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1989 Lincoln Town Car dash gauge issue

kevin_pianoman

Junior Member
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Hi everyone! I am getting ready to purchase a 1989 Lincoln Town Car signature series. It has the digital dash cluster. The speedometer and fuel gauge work just fine, but the message center that displays the MPG, clock, etc... is a blank screen. Nothing shows up on it at all. Any help would be nice. Thanks.
 

Town

Senior Member
4,400
133
63
Ottawa Ontario Canada
The 1989 model has 3 vacuum fluorescent displays controlled by a module. If one of the displays fails, the right side one in your case, then I think the whole instrument cluster must be replaced. The 3 displays should prove-out by lighting all segments when the ign is switched on and then going blank before lighting in normal mode. The electronic instrument cluster is not serviceable, but there may be a service center that could repair it and make the odometer reading same as original.

You may want to see if you can get another instrument cluster, or look for another car. I don't think there are any electronic restrictions on replacing the instrument cluster, but the odometer reading may be a legal issue.

Good luck.
 

kevin_pianoman

Junior Member
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So, I bought the Lincoln last night. Fuel gauge works, Speedometer works, Message center doesn't. Just a black screen. The chime in the car is also very faint. You can hardly hear it. You still think I have to replace the digital cluster, or is it something else?
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kevin_pianoman

Junior Member
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So, I bought the Lincoln last night. Fuel gauge works, Speedometer works, Message center doesn't. Just a black screen. The chime in the car is also very faint. You can hardly hear it. You still think I have to replace the digital cluster, or is it something else?
 

Town

Senior Member
4,400
133
63
Ottawa Ontario Canada
Yes, I think the instrument cluster needs to be replaced in order to see the message center display. The 3 vacuum fluorescent displays are powered by an internal power supply and controlled by a module. These components are not serviceable according to Ford. If one display fails then the whole instrument cluster needs to be replaced or serviced by a specialty repair shop that your dealer may be able to help with.

There are lots of people who have repaired circuit boards on electronic modules such as LCM and EATC. So I cannot preclude a knowledgeable user repair.

Good luck.
 

kevin_pianoman

Junior Member
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I was at the salvage yard today and found a digital dash, but they were closing and said I didn't have enough time to get it today. I will go back on Monday. I have also heard from somebody that these digital dashes have a logic module under the dash and if that goes bad the message center will go out. They also said that the door chime will get very soft. Mine is doing this. You can hardly hear it. None of the buttons work. I would think at least the button that changes the speedometer from MPH to KM would work, but it doesn't. The speedometer works fine, but it won't change from MPH to KM. Let me know what everyone thinks before I start tearing this dash all apart. Hahahaha!!
 

Town

Senior Member
4,400
133
63
Ottawa Ontario Canada
There is a message center switch module that responds to the message center buttons on the dash. It may be located behind the instrument cluster (on later models at least), but the problem (of changing between E/M) could also be in the switch operated by the button. I don't think that this module will affect the message center display itself just what info is displayed. There are usually warning displays that are not controlled by the message center switch module for the right display, and these should power up for key-on prove out.

The earlier Town Cars had a warning chime module located on a bracket on the right hand side of the steering column above the accelerator pedal. Usually it has one connector with many wires. Later models used the Lighting Control Module (LCM) for this function, but I have never heard of the Instrument Cluster or the message center switch module controlling the warning chimes.

Do you know if the electronic instrument cluster (digital dash) is working on the salvage yard car?

Good luck.
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kevin_pianoman

Junior Member
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I don't know for sure. The salvage yard doesn't have a key to that car so, we can't test it. They said if it doesn't work I can bring it back. I'm sorry for all the questions. Haha... One thing that I don't quite understand is if the florescent is blown in the message display why does the high beam indicator and turn signal indicator work on that screen? Is there separate bulbs for those? Heading out to the salvage yard now.
 

Town

Senior Member
4,400
133
63
Ottawa Ontario Canada
In the 1992 model the left and right turn indicators are in the center display with the high beam indicator and are vacuum fluorescent like the rest of the display. It is surprising that they are in the right display on a 1991 model, must be dis-orienting for the driver.

Good luck.
 

kevin_pianoman

Junior Member
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I just wanted to let everyone know I have been working on the car for the past two days and can finally say the digital dash is ALL working, including the message center. It was not the cluster. My cluster was fine. The message center module underneath the dash was bad. I went to the junk yard today and found a couple of these "brains" and replaced it with mine and the message center display started working just as it should. Thanks for all the help.
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kevin_pianoman

Junior Member
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Also, what I meant about the turn signal indicators is one is on the message center display screen for the right side and the left one is on the fuel gauge screen. They aren't both on the same screen. Also, I found that the little light bulb was blown for the right turn signal. Sorry if I confused anyone. Thanks again for all the help and suggestions!! I really appreciate it.
 

Dan Dula

Junior Member
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1
Vanderboat - Did anyone contact you about the message center module? I have the problem of intermittent and partial outages of the message center.
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Dan Dula

Junior Member
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1
I have the message center problem too. This issue with ALL the dashlights very dim is new. A friend told me there is a plug on the instrument panel circuit board that sometimes comes loose, But I did not see one.
 
Hi pianoman and all others,

PLEASE continue to keep us informed as to how this works out............... I am very interested in the conclusion to the problem. My TC is vintage 1993 and I have reason to suspect that I may be chasing, with much confusion, a similar problem.

GOOD LUCK to you, larry
 

rich10000

New member
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0
1
Hi, I have a 1987 Town Car and the gas gauge on the digital dash will not work, nothing dead screen. The speedometer lights fine and the message board lights fine and will cycle through all the messages. However, one message it is giving is 0 miles to empty when the distance to empty button is pushed. It has gas. Any suggestions anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Richard
 

g_565210

Does anyone have wire schematic for printed circuit board on a 1989 town car digital display control module?
 

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