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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2016 Ford transit 350 wagon that I’m self converting to live in full time.
At some point during the build, the dashboard gauges stopped working.
when starting the van, everything runs well, and the radio works, but all of the gauges and lights on the dash don’t work.

We took apart some of the build and found that the wires from the stock overhead lights were just dangling there and that we had forgotten to re-ground those wires, but the stock lights have been removed so there isn’t anything attached to the attachments.
When we grounded that set of wires, the dashboard gauges turned on for a second and then slowly faded out. I’ve included a photo of the wires that we grounded.

I’d also like to mention that Ford had my van for over a month and couldn’t figure out anything. They said all of the connections at the front of the van along with the fuses were good. They even replaced the instrument cluster, which was a total waste of money since it didn’t fix anything.

has anyone else dealt with an issue like this and fixed it? It feels like we are on the right path since the dash lights turned on for a second, but it’s not something that can be recreated without disconnecting and reconnecting that ground wire.

thanks!
Measuring instrument Tool Technology Electronic device Gauge
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Maybe check the fuses again. But the cluster doesn’t light up or do anything?
No, and Ford ran a bunch of tests multiple times and weren’t able to find anything wrong with the cluster or the fuses. A friend of mine checked all of the fuses again after Ford had it and said they were all good. The odometer turns on when I open the door but then fades out once the car is running.
 

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I unplugged all of the rear cargo lights and left them unplugged, No problems.
I did not disturb the factory wiring in any way, The cargo lights are still up there unused hidden behind cedar planks.
 

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There are a number of instrument cluster failure threads here on this forum, Some of them can be traced back to water in a plug behind the radiator coolant overflow tank, Rain water gets into this plug.
 

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I dont understand what you mean by re-grounded the wiring. You took the wires that were plugged into the cargo lights and grounded both the connections? Non of those wires from the lights need to or should touch chassis ground. I have a feeling if this is the case you are freaking out the body control module.
 

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I dont understand what you mean by re-grounded the wiring. You took the wires that were plugged into the cargo lights and grounded both the connections? Non of those wires from the lights need to or should touch chassis ground. I have a feeling if this is the case you are freaking out the body control module.
If you look at the attached picture you can see a ground connection, not sure what it’s for but the post says something about the lights above the drivers headliner.
@akpow4 did this start immediately after you connected a second battery that I read in another post
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you look at the attached picture you can see a ground connection, not sure what it’s for but the post says something about the lights above the drivers headliner.
@akpow4 did this start immediately after you connected a second battery that I read in another post
I meant the lights about the rear passenger seats, the lights in the headliner work and are still connected.
We didn’t turn the van on very often during the build, and so we just assumed that it had something to do with connecting a battery relay, but that wasn’t the problem and was disconnected pretty much immediately. But I’m starting to think that there might be pin nails that have hit the large run of wires from when we installed the tongue and groove on the walls. Not totally sure if that would cause a problem like this though.
 

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I'm wondering if you ever found out what the problem was? I'm building same van as you but stopped working on it during the winter months due to cold and snow. The cluster lights, stereo and gauges went out on me right before I stopped working on my van and am now digging into everything you did/everything I could think of and no dice. I have a long cabinet up by the wire harness on the driver side but I made sure to screw it in only where my studs are mounted to the van. There is 1 wall I put up where like you mentioned nailed to the same side but as I said with the cabinet, I made sure to mark where my studs were. I have the cluster off right now and will check tomorrow with a volt meter to see if any power is going into it but I'm running out of ideas. Also, no codes on a scan tool.
 

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I meant the lights about the rear passenger seats, the lights in the headliner work and are still connected.
We didn’t turn the van on very often during the build, and so we just assumed that it had something to do with connecting a battery relay, but that wasn’t the problem and was disconnected pretty much immediately. But I’m starting to think that there might be pin nails that have hit the large run of wires from when we installed the tongue and groove on the walls. Not totally sure if that would cause a problem like this though.
I'm wondering if you ever found out what the problem was? I'm building same van as you but stopped working on it during the winter months due to cold and snow. The cluster lights, stereo and gauges went out on me right before I stopped working on my van and am now digging into everything you did/everything I could think of and no dice. I have a long cabinet up by the wire harness on the driver side but I made sure to screw it in only where my studs are mounted to the van. There is 1 wall I put up where like you mentioned nailed to the same side but as I said with the cabinet, I made sure to mark where my studs were. I have the cluster off right now and will check tomorrow with a volt meter to see if any power is going into it but I'm running out of ideas. Also, no codes on a scan tool.
 
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