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1992 b350 5.2 gauge problems
#773696 March 28th 2021 6:21 pm
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Bcleigh Offline OP
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Hello Vanners,
New to this forum and I’m stoked that I have my new to me ‘92 B350 project. Got a problem of course, 2 of my gauges aren’t functioning properly. Fuel gauge reads level properly, but doesn’t bottom out when I turn the ignition off, and the oil pressure gauge does the same thing. They seem to read correctly but but don’t go back down.
The temp gauge never moves. I replaced the one wire sensor, ( that was fun getting it out) but nothing.

Re: 1992 b350 5.2 gauge problems
Bcleigh #773835 March 30th 2021 11:42 am
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I think the gas gauge is meant to stay put. If you replaced the temperature sensor, that seems to point to the gauge itself?


1988 B250 Conversion Van
https://i.imgur.com/uQPPuqo.jpg
Re: 1992 b350 5.2 gauge problems
Bcleigh #773838 March 30th 2021 1:55 pm
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My 89, the gas gauge drops with ignition off.

If you disconnect the battery completely, does the gauge fall?

Oil pressure reads low, and is inaccurate, and readings are delayed about 45 seconds as to correlating to actual oil pressure. I T'd the line and installed a mechanical OP gauge 14 years ago as the stock gauge was alarming me. I've got plenty of oil pressure though.

The temp and gas gauge are expecting 5 volts from a regulator that converts it from 12.x+ volts DC. This ancient regulator design goes back to the 1930's. It is adjustable, but one would need an analog voltmeter with a needle, not a digital one.

Mine started acting haywire and temp and fuel gauges would read high and low swinging together.

I replaced it with a DC to DC converter as it was 8$ opposed to the 40$ for 1930's era tech.

I am not sure how different a 92 is from an 89, but the gauge cluster is pretty simple. There is one indexed round connector and corresponding pins on the backside of the cluster. One of these pins is for ground.

I resoldered all the pins, and made sure the ground pin was actually well grounded, I think it grounds at the base of the headlamps switch but cannot remember for sure

Your Gauge cluster might be screwed, but I'd check to see if the ground is good and all the connections back there are sound.

Get some Caig DeoXit D5. Use it on every electrical connector you open before reseating.

No other electrical contact cleaner comes even remotely close, but they are good for flushing out old crusty dielectric grease, as the Caig is too $$$ for that task.

I tried to look up the gauge voltage regulator on Rockauto, couldn't find it for your year or mine, though it was there in the past.

It is metal housing, about 1.5 inches long 1/2 inch wide with 3 legs which plugs into the back of the cluster.

Back when I had a flip phone and was on the limits of 2g coverage, it, seeking a tower could make my temp and fuel gauges rise and fall 20% rapidly, and would freak me out.

This is the dash regulator I have been employing for many years. I can access the adjustment screw. 5.5 volts will raise the fuel and temp gauges almost a full hatch mark over 5.0 volts.


https://www.amazon.com/Converter-DR...regulator&qid=1617126279&sr=8-27

Once in the many years since I installed it did I have to readjust it, as it had drifted up to 5.3v and my temp gauge started reading high. I installed a 3 decimal voltmeter temporarily so I could watch it. If my temp gauge ever starts reading higher than expected this is my first suspect.

Shine a light inside the connector on your one wire temp gauge connector. Mine recently was found to be growing a lot of pretty blue green corrosion.

Attached Files 20201211_190453.jpg
Re: 1992 b350 5.2 gauge problems
wrcsixeight #773864 March 31st 2021 10:33 am
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Wow thanx its so great to have someone who has the experience in these lovely old van. I haven't tried disconnecting the battery yet, I'll try that first and see if it resets. I took the cluster out and checked the copper traces and cleaned them carefully, did a continuity test and they all seemed pretty good. I ordered the Caig cleaner as I'm sure I can use it. I have older stereo receiver that has a dirty volume control,so it will come in handy. The round connector on the cluster looks clean but I will test it out. I'll just have to use my multi-meter properly to check voltage ohms etc

I'm pretty sure the 5v voltage regulator is part of the ecm in my '92, but Ill look at that as well. As I read about the vr, its pretty easy to see it on the back of the cluster, but I don't think there is one there. 99% of the electrical work that I have done on the van has been bad grounds. I know its possible that the cluster might be hooped but the van only has 159,000 kilometers and has bee fairly well taken care of before me.

I really appreciate the help and thank you again. I'll let you know how it goes.

Re: 1992 b350 5.2 gauge problems
wrcsixeight #773960 April 01st 2021 10:08 am
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I had some time to play around with the van yesterday and tried a few things that wrcsixeight suggested.

-disconnected the battery, put my foot on the brake to discharge whatever voltage was left, and the the gauges didn't fall
-took the cluster out and unhooked it, checked the voltage at the indexed round connector with the ignition to the start position, it fluctuated from 3-5volts, so seems I have voltage there. It was clean.
-checked the grounds from the round connector to the light switch-good, any other ground I could see in the area all came up fine.
-even though I have a 1992, I seem to have the older 1989 SMEC or single module engine controller not the pcm version wich should be on a 1992. I pulled the 60 way connector off and cleaned it as it wasn't seating very well.
-I pulled the 1 wire temp gauge sender out and tested it in hot water then cold tried to read the reading but didn't quite understand what ohms it should be, but it did move up and down. I'll have to read up more about how to set my multi meter. The sender had teflon tape on it and I removed that as I remember reading that teflon tape can adhere the sensor from grounding properly. The hole for the sensor looked pretty clean, but i cleaned up the area around it so it sits snugly in the hole. I haven't started the van to see if the temp gauge has come back or not as I ran out of time. The wire loom in there is pretty degraded so Ill have to wrap it before I start the van.

I'm going to try and do the error code sequence and see what comes up. I

Re: 1992 b350 5.2 gauge problems
Bcleigh #773961 April 01st 2021 10:29 am
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Before you rewrap it check for frayed wires, over heated wires or a wire that has rubbed thru the casing .... would be a drag to have to look for it after you rewrap it.


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Re: 1992 b350 5.2 gauge problems
frscke1 #773963 April 01st 2021 11:08 am
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Good point thanx

Re: 1992 b350 5.2 gauge problems
Bcleigh #773973 April 01st 2021 3:12 pm
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Well success! I now have the temp gauge working yippie! Took both sensors out, clean them, bench tested them and voila. Now just have to figure out what up with the fuel and oil pressure gauges.


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