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Some episodes from the life of my 480

Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:07 am
by Van
When I purchased my car it was almost pink, the typical red wear. As you can see on this picture, particularly the bonnet and roof looked bad.

Close up of the pale roof. With Meguiars Scratch X I hand polished the entire car. I lost count of how many hours.

But as you can see hard work pays of, left part untreated, right after polishing with Scratch X.

Scratch X is only the first step. Next come STEP 1 - Deep Crystal Paint Cleaner, STEP 2 – Deep Crystal Polish and STEP 3 - Deep Crystal Carnauba Wax. The three step system gives the most result to your effort. This is how it makes the bonnet shine.

Take a good look at this's upside down. That's just how good the roof is with three layers of Carnauba Wax.

The Carnauba Wax will last for several months. After two years, the deep red has become a little pale now. Recently I did the roof again, a mild treatment with Scratch X and the three Deep Crystal steps will bring back the deep gloss.


I have a '95 2.0 ES. Last night my speedo stopped working. I noticed also the odometer and the AVG speed on the computer stopped. This indicates to me they get no signal from the sensor.

This is the first time it happens. But very occasionally, like 3 to 5 times in 2.5 years, my computer display in the dashboard would not show up immediately after start up but only later, or after banging on the dash.

There are a lot of posts about this subject pointing to checking and replacing the sensor and checking/re soldering joints on the dashboard.

Is there an electric value to be checked on the sensor?

Is there a guide to be found on opening the dashboard?

Wish me luck...

Posted: Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:00 pm
by Van
Today I jacked up the car and removed the right front wheel to check out the sensor as it is described in this thread at this forum that I am not allowed to link to -talk about paranoid. At least that's what I wanted to do. Well I was unable to reach it because of a heat shield between the exhaust and drive shaft and there was something in front of it to. I even was unable to maneuver my camera so that I could take a decent photo. All I have is an indication of the housing where the sensor is at and I was unable to see the wires.

Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:33 am
by Van
owen080808 wrote:ahoy there! despair not.

in this pic, you can see the driveshaft, and directly above it a wire/cable exits the gearbox. this is the speedo sensor. its held in by the hex bolt and little z shaped bracket you can see above it in the pic. i think the hex key is 6mm in size from memory, but i could be wrong :D


the volvo part no: for a new sensor is 3413744 mine cost £31.49 (inc. VAT). its probably worth checking that its seated securely, and that the connections behind the speedo unit in the dash are ok (as per many other forum threads) before shelling out for new one.

Also in the picture you can see the 2 ends of the turbo oil return, the centre section of which i had removed, but you shouldn't have to with no turbo, also, be sure to remember and disconnect the battery while working there, its very easy to cause some big sparks by touching the starter terminals with tools ;)

Good luck!
Thanks owen. In the weekend maybe I find time to disassemble the dashboard.

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:48 pm
by Van
glasgowjim wrote:Heat shield is held on by two 10 mm bolts. These can be accessed from above. The single 6 mm allen key bolt which holds on the speedo sensor can be accessed from the passenger side , the trick to sorting it out quickly and relatively easily is to use a small mirror and torch to locate the allen key in the bolt head. It is not so bad a job after that just requires patience. Now done two - one took just under 45 mins the other I started one day and finished the next.
Thanks Jim.

Today I checked the dashboard circuit board. Couldn't find anything wrong. Connectors sat firm. Checked all soldering points from the connectors following the track to the next soldering point and all measured ok.
Same for the trip computer circuit board.

From the grey connector two leads go to the speedo, I checked those for current while driving but nothing at all.

So I guess the next steps has to be replacing the sensor. I suppose on a ramp this can be easily accessed?

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:09 am
by Van
Today while I was actually on my way to a Volvo Service to order a sensor suddenly I noticed the trip counter had moved. I showed 1.1 km. Next I saw the speedo indicating my speed! Maybe since a ran over a railroad crossing pretty wild just before...?
So I thought it would not be the sensor then but some intermittent connection. While returning home at three moments the speedo needle dropped and came back again, without hitting any bumps in the road.
When I find time I will try Jim's method of accessing the sensor and check the cable.

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:43 pm
by Van
This morning I noticed how the trip counter had slightly moved. Not the speedo, just that the counter went to 100 meters. It didn't move visible. When I pressed the reset button, things started working again. So apparently it is a bad connection in or directly at the dashboard. Could it be in the actual speedometer unit?

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 8:13 am
by Van
glasgowjim wrote:Could be but its a pity that you are not in the glasgow area as you could swop over the speedos with a spare I have. Its actually a very easy job as is taking out the dashboard which is a 5 minute job.
Thanks for your kind words Jim. Yesterday on my first drive I managed to keep it going by banging on the dash when it stopped. So it has to be in there. Now I will go look for it, clean connections and hope to get it working, even when I have no real idea what to look for.

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:20 am
by Van
My display unit is held together with torx screws and they go bad very rapidly. I had a lot of trouble opening it again. So I now used some ordinary screws on it.

Torx or not, I couldn't find anything. I cleaned connections, measured connections and tipped soldering points at connections. No luck.

Then I went out for a 'new' instrument panel. There's a Volvo scrap nearby but he had only 'wrong' units. I tried a Volvo specialist also nearby and the guy came up with a unit with grey and green connectors for €75,-

The extra circuit board at the back was missing but I moved the one from my original unit to the 'new'. So problem solved you think? Errr, nope. No speedo and no info display. Took it all out mounted the circuit board again and another try. Well still no display and some erratically movements from the speedo needle.

I assume now my circuit board is bad and/or this quiet old display unit -it had the old thick fonts and graphics and inscription 89- is not compatible with '95 cars.

Luckily I was able to return the unit and have my €75,- refunded.

So next wil be on the outlook for a recent dispay unit with the circuit board.

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:32 am
by Van
This week the situation is that the speedo will come alive spontaneous or after resetting the trip counter. Knocking on front of the instruments does it too but less effective.
Maybe, it is a bad connection and slightly bettered from touching it with the soldering iron, but not yet enough.
However the speedo is indicating too low speeds. In rest the needle sits much lower as before so apparently that is the cause.

Curiously, the rev counter is also displaying way to low revs since the weekend. I know my V1000 isn't 44 km/h. There are three screws at the back that look like they could adjust it but I didn't touch them.

Anybody here knows about adjusting the rev counter?

Next step will be trying to adjust the speedo needle and again touching the soldering points.

Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 10:02 am
by Van
Last night I did my final approach. Took out the display unit, and disassembled the pcb and speedo. I touched all solder joints where connections are, and two different looking ones on the VDO chip at the speedo. I heated them and added a little fresh tin.

Then I lined up the speedo and rev counter needles. They are on a little spindle and when moved to the ends they can rotate a little on that spindle. I turned the speedo needle to the right end and so much that is was lined up with the 220 km/h reading.
The rev needle I moved left and matching the 0 rpm reading.

But was I right with my assumption it could be a bad connection in the speedo? I put the unit in and accelerated down the drive. Because the dash was taken apart I had no light switch and couldn't go out because it was dark. The speedo needle moved!

But it worked before when the panel was 'warmed' and it certainly was warm coming from the house. Would it still work in the cold of the morning?
Yes it did! I went out for the weekend shopping this morning and it worked and kept working.

Not just that, the speedo now reads spot on exactly the right speed. 50 = 50, 60 = 60, 70 = 70, 80 = 80, 100 = 100 and 120 = 120 (national speed limits). I checked it with the avg speed function from the computer. My avg speed is as accurate as I can measure. That's a very lucky side effect of this operation, I never understood why speedometers have to give exaggerated readings.

Judging from the official Dutch manual that says the V1000 is 38.6 km/h I may be pretty close with the rev counter, but need to look again.

In the end, I can't tell for sure which connection it is that was bad. Maybe the white cable with the blue connector coming from the main pcb. Or could it have been a solder joint on the VDO chip? At least, I am happy it works, and hope it will stay that way.

Thanks Jim for your support, it really helped me.

Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:07 pm
by Van
Well this morning the speedo didn't work immediately, only after a few kilometers probably when the panel got warmer :badmood:

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 7:46 pm
by Van
The same for the last few days, after the first kilometers it's working. But I discovered making a sharp right bend let it stop for a little while.

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:59 pm
by Van
eEm wrote:Hello mate,

I had the same problem with my 95' celeb. Actually when I got the car the speedo hadn't worked for about two years and that was the third info cluster that had been fitted under warranty by Volvo!

I resoldered all the joins on the circuitboards in the instrument cluster and everything worked fine for about six weeks.

Then back to square-one! Although a sharp tap to the side of the dash usually got her going again.

You may have noticed that the two large bundles of wires that attach tot he back of the instrument cluster only have clips on the bottom but not the tops of the connectors?

I assume that everytime you hit a bump they work loose again because they're not anchored at the top.

I stuck cubes of packing foam to the backs of both connectors so that when the info display is screwed back in to the dash they are forced to keep contact.

I haven't had a single problem with the info centre or speedo since.

Worth a try.

Regards Ian
Thanks Ian. It stopped working entirely now. I got my hands on a workshop manual and a service bulletin and it says to re solder the connections from the speedo to the main pcb. I will try tomorrow.

Also I'll try to find which cable is for the speedo, and make an extra wire I can connect to a volt meter.

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2007 8:45 pm
by Van
Soldered the blue connector, it worked fine, made a testdrive and it collapsed again. Soldered again and an extra cable to make electronic measurements. It works, still works today. Nothing much to measure from the cable though.

I think the blue connector had bad tin and maybe a bad path on the pcb. If it breaks again I will make a bridge to the next soldering point from that connection.

Posted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 1:21 pm
by Van
When you remove the tachometer from the unit, you'll see the blue connector

on the other side of which are the soldered joints
from left to right you read +15, A, G+, G- and | for mass.

G+ and G- on the grey flatcable with blue connector go to pins 6 and 12 of the grey connector on the main pcb.
These come from the sensor.

Most likely the G+ soldering and/or circuit is bad. G- is backed by | mass. If mine stops again -and I hope not- I will solder a small lead from G+ and G- to the other end of the circuit. This is not seen on the photo but there's a flat cable at the other end connecting the left pcb with the right pcb. These small pcbs are left and right of the actual speedometer. I want to make a bridge then from that flat cable to the blue connector. The flat cable is hard to reach because surrounded by the plastic housing of the speedometer. I did not find a way to disassemble the two small pcbs from the speedo.

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:03 pm
by Van
eEm wrote:Trust me guys!

I take it that the speedo works ok for a while when you put it all back together again?

Do you see what I mean about the clips on the two connectors on the back of the instrument cluster? Next time you go for a drive push the whole unit back in to the dash and if the speedo works when you do this its all about packing the backs of the connectors!!

Believe me I thought they were tight but the way the clips are designed means they can work loose.
Speedo worked fine until yesterday. I tried firmly pressing on the cover and brought it back. Same today. Maybe eEm is correct.

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 9:09 pm
by Van
I've put a piece of Styrofoam at the back of the connector to press it into place but this makes no difference. I still have to "push the speedo on" from a cold start. So next will be bridging the blue connector.

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:09 pm
by Van
While I was out for work tonight the speedo started acting up seriously. The needle literally was dancing. Then the thing collapsed. Only when pressing continuous on the Plexiglas cover it would work. Not very suitable for driving. Also very inconvenient because I have to declare my mileage.

At home I took it out and bridged the G+ connection from the grey connector to the second pcb in the speedo. A short move down the drive showed it worked. But the info center did not. I had this before and taking of the plastic and the print and putting it back would bring back life in it. Not this time.

I was running out of time and decided to put things together, without info but with speedo. When I tried the speedo had stopped to. Can things get more worse? :cryhard:

So tomorrow morning on the road with no speedo and no info.
My next step is bridging the G- connection. It don't look good but I thought it was not important because it is equivalent to mass.

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:09 pm
by Van
A 480 specialist told me the problem is caused by the connection from the pins to the print. I have made a wire from the pcb to the wires at the back of the dash. It's been working ok for 2 or 3 weeks now.

Posted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:53 pm
by Van
Two weeks ago the speedo stopped working again. A few hiccups, that was it. I thought my bypass might be the cause, rather fragile end of wire, so I replaced the first end coming from the cable at the back of the dash. Speedo was working again.

Until last Wednesday. After a night out on the drive back home the needle went down again after leaving the underground parking. Nice coming home :cryhard:

Then I replaced the other end of my bypass, going to the main PCB. It measured ok but I had to do something. Didn't feel though I found the course. Anyway speedo back alive.

Then Sunday for a brief moment the needle went down and came back. I knew I didn't have to wait long for it to stop working again. So yesterday it did. Tomorrow of course it was alive when I drove the car out of the garage. For the twentieth time or so I disassembled the dash. I couldn't find anything wrong. Wiggling the cables made no difference. I touched the connection on the actual speedometer for sure but I don't know any further.
My impression is a bad solder joint, needle dropping and coming back, speedo stopping and working again next day. Hard to find then.