Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
Joined
·
1,401 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
has this been posted before? i posted it on www.ultimatesubaru.org and thought it would be good to have a copy here.

i found this over on the legacy gt forum and thought it should be included here. i was impressed.

apparently the cause of the 99 speedo failure is a bad ground connection on the speedo circuit board. by adding a a wire to replace the bad connection the speedo will work again. and although you have to pull the speedo to fix it you do not have to remove the circuit board from the speedo. (EDIT: i've been looking at the pics and i'm not sure you can fix it with out removing the circuit board, FYI.)

the the blue "s" shaped wire is the fix, see the pics.





write up, not by original fixer:

So I just had this problem in a 99 Legacy Outback that I got and searched the internets and found the solution(at least to my particular problem). Here's a test, if your speedo isn't working and you push in the trip odometer and it starts working again(however briefly) then both of your speed sensors are just fine. The 99s seem to have a problem with a ground in the chipboard of the speedo unit itself. Here's how to fix it. Sorry for the lack of pictures but i'll try to describe it in detail.

Start by unhooking your negative battery terminal so you don't zap yourself and/or set of the airbag accidentally.

Remove the two screws at the top of the shroud covering the speedometer and the two at the bottom as well underneath the switches(fog lights cruise). Now the whole shroud should come off with a little persuasion and you can get your hand or fingers in there to pop off all the wiring harnesses to your different switches(cruise fog lights etc.) Remember where they are, or as I like to do, take a cell phone picture.

Now there are two more screws on the top and two more on the bottom holding your speedometer cluster in place. Remove all of those and wiggle your speedometer out a little bit. There are a total of 4 harnesses to disconnect, one on the top left, two on the top right, and one directly in the middle(the speedo "cable")

Take the whole cluster out and bring it inside to work on a table or something. Take the cluster apart by removing the plastic shield in front and unscrewing the 5 screws right behind the speedo head in the back of the board by where the speedo cables' harness was. When you get the whole speedo head out, pull off the chipboard and look at the middle pin of the 5 pins that the harness plugs into. It has a chipboard wire going a few mms to a soldering point called ground. This is the problem with your speedo. The 99s have a bad connection to that ground.

THIS IS REALLY EASY!!! all you have to do is take a small wire from anything and solder it to the middle pin and solder the other side to the ground. Voila. You're done! You just bypassed the bad connections on the board with your own wire and now it has constant ground and will be happy. Put everything back together the same way you pulled it apart and your speedometer will be eternally grateful.

I had never taken any part of my interior apart, and done VERY little soldering or dealing with chipboards before, and the entire process took me about an hour and a half.

hope this helps.

taglines: speedofix, 99speedofix
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I just bought a 1999 Outback with a intermittently working speedometer / odometer. I did this fix as described and it now works perfectly. Props to all who figured this out!
 

·
Registered
99 OBW 4EAT, getting built
Joined
·
417 Posts
****, a couple years ago my mom paid way too much for a new cluster because it stopped working. Cruise control still worked, just not the speedo. Of course, the new cluster had 0 miles on it so the mileage on the gauge is off by around 70k.

Too bad I didn't research it.
 

·
Registered
01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
Joined
·
1,401 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
****, a couple years ago my mom paid way too much for a new cluster because it stopped working. Cruise control still worked, just not the speedo. Of course, the new cluster had 0 miles on it so the mileage on the gauge is off by around 70k.

Too bad I didn't research it.
the odo for the 90 - 99 cars are pretty easy to change adjust.
if the speedo change, odo error has not been cataloged, noted, registered with the government or the dealer,
you can reset the odo to very close to what is missing.

i bought a 95 lego in 00 w/ 75k miles.
the mileage was never recorded anywhere until i sold it in 2012.
so chances are pretty good you can reset the odo to the accurate mileage with out it showing up on the car fax.
unless you had the dealer do it.

run a car fax and see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
The real fix

I did the procedure in this post on my 99 Legacy Outback and it worked for a while but went back to intermittent. I decided to visit thread where I got jumper fix, (not this one), and there was an update to the fix which is much easier and simpler. I have included the link to the post and can tell you this is the REAL FIX and hopefully this will spread around so people can do it right and do it once. Thanks and all the best.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/770913-post16.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I did the original wire addition fix, but noticed the same "circle" of cracked solder mentioned in what the previous poster calls the "real fix", and resoldered it while I was at it.

The wire addition fix can't hurt as it bridges across the problem soldered jumper. I am not convinced that the failure is caused by too little solder -- what I saw looks to be heat related -- caused by too small a trace on the board at the point being soldered causing the solder to heat up and eventually crack.

So, even with resoldering the cracked solder point on the board, the additional wire may help it from recurring by reducing the resistance of this path (by adding the additional wire, it's creating another duplicate path as the trace that seems to be heating up at the solder point -- this should reduce or eliminate that "hot spot").

My suggestion is to do both "fixes" and you'll probably have a permanent fix.
 

·
Registered
1999 Legacy Outback
Joined
·
173 Posts
My suggestion is to do both "fixes" and you'll probably have a permanent fix.
I also did both fixes when I repaired my speedo last month. It only takes a few minutes to do both once you have it apart.

I'd much rather go overboard with the repair than have to pull my dash apart again.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top