07 GM Gauge Cluster Damaged Solder Pad Work-around

Discussion in 'Interior' started by 07YUKONXL534x4, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. 07YUKONXL534x4

    07YUKONXL534x4 TYF Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Oct 9, 2018
    2007 - 2014 GM Tahoe Yukon Escalade Silverado Sierra
    Gauge Cluster Display Repair VFD (Driver info, odometer & PRND321 Display) Circuit

    Adventures in GM Vehicle Ownership - An Electronic Issue

    The displays for the gear selection and vehicle information center went out on our 07 Yukon. I dug around until I found the fix. After researching, I was determined to do this repair myself. I watched several videos and bought all the supplies I thought I would need before I began. I have experience soldering wires, but I have never worked on a printed circuit board (PCB) before. The repairs in the videos I watched all went off without a problem. Of course, these were professionals with much higher quality tools and skills I did not possess. I had a soldering iron kit (not the cheapest, but not professional), tweezers, soldering wick and liquid flux.

    I flooded the damaged mosfet with liquid flux and began de-soldering the four soldering pads with my iron and solder wick. Then I used the tweezers to remove the damaged mosfet. Unfortunately, the soldering pad on the top-right lifted off of the board along with the damaged mosfet. This meant the circuit was now "broken" as far as the circuit board was concerned and there is no easy way to repair the soldering pad/circuit board itself to retain original functionality. I didn't even know this was a possible scenario. I thought boards were tougher than this and they probably were 20 years ago. The trace and pad are made from super thin foil. The pad is basically the exposed tip of the laminated trace and it's secured to the board with adhesive. Once the adhesive gave, the pad easily broke off the end of the trace.

    I had a short "OH CRAP" moment and then went about figuring out what to do next. I cleaned the board with alcohol and a tooth brush. I looked for the trace under the green film. Sure enough, it was very short and ran from the missing pad to a nearby resistor. I thought I might be able to use a piece of wire as a jumper...then I instantly dismissed that as too risky, too redneck or just plain wrong. Well...I started digging around the internet and...yep...that is an acceptable workaround in certain cases. I really didn't want to admit defeat by sending this board off and have it repaired by a professional. What would my wife and children think of me? HAHAHA!

    I soldered in three "good" pads for the new mosfet. So far so good. Now for the fun part. I took a piece of 12 GA DC copper wire, singled out a strand and cut it about 1 inch (25.4mm) long. Then I soldered one end of the jumper wire to the identified resistor. Next I used the tweezers to route/bend the jumper wire so it would not short out against any other contact points on the board. Finally I soldered the other end of the jumper wire to the mosfet contact (above the missing pad) and trimmed off the excess wire. It looked like it should work. I took it back to the Yukon, nervously plugged it back in and BINGO! Displays all worked again and no smoke demons! Success!

    Not the cleanest soldering job, but it works!

    Image 001 : https://i.imgur.com/eOQlW23.png

    Image 002 : https://i.imgur.com/xjB2yzE.png

    This video shows probably worst case scenario for this repair. All the pads for this mosfet were destroyed, but there are work-arounds. Very grateful jeffescortlx showed the way.

    Items I used for the repair

    Infineon Technologies LL2705 MOSFET 55V, 3.8A SOT-223 for GM Cluster Display Repair Silverado Yukon Tahoe Suburban Sierra Escalade (Pack of 2)

    NTE Electronics SW02-10 No-Clean Solder Wick, 4 Blue.098" Width, 10' Length


    View attachment 238422 View attachment 238423
    wjburken and swathdiver like this.

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