I'm not familiar with that year, but I believe you have what looks like
an old mechanical odometer, right? That is, numbers on wheels, not
I'm sure that it's not driven by a speedo cable, by 1996 it would use
the VSS (vehicle speed sensor) signal. The VSS signal goes to the
instrument panel, where some simple electronics convert the pulses to
current that drives the speedo needle, and also a motor and gears that
turn a mechanical odometer. (I had a bad speedo in my '94, which I
replaced with one from a junkyard. In searching for an old cable-driven
speedo, I saw this newer type and figured out how it worked.)
So if the speedo works, the signal is getting to the instrument panel,
and at least part of the electronics is working. The problem might be
a bad solder connection or other electronic fault in the odometer drive
circuit, or a mechanical problem with the odometer mechanism. Those are
my best guesses.
Depending on how handy you are, you could remove the instrument panel
and fix it yourself, or replace it with one from a junk yard, or pay
the dealer to install a new one.
Funny thing now I am hearing a clicking sound that increases in
repetition as speed increases. Cruise control still works. I found a
site where a guy took the speedometer apart and actually replaced a
bad plastic part with a stainless steel one he fabricated. He has no
photo of it through.
On 25 Oct 2006 10:48:11 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Yeah, the cruise control is like the speedo, it uses the vss signal so
it figures that it would still work. I think you've zeroed in on the
problem- the clicking must be coming from the mechanical part of the
odometer. The electronics and motor must be working if it's clicking.
It's probably something like a bad plastic gear.
So it's a matter of pulling the instrument panel and replacing it or
swapping in a good odometer.
They probably used the same odo in other models. I got a replacement
speedo for my Explorer from a Bronco. Ranger trucks are surely the
same, and I believe some Ford/Mercury passenger cars use the same part.
I was roaming Pick 'n Pull, not many Explorers in there.
Haven't had that problem on my Explorer, but it has happened
a couple of time on my Escort. I've found that if I locate
a real bumpy road and drive up and down it a few miles the
odometer starts working again. My guess is some bit of dirt
gets in a gear and stops it from turning; when there is a
lot of vibration the dirt particle falls away or crumbles.
I'll try the bumpy road idea. Sometimes it will work for a mile or so
and then quit again. Sometimes it works in the morning when it is
cold and sometimes is doesn't. Wish it would be consistent one way or
the other. Looks like a bear to remove the speedometer. I'll just
have to put up with it until someday it makes me so mad that I'll
invest some time to try and take it out. Found a place in the
internet in Tampa that will rebuild it for $129, but you have read you
can't drive the car without the instrument cluster due to some
electronics thing. Anyone know about this?
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