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Stepper Motor Replacement

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I need to replace the stepper motor for my speedometer. Is there a write-up here anywhere? I did a search and found lots of topics related to the issue but not a how-to. If not I'll be winging it and taking pictures and notes to post one.

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Stepper Motor Install Link

 

http://forums.trailvoy.com/showthread.php?t=48886

 

 

 

 

Updated instrument cluster stepper motor part # is X25 168

DEFECTIVE OEM stepper motor is # X C5 168

 

Materials:

1. One or more stepper motors.

2. Fine rosin core solder

 

Tools:

1. Desoldering tool. There are several types. Some are “suckers” that you use with a soldering iron to pull the solder out of the joint. The one I used is from Radio Shack for about $11. It is a 45 watt soldering iron with a hole in the tip and a rubber sucker bulb.

2. Soldering iron. About 25 watts is good for this job.

3. 7 mm nut driver or equivalent.

4. A small flat blade screwdriver.

5. A kitchen fork. (yes, details later).

 

Procedure:

1. Set the parking brake. If it doesn’t work, block a wheel.

2. Turn the key on and pull the shift down to “1”. Chime goes “ding ding …”

3. Pull the tilt wheel all the way down.

4. Pull off the dash bezel. It uses spring retainers so pull it straight back.

5. Take out the 4 screws (7 mm head) that hold the cluster in.

6. Work the cluster back. Release the electrical connector at the top back of the cluster by releasing the retainer. Unplug the connector.

7. Remove the cluster. It’s a bit of a squeeze between the top of the dash and the shroud thing on the steering, but it will come out without breaking anything. Honest.

8. Take the cluster to your clean, well lit work space. Plug in the desoldering tool and soldering iron to heat up.

9. Take the back off the (black) cluster by using your small screw driver releasing the lock tabs that hold it to the (white) frame part. You are now looking at the back of the cluster PC board.

10. Take off the front lens/bezel assembly. It has lock tabs at the top and bottom to hold it to the white part. The top ones are easy with a small screw driver. The bottom ones are a bit of a bitch. Mild cursing helps.

11. The PC board is now being held in by the gauge needles. You have to remove all the needles even if you are only working one stepper motor. The guy who sold me the stepper motor provided directions to get the needles back on pointed to the right reading but I got it wrong. More later.

12. Twist each needle a little counter clockwise to break the bond between the needle and the stepper motor. Use the kitchen fork to lift off the needle. No need for a 10 ton porta-power.

13. The circuit board will now come out. Be REALLY SURE you pull the stepper motor you want to replace. Maybe mark it with a Sharpie.

14. There are 4 pins that come out of the back of the stepper motor and are soldered into the PC board. Take your now hot desoldering tool, squeeze the bulb while NOT pointed at the PC board. (We want suck, not blow.) Melt the solder and suck it up. Repeat for each of the 4 pins.

15. The motor should now be easy to pull off.

16. Put the new motor in its place. There are locator pins. Make sure it is flush against the PC board.

17. Take your soldering iron. Make sure the tip is clean and tinned. Solder each pin to the PC board. Heat the board pad and the wire; then let those parts melt the solder. Don’t try to melt the solder on the iron then try to dab it in. That doesn’t work.

18. Examine your solder joints carefully. They should be smooth and shiny, flowed onto the pad and the wire.

19. Unplug your soldering iron and desoldering tool. If you are lucky they will cool off before you accidentally grab the wrong end of one.

20. Place the PC board back in the middle (white plastic) frame. Put the back cover on, press the retainers down until they lock.

21. Replace the instrument needles. The guy that sold me the stepper motor recommended pushing the needle on pointing at mid scale, then twisting to the bottom of the scale. Try it, but this didn’t work out for me; maybe I didn’t understand correctly. Hence:

22. DO NOT PUT THE FRONT LENS PART ON YET. More later.

23. Put the cluster (less the front lens) back in the truck, with the cable plugged in. Don’t put in the screws yet.

24. Start the truck. Oh, shyte, no start. Oh, I’m in first gear. Neutral safety switch. Put it in park and really start it this time. Watch the gauges come to life. In my case some were reading really whack.

25. Shut off the truck. For each gauge that is not reading bottom of scale, pull the needle off and put it back in pointing at bottom of scale. Repeat this step a few times until you have it all right.

26. NOW put the front lens back on your cluster. You can do this with the back part of the cluster in the dash. Push until the locks click.

27. Put back the 4 retaining screws and the dash bezel.

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A lawsuit was just settled with GM regarding the cluster stepper motors. I just received my check yesterday for $100. I had the dealer replace mine about a year ago. I received a full refund for the amount the dealer charged to replace mine. Check out speedometersettlement.com for the claim form.

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Finally got around to replacing the stepper motor. It was easier than I thought it would be. Followed the directions and had no problems at all. I can't believe GM pissed me off so bad over a $10 part and an hour of labor.

 

I'm guessing however that this is not the way they would fix it. I bet they just put a whole new cluster in. Probably with the same POS motors that would go out again.

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Just as a chip-in, I purchased 6 of these stepper motors from Ebay and installed them in my 2003 Tahoe cluster in about 20 minutes, including dash disassembly and reassembly. If you can use a soldering iron, you can do this, it is extremely easy. I didn't have any solder wick or a desoldering pump, so I used compressed air to blow the hot solder off the joints. If you lay down tape and mark the needles at full counter-clockwise travel, you won't have to have the cluster re-calibrated. Doing this fixed a really annoying speedo problem and also fixed a wonky gas gauge. I replaced all 6 because the motors were like $28.80 for all of them.

 

Thanks GM-TRUCKS.COM for the invaluable information. You saved me a lot of money, the goober dealership said they wouldn't cover my truck because it had over 70k miles. Needless to say, I won't be buying another vehicle from them!

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Thanks for the post. I've been asked by a friend to take a look at his 2005 Impala displaying symptoms of stepper motor failure. I'm guessing that the procedures are about the same for replacing the motors? Anyone know if it will be any different? Everything I've been reading says that the stepper motor numbers are the same. Thanks.

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I have an 04 chevy z71 with 120K on it. The gas gauge and the speedometer were acting up. I saw this thread and bought the stepper motors and soldered them in yesterday. I tested the instrument cluster and the gauges don't work. Any ideas? Sounded fairly simple to me to fix. I sure don't want to have to send the cluster off to be fixed. Can someone help?

 

I put the needles back on and then rotated counter clockwise to the marks I put on with tape. I noticed that the needles move freely upward as if it isn't engaging the gears in the stepper motors. This was done while the truck was idling.

 

Frustrating.

 

Thanks.

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I have a '98 pick up and the fuel gauge vib and never shows the correct level. Could it be the same thing or is it something only for newer models?

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Does any of the gauges work now? Did you just add one stepper motor or change all of them? To me it sounds like you need to check your solder joints on the motor(s) that you replaced. You could pull the motor(s) and check the cluster to make sure it still works and then resolder the motor(s) again.

 

I have an 04 chevy z71 with 120K on it. The gas gauge and the speedometer were acting up. I saw this thread and bought the stepper motors and soldered them in yesterday. I tested the instrument cluster and the gauges don't work. Any ideas? Sounded fairly simple to me to fix. I sure don't want to have to send the cluster off to be fixed. Can someone help?

 

I put the needles back on and then rotated counter clockwise to the marks I put on with tape. I noticed that the needles move freely upward as if it isn't engaging the gears in the stepper motors. This was done while the truck was idling.

 

Frustrating.

 

Thanks.

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Does any of the gauges work now? Did you just add one stepper motor or change all of them? To me it sounds like you need to check your solder joints on the motor(s) that you replaced. You could pull the motor(s) and check the cluster to make sure it still works and then resolder the motor(s) again.

 

I have an 04 chevy z71 with 120K on it. The gas gauge and the speedometer were acting up. I saw this thread and bought the stepper motors and soldered them in yesterday. I tested the instrument cluster and the gauges don't work. Any ideas? Sounded fairly simple to me to fix. I sure don't want to have to send the cluster off to be fixed. Can someone help?

 

I put the needles back on and then rotated counter clockwise to the marks I put on with tape. I noticed that the needles move freely upward as if it isn't engaging the gears in the stepper motors. This was done while the truck was idling.

 

Frustrating.

 

Thanks.

 

 

Thanks for the reply. I did replace all 6 motors. The speedo actually started skipping around as I was driving the truck around yesterday. Since that happened and because I have dash lights and the digital display at the bottom of the cluster, I guess it can't be any fuse or anything other than either the motors or the soldered spots. Given my solder expertise, It may be a solder problem and I think I will resolder the joints today. I will let you know if they work later today.

 

Thanks.

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Does any of the gauges work now? Did you just add one stepper motor or change all of them? To me it sounds like you need to check your solder joints on the motor(s) that you replaced. You could pull the motor(s) and check the cluster to make sure it still works and then resolder the motor(s) again.

 

I have an 04 chevy z71 with 120K on it. The gas gauge and the speedometer were acting up. I saw this thread and bought the stepper motors and soldered them in yesterday. I tested the instrument cluster and the gauges don't work. Any ideas? Sounded fairly simple to me to fix. I sure don't want to have to send the cluster off to be fixed. Can someone help?

 

I put the needles back on and then rotated counter clockwise to the marks I put on with tape. I noticed that the needles move freely upward as if it isn't engaging the gears in the stepper motors. This was done while the truck was idling.

 

Frustrating.

 

Thanks.

 

 

Thanks for the reply. I did replace all 6 motors. The speedo actually started skipping around as I was driving the truck around yesterday. Since that happened and because I have dash lights and the digital display at the bottom of the cluster, I guess it can't be any fuse or anything other than either the motors or the soldered spots. Given my solder expertise, It may be a solder problem and I think I will resolder the joints today. I will let you know if they work later today.

 

Thanks.

 

If your fuel gauge is acting up could just be your sending unit in the tank. It's part of the fuel pump. ABC auto had them about $100 cheaper than Autozone or Oreilly's. I've replaced mine twice in the 210k miles I've put on my 01.

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My cluster went completely dead. Sometimes when i wiggled the plug it would come on for a second. Anyways i found this guy that rebuilds the cluster completely for 125 and free shipping. I've had mine in for 2 months and works perfect. Heres the link:

 

www.gm-cluster-repair.weebly.com

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Logged into this forum toi let you guys know theat GM, specifically my Chevy dealership here in Cleveland Ohio is honoring the special extension of the warranty for the instrument cluster stepper motor issue...

Just started happening to my truck last week and now the speedo is pegged out and doesn't move.

On one of the forums, there is talk about an extra warranty and it is true. I will have to take the truck to them to verify the trouble and get the correct part number, then return for them to put the new instrument cluster in. All fort free, parts and labor are completely covered.

On a web site I found it talked about a mileage limitation, all work free till 70,000 miles and truck must have a vin inside a particular range. Apparently mine fits. Also, the site mentioned a limitation of 7 years from the date of service. I have a 2004 Silverado 2500 HD and they are doing it for free next week when the cluster comes in.

All of the info here and on other forums has been such a big help I thought I would share.

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My parents just had their 05's repaired under the ext warr. for free.

Edited by LeoS41280

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