guitar42February 3, 2008


I have a FixOrRepairDaily '97 4X4 Ranger with two seemingly electrical problems. The first has to do with the speedo and odometer. At least 1x a week, the speedo and odometer wont register when I'm driving. The speedo needle just sits on 0mph and the mechanical odometer doesnt turn over. There is no speedo cable. It is electronic going back to the transaxle where I think I see possibly a sensor mounted. When I start it the next a.m., speedo and odometer will work.

The 2nd prob. is, every so often+ usually when its pouring

rain, the inside dome light + glove comp. light wont turn on. This wouldnt be a problem if it werent for the fact that the "bright" engineers at Ford also put the electronic 4X4 circiut on the same circuit as the dome, glove box circuit which I have ascertained so I also cant put the truck in 4 wheel drive when this problem happens. I checked all fuses both inside and in the engine compartment(even swapping them out to see if outage happens elsewhere) but to no avail. I have no idea where this circuit is grounded, so I dont know if ground may be going bad. I am suspecting that a relay in the dash is going bad but my employers auto tech. thinks it may be my ignition switch going bad even though I dont see it in the schematic wiring diagram for this truck. Finally, I did bring this truck in to a garage for the 2nd problem but they couldn't find whats wrong.

Any ideas?

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I don't have a repair manual for your Ford, but I will take a guess at your speedometer problem. It's lilkely the "distance sensor", a little dohickey that generates pulses whose frequency is directly related to the speed of the output shaft of the trasmission. This transducer is located on the transmission where the speedometer cable once was, in fact, on some transmissions, it is a direct replacement for the cable drive. Its easy to change. However, don't wreck the electrical connector. It should be a weather proof type.

Your other problem is more complicated. My first thought is a lost ground. This will require a circuit diagram and tracing the circuit until you find where the interruption is. Don't be surprised if you find a corroded stab-on connector in a multi-circuit contact block. (I had a Chevy once that lost the gas gauge signal. The problem was traced to the use of aluminum wire in that circuit. It must have been a cost saving attempt. One wire in a 8-wire flat cable was aluminum. Now, how much cost savings was that? The circuit was lost in a connector in the trunk were there was change from aluminum to copper wire.)

Look for places in the circuitry that is common to all the devices that conk out at the same time. Is this circuit powered up by a relay? If so, make sure this is working. You have already covered the fuses, but is a there a breaker-relay in the works somewhere? Hopefully, it is not a ground connection behind the dash. Those are stinkers to get to.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 7:42PM
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Hey Jemdandy,
O.k., will do...yeah, I think the 2nd problem is going to be alot harder to find. Thanks a bunch for your advice!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 11:56AM
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