the van is in almost mint condition otherwise and I would live to keep it for a while.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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(Jim, single dad to Lesleigh [Autistic] 04/20/94)
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Sounds like a loose connector or a bad ground somewhere. Two places to look right off check the battery cables (yes I know it sounds to simple but.....) and check the cable ground at the engine bleck too. Larry

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Tried poking around at the grounds under the hood. Since the problem is so intermittent I really can't be sure if I did anything at all. The bad ground idea makes sense.

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I have the same problem in My 1992 Dodge Daytona with the Tach, on rare occassion the same with the speedometer.
Let me know if you find the problem.
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On Thu, 30 Oct 2003 20:52:27 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAM-yahoo.com (Wiseguy) spake thusly:

Any suggestions I hear I will post right here. I imagine they may use the same body and power train computers, with different software.
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I see you have a 10 year old Caravan and you say no problems other than this small speedometer problem, no tranny problems etc.. It is great to hear this , I just bought a 2003 GC with 3.3 and love it. Of course it is new, my friends and mechanic say I made a poor choice due to the reliability of the past. I hope your Van is an indication that they are good and hopefully after 10 years there even better. Good luck

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I think they are great little vans. The guy I bough it from sold it because he had just bought a brand new Caravan. Couldn't be THAT bad if he bought another one. My dad put over 300,000 kms on his 1994 Caravan before it was totaled in an accident. The transaxle was replaced under warranty at 76,000 kms then the van was absolutely trouble free after that. My '93 has only 152,000 kms on it.
If they are so bad, as your friends say, than ask them why Chrysler sold so many millions of them. History has proven that truly bad cars will not sell. Look at the Chevy Vega and the Ford Pinto for just two examples.
My speedo/tach glitch hasn't happened again since my first post. Perhaps the ghost of Walter P. decided to watch over me ;-)
thusly:

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You can check around for the chrysler FAQs; I think ALLPAR's site has them. I authored the fix for this, and if you can solder, you can fix this yourself. Basically the instrument cluster's Printed Circuit Board (or PCB) uses pressed in 'revits' to connect the top and bottom copper traces on the PCB. Flowing solder over ALL of these revits fixes the problem 99% of the time. If you can't solder, you can still save money by pulling the instrument cluster yourself, and find a local speedo repair shop to re-flow the PCB for you. Some will do this for a good price.
Now, in your case (the power door lock are throwing me off), you could also have a connection issue with your 'body computer'. I would get a can of TV Tuner cleaner, and spray clean all of the MOLEX connectors on the body computer harness and the harness to the cluster's PCB as a starting point.
Keep us posted on the symptoms.
Bill
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I just re-read your original post; I suppose it is possible that you have two causes to one symptom?
The speedo sounds like a speed sensor, and/or it's connection going out.
The tach sounds like the PCB 'revits' need a solder re-flow.
A possible failure that would cause the multi symptoms is a lack of 5 volts at the cluster, which could be a component, connection, GND, solder joint, etc, etc.
If it were mine, I'd reflow the cluster's PCB, then tuner spray clean every MOLEX connector between the body computer and the cluster.
Good Luck!
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On 4 Nov 2003 14:48:33 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Bill) spake thusly:

An interesting observation lately. Since I posted my first message, the tach and speedo have behaved flawlessly, not one hiccup. It should be noted that it has also gotten colder around here lately. [I live in Edmonton, Alberta]
I wonder if there is a connection.
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