A 20 year old car, with many faults!

Virus101

New Member
May 3, 2020
5
0
1
28
Texas
New to the forums but needed some help and after searching google for answers, I haven't had much luck coming up with a solution for my specific problems. A little background on the car though in case it may help.

Bought the car a few years ago. Motor in it was bad. The previous owner started to take it apart, but gave up after removing one of the valve covers and loosening the intake. Ended up just replacing the motor with one from an 03. Which was an ordeal in itself. Had to change the flywheel and clutch because i have the t-45 transmission and 01+ had the tr3650. And not only did I pay the shop for the motor swap, but also had to pay them to do a head gasket job because it smoked like crazy when they hooked everything back up. But never the less, it needed tires bad. Sat for a bit, fuel pump went out. Searched these forums and other sites for possible causes and ended up ordering one from rockauto. I was sure it was the pump but wasn't 100%, even after testing other areas, like the switch in the trunk and etc. Sat for another month or so and car would not start.. ended up after more testing, bought one from a parts store (where I work) and fired right up. Also cleaned the tank, new fuel, new filter, etc. Figured that's what I get for buying a cheap one in the first place. The car itself is shy of 200k miles. Has aftermarket ignition coils, mishimoto radiator, which is sadly leaking and needs to be replaced, and it came with the car so no warranty. Other than that, its stock otherwise. Got tires for it and have been driving here and there this last week or so. (Still needs a bit of suspension work and a alignment) It has many issues but for right now, I just want to focus on a few.

As far as I'm aware, it hasn't been wrecked. The front and rear bumper are cracked on the drivers side, like they bumped into something, rear driver side wheel well is scuffed some as if they rubbed up against a hard surface, and the passenger door is dented/damaged where the body of the and passenger side fender come together. (Not physically though) Looks like previous owner? attempted to fix these areas, but did a poor job at it. Still has a clean title though..

Only thing I've done to it since I bought the car, at least personally, is some suspension work (Outer Tie Rods, Lower Ball Joints). Has some SR performance lower springs, and a K&N Cold air intake kit( which was a PITA to install) Other than that, just been some body work here and there, and some TLC. Needs more suspension work cause the car feels "floaty" if that makes sense.

Sorry for the long post, just trying to give as much info as I think could help. Ever since I started driving the car and/or turning it on before I was actually driving it, the instrument cluster would be real slow to turn on. Like a good 10 seconds or so before the odometer would turn on, and the gauges moved. Now, all the gauges, from what I can tell work. ( Reason I say that is because the coolant temp gauge takes a long time to move...due to the aftermarket radiator I suppose?) All the lights underneath the gauges, traction control, MIL, ABS etc. do not light up, even when you put key into the run position. The theft light works and will blink a few times and light up like normal before it turns off, same with the battery light if you stall the car out. When looking for my fuel pump related issue, I noted in CJB under the driver side dash, fuse #5 or F2.5 depending on which diagram your looking at, was blown. Replaced with another 15a fuse and lights worked like normal. Went to start it up and back to the original issue. Fuse was blown again. Replaced it again. Same thing. Headlight switch, and dash illumination works. I do not have the rear defroster switch plugged in, nor the fog light switch. ( Thought the fog light switch was bad and took it apart and now I cant get it back together lol) I decided to do a double din install and was going to relocate both switches to under the radio. Though, I learned that the defroster switch is a pain to relocate because later models had a separate relay and mine doesn't, or something like that. I broke my cluster bezel piece when trying to figure out the instrument cluster bezel and in my haste at the locale salvage yard to get a new one, I didn't notice the replacement did not have the cut out for the defroster switch. Which is why its not plugged in. Cant find the fog light switch (the one that's mounted next to the E-Brake and coin holder) and its been discontinued by ford...go figure.

The other issue is I have the mach 460 sound system, and no sound from the left side of the car. The car does have an aftermarket unit in it. Was in the car when I bought it. If I move the unit itself, it does change the sound on the right side some, but nothing from the left. I thought at first it was my aux cord causing the issue, but even the radio does the same thing. I have taken the radio out, when I was figuring out the double din conversion, and there was only one plug going to the radio and then the cable for the antenna as well. I could have sworn that both sides where working at one point. Maybe I pinched something off?

As far as I can remember, the instrument cluster was acting up well before I took the radio out, but maybe its related somehow? Can take pictures of the connector and all the radio wiring someone did later if needed. Other than that, there are other things Ill address at some point. Some i can figure out by searching others ill need a bit of help, like the starter making noise on startup. Sorry for the long post. Most of this is probably not needed, but ive read other post about similar issues and people asking if the car was in a wreck or if it had an aftermarket head unit etc. Just wanted to be as thorough as I can, or I feel as I need to be. Could go on about other quirks this car in particular but that's for another day.

Any help would be appreciated. And i'll try keeping the posts shorter next time. :)
 
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wmburns

SN Certified Technician
Aug 14, 2009
5,849
505
204
Houston Texas
Fuse F2.5 is for the cluster and the traction control switch. Obviously a problem in the traction control switch could cause a blown fuse.

Here's some information that might help.

My odometer goes on and off?
 

Virus101

New Member
May 3, 2020
5
0
1
28
Texas
Raining right now where I live but will check that out once it stops and update with what I find. Thanks!
 

Virus101

New Member
May 3, 2020
5
0
1
28
Texas
20200504_094819.jpg
What the back of the radio actually has connected to it, minus the antenna cable.
20200504_095828.jpg
Extra cables that aren't hooked up to anything at the moment. Not sure if they are needed, but figured I would include them just in case.
20200504_095847.jpg
how the previous owner appears to have connected each wire. Now, upon further testing, I tried following the black cables, but they are covered in sleeves and conduit material so its hard to keep track of where they go. If I move the head unit itself, the sound seems to come back at times, but it really has to be in a certain spot for it to come back, so I'm thinking some loose wires somewhere? The group of wires on the right (the lighter colored ones) if I squeeze them tight, I get sound back mostly, but if i move them, I lose it.

As for the cluster, There was a black wire with a green stripe going from the CJB under the dash up to what looks like somewhere behind the cluster. Haven't taken the cluster out just yet to see if that is anything. But from where it was connected at the CJB, the connection looked clean. So that one I'm still looking into. Figured I would tackle one problem at a time.
 

Virus101

New Member
May 3, 2020
5
0
1
28
Texas
Update #2
As a side note, im no wiz when it comes to electrical systems...so if I say some dumb stuff, dont mind me. lol
20200506_182510.jpg
Took apart the cluster and side that wire on the left side, was much darker than the rest.
20200506_182518.jpg
Sorry for the bad picture, camera wouldn't focus right. Following that wire to the board there is like solder piece coming out of the opposite side of where the wire connects. Those pieces I would think make contact with the other end of the board in this picture below?
20200506_182557.jpg
If that's true, could the wire that looks a little burnt and that solder point (if that's what its called) being bent/melted coming from that wire be the cause of the fuse constantly blowing? Like its shorting it out. If so, is there anyway to fix that? I know I just cant go to my local salvage yard and get a new one(provided its not bad) and replace it and call it a day. Though, could I salvage that ribbon cable some how from another unit and swap it?

Like I said, I dont know the technical terms for everything but I do have a solder gun, and one of those torches with the soldering tip if they can be used. Hopefully someone will understand what Im trying to say. Never taken a cluster apart that needed to be possibly repaired.
 

wmburns

SN Certified Technician
Aug 14, 2009
5,849
505
204
Houston Texas
IMO you would be soooooooooooo much wiser and happier if you were to find someone that will perform a "bench repair" of your cluster. Google is your friend. I have used "United Speedometer and Electrical" with good results. Get the job done by someone who does it everyday. Plus get a guarantee.
 

Virus101

New Member
May 3, 2020
5
0
1
28
Texas
Yeah, ill probably look into that personally. But did manage to fix my speakers not playing on one side. Took that harness out the previous owner did a terrible job putting together, and redid all the connections. That 8 pin square connector's pins were a little loose to begin with, but when I put everything back in, I made sure to to keep the actual pins from moving. Needless to say, the audio works.

Planning on doing a double din conversion at some point, but I think right now im going to wait a bit since its working lol. Though, I will order a new harness when I get around to doing the conversion for obvious reasons. Thanks for the help!
 

Cobra262

New Member
Mar 30, 2020
2
0
1
55
Silicon Valley
New to the forums but needed some help and after searching google for answers, I haven't had much luck coming up with a solution for my specific problems. A little background on the car though in case it may help.

Bought the car a few years ago. Motor in it was bad. The previous owner started to take it apart, but gave up after removing one of the valve covers and loosening the intake. Ended up just replacing the motor with one from an 03. Which was an ordeal in itself. Had to change the flywheel and clutch because i have the t-45 transmission and 01+ had the tr3650. And not only did I pay the shop for the motor swap, but also had to pay them to do a head gasket job because it smoked like crazy when they hooked everything back up. But never the less, it needed tires bad. Sat for a bit, fuel pump went out. Searched these forums and other sites for possible causes and ended up ordering one from rockauto. I was sure it was the pump but wasn't 100%, even after testing other areas, like the switch in the trunk and etc. Sat for another month or so and car would not start.. ended up after more testing, bought one from a parts store (where I work) and fired right up. Also cleaned the tank, new fuel, new filter, etc. Figured that's what I get for buying a cheap one in the first place. The car itself is shy of 200k miles. Has aftermarket ignition coils, mishimoto radiator, which is sadly leaking and needs to be replaced, and it came with the car so no warranty. Other than that, its stock otherwise. Got tires for it and have been driving here and there this last week or so. (Still needs a bit of suspension work and a alignment) It has many issues but for right now, I just want to focus on a few.

As far as I'm aware, it hasn't been wrecked. The front and rear bumper are cracked on the drivers side, like they bumped into something, rear driver side wheel well is scuffed some as if they rubbed up against a hard surface, and the passenger door is dented/damaged where the body of the and passenger side fender come together. (Not physically though) Looks like previous owner? attempted to fix these areas, but did a poor job at it. Still has a clean title though..

Only thing I've done to it since I bought the car, at least personally, is some suspension work (Outer Tie Rods, Lower Ball Joints). Has some SR performance lower springs, and a K&N Cold air intake kit( which was a PITA to install) Other than that, just been some body work here and there, and some TLC. Needs more suspension work cause the car feels "floaty" if that makes sense.

Sorry for the long post, just trying to give as much info as I think could help. Ever since I started driving the car and/or turning it on before I was actually driving it, the instrument cluster would be real slow to turn on. Like a good 10 seconds or so before the odometer would turn on, and the gauges moved. Now, all the gauges, from what I can tell work. ( Reason I say that is because the coolant temp gauge takes a long time to move...due to the aftermarket radiator I suppose?) All the lights underneath the gauges, traction control, MIL, ABS etc. do not light up, even when you put key into the run position. The theft light works and will blink a few times and light up like normal before it turns off, same with the battery light if you stall the car out. When looking for my fuel pump related issue, I noted in CJB under the driver side dash, fuse #5 or F2.5 depending on which diagram your looking at, was blown. Replaced with another 15a fuse and lights worked like normal. Went to start it up and back to the original issue. Fuse was blown again. Replaced it again. Same thing. Headlight switch, and dash illumination works. I do not have the rear defroster switch plugged in, nor the fog light switch. ( Thought the fog light switch was bad and took it apart and now I cant get it back together lol) I decided to do a double din install and was going to relocate both switches to under the radio. Though, I learned that the defroster switch is a pain to relocate because later models had a separate relay and mine doesn't, or something like that. I broke my cluster bezel piece when trying to figure out the instrument cluster bezel and in my haste at the locale salvage yard to get a new one, I didn't notice the replacement did not have the cut out for the defroster switch. Which is why its not plugged in. Cant find the fog light switch (the one that's mounted next to the E-Brake and coin holder) and its been discontinued by ford...go figure.

The other issue is I have the mach 460 sound system, and no sound from the left side of the car. The car does have an aftermarket unit in it. Was in the car when I bought it. If I move the unit itself, it does change the sound on the right side some, but nothing from the left. I thought at first it was my aux cord causing the issue, but even the radio does the same thing. I have taken the radio out, when I was figuring out the double din conversion, and there was only one plug going to the radio and then the cable for the antenna as well. I could have sworn that both sides where working at one point. Maybe I pinched something off?

As far as I can remember, the instrument cluster was acting up well before I took the radio out, but maybe its related somehow? Can take pictures of the connector and all the radio wiring someone did later if needed. Other than that, there are other things Ill address at some point. Some i can figure out by searching others ill need a bit of help, like the starter making noise on startup. Sorry for the long post. Most of this is probably not needed, but ive read other post about similar issues and people asking if the car was in a wreck or if it had an aftermarket head unit etc. Just wanted to be as thorough as I can, or I feel as I need to be. Could go on about other quirks this car in particular but that's for another day.

Any help would be appreciated. And i'll try keeping the posts shorter next time. :)

"The other issue is I have the mach 460 sound system, and no sound from the left side of the car. The car does have an aftermarket unit in it. Was in the car when I bought it. If I move the unit itself, it does change the sound on the right side some, but nothing from the left. I thought at first it was my aux cord causing the issue, but even the radio does the same thing. I have taken the radio out, when I was figuring out the double din conversion, and there was only one plug going to the radio and then the cable for the antenna as well. I could have sworn that both sides where working at one point. Maybe I pinched something off? "

I recently bought 1998 SVT Cobra and decided to replace the factory unit with a Pioneer from Crutchfield. I had exactly the same issue. Apparently, it is a known problem with an easy fix. The adapter plug for the speakers that connects the car wires to radio wires is too long and plug does not go in all the way. You need to shave off the top part of the adapter harness that came with the aftermarket unit. After this minor mods, the radio works great.

The extra wires coming from the car is for the CD unit that comes with the original radio. Also as another member noted, you will need to plug in the antenna if you want to play the radio (FM/AM).
 

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