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ANOTHER Rockridge4wd Creation!! Spare Tire Carrier Delete The Jeep Forum Discount is ON!The Original 3/8" Ruffstuff Diff Cover!

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Unread 07-02-2015, 06:18 AM   #1
unkajeffy
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Hey Que!! And Anybody Else

Has any one tried building up the printed circuit for the gauges with solder?

Will the plastic backing take the heat?

Its my last idea before I hardwire all the gauges because the only thing that doesn't intermittently fail is the clock. I have been all over it with a magnifying glass, cleaned it and greased it but still don't have good contact at the gauge/circuit interface.

Jeff

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Unread 07-02-2015, 07:44 AM   #2
StanF
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I've seen conductive paint used to repair those circuits. Standard solder would likely melt them. Look on youtube, and I bet you will find several videos on how to do it.

That being said, hard wiring them would probably be more reliable
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Unread 07-02-2015, 07:50 AM   #3
mike134
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you could certainly do it if you have a proper temperature controlled soldering iron and real lead solder and real solder flux. I use the weller WESD51, it is the standard model for people who do a lot of electronics. The PCB board was originally meant to take the heat, although it is pretty old so no guarantees that the traces will stay bonded.

Your options are to point to point wire or to try your soldering idea (and then point to point wire if you fail). Seems like the only thing left to do is to try it
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Unread 07-02-2015, 08:51 AM   #4
unkajeffy
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Thanks, guys. I have several quality soldering irons but no lead solder just 40/60 rosin core. I guess since it raining and I cant work outside at work I can shack up in the office and start making a harness. I don't want to screw-up the clock it the only reliable thing in the cluster right now. Although I suppose I can just keep pushing in on the gauges to get a good read.
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Unread 07-02-2015, 09:02 AM   #5
mike134
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40/60 is a lead solder. It is 40 percent tin and 60 percent lead. Kester 44 60/40 may be a bit better with 60 percent tin and 40 percent lead.

I just mention to use 'Real lead solder' because they try not to sell you solder with any lead these days. It is getting more difficult to find. The 60/40 (instead of 40/60) has a low melting point and solidifies really quickly after removing your soldering iron. 63/37 is best for PCB applications.

If you get the real flux, you can paint it onto the traces and then lay down your solder very quickly. You will have to wash the board with alcohol afterwards to get the flux off though.

You may just want to order up a spool of 63/37 to keep around for future work anyway.
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Unread 07-02-2015, 09:21 AM   #6
Que89YJ
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Go to the parts store and get a defroster repair kit. Are they all failing at the same time? What is the issue at the gauges? You should be able to remove and clean the contact area with a pencil eraser. Same thing at the connector.
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Unread 07-02-2015, 09:59 AM   #7
rustisexpected
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Why are you trying to repair the existing gauges? Is there a reason you have not just replaced them? I have a spare set with the clock in it, one of the needles is broken but you are more than welcome to have it for parts to rebuild what you have. Just pay the shipping.
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Unread 07-02-2015, 10:06 AM   #8
uhohthe50
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My power wire was burned up for my clock on my YJ and I ended up soldering in a small wire in place of it. Not the best solution but it is working fine for me so far. I wouldn't do it for my gauges though. I did one wire so it didn't take much heat. Like Que said, it would be better to get the defroster repair kit. I already had the cluster out because I was cleaning up the terminals and figured I would give it a try.

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Unread 07-02-2015, 12:30 PM   #9
unkajeffy
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Ok so this is what I did...But didn't take pics. I am a cheap bastage and didn't feel like replacing all the gauges and have been having issues with the voltmeter reading low and temp either pegging full out or not reading at all. The printed circuit is fine according to my meter but keeps corroding from the humidity in these here parts and causing issues. So today I pulled the cluster and removed the gauges. I then used fine emory cloth to clean all the contact points to shiny metal. The little plastic bridges got cleaned also. Then I flowed a thin coat of solder on all the contact areas which filled all the little dimples that were left from assembly/disassembly. I also used the solder to tin all the brass contacts on the bridges which turned green every six months. Then I shined it all up, re-installed and every thing works and reads good. No more getting paranoid and shoving the multi-meter into the lighter socket to make sure the alt. is still working. Went home for lunch and hit every bump I could find and still good to go, I guess we will see how long it lasts. If it fails again I will build a harness and hardwire it all. That plastic backing has a fairly high melting temp and stood up to the work well. So if you all develop a crack it's easy enough to bridge it over. Thanks every body, even Que who chimed in after I was balls deep into the repair. I have never heard of a defroster repair kit. I actually in the past made a cigarette lighter plug with two contacts so I wouldn't have to fish with the meter to check the Alt. Now I just need a new radio so I don't have to listen to all the tools jingling in the floor board.
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Unread 07-02-2015, 12:32 PM   #10
unkajeffy
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Oh yea, I also tinned all the contacts at the connector!
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Unread 07-02-2015, 12:40 PM   #11
mike134
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also, use dielectric grease on the disconnectable parts!

We sometimes use something called a "conformal coating" that is aerosol sprayed over handmade printed circuit boards to cover/protect the traces from short circuits and corrosion. It is 'required' for space hardware based on experience rather than based on actual written rules. It is becoming less common because it is now so cheap to just call up one of the small batch circuit board manufacturers that can add what they call 'solder mask' over top of all the traces.

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Unread 07-02-2015, 12:43 PM   #12
Que89YJ
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You should run a light coat of dielectric grease over the contact points. Any area that is not covered with some plastic to stop the corrosion should be covered with something.
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Unread 07-02-2015, 12:44 PM   #13
Que89YJ
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You beat me to it Mike!
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Unread 07-02-2015, 02:49 PM   #14
piotrsko
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I would add: clear coat of paint lightly over the entire back side. Not latex or water base but krylon or rustoleum. The solder SHOULDN'T corrode, but BTDT.
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Unread 07-02-2015, 04:45 PM   #15
Mywrangler94
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Que you beat me too it....lol However, would bet dollars to donuts that replacement ribbons are available.....just can't remember where... wish I could remember......anyone?.....
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