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Ask A. Penland Your Own Question
A. Penland
A. Penland, Ford Senior Master Technician, ASE
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6597
Experience:  ASE Master Certified, ASE Advanced Gasoline Engine Performance
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1998 f-150 / 5.4 /4x4 / automatic, Problem: odometer and

Customer Question

1998 f-150 / 5.4 /4x4 / automatic
JA: Are you fixing your F150 yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Problem: odometer and trip meter quit 2 months ago. last saturday all the gauges went dark. I sent cluster to Duluth Georgia for rebuild. Meanwhile I thought I could still operate truck. Alternator quit working and engine stopped on me when battery went dead. Alternator tested bad and I put a new one on and battery had enough power to start engine even though it was still VERY low. Nerw alt nator did not work either. I Put another one on and am waiting for tha battery to come up to full charge. Is the absense of a cluster causing me problem? Should I not start engine again until I get cluster back?
JA: How old is the battery? And have you tested it with a voltmeter?
Customer: I just bought the battery 3 months ago and the place I purchased it said battery was good and alternator was bad. Told me to charge it fully before I tried another alternator.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: That's it.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  A. Penland replied 7 months ago.

DO NOT START THE ENGINE. The instrument cluster is part of the charging circuit. The red battery light in the cluster called the charging system warning indicator is part of the circuit.