Question about Dodge Pickup

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1999-3500-4X4-Automatic; I had replaced all ujoints and both front wheel hub ***. The speedometer worked when I run it in but now it doesn't. Can't find any fuse bad. The speed sensor is in the tranny so that shouldn't have been damaged when I removed the shaft. Any way to check the sensor or wire going to the sensor?

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  • andesi Nov 07, 2010

    I had .65 volt at the wire befor the sender and there is cont. at the sensor. I checked all the connections and they look fine. Maybe in the dash.?


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Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS) This sensor feeds information to the engine controller which operates and monitors the speed control system. The VSS is found on the extension housing on 2WD models or the transfer case on some 4WD models.
Test 1999-3500-4X4-Automatic;  I had replaced - f66.53.gif A speed sensor. Courtesy of General Motors Corporation, Service Technology Group.
A defective vehicle speed sensor may cause different problems depending on the computer output control functions. A defective vehicle speed sensor (VSS) may cause improper converter clutch lockup, improper cruise control operation, and inaccurate speedometer operation.

  • Prior to VSS diagnosis, the vehicle should be lifted on a hoist so the drive wheels are free to rotate.
  • Backprobe the vss output wire and connect the voltmeter leads from this wire to ground.
  • Select the 20-volt AC scale on the voltmeter.
  • Then start the engine.
  • Place the transaxle in drive and allow the drive wheels to rotate. If the VSS voltage signal is not 0.5 volt, or more, replace the sensor.
  • When the VSS provides the specified voltage signal, backprobe the VSS terminal at the PCM and repeat the voltage signal test with the drive wheels rotating.
  • If 0.5 volt is available at this terminal, the trouble may be in the PCM (powertrain control module).
  • When 0.5 volt is not available at this terminal, turn the ignition switch off and disconnect the wire from the VSS to the PCM.
  • Connect the ohmmeter leads across the wire. the meter should read zero ohm.
  • Repeat the test with the ohmmeter leads connected to the VSS ground terminal and the PCM ground terminal.
  • This wire should also have zero ohm resistance. If the resistance in these wires is more than specified, repair the wires.
  • The condition of a speed sensor can be checked by going through the diagnostic routines for the system.
  • If this test indicates that a sensor is faulty, the sensor should be replaced.
  • Speed sensors can also be checked with an ohmmeter. Most manufacturers list a resistance specification.
  • The resistance of the sensor is measured across the sensor's terminals.
  • The typical range for a good sensor is 800 to 1400 ohms of resistance.


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Posted on Nov 08, 2010

  • 2 more comments 
  • Duane Wong
    Duane Wong Nov 08, 2010

    You could try to remove the instrument panel to check for loose connections at the harness.

    But, since you didn't work on that part when you changed the shaft(s) then I don't think that's likely to be the problem.


    Instruments and Switches

    Instrument Cluster

    Removal & Installation

    To Remove:

    1. Remove or disconnect the following:

      • Negative battery cable
      • Instrument cluster trim panel
      • Screws and the instrument cluster
      • Electrical connectors

    To Install:

    1. Install or connect the following:

      • Electrical connectors
      • Instrument cluster with the screws
      • Instrument cluster trim panel
      • Negative battery cable

    Previous Next

  • Duane Wong
    Duane Wong Nov 08, 2010

    Oops, that's for a GM not a Dodge.

  • Duane Wong
    Duane Wong Nov 08, 2010

    Instrument Cluster


    1989-93 Pick-Ups and Ramchargers

    1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
    2. Remove the map light.
    3. Remove the six screws which attach the faceplate to the base panel. There is a screw below the heater-air conditioning control panel which is not visible from above.
    4. If equipped with automatic transmission, place the shift lever in its lowest position.
    5. Remove the faceplate by pulling the top edge rearward to clear the brow and pulling the bottom out, disengaging the attaching clips. If the vehicle is equipped with 4WD, disconnect the indicator wires.
    6. Remove the upper and lower steering column covers. Disconnect the shift indicator actuator cable from the steering column, if equipped.

      Fig. 1: Exploded view of the instrument cluster and switches - 1989-93 Pick-ups and Ramchargers

    7. Loosen the heater and air conditioning control and pull it out enough to clear the cluster housing.
    8. Remove the screws that retain the cluster and pull the cluster out far enough to disconnect the speedometer cable by releasing the spring clip.
    9. Remove all printed circuit board multiple connectors.
    10. Remove the cluster assembly.
    11. To remove the speedometer, remove the cluster lens, unplug the EMR timer wires from the speedometer, if equipped and remove the retaining screws.
    12. Installation is the reverse of removal. Secure all components.

    1994-96 Pick-Ups

    1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
    2. Remove the cluster bezel as follows:

      1. Remove the cup holder and ash receiver.
      2. Carefully pry the bezel away from the instrument panel to disengage the clips.
      3. Unplug the cigar lighter and auxiliary power outlet connectors.

    3. Remove the knee blocker.

      Fig. 2: Remove and install the PRND21 cable (if applicable) as shown

    4. Pull the PRND21 cable and twist to remove from the position arm, if applicable.

      Fig. 3: Unscrew the instrument cluster from the mounting points indicated

    5. Push the tab on the bottom of the cable retainer up, then squeeze the sides to remove the retainer from the column.
    6. Remove the four screws that hold the cluster.
    7. Pull the cluster rearward and unplug the two electrical connectors.
    8. Remove the cluster.
    9. Installation is the reverse of removal.


    1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
    2. Remove the instrument cluster bezel. Cluster removal is not necessary if just removing gauges.
    3. When only removing gauge(s) or the speedometer, remove the trip odometer reset knob if equipped, remove the mask and lens assembly and remove the desired gauge from the cluster. Disconnect the speedometer cable if removing the speedometer.

      Fig. 4: Exploded view of the common Dakota instrument cluster and bezel

    4. If equipped with automatic transmission, remove the lower column cover and disconnect the gear indicator cable.
    5. Remove the screws attaching the cluster to the instrument panel.
    6. Pull the cluster out and disconnect all wiring and the speedometer cable. Remove the cluster from the vehicle.
    7. Installation is the reverse of removal.

    Previous Next

  • Duane Wong
    Duane Wong Nov 08, 2010

    Those were just examples from other years of Dodge.

    Maybe try for further research. Sometimes their website has more specific information than my regular online resource.

    Good luck on this repair.


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Testing For Voltage

  1. Connect the ground lead of a voltmeter to a known good ground.
  2. Connect the other lead of the voltmeter to the selected test point. The vehicle ignition may need to be turned ON to check voltage. Refer to the appropriate test procedure.
  3. 1999-3500-4X4-Automatic;  I had replaced - dak408_8.gif
Testing For Continuity
  1. Remove the fuse for the circuit being checked or disconnect the battery.
  2. Connect one lead of the ohmmeter to one side of the circuit being tested.
  3. Connect the other lead to the other end of the circuit being tested. Low or no resistance means good continuity.
Testing For A Short To Ground
  1. Remove the fuse and disconnect all items involved with the fuse.
  2. Connect a test light or a voltmeter across the terminals of the fuse.
  3. Starting at the fuse block, wiggle the wiring harness every 6 to 8 Inches and watch the voltmeter/test light.
  4. If the voltmeter registers voltage or the test light glows, there is a short-to-ground in that general area of the wiring harness.
Testing For A Short-to-ground On Fuses Powering Several Loads
  1. Refer to the wiring diagrams and disconnect or isolate all items on the fuse circuit.
  2. Replace the blown fuse.
  3. Supply power to the fuse by turning ON the ignition switch or re-connecting the battery.
  4. Start connecting the items in the fuse circuit, one at a time. When the fuse blows, the circuit with the short-to-ground has been isolated.
Testing For Voltage Drop
  1. Connect the positive lead of the voltmeter to the side of the circuit closest to the battery.
  2. Connect the other lead of the voltmeter to the other side of the switch or component.
  3. Operate the item.
  4. The voltmeter will show the difference in voltage between the two points.
Good luck

Posted on Nov 07, 2010

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