DIY guide Toyota Tacoma compass display:
NoticeWarning! Danger, Will Robinson. Before you embark on this project, understand there are basically two potential outcomes: 1.) you permanently repair your display 2.) you permanently destroy your display. This is not meant to scare or an attempt to get you to purchase a repair; it is simply the truth. Be careful, take your time, and prior to powering up your board always use a magnifying glass to inspect for shorted solder blobs, etc. Your solder should *only* touch the 4 resistor pads, nothing else.
Pulling the display console down:
Removing the clear plastic cover:
-use a small flathead screwdriver or knife to carefully pry up each clip, bumping each one slightly over the edge until all are released. Don’t try to pull the cover off until *ALL four clips* are released, otherwise they will often break.
-Don’t use a gun style iron w/ trigger. These are too powerful, bulky, and generally don’t have a suitable tip. Get an inexpensive pencil style iron like this Weller kit.
-Stands are nice, and usually have built in sponges. Example.
-Or, get the combo package…this is a great one.
-Always keep the tip shiny with no hanging solder drops. Use tip cleaner and/or damp sponge to keep it that way…do this often.
-Don’t use lead-free (RoHS) solder, silver solder, or acid core, use 60/40 flux core (or 60/40 and preflux).
-Take lots of breaks, and look up frequently to focus your eyes on faraway objects. It is likely that you aren’t used to working with small parts up close, and it can be frustrating. Take a break and come back later.
-If your hands are shaky, go drink a beer; it will help. Caffeine and sugar won’t.
-Don’t put solder on the iron to transfer to the work. The iron’s purpose is the heat up the *part* so that solder will flow.
-Your work should be bright and shiny when done, like a little bit of the liquid metal bad guy from Terminator II is holding your resistors on the board.
-Be aware of your iron. Don’t melt the plastic on your power button or cover clips. Don’t drop solder onto the board in random places; if you do, make sure to remove it.
-Put some solder on the resistor pads before soldering in the new lead wires. You should then have 4 shiny little bumps. You can use these to ‘tack’ the lead wires to by heating up the pad/wire with your iron. Once one lead is tacked, fully solder the other end, then come back and finish the job.
General tips and recommendations:
-Use new components! Go to Radio Shack or similar and get a couple 51 ohm lead wire(axial) resistors. 47 ohm will work, too. See the image below for the color code. The last band can be gold or silver. I recommend 1/4 watt, as the leads are smaller gauge and easier to work with.
The resistors are in parallel, so you can lay the leads against each other and solder to the board. *NOTE* these resistor values are for Tacomas; other vehicles may vary. See the not-so-clear images below for guidance.
-If you use your old original SMT resistors, they WILL fail again. The ends will have oxidized and solder won’t stick well. Unfortunately cleaning/sanding won’t work, the layer of metal is too thin.
Remember, time is money…just do it right the first time.
Good luck! -Greg
Greg – I just purchased an 09 Tacoma and the temp/compass display is fading fast. I suspected a thermally induced problem in the display drive ckt and after reading your site have confirmed my suspicions. Nice work, you saved a lot of people considerable time and money.
Where did you learn electronics? I’ve been teaching ET for about 40 yrs.
Thanks a bunch – JL
Thanks, I appreciate the sentiment. I taught myself for the most part, with a bit of help from Forrest M Mims. The Navy pushed me a bit further, and my current job is also related.
Hope all is well and Happy Holidays,
I checked resistors…all good. Display has dark “burn” spot in the corner. Can you repair? How much?
Hi JC, that ‘burn’ spot is normal, expected, and in fact required (that is the technique used to remove the oxygen from the display). Prices for a standard US repair are 59.99. Thanks, Greg
do you have an email address I can contact you on?
Yes…the form field method of contact and also my email is written on the graphic on this page: https://www.siliconmethod.com/contact/
The after picture with the new rsisters in place is unclear to me. Are they laying dowm on top of each other? and the leads seem to be going to the same location. Is this correct? I just purchased a 2005 and am trying to improve what I can on it.
Yes…that is correct. The resistors are in parallel (the leads are soldered on top of each other as in the picture).
Do you think these will work?
So I’ve done the repair and the display Is still not working! The first time I repaired it, it worked for about 2-3 weeks then went out again! Not sure how to proceed! Also, I’m not sure if maybe a fuse needs to be replaced! Any help is appreciated!
Hi Ray, can you take a pic of your latest repair work? Send it my way and I will take a look.